“WEEGEE: MURDER IS MY BUSINESS” – NEW YORK CITY’S GANGSTERLAND IN THE 1930’S & 40’S

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WEEGEE3Kamikaze photographer ARTHUR FELLIG (1899-1968), better known as WEEGEE, was born in the Ukraine, emigrated with his family to New York in 1909, worked a number of odd jobs, and then became infatuated with the ‘Naked City‘ after dark.WEEGEE2Fellig competed with the NYPD and the Fire Department to be the first arrival at crime scenes, his flashbulb camera at the ready. His aim was to get the picture, no matter how gruesome or bizarre, and sell it overnight to the press.WEEGEE8WEEGEE7Weegee’s graphic and often lurid photographs of news events and crime scenes set the standard for tabloid journalism.

L.A. TIMES GOES KVETCHY ABOUT CANADA’S LAWREN HARRIS SHOW AT THE HAMMER MUSEUM

<LAWREN STEWART HARRIS, 1885-1970>   LAWREN HARRIS, Canadian iconic painter and member of the Group of Seven, is making his debut in Los Angeles at the Hammer Museum, partly thanks to actor, comedian and art collector STEVE MARTIN. Reporter Mike Boehm of the Los Angeles Times writes “Martin is using his star power to couch for a little-known talent he thinks the public should know and love – a Canadian landscape painter who died in 1970, famed in his homeland but all but unheard of in the United States.”

LAWRENHARRIS2“By anointing Martin as curator, the Hammer joins a number of museums that have bestowed curatorial laurels on pop-culture celebrities and reaped the attendant publicity. It also reopens a long-running art world debate over whether people who collect a given artist’s work — as Martin does with Harris — should have a hand in curating nonprofit museum exhibitions that have the potential to increase the value of their own art holdings.”

LAWRENHARRIS3<North Shore Lake Superior, Lawren Harris, 1926, National Gallery of Canada>  Mr. Boehm goes on: “auctioneers in Canada who sell Harris’ work think that the L.A. show will boost prices, which regularly top $1 million for prime pieces, with an auction high of $3.5 million.” . . . .  “It could prove a watershed moment for Lawren Harris,” said David Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House in TORONTO. Already, the L.A. show has sparked queries from new potential buyers interested in three Harris paintings he’ll be auctioning Nov. 26.  To read the entire Los Angeles Times story go to http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-hammer-steve-martin-20151010-story.htmlLAWRENHARRIS4<PHOTO ABOVE – Group of Seven artists at the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto – Frederick Varley, A.Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. MacDonald>LAWRENHARRIS1

TORONTO BOY FROM A TORONTO FAMILY, MARCUS GEE WONDERS AT THE CHANGES IN HIS HOMETOWN

CHARLES2 CHARLES6 CHARLES13In his weekend column in the Globe and Mail MARCUS GEE writes about our city that keeps growing higher, denser and livelier. “New office towers are rising right and left. Cranes crowd the skyline. Those high-rise condos that everyone likes to complain about have brought vivid new life to the streets. The hum and bustle of a living city is palpable and it’s thrilling.”  Read Gee’s entire column at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/the-toronto-i-left-isnt-the-city-its-become-life-is-happening-right-here/article26759564/ It’ll make you feel good.

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TORONTO’S ‘NIGHTMARE ON QUEEN ST. WEST’, ROB FORD, RETURNS IN BOOK FORM

FORDBOOK1Prediction: this juicy ‘tell-all’ tome will be flying off the shelves as Torontonians relive the Mayor Rob Ford days/daze – now behind us, but still in a dark corner of our minds.  Authors Johanna Schneller and Mark Twohey have written about the most ridiculed and scandal-ridden mayor this city has ever elected.

FORDBOOK4Ford’s former chief-of-staff MARK TWOHEY, a conservative military man, takes us behind-the-scenes to reveal details previously unknown about Ford’s crack and booze-laden “administration”.  The book is the first about Ford by a former insider, who was summarily fired and marched out the door during the mayor’s crack cocaine scandal.  He’s now a broadcaster.

FORDBOOK3Mayor Rob Ford: Uncontrollable; How I Tried to Help the World’s Most Notorious Mayor will be released on Oct. 27, publisher Skyhorse Publishing says.  The book description reads “Towhey gives an insider account of working with Ford, covering for him, managing a man who people see as a joke, who trips over himself in videos; who throws candy at children instead of handing it to them; who rants and raves, and gets belligerent in meetings and at private events.”

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AT 3:31 & 3:44 TUES. A.M. GIANT PANDA ER SHUN DELIVERS TWO TINY CUBS AT TORONTO’S ZOO

PANDABIRTH4 “While this is wonderful news, the tiny cubs are very vulnerable at this size, so the next several hours and days will be critical to their survival. We are so proud to be contributing to the ongoing survival of this endangered species.” – TORONTO Zoo statement  The infant bears are the first giant pandas to be born in Canada. They’ll remain at the Zoo when their mother leaves for Calgary in 2016. Er Shun and male panda Da Mao are on loan to Canada from China for 10 years, five of which are being spent in TORONTO, and five in Alberta.

PANDABIRTH3PANDABIRTH2<PHOTOS ABOVE – Er Shun & Da Mao>

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS YOU DON’T COMMUTE ON CHINA’S G-4 EXPRESSWAY

We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Weekend. If nothing else, be thankful that you weren’t stuck in this 50-lane traffic jam on China’s G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway.  The culprit: a new checkpoint that forces traffic to merge from 50 lanes down to just 20. This is more than a nightmare – it’s carmageddon!

Vehicles are seen stuck in a traffic jam near a toll station as people return home at the end of a week-long national day holiday, in Beijing, China, October 6, 2015. Picture taken October 6, 2015. REUTERS/China Daily CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA - RTS3HL4

<Vehicles are seen stuck in a traffic jam near a toll station as people return home at the end of a week-long national day holiday, in Beijing, China, October 6, 2015. Picture taken October 6, 2015. REUTERS/China Daily CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA – RTS3HL4>

THERE GOES THE BLOCK! LOW-RISE TO HIGH-RISE, EAST SIDE OF YONGE, ALEXANDER ST.TO MAITLAND

501YONGE1 501YONGE5 Two condo towers with street-level retail are on the way for this block, perfectly illustrating the rapid transformation of TORONTO’s main street from low-rise to high-rise. Teahouse2, a two-tower Lanterra condo complex in a prime location will open in 2018, replacing this two-storey strip of restaurants, offices, a tattoo parlour and low-end clothing store on the east side of Yonge.

501YONGE6Up to now all heritage buildings along Yonge (or in a few cases their facades) have been saved from the wrecker’s ball. This strip, built in the 1950’s, has no heritage value – but several small businesses have been forced to move.

THERE’S ‘AN UNCOMMON TYPE OF AN UNCOMMON THING’ IN TORONTO’S ANNEX – A TUXEDO SQUIRREL

TUXEDOSQUIRREL1An extremely rare black and white squirrel is getting more than its 15 minutes of fame in The Annex and the TORONTO press. The unique little rodent has a white nose and ears. Its paws and tail are a mixture of white and black.  Alana Johns, a professor at the University of Toronto, took these pictures on her way to work. “I had never seen anything like it,” she told Metro News. David Sugarman of the Ontario Science Centre commented “the nice symmetry of of its colouration is quite special. It’s an uncommon type of uncommon thing.”

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