August 2010 Archives

Lighting Up on Queen

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Do you think that he feels more real when he lights up?  More solid?  I never smoked, but I imagine that taking that first puff on a newly lit cigarette makes you feel more solid, more you. 

Family Lunch

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Taking a break on Queen Street at University Ave.  I have to admit, I periodically get a craving for "street meat" and head out to the seller near my work.  It's terrible for me, I know, but there's something very "downtown" about this meal to me.  Apparently, I'm not the only one that thinks that.  They do seem to be enjoying their meal, don't they? 

Glasses and Smudge

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I found these, sitting on the sidewalk on my way to work, and my mind immediately filled with questions.  Where did these come from?  How long were they here?  How did they get flattened?  So many questions, from such a simple thing.

Eating at Dundas and University

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They are there, every sunny day in the summer.  Eating around the memorial at Univeristy and Dundas.  It's a nice little spot of green and shade in the middle of the road, and it's got to be an interesting eating experience, to be sitting there, watching people go by, watching the cars go by on either side.  It's not the most unusual place to eat, I'm sure, but it's a little weird.

Woods, Back and Trees

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On the Phone at the Wall

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Talking on the phone in public - it's become ubiquitous.  Everybody does it, everywhere.  When did we decide that it was okay to inflict our conversations on everybody else?  And when will people decide that they don't want others to hear their conversations?

In the last week, I've heard people cussing each other out on the phone, arranging medical care, arranging social gatherings, and just catching up with each other - all on cellphones, on the streetcar.  I have to admit, I have done it too - I get phone calls and talk, not paying attention to what's going on around me, who is listening, who is trying not to listen.  It's a different social dynamic now, and I'm sure that it's going to keep changing. 

Walking the Dog on Queen East

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The new neighbhourhood is definitely growing on me.  There are so many dogs in the area, of all kinds and breeds, and there's a strong pedestrian component too.  Even if there are some more obviously car-centric locations within the area - like the place I go to get the streetcar.  There's a theater, and off track betting location, and a Blockbuster Video and LCBO combined parking lot.  That's a lot of space devoted to very few businesses, and lots of parking as well.  It kind of jars with the whole "let's be pedestrians" feel of some of the other areas around here, and I find myself wondering which is the anomaly.

Litter, It's a Beautiful Thing

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I don't know why this particular piece of litter caught my eye.  Maybe because it was at eye level, and the sun was hitting it just the right way to make it glow.  Maybe because it was a Harvey's cup.  But it got me thinking about the sheer volume of litter tossed out by careless, impolite people every day, and the resources that we have to put into managing that. 

I remember seeing scenes set in New York in my childhood - the trash scattered everywhere, blowing down the street when the wind blew. And I remember my pride when I heard about a movie company strewing trash up and down a street on the night before a shoot, only to arrive and find that Toronto Works had received a complaint and had shown up to clean it up.

Is increased litter a sign of a decaying neighbourhood?  Or does it trigger decay some way?  Either way, folks, don't litter.

Windows and Colour

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I love the splashes of colour on this building. And I especially love that the colour seems to be trying to escape from the window wells and onto the side of the building, in the form of graffiti.  Or maybe the graffiti was there first, and it's starting to infect the staid, grey exterior of the building with bright and lively colour.  Wouldn't that be a weird world if that was possible. 

AGO Front

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I love the latticework of wires above the intersection here.  In the future, when Toronto gets more surface rail traffic, will it be powered by the same network of wires?  I have to confess - I like the streetcars in Toronto.  Sure, they can be quite a hassle to drive behind, and I tend to take alternate routes to get around them.  But they carry a ton of passengers compared to buses, they act as anchors to the streets equipped to carry them, and they're far less expensive to maintain, from what I've heard.  I'd like to see more streetcars in downtown, and less cars.