Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Koo Koo Bananas Beautiful 

Toronto in October from rowdyman on Vimeo.

“...I'm like a boy in boxing gloves grasping at a butterfly”
I've never been accused of Toronto boosterism but I've come to terms with this city and realized that many of its problems are the same as any city of over 2 million people. Yet other problems are uniquely its own – poor transit infrastructure, an oafish mayor, the strange suburban nature of many downtown neighbourhoods and the weirdly high-rise landscape of its isolating suburbs. I also never really think of Toronto as a "pretty" town, but it does have its moments. The city still has a lot of 19th century lingering industrial buildings, quiet side streets and, when you can get there, a wonderful waterfront. October, full of rainy days and saturated colours, is when Toronto looks its best. Dusk on a rainy day just when the clouds are breaking create some crazy beautiful skylines. Really crazy beautiful, like koo-koo bananas beautiful. I love running on the waterfront on a day like that near sunset. You get two sunsets; the real one in the west and the reflected one from downtown's glass towers in the east. That can sometimes be just dumbfounding. The sky in the east will be deep dark purple billows, while the buildings, reflecting the western sky's setting sun, will be blazing golden molten shards. I've tried to capture it, but I'm like a boy in boxing gloves grasping at a butterfly. Too clumsy and too euphoric to know it.

Sometimes, you can just point your phone at the sky and things turn out alright. The idea that my phone is the best camera I've ever owned is still odd to me. I know on the photo sharing site, Flickr, photos taken by phones outnumber those taken by cameras. We live in an era of "phone-ography". Video is becoming more common too, so instead of a slide show of stills, I thought I'd assemble a slide show of video clips. I think I enjoy these brief vignettes more than stills. Little living dioramas captured in my phone. What would Alexander Graham Bell have said about that? Probably something like "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to show you something." – which nowadays might get you in trouble.

To see much better photography of Toronto's waterfront, like the one below, go see Uncharted Waters at the Harbourfront Centre.

Johan Hallberg-Campbell, Terminal A, 11:14pm; March 17, 2012 – Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, image via Harbourfront Centre

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