Neighbourhood

The neighbourhood to me is pretty huge. The word alone suggest in the vicinity and to me that means walking distance. In the city I would consider that within 15 km of my home. Most of these photographs however were taken in the last few weeks in the Roncesvalles and Dundas West areas.

The empty salon below speaks of a time when we didn’t worry about area codes. I think that takes it back to at least 20 years ago. Someone is in the process of renovating this space. No doubt they’ll leave the old sign up which is becoming a new tradition in retail that I like. They’ve already resurfaced part of the facade with faux-slate bricks that might be very unfashionable in about 5 years. I took this photo because I loved the empty window space, the confluence of linear planes and the reflection that didn’t include me in the surface of the glass. The pipes that run from sidewalk to wall in the bottom right hand corner of the frame are another draw.IMG_0872

Not close to our house–but still neighbourhood in my mind–is the King and Spadina area. I still like to go into MEC every now and again and I’m frequently at TIW or Soma or something around there. This place is on the south west corner of King and Peter and I’ve shot it through the windows for about 10 years. Someday it will be a condo I guess.

I like how the light plays with the floor, the simple emptiness of the place and the feeling and geometric delineation I get when resting my camera lens against the windows to shoot. Shooting through the window controls what the composition will be to a large extent. I’d like to set up a 24 hour video installation in what appears to be a four TV bank along the right hand side of the frame in the second image.IMG_0899 IMG_0900

Below is the entrance to a Roncesvalle lawers office. It seems standard practice to make lawyers offices dark and uninviting. It’s in a strip of places that include several furriers, a real estate office, restaurant, yoga studio, art gallery (that’s never open) and the sad, sad facade of Hugh’s Room.

It soooo brown and contains a ton of building materials and elements I find hideous and because of that I’m drawn to it. I’m like a moth to flame or a like a Rob Ford supporter to idiocy. The brilliant sunlight worked well too.IMG_0953

Further down Roncesvalles the storefront landscape is changing and I can’t see how this laundromat  in the next picture will survive when a restaurant can pay twice as much rent. I remember the days of washing my clothes in such a place… and I’m thankful I no longer have to do that. I’m spoiled.

The mural has been there as long as I can remember and it’s sort of cute in a outsider art way. Although as I sit here and think about t I can’t believe that places like these and vending machines are still relatively commonplace. Or more correctly, I can’t believe they still all rely on coin operated technology. How long will that last? The crop on this made me happy. I think it breaks a shitload of rules, but I hate those old school cropping rules. They’re almost as annoying as old guys who think Fine Art Photography is shooting naked women in Black & White. IMG_0959

Further south on Roncesvalle was this vacant storefront. Again I was taken with the mirror and how it didn’t show me because of the window angles. The mixture of florescent light and daylight its weirdly appealing too.IMG_0966I got my new camera bag in the mail Friday from…Australia!. After cleaning the house today I set the new bag up to carry my SLR and a lens. It’s a backpack which I’m hoping is more conducive to comfortably walking around for hours. The one shoulder thing has been bugging me for years. I think I’ll try it out tomorrow when I walk down to Queen and Bathurst. I’m so exciting.

 

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