On the Edge of Suburbia

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Where suburbia comes to an abrupt end.

I came of age on the edge of suburbia, where cookie-cutter housing projects end and the surrounding countryside begins. Decades later, again I find myself perched on the edge, further west than when I was young but still at the very end of one little patch of sprawl.

Lost Among The Multitudes

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A lost cat poster on a mailbox in .

I wonder how many cats are lost every day? Certainly this number cannot be insignificant, for it is something almost every cat owner must address at one point or another. I have personally been involved in the search for lost cats on at least five occasions—and have probably made posters of my own at least three times. This particular poster up on the mountain in caught my eye for whatever reason—the unusually bold design, the melancholic appearance of raindrops on the plastic cover, or perhaps the forlorn look of the potentially doomed feline, its indeterminate fate depending on chance and circumstance. And are we not all lost as well? Put up a poster for yourself.

Impressions of historic Guelph

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Last week I spent a morning in , , after cycling all the way there from the previous day. Not knowing what there was to see, I biked around downtown, keeping an eye out for historic features of the urban landscape.

The abandoned Petrie Building immediately captured my attention.

Ascending Into The Stacks

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Riding an escalator to a higher level at Robarts Library, University of Toronto.

Now and then I like to go through some of my old photographs and give them new treatments in Adobe Lightroom. I have learned so much from all these years of working with the software—and I follow a very different approach nowadays: warmer and more nuanced, less outlandish and cold. It is an interesting experience to retouch my old work with the benefit of experience and new eyes.

Traversing the liminal zone

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Gazing back through the passageway from one world to the next.

This was the last image I captured in prior to boarding a long haul flight to little more than a week ago. Pictured here is Tilted Spheres, a massive steel sculpture by Richard Serra, installed 2002–2004, prior to the opening of Pier F at Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2007. The building was actually constructed around this imposing monument to the ritual disorientation of international air travel.

The airport is a movement processing machine, which directs the passengers through its spaces to the aeroplane (and back out). It channels and directs the flow of passengers through both security and retail spaces. Serra’s Tilted Spheres requires an act of passage, the walls all tilt inwards as well as curving, creating a looming pathway to be traversed.

The sculpture slowly comes into view as the traveller descends the escalator from the mezzanine. After reaching the floor, a decision must be made: pass through one of the three channels or go around. I decided to pass straight through—and stopped in the middle to test the acoustic properties of the piece by clapping my hands together. Sure enough, there was a strange, reverberated echo, an alien sound ringing in my ears.

With an odd smile I continued on my way. 17 hours later I landed in distant lands.

An Exercise In Democracy

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Mississauga votes 2014.

I executed my right to vote in this election season. I can’t say I had strong feelings about any of the candidates but still went out to vote anyhow. Seems like not everyone felt the same for voter turnout was a paltry 36.6% or so. Spin the wheel and try again next time.

Shapeshifter

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Twisting into the sky.

Picture here are the “Marilyn Monroe” towers in , more formally known as Absolute World. They’re just about the only distinctive piece of architecture in the city apart from the “futuristic farm” of the Mississauga Civic Centre. The towers are relatively new—at least they weren’t around when I was growing up here—so I am still surprised anytime I see them, which is quite often. Even though they’re located in what passes for “downtown” Mississauga they are plainly visible from the western edge of .