Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Yorkville and Avenue Road


Light from beyond
Toronto, ON, October 2007 [Click to enlarge]

The scene: Thursday, October 4, 6:01 p.m. I'm sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic in downtown Toronto, on my way to a television interview. I'm quizzing myself on the talking points that I've researched, making sure that I'm as fully prepared as possible before the red light goes on. I keep one eye on the traffic that moves like molasses beyond my windshield and the other on the clock on the dashboard, calculating how much time I need to get there, park, and get inside. The GPS estimates of my ETA tell me I've got plenty of time to spare, but the retentive me still feels a little on edge because of the gridlock.

After the traffic light ahead goes through its third cycle, I realize I'm not going anywhere for a bit. I realize I'm as fluid on the topic as I'm going to be, and fretting any more isn't going to do me any good. So I look over at the empty passenger seat and see my camera sitting inside my backpack. I bring it along on day trips because you never know when you'll run into something neat.

The road ends at the intersection just ahead of me. Immediately beyond the corner stands a massive old building with an arched tunnel that leads to an inner courtyard. It looks like a genteel oasis in the middle of the crazy-busy city, something that I don't see every day. I grab my camera, rapidly scan the controls to ensure I'm sorta capable of exposing the scene correctly, and shoot as fast as I possibly can through the windshield and the knots of pedestrians who are wandering between me and the ethereally backlit scene just ahead.

Total elapsed time isn't more than 15 seconds. I replace the camera in the bag and scan around the car, looking for police officers who may be looking for scofflaws like me. The light's still red. I don't even know if the pictures are workable, but I figure my little surreptitious shoot was just enough to take the edge off of the moment and settle me into the right frame of mind. It's another one of those in-between moments that makes me glad that I view the world through my everpresent camera lens.

The light turns green, traffic miraculously starts to move and I quickly cover the remaining couple of kms before arriving at the studio with plenty of time to spare. The interview goes exceptionally well.

Your turn: The view out your car window. Please discuss.

14 comments:

Jilly Bean said...

I love this photo!

Snaggle Tooth said...

This scene is so detached from the act of driving through traffic. The architecture there is cool.

I always love streaming sunbeams. I usually see these thru my windshield on a western heading ramp on my way to work every late afternoon.

I haven't shot pics while driving since college (on the highway). I usually pull over.

pips said...

Msterious, this picture. Great shot.

twobuyfour said...

Beautiful shot. Moments like that are exactly why I bring my camera with me as well. You never know when you'll stumble across beauty.

daisy said...

This picture is so beautiful it should be printed and hung on the wall. I LOVE it.

Sarah said...

Beautiful shot. My morning drives are quite blinding, as I drive East, into the sunrise. There are some mornings I'm lucky I can see and then there are others when the sun is hiding behind the clouds and peeking through causing these grand streams of light and realizing again what a beautiful creation God made and thank him for it. I need to start driving with my camera in my truck.

Rachel said...

What a gorgeous shot!

More often than not, the view out my window is a graffiti-covered, decaying building. Oh, lovely Southern California.

Heidi said...

You are too funny with taking your camera everywhere... I mean, I know you take it everywhere (I have read your blog for some time now), but it is so COOL that you take it everywhere and come up with things such as this wonderful photo!

When I am driving, I usually am checking out the things I am sure no one else looks at (well, I was sure no one else looked at the same kind of things until I starting reading your blog... hee hee!) I look at the cracked sidewalk and wonder who has walked by there recently and seen the same crack... I see patches of grass in someone's yard and wonder if any children have rolled through there lately... I picture myself sitting under one of the trees that I whiz by in the car... stuff like that.

Joan said...

Wow. It looks more like something taken on a stroll through Paris or some other ancient city. Wish I saw that kind of stuff out my car windows. But as you have proven time and again, it's not necessarily about what's there, but the way you look at it. Maybe I should try looking at things differently...

MissMeliss said...

Carmi -

This picture is just magic - it's out of time in so many ways - and there's eerie beauty in it.

moon said...

Great photo! This past weekend, we drove to NY state on the interstate 87...lots of hills and valleys..was grey with clouds but I took some quick pics because the clouds and fog melded together to seem like all our surroundings were touched by the clouds..It was actually a very enjoyable drive on a beautiful highway...specially added to the fact that the fall colours are out now and we had 3 whole days of US time ahead of us!

Awareness said...

Beautiful photo Carmi. It makes me miss Toronto, and that area.....
don't miss the traffic though.

I have taken a page from your photoshoot book and take my camera with me wherever I go. One never ever knows...... :)

HOpe all is well.......I've been by admiring your pics and commentary, but it seems that life has been very busy on this end......and I havent had much time for commenting...

take care.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Wonderful picture Carmi...The light is so very special....Amazing, my dear!

Catherine said...

We saw great scenes through the car window while we toured the UK last month, and there was never anywhere to park when we saw one we wanted to photograph - so we had to master the art of taking photos on the move. (OK, we didn't really master it. But we had a lot of fun trying).

In New Zealand, you can generally stop at the side of the road quite easily, they have wide verges. In the UK the narrow country lanes have a hedge on each side and no stopping room at all.