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.