Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Temple of transportation

Pillars of society
Toronto, ON
December 2009
[Click here if you're feeling parallel-ish]


Toronto's Union Station is the city's equivalent of New York's Penn Station, a grand-looking building in the middle of downtown that handles all intercity and commuter train traffic. It was the transportation equivalent of the centre of the world before airplanes took over the travel landscape. Even now, there's a majesty and reverence, a sense of history to this place that even the most soaring airport terminal can't touch.

There's an unwritten rule that buildings like this can't merely be large. They must also be grandiose, iconic, memorable, sporting the kind architecture that causes weary passengers to stop and take it all in even if they've been through this place a dozen times in the last month. Union Station qualifies in spades.

It's a place I'd explore indefinitely if I had the time. I've been here before (see here) but even now know there's plenty of photographic potential left in this place before I decide I've had enough. Indeed, there are so many ways to look at this grand dame of early 20th century design that it's entirely possible I'd never run out of inspiration.

Something tells me each of us has at least one place deep in our souls that we'd return to again and forever, if only we could.

Your turn: So what's your forever place? Why?

12 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

My forever place would be Oahu...Not for the obvious... After coming out of that cloud of grief, I met someone that had my heart.. 4 five years we were together- long distance.. it worked for a while.. but he had issues, issues he couldn't get a grip on.. so I made the decision to back away... It has happy memories and not so ... I don;t know if I can ever go back to that island...

The Gearheads said...

This looks like a grand building. I would love to get to see the architecture of this building more, I enjoy the way these kind of stations made you feel small, yet somehow welcome.
My favorite place is Red Rock country around Moab, UT. It houses a natural beauty that leaves me in awe every time I am there. I have been going since my parents dragged me along, and still if I don't make it there once a year I feel I have lost something. As with the Union Station, no matter how many times I am there there is something new and amazing to discover. This is an area of photographic heaven, every turn there is a different rock formation that grabs your attention. Here are some of the photos from my trip last spring http://s623.photobucket.com/albums/tt318/MsRae_GeneralChaos_UNpics/100509%20Moab/.

The Gearheads said...

Kalei's Best Friend, your post leaves mixed emotions. They say it is better to have loved and lost then to have not loved at all. It seems the island leaves you longing to return, but afraid to at the same time. May time heal that for you quickly.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

@Gearheads: u are right... i love that island, i was there a lot over the 5 years and felt at home.. knew a lot of the local spots, cool hiking trails...i am afraid to go back, afraid to run into him... his schedule is very predictable and i doubt if its changed any...

Catharine said...

I'm forever grateful to Nature and her long line of visionaries who imagine and manifest these beautiful works of art. To create something powerful enough to lift the eyes and spirit heavenward is no small feat.

My own favorite place is the Cinque Terre (5 Lands) on the Mediterranean in Italy, though these days it's busy with tourists and things are changing... To give you a taste of the place, here's a journal entry (now part of an in-progress travel series) from my first visit there in 2005:

The Cinque Terre. Five Lands. Five vibrant little villages perched tremulously on the hillside, linked one to the next by miles of meandering footpaths. Five villages, their buildings reminiscent of the red and ochre and saffron of the spice markets of North Africa to the south, the Mediterranean sunsets to the west. Five villages who have made peace with gravity, with themselves and each other. Who tend their olive groves and vineyards and lemon trees with care, and tumble happily, carelessly, hopefully down the steep Ligurian cliffs to the diamond-blue waters of the Mediterranean below, shrugging off their worries on the cool, salty air and reminding me to relax, and let Italy have its way with me. (copyright 2005 by catharine kozak)

young-eclectic-encounters said...

Thanks for the post- it brought back memories of the Chicago train station and the wonderful huge old museums. I would love to go back there. That and where we used to spend our family vacations; Devil's Lake and the Wisconsin Dells. I have some pics that I love from those places and I would love to see how they have changed and be able to take photos there now that I know how to really use a camera.
Johnina :^A

Ankita (Gg) said...

Lots of photos from you for this week's theme. Nice.

Mustang Sally said...

I love OLD buildings. The pillars, the arches, carvings, gargoyles, the old architects had such a sense of style. Grandiose ... yes, and awe inspiring. I get none of that feeling from the mirror covered boxes that they design nowadays.

I can, and have, spent the entire day just walking around downtown Charleston just looking at the buildings. And no matter how many times I do that there is still more to see.

I haven't done that in awhile. I'll have to do a photo shoot in the city sometime soon I think.

becca said...

my forever place would be Disney World. I know crazy as it is a theme park but i take my son every year and i am always amazed at how magical the place is. from the moment we step foot on disney property till the time we leave we have so much much and exciement. from shows to rides to just simply walking down main street it is a truly magical time i would would stay there forever if i could.

That Blond Guy said...

I think there's also an unwritten rule that the restrooms have to be considerably less impressive than the building itself.

Anonymous said...

It’s the Arboretum in Arcadia, California that’s my forever place. Perhaps you may recall the Queen Anne cottage and lagoon -- “The plane! The plane!” -- featured on the TV show “Fantasy Island”?

I’ve paused at the Arboretum through so many chapters of my life -- as a teenager smoking pot in the jungle garden with my high school friends; as a more responsible uncle shepherding my nieces and nephews on countless visits, playing hide-and-seek and throwing feed to the ducks and peacocks; having heart-to-heart talks with my dad (of blessed memory) as we strolled about the grounds.

I lose myself in a sense of peace and expansiveness I feel when I visit there -- the scent of the eucalyptus trees and the immense sky above; the distant sound of a loon.

Karen Sather said...

You have spoken to my heart. I am obsessed with quaint and charming little towns and their magnificent old historical buildings, enchanting houses and gardens, cemeteries and their secrets/knowledge, and tours within those stately structures located there. Especially ones with the center of town boasting a Courthouse and all mostly located near rivers, lakes or oceans! Example of this, we visited London, but I also planned train trips to Bath, Stonehenge, Folkestone and Dover not just the White Cliffs either. We toured the marvelous Dover Castle and their underground tunnels just opened for visitors! At home when my life needs rejuvenation a day trip down Hwy. 61 fulfills my desires!