Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sookie Loves Flickr

revue stroll
Originally uploaded by 416style.
What started out as a means of posting and storing pictures has become a bit of an obsession of late. I can spend hours flipping through flickr looking at others' pictures and engaging in commentary about the lighting or composition of pictures, finding inspiration in others' images or discovering new places, even within this city that I claim to know well.

A couple of weeks back I formed my own group on flickr to which others join and post pictures relative to the topic. Called fourONEsixSTYLE, for Toronto's area code, it explores everything that's unique about this city we love. I've been amazed at the quality of images that are posted to the site and the number of members which just keeps growing. Flickr's blog friendly aspect is great too. I can post to my blog from within flickr and have constructed a flash flickr icon in the sidebar of this blog to take you straight to fourONEsixSTYLE. Have a look.

I'm not the only proud Torontonian on the flickr block. Several great Toronto groups have sprung up, like Toronto Lovers, Where In Toronto? and Toronto Transit. A recent group called Toronto's Little Cities intrigued me as well. When I joined it there were not yet any photos but an assignment: Choose an ethnic Toronto neighborhood and post no more than 12 photos from the area depicting it in all its lively vibrant colour.

Someone had taken my neighborhood, Little Poland they called it, but that didn't stop me really. I took my stroll up and down the (now) Polish thoroughfare of Roncesvalles on the suggested weekend and found myself at odds. It was a greyish day, no one was about. It pleased me initially. I didn't really want to share the vivid side of this neighbourhood, now gaining popularity among the first home buying set. I wanted to portray the darker side and keep newbies away.

When I moved back to Toronto at age 12 (some years ago) my family settled in a cozy and eclectic part of Toronto called Bloor West Village. Its charm surpassed anywhere else I'd known, with its European pastry shops, old world delis, boutiques and barbershops. Big business has since moved in and small shops have moved away due to ridiculous lease rates. A McDonald’s has replaced the barbershop where I’d watch my sixth grade boyfriend get his haircut. The old paint shop is now a Timothy’s coffee shop. Roncesvalles Village is the Bloor West I remembered and I still don't want it tainted.

The photos I took home from that weekend shoot, however, of decaying back alleys, fallen signs and large cranes set against a foreboding sky, just didn't do my home justice. I gave myself a couple more weekends of exploring and found some life, just enough to pull away a dash of vibrancy, of fruit stands set aglow, of unusual coffee shops where locals chat and of our much overlooked but adored cinema The Revue. Things will change I know, as lofts move in with big business too but I'm happy to have marked my place in time in a neighborhood I hold so dear.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey S...
im househunting these says and am lookin throughout bwv roncy and the junction. Im getn excited about finding something in the junction. Anyways...I went to see a house today on windermere. It was an estate sale and the (former) owner still had a tenant. So as I looked around the house and made my way upstairs I ended up in the 'tenants' room. It felt eerily familar and as I further investigated (peeked in closets)I saw a plethora of army fatigues. On the bedside table I saw an old pair of brown thick rimmed glasses. It took me but a second to realise i was standing in the bedroom of that little polish piano player that trudges all the time trough bloor west to roncy. I felt like I was standing inside of some kind of history portal...i mean I was that guys bedroom! I hope you know who im talkin bout. getn pretty familiar with roncy these days and am hooked on cherry bomb coffee whenever im around the area. Gimme a call.

Blogger kostas said...

I have found an uknown to Toronto!
We think that Canada is like USA but I think you are more cultural and intellectual people.I have some very good friends there and I love your city.
Be creative,enjoy your life.
Regards from a sunny Thessaloniki.


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