Sookie Loves Flickr
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.