Print Story Cold and dirty
By spacejack (Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:29:49 AM EST) (all tags)
We're at that point in the winter weather cycle that I find most aesthetically displeasing. It's after we've had a whole bunch of snow, a partial melt, then a deep freeze, with no snow. What snow remains can hardly be called snow at this point; more like a salt and pepper mix of ice, dirt, salt and trash.

Sidewalks that weren't plowed or shoveled now have fossil-like boot & paw prints that will remain recorded in the ice until we get another snowfall or thaw.

But at least it's sunny.

Inside: Fascinating anecdotes from my daily morning commute.

Just about every day on my way to work, I'll get asked for at least one thing from a passer-by or a panhandler.

First, there's the guy who stands outside the Tim Hortons which is next to the subway station I use for my morning commute. At this point, we pretty much just nod briefly as I pass by his location. I mean, there's just no way I'm going to give money to this same guy every single day for just standing there. I think (hope) there's an unspoken understanding here that this particular corner is packed full of brand new, parentally-funded liberal arts students who've recently acquired massive white guilt from their classes to maintain his cash flow.

Once I've got a large regular from Tim's, I hop on the subway and arrive at Ossington station a few minutes later. There's often a panhandler pacing around (or maybe just a crazy person - the bus leads straight to the mental health centre on Queen St.) asking for things. Lately, I've been asked if I can "spare some coffee." You mean, you want the rest of my coffee? My morning fuel? Which I need every last drop of? I'm sorry, but there's just no way.

It's equally likely though that I'll get asked by some random commuter "where'd you get the Tim Horton's?" as there aren't really any Timmy's near Bloor/Ossington. I don't know how many times I've had to let people down by saying "sorry, I got this over at St. George." They always look so disappointed.

Less frequently, about once or twice a month, before running into any of these characters, on my way to the Tim Hortons, I'll be stopped by a Chinese person or two with heavy accents, asking where St. George St. is so they can go protest human rights violations in front of the Chinese embassy. Those dudes are hardcore. 24/7/365, there's at least one person quietly standing outside the iron embassy gates with large, blown up photographs of horrifically beaten, burned bodies of Falun Gong worshippers. They stand there quietly, all day, winter or summer, passing out leaflets to any passers-by who'll take them.

ATTN: Toronto ex-pats: Queen St. West landmarks burn down, including Suspect Video & Dukes. Lucky for me, I use Queen Video on Bloor St. Oh wait, darn, looks like I'll have to pay my late fees after all.

< Does Absent-Mindedness Explain my Stupidity or is it Depression? | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Cold and dirty | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
You are being assimilated by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:50:48 AM EST
We just got back from two days in Niagara Falls, ON, and saw at least three Starbucks, but not one Tims.

Ah, that place is for foreign tourists by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 09:00:42 AM EST
How was the Falls anyway? Visit any casinos?

[ Parent ]
Icy and cold looking by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 09:11:39 AM EST
though I only glanced at the Falls while crossing the Rainbow Bridge.

I drove and walked by Casino Niagara, but did not enter. We stayed at their mega-complex and spent time in the waterpark atop their parking garage, and even swam a bit under the falling snowflakes.

The waterpark is under the blue and white thing in this pic,, save for the outdoor pool.

[ Parent ]
That's fantastic news! by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:10:00 PM EST
Now that those pesky landmarks are gone we can use the space to put up more condos without the locals complaining!

Vive le Montréal libre.
I believe the prevailing conspiracy theory is by spacejack (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 04:27:31 PM EST
lol Home Depot did 2/20.

[ Parent ]
Isn't that building by komet (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:49:45 PM EST
in one of your pictures that you haven't showed us for months?

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
While many west-end downtown buildings by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 04:36:49 PM EST
look almost exactly the same, unfortunately none of the buildings on that block were recorded in ink by me. However, this place has since been turned into a cafe, and this was razed to make room for condos.

I'm trying to get back into doing some drawing again though. :)

[ Parent ]
I miss Queen Car Wash by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 04:46:54 PM EST
I don't know why I have nostalgia for a car wash that I (and just about anyone else in the city) never used. All I can think of is that when I used to bike in from the suburbs, it was the landmark that I always used to tell myself that I've hit civilization.

But then, I guess anything is better than condos that are going in to replace it.

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
I liked it too by spacejack (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 05:06:43 PM EST
I did find it quite visually striking for some reason. I think I was at Cinnamon Girl across the street getting a sandwich one day, when I saw the light shining through the structure and the misty air and thought I need to draw that.

[ Parent ]
Solution: by tuscoops (4.00 / 2) #6 Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:20:25 PM EST
Learn sign language. When in the presence of panhandlers or strangers, use it in an apologetic manner.

Cold and dirty | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)