Just a quick post to point you towards a beautiful set of pictures on Torontoist. Alden Cudanin has created a set of seamlessly merged photos of key points around Toronto that combines old timey streetscenes with its modern equivalent. Check it out here.
So, here’s your midday distraction. Now get back to work!
Jimsey Made This!
In lieu of our timbit freezing temperatures, we’re going to roll some filler footage. Hearken back to the worry and glove free days of Fall! Just a short 40-some days ago I took a trip up to Bohemian National Cemetery. Situated on the north side of Chicago, in an area that was previously in the boonies some 100+ years ago, the BNC provides a resting place for many of the early Eastern European immigrants. Apparently a big meanie head catholic priest was denying some of the Bohemians for whatever reason. So some Bohemians got together and started their own non-religious cemetery. Yes, that is my summary of two websites apparently designed by someone with Geopages and FrontPage (Friends of the BNC).
Anyway, I like these older cemeteries for two reasons 1) The lost art of stonecutting, marble cutting or whatever you call it. Gravestones, let alone anything, just aren’t made with this level of skill and care anymore. I like to think of many of these as outdoor musuems or sculpture gardens, which brings me to my second point 2) Many of the older (late 19th Century) cemeteries that I’ve met in my life are intentionally designed as a park like setting. Its a beautiful park that just happens to be full of dead people.
Anyway, here’s the link to the full set. And here’s a few snippets.
I came across this incredible photo series by Fixinmytie via Urban Toronto earlier today and wanted to share it. A few weeks ago two friends decided to walk follow Yonge Street from Aurora, ON south for 42 kilometers until they hit the lake. Cool enough in itself, but to make it even more mind blowing they photographed virtually every step of the way, creating a beautiful stop motion capture of their 14 hour trek.
Some fun things to watch for:
- On the north facing shot, the hat spin (I didn’t notice it until the second time around)
- My street (you have to have a really sharp eye, it sort of blends in with a couple of pictures around the 1:05 mark)
- The shift in density from suburban to urban, and the corresponding increase in foot traffic
- The fun sun dial effect on the south facing shots
- Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
So kudos to the photographers, a terrific piece of work! Check out the video below (and you really should watch it full screen):
I had the opportunity through a United Way fundraiser (way cooler than a bake sale) to tour the abandoned central tower of the Whitney Block next door to my office. According to Wikipedia, Whitney Block was built in 1926 by F.R. Heakes, and the tower was added in 1932. Apparently the tower was designed to be in the centre of the building, with another six story wing stretching south to Grosvenor, but the depression put the kibosh on those plans.
Our tour was led by a volunteer who had been hosting these as a fundraiser for a number of years, and she was able to impart some fun facts about the tower:
- Apparently, for reasons undetermined by anyone in our group, a freight elevator was used to shuttle livestock up to the 7th floor of the tower, where they were housed. All jokes about politicians aside, I can’t think of what practical purpose this served. And it couldn’t have smelled very good. The closest guess I have is for use in a restaurant for MPP’s at the time?
- The intricate statues that adorn the four sides of the tower represent different government ministries (lumberjack for Forestry, lawyer for Justice, doctor for Health, etc.) and all, at one time, had faced their relevant ministries. Now not all of them match the current ministry locations.
- The building was cooled by placing ice in an enormous wooden tub (see below) at the peak of the tower. The cool air would then be gravity fed to the different floors.
- The tower was last used in the late 1960s before it was deemed unsafe due to updated fire codes. There is only a single staircase leading out of the building, and trust me, I wouldn’t want to be caught in a mad rush down them.
- There are also apparently some ghost stories, but those bore me so I wandered off to look at the old washrooms. Much more exciting.
Anyway, have a look at the pictures. Sorry for the crappy quality, but I’d forgotten my normal camera and was forced to use my cell phone. Some people on the tour had better cameras, so I’ll add more pictures when I can get them. Enjoy! (Click for larger images)
Came across this terrific slide show (in more ways than one, waaah wah) posted on the NY Times examining the fall of the Berlin Wall. First time I’d seen a technique like this presented so elegantly. Check it out, I guarantee you’ll get hooked on sliding the pictures back and forth. (As an aside, I can’t figure out if photographers were commissioned to recreate the old pictures, or if they are stock photos photo-shopped to match – anyone know?)
Anyway, as cool as this is, the real reason this grabbed my attention was the perspective it offered on both the loss of older buildings in a city, but more importantly the reuse of older buildings. Some are restored, some are integrated into newer buildings. Before/after photo comparisons aren’t anything new, but the ability to seamlessly layer the pictures in this way provides a terrific opportunity to examine what happened to the buildings in the photographs.
So, like….I took some pictures of the de facto capital of Canada. This is a follow up to my pictures of People I’m still not sure what to make of the city. Don’t get me wrong, its a good city (sit Ubu sit). I’m having a hard time comparing it to any of the cities I’ve been to. I can say though, with a very high level of confidence that its better than Edmonton.
Well anyway, here’s the link to my flickr photo set, and as usual here’s a few snippets:
From somewhere on Toronto Island
Wispy, like my hair.
So some posts might not have far reaching appeal to mass audiences. This one pretty much has an appeal to about 7 people, 3 cats and 2 Snoopys and 1 Dirigible.
I know in a previous post I mentioned that I was moving away from Picasa towards Flickr. I think I’m partially doing that. For random silly pictures I think I’m going to keep going with Picasa since so many of my friends have a google account and commenting and following is still decent in Picasa. But as mentioned before, the resolution algorithms on Picasa blows, so “real” photos will be handled by flickr.
Anyway, If you want to see some general tomfoolery, shenanigans and skylarkings by some of Ben Co.’s greatest minds and followers, click here. Generally speaking most pictures involve beer, standing looking stupid, sitting looking stupid or posing stupidly.
A small taste:
Me and my BFF Racecar Snoopy