Tag Archives: urban

With his left hand he pushes the wheel forward, at the same time stepping hard with his left leg on the ground. The wheelchair tends to move not forward but slightly to the left, so he constantly needs to readjust the direction. I cannot see his face, but his hair is long and greyish white. Yellow sweater.

It’s taking a painfully long amount of time for him to cross the narrow street; it seemed the wheelchair almost went opposite direction to what he was trying to achieve.

At last, he reached the sidewalk. With the slight hill. As a passerby, you wouldn’t even notice the incline, but for him that must have been a challenge. I thought I should probably cross the street and help him. While I was contemplating – and no, it didn’t last longer then 10 seconds which seemed like few minutes to me – he managed to overcome the incline and continue crawl along the sidewalk.  I could see his right leg, or whatever was left of it, trembling (or did I imagine it?), I could sense the whole body going tense. I could almost hear that desperation and determination at the same time. I cannot really explain my vision of this, but mostly it was brought by memories of my tortures during walking (or trying to) when I had my own health issues. And not a single passerby offered help: not blaming, as I looked more like a drunkard or stoner rather than young woman struck by chronic horrific pain. Would I be grateful to a stranger offering me help on my way when I couldn’t stand up or was simply stuck? At first yes, of course, but at second thought I would feel really depressed thinking that I did not have ability to go on anymore, to do it on my own. And I think mainly why I survived those couple years was that I knew I could do it on my own, that I was strong enough. So looking at that man with his right side paralyzed, I kept thinking that he would manage it on his own. That he must and that he will. I almost started to send him vibes “go on, don’t stop, you can do it.” I was ready to run and help if something went wrong but I knew that he’d make it.

This was very emotional for me to watch – and not only because I could relate to this man in his helplessness and yet determination to go on. The wheelchair he used was a manual one, as you already could guess. The manual one with two handlers on the top. It is meant to be pushed by somebody else, helping him to go over this hill and many others, too. They just looked so empty. Too empty.

In a sense, we all have these handlers behind us, and sometimes (or most of the times) they might seem empty. Should we rush to take them and push each other? I believe we like when we do it on our own, but when we cannot we appreciate when somebody is nearby ready to help us..

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When Ice Blanket Wrapped Up the City…

Last night, whole Toronto got covered with huge sparkly and sharp ice blanket. While for some (including me) it seemed beautiful and picturesque, however, for many this turned out to be a real disaster..

one of my favourite corners of the city, with Flatiron building. IMG_6364256

but moreover, the city sinked into heavy smog..

Christmas decorations on the streets got carefully wrapped up in blistery ice.

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The trees are strikingly beautiful but unfortunately, many did not last through the heavy burden and fell down, smashing cables and near-standing cars..

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Not the best day to use bikes (or cars). Smashing rain soaked newspaper in ice, too.

You can say anything you want, but there’s nothing more beautiful than black and white photograph of ice.

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Abstrakziya

I love spotting perfect geometrical shapes and forms in the environment — lines, symmetrical and asymmetrical natural designs.

Once, sipping a wine in a Niagara vineyard under harsh sunlight — one of those that make every photograph look so sharp and clean, almost unreal — beautiful ornaments came out of shadows and patio table..

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Sometimes, even such ordinary environments like business centres, banks and government buildings offer interesting interior design concepts, which when recycled in photoshop can bring amazing abstracts.

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And, finally, I cannot omit one of my favourite filter ‘toys’, whose prism creates new, texturing worlds of four moons and floating traffic lights … 🙂

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Shattered Glass of Cities

IMG_0056The urban system we live in is very interesting: you feel the city is a whole and at the same it feels like shattered glass, mosaic combined out of million and one pieces. All the cities I lived in and went through, lacked one thing they are supposed to boast about: unity and wholeness.

The city is like a person:IMG_0060 it has its own character (others admire him/her for this or despise), it has different traits (habitual patterns of behaviour, thought and emotion).   It attracts certain types of people. The city can be in a really bad mood, it can stay depressed for decades– and it takes long time to heal city’s scars and memories.

Once I was working on “Urban Health in Toronto” photography project, for non profit organization– as element of promotion for them. I loved doing it: I had only vague title and I could put as much imagination and creativity of my own to interpret it. IMG_00627Multiculturalism, hipsters, social& economical gaps, architecture, landscape and design, people as they are: everything fits under term “urban health”.

Toronto is incredible city in the sense of multiculture: it is diverse, but every single culture is living within itself, isolated and separated.

I would never consider that they represent Toronto or vice versa, if you visit most of those ethnic neighborhoods, you’ll see: there is no even slightest hint that it is part of the city. Each lives its own life. It’s not bad, it’s not good: it just IS.

The instant I stumbled on that poster, I was bewildered. IMG_006510For me it represented my whole idea of city’s character, my vision of the city I live (or at least trying to): the way how vandalism shattered the glass along the image and the point where of reflections of Coca-Cola, TD Bank and image of Hindu Temple blended together (trust me, not even touched by photoshop).

It became sort of symbol of my own interpretation of urbanism: how multiculturalism, globalisation and urbanism blended together, reflected in each other and at the same time are separated. 

City is the shattered glass, on the edge of being broken in million and one pieces.

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