I’m not designed to be a city girl anymore, or maybe I never was one to begin with. All the traffic, pushy drivers, cold, blank stares from the passing pedestrians, and a smell of inhospitality that lingers in the air, mixed with the car fumes from all the commuters and motorists. I realize I happen to be one of those commuters/motorists against my better judgment I’d like to add. I never wanted to climb permanently behind the wheel. I never even wanted to climb permanently into this complicated comfort of a Canadian lifestyle.
I just wanted to get up and leave again, but instead I was presented with an opportunity here and not elsewhere.
This all leads up to my Tuesday morning commute. Monday morning found me blocked in gridlock on Burlington street and 20 mins late for work (even if it is unpaid I care about it and don’t want it to seem like I’m letting this run off my back like water droplets). So I thought “I’ll take a different route” even though I don’t really have/know a different route. Tuesday I went way out of my way, laughed at those suckers taking the Burlington St exit and carried on, barreling down the QEW like the speeding demon I’ve become onto the 403 west to Hamilton. Little did I know I would find myself again blocked in even worse gridlock on Main street and arrive 40 mins late for work, and to top it all off after the 9.30am mark when all the parking spots are full up. I pulled into my regular lot where my horrible yellow toothy-toothless parking attendant laughed in my face saying “good luck!” as I tearfully sped away down King St West and onto Hess North. What was I going to do? Where was I going to go? How much would I end up having to pay to park? I almost went home.
But then a ray of mercy poured down upon me as I stumbled upon an empty lot for only $3.50 for the day (!) and from here took an interesting stroll down some back alley streets I would have never encountered. So thank you Main St. W traffic even though I also loathe you for eating away at my gas tank and killing the environment for stalling us all in hour long traffic jams; thank you toothy-toothless parking attendant for turning me away and thank you Hamilton for being inhospitable and leading me to these sweet photographic treasures.
Behold, what I was dazzled by on my morning of unrecognized/nearly unappreciated Hamilton Hospitality.
Multi-coloured graffiti and wind swept ivy.
I think I just like the shapes, diagonal and horizontal layering of this building. The cars aren’t doing it for me, but the building is fabulous!
There is something about the signage in Hamilton, it reaches a certain typographic genius. Achingnts Gina? Juxtaposed with that fabulous building façade what more could you want from a city? Oh and the ivy.
Squares, rectangles, broken symmetry and ivy all in one.
I think the justification work at AGH is filtering into my subconscious.
Haven’t you always dreamed of going to Marvel Beauty Schools? And it gets the reddest ivy of any of the walls/signage.
Irving is coming to the rescue!
I’ve seen this wall on James St. N before. What is that random mural doing there, and who had painted a beautiful red brick wall grey to begin with? And what is Sirlon Cell?
Yet another beautiful and dilapidated building in Downtown Hamilton. But that’s what gives this city such character and unexpected grace. It’s history.
And just for good measure
Two store front and typographied walls at the corner of King West and James St. North. The first catches my eye each time I walk around the area, and this time it was especially the plastic sheet blowing out of the window. I had seen something similar in one of the art magazines I had been looking at in the library at AGH that day. And with the latter, I love the juxtaposition of the store front shops and the old historical buildings and real signs that are now only fading imprints of what was once solid in that place. Ephemeral, now non-existent. How depressing.
Sorry for the lack of film here, but the digital is what was with me. capturing in the moment, capturing the moment - I guess that's one of the most magical parts of digital photography. instant::moment.
On that note I think I’ll head for the liquor reservoir and get a brandy to settle the evening.
See you after NYC!
8 hours ago