Friday, September 14, 2012

{video scrapbook: toronto 2012}

this week i ended up in downtown toronto all by myself for a few hours on my way to the airport. it was pretty fantastic.
a lot of people don't really seem to get the appeal of wandering around all by yourself, pretty well aimlessly, in a strange city that you've never been in before--at the very least, they would reason, you should have someone to meet, a mission, a map...? 

but this is my technique, and it is flawless: 

1) beforehand, i google one thing i know for sure i want to see. i google how, roughly, to get there from where i already am. in all honesty, i lose interest about halfway through this point and decide to figure it out when i get there. because even if i get lost on the way,  especially if i get lost on the way, i'll find something else to appreciate instead. when {or if} i find my first destination, i just wander from there and see what else i can find. on this trip, point A happened to be the cn tower, because i knew it'd be kind of easy to find and get to--considering it's one of the tallest buildings in the world and everything. from there i saw the cbc building, and from there i found chinatown, and the tiff festival, and the entertainment district, and dundas-younge square. it's like a snowball; you just have to keep moving. 

2) i keep an eye out for helpful-looking people. the thing is: strangers are not always axe-murderers. they are, 9 times out of 10, someone's mom or grandpa who would be thrilled to give you directions, and sometimes even a free subway token. you just have to smile at them. you have to be willing to talk to them. be smart about it, obviously, but don't waste time not asking for help...

3) i don't get my hopes up too high. because i suck at the planning part, i always try to remind myself that i can't be upset if i don't make it to wherever i'm aiming for. i enjoy just being in a new place completely surrounded by people i don't know. i take pictures of things that are unfamiliar. i put my earphones in and listen to bright eyes and sit on a bench and watch people walk past and give them crazy fascinating back-stories in my head. i go into every single building i can that doesn't have a sign telling me not to enter.

4) i fully take advantage of the fact that i can do whatever i want and it has no effect on anyone else. i can eat lunch at 4 in the afternoon or i can stop for food every five minutes. i can walk really really fast or i can dawdle and visit every single shop. 

5) i take a million thousand hundred trillion pictures/videos. the only part of exploring alone that i don't like is not being able to share the experience with someone else. which is, of course, why i take so many pictures. actually, i'm kind of a creep: i wear my camera around my neck and leave it recording in video mode a lot of the time. then i come home and filter through the wobbly videos, accidental shots of strangers' bellies and all, and see what i come up with. the videos are never good--i mean, really, they're mostly hands-free and filmed on a pretty basic camera--but they are enough to help me remember what i want to. i compile them this way and stick them on the internet so that i can delete all the individual video clip files and not have to worry about them taking up space on my computer.

{float on}
music by modest mouse

anyway. the whole thing made for a pretty sweet afternoon. even the flight home was magical, because watching a sun set from 30,000 feet is, you know, nice.
if you want to see more of my pictures from toronto, click right here.