Junction Walk

There were four of us on the first outing of the Beach Photo Club season; Catherine, Joanne, Pam and myself. It rained on and off all day, but that didn’t deter us as it was but a mist, not getting any worse than a drizzle. People had suggested more outings to be with in the city, and through I put them on the calendar, I was a little disappointed with the lack of interest this day but hope it was only the weather that kept people snug and warm.

As it happened we went on a little side adventure. After meeting at Keele Subway Station as planned, we went south instead of north to an ally way that ran parallel to the subway line. When the train comes up from underground to the station, you can see a stretch of buildings with beautiful graffiti. We must have spent an hour or more there finding other nook and crannies with beautiful container gardens on balconies. There was a garden by a Hockey store that made its fence from broken hockey sticks. It was beautiful cherry tomato’s ( I wonder if they were growing them in lieu of Don Cherry. That would be cute), zucchini and another type of tomato growing.

When we finally did go north, we headed west onto Dundas. I was surprised at how beautiful this part of Dundas was. There are still old buildings on this corner and along this stretch that reminded me of the main drags of smaller towns through out Southern Ontario. Pam , our local guide for the walk, commented on some black and white images she found of the junction and how she was still able to recognize the area. And building in relation to where she lives now. It’s nice to know a neighborhood can still have its character in tact.

What was really great about this neighbourhood was all the wonderful salvage shops. The first one we went into was Post + Beam Reclamation Ltd. It’s chalk full with old windows, doors, tools, mantel pieces. Once of which had crackled paint of a beautiful blue. We all agreed that if we were to purchase it, we would preserve the paint as is. To do otherwise would be sacrilegious. They also had two claw foot tubs (I’ve always wanted a claw foot tub!) and so much more. I asked if we could take photos and they said yes. All of the shops we went in to were very obliging in this respect.

In SMASH, I bought a pair of deer antlers that were cut to a smaller size from the full rack. Ever since I took the photos of Amanda last weekend, I had in my head the Vogue fashion photos of models wearing antlers. Now, I just have to figure out how to affix them to a headband sturdy enough to stay on the models head.

For Lunch, in between salvage shops, we went to lunch at Indi Ale House. Pam had suggested this as an outing, but seeing how small the back room was with the copper kettles, I don’t think there would have been enough room to shoot. Even if we didn’t plan any outings, there’s always a good excuse to go back. Three of us had the Breakfast Porter, a creamy dark beer with a smooth caramel woody flavor. Porters are considered to be a strong beer, almost a stout, but it’s very hard to find one in a Toronto restaurant. I know only one other place who has it and they too make it themselves. It’s the place where I first discovered porter, Black Creek Village. To eat I had the special, a grilled chicken club sandwich on a pretzel bun with Caesar dressing, crispy kale, cheese, and tomato. It was so large, I wondered if I could fit my mouth around it, but it squished down to a more palatable size. I told the waiter it was the best club sandwich ever. I only said that once before at Shanghai Cowgirl on Bathurst. When the table behind us heard, they asked to see it, but I asked them not to be fooled by its sorry state.

One of the last shops we went to was Mjolk, http://store.mjolk.ca, a mix of Scandinavian and Japanese furniture with an air of vintage all about it. In one corner was a high-end record player. I turned around to the clerk asking, “Can you hear the difference between vinyl and digital?” “Oh yes. I can hear it.” We all listened to the warm classic 1940’s jazz as we watched the vinyl spinning, the needle gliding over it. I would love to have a turntable again. I wonder if there’s still one in my parents basement. Hmmmmm…… But how to get it up here is the question.

I had a revelation that day. I discovered the Junction might be a neighbourhood I would consider moving to because of all the nostalgic reclamation stores. But to bee so far away form the water, is unthinkable. People say West is Best, but you know me, always and forever the East Coast girl.

Labor Day Weekend – Bruce Trail, Lions Head

Getting out of the city wasn’t as bad as all that. The most difficult thing about it was trying to find the Tim Horton’s where we were meeting Jeniffer and Amanda. Google said the Tim Horton’s was after the ESSO on Don Mills. But no, it was down the road a bit in a plaza without a Tim Horton’s sign. Sheesh! What’s a Tim Horton’s without a telltale sign? Back to Superstore to get groceries and finally we hit the road.

The entire weekend was absolutely beautiful. Nothing but sunshine everyday with heat, heat heat! The heat didn’t stop us when we arrived at the Peninsula Motel in Wiarton. After cooling down with a beer we hit the sand court equipped with a net that was midway between volleyball and badminton height. With the cooler close by, we kicked off our shoes, and started with badminton, one of my favorite court games (I’m not a sports person at all. Never played on a team in high school). We didn’t do too bad. All of us played well with the final score of 20/19. We tried (operative word “tried”) to play volleyball, but being so out of practice we made a hash of it, thus making it a very short lived game. Any part of the Bruce Trail was out this day. Meh, it was time to BBQ anyways.

Although we talked about doing more than one hike on this trip, Lion’s head to the Lion’s head look off turned out to be a 6ish (give or take) km hike. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who just wanted to go on a casual hike. The distance truly was deceiving as much as the landscape was breathtaking. Jen and Amanda were the first back to the parking lot. When we met up with them they commented on how many people were ill prepared, wearing sandals, didn’t have water and brought along infants in Baby Bjorns. The terrain being so unstable in most areas I can’t imagine bringing along a baby incase I stumbled.

We took a break after that hike, each to our respective rooms to nap or whatever. I watched Shirley Temple’s, “Heidi” on Youtube. I’ve been re-watching all her movies lately, and man do they ever date themselves. Watching them as an adult is much more interesting than as a child. I don’t think I ever saw “Around the Corner” because I don’t remember Shirley at the head of a firing squad with a Tommy Gun at a gang of street boys. Even though they were just playing a game, it was bazaar to watch. She always played the nice girl.

The plan was to BBQ again that night, so we went to Foodland, picked up more supplies, drop them off, hitting the road again to the Singing Sands Beach for sunset. It was so gorgeous! The water at that beach was low showing little islands of sands with tufts of grass on top. Seeing this, I knew exactly how I wanted to shoot sunset. Not the ol’ set up the tripod; ready, aim… shoot (talking of firing squads). No, I was down on all fours getting soaked and sandy. But who the hell cares after looking at the images. I captured exactly what I wanted which was the colours broken up over the rivets of glossy sand, catching the reflecting sun instead of the sun itself, to catch the colours in the focused waves with the sand in the background.
Amanda + Costumes + Off Camera Flash Photography = Really Cool Photos. The tulle dress you see, I made a few years ago for exactly this vision, and it fit Amanda perfectly! Over the white sundress the end product looked quite whimsical. This impromptu ensemble was the first inspiration for Amanda’s wedding dress. I told her she could have it, as long as I get it back.

Before the sun went completely down, we had some lovely colours in the background even with the speed-light lighting Amanda up. Though it was just as interesting when the background was completely black, the tulle floating in the water as she posed was exquisite. Being a beautiful confident young woman, it wasn’t hard to direct her into a graceful pose. The only pose I wish I had got was impossible without a wide-angle lens and a ladder. I didn’t want to leave the beach, though it was getting way too late considering we haven’t had supper yet! Amanda wouldn’t have minded either it being a balmy evening and the shallow water still warm. We didn’t eat until 10:30pm as it was. We had a dinner and a show in my motel room looking at the photos we took from the Bruce trail and the beach.

I am so glad I had that rush at the beach. That something that was more than energy and inspiration, a passion that exuded from the body like sweat from an athlete doing what they love. Do you know what I mean? It came at such an opportune time when for a month or more, I’ve been studying for my TICO exam, updating my WordPress blog and website, getting my outings section of the Beach Photo Club together, and sewing. I didn’t pick up my camera in those weeks, so needless to say I was very excited about this trip to get out of the rut I was in.

To end the trip, we stopped at a dock at the end of Dryers Rd., hoping there would be some boats in the water to photograph. There were none. But that didn’t stop Amanda and I from jumping off the dock into the clear water of Georgian Bay. It’s the type of water were you can’t give yourself the chance to get use to the coldness. You have to dive right in. Once you’re in it’s like silk.

The last stop we made before bee-lining it home was Suable Beach. It wasn’t as packed as we would have thought. The wind was high, it was humid with a cool wind, but people were already heading home. Like I said, we bee-lined it home after that, not even a stoping at Tim Horton’s. Only gas. Norm had to be home by 4pm to watch Tiff movies and write about them in his blog.

When I post a weekend outing next time, I’ll clearly state – if you have to be home at a certain time, please let me know so I can make arrangements. Like rent a car separately then those of us in the “slow car” can meander. There are so many side roads that are beckoning when I go on a trip. I feel I’m forsaking them taking the main routs. Clearly, I’m a road less traveled gal.

Thanks everyone for coming on this trip. Had lots of fun!