Riding the Rocket

"Riding the Rocket" is probably the easiest way to get around Toronto, once you have overcome the usual barriers to access that are thrown in the face of tourist transit users everywhere. When I first went to Tokyo (which made it easy for us gaijin) a colleague dragged me out of the hotel  to learn the Tokyo subway system. His thing was that if you can figure this the subway systems as soon as possible, no matter where you are, you are independent and won't get extorted by cab drivers. I don't know if the fact that he was Parisian had anything to with it, but going subway navigating is one of the first things I do when I get to a metropolis.

Sitting in a subway car can be a fascinating source of images but most subways have admonitions about photographing on their property. Camera phones have improved to the point now that you don't need to hide a bulky camera underneath an overcoat with a remote release like Walker Evans did. You just look intently as if you are reading a Facebork post and click, there you are. Now, I'm no Walker Evans; I did have a lot fun making these images though.

I've really come to like Camera+ on my iPhone. I've been using since I got my first iPhone three years ago: exposure compensation, movable focus and exposure points, great built-in post processing. It's my go-to app and the reason why I didn't switch to Android when I had to renew my cellphone.

Riding the Bloor-Danforth line the cars lined up and framed in a window was this young woman in intent conversation.
Passing Conversation
I've got this thing for a band called "The Shuffle Demons". So, of course while I was in Toronto I did walk along Spadina Avenue, looking for Bus 77B on the TTC. Never did find it. I did however "get confirmation of my information about my transportation to Spadina Station".
Spadina Station
One trick I used was to place the camera up against the window and click as the station pulled into or out of a station.
Waiting for the Rocket
Ghost In the Machine
I don't think this image would have even worked with anything but a phone camera. This is the operator's ready room at Eglinton Station. There was a screw up (according to the drivers) and the conversations where getting fairly heated. The supervisor (with the white cap) was going toe to toe with a driver and a shop steward, while the other drivers where waiting to see how things would turn out, lobbing the occasional mortar round at the other supervisor.
Union Meeting
You could ride the Rocket for days and never run out of material; you slice through a city from one end to another and get a real sense of the rhythm of the place. Next time more time to be spent on the street cars, and dammit, I will ride on the 77B of the TTC!

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