A Modes of Flight Street Photography Project
This is an old shot from 2014. It’s how Hughson and King William looked for decades before LiUNA razed the old S.S. Kresge’s department store building (last being the home of Delta Bingo) to the ground to erect a new condo complex. That’s the building there to the left and receding to the right along Hughson North.
Over time, people will forget about how this looked. Those of us in the know may eventually be left with a little nostalgia about this intersection until we too are no more. There will come a generation that might wonder about what certain parts of Hamilton; currently seemingly insignificant, looked and felt like. The way some of us now wonder how things were fifty or more years ago, and scan vintage public library photos of old architecture, people, special events and daily life.
I hope this picture, among all the others that I take, becomes a timecapsule. A record of historical importance to those that all of this may matter to. This is where and how we lived.
This is our place in the world. We are The Hammer.
I really gotta go!
Somethin’s gonna blow!
Watch it now, you can FEEEEL it.
You can’t hold yo’ breath no mo’.
Grip da wheel,
Wid a grip o’ steel.
Gawk into da distance
Without seein’ anythin’ real.
I see red.
Nope, not dat dang traffic light
Ova my head.
Don’t wanna be stuck here.
Befo’ someone loses it,
An’ I end up done!
Am I a tour guide ? I usually think of a tour guide as someone who knows a lot about some place that they show off to others. I don’t feel that I have a right to say that I know plenty about “The Hammer”. A key reason why I started this project is to discover what I don’t know about my city. I sort of see myself as an ambassador but I guess that too requires considerable insider knowledge.
One thing that I can say that I know about my town, and love, is our spunkiness. Truth be told, some of us are far too bold for our own good and others could use a little pep but overall the Hamiltonian sense of confidence really is a trait to be admired. I don’t really have to show that off. If you come here, you’ll just see it for yourself in no time at all.
When you really think about it, it’s fascinating how western culture so easily gets used to doing personal things in public that would have originally been kept behind closed doors. Personal grooming might be a tame example but I’ve seen things that I’ve even refused to photograph, and others that actually stunned me into forgetting to raise my camera to the spectacle.
I’ve seen grown men stand up in crowded shopping mall food courts to unzip their flies, and undo their belt buckles in order to hike up their shorts or straighten and better tuck in their shirts. I once saw a woman sitting on a park bench tilt herself to one side so that she could pass gas loudly, and then nonchalantly resettle back into her original position. Probably many are aware of those ladies who put on their pantyhose and makeup while driving their cars to work in the morning. Those big oafs who urinate in public. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve seen university students picking their noses while studying on public transit or in libraries. Just earnestly digging for that gold.
2D visual artist specializing in illustration, photography and graphic design.