A unique grouping of elements, sunshine, high-powered business, Hollywood glamour and more in LA makes for a rich and energetic architectural style. The former May Department Stores built in 1939, the facade is tiled with gold leaf mosaic, is now part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The birds just love resting on the ledges. (taken from the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour, Red Route.)
Despite being surrounded by the colourful palette of autumn leaves, it was this scene of greys that I found so interesting in its haunting feeling of days gone by. I like the texture of the rain on the water, the shine of the wet wood, the slightly crooked planking of the deck, the abandoned chair and the tiny white spot of a lost bouy drifting in the wind. I had hoped perhaps a swimmer wearing a bright red costume would appear climbing the ladder from the lake but frankly who would be mad enough in 6˚C in mid October.
The Royal York Hotel in Toronto is a glorious remnant of grander times. The lobby is decked with fabulous chandeliers, the Library Bar provides that old world, dark-shadowed leather-padded comfort perfect for sipping cocktails all named after writers. There was a Mojito for Hemingway, a gin, lime and cucumber for Scott-Fitzgerald and a concoction with strawberry jelly spheres, orange juice and Grand Marnier called “Breakfast of Champions” for Kurt Vonnegut. My room was on the third floor facing onto Front Street with expansive views over Union Station and the high rise blocks down toward the lake. After numerous “jumpers” the hotel has decided to restrict the opening of all windows to 4 inches, making photographing somewhat challenging. I managed to push my telephoto lens through the gap to capture these views of the re-development of Union Station in the evening light, the newly-coppered roof-lights glowing softly against the honey coloured stone, set off by the garish blue of the blue lining of the new roof.
Its one of those places that many of us feel we should go to but its not necessarily high on our list. Today I got the chance to go – it is a powerful sight indeed. Apparently 20% of the world’s fresh water passes over these falls and the first recorded person to go over the falls was a middle-aged ex teacher, who launched herself (and her cat!) in a barrel. She survived unscathed, sadly many followers have suffered severe injury or died in the attempt.
If you get a chance to go, make sure to visit the tunnels below where you can experience the deluge of water passing safely by with a mere spattering of water.