Buffalo Streets

Five assorted photos from an afternoon in Buffalo.

One of the first things that struck me about downtown Buffalo – the stretch where the light rail line runs down Main Street – was how empty it was. I live and work in downtown Toronto, and I can bump into more people during a day's walking commute than I could see most of the time in Buffalo. Look at that last photo: I can use a slow shutter speed to blur away people, and often do that when I'm at home, but this one is at a hundred-and-twenty-fifth of a second.

I count three people, not including all of the drivers.

When there are so few people around, the very act of standing becomes an aberrant act worthy of suspicion. The bubbles of personal space and isolation grow until it feels intrusive just to walk past someone on the same side of the road. I'm self-concious about using a camera in Toronto, where tourists and oddball photographers are unremarkable. In Buffalo I felt like I had a flashing light on my head, and that was just when I was carrying the little pocketable Canon S100.

I'm glad I didn't have my D800 with me.

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