Happy New Year VI

This is in danger of becoming my longest-running photo series. Happy new year.


White Castle

I went to White Castle and couldn't resolve which end was up.


I have a new personal rule: if it doesn't look appetizing in black and white, don't eat it.

City Wall

This shape of building – square with a central void – is New York, not Toronto. It's a big part of why the cities sound so different.

Park Central NYC

My fourth trip of the year, and my second one to include a one-night stay in a hotel.


Lamps of the CN Tower

This is post #1300, figuratively speaking.

And the blog is over ten years old.


CN Tower

I decided that I would work in monochrome as much as possible for September, which is a good indication of how long it's taking me to finish and post photos these days.


cave carrum

Solid advice for any time.

Metal Shop

I wish I had a better photo of this machine from my visit to the TTC's Harvey shop. It may not look like much, but I'm told that it makes the steel panels that line the TTC's escalators. That makes it one of the highlights of my day.


TTC CEO Andy Byford watches as Bombardier Flexity test streetcar 4002 rolls by, seen from inside of the TTC's 1927-vintage Peter Witt heritage car.


Watch Your Step

If you look at "Watch Your Step" for long enough it starts to seem like a threat.

I've been making more of an effort to work in monochrome this month, although my original plan to use it exclusively never worked out. Sometimes colour is important, but I still can't decide if this is one of those times.

Working on the Railroad

From an early friday downtown. I've discovered that I need a really compelling reason to leave the house before noon, but sometimes it's worth it.


Harvey and Duncan

The TTC had an open house at their main maintenance facility, which includes the Harvey and Duncan shops. Harvey takes care of streetcars, which are the first three photos, while the Duncan shop is the heavy service facility for the bus fleet. Local garages take care of running repairs, but this is where the major work and rebuilds happen.



So I've become one of those people who lets a blog sit idle for months.

I still haven't finished going through my photos from Chicago in May, yet this one is from New York City – and not my June trip, the August one. Neither trip was primarily about taking photos, but naturally I still brought a couple of cameras with me.

This blog is coming up on its ten-year mark, which means it traces my photography back almost to the beginning. It has lasted through three or four photo hosting changes, but link rot and lack of attention is taking its toll. Ten years is an eternity on the internet.

Most of my energies these days are going to my matthewpiers.com site, including its blog page which is a bit more wide-ranging than this one. It has had ten updates in the time that this site has been idle, including a bunch of text-heavier articles, and details on a project that I photographed, printed, and exhibited with barely a mention here.



Chicago is unusual, and possibly unique, in that much of the downtown core is built in tiers of ironwork and pavement. "Street level" in this photo is one above, and there's another roadway layered below. Exploring this network, which isn't all that inviting or pedestrian-friendly, was one of the major goals for my trip.

It doesn't make a tremendous amount of sense that I would leave my Nikon D800 at home when I knew I wanted to go somewhere dark. But fortunately the little Sigma DP3M and Ricoh GR worked well even under these somewhat adverse conditions. The DP3M does have problems with noise when it runs as high as iso 640 – no, I didn't forget a zero – but I only lost one photo to that cause. Perhaps next time a monopod or gorillapod will be on my packing list, but these days it's hard to overstate just how much I prefer to travel light.



The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. I figured that if the bus stop sign was worth being put in front of such a grand entrance then it must be important.



Parking in Chicago is tremendously expensive – but then again parking is perhaps the most under-priced municipal resource in Toronto.

Love the BMW warning sign. "Caution! People have more money than you."

The sign to tell people to pay inside instead of at the entrance suggests that some jokers have figured out that buying a hi-viz vest is a great way to make quick cash. I'm not sure why they wouldn't just move the sign, though.

Tourist Snaps

Some obligatory shots.


Well Worth It

It's good to see that the pesticides are resulting in such lush public green space, although it's hard to imagine what sort of weeds would be uglier than the signs or the process.

I have broken the links to hundreds and hundreds of photos, which will take a long time to repair. The workaround is to replace "photo.matthewpiers" in the link URL with "matthewpiers.smugmug". Awkward, but only temporary.

This is happening because I have revamped matthewpiers dot com. More of what I write and photograph will be going there, so check it out as well.

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