Things I Learned on the Street
Well, my 24-hour stint on the street went off without a hitch… kinda. It was long, and rough and tiring. But a good 75% of it was quite the good time, actually. Friends and supporters stopped by with treats and coffee and donations to J/P HRO. A number of them stayed and chatted and entertained me, for which I’m eternally grateful. I met some very ‘interesting’ characters, and got an up-close and personal (and sober) view of some the Sault’s more colourful night crawlers. Yep. Interesting.
A few things I learned during this 24-hour period:
- I can spend about 20 out of 24 hours standing on pavement. I don’t recommend trying it unless you have a live-in chiropractor and message therapist.
- As much as I adore thunderstorms, their appeal quickly diminishes at about 4:30 a.m. when you’ve already been awake for 20 hours and you have no shelter. Being tired is one thing. Being tired and wet and frozen to your very core is another.
- I have the bestest, most awesome friends in the universe. And Marguerite Lippert makes one helluva wicked tuna sandwich.
- Sault Ste. Marie’s late-night after-bar crowd is a great source of entertainment and conversation. Until it ends at 3:30 a.m. and the streets are empty. So very and utterly empty… and lonely.
- Tim Hortons makes terrible coffee. But I already knew that.
- It’s extremely challenging to photograph people on the street without showing their faces. I tried this to avoid having to ask permission from hundreds of people. I’m gonna rethink this for next time.
- My sister Kellie is a serious trooper and hung with me 3 hours longer than she was supposed to (until 6 a.m.) in order to insure my safety. You rock, sis.
- The Sault’s downtown is a fantastic source for interesting photographs. You just have to look.
- At about 8 a.m. (20 hours into the project), I started to question my sanity, wondering why the hell I put myself through this. I was frozen, wet, and barely able to keep my eyes open. I told myself over and over that I’d never do something like this again. But I probably will because as hard as I found spending 24 hours on the street, it’s only one tiny drop of what 1 million Haitians live every day.
The picture at the top of this post is one of the many shots I captured during my Street View project. It’s one of my favourites. It will be part of the upcoming Street View Photo Exhibit and Silent Auction scheduled to take place at Loplops (651 Queen Street East) on Saturday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m. I had originally hoped to host it on June 25, but my busy schedule and photo processing have gotten in the way. All photos on display will be available to bid on, and all funds raised will be donated to the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. Learn more about the organization here
For those who are unable to attend but still wish to contribute to my cause, donations can be made directly by clicking this link. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.