Monday, August 5, 2013

The City from Above

I spent most of my time in Montreal navigating detours and sitting in traffic on highways looking down at the city as I crawled by. Hopelessly lost on my detour route I crossed over the Pont Jaques-Cartier and noticed that I could see a lot from that long bridge and decided to get out and walk along it and record what I saw. My description of Montreal is based on the perspective from which I viewed it; I'm sure that there is a lot more to see. Unfortunately most of the things I’d like to show I wasn’t able to take pictures of because I was driving.

From my perspective I could see that the city was industrial and slightly crumbling but with pockets of green hidden between houses and behind buildings. To drive into the city you pass through a large chemical plant on the outskirts. The plant goes on for a mile and its shiny pipes and chimneys look like the remnant structure of an older city that burned down. On the other side of the highway tenements face one another connected by a web of clothes-lines stretched over the yard below. In the yard there are little fenced off gardens for each family with a green path running between them. 
From the bridge I see the Molson plant cut in between freight trains and highways. On the other side of the bridge the same freight train goes on, one train as long as the city stopping at all stations at once. Further on I look down on an empty skate park with a lone security guard pacing around the bowl and a clerk having a cigarette break while he’s out retrieving the carts from the parking lot at the grocery store.
Half way across the bridge is a theme park with a wooden rollercoaster. I could hear the sound of the rollercoasters over the traffic a mile before I could even see it. Heavy rain starts and people run out of the park back to their cars and I duck into a tower on the bridge with stained glass windows.
Back on the highway leaving town the interchanges have five curving bridges piled on top of one another and the wooden roller coaster looked less chaotic. The undersides of the bridges are gouged by the weather with wooden frames and patches thrown up to reinforce them. It’s no wonder that there was work being done on the roads all over town. 

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