Thursday, February 09, 2006

LIFE BLOORED - Google Video

LIFE BLOORED - Google Video watch here

Life Bloored, I Duct taped a camera to my electric wheelchair, a very fast drive

My name is Adam Cohoon I am 24 years old. I moved to Toronto around five years ago. I live on Bloor Street in the Annex. I was born with cerebral palsy. I use an electric wheelchair to get around the city.

My short video is a sped up trip of my favourite strolling route through my neighbourhood. The route goes from my apartment building along Bloor to Bathurst then back along the other side of Bloor Street. All at an accelerated speed to turn a half an hour journey into a video of just a few minutes.

The video captures the route from my view I enjoy this route but the neighbourhood is not totally wheelchair accessible there some shops that has steps in order to get into them. Some of the curbs in the neighbourhood are steep too.

The video is also about how this neighbourhood has really influenced my love of the arts, whether it is visual, music, film or video. I have really come to enjoy them. I am constantly exposed to them right in my area and just grew to really appreciate them.

In the video I also add my sense of humour. Throughout
writer/narrator: Adam Cohoon

Life Bloored: Narration

I grew up in a couple of small towns in southern Bruce County, Ontario. In what seems to be a geographic black hole for mostly anybody outside of that part of southern Ontario. The population of both towns was about 7000. Since I was five years old I was always mesmerized with Toronto, I knew I was going to live there some day. Even if we were just passing through on a family vacation I could not fall asleep in the car just in case I missed seeing the CN Tower and the skyscrapers that filled the skyline.

Before I left the county a former Torontoian told me don't talk to your Toronto , It is not worth your time, just keep to yourself small town sidewalk chats don’t work in Toronto

Moving to Toronto was a great solution to solve some of the logistical obstacles that I had to deal with growing up in small town Ontario. In 1998 my dream came true, I WAS LIVING IN T.O.!!!
I originally lived near Younge & Davisville. Then in early in 2000 I moved to the Annex.

With lots of independently owned shops, there are only a few big chain shops in the chain shops. The independent stores always give the neighbourhood a unique feeling. I can buy almost anything I need on regular basis right in my neighbourhood. Mind you there are some cool shops in the are want to shop at but can't because of inaccessibility.

The area is not totally perfect there are some shops that are not wheelchair accessible, most by just one step. That is another reason why I would say it reminds me of back home, main street there is the same way.

Being close to the University of Toronto the neighbourhood has a youthful adventurous feeling to it being a young person myself it helps me feel good. My church Knox Presbyterian is full of young people. So I definitely feel like there are people my age I can relate to.

With the street musicians and other musical events it helped expose me to all sorts of music. It really influenced my love of jazz and classical music. I enjoyed listening to it on the street , on a summer night you can have as many seven street musicians playing , music coming out of the many bars and pubs , and wonderful classical music performances coming out of a local church. I thoroughly enjoyed it. started listening to it at home , now I can say I love mostly all music. Music is now a key aspect of my life. I have also learned asking people what kind of music or what are you listening to? If they have headphones on, can start wonderful converstations.

It was also at an Annex art show, which they hold all the time that I fell in love with the visual arts. I can't afford much art but I look at all things around me in a different visual way. It has also encouraged me to visit art galleries around the city. There are also neat street artists showing and selling there work. I have talked to many of them they are pretty neat people.

I grew up in a small town and this part of Bloor street reminds me of the main street back home.

The Annex has seen me when I am frustrated, with relationship issues. Seen me when I am sad, when my heart gets broken. Seen me when I am happy, because I have found love again.

Also some of the curbs are a little steep so I have to slow down a little bit to get up and down them.


The independent video store got me in touch with classic movies and a love of film and video. If I am not busy on Friday and Saturday night that is movie night. I also use my local public library to borrow classic movies. On one of my first movie nights I watched two Stanley Kubrick movies back to back, 2001 a space Odyssey and Clockwork Orange. After watching Clockwork Orange I had trouble sleeping for three days. I still sleep with the hallway even though it happened a few years ago.

I also know some of homeless people in the neighbourhood. I volunteer at one of the Out of the Cold programs in the area. One of the codes of the street is never ask a person in a wheelchair for money. One weekday afternoon outside a local pub a drunk homeless asked me for money, A man coming out the pub overheard the exchange, proceeded to tell the other guy off. A fight broke out. Bystanders tryed to block me to protect me, but I was thinking I sort of started the fight I want to see it finish.

I love to go for walks, or in my case drives through the neighborhood especially along Bloor street. It is very nice enjoyable trip for me to be able to relax and think, or talk to friends, old or new I meet along the way. In the summer I always like to walk to clear my mind and think I always come back feeling at least a little better. I have really felt myself grow up in the last four years, I believe the neighborhood has played a key roll in that.

Some final advice go out and thoroughly explore your own community. It can be an interesting experience. Also as long as they look safe, talk to people on the street at least say hi.

SHOT LIST

MY APARTMENT - OUT LIVING ROOM WINDOW

OVERLOOKING DOWNTOWN

LOOKING DOWN ON TO U OF T

OVER TO GET A SHOT KNOX’S [MY CHURCH] STEEPLE

OUT ON BLOOR STREET - CAMERA MOUNTED SHOULDER HEIGHT ON MY CHAIR

DRIVING ALONG THE STREET

SLOWING TO GO DOWN 1ST CURB

SHOOT “TAFFELMUSIC” SIGN

SLOWING FOR THE 2ND CURB

DRIVING ALONG THE STREET

STOPPING TO SHOOT THE STAIRS @ THE “SUBWAY” SHOP

SLOWING FOR 3RD CURB

STOREFRONT SHOT OF “FINE ARTS” [ART STORE]

DRIVING ALONG THE STREET

SLOWING FOR 4TH CURB

SHOT OF BUILDING THAT WAS ACCESSIBLE BUT IS NOW INACCESSIBLE

DRIVING ALONG THE STREET

SLOWING FOR 5TH CURB

SHOT OUTSIDE OF “MID CO.” HOBBY STORE INACCESSIBLE

SHOT ACROSS THE STREET “BLOOR STREET CINEMA”

SHOT OF BURGER KING [NOT ACCESSIBLE]

STOP FOR 6TH CURB BLOOR AND BATHURST CROSS AND GO UP SLOWLY

RE-CROSS SHOWING IT IS DIFFICULT EITHER DIRECTION

DRIVE DOWN THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE STREET

SLOW FOR 7TH CURB SET

TAKE SHOT OF “QUEEN VIDEO” SHOP FRONT

REPEAT [4 TIMES]

DRIVING ALONG THE STREET

SLOW FOR CURB SHOT

ENDS AT BLOOR AND SPADINA

CREDITS

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