Friday, February 24, 2006

Mysteries of U of T

It was a small group of psychogeographers that set forth from Queen's Park subway station on Thursday: just me, Himy and Sean. For weeks, we'd been hearing from Alison about the fabled orphaned parking lot of St. George Campus -- a once-operational parking lot which has had new buildings erected around it so that it's no longer accessible except by a narrow footpath. Himy had tried to find it on his own & failed, so we were trying again.

On the northwest corner of College and University, there is currently a construction site surrounded by a high wire fence. We could see a building on the other side of the site that looked like the one in Alison's photo, but we couldn't see how to get to it. Walking around the site, we found a door wide open and no sign saying DO NOT ENTER, so in true urban-exploration style, we went inside. We still couldn't see any way to get closer to where the lot might be, but now we had an excellent view of the remarkable new building with the huge floating pods inside it. I think they look like giant puffball mushrooms.

Unsurprisingly, we almost immediately attracted the attention of a security guard, who came over and informed us we were trespassing. We all started waving our arms and talking excitedly at the same time about the orphaned parking lot, and asking him if he knew where it was. He must have been having a boring night, because instead of deciding we were crazy and chasing us out, he pondered the question and said he hadn't seen such a thing. (I suspect the lot has already been dug up, and something new is being built there.)

Since he was being nice to us, I asked the guard if he knew what the giant pod things were. He told us that the lower one is going to be a classroom -- Todd wasn't making that up! -- and the higher one is going to be a cafeteria!

People: A CAFETERIA INSIDE A GIANT FLOATING POD. Minutes from my home. I am SO there.

I said I thought they looked like mushrooms, and he said very seriously, "No, no, if it was like a mushroom it would look like this," and described the shape of a field mushroom in the air with his hands. He said they looked more like cells, or eggs.

We thanked the guard and left, and wandered around the campus a bit more. At the Earth Sciences building, we peered into a low window and saw a geology laboratory, as you can see in the pic above: ore and sand samples arranged neatly on a table that also held some very healthy-looking jade plants. Sharp-eyed Himy noticed a novelty test-tube holder shaped like a hamburger, sitting near the sink (not visible here). Then we decided it was just too damn cold, and went to the Green Room.

Update: The orphaned parking lot is still there -- Alison has photographic evidence! And detailed directions! Start here, and follow the instructions to get here. I may try it tomorrow.


Anonymous Liav K. said...

Hah. We had someone from Foster's, the architect's firm come in last year and lecture us for an hour about those pods. The guys at Foster's fucken *love* those pods.

And I think they're supposed to be pills -- it's a pharmacy building.

8:52 p.m., March 04, 2006  

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