Toy Story 2 Was OK [Cleveland, Buffalo, Toronto, Detroit - August 2012] by a zugunruhe

This is the first of two videos from the road trip Miranda and I took around Lake Erie. We flew into Cleveland and then drove to Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Detroit.

The Trip

One of the last things we did in Buffalo was stop at an ice cream parlor somewhere near the abandoned Buffalo Central Terminal. It was just opening for the day and the old couple that ran it were just starting to bring out tables and what not. Miranda and I walked up and we all immediately became friends. Before Miranda had even ordered, we had split up by gender and were discussing cars and the shop like we were on a double date. We must have hung around for an hour talking and helping them set up a few things. They were such a awesome couple. Definitely one of those perfect moments when traveling when you realize why you're not at home or staring at a smartphone for no reason.


Detroit was a wonderful town. From the Heidelberg Project (pre-arson), to Dabl's bead gallery to our hostel care taker, Michel, who gave us a lot of great info about the city. Everyone we met was wonderful and it left us with such a great impression of the city.

One thing I noticed about Detroit was the art. Of course the DIA (with its incredible Diego Riviera Mural) was impressive but smaller galleries (like North End Studios) blew me away as well. The city is truly fostering an important culture of creativity and it's present throughout the city. There are fascinating outdoor galleries and projects (Iron Teaching Rocks How to Rust at Dabl's Bead Gallery, Heidelberg Project) and murals (Illuminated Mural at the old North End Studios building on East Grand). Also, since the city government isn't in great financial condition, there are large stretches of graffiti around the city that aren't painted over due to lack of funds. This gives artists in the area free roam to experiment and display their work.

Michel on safety in Detroit: "Unless you're drunk and hanging out at 3am on a dark street corner waving an iPad around, you're not going to get robbed. At that point you deserve it...and don't worry about getting shot. Bullets are expensive and people won't waste bullets on someone they don't know."




1:17 - Me taking my victory runway lap on MuchMusic



2:09 - Miranda dancing in front of Motown.



The Video

Pretty basic at this point, This was mostly an ordinary montage to accompany the next video, Bronami Code. I did experiment with slow panning shots that I intended to speed up for the video. This is when I started trying to become more steady in my shots in order to have more usable footage with less shooting.

I did like two things about using the song Negative Thinking for this. First in how the Rust Belt generally gets a bad rap concerning high crime rates, low employment, and lack of basic things you find in other cities due to the decline of American heavy manufacturing. I liked the idea of exposing this region and it's unique offerings to a song about the dangers of negative thinking because these are still vibrant communities. Also, the line of "in hindsight, I don't want to be like the people I've liked" speaks to a moment of realization and acts as a sort of metaphor for these areas moving on from the past and creating new opportunities.

The Music