Every City Has a Strip

image of the intersection of lansdowne and the parkway in peterborough, ontario on a cloudy day three days before christmas showing overhead wires and stop lights and the pedestrian walkwayEvery city has a strip. At least one. Some cities have several. Peterborough has a couple. But Lansdowne Street is our main drag into town, or past town if you’re headed out to easterly cottages.

image of the intersection of lansdowne and the parkway in peterborough, ontario on a cloudy day three days before christmas showing stopped taffic at the lights waiting to drive toward the viewerI thought that three days before Christmas might be a good time to catch the mayhem that the traffic can be on the strip.

image of the intersection of lansdowne and the parkway in peterborough, ontario on a cloudy day three days before christmas showing taffic and lights and snowI certainly wasn’t wrong. It was extremely busy, so I put on my safety vest and stood in the median to snap a few shots.

image of the intersection of lansdowne and the parkway in peterborough, ontario on a cloudy day three days before christmas showing turning cars and trucks on wet pavementI’m still not sure what it is I find so alluring about these sections of towns. I did grow up in the suburbs, but we were on the very edge of town when I was young. The “strip” near mom’s house wasn’t built until I was almost moved away. I never really spent any time there.

image of the northbound lanes of the parkway north of lansdowne street in peterborough showing cars waiting at the light coming toward the camera and an empty lane of wet pavement heading awayBut there is something, certainly, about this transitional zone that compels me. I think this is why I love these areas most at night. It’s the time that they’re really asleep. Empty. Not in service.

image of the intersection of lansdowne and the parkway in peterborough, ontario on a cloudy day three days before christmas showing stopped taffic at the lights waiting to drive toward the viewer with one car turning leftBut even during the day, with all this transient traffic and apparent hustle and bustle, this long stretch of commercial property has a simultaneously immutable and shifting quality. The individual stores will come and go and renovate and expand, but the strip itself will always be.

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