Posts Tagged ‘coffee cups’

While walking under the Gardiner Expressway a few days ago, I came across the debris left behind by those who once camped here. Or maybe it was trash that was thrown here.

on a pillar for the Gardiner, a drawing of a man with a smiley face and a black hat, head and shoulders only. Stones cover the ground around it, lots of rubbish among the stones

Whatever the source, I found it rather fascinating to see what there was. Detritus as subject matter whether for photography or sociology or as anthropology in centuries to come.

trash left behind, on the rocks under the Gardiner, a smashed plastic DVD or CD case and a paperback crossword puzzle book open to a crossword puzzle, with some bits of torn pages

a flattened empty black Dom Perignon box, blue plastic disposable gloves, dirty torn wool socks, empty plastic bag, garbage found in the dirt and rocks under the Gardiner

an old bicycle tire inner tube lies on top of a bronw furry piece of cloth, i n the dirt

a red and black naloxone case on the ground, in the weeds, also a flattened milk carton

an old black boot lying on its side, laces undone, well worn, old, scuffed up, lying in the dirt, a black plastic garbage bag crumpled up is behind the shoe

a broken plastic Starbucks cup and a torn piece of paper with the words after death written on it

old clothing discarded and left on the ground, also a straw and a plastic lid

a blue belt, a length of rope and a brown Sobeys bag, trash on the ground along with a an old and torn turquoise shirt, dirt and rocks on the ground

short pillars columns holding up a ramp to the Gardiner Expressway, street art and graffiti on them, rocks underneath, garbage in among the rocks

a black and blue running shoe with black laces on the ground under the Gardiner, among other pieces of garbage strewn about

trash on the rocks, a green and black backpack, a red sock, and a rolled up blue article of clothing

2 small wheels, not the same, and some pieces of wood, in the dirt,

a high heel platform shoe in glittery silver and blue, very dirty, lying on its side in the dirt under the Gardiner, left behind garbage

an old brown slipper, some turquoise and white paper, and an empty and squashed red Tims coffee cup, all rubbish lying on the ground

In the lead role, the hero of our story, the Tim Hortons coffee cup, a bright red Canadian icon with its usual black top and brown sleeve.  He gets around.  The city is his playground.  Whether it’s standing out against a minimalist black and white background….

an empty red Tim Hortons coffee cup sits on a white ledge on a white wall with a black door on either side of it.

or trying hard to fit into the colours of the city.

painting of stems with leaves, stylized, with a red Tim Hortons coffee cup at the bottom of one of the stems.

There are times when he’s on top of the world. King of the castle so to speak.

a red tim horton cup on a grey metal box on the street, traffic including a TTC streetcar are in the background

.. and he rides in style with his private seat on the TTC.

an empty red tim hortons coffee cup lies on a red TTC streetcar seat. No one is sitting there.

But it’s not always an easy life. Sometimes he’s down in the dumps facing hurdles that are too high.   He’s left feeling abandoned and neglected.  Vacant.

a tim hortons cup discarded onto a gravel section of a vacant lot, behind a chainlink fence

And he has even considered ending it all.

a red tim hortons cup standing on the ground beside a green rubbish bin

But he’s an urban guy.   He knows that life is what you make of it.

a red ti hortons coffee cup sits on a ledge, people around it, all with their backs to the cup

 And there are always others just like him that he can count on for a chat or for a shoulder to cry on.

Two red Tim Hortons coffee cups beside two water supply

He has many fine traits.  He can be a curious fellow but he knows his limits.

an empty red tim hortons cup lies discarded on the ground, beside yellow police tape

He knows that sometimes you have to be patient… but that doors usually open.

a red tim hortons coffee cup sits on the stone step in front of a double set of doors. on a street

He’s frequently warm and often ready to lend a hand.  In case of fire, he’s there!

a red tim hortons cup sits on a red shelf beside fire emergency equipment

You’ll find him in many places around the city, watching, waiting, and keeping an eye on the situation in his own quiet way.  He too is part of this city.

a red tim hortons coffee cup sits on top of a grey Honeywell meter outdoors

Casting by Tim Hortons.
No cups were disturbed in the making of this story.
Look for the sequel, ‘A Tim’s Christmas’ playing in a street near you.

 

Behold, I give you the Tim Hortons cup.  Empty.

an empty paper coffee cup from Tim Hortons that has been discarded - in the snow on top of a grey wood railing in front of a store. A street art painting of a man with outstretched hands is in the background.

Always fresh.  Toujours frais.
They even come in a number of handy sizes, usually small, medium, large, and extra large.

an empty paper coffee cup from Tim Hortons that has been discarded - on a wooden horizontal beam on a grey wall below a large red door, industrial building
They are found all over town,  compositional elements splashed onto the urban canvas.

an empty paper coffee cup from Tim Hortons that has been discarded - on top of a dark green barrel that is beside a lighter green barrel, in front of a red brick wall that has been partially painted grey

Some are carefully placed little art installations.  They certainly didn’t get there on their own!

an empty paper coffee cup from Tim Hortons that has been discarded - upside down on top of a metal pole that is about a meter high, in an alley, beside a gate

And others are willfully abandoned.   Often left on their own.  Alone.  Empty. Lidless.

a small red empty Tim Hortons coffee cup sits on the muddy ground outside the back entrance of an older grey brick apartment building

Sometimes they are found in groups.  Carried away and then forgotten.

a stolen shopping cart, black metal, sits on a piece of grass, beside the sidewalk, but behind a chained off driveway. In the top part of the cart are 4 TIm Hortons cups and in the bottom part, an empty coke can.

Sigh.  The Tims cup.  The omnipresent Tims cup.

One day I got tired of trying to decide whether or not to photoshop out a coffee cup that had been discarded on a sidewalk.  Maybe it would be better to take on a “if you can beat them, join them” attitude.  Instead of avoiding or removing cups, I should focus on them.  Make them part of the picture.  The redness of the coffee cups that Tim Hortons has been using recently adds to the appeal of making them the subject matter and not the subject of scorn and cause of exasperation.