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2005 07 23
Getting to Work
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Hundreds of thousands of people commute to work across the GTA every day. It has been estimated that the average time these people spend commuting to work and back is over an hour daily. Since last April I cut my commuting time down to zero.

I left my job and started my own graphic design practice out of my condo. For over a year I've been happily oblivious to traffic reports, weather alerts, looming transit strikes. But to be always within a dozen steps from work began to lose its original allure. Often days can go by before I step outside; weeks can pass before I leave the confines of the Queen+Spadina design ghetto where I work/live. To venture up to nearby Chinatown has become an exotic excursion.

The great view from my place, which I often take for granted, became a reminder of my growing seclusion. Facing east, immediately surrounding me are many old-century buildings (home to much of Toronto's design industry) dotted with new-century condos. But just beyond, the rest of the city is in plain view. And, oddly, the familiar buildings belie the daily hustle and bustle that must be taking place. How can it be that the masses of people who file in and out of all these buildings do so invisible to me? That's when it finally hit: God, I really need to get out more often.

Earlier this month I started looking for studio space to lease. I finally found a great space -- nearby. I'm not quite ready to give up the convenience of being close to work. At least now there is some much needed separation between work and life and I do have to step outside to get there. I'll be moving in gradually over the next few weeks. This will allow me some time to get used to rubbing shoulders with fellow commuters again.
[email this story] Posted by Gilbert Li on 07/23 at 10:08 PM

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