Author Archives: Mike Crisolago

The True Tale of the Shipwreck and Twist of Fate that Brought My Grandparents Together

Mike Crisolago, Zoomer Magazine, Grandma, Grandpa, Valentine's Day
Growing up, I’d heard the story many times: grandpa was a young sailor with the merchant marines when his ship that sunk at sea, grandma saw the newspaper article with his photo and dreamed of marrying him years before she’d met him, the incredible twist of fate that brought them together, and the moment she was shocked to find out he was the man from the newspaper article years earlier.

I’ve always wanted to document my grandparents’ story, not just because it’s so fascinating and unique but because, in a way, it’s my entire family’s story. As it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought the time was right to finally write it, and I feel extremely privileged and honoured to have been able to do so for Zoomer Magazine:

On August 27, 1946, violent ocean winds pummeled the merchant marine freighter Fort Boise against the unforgiving rocks off Dog Island shoal, near the coast of eastern Canada. Fog engulfed the doomed vessel and, according to an account in the Toronto Daily Star, the wind and waves conspired to, “(break) her back within an hour.” Blind in the haze and tossed about in the wreckage, the crew made a desperate dash for the lifeboats….

Please feel free to check out the entire story for yourself on the Zoomer website by clicking here.

Sad Elmo

Elmo, NYC, New York City, Times Square, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Mike Crisolago

Poor Elmo needs a hug too.

I shot this in Times Square, New York City, from across the street while waiting for the light to change. Before the photo, Elmo was  hugging an admirer and by the time I crossed the street he was heading deeper into the heart of TImes Square with fans in tow. It was just this instant when his body language, posture, and expression made the scene possible. Alvin’s beady eyes as he gets a hug added to what appears to be Elmo’s anguish.

Labour Day, The End of Summer, and the Worst Jobs to Return to on Tuesday Morning

Photo copyright PhotoStockMonster

In Toronto, the annual launch of the Canadian National Exhibition, or The Ex, often serves as the wake-up call that summer is almost through. Then, once Labour Day hits, the reality sets in that summer’s done and it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, Halloween and, soon enough, Christmas (only 115 shopping days left!).

Now, before the end of season depression kicks in, consider that things could be much worse come Tuesday morning. I personally count myself lucky as someone who is working in the profession he always wanted to. But it’s hard to imagine someone aspiring to be, say, a funeral clown or a lunatic keeper.

Sound ridiculous? I would have thought so too. Then I did some research for a piece for Zoomer magazine called “Labour Day: Be Happy You Don’t Have These Jobs.” These professions existed, along with many other strange and often extinct ones like it. Some are questionable, while others top modern lists as professions considered “the worst” in Canada or the U.S.

So for those dreading Tuesday morning, read the Zoomer article and count yourself lucky that at least you’re not going back to your job as the person with the bucket who stands under the elephant. What am I talking about, you ask? Read it and you’ll understand. Trust me.

 

Post-Apocolyptic Beach

Sugar Beach, Toronto, Tanker, Mike Crisolago

Actually, it’s Sugar Beach in Toronto. Personally, I find it hard enough to get into the beach-going spirit in man-made sunning spots, where the sand is kept within a neat patch of land surrounded by sidewalks and large buildings. It doesn’t exactly scream “day at the beach.” However, when there’s a large rusty tanker dominating the view from your Muskoka chair it completely kills the illusion.

 

 

Sugar Beach, Toronto, Tanker, Mike Crisolago

The image of people at the beach with the tanker in the background evokes a post-apocolyptic city — a manufactured urban landscape, synthetic, even toxic. The funny thing is, the adjoining park and boardwalk near the Chorus entertainment building, and the building itself, is quite nice. In a city where condo developers (or more recently, enterprising casino builders) circle around empty patches of waterfront like birds of prey, it’s not a bad place to visit on a sunny afternoon. Just don’t turn your head to the right.

Duck Out of Water

Duck, Toronto, Harbourfront, Mike Crisolago

A few weeks ago, walking along Toronto’s harbourfront, I was approached by a curious little duck who proceeded to stare up at me before taking some time to chew on my shoelace.

Luckily, I had my camera on my and started to take a few shots as this little guy tried to figure out what this clicking machine that I stuck in his face was. He was a great subject too — he seemed to pose every time I wanted to take a shot. I guess it was a duck version of “blue steel.” Duck, Toronto, Harbourfront, Mike Crisolago

I left after a few minutes to run to the store, but when I returned a passing dog had scared him away and I was left standing with a loaf of bread and no fowl to feed. That meant a lot of sandwiches for the next week or so. And with every corned beef or tuna and cheese, I thought of him.Duck, Toronto, Harbourfront, Mike Crisolago