Scavenge the City Recap

the algorithm

A week ago, on an incredibly cold, rainy, snowy evening, we headed out on an exploration of Windsor’s downtown guided by a randomly assembled algorithm for Scavenge The City. We only made it through the first 20 steps (we stopped checking them off though), plus a couple others we skipped to by the end, but for the two or three hours we were out, it was great to experience the city with new people in new ways.

To see the algorithm, you can view it randomly assembled, refresh it to see a new order.

going over the algorithm

We started out the evening going over the algorithm. I was showing Cristina the 60 steps that we had compiled over the last couple weeks.

deciding which step to start with

Since there were only a few brave folks who came out despite the weather, we decided to go out all as one group. We went through a couple potential algorithmic orders, deciding to start with “walk 1 block south.”

getting ready to leave phog

I passed out the algorithms (I had brought along a printer) and some markers, and crayons.

it started raining immediately

We stepped out of Phog and it immediately started raining hard.

first step, walk south

Following the first step, we walked 1 block south on Victoria.

Our first steps down Victoria Ave.

on the phone

Heidi called her parents to tell them what we were doing as part of the next step.

asking for the heart of the city

Conviniently, some representatives from the Coast Guard were driving by, so we asked them for directions to the heart of the city. They pointed us to the Tim Hortons by the tunnel.

at the heart of the city - a Tim Horton's

It was just as well, since we were already frozen. So, we got some coffee and did some more formal introductions.

the algorithm under the rain

Back outside, more snow, while I fumbled with the algorithm.

onto the next step

The next step was to find a public sculpture, and draw it, so Heidi and Dale led us to the monument for the Underground Railroad.

on the move to the public art

On the way to the sculpture.

public art

Here it is, and I had no idea it was there.

the token photo of Caesars Windsor

The monument was tucked behind Caesars, and the next step involved trying to draw the sign, but we opted to photograph it instead.

at the bar, waiting for a story

Then off to a bar where we needed to get a story.

The story from a bartender at Papa Cheney’s.

looking for a bridge

Then we had to try to photograph a bridge, we were closer to the bridge to Belle Isle, but it was pretty foggy.

Dale ordering a cup of coffee to give away

Dale bought the cup of coffee for the next step, in which we had to try to give a cup of coffee to a taxi driver.

Cristina waiting at the taxi stand

After I was extremely unsuccessful in trying to give away a cup of coffee, Cristina took over.

waiting to give away a cup of coffee

Waiting at the taxi stand on Oullette and University.

Trying to give away a cup of coffee

This taxi driver wasn’t interested, another already had a cup of tea.

so close to successfully giving away a cup of coffee

Then the Cheetah’s van, but the driver said she didn’t drink coffee. So, after a valiant effort, Cristina got the coffee.

Outside of Starbucks, Tom made note of one of the problems of the city after we briefly spoke to someone who couldn’t wait to leave Windsor.

trying to mark some territory

Then we tried to claim our territory.

take a picture to the north

Back near Caesars, after Immony successfully gave a taxi driver a high-five!

it really was this windy and rainy

It really was this rainy.

draw a floorplan

One of the last steps, Josh was tasked to draw a floorplan of the Iguana restaurant, but instead drew an architectural rendering from memory.

Immony awaits the next algorithm

Immony waiting for the plan to how we were going to decorate the fence.

mylar on the stairs

Gold mylar ribbon.

on the stairs

Immony and I tried to make this dungeon of a staircase look a little less depressing.

mylar on the stairs

Tom gave us a hand tying the end.

mylar on the stairs

The stairs were considerably more in need of decorating than any nearby fence, though I’m not sure how often anyone will see this.

the second last step

Cristina in the mirror, waiting for our decorating to finish.

the race, the last step

Then the last step—the race.

the last run

It was intense.

The video captures the action the best.

back at phog, reviewing the drawings

Back at Phog, we went over the drawings and started to warm up.

recapping the excitement

Recapping the trek.

Darren's disassembled lens

And sadly, Darren’s broken 50mm lens he dropped the moment he stepped out of Phog at the beginning of the walk.

All in all, it was an incredible adventure, if a little shorter than what I had originally imagined. It seems though, that the walks that have happened in the city so far haven’t ever been under ideal conditions, but it’d be great to try something like this again in the summer, when nice weather is a bit more of a guarantee. The steps in the algorithm that had us interacting with other people proved the most interesting, so while this particular algorithm had a considerable mix of moving, activity, and interaction, I think a future walk would be great to have it centered on the potential for continuous interactions.

2 Replies to “Scavenge the City Recap”

  1. Love the additions to the algorithyms you guys put in. This idea is getting better and better. Get a story? Ask someone where the heart of the city is? Brilliant! The graffiti a lot of people may have a problem with, however…

  2. Yeah, definitely in thinking back to these, the most successful and interesting were the ones that asked for interaction with other people. I think any future ones we do would be almost entirely geared towards that!!!

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