Thunder Bay: Hoito Pancakes and 4×5 Film Cameras

Waking up in the March Break mornings is becoming more difficult with each day spent in Thunder Bay. As the Irish Rovers said: “It might have been the whiskey, it might have been the gin…me o me o my but wasn’t it a party.” our morning started with a walk to the local Finnish institution, Hoito. Best known for their Finnish pancakes, this diner in a basement was definitely local. I ended up ordering two eggs, bacon and three pancakes; V. went with just the pancakes.
The breakfast was good, but beyond the pancakes that were a cross between pancakes and crepes, the food at Hoito was nothing special by big city standards. The atmosphere reminded me of the Lions’ Club where I went to kindergarten, so that was cool, but that was all. However, the locals were welcoming and cheerful.

The remainder of the day was spent chasing down a few photographs using the Linhof Color 45S camera. V. Usually took the first photograph using Ilford Delta 100 black and white film, and then I would shoot a second sheet of film in the opposite orientation with a more extreme tilt or shift. The industrial photographs have been our focus for this series, and unlike the more obvious natural landscapes that are usually the focus of northern photography.
We did make it to the Cascades conservation area for an evening walk. We didn’t drag the big camera through the woods though; the Hasselblad SWC was perfect to capture the rapid falls. Two days left in Thunder Bay. Tomorrow is The Sovereign Room and Saturday will be a drive out of town and The Hunger Games at the theatre.


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