Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I cannot begin to describe how much I loved seeing Douglas Cardinal's Museum of Civilization.
The sensuous curves that swoop and soar, the limestone and glass, the copper domes ... and inside where the floor of the Grand Hall is made to represent the Pacific and the ceiling resembles the underside of a canoe. If you are interested in the symbolism (and it is overflowing with symbolism) of this organic style you can read about it here.
Even the railings look organic as they ebb and flow
and The Spirit of Haida Gwaii sculpture by Bill Reid
and, yes, I know that it is not actually in Ottawa - it is located across the river in Hull, Quebec. And as a result, has the perfect vantage point of Parliament Hill and the National Art Gallery.
more of my first batch of photos are on my flickr
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
When one goes out to meet people, especially people who have extended an invitation to meet, one usually takes a little trouble with their appearance. I usually opt for the clean clothes, freshly scrubbed skin and neat hair. Neat and relatively flat [ironed] hair. Now, sometimes that look doesn't always stay in place, and after a 6 hour drive on an wide highway with the sunroof open, my nicely flatttened hair ended up looking a little ... dishevelled. A bit windblown. The following day, a half-hearted effort at restraightening it was made - half-hearted because I knew it was only going to become very unstraightened once the many, many, droplets of the best rain that Ottawa had to offer poured down on my head. At one point during the weekend, I was told by the ever encouraging XUP that my hair looked better in this au natural state. Fine, sure. Knowing that I would go home and politely ignore this advice, given with the best of intentions of a true heart. But, by the time I did get home, (where I immediately went into work) after more lashings of rain fell upon my head, and another long drive with the sunroof open, I was met by no less that three people, who did a double take and exclaim such things as "your hair looks really nice" "it suits you", "you've changed your hair, I like it". What is with this liking of big, frizzy hair??? Please, we are not returning to the 80s big hair? dear god, noooo!
Then again, it will save a lot of time...
It didn't rain the WHOLE time I was in Ottawa, but I think we managed to be outside for all of the worst of the heaviest downfalls. Or at least I did, as XUP returned to a nice dry office on Monday, while I ran dripping into various museums to dry off.
XUP gave a first rate personal tour of her city (and a posting complete with all the appropriate linkages) and we saw her local haunts, traipsed around market stalls, looked for wet cats, drank a few glasses of things alcoholic, ate great food, looked at coffee table books with photos of our future dream home in the South of France...
I took photos of many colourful fruits and veg.
After asking politely if it was okay to take a photo, this display was enthusiastically rearranged to add more colour and a bemused customer was left waiting until the photo shoot was complete before being able to select her delicate baby carrots.
This customer (XUP) didn't wait, and got her bag of plums right in the photo
I was treated to tea with XUP* and another Ottawa blogger - Alison* of Party of 3
but other stray cats were nowhere to be found.
* not a true likeness
meeting blogfriends from the screen to real life is pretty neat. but right now, I need my beauty sleep. my hair is exhausted. more will follow later...
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Alberta Tourism Parks and Recreation said "The reason they gave us was that expectations were different from our end than there was on theirs of what was involved in the competition."
[A] spokeswoman for the Swiss-based non-profit organization, told the Calgary Herald from Belgium the Alberta park didn't make the cut because, well, there's not much to do there.
"What happened is that they couldn't fulfill some of the requirements we needed, and it had to do with activities that people could engage in," she said.
-from Calgary Herald June 18, 2009
This sounds a little strange to me - a natural wonder not dependent on man made entertainment, and it is disqualified for lacking things to do. What is there 'to do' at Uluru? Sure you can hike there, and climb the rock - can you still climb the rock? What about those atolls in the middle of the Pacific?
Anyway, the Bay of Fundy is not lacking. It is home to a variety of unique marine species and serves as the summer feeding area for half the world’s population of endangered North Atlantic right whales and 12 other whale species. There are fossils galore, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as as biosphere reserve.
So, there is whale watching, birding, and hanging out on the water in sailboats, canoes, kayaks, or swimming. There are cruises and whale watching tours. There are the fossil cliffs to see. And that amazing tide.
See here for more about the tide and the Bay of Fundy.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The local area for me was Hamilton's Ottawa Street.
Isn't this the coolest sign? Needle and thread, with buttons for the street name and a spool for the base. It lights up at night, so I'll have to go back to see that.
And an UPDATE: the final 28 locations for the New 7 Wonders of nature were announced today. I am pleased to present to you Canada's own Bay of Fundy as a finalist.
This is especially exciting as it didn't make the previous cut but when Drumheller National Park was knocked out of the running due to a technicality, it was back in. And now it joins such other natural wonders as Iguazu Falls, Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Grand Canyon, Ha Long Bay... for a full listing - and to vote - see here.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
but great for being creative.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Owner Sue Wong, who died about five years ago - at 103! - left the restaurant as it was after her husband died in the 70s. She was a well-known recluse and kept meticulous records of everything. And threw out nothing from the restaurant.including all operating manuals
bottles of unopened pop
unopened packages of paper placemats
But, finally the time to move on. A new owner has been found who will treat this local landmark with the respect he hopes the Wongs would appreciate.
An auction of EVERYTHING was scheduled
memories of who sat in which favourite booth,