Tuesday, October 16, 2012

J'ai trait une vache! Or, Ottawa!

Ages ago, when my friend Canada Justine (girlfriend of former roomie Canada Steve) was in Philly for a conference, we started chatting about one of our mutual favorite (Canadian) musicians, and how a new record was out, how lives shows were so awesome, etc.  In the course of that, I said something along the lines of, "If he's playing at Bluesfest, I'm coming up to go to the show with you."

Of course, the list of musicians playing Bluesfest pops up, and guess who is playing the main stage a couple days after the early July holidays?  City and Colour.  So I start looking for airplane tickets...

Luckily for me, something intriguing popped up at work, which didn't necessarily require a visit to Ottawa, but which certainly was helped by a visit to Ottawa.  In short, some art showed up and I had questions about the artist's materials and techniques.  The artist was Canadian and was represented in all the major Canadian museums.  The National Gallery of Canada had some written references on the artist, and a couple speedy emails to Supervisors Greg's wife, the Lovely Anne, and I was set to visit the conservation labs at the Library and Archives Canada.  

So my visit was justified!  I had to do some research, close my Canadian bank account (like Mitt Romney, I too had an overseas bank account - but that's where the resemblence ends), and go to an awesome show at a massive outdoor venue with a friend!  Yay Canada!

First stop: the library at the National Gallery.  I was a little confused how to get into the library as a regular patron: as an intern, we had a clever little back door we could use.  And we were allowed to wander directly down into the compact shelving to browse.  But it all worked out!
How delightful.  Stuck to the back of the paper towel dispenser in the bathroom off the stair-ramp at the Gallery.  People: when you visit the Gallery, the bathroom to go to is the one off the stair-ramp, right at the middle.  There is never a line and it's always tidy.
The old roomies only had green tea.  Since I require stronger stuff in order to function, I hiked it down to the Loblaws to pick up some Tetley.  Note: now in Canada the British Blend has become Tetley BOLD.  It's a nouvelle allure.  Canada's a Commonwealth Nation after all.  Colonies are out, as it British Blend.  BOLD is in.
Even though the States have long since thrown off the Yoke of the Oppressor, our strong Tetley continues to be called British Blend.  This is nonsense: we should have Tetley BOLD south of the 49th parallel as well!

Anyway, the art research went even better than hoped-for.  And the concert was fabulous.  It was perfect weather for an outdoor show.
We sang along with Dallas (which is how Justine refers to the singer/songwriter of City and Colour, like they're besties).

My flip flop broke on the way out afterwards, so I had to ride the bus home looking like that drunk girl, even though I wasn't remotely drunk.  I ended up taking both off and walking barefoot back from the bus stop to the International House of Pancakes.  Which is something I would contemplate only in Canada, as it is so very clean there!  

Justine and I ate crumpets back at the house and recapped the show to a friendly but ultimately uninterested Canada Steve.  Oh well!

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