While I was working yesterday Paul spent the day walking across the bridge to Quebec and visiting the Museum of History. He got the better end of the deal.
After I finished I lounged in the room waiting for Paul to return. Once he did we headed out to do some shopping. As we wandered we walked past a BBQ joint I've noticed on my many trips to Ottawa (how could you miss the smells of smoking meat . . . .) but have never been in to eat. WE decided to head back there for dinner.
Located down in the Bytown Market, Fatboys seemed like a family friendly biker bar. Yes, I know that sounds contradictory, but that's what I thought. Inside is a big open space that has a mix of sports memorabilia, motorcycle memorabilia, and BBQ memorabilia. A fun addition was the taps in the washrooms were motorcycle handles on a barrel.
Dinner - from the Southern Fried Popcorn Chicken served with white Alabama BBQ sauce . . .
. . . to Paul's fried chicken and waffles . . .
. . . to my smoked ribs . . .
. . . was great.
Some have criticized Fatboys for not being real southern BBQ. Well, we are in Ottawa, not the south. If this is as good as we can get where we are than I am a happy guy!
I'm in Ottawa working tomorrow and Paul happened to have the weekend off of work. We decided to drive up tonight and spend the weekend.
Tonight, after dinner, we wandered up to Parliament Hill and joined the crowd laying on the lawn to watch the sound and light show. The sound and light show uses the walls of the Parliament as the canvas making for an incredibly moving experience.
I have to work in Ottawa over the weekend. Luckily Paul is off work so he is going to drive up with me. While I am working on Saturday he can explore the area. When I finish working we can have some fun!
Here are some shots from our last trips to Ottawa .. .
I was in Ottawa for three days of bargaining last week. It was a busy time in the city: it is traditional for school groups to visit the nation's capital during June . . . the FIFA World Cup is on and Ottawa is one of the venues . . .there was a giant conference in town. All in all the city was bursting with people. As a result of this I was unable to book three nights in any hotel.
Feeling sorry for myself (one of the hotels was an Econolodge and I think it was one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed in!) I decided to go to the National Art Gallery . . . when feeling sorry for yourself art is a wonderful way to recharge your soul.
I'm not sure visiting the Alex Colville exhibit was the wisest choice. We had missed it when it was in TO so I figured I'd make up for that lost opportunity. I had only seen a few of his paintings and while they interested me I didn't know much about the artist and his work.
Colville was a realist - a style of art I don't really care for, nonetheless as one of Canada's more famous artists I decided to explore the exhibit.
I was struck by how unsettling almost all of his work was - in some paintings characters stare directly at you. In other paintings a single detail draws your attention with great clarity but when your gaze wanders you see other pieces of the story which don't fit - almost in a mysterious manner. A good number of his paintings hint at impending doom but are frozen in the moment leaving the viewer to wonder what might have happened. Very few of his paintings showed shadows being cast. The scenes he chose to depict are ordinary and yet unusual at the same time. Lone characters are shown in frankly lonely situations.
Needless I wasn't as recharged as I might have wanted after having seen the exhibit! While the art was certainly thought provoking it was not uplifting.
In search of that uplifting feeling I went to one of my favourite parts of the gallery - the Rideau Chapel. The interior decorations from this chapel, previously part of the teaching Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Ottawa, were saved from demolition in 1972. Designed by the diocesan architect Canon Georges Bouillon in 1887 they have been reconstructed in the heart of the Canadian galleries adjacent to the trees and flowers of the Garden Court. The marbled cast-iron columns, three altars, balcony, windows and soaring fan vaults, unique in Canadian ecclesiastical architecture, make this interior a priceless element of Canadian architectural heritage.
I was lucky to experience a special exhibit within the chapel. As I came closer to the chapel I could hear beautiful choral music soaring from within. It turned out that it was coming from 40 speakers located around the chapel walls. The voices you hear are the members of the Salisbury Cathedral Choir. They are singing a reworking of “Spem in Alium,” 1575, by Thomas Tallis[ a sculpturally-conceived sound piece which was designed by the artist Janet Cardiff, in a work by her entitled “Forty-Part Motet” (2001).
The full effect was stunning. I sat in the middle of the chapel and let the music flow over me in waves . . . this was the rejuvenation which I had sought.
Each voice was recorded individually, and is played back though a separate speaker. These speakers are placed all around the Rideau Street Chapel, the interior of which has been preserved entirely inside the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa. I sat in the middle of the chapel and heard the whole choir, as if they were everywhere in the room. I walked around, and could pick out the individual harmony parts as I passed each speaker. The setting of the Rideau Chapel speaks to a nineteenth-century Ottawa that is all but gone, and the music of the Motet evokes the Renaissance, heightened through electronic technology. All in all, an inspirational work of art.
I'm in Ottawa for the week so work was my inspiration for this week's post.
Here are some pictures form our last trip to Ottawa . . .
For those of you new to the concept of Travel Tuesdays - please feel free to play along - all you need to do is to post one of your travel pics (and who doesn't have a gazillion of those) and then pop on over to Sandi's blog to join in the fun.
We left the snow behind and headed to California for a long weekend of fun. We shoppedm toured wineries, tasted olive oil, met up with good friends, and ate some wonderful food. I can't wait for slow bowl 2009.