merci - thanks for the buckets of rain Ottawa!

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May 13th 2006
Published: May 13th 2006
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Sculpture on our $20 billSculpture on our $20 billSculpture on our $20 bill

at the Museum of Civ
The last time I was in Ottawa, I was in high school attending the government-sponsored Encounters with Canada program. Funny though, I almost feel like a high school student again as I squint my glasses against the sunshine and its rays reflect off of the metal wire of my retainer. Perhaps karma has come full circle as I had previously pitied adults who had to wear retainers. Now, the retainer gods chose to adorn me with this resin and wire contraption shortly before embarking on my trip.

I think to confirm my theory that I bring heavy rains with me each time I head out east, I'll need to come back to Ontario a third time. Last year, in Toronto, the weather seemed nice until I arrived. This time, it's been pouring buckets since I got here. With that in mind, I've braved the elements to to see the museums with the hood string drawn tightly around my face. I started off with the Museum of Civilization on Thursday night when it was free for the public after 5. I really enjoyed this museum as it was set up to re-enact & surround you various parts of Canada's history.
Rickshaw drivingRickshaw drivingRickshaw driving

at the Museum of Civ
This ranged from re-creations of West coast aboriginal long houses to a re-creation of a 1960s airport to the Wildcat cafe in Yellowknife. The museum claims to have the original compass used by explorer Champlain but Janice has her doubts over the authenticity. She worked at the museum as an interpreter so she gave me the quick tour. The part of the museum I liked the best was Children's museum where it featured one building (be it a house or the Great pyrimid) from each country of the world and you could go inside, play house and put on local costumes. I got to ride a camel, a motorcycle, and a Thai rickshaw all in the span of 5 minutes!

The National Gallery Museum of Contemporary Photography was a big disappointment (even more so than MoMa in New York shortly before renovations). This museum maybe had 40 paintings located in two rooms that I viewed in all of 8 minutes. That was it to the museum. I wouldn't recommend someone going there. It's not worth your $5. The National Gallery itself was fun. The new topic of debate is over this giant spider sculpture that sits outside of
Poutine Poutine Poutine

yum.. cheese curds!
the Gallery. This is reported to have cost the museum over $3 million to acquire. When I was in Ottawa last, the previous debate was over a painting called Voices of Fire - a two-story painting that consisted of two colors and three stripes of paint. Blue- red- blue by Barnett Newman. His opinion over the painting (and another one that was entirely black with a thin yellow stripe is), "These paintings are not abstractios' nor do they depict some'pure idea' or feeling, they are specific and separate embodiement of feeling, to be experienced, each picture for itself". Hm... right. I think I just don't understand abstract art.

In search of fabulous typically-Canadian food, I've gone in search of poutine and beaver tails. Janice was happy to oblige. For poutine, we went to La Pataterie Hulloise in Gatineau (Hull) QC. This was much better than what we have out west. The poutine was made with cheese curds fresh enough that they squeaked between my teeth. For beavertails, we went to this shack near the Byward Market. This was some tasty tasty dough deep-fried and covered in butter and brown sugar. I guess in winter, there are these beavertail shacks set up along the canal when people go skating.

Tomorrow we're off to Montreal. It looks like its going to pour so a trip to Laronde rollercoaster park maybe cancelled. Oh well. Shopping it'll have to be.

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


protesters @ parliament protesters @ parliament
protesters @ parliament

Looks like the protestors were taking a rain day.
Voices of Fire Voices of Fire
Voices of Fire

The $1 mil painting by Barnett Newman
Beavertails Beavertails

So good... I couldn't wait to take a bite!

16th May 2006

That poutine looks deeeeelicious. :) Have a good trip. :)
18th May 2006

No offense intended, but isnt that on our $20 bill? Poutine looks delicious. Send some over to australia for me. THey'll post it im sure.
11th June 2006

Thanks for the correction over the $20 bill!

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