Nuit Blanche, Six Characters and home

Nuit Blanche on Saturday night was a bit of a let down. For those who don’t know, it’s an event in Toronto where contemporary art installations take place across the city (mostly down one long street) and go from 7pm to 7am. I’m not a huge fan of contemporary art at the best of times and when combined with large crowds, I lose patience pretty quick.

I also don’t consider it very artistic. People joining queues for the sake of joining queues to participate in something that, from where I was standing, didn’t amount to much more than spectacle, let alone all that thrilling a spectacle.

From other points of view though, it’s a success. It gets people out into the city, it increases Toronto’s cache, and it gives artists an outlet (however little their work is ‘really’ appreciated).  After walking through a park for three hours, I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind to enjoy this. And after an hour, my legs were aching.

The plus side for us were the moments where we’d look at something that had nothing to do with the art, and comment on it. For example, I described a generator as “electric”. We remarked on the uniqueness and the expansiveness of a no through road sign. That kind of thing makes us laugh, heathens and philistines that we are.

One of the things people could do was line up, go through a cart, and get a white paper hat thing, that would either be a hat or a collar or something. The queue for this was very long. It was like any other fad, like making sure you get the inflatable hammer or the jester’s hat from the Royal Show. When we were at a play on Sunday afternoon, we heard a young woman talking about Nuit Blanche and asking her friend if they got the hat because it was so “awesome”. Really? It’s a bloody hat.


Sunday was pretty chilled. The clouds had descended and we looked like we were wrapped in fog. It was impressive to watch from our window and when we went outside it looked like the tall buildings had had their tops consumed by white mist.

Buildings wrapped in clouds
Buildings wrapped in clouds

We Skyped my grandmother in the morning as she’s going in the hospital for a percutaneous aortic valve replacement this week. She’s 90 but the doctors seem fairly positive about her chances of success. As Glen says, dead people create too much paperwork so you want your patient to survive. She’s looking forward to it as it will hopefully make her feel better. Must admit to feeling a little anxious (even though I know she’s reading this) but I think that’s to be expected. I’m also sure she’ll pull through it. She’s tough.

We went out for lunch at an Italian restaurant, called Mercato, at the Eaton Centre. We discussed where we should go in November and, because we were out of suggestions, I asked the waiter who suggested Vancouver. Seems fair. So we might be off there for a few days in November.

[Side note: We’re not actually out of suggestions but with the impending winter we need to go places where we can get maximum enjoyment to weather ratio. Vancouver seemed to fit the bill.]

We then went to see a student production of Six Characters In Search Of An Author at Ryerson University. The actors were good but the play itself is a bit of a struggle to get through. It’s an Italian play, written in the 1920s, and due to its whacky nature (six characters abandoned by their author storm into a rehearsal and demand to have the rest of their story told), had a pretty mixed reception in its day. For me, unfortunately, it was a bit too metatheatrical compounded by it being too long. I was surprised it was written in the 20s (seems ahead of its time) but not that it’s Italian. They always make the crazy.

Sunday evening we went to the gym (on a Sunday!) then had dinner of roast chicken and roast sweet potato (it was purple and not as tasty as the orange variety). Was pretty yummy though.

Today it’s back to the usual stuff. Glen went to work. I went to the gym. I made yoghurt (it’s like second nature now and Glen seems to like it). I did some work and various other home things, then went to the library. Also investigated flights to Vancouver. This evening we’re going to a movie at the TIFF, though it sounds like Glen’s had a crap day and he probably would have preferred to just come home. Unfortunately, we’d already booked the tickets.

Helen and Barry made a noisy appearance on Monday
Helen and Barry made a noisy appearance on Monday

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