Wednesday, September 16, 2015

:city of lights:

There was no blog last week, the first that I've missed in a long while, because I was in Montreal for a few days, a much-needed time away, if only for a short while. I drove there because even for an hour flight, the cost of airfare (for me) is ridiculous. I've only been there once before, in 2002, and the first changes that I noticed was in the money, which now has partially transparent parts (I assume to really confound counterfeiters), and a similar issue that's plaguing Boston as well, the rampant building of luxury high-rises, probably displacing places with more character (and affordability). But that's the only negative bit that comes to mind.

I did much walking around, maybe a bit too much before I had confidence in using the metro subway system. My lasting impressions are of a place that really seems to embrace all arts. Many walls (and some sidewalks) were adorned with murals or graffiti - elaborate pieces, not the sort thrown up in the middle of the night - no shortage of street performers, and a large section of one street was converted to pedestrian traffic only, also near museums and concert halls. It was brightly lit with many colors at night, and some buildings became screens for moving images. I don't know if the latter were just for an event while I was there or if it's always that way. I spent a good half hour by an illuminated water fountain that cycled through many different patterns, while some people were filming others dancing around and through them, and passersby and spectators did not make a big deal of that. I sadly could see something of that sort back here either meeting harassment or even arrest.

I took many photos of course, viewable on my flickr page, helpfully in my "Turista" album, which sadly has been very empty. I traveled with no real schedule in mind, it's easier to discover things that way. I ended up in a large garden area nearby the 1976 Olympic Stadium, and found out that after dusk parts of it would be illuminated, so I eagerly stuck around for that. I definitely plan to return here, hopefully before another 10 years go by.

Naturally being away put some projects on hold, so it's back to that now. I still need to finish this, somehow, painting this bank in a Dia de Los Muertos style. The challenge so far is that it's a cat, and a cat's skull is slightly different than a human's to say the least. And also the shape of this is less than realistic, so the dimensions are a bit off, but I'm making progress.