One of my most anticipated art shows in Toronto was the Nuit Blanche. For several years now, I have been a fan and I make it a point to see as much as my feet can do the walking. Toronto stays awake for one night with a host of art installations scattered all over the city. I would like to think that I am now a seasoned spectator, dressed in warm clothes, comfy hiking shoes, TTC day pass for unlimited rides and an early heavy dinner to walk off for the rest of the night. Check, check, check and check. :)
Since I plan on visiting so many exhibitions, I decided to have my fill at Holy Chuck’s. This time around I went for the Smokey Cow burger sans the fries. The first time I ate here, I was not able to finish the burger and the side of the fries I ordered. So this time around I wizened up to restrain myself. I was yet to meet friends for a late dinner anyways. Laden with smoked gouda and smoked bacon, this burger should do the trick of sustaining me for the night. Just like the last time, it hits the right spot and the smokey aroma pleases. I just love smoked gouda so much. Finishing my meal, I hopped on the Yonge Subway once again planning to alight at Queen station. I thought I’d start where Nuit Blanche would be hard to miss, right at the midst of Eaton’s Centre. Vertical Construction, Dancer 1 & 2, suspended prominently and was littered with pops of flashes. Although I wasn’t one to use a flash, I joined in the throngs of people trying to capture the installation. Different perspectives sure do change its appearance.
Walking out and heading towards Nathan Phillips Square, I passed by rows of food trucks. Peeking through the menu of The Food Dudes, I wish I have space in my belly for those Mac & Cheese Balls. Ah well, I have to search for them once again in a later food event. I was yet to digest the massive burger I just ate. So I moved on to Toronto’s city hall and saw 6 massive circular speakers doubling up as projectors. This time around it was a video installation, part of The Museum For The End of The World exhibit. The vivid images made me sit down on the pavement to watch the full stream.
My attention span exhausted, I walked at York St, going to King St. West. Stopping by the intersection, it was hard to miss the massive big screens showing off the traffic of the intersection. Reading what it was supposed to be, the installation was called The Other Side 2012. I understood that each corner of the intersection was recording the opposite corner relative to it. I located myself on-screen and I playfully took a picture. I don’t think it was a stellar exposure but a funny one anyway.
Another place that was a must-do for me during Nuit Blanche was to visit 401 Richmond. I might be biased but I always go to Gallery 44. Just like last year, Gallery 44 has set up a studio with so many props to create postcards. Aptly titled Postcard 44, I saw so much amusement on the faces of the participants. For that specific moment, they were glamorous, with big studio flash popping as they pose. I wandered off further inside the building and I found Open Studio, a fine-art printmaking center. They have opened their doors to the public and for more than a few minutes I have gone through their beautiful prints and watch someone do demonstrations. It was interesting to see how a slate of stone be used as a template for printing. On my way out, a makeshift map with push pins caught my eye. It was encouraging people to say where they came from. As I pushed in my pin for the Yonge and Finch intersection, I noticed a strip of paper saying “Haliburton” with an arrow pointing north. If anything, that up’ ed the ante of the map. It was amusing how someone’s little piece of paper added so much to the humor of the piece.
Cheating a bit, I hopped on the street car to go further west on Queen St. I wanted to see the exterior of the Gladstone Hotel. It was a habit for me too to go in and out of the small galleries that litter Queen St. West. What I must say that was most curious was the glass window by Terroni’s. As I walked by, I saw so many people gawking by the sidewalk. Wanting to see what it was, I lined up to have my turn. When in front, I saw two chefs making fresh pasta by hand. Swift and with seemingly a light touch, the chef slices a slab of the pasta into fettuccine sizes with so much ease and swiftness, it was mesmerizing to watch. I am a foodie after all. I cannot help it if I am hypnotized watching chefs work :)
As I walked towards Bathurst and Dundas, it looked deceivingly quiet. But the moment I turned to the rows of Market 707, it was full of hungry art lovers. I stopped by Kanto to say hi and I ended up helping to let my friend Diona breathe. I really do wonder where she gets her energy. Despite the pressure of catering to so many hungry foodies, she still was smiling at each person she hands the food to. Two hours after, I have to abandon my post. I just cannot cut it to do an all-nighter. I was surprised I even made it to past 1am.
Ah well, maybe that would be for next year. Maybe next year I would find a way to stay awake a little bit longer. :)