Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Square 57: Ottawa

Square 057

Until last weekend I had spent about eight hours of my life in our nation's capital. While I was a journalism student in 1987 I visited Carlton University to interview a professor, and I took my daughters there for a summer afternoon in 2004. But I had never had the opportunity to hang out and explore, get beneath the skin of the place with people who know the city.

My friend, Sylvie, recently moved there to attend teachers' college at University of Ottawa, but she had lived there before. I spent some time with her on Thursday and Friday. We went to Byward Market, where a visitor can easily spend a day, strolled along Rideau Canal in the moonlight, and shopped for groceries. Danny and I walked around Parliament Hill, saw an exhibit of Renaissance Roman Art at the National Gallery of Canada, and looked around the Canadian Museum of Nature, which is under renovation. We also shared several meals with our friends, Larry and Ethan, and witnessed karaoke at a tiny gay bar named Swizzles down a flight of stairs at the back of a parking lot.

Ottawa is a beautiful city. This square is an impression of the parliament buildings with their odd stonework and copper rooves. We had some of the finest weather of the summer, and the sky was impossibly blue the morning we walked around the hill.

It's not so far: less than seven hours by train. I can imagine myself making time to escape there more frequently to relax and work.

The dark blue yarn is a fragment Danny gave me, Handpaint Originals from Brown Sheep Company. The variegated green is an odd ball I picked up from Knit-Knackers Yarn Warehouse in Ottawa.

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