Years after years, I take the pulse of the population and I can’t help comparing France to Canada. While the former is still a great country on many aspects, there are many reasons why I won’t come back to live in France anytime soon. On the other side, I recently realized that Canada taught me a lot more than I expected.
Monthly Archives: August, 2010
Digital cameras are now widespread and the price of both DSLR and compact camera went down quite a lot. Pretty much everyone has some kind of camera these days, whether it’s a small camera phone or a high end DSLR. But few people realize that it’s not that much about the camera – it’s about the photographer’s eye.
In Ottawa, it doesn’t rain, it pours. You barely get any warning at all: one minute, the sky is grey and you feel a drop of water, the next one you are as soaked as if you had taken a shower. Similarly, thunderstorms can be quite impressive in the area: flash floods and power outages are not that rare. It’s part of our severe weather-prone country, I guess.
The Byward Market is somewhat of a fixture in Ottawa. It is located downtown, close to the Rideau neighborhood, between Sussex and Rideau St. There is a main market building (very similar to Kensington Market in Toronto or to The Forks in Winnipeg), surrounded by an open-air market on George, York, ByWard and William Streets.
On a warm summer night, I grabbed my camera and headed to downtown around sunset. I hadn’t been around the Byward Market area at this time of the day in a while. It was close to 10 pm and the sun had barely set.
I stopped by to see my favourite sculpture in Ottawa, “Maman” the huge spider by artist Louise Bourgeois, stuck between Notre-Dame church and the National Gallery of Canada.
This week is walking down memory lane week. First, I came back to see these amazing sculptures on the shore of the Ottawa River, at Remic Rapids, that I discovered in August 2009. And then, last Saturday, we attended the yearly Lac Leamy Fireworks Competition, like we did last year
A year ago, I stumbled upon this magical place, by the Ottawa River, where John Ceprano is working on the art of balance. Last year’s work has probably been dismantled naturally during the winter, but the sculptures currently on display just blew my mind. They are taller, bigger, and there are dozens of them.
In France, I bought a bunch of beauty products. In London, I found a t-shirt mecca at Camden Market. Originally a craft market, the Camden Lock Market is now a thriving shopping area and hundreds of retailers sell clothes and souvenirs. You can find pretty much anything, from your basic “I love London” t-shirt to trendier vintage clothes. I fell in love with the Funky Chameleon brand and bought a few embroidered tank tops.
A guest post by Guillermo, author of The Zieglers blog: 30 things you may need to buy upon your arrival in Canada.
Last week, in the Greyhound from Montreal airport to Ottawa, I stared at the window for the two hours’ long trip. I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the scenery. We drove that road many times, and yet it still appeals to me: Canada is beautiful.
Such a vast land. Such empty places between cities. Such as wild place at times. The light, the sky, the colors, everything looked vivid and alive. It was like being in a painting.
I felt like one of those people who are offered drugs at a party, got hooked and ended up selling their car for a few grams of crack or whatever is trendy these days. The girl at the counter had me hooked on the best cream ever by giving me a free sample. I decided to do the sensible thing: I just said no. I’m not spending that much on a cream, this is ridiculous, no matter how good it is.
Every time I go to France, I like to take the pulse of the population and to sound out current issues. Graffiti and stickers can be found everywhere, and these little words written or stuck on urban fragments tell a lot about how people feel.
It started as a joke: Feng wanted to take a picture of the London Eye reflecting in my eyes. After a few trials (try opening your eyes as big as you can without blinking for several seconds!), we got hold of it. We then decided to do the “eye picture” for a few major landmarks during this trip.
I pushed the door open, slightly annoyed myself, and let him in. “Ah oui, ah oui!” he exclaimed in surprise, suddenly realizing I was not a drama-queen after all. We stared at each other, unsure of what to do. Fortunately, after 6 weeks in France, I had my Frenchness back and I could try to solve the problem as diplomatically as possible.