NWYN – Nuit Blanche 2013

Last night, I, like many, ‘DID’ Nuit Blanche.   It’s not for everyone, and for those who hate it, I understand, but as a participant since the start, I’ve learned two concrete things:

1.  It’s hard to go in a group, 1-3 other people is usually the best.

2.  There is no way to do it all. Commit to whatever you DO see/interact with and make the most of it.

The rest are just suggestions:

First you might make a plan.


Then you might wait in line for half an hour sharing candies with your queue-partners before you start your night with performance:

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Then you might venture into the crowds to come across the profoundly titled art:


And interact with the art that is appropriately sized for such a mass spectacle of humans:


And be both disappointed by the size of, yet caught in the enticing glow of the ‘ferris wheel’ on University Ave while lovers love art and each other in the same frame:


Image from Bill’s camera, which I was unable to focus.

You might come across the band practice that never ends and probably shouldn’t have started, but that functions by way of a lynch mechanism that can be completely explained/noticed immediately by your super smart truck mechanic art-partner.


Then it’s decision time… go home because of the rain or embrace it and keep on keepin’ on with the rain drops dripping off your helmet and your nose…

The choice is clear.  Gun down and see the ‘big name pieces.’

There’re the driverless cars that are constantly enticing us into thinking that they might bump into each other, which is apparently a commentary on wealth and power:


There’s the neon poem, which reminds me of the messages for Jack Layton when he died, and there’s, of course, the Ai Wei Wei – Forever Bicycles, now even more seemingly eternal as it reflects it’s own image in the rain:


By this time, we’re soaked, but it’s time to embrace it and journey on towards some sustenance:


Photo of yours truly, thanks to my good friend Bill Flynn

Fancy food trucks are everywhere, but we choose the good ol’ hotdog and french fries route which, not surprisingly given the speed at which it was consumed, I didn’t photograph.

It gave us fuel to continue on, adding layers under our damp rain protection, and we journeyed down into a whole other area that ended up surprising us with some incredible, powerful pieces.

There was pond with automatic fly-fishing devices, pulling a canoe just enough to engage, not enough to enthrall:


There were the tanks that had been cut out with delicate designs, back lit and creating the most gorgeous shadows:

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And the treaties, bound by old and rusty bait traps:


By this point we’re ready to call it quits,  and as we bike towards home, I notice some guys doing some seated stretches against a window. I call out to them, and we engage in a conversation… suddenly we realize they’re the guardkeepers for THIS GUY!


At this point, all we really want is a little bit of something sweet. We’re imagining some sort of fruity-oatmeally-sweet-warm thing, and what’s better than this imaginary culinary delight? ROASTED MARSHMALLOWS:


This photo is by Bill, and from his camera.


6am bedtime has never come so easily.

I love how the city becomes a playground during this event. I wish that less people would take it as an opportunity for drinking outside their limits and for buffoonery on a grand scale, but it seems it’s gotten better each year, as the die-hards continue on, backpacks full of snacks, layers at the ready, and the hooting drunkards stick to their dance clubs and their dark bars, where less exhibits were installed near this year.

This post isn’t meant as a discussion… mostly just a way to capture what I noticed on another night in the city.


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