Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ottawa Part Deux avec un peu Cleveland

This is way overdue. Below is a slideshow of me and my dear friend Rose in Ottawa (by any other name?), getting ready for the Rush concert and taking an outdoor tour of the Parliament Buildings of Canada, some shots in the Market area of town, and a few from Cleveland, including the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

I already described the Ottawa Rush concert, but allow me to now tell you about them there govamint bildins. Well, they are absolutely amazing--breathtaking really. I'm sure the good folks who live and frequent Ottawa perhaps don't appreciate it them.

Nah, how can they not! But for this armchair political analyst who watches Question Period in the House of Commons online and seeing the beautiful gothic architecture, the statues, the spooky bell, and the grounds way up from the Rideau, is an inspiring experience. The war monument and unknown soldier inspired me the most though, thinking about how many Canadians fought, suffered, and died in all those wars, just so I could stand there, free, and proud of my country. Ottawa is a beautiful city in autumn and I look forward to visiting there again.

Later that night, Rose and I met up with my fraternity brother Wolfie, went out for dinner and some drinks at a pub in the Market area of Ottawa, which has tonnes of bars, pubs, and restaurants. I made contact with my old friend Jamie, who told me that night she's moving to Pakistan for a while. Writing this now in December while that country is under emergency rule, I wonder if she's okay.

After Ottawa, I spent six days in Cleveland, on a work contract, obviously. That said, I met up with my Deke brethren from the Beta Chi Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon at Case Western Reserve University who were gracious hosts. I got a tour of their house, which had a stairwell of various fraternity shirts that I got a chuckle out of. One of the guys and I went down the street from the house to this wee red decor bar. The bartender, humble in his ways, perhaps didn't realize how freaking familiar he looked. I ordered dirty vodka martini, and let me tell you, it was one of the best I've ever had (although I'd probably had about a dozen in my life up to that point). I then told the barkeep that he made a very good drink and that he looked EXACTLY like Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Same hair style and colour. Same eyes. Same bunny rabbit teeth configuring the same smile. I wish I took a picture. Anyway, a good night.

Wednesday night I drove from East Cleveland to downtown to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now this was interesting. Authentic everything--clothes, posters, instruments, autographs, and more. The Doors, Pink Floyd, and The Clash had their featured exhibits in separate floors. Outside was Johnny Cash's tour bus mysteriously established in the drizzling rain, which I had to take a picture. The whole front of the museum is protected by dozens and dozens of large decorated guitars.

The next night, I met up with the Dekes again and we headed to a campus bar which had an odd dual electric-techno neo-prog band playing while undergrads droned on. The local beer was good, from what I remember.

But for the week, I'll never forget what is probably the nicest restaurant I've ever been in, and it's attached to the hotel I was staying at. The sea bass was exquisite! And again, the dirty martinis were delicious. So if there's one thing I learned about Cleveland was that 1) it rocks! and 2) good dirty martinis. Okay maybe that's two things. Plus, I've never seen so many huge big houses along a city street. Then again, I'm still travelling around.

So, without further Rideau...


The Relevant Mason said...

nice blog Brother, I didn't realize you had one. I will peek in here and there. Keep up the good work.

HOLY said...

without further rideau....snicker, snort...

I love Ottawa too....what an uber clean city, too. And you haven't lived til you've bar hopped in Hull, Kay-bec. I did so back in the day when the non-smoking ban went into effect in Ottawa but not Hull so everyone was drinking across the water.