Thursday, June 30, 2016

Just Have A Slice Of Hansel And Gretel

It's Canada Day tomorrow, and I'll be largely scarce. This flag is hanging in an office complex atrium downtown. As I was looking up for this shot, it seems to be an appropriate opposite to tomorrow's theme of Look Down.

As for that title? I thought a bit of humour ends the month nicely. Life Of Pie is a bakery in Old Ottawa South. Last year they moved a few doors down on Bank Street to larger quarters with room for a few tables inside. The shop specializes in both dinner and dessert pies. This sign was in the window at its previous location.

These following images are from a couple of cars I came across at various points in recent weeks, with humour and a science fiction vibe to their window stickers.

This last one is a chalkboard sign outside a restaurant in the Glebe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dropping In At Abbotsford House

Abbotsford House is in the Glebe. It first sprang to life as a farmhouse in 1872, serving later in the century as a home for the aged. Named after the home of Sir Walter Scott, Abbotsford today is a senior citizen's community centre, flanked by a retirement home and a nursing home. Abbotsford is quite active in the community, and a regular feature at Doors Open. Inside there were displays of the history of the place, complete with period communion glasses and spittoons (how often does one see those anymore?). There were also ladies working on teddy bears, which are sold later in the year during a Christmas sale weekend.

I will be stepping away from the Doors Open series for a few days to cover some other things, but we will return to it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Labyrinth And Columbarium

Christ Church Cathedral has recently had a new hall and facilities built adjoining the church, and it was part of the Doors Open presentation. It happens to include a labyrinth, based on the one at Chartres in France. Of the Protestant denominations, I'm only aware of Anglican churches occasionally having these, while they're more common in Catholic churches, particularly in Europe. I spent time walking the path towards the core- and felt quite refreshed and centered after doing so- all the more so since being out in the rain that day for a good while had left me feeling knackered. 

Below the cathedral is a smaller chapel, which includes a model.

It also includes a wide passageway called a columbarium, a place where cremated ashes in urns can be interred. I liked the dignity of the place.

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Visit To The Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in the city. Its roots go back to 1832, on land donated by Nicholas Sparks (no relation to the horrible writer), an Irish born landowner, businessman, and city councilman whose name is still very much present here in the city long after his death. The current church dates back to the 1870s, is built in the Gothic style, and serves as the home of the bishop of the area's Anglican diocese, hence its cathedral status. It is beautiful inside, and I have more from here tomorrow.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Stained Glass Serenity

St. Peter's Lutheran Church is one of two churches standing on Cathedral Hill. The congregation dates back over a century, and the current church, built in the early 1950s, is in a Gothic style. The stained glass windows along the sides of the sanctuary were done between 1985-93 by a single artist, Russell Goodman, and reflect scenes in the life of Christ, and Lutheran heritage. 

A close look at one of the stained glass windows shows a technique the artist used here and there- placing instead of a pane of stained glass, a block of the glass into the window. In this case it's the bright orange.

The minister was on hand when I dropped by, and he showed me a stained glass window most people aren't aware of. This is in the passageway between his offices and his sanctuary, and he said it gives him a place to gather his thoughts before beginning a service.

Here are some of the windows by Goodman, very vivid in turn.

Tomorrow I'll take you over to the other church in this area.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Conservation Methods

I ascended up to the second floor at Library And Archives Canada to check out some more that was on display at Doors Open. There was a large room up here with displays and colourful murals, and staff members on hand. 

While this building is the headquarters of the organization, there are other buildings associated, including one over on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River, where a good deal of conservation work goes on. At one table, a couple of staff members were displaying items and talking about the process of restoration. This sample book offered a glimpse of how complex that can be- the woman explained that to put a new cover on a book in such disrepair might require finding out what kind of leather the original cover was, and then slowly re-creating it- complete with seams put in by a curved needle. She noted that just one seam- you can see two of them below her hands- can take an hour to do. Another restorer showed some of the techniques to removing the yellow marks of aging paper (which I should have photographed). That involves creating a gel-like substance with a base created from the scrapings of lily pads of all things. It ends up looking like a soft sheet of translucent rubber, and is applied to old paper for awhile, lifting the discolouration off.

A copy of Queen Elizabeth's proclamation of the Canadian 1982 constitution was on display.

I glanced out the window at the rainy weather. The Garden of the Provinces is there across the street, with the two churches beyond that. We'll start looking at them tomorrow.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Vikings And Heroes

I paid a visit to Library And Archives Canada during Doors Open. The complex, which sits west of the Supreme Court and across from the Garden of the Provinces, provides some of the same services as the Library of Congress, for my American readers. The headquarters building was completed in 1967. While I've featured the exterior periodically before, this is the first time I've photographed inside.

Within the lobby, this plaque caught my eye. It features old Norse runes in the center, with English and French translations at either side. Two accounts, of Bjarni Herjolfsson and Leif Erikson, describing the sighting and early landing in North America by Viking sailors, are translated in vivid detail.

There was also an exhibit going on here on the main floor, of Canada and comic books. That includes characters in Canadian publications, characters of Canadian roots, and Canadian creative talent working on familiar characters. Joe Shuster, for example, the co-creator of Superman, was born and grew up in Canada, and some of those influences went into the character. Many contemporary Canadian comics writers and artists are in the industry today working on major titles. Canadian characters include Marvel's Wolverine (who I refer to as the Drunken Hobbit), Deadpool (who never stops talking), and the Alpha Flight team, while DC recently had one of their Justice League teams operate out of Canada, with a Canadian member.