Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ottawa [updated]

They run the whole country outta that building with the "Canada" government logo on it.

Naw, just kidding. There are hundreds of buildings just like that all over this city from which they run the whole country. Hundreds. Who has the contract to manufacture the giant logos, one wonders?

I walked a couple of blocks north towards the Parliament Buildings, which are about 5 blocks from my hotel, but it is really freaking cold here and since I've seen them before, you'll have to forgive me for not continuing on for a photo for your benefit. Google 'em, they're pretty.

Went out for a stroll again after my meetings were done for the day, as is my wont, and as I passed the darkened cafes and delis - this was 5:30 pm! - I was reminded of why I really can't bring myself to love beautiful, polite, dull, patriotic Ottawa. The cliché about this town is that "they roll the sidewalks up at 6pm" and it's sadly true. I recall an earlier visit when a colleague of mine and I went out from our hotel looking for a pub or bar - any pub or bar - to take in Ottawa's night life.

It turned out there was no "there" "there". I believe we finally stopped at a hideous Elephant & Castle before returning dispiritedly home. (I'm not linking to the Elephant & Castle chain's webpage - it launches a loud video that loads without asking your permission. It sucks even worse than the chain.)

For some reason, federal civil servants just don't know how to party down.

Now I am safely nestled in my hotel room watching the Canada-Switzerland hockey game. Lotta history there. I got up at 4:30 am to make my flight to Fort Buttoned-down, but I think I'll be able to stay awake long enough to see the outcome of this one.


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Blogger Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

When i first looked at this photo i noticed there are almost no lights on in either building, and decided you must have taken it just after dawn - which may still be the case, but that a city this big would be so shut-down after 6PM is downright bizarre.

10:43 a.m.  
Blogger Ronnie said...

I have fond memories of one time things were dull in Ottawa and you came to Star Lake.

4:13 p.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

NFTP - I took the photo at about 8:30 a.m. - my flight got in at 7:30 and I had some time to kill before a 10:30 meeting. People were just arriving at work. I went out again later after the day's meetings had ended - that's when I saw all the shuttered cafes.

Ronnie - I have some very, very fond memories of that stay, too :) You are possibly the most hospitable family on earth. I still remember what we had for dinner - roasted pork - and how absolutely delicious it was. And the company was first-rate, as well - human and canine.

9:05 p.m.  

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