I’m exhausted. I just want to crawl into a ball on my couch, cover myself with the threadbare quilt my grandma made me and watch movies all day. I will in a few hours, some work must be done, errands run. I’m exhausted but last night was worth it. 5 hours of wandering, watching, wishing.
The last few years that I’ve attended Nuit Blanche I never made it as far as the West End. I always concentrated on Midtown/Downtown and a bit of the east. This year I promised myself to go west first, over and over I’d heard about all the brilliant installations in Parkdale and needed to take that route on the Nuit Blanche adventure train instead. Along with the company of the most amazing Cathy McKim, we started our night at the Vaudeville Hotel- A Burlesque World Record Marathon and a marathon it was.
I love everything there is to love about Burlesque. What I love the most are the sexy ladies, ladies that come in all shapes and sizes. Ladies who are proud of their bodies and shake, shimmy and strip with amour for a seductive style of entertainment, that has taken over our city, thanks to people like Chris Mysterion, Tanya Cheex and troupes like Skin Tight Outta Site and Glamour Puss Burlesque. Hosted by the ever Ghoulish Mullet the Clown, the non stop flow of Burlesque, magicians and musical acts, such as The Howling Bullets, had Cathy and I spending a good chunk of time at the Gladstone. But, it wasn’t just about the Burlesque Marathon.
On the 2nd/3rd and 4th floors there were art installations. However, it was something on the second floor that blew us both away. Everyone who knows me well, loves my quirky little obsessions. One of them is my passion for silent movies and the Edwardian/Flapper era. I collect silent movies and though my collection is still quite small, it is dear to my heart. Who knows, maybe in a past life I was a silent film actress. One of the installations we saw was a 6 minute movie called The Roots Of The Tree. An experimental film by director Britt Randle. In the style of a silent movie, it was beautiful and haunting. So haunting, Cathy and I talked about it all night. It was the best 6 minutes I’ve spent in a very long time! I would love to find out more about this director!
After a pit stop at Baccus Roti (finally filling my Roti craving) we made it to my next favourite installation on our 5 hour journey that never left Parkdale… Bondage Art at 442 Dufferin Street. After waiting for about 30 minutes in the chilly air to get in, we entered a room of rope bondage, some soft core S&M and beautiful art. The room was packed with art lovers and photographers, though it was really hard to move around, it was so worth it. I would liked to have stayed longer, we got there as they had finished the process and were untying everyone, but we wanted to get back to the Gladstone to see more Burlesque and hopefully see more installations.
Even thought the evening was amazing, there was a disappointment. I wanted to see the Guillotine installation, but when we got there, it was nowhere to be found. When I arrived home, I looked it up, apparently there was a whole slew of installations in the alley the runs behind the Gladstone and that was one of them. Too bad the information pamphlet we had didn’t indicate this, otherwise we would have wandered back there. This was one of my irks the last time I did Nuit Blanche and is a continuing pet peeve. They need to be a bit more specific. I know Nuit Blanche is supposed to be a bit of an adventure, but the crowds are missing out on installations. Cathy and I found a few by mere serendipity. Had we not questioned a few opens doors and wandered in, we would have missed out on some amazing art.
All in all, it was the best 5 hours I’ve spent in a long time. Had the weather been more co-operative, I may have lasted a few more hours and gotten to a few more of my friends installations, but the chill got in and the steam blew out. I love this city for events like these and hope we continue to fight against the rats at city hall. This city is filled with incredibly talented musicians, actors, artists, writers, poets. We are all here to live our dream, please don’t take this away from us. Though Nuit Blanche is still an event in it’s infancy, I can’t image it no longer existing. The first weekend of October wouldn’t be the same.