04/09/08 Labor Day weekend, waiting for classes to start
After a summer of hard work I decided to take a break and visit Ottawa for the long weekend. The city itself is a lot quieter than the busy hub of Toronto. Its small one way streets are not as conducive to heavy traffic as Toronto’s main roads. The is more dependence on the well developed transit system, which incorporates rapid transit roads, light rail, and bus lanes on the highway. As a result, the city is much cleaner due to the reduced pollution. Ottawa has developed the feeling of a European city; dependence on pedestrian travel, small cafés, and the division of the business district, and the historic cultural/entertainment district. The city is a vibrant place for the arts and has a number of great buildings, from historic to modern. The National Gallery, designed by Moshe Safdie in 1988, is one of the world’s most respected art institutions. There could not be a better building constructed for lighting Canada’s works of art. The glass creates magnificent reflections and captures views of both the Ottawa River and Parliament Buildings. The Approach to the main galleries from the entrance is by a long processional ramp. At the end of the ramp is the large atrium, which is a celebration of light. The journey up the processional ramp and then entrance into the spacious atrium prepares the participant for a sacred experience of art. I have noticed a lot lately the intentional preparation intended by architects, often adding spiritual importance to something that is profane. I fine this very interesting and hope to explore this further. I am excited about my classes, which finally start next Monday. I will go into further detail after I have been to my first classes.