tvordlj: (Default)
I nearly didn't go. I was lazy and comfortable and thought i might not go out to see the library after all but really, there was no excuse so i put on my coat and went. The weather wasn't even too cold or icky, quite nice for this time of year, actually. The new library is really beautiful, I think. I've been watching it go up and taking photos of it as it was constructed and I was excited to see the inside. It was pretty busy but I was talking to one of the staff and she said there were over a thousand in there that morning when they opened the doors. I figured as much which is why i went later in the afternoon. My other reason was so that I could take photos of the exterior at night when it was lit up inside. Beautiful!

There are five floors. The top floor looks like an afterthought, smaller and hitched on at an angle but when you look at the whole building, there are other corners and angles and it's meant to look like a stack of books. The overhanging angled bit on top is mainly public space. There's a group of comfy chairs in the front section with great views over the city and a cafe in the back section. I can't remember if there are any books at all on that level. Something tells me no. there's also a "green" roof garden and you can go outside on a little deck that faces the harbour. Nice touch.

There are a couple of small theatre spaces for performances, several specialized sections such as the First Nations' Circle with resources and the African Nova Scotian section and a glass walled room for local NS history. Nice touches. The main floor seems to be a bit of everything as far as books go. Kind of like various shelves of new releases and top picks for a wide variety of categories from children to fiction and non-fiction, travel, biographies. There is a cafe on the ground floor as well and a big information desk. There are self checkout stations and computer stations where you can search the catalogue. I think there's free wifi but i didn't test it out. They also have small booths on one floor for study with electrical outlets for laptops. There are a few places that have comfy seating all over. The main colour scheme is white with accents and furniture in orange and green. Some of the bookshelves are white and many are black. The big feature of the building is that all the floors are open, that is, from the ground in the centre you can look straight up to the top floor. All the floors circle around the centre open area and there are walkways that cross the open spaces and stairs to the next floor down which lead on an angle. Three elevators, of course, because you have to have mobility access. Lots of toilets. Lots of natural light. They mean for it to be more than just books, that it should be a gathering place for the community as well.

Here are the photos I took yesterday.

And in keeping with the theme, more 2014 books finished )
tvordlj: (Halifax)
I usually always have a few words to say about the Halifax Explosion that happened in 1917 and flattened the north end of Halifax. I'm sure i've mentioned that, in gratitude, Nova Scotia sends a 30 to 40 foot Christmas tree to the City of Boston every year. This year, they seem to have made a big deal out of it and it was trucked into the city to day for a noon time ceremony wherein the town crier of New Glasgow, a town near where the tree was cut, did a proclaimation, and a Native blessing was giving to the tree as well. I missed the first bit of the event which was probably  just the Mayor and a few politicians blathering on so I don't imagine I missed all that much.

Later on, a great group called The Stanfields sang a few songs. They're heading to Boston as well to perform at the city's tree lighting ceremony on December 4. I thought we'd been giving Boston a tree for generations but it's only been since 1971. Still, that's quite awhile.

December 6 is a Saturday this year and while i won't get over to the main rememberence ceremony in Halifax, there's one around the corner from me where a bent canon that was found in the area (2 miiles from the harbour) is mounted. They have a ceremony there as well but though I have good intentions, I doubt i'll get my arse out of bed and around there before 9 am on a Saturday. One of these years, though. I will.

There are a few photos from today's event here.
tvordlj: (Pirate EEK!)
They determined that the man that was killed inside the Parliament building in Ottawa was the only gunman. There are tributes all over the place today to the man that faced him down and to the guard that lost his life. As it should be.

Today, though, in downtown Halifax, right outside my office window, we noticed the police in full riot/assault gear with rifles at the Scotiabank Centre across the street. Turns out someone saw a man with a rifle wrapped up on the street and the cops hit the ground running. Much of downtown Halifax was locked down. City Hall is right across from the Centre and the PRovincial legislature a mere 2 or 3 blocks from that. Hospitals and the universities increased security and made people stay inside. Many public buildings such as  the Art Gallery, nearby schools and library closed their doors. We were advised to stay in our office and not leave the floor for awhile. It almost feels a bit surreal because we didn't hear one siren, just a few cop cars with flashing lights. Streets didn't seem to be closed off but the police presence was there and the media trucks not far away. About an hour or two later, we heard that someone was arrested and a firearm was recovered from a bus. Allegedy the man left it there, got off and started to walk away. This bus was the one that goes to the airport. This in the midst of all the cops in the area.  Weird. I don't know a lot of detail yet. They aren't saying if the person they arrested was the same one that was seen earlier that started all this upset.
tvordlj: (Halifax)
What a gorgeous summer day! Finally!!!! I went over to Halifax, found somewhere to get my hair cut as my regular stylist was fully booked. This one did a great job, too. Wandered around and window shopped a bit, stopped to sit in the sun and had some chips from Bud the Spud's truck. Walked back downtown and then went to the gym so I feel semi-righteous about that (minus the chips, of course!) it was so nice to get out into the sun!

The new library is nearly finished, too. They've done most of the landscaping around it and I think all that's left is interior stuff. It is going to be open this summer. Can't wait to see it from the inside. I've been taking photos once or twice a year while it's been built so when it opens i'll get to take the last ones from inside. They have a rooftop cafe as well with a nice view over the city. The building looks like a stack of books with the top one at a sharp angle from the rest. Some people think it looks really odd but I love it.
tvordlj: (Default)
There were bubbles and balloons. There were flags and singing and dancing. Lots of flags. Smiles and hugs and lots of really happy faces. Yes, today was Pride Halifax and it was the 25th anniversary as well. 25 years ago it was a very different sort of parade, with a few dozen participants, some of whom even covered their faces with paper bags in case they were recognized. It was more of a protest march than a celebration.

Today the parade is filled with community and support groups but it's also corporations and businesses, governments and politicians. I'm of two minds about politicos in the Pride parade. On one hand it's fairly off putting seeing them gladhanding along the route but on the other hand, they've made the effort to show support to the LGBT community and that's good. Same with the businesses and corporations. They're out there showing support and there's as many good works types of organizations in the parade as there are businesses. One of the mayoral candidates in this year's election walked the parade with a group of his supporters, shaking hands and waving at the public (voters). Several of the provincial political parties were also represented as well as the local government though our mayor was nowhere to be seen, yet again. In fact, the float that the city government had in the parade was populated by only a few of the 23 councillors, not a great turnout.

The Pride parade is always such a feel good event, with everyone dancing and smiling, hugging and happy. The costumes and colours nearly blind you, they're so bright! Some are really inventive and there are all ages involved, from little kids to seniors. Some Photos here and more than those on my Facebook.
a couple of my faves behind the cut )

Avast!

Mar. 29th, 2012 02:09 pm
tvordlj: (Pirate EEK!)
Halifax has a Citadel on a hill. Every day at noon a cannon is fired.

But on the days, twice a year, when the Nova Scotia Legislature opens, there's a bunch of them fired off. I don't know how many, i always lose count. It starts at 2 pm and it always catches us off guard hearing it that late and multiple shots before someone remembers why.

Today was the day. Bang! Bang! Bang!... etc. Someone in the office called out "Is Jack Sparrow in the harbour????"

Wouldn't it be cool if the Black Pearl was the harbour ferry? :))))
tvordlj: (Default)
It was a miserable, wet and windy morning getting to work though i notice now, mid morning, the rain has let up a bit for a moment. Still quite windy though. Better than if it was snow, mind you.

Last winter, Halifax hosted the Canada winter Games and built an outdoor skating "oval" for the speed skating competitions. It circled the Halifax Commons in the peninsular city centre and it was opened to the public to use before and after the games. It was a huge hit and popular opinion was that the City should keep it. It encourages fitness, it's free, it's a great family thing. People living in the area aren't overly happy mainly because of the music they play over speakers to make skating fun. Fast forward, the city decided to keep it but wanted to offer sponsorships to contribute towards the maintenance. The end result of this was sponsorship by two corporations. One is Emera, the people that you pay your electric bill to and the other? Molson Canadian. Beer people.

A lot of people are not happy with an alcohol company sponsoring it and plastering their signs all around it. I don't know if they think that's going to encourage people to drink more beer or what. Maybe if they erect a beer tent i suppose but as far as i'm aware, that's not a plan. What difference does it make, really? The important issue is the ongoing sponsorship of a popular outdoor skating arena that is open for a few months of the year, weather dependant. And considering our weather, they might have wanted to add a few lanes for swimming or boating to cover all possibilities.

Beer corporations sponsor lots of events, often adding a beer/entertainment tent to the event as well. Heck, the local junior hockey team is named after a beer, the Halifax Mooseheads and are owned by Moosehead beer i think.

New movie opening this weekend, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. Wow! Did anyone else know about this? I hadn't heard this book was being filmed. It's a big book, but not widely known in general, not one you'd really think of to make a movie from let alone in two parts. I'm quite impressed. I know the classic book by Ayn Rand is well known but i wonder how many people in their 20s and 30s have heard of it or read it. That's usually the demographic group for movies if not younger. It's only playing here at Bayer's Lake, though, which is a bit tricky to get to for me. Maybe it will still be around over Christmas and i can borrow Mom's car.

Checking imdb, the cast list is mostly unknown to me and it looks like a lowish budget. That could be a good thing. Big Budget means loads of special effects, big name actors, with less story. Wow and the movie's site says it was released in April and the DVD is now available! It's just getting to Halifax now. I think this is definitely on my "to watch" list, either in the theatre or on dvd.

On a sad note, actor Henry Morgan died. He played Colonel Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H for most of the time it was on television. The first couple of years, the unit was led by Col. Henry Blake but Potter was the one most people remember. I really loved that character. The actor was 96!
tvordlj: (Halifax)
Today is the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion in 1917. I thought I knew most of what there was to know but today in the newspaper there is an article about one of the ships, the Imo which was the one that ran into the Mont Blanc which  had all the explosives on board. You'd think the ship would have been blown to bits but apparently not. According to this, the Imo was blown ashore on the Dartmouth side of the harbour, damaged to be sure, but it was patched up, renamed as Guvernören (It was owned by a Norwegian company) and became a transport for whale oil for a few years. It was scuppered near the Falkland Islands in 1921. Seems like it remained a bad luck ship.

There are memorial services around the city today on the 94th anniversary. There's the official one at the main memorial on Fort Needham but also one at a nearby fire station and also there's one just around the corner from where I live. The anchor of one of the ships was found nearby.
Here's a few pictures of the official memorial and the view over the harbour, the view of the spot where the event actually happened.
memorial photos )
tvordlj: (Default)
Lonely Planet has made a top 10 list of regions to visit in 2012 and the east coast of Canada, the Maritime Provinces, are 7th on the list! Wow! That's impressive considering there are no other Canadian or US locations anywhere else on the list.  Here's what they say about us:

Canada’s Maritime Provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PEI) – have always exuded the quintessential briny vibe of clapboard fishing villages, clifftop lighthouses and townhall lobster suppers. But there’s new action brewing. From distilleries popping up that turn PEI potatoes into silky vodka to organic farm wineries that crush Nova Scotia grapes into sweet vino, gastronomes are drinking up the rustic region. Stir in the wharfside oyster cafes, mushroom foraging tours and farmstead  cheese-making classes, and you have a scene of plenty between sips, too. The tide is pulling especially strongly in 2012, when the Maritimes mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. -

Halifax has a strong connection to the Titanic, and there are a number of headstones here in three of the cemeteries of some of the Titanic victims brought ashore on one of the rescue boats. (history here) One of the headstones was of a J Dawson and after the movie came out, there was a steady stream of people wanting to see the grave and numerous bits and pieces left there, mainly by girls and women enamoured of the Leonardo di Caprio character of the same name in the film. The real Dawson (Joseph), however, was someone that worked in the engine room of the ship. There is also a grave of a baby, unknown of name, and people leave toys and soft bears there sometimes. Many of the victims buried are unknown. (List of names and graves here)

tvordlj: (Movies)
As crap as the weather has been this summer, we've lucked out on weekends that have been mostly quite nice. Yesterday I decided it was time for my annual visit to the Halifax Public Gardens, 16 acres of wonderful in the middle of the city. The flowers were glorious and they were setting up for a dahlia festival later in the month. Some of the dahlias were blooming and they were really beautiful. It seemed like there were quite a few varieties, i hadn't realized that. Just seeing what was in bloom already, I'm marking the dates on my calendar (Aug. 30 - Sept 1) so i can go back and see all of them in bloom. It will be an explosion of colour, i tell you. I have more pics on Facebook here.

After that i went to the nearby Park Lane shopping mall where there's a multiplex cinema and saw The Help. I really liked it. It's pretty much a women's movie since it's all about women. It takes place in Jackson Mississippi in the early 60s and tells the story of how the black maids were treated by their employers, usually not that well. There is still a lot of racism around but thank God/dess it's not as bad as that anymore. ie. one women had a little cubicle built in the back outside as a toilet stall so the maid wouldnt' use the family toilets for fear the family catch something. You could tell that a few of the women weren't as bad but still bent to peer pressure when it came down to it.

One young woman, a peer of the other  young wives, has returned to Jackson from university. Her friends have all married and started families. They have bridge club every week and they have Womens' league type groups. She doesn't really fit in anymore but still takes part. She wants to be a journalist or write a book and gets a job at the local newspaper writing a domestic cleaning column. She gets help from one of her friends' maids in answering the letters and decides she might write a book about the black maids from their point of view. This is basically illegal and at first none of the women are willing to be interviewed or if they do, they are very circumspect. One does agree to start with and little by little the rest do as well. The book, with names changed and written by "Anonymous" hits the bookstands and is a scandal.

I'm sure that life in the deep South under those circumstances was fairly accurately depicted and the characters are pretty well drawn out. Emma Stone is the new "flavour of the month" and she plays the writer, Eugenia aka Skeeter and she's really good. Her character is realizing that the way she was brought up is wrong. We're at the start of the civil rights movement and you know that Skeeter will be in the thick of it before long. I saw her recently in Easy A and she was really good in that too. I think she could go places. Viola Davis is the central maid character, Abilene, and the narrator. She's been in lots of things and I recognised her mainly from the Jesse Stone tv movies (Tom Selleck). Abilene is sympathetic, she loves the children she has to raise and tries to teach them to be strong and independent and give them a sense of self worth even when they have mothers that basically ignore them. She hopes to show the daughters that there is a different way but most of them still end up like their mothers, haughty and condescending and status conscious. She feels things deeply but seems resigned to her life though she dreams of more. Her best friend, Minnie, also a maid (Octavia Spencer) is more prickly and defensive, sassy and occaisionally prone to impulse. She's living with an abusive husband and a house full of children. 

Most of the men in the movie have very small parts and focus. It's about the women, women who are head of the houses and women who keep the houses and homes together from behind the scenes and one woman that wants to change things. It's not overly sentimental like some of these movies can be but you also know it's all going to work out in the end.

There are a lot of movies that come out that are about women. Every once in awhile there is one that really stands out with a great ensemble cast, great characters and this one is one of those, for me at least.

Dahlia Starry
tvordlj: (Halifax)
It's the Canada Day long weekend and there's loads going on around the city. I only managed to get to a fraction of it and less than i had planned as it happened. Friday, I went over to the Multicultural Festival, something i don't do every year but i hadn't been for a few years. Unfortunately it was a bit of a disappointment for me this year but I think it was more of a case of bad timing than anything.

Luckily it was a beautiful, hot day, something that's been rare these days. I finally got down there mid afternoonish and found the entrance. This festival used to be on the Dartmouth side of the harbour at the ferry terminal. This new area, by the cruise ship piers and the new Art College campus, and the Seafront Farmer's market, is a much larger area for it, i guess but it's more out of the way for me at least. That was annoying to start off with. One of the main attractions is the international food tent but I didn't find there was as much choice as there used to be. Still some variety but not as much as it used to be and mostly the vendors were selling "meals" rather than little samples. I didn't see the barbeques anywhere either and assumed they were not there so that was another strike against it. I had some authentic Mexican food (not spicy) and some Indian curry.

I stopped to watch some dancers on stage but unfortunately they were not that good. I didn't think so anyway. They were from South America in the Andes, or representing that area, I should say. Now I know most of these dance groups are not professionals but many of them do dance for lots of recitals and come across as very professional and very good. This first group was not in that class. It felt more like a group of women in a family or a group of friends all decided that's what they were going to do and did up costumes. The dancing wasn't really good and one of the dances, a "flirtation" type dance, had two women performing, one dressed as a man with a moustache pencilled on her face. The woman that they had introducing each dance did not speak Spanish so her pronounciation was all over the map. It annoyed me so i walked back to the tents where the exhibitions/vendors were to have a look. Very nice things, most of it for sale of course. At the back of the two long tents i saw...... the barbeques! Doh! After i'd already eaten! I walked around a bit more, went to see if there were any other dancers on stage, (there weren't, the Latin America ones were still faffing about) and decided i'd had enough. Shame really, because i've seen some wonderful performers in the past.

As i was handy and as it was free entry on Canada Day, i went to the Pier 21 immigration museum. Halifax was the arrival point for immigrants to Canada between 1928 and 1971. They arrived by ship and dispersed across the country by rail from there. The complex contained an arrivals hall, luggage hall, rail ticket and waiting area, and also things like interview rooms, a place to have someone's general health checked out, etc. During the war, the troop ships left from this pier and after the war, ships bringing the War Brides started arriving. Immigrants arrived from all over the world. The museum tells the stories of the immigrants and the people that worked there. There are artifacts, recorded stories, and lots of things. The museum is on the waterfront and you can look over the outer harbour from the tall windows. Earlier in the morning they'd had a ceremony to create some new Canadian Citizens. They do that every year.

I was hot and tired and footsore from there so i got the bus home. I had planned to go back out in the evening to listen to some of the free music and see the fireworks but once i got home i basically just wilted. I think i was dehydrated to some extent and did feel better after re-liquifying but i just didn't bother to go out again.

Today was another beautiful day. I had plans to meet with my friend T. and her family to go over to the Halifax Common to see the Mi'kmaq Powwow, called Mawio'mi which means The Gathering. They had a Grand Entrance with lots of different people, all ages, all dressed up in full costume and they danced around a circle for awhile to various songs. There were drummers/singers to the sides who were providing the music. The bands were all announced as their representatives entered. We got there fairly late so we didn't get a chance to get a seat on the bleachers but we squeezed in on one side. Thus, most of those photos tended to be of their backs going in the circle. The music is eerie but rhythmic, notes soaring high above the thrumming of the drums. We watched that for awhile and then I went for a walk with T's little boy who is a very active 7 or 8 i think. We went over by the big teepees set up as a village. They had some demonstrations in them for various crafts like beading and basket weaving. Most of the teepees were just canvas and plain but one was decorated with various paintings. T. caught up with us and we went back to find her fella. We left the boy with him and went for a browse along the vendor craft tents. There were lots of interesting items there, from hand made jewelry to the various implements that the performers and dancers would have for their costumes and performances. ... drums, bells, hoops, furs, headpieces. We saw some change purses and a bag the size of a small backpack made of turtle shells on the outside, with sueded leather behind it.

T. had told me about the Indian "tacos" that she had there last year, said they were really good but when we found the food vendors, the prices were stupidly high, 10 dollars for one! I wasn't paying that no matter how good they were! Back to the performance circle, it was nearly over but we managed to get seats this time. The drummers were right in front of us and performed a number for a "hoop" dance. There were young people dancing on the field with hoops but i never saw them, i was too interested in the drummers. They sit in a circle and pound on the drums and sing... well it's kind of howl really at the top of their voices, but it's amazing stuff. The drumming itself is more or less just a rhythm to keep time with just a few variations.

There are photos and a few videos on Flickr here.
a few photos behind the cut )
tvordlj: (Maple Leaf)
I need those peach baskets back!

I was walking up a short block downtown today, from the back end of the Delta Barrington where i'd gone to get a coffee up to the entrance on the corner of Duke and Barrington, into the little shopping area where i was going to get my hair done. I spotted this inside a doorway.

There were and probably still are little short films that were aired on Canadian television that reenacted little bits of history. There was one about a family trying to escape wild brushfires, one about an immigrant couple that were building a cabin made out of sods on the Prairies. Then there was the one that the phrase in the above photo will bring back to most of us. In actual fact, the phrase didn't actually use the word "peach" but everyone knows what it means. Every Canadian, that is, and i was amused to see it graffitied on a door frame/wall.

It refers to the invention of basketball by a Canadian who, according to legend, used peach baskets for the ball to be aimed at. But because the baskets had bottoms, it took some time to climb up and fish the ball out of it so he came up with the idea of cutting the bottom out of the baskets. The caretaker of the property grumbled "I need these baskets back!" Through the cut is the Youtube of the original vignette.
Baskets! )
tvordlj: (Bus)
The bus didn't show up again this morning and i'm not happy. I emailed the controller that is in charge of that but no answer yet and i don't really expect or need one anyway. But this is the fourth time since mid December that it hasn't shown for this trip and route! Apparently there are staffing problems but it seems unfair that this route should be targeted each time. You can't even call the Transit line as it's only giving you the scheduled time, not real time departures and it's too early to call the city's call centre even if they were informed that the bus was not going to show. Which i doubt they would be.  The first three times was on a Monday. If it has to be suspended for a time at least they could keep it to the same day and then post a notice on all the bus stop signs. But noooooooo. Keep people on their toes, right? 

Yeah, I get it. It doesn't affect a route that is one that is always packed but the one i take at that time of day (7 a.m.) is usually filled with standing room only when it picks up people at the terminal to head to Halifax. Those people can get any bus going across the bridge but the fact remains, our street is only served by the one route that goes to the bridge terminal where, outside of morning rush hour, you have to get another bus to anywhere else. The other two busses that are close to my house go in different directions where you could get a bus going to halifax but by the time you get to a transfer point and wait for the next bus, you might as well have stayed where you were and got the next one in front of your house.

This end of the city seems to get the short end of the stick a lot and there doesn't seem to be anything you can do about it, no matter how much noise you make. Grrrrr...

Stormwatch

Jan. 12th, 2011 10:35 am
tvordlj: (Iceman Cometh)
Halifax is in waiting for it's first proper storm of the season. Ah but the weather says there could be a bit of rain along the coast too. Does that mean we'll get snow and then rain and it'll amount to nothing? Inland will get the snow for sure and whatever it ends up being, it'll be a mess. Supposed to start this afternoon so it'll be a pain in the arse going home. My trainer has already emailed to say "we'll see" regarding the weather so i emailed back and suggested we just reschedule. I had planned to make an appointment to get my hair done on Saturday over here anyway so i can do both if he wants to reschedule and stay home today.

2011 tea tasting
Vanilla Oolong Apparently full of antioxidants so it was good for me! The vanilla made it smell all homey and nice. I drank it black because it seemed more of a "green" type tea than a black blend, at least when it was brewed. It might have done ok with a little milk, i don't know. Rating 7/10

2011 books:
3. Hello, Vodka? It's me, Chelsea - Chelsea Handler
Yes another ebook finished. I had a few on the go and was switching back and forth depending on what i wanted to read at the time. Chelsea Handler is a stand up comedian with Jewish and Mormon roots. This book is a series of anecdotes from her life apparently. Some of them are quite funny but others are really not to my taste at all. I'd say they were in poor taste but lots of comedians do schtick that's in poor taste or even offensive so i hesitate to say one or two topics offended me. It's a personal taste, though. Your mileage may vary but i think it was enough to possibly put me off trying any more of her books though, as i said, some of it was chuckle-worthy.
tvordlj: (Corrie)
I was contacted by email last Friday by a reporter from CBC television. They are apparently doing a feature on tonight's news about Coronation Street's 50th anniversary which is this week and celebrated all week with some pretty explosive storylines, quite literally. They want to interview me in conjunction with that theme! I think it will be set up at lunchtime today though the weather is not that great. It's raining a bit with very high winds so i hope i don't have to go too far. He had suggested a pub downtown since i can't really have a camera man and reporter in my work cubicle!  I guess worst case scenario i would take a cab to the cbc studios but that's at my expense so i'd rather not. They're supposed to contact me this morning so i'll know more then.  I hope the weather doesn't cancel it but fate rules.

I don't know how they got my name but i suspect it's because of that Corrie Crazy documentary they filmed over the summer in which <lj user=gramie_dee> and i appeared. They would have had my email address from the people doing the doc. I don't expect it to be a long thing, just a few words from a fan, more likely.

It's the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion today, too. I wonder if the weather will cancel the services they always have at the memorial on Fort Needham.

ETA: Just heard from the CBC guy that emailed me last week. No interview after all, they've done something on Corrie's anniversary yesterday apparently. Oh never mind. The Corrie Crazy documentary airs on Thursday night so that will have to be my 2 minutes of fame. Just as glad really.
tvordlj: (Default)
I decided to take my camera out into the Grand Parade Square at lunchtime to shoot a few "framed" shots for [livejournal.com profile] blueberrymoon's Sensational Snap Society. I had some fish and chips from the chip truck first while sitting in the sun and then walked over to old St. Paul's church. There are rose bushes in front of it in full bloom so got a few shots there and then went inside to take pics. There was a young man there, a tour guide and offered me and two other newly arrived people a tour of the first British church in Canada. Accepted.

St. Paul's, 1749 The church was originally built in 1750, a year after the city of Halifax was founded and much of the church is still the original building though there have been some small additions. Most of the stained glass has been replaced after the 1917 Halifax Explosion blew out all the windows but there are a few windows that go back that far and one other that was salvaged from the debris and restored. That one dates back to about 1872. The church didn't have stained glass in it originally. There's also another upper window where the glass broke and the outline resembles a profile of a man. The tour guides (not this fellow but the ones on the busses) tell the tourists that the window has been replaced three times and each time the glass cracks in the same shape. That's bollocks of course but the outline does look like a person.

There are square "hatchings" in the church, commemorating some of the famous people buried in the church. There are 8 of them and this is apparently the largest collection (in Canada? forget now). The church is quite pretty inside and can seat 1400 though the regular congregation only numbers under 100 from one week to the next. I expect that's because fewer people live in the downtown core near the church. Not much parking and church attendance is lower anyway these days. It's still used for weddings and funerals though. It would be a nice church to get married in i think, if you were looking for a church wedding.

Anyway it was an unexpected little educational half hour that i enjoyed very much.
tvordlj: (Halifax)
I love living by the sea in a city where the harbour always has something interesting going on. This week the Canadian Navy celebrates 100 years and at the end of an international sea exercise, a large number of ships are arriving in Halifax for the week of celebrations, including a review of the fleet by HM QE2 on Tuesday.  This behemoth just floated by, you couldn't even see the ends of it between the two buildings that frames our view from the office. It's twice as high as all our ships. I think it's the USS Wasp as the HMS Ark Royal has already arrived and that's pretty big as well. There's going to be upwards of 5000 sailors in town over the next week. There's a large First Nation's PowWow on the Halifax Commons over the weekend which I think i'm going to check out, there's the Navy celebrations with some large tents and things going on in the Dockyard and the Queen arrives on Monday for a couple of days. It's going to be hopping in the city!

I might try to get a gawp at the Queen after work on Tuesday if i can get down by the waterfront right after work and find a spot.


tvordlj: (Halifax)
Our meal at Mongolie Grill last night was tasty but the service was not very good this time around. Last time it was rushed, last night it was slow. We did wonder why there seemed to be a lot of people on the streets downtown which was odd for a Wednesday night. Ah. The Fleet is in! That's the fun of living in a Nato navy port. This week there will be a couple dozen ships from about a half dozen or more countries in port and they started arriving yesterday. It's the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy and there is going to be a Fleet review by Queen Elizabeth next week. Yes, even more people around downtown on Monday and Tuesday along with more security for her visit. The ships will apparently be here for Canada Day on Thursday as well so it'll be busy in the bars downtown for the next week.

At one time, this would have seen me out in the bars at least on the weekend, dancing and chatting with the sailors but I don't have any interest in that now. It was always fun, the sailors just enjoyed having some locals to talk to and dance with (and yes, i'm sure there were lots of hotel rooms booked and lots of sailors going home with women for the night. I didn't do that, but there were enough of them to go around, plenty that just wanted company and someone to buy a drink or two for!) and why am i not interested anymore, you say? Well, the last few times i've gone out to a downtown pub or bar, i've felt like Granny. The crowds are getting younger and younger as are the sailors and they don't want to chat up someone the same age as their mothers. I may look young for my age but i don't look *that* young. I'll just be content with walking the waterfront and people watching the crowds :) 

I also might try to get a glimpse of the Queen next week, they've got her schedule posted and there's an opportunity after work on Wednesday i think, near where i work. We'll see what the crowds are like. The aerobatic team the Snowbirds, will be flying past and doing a demo on Tuesday afternoon as well. We can probaby see some of that from our office window.  Between the Navy's celebrations and the Queen's visit, it's going to be busy in Halifax next week!
tvordlj: (Camera Neon)
A local website/blog, Haligonia, promoting things that go on in Halifax has featured a handful of my Flickr photos on their New Year's Best of 2009 slideshow on YouTube. They have a Flickr group, Haligonia where i sometimes post pictures i've taken of local sites or events. The video and photos are here.... beneath the cut )
tvordlj: (Halifax)
If you've lived in Halifax a long time, you'll end up hearing about the infamous Halifax Explosion that happened on December 6, 1917 when two ships collided in the harbour and one of them, filled with explosives for the war effort (WW1) blew sky high and took the north end of the city with it. There are very few people left that were alive and survived the explosion, all of them were children at the time, obviously. There is a memorial service on the hill overlooking the site every year. This is the memorial to the explosion in that park.
Halifax Explosion Memorial

Also today on local television is the Christmas Daddies telethon. This is a 46 year tradition here. The telethon raises money to give underpriviledged kids Christmas, kids who are from families that wouldnt' be able to do it and I believe they distribute the money and gifts through the Salvation Army. They started off doing it in Halifax and it's spread across the Atlantic provinces now and they raise a good deal of money for the cause. The telethon has local acts, school choirs, lots of people that want to perform and donate their time. The Navy divers run, there are items auctioned off, it's quite a thing here. I can remember it being on when i was a kid. We'd go out in the morning to the woods behind my Aunt Phyllis' house in the country to cut down our Christmas tree. There was always snow on the ground. We'd get home, get warm with hot chocolate and watch the telethon. Happy days. :)

And we're having our first winter storm of the year today. It was raining when i went to bed but it's white out this morning and coming down in all directions. The wind is whistling at the windows but it doesn't really matter. It's Sunday and i think i'll drag the Christmas tree out of storage this afternoon and get it put up! Good day for it!

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