Construction off of Bank

Building on Kent

Staircase

Pictures from the winter around Bank Street. Stay tuned for fresh ones!

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You may have seen the alluring posters. You know the ones: Bright colours? Flashy neon signs pasted on buildings across Ottawa’s core?? You know them, I’m sure you do. The words “I GET OFF” in a large stadium-light font should come to mind.

In blue, orange, yellow and green: I GET OFF

And what exactly are these suggestive posters all about? Upon a closer gander, I read that these seductively sleazy posters are advertisements for the Ottawa Folk Festival. (Get it? O.F.F.)

Located in Britannia Park, the Ottawa Folk Festival is a three day event, which serves as a celebration of the arts. From August 13-15, Ottawa residents are invited to enjoy a range of eclectic music, as well as visual and performing arts. Musical Acts include, Ottawa’s own The Acorn, as well as other Canadian acts including: Rock Central Plaza, and Jim Bryson and the Weakerthans. Click here the complete list of artists.

I’ve never been to OFF, but this looks like another fun festival the city has to offer! Be sure to check it out!

After years of patiently waiting, Ottawa is to have it’s very own Urban Outfitters!

A few days ago, I received a text from a friend urging me to apply at Urban Outfitters. Confused by this, he then explained that UO will open its doors to Ottawa in Fall 2010. Hearing similar rumours in the past, I did some investigating and the rumours are true! The website lists several job openings in Ottawa, and states the store will be opening in October 2010.

No word on the location.

Finally, our very own UO

For those interested in joining the UO team, the website lists several positions including: department manager, display artist, part-time and full-time sales associates, store manager and store merchandiser.

On a fine Saturday off, I enjoyed six hours in the sun (followed by an uneven and painful sun burn) perusing items awaiting a new home. This event was none other than the annual Glebe Garage Sale. With only 7 dollars spent, I was able to wander through endless streets of entertainment: Complete with great finds, as well as those beloved questionable items that make the sale so much fun.

The day began early, at 7:30 am. Some friends of mine gathered for breakfast at Ada’s. Served by Ada herself, she jokingly stated this is the one day the youth of the city decide to get up bright and early. No words spoken were ever truer, Ada. Sitting at our window seat, I watched as dozens of youth made their way to the annual garage sale.

My friend decided it would be amusing to come up with a list of items the other was to find at the sale. In other words: A Scavenger Hunt. Anxious and excited, we made our way down Bank Street, through the crowds of other shoppers. Parting ways with our respective lists we began our quest.

Here are my finds, complete with photographic evidence:

Ugliest lamp:

Ugliest lamp, complete with faux-crystal, and a brassy finish.

What’s-it? Something you can’t identify:

Is it a bird? A turtle? And better yet, what is it for?

Stupidest souvenir:

Not necessarily the stupidest, but perhaps the tackiest!

I can’t believe someone bought that:

A stuffed Elvis to cuddle at night

Ugliest couch: It may be unattractive, but it makes an alright display for other sale items!

The giant gash on the first cushion isn't helping its case.

Creepiest artwork:

Who doesn't want a hand painted cat with huge pupils hanging on their wall?

Something only a dirty old man would buy:  (Two suitable items were found for this topic!)

A naked woman climbing up your pipe.

Many a question arose when looking at this body massager, like: Why?

This scavenger hunt was definitely a unique twist on the age old act of bargain hunting. The open topics left the items to up to personal interpretation, and with a few friends helping me out; we definitely had some laughs.

(A special thanks to Muffin, Mom, Bianca, and Jason for helping me find these gems!)

I try to surround myself around people who are passionate. Many of my friends have turned their commitment to their hobbies and interests into success. I will be profiling people of Ottawa who have the passion and motivation to inspire change in this city.

Clement Goh Ren Hao is one of these people. Instantly, from meeting Clement, I could tell he was a passionate fellow. We met in a dreadful class, with an even worse professor. One day, bored to pieces, Clement turned to me and asked if I wanted to start a study group. Apprehensive to put any more time than necessary into this course, we started the study group, and turned a blasé class into a blast.

Needless to say, Clement and I  remained friends after these study sessions.

So, back to passion: Clement is a Taekwon-Do aficionado. He instructs at Blackburn Taekwon-Do, located in Blackburn Hamlet. He has travelled the world, competing against world class fighters. He spent this past reading week in Europe, living with an ITF TKD 4 Time Mens Patterns World Champion, Ismo Makinen… only to improve his skills. Passion, right?

Clement decided to take his passion for Taekwon-Do and put his skills to a great cause: Haiti. The recent earthquake left millions of lives shattered and Clement decided to take iniative and make change, on the University of Ottawa campus.

Break for Haiti, an idea he mentioned to me not months ago, has turned into an on-campus fundraising event. Clement, along with others from Blackburn Taekwon-Do, have been breaking boards for Haiti. Break for Haiti has raised over six-hundred dollars in just three demonstrations. In collaboration with the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, and the Red Cross, Clement is still raising money for Haiti!

Check out this board breaking video, and watch Clement and his crew Break for Haiti:

To donate to Break for Haiti, click here.

To attend upcoming Break for Haiti events, click here.

To follow Clement and his passion, go to his blog: http://moderndaysamurai.wordpress.com

After a lovely (if not long) day of homework and bubble tea with friends, Clement and I decided to make a quick tour through Rogers Crystal Garden, at Winterlude to end the night:

Like two kids, we were enthralled to see an ice sculpted dragon that breathed fire. (In fact, I think we were the only ones over ten watching this bad-ass dragon) Pretty cool!

Clement and the Dragon

Winterlude continues on until February 21, 2010. To see more upcoming event this weekend click here.

Double Exposure: Parliament and My Picture Frame

I think the Parliament is perhaps the bell of our city’s ball. It’s beautiful. It’s antique. It’s got sweet light show projected onto it at night. J’aime!

Light Show

Winterlude begins this weekend!!! I’m excited. I got a glimpse of some ice sculptures today on my walk to school, and I got nostalgic. Pictures to come!!

Ottawa has some interesting architecture. And I’m not talking  about the Parliament building, or the museums (although they are the gems of this city), I am referring to the inherent character offered by the more run-down and decrepit looking standings. I have always been attracted to Toronto for it’s graffiti-laden, worn-out looking buildings. Ottawa offers the same, of course.

Here are a few buildings in the Centretown area that caught my eye.

From the front, this gutted-out building looked fully intact. It wasn’t until I took a short cut through the parking lot and saw that it was hollowed out. Looks pretty neat:

Gutted

Another view:

Another view

This building stood  out as it was obscure among the tradtional skyscrapers and apartment buildings. The white building on the white snow may not have caught my eye, were it not for the collage of what I believe to be “Cancer Awareness” adverts all over its exterior:

This building has cancer.

Taking the time to walk around the Bank Street area, I really noticed a lot of character and beauty. I will be exploring this city with a keen eye, more pictures to come!

MUG– Support the Local.

Mapped out: Trendy Ottawa

This little guide is found all across the city, in shops like Lost Marbles, Victoire, Schad… etc. etc. It is the map to all things fun in this city. It includes great shops, eats and a leisurely map to aid you in your conquest of Ottawa exploration.

The hi-lighted areas include: Old South Ottawa, The Glebe, The Byward Market, Elgin Street, Westboro, Wellington Village and Main Street.

It’s definitely hard in the wintertime to find the motivation to trek around this frosty city… but with this comprehensive little map and guide… it’s all set up for you!

I’m going to check out what our city has to offer. Particularly this Wellington Village I have never even heard of, which includes: Fabgear 64 (Boasting “items you won’t see anywhere else.”), Heavens to Betsy (Accessories), Wabi-Sabi (A knitting and weaving haven), Thyme & Again (Catering and take-home food) and so much more!

Oh Ottawa, there’s so much I’ve yet to learn about you. Who wants to come exploring with me?!