Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Looking for and finding the Swings!


After yesterdays time of rest, today I decided to go find the giant swings Barry and I saw from the taxi on Saturday. I could have done it the easy way by asking the concierge for directions, instead I decided to find them myself. I began by heading east towards the convention center. Montreal is a city filled with parks and lots of public art. The first I came across today was Victoria Square. A statue of Queen Victoria is surrounded by beautiful orange tulips. It is a monument made out of bronze and granite. The bronze was cast in England in 1869 and was inaugurated in Montreal in 1872. Across the street was a sculpture that had water spitting up from the sidewalk. 

A block later I saw Montreal's Convention Center. It definitely is much more colorful than Philadelphia's. The building is about two blocks long and two blocks wide.

Half a block further I came across the Chinese Catholic Mission and Church which was at the end of Montreal's Chinatown. The boundaries of Chinatown seem to be distinguished by gateways. This one is on the western side.

I was a block away from the swings when I came across some these sculptures secured on a flatbed. I do not know if they were being brought in or taken away. I also do not know where they were going to be installed. They looked like two firemen to me.

Then there they were, 21 multicolored adult size swings on the sidewalk that I had seen Saturday evening. I was excited because most of them were empty. When we drove by them in the taxi the area had been crowded, but not so on a Tuesday afternoon. I walked up to the a fuchsia swing, removed my back pack and sat down on the swing. It was comfortable. Swinging is like riding a bike. As soon as I sat down my legs began to pump. The next thing I knew I was not only swinging, but each time the swing moved I heard a musical tone. Each of these swings acts as a musical instrument. When all 21 are filled and swinging the melodies and harmonies are formed. 

The swing I used is the empty one on the right.

 Not only were there swings in this area but also free wifi. I was able to connect and actually send a tweet outside of the hotel! I sat on the bench in the shade for about 5 minutes, then decided I needed to locate a store where I could find postcards and a Canadian post office. I decided to walk towards the waterfront. My walk took me through the theatre district. 
Montreal's Contemporary Art Museum & Place des Arts

Montreal's Contemporary Art Museum

Theatre du Nouveau Monde 


As I neared the end of the district I ended up int the red light district which was a sign for me that I needed to go another direction. I headed back in the direction of the hotel and came across the northern gate for Chinatown.  I found an indoor mall near the Chinese Mission that had a Canadian Post Office where I was able to buy postcards. 

Graffitti Mural near the end of the art district and the beginning of the red light district

Hand painted fan in Chinatown

Now I had accomplished all of my tasks for the day and it was near five when Barry would be returning to the hotel. This time as I passed the convention center once again I came across my final public art for the day, the fountain sculpture "The Joust" Riopelle. The sculpture inaugurated in 2003 is set in a fountain encircled by a ring of fire. I did not return at night so did not get to see it in this state. You can click on this Youtube link for La Joute and see a video taken by someone else of the fountain in it's full glory; water spout, steam and fire.

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