Summer 2018

From tying the knot to travelling, summer 2018 was a great one (a bit too hot though). Wedding shots aside, here are a few of my favorite pictures from the season.

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Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

A few weeks back, I traveled to Quebec City, and while there, I visited the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec to look at some art. Here is a quick review.

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ABOVE: David Altmejd, The Flux and the Puddle (detail), 2014, installation (various materials), 129 x 252 x 281 inches

I love Quebec City, and would recommend it to anyone who has yet to visit. Culturally, the city has much to offer, and among it’s many attractions, there is the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. If you can fit it into your schedule, I suggest you go.

While the work on display may change between now and the time you choose to visit, here are some highlights from my recent trip:

Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist

A founding member of the French Impressionists, Berthe Morisot is nowhere near as famous as her male counterparts. That’s a shame, because her work is just as good. While the exhibition closes on September 23, it gives you a good idea of the quality of shows the museum attracts.

David Altmejd, The Flux and the Puddle

Altmejd is one of my favorite artists, and even if you don’t care for his work, walking around this installation, and taking it all in, is an experience. The Flux and the Puddle is on long term loan to the gallery.

Jean-Paul Riopelle, L’Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg

Part of the museums permanent collection, L’Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg is the largest painting ever produced by Riopelle – and the largest ever purchased by the museum. He began working on it in 1992 after learning of the death of his former companion, the American painter Joan Mitchell. It’s as beautiful as it is haunting.

Great Public Art

Most public art gets lost in the environment, but every so often, one leaves an impression. Case in point, The Merchant Mariner Monument in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

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ABOVE: Merchant Mariner Monument, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Unveiled in 2016, the Merchant Mariner Monument is a great addition to the waterfront of Sydney, Nova Scotia, and an impactful memorial to the 12,000 men and women who served in Canada’s Merchant Navy during WWII.

Set against the harbor, the sculpture blends well with its environment, and does a good job of conveying the dangers of serving your country – even as a civilian. One in seven merchant mariners lost their lives during the war, but, if you were left stranded like the sailors above, your chances of survival were much less than that. Looking at the sculpture and realizing the men in it were likely doomed, really hits home. Some of Canada’s biggest sacrifices occurred off the battlefield.

Although they suffered a casualty rate greater than the Canadian Navy, Army or Air Force, veterans of the Merchant Marine were denied benefits and official recognition until the 1990’s; memorials like this came even later. Fortunately, their sacrifices are now being recognized. If you’re ever in the Sydney area, you should pay a visit.

The Wonders of Washington D.C.

Whatever your interest, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in Washington D.C. If anything, you’ll run out of time long before you’ve managed to see it all.

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From Capitol Hill and the National Mall, to the many museums and galleries in between, Washington D.C. has a ton to offer. Over the course of one week, I ran myself ragged, nearly killed my girlfriend in the process, and lost 5 pounds. But, to my credit, I saw almost everything. Here’s a brief post on that.

Like many, our first stop was the White House. Inside or out, the world’s most famous residence is a must see, but if you’re unable to see it inside (we weren’t), then you’ll definitely want to check out it’s visitor center. It’s a small museum, but it gives you a lot of interesting info on the place.

Next up, was the National Mall. It takes a couple hours to see everything, but it contains some of Washington’s most powerful symbols, among them the Washington, Lincoln and Vietnam War Memorial’s. If possible, visit once during the day, then again at night. The photo opportunities are endless.

Owing to a sketchy weather report, we decided to do all the outdoor stuff early in the week, so we hopped on the subway, and went on a tour of Arlington Cemetery with DC By Foot. It was incredible. I really cannot say enough about how impressed we were with both the cemetery, and our tour guide. From there, we walked to the The United States Marine Corps War Memorial, then hopped back on the subway and visited the The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. Needless to say, our second day in Washington D.C. was a powerful and memorable one.

Day three was spent touring the National ArchivesCapitol Hill, and the Library of Congress. The archive building, which house the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and Declaration of Independence is a quick but necessary see. Capitol Hill, while under construction, is still worth the free tour, and the Library of Congress is absolutely spectacular. We had no idea it was so beautiful inside.

Having spent the first few days exploring mostly outdoors, we decided to tackle the many museums and galleries D.C. has to offer, and over the next few days, saw 16 of them. To keep things short, I’ll write a review of all the art galleries at a later date, and focus instead on the other institutions we visited. The Smithsonian Museums of American History, Natural History and Air and Space are the top three, but all the others are great too. Of the non-Smithsonians, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was by far the most impactful. Emotionally draining, but impactful.

With our week coming to a close, we squeezed in a tour of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where they produce billions of dollars a year, then spent our last afternoon taking a self-guided tour of Georgetown, which, if you can swing it, I highly suggest.

A few final thoughts: Washington D.C. is a safe, clean, and friendly little city with enough history and culture to rival the oldest, and largest cities in the world. It is truly a bucket list destination.