Date night: Art + Burgers

After submitting my first assignment for the current course, I thought today was a good evening to take off from the grind of endless errands for house hunting/party planning/studying/cooking/exercising. I forgot to check if there was a Canucks game but it turns out no game was standing in my way.

I had an uncharacteristically social day at work first with soliciting my colleagues, enticing their interest to participate in Jeans Day, then helping out with packaging 400 candygrams, finally at a work social at Urban Tea Merchant. Fun!

NPY was late arriving downtown after work since he was tying up loose ends ahead of a day out of the office tomorrow. While it meant my activities were no longer “on schedule”, it didn’t make a difference and I got to read a few more pages of To Kill a Mockingbird where I’m at a critical point of the story.

Just last week, I saw the poster outside Vancouver Art Gallery advertising current exhibition Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life and that prompted me to check out exhibition dates. The current exhibitions list reminded me of the poster NPY noticed for CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps. The two exhibitions overlap between April 13 and June 9 and admission on Tuesdays after 5 p.m. is by donation. April 23 was the first Tuesday that fit the criteria!

Why create an exhibit about hotels? “Everyone has a hotel story.” A hotel stay is part and parcel with traveling and I quickly regaled NPY with my favourite two hotel stays: my week in Saskatoon for work at the brand new, shiny, white-and-green-themed Holiday Inn and seeing my name everywhere in the suite at Wynn Macau. NPY had no hotel stories. =P

On the ground level, hotels that figured significantly in arts and cultural history were profiled – Algonquin Hotel in New York, Chateau Marmont in LA and Hotel Imperial in Vienna, to name a few. There was an awful lot of reading and I was a little disheartened. NPY was so very bored. A film was projected on the wall and the audio track seemed to consist entire of, “Why? … Hello?” on infinite repeat. It did impress upon me, confirm that “romantic” and artistic feeling I associate with hotels, even the most basic ones I usually frequent.

The second level was much more fun. It was still part of the Grand Hotel exhibit. Along a long wall, the orthographic front view of iconic hotels was pasted onto the walls as laser-cut decals and were to scale. In the center of the room, beautiful to-scale models were made of a selection of the iconic hotels including Raffles Singapore, Imperial Tokyo (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), Marina Bay Sands (also in Singapore), Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen and Westin Bonaventure Hotel in LA (designed by John Portman who designed the Renaissance Center in Detroit housing a Marriott where I stayed last year). I just about keeled over with delight over the hotel representations and NPY was impressed, too. Even if I get the associated Grand Hotel catalogue from the gallery’s store, nothing is like seeing the 3D models.

In another hall, Canadian Pacific hotels and hotels along Route 66 were profiled in geographic order across the country. I was giddy point out which CP hotels I had stayed in or visited: Royal York, Chateau Frontenac, Empress and Hotel Vancouver! I was also enlightened with the political ties of Hilton and Intercontinental that enabled their international expansion during the Cold War.

CO-MIX was a colourful and delightful exhibition but our energy was flagging. A huge mural of Garbage Pail Kids stickers brought us back to our childhood. I was fascinated with them but abhorred the grotesque images and never collected them. The artist in the spotlight, Art Spiegelman, has a huge body of work on his own and in collaborations; I took a moment to read one comic in full (Prince Rooster) and didn’t give the rest enough time, sadly. I was overstimulated as it was and looked at the pop colour kind of in a daze. Spiegelman’s sinister-looking graphic novel Maus was a large part of the exhibit.

We walked up an appetite from the art gallery to Romer’s Burger Bar in Yaletown which I see across the street each week from my barre class studio. I already decided how best to sample the menu and stay close to the $30 value of the Groupon I purchased a few weeks ago: truffle & Reggiano fries, a burger and mini doughnuts. It wasn’t a “real meal” by NPY’s standards but it hit the spot, brought us to a “cool part of town” (Yaletown) and capped off the evening perfectly.

My next two assignments are practically back to back so I’m afraid another pure date night might not be for a while.

On this day..

One Comment

  1. Ivonne Nantanapibul says:

    People often add too much salt in their recipes without realizing it until it’s too late, but do not worry. There is a way to fix this! Add two peeled and chopped raw potatoes to the dish, and then allow it to simmer for around 15 minutes. The potatoes help absorb the extra salt. For a dish that is tomato-based, just put a few more tomatoes in and let them cook until they’re tender. These will dilute the extra salt..-

    Kind regards

Comments are closed.