I am up in Nova Scotia this week and next, shooting a dance company, and with everything at Cunningham rapidly winding down this little Canadian break was very much needed. Though, like most places I go, there are a few MCDC alumni involved in this project and it has been lovely to work together again.
(I did get a bit emotional when first shooting these dancers again, having had them in front of my lens for so many years. ‘A bit emotional’ is how I have been operating these last few months so I’ve grown rather accustomed to it.)
Landing in Halifax feels very similar to landing in Duluth with the trees and lakes. Northern MN is basically Canada so I feel quite at home here. The choreographer’s parents are putting up all ten of us in their lovely home and the city is all walkable for us New Yorkers. Everything is clean and maintained and polite. My first walk to the theatre led me past five cop cars with lights flashing; a road block stopping cars in both directions with officers going to each driver. I thought, this is all very exciting— they must be on the look for someone! Then I got closer to the action… to find they were handing out pamphlets for Bike Safety Week.
There are ridiculously beautiful rhododendrons bursting all over the city and most of the houses are charming Victorians like these
Yesterday I explored this port city. There are shipping references and art everywhere, but of course more common, and more fun, is how hockey is equally embedded into the culture.
The first store I went into had this rather loud chair made from hockey sticks
It brought back memories of my brother getting the perfect angle while taping his stick every winter. And it demonstrates how good Canadians are at recycling. (They are VERY good at it. The city even picks up any compostable materials, so every home and business has three bins— garbage, recycling, and compost. Good on ya!)
I went into the Bank of Nova Scotia as it looked like a beautiful and well-preserved old building. And it was, with marble, brass and bronze, Maritime creatures in the designs, high ceilings and wonderful ornamentation. But the photo I took was when turning around to leave; the one advertisement in the space— have any NHL team on your debit card!
(I was a bit miffed at first, thinking Minnesota’s should have been higher up seeing as we produce so many players, but then realized it was alphabetical and was able to leave in a peaceable manner.)
I then climbed up this long path
to the Citadel that overlooks the city to take a picture of this BGS (bored ginger soldier)
After giving him my sympathies for having to stand out in the blustery winds without underwear I made my way down to the harbor to see if there were things I wanted to buy.
There were a couple, but my favorite part was Carol. She owned a shop of vintage and local designer pieces, was very put-together with her hair, outfit and make up and was quite chatty. We talked of farming in this climate and the dance scene in Halifax and how they are putting in this expensive new library and, “Hello! I thought libraries were going the way of the ark!” and about the building that was being torn down next door and becoming a bank. “I mean, hello! A bank? But you know,” at this point she put her whisper hand to the side of her mouth, “the bank girls are some of my best customers!”
“Hello! How are they going to have parking? This road is so narrow! It’s a donkey trail!”
“They are going to put in parking for the executives in the basement, but hello! The basement always used to flood at high tide!”
and I got a good earful about the city planners that approved the retched design.
I ended up buying a couple barrettes because I couldn’t walk out after we had become such good friends (I’m not being sarcastic here; I really do like the woman). Then I took a few shots of what was left of this building. They were trying to preserve as much of the façade as possible.
(Sackville is the name of a road in Halifax, but we prefer to think of the Sackville Baggins)
I like how this sliver of what they could save seems to blend into the brick side of the nearby building.
At night we go to the theatre, and it is nice to be able to say that again, I shoot and help out with last minute costume issues, watch old and new friends dance, and listen to amazing live music. Then we decide where to find food and drink while discussing the days before and ahead. Coming home to do more of the same, perhaps ending up on the floor as we watch a projection of the show on the ceiling while trading off between laughing and reminding each other there are people asleep upstairs.