It's midnight and we're craving a late-night art fix, so we head to the window galleries, appropriated storefronts and other odd spaces that, Zen koan-like, never close because they're never open.
The art's not for sale and doesn't have to help pay the salary of an attractive gallery attendant whose job it is to ignore you. And it's humble materials only, no diamond-encrusted skulls, in these low-security venues.
Down the block from limos ferrying partiers to and from C Lounge, we find the Stantec Window Gallery (401 Wellington West) in a brightly illuminated building showing off an exposed-beam renovation. Cheekily, the owners have converted the Spadina entrance, which once led to a shop where I bought bargain-priced imperfect socks, into an ironic faux door that looks onto an art installation. Tania Ursomarzo's complex interlocking planes of yellow thread pay tribute to the building's former incarnation as a hosiery mill, but we wonder if a roll of tape on the floor is really part of the pristine work.
West of the Reverb on Queen, where the mostly retail block is closed for the night, we check out the newly renamed QueenSpecific (787 Queen West), a tall, narrow window next to Dufflet's that's displayed art for some time as Solo Exhibition. Ken Nicol's installation of a small box of neatly rolled curlicue multicolour TTC transfers on the bottom, a rectangle made of coffee-stained paper cup bottoms on the wall and small silver airplane above uses the vertical space well.
On Queen in Parkdale, people are still lining up at Wrongbar, but all is quiet a block north, where a peeling plywood sign announces the former use of Convenience Gallery (58 Lansdowne). The illuminated storefront holds Gareth Norbraten's amusing Back To School, a gang of twirling, string-hung paper fish with eyes made of blue notebook-paper reinforcements.
There's no nightlife around Roadside Attractions (911 Davenport, near Christie), but we have no trouble making out the work in the darkened storefront, Svava Thordis Juliusson's hammock-shaped nest of shiny white plastic loops, the kind that police use as disposable handcuffs.
We've enjoyed our own private Nuit Blanche, without the lineups, traffic jams and drunken crowds.