R. Jeanette Martin
Were you lost in the crowds at last year's Nuit Blanche? Stuck in traffic? Feeling a bit deer-in-the-headlights at the prospect of 205 artists' works unfolding until dawn? Here's some info on new Nuit Blanche developments and some survival tips guaranteed to get you through the night.
Photo By R. Jeanette Martin
There are so many things going on. I'm overwhelmed by the sheer scope of Nuit Blanche.
Too much of a good thing can never be bad. Do yourself a favour and plan ahead. No one thinks they're gonna get through the Louvre in one day, so think of Nuit Blanche the same way. If you're not going to be out all night, pick one zone and stick to it. Use NOW's picks as a guide, and there are lots of visuals and info on the Nuit Blanche site at scotiabanknuitblanche.ca.
I couldn't get anywhere fast enough last year, and it was really frustrating.
No kidding, especially along Queen West. Even the shuttle buses deployed especially for the event moved nowhere fast. This year, however, the Queen West strip is no longer inside the three main zones, which have been chosen because of their proximity to the TTC.
Shuttles will run along dedicated TTC routes, and the Yonge subway line along the U from Bloor through Union to St. George runs all night. Those of you who got to the subway last year after the all-night passes ($9 for a family of up to four) ran out, be assured that the TTC will have tons more of those available this year.
I waited in line for hours to see shows in small galleries and wasted a lot of time.
Think about doing Nuit Blanche late at night - and we mean really late. Exhibitions, even some of the larger spectacles, that were rammed at 10 pm were wide open after three in the morning. Try napping early and getting to Nuit Blanche after 2 am. Organizers really want Nuit Blanchers to have intimate as well as epic experiences, and this is an opportunity to visit galleries you've never been to before. If the project isn't specific to Nuit Blanche, you can always catch it on another day.
What about all those drunken yahoo know-nothings who thought the event was more party than art expo? They totally wrecked the atmosphere in some areas.
Check your attitude. Nuit Blanche is meant to be an all-night art party designed specifically to draw people who don't necessarily think of themselves as regular gallery-goers. So we're glad there's a whole new audience out there.
As it is, organizers this year have asked city councillors from participating areas to recommend which bars should stay open, based on which owners have a rep for being responsible about how much they serve to whom.
Okay, but when I drink beer, I have to pee, and T.O.'s famous for its lack of public washrooms.
Very true. For tips on public washrooms that are accessible for the night, see the Sweet Relief.
BARS OPEN PAST 2 AM
CHURCH & WELLESLEY
BYZANTIUM, 499 Church, at Wellesley, 416-922-3859
CAFÉ CALIFORNIA 538 Church, at Maitland, 416-960-6161
FUZION, 580 Church, at Dundonald, 416-944-9888
O'GRADY'S, 518 Church, at Maitland, 416-323-2822
PLAY ON CHURCH, 504 Church, at Alexander, 416-963-8251
SLACK'S, 562 Church, at Wellesley, 416-928-2151
STATLER'S, 487 Church, at Maitland, 416-925-0341
VOGLIE, 582 Church, at Dundonald, 416-929-9108
WOODY'S, 467 Church, at Maitland, 416-972-0887
XYCLO, 459 Church, at Maitland, 416-923-2695
ZELDA'S, 542 Church, at Maitland, 416-922-2526
U OF T
HART HOUSE GALLERY, 7 Hart House Circle, at Wellesley, 416-978-2445
POLISH COMBATANTS' ASSOCIATION, 206 Beverley, at College, 416-979 2017
ACADEMY OF SPHERICAL ARTS, 38 Hanna, at Atlantic, 416-532-2782
CAMERA, 1028 Queen West, at Shaw, 416-530-0011
DRAKE, 1150 Queen West, at Beaconsfield, 416-531-5042
GLADSTONE, 1214 Queen West, at Dufferin, 416-531-4635
LIBERTY STREET CAFÉ, 25 Liberty, at Atlantic, 416-533-8828
NO REGRETS, 219 Dufferin (rear), at Liberty, 416-535-0050
PARKDALE DRINK, 1292 Queen West, at Elm Grove, 416-778-8822
RHINO, 1249 Queen West, at Elm Grove, 416-535-8089
RIVOLI, 332 Queen West, at Spadina, 416-596-1501
SOCIAL, 1100 Queen West, at Ossington, 416-532-4474
WAREHOUSE GRILL, 70 Fraser, at Liberty, 416-533-2446