The Nuit Blanche crowds have gone home until the bank tells them to go out again next year.
That leaves the dark to those who dare to venture forth under their own auspices, with not even a small credit union to guide them. A few weeks back I wandered home at about 10 in the morning on a weekday with a bandleader friend who wore a tuxedo and glinty cufflinks. And I must say my silk gown fit like it was made for me and not someone who outgrew it in 1970.
Of course, we'd stayed out all night unsanctioned. Such pluck allows for devil-may-care-but-I-don't happenings any old nuit of the year.
White Night was supposed to be classy because it was, like, in French. The French, they're famous not just for cheese and wine, but also for rules and regulations, including separate laws for cheeses and wines.
The joie de règles spirit came through in the Survival Guide the Bank of Nova Scotia thoughtfully published for amateurs heckbent on spending a night outside with only a few hundred thousand other brave pioneers for company.
In the weeks since the event, I've been perusing the instructions to see if any are still relevant for my current after-dusk excursions. The very first one is enough to knock me out of the running: "Be sure to pack a bag of essential items."
Bag-carrying is esthetically offensive, cumbersome and, in much of the Old World we so want to emulate, an open invitation to hands more experienced in traditional nighttime activities. Essentials can fit in a pocket. Anything else (this may be a secret too anti-capitalist for the bank to promote) you can find on the street.
"Comfortable shoes are mandatory" ? Was there anyone checking that night? Were those women with their stilettoes wedged in the streetcar tracks just clubbing à la nuit regular, or part of an installation?
"You may also want to bring a blanket for spontaneous catnaps." Why not a little futon and three pillows? Doesn't falling asleep at a party mean it's time to go home? Interesting how Nuit Blanche shareholders were encouraged to sleep in public while homeless people must hide.
The list for the trek continued with "an umbrella, an extra layer of clothes, plus coffee, tea, water and snacks." They missed hot chocolate, a battery-operated blow dryer and a collapsible yurt.
"Plus" - bankers' favourite word - "bring along a camera, a flashlight and a cellphone."
No wonder the powers that are have broken up all the casual, unsanctioned hanging out we pre-dawn denizens used to to. So anachronistic: no cellphones; scary, unplanned interactions face to face, with no one allowed to act as audience.
Why not try - and I know I have absolutely no financial authority to be handing out advice - not packing a bag, choosing the night yourself, maybe making your own art in a park, something subtle in the sandbox or beneath a bush. Go see any of the musicians who are out there waiting for you the other 364 nights of the year.
The old-timers are the best, and they'll help you by slapping you awake if you try any of that napping business.
Real cats sleep in the day.