Noticed Away

Earlier in the summer we had some out of province experiences.  Of course my noticing doesn’t stop when we cross the Tantramar so here are some things I thought you would enjoy and even some ideas we could try at home .

It is good to watch your step in a new town and in Ottawa I noticed these ground fish.  Saw the storm drain fish all over the place so I assume it is bicycle approved.  The sidewalk fish was part of a school in the market area .

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Communication towers have proliferated in our landscapes. These structures, with a little imagination, can become landmarks.   I was definitely distracted by what appears to be Tinker Bell flying with a goose on this tower  in the Byward Market area of Ottawa.

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Imagine all the wonderful things that could happen to brighten up  our North Street tower.  Oh the opportunity Mr Bell.

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And when you are travelling it is always thrilling to come across an acknowledgement of home.  Big historical murals line an underpass in the Little Italy section of Ottawa and there was a shout out to Pier 21 (it is of course a National Museum).  And when we were visiting the amazing  Gustave Doré exhibition at  the National Gallery there was a landscape in a huge gold frame that looked familiar – because it belongs to the Art Gallery of NS. 



We asked our host in Ottawa if there was an emerging area that would be fun to visit and she suggested Hintonburg.  It felt  sort of like  Agricola Street.  There had been a smart investment in high quality street sculpture that gave the street continuity.  Beautifully sculpted white marble sculptures had fire hydrant bases morphing into objects that symbolized an activity or business that had been in that area in the past.  A head of garlic, honey comb and bees, computer monitor – kept me wondering about the narratives.

1-Trip Summer 201415 Also in Hintonburg was this handmade, lace edged QR code  in the window of a fabric shop.


When we travel up the coast of Maine the Penobscot Narrows Bridge  is always a thrill and a surprise.  This time we pulled over to take a look at the dramatic suspension bridge that opened in 2007.  For the first time we realized that one of the towers had an observation deck on top! Up we went in the elevator and what a view and what pride they had in the project. How smart to build a public participation component into expensive engineering projects (what could have been done with Harbour clean up, ship building contract, even the Cobequid Pass highway).

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One of the coolest towns we know is Belfast Maine.  Independent book stores, annual street art installations, amazing food, cheese rolling contests.  When we stopped to stroll the main street I was enchanted by this trompe l’oeil painting on a closed door.  A simple little gift to the street.  And cats.

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And to end,  a Marco Polo quote on some street sculpture in Little Italy.  Sort of sums up this blog.




About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.