ArtFIFA Montreal – Day 1
March 19, 2011
Today was a long and tiring day. My girlfriend dropped us off at the airport around 12:30am. She had to work later that morning and we didn’t mind hanging out for a while until our 5:45am flight. We were turned away from the airline check-in desk and told to come back at 4am, so we headed over to the international terminal in the meantime.
LAX can seem like a very desolate place between the hours of 1-4am. There wasn’t a single person in the check-in area. Maintenance crews, quiet families, musically foreign accents– all had congregated on the second-level food court. To our disappointment, Pink’s was already closed, which seems kind of wrong– Pink’s on La Brea is open until 2am for the late night crowd. It’s like getting a party invitation that ends at “question mark” only to find out that the host’s parents decided to end things at a respectable hour.
We waited in the odd world of airport limbo with other campers and passed the time with tiny screens to entertain us. Had I remembered that I packed an entire hard drive full of movies, we would have been watching Never Too Young To Die. Hindsight, etc.
Slept on the first leg of the flight to Detroit, then stayed awake for the 2 hour flight to Montreal. In a wonderful coincidence, ended up reading an Alex Ross article in the New Yorker that reviewed John Luther Adams’ piece, Inuskuit.
Arrival found us greeted by two lovely FIFA representatives who welcomed us and loaded us into the official minivan transport. Our driver, Guy, offered enthusiastic conversation about his many travels– most recently a trip to Guatemala where he saw scorpions and screaming monkeys. We registered and received our info packets before heading out to be lost in the city for a short while. We eventually ended up at our loft, which I will post pictures of at some point. It is very, very cool, to say the least.
We were excited about opening night and headed to the venue of the first and only film playing, Sur les Traces de Margeurite Yourcenar. Unfortunately for us, we don’t speak French and the entire 82-minute documentary was sans subtitles. Interestingly enough, without saying anything (or perhaps a language lapse because of exhaustion), we both decided to see what the experience would bring. I can tell you the cinematography was absolutely mesmerizing and kept us captivated throughout, but between the two of us, we could only tell you that it was about a woman named Marguerite Yourcenar who was a writer, seems to be very well respected and spent time in many of the same places that Steve went to while he was in India.
Lessons learned– check language, get sleep