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Nuit blanche

  • 22nd Mar, 2007 at 8:04 PM

iPod battle
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

For the fourth year in a row, Montréal has hosted la nuit blanche which is an all-night cultural festival. Downtown, the Old Port, and the Plateau were open until dawn with fun events. The streets were crowded with people as they walked from venue to venue. In the cold, crisp air, I reflected on how happy I was to be back here. I was just standing there, feeling happy and calm, when I was interrupted by people who wanted me to keep up.

I started the evening by meeting up with madamewoo and diluvienne. We had purchased tickets for Métropolis and made our way down there, amidst the crowds of people. We got inside and ran upstairs to see the iPod battle.

An iPod battle, for those of you that are unfamiliar, is a type of scenester sporting event imported from the Parisan clubbing scene. Two pairs of contestents climb into a boxing ring. They're dressed in crazy outfits, be they Mexican wrestling masks, trashy eighties glam, or hipster hoodies. Then they both pull out their portable music devices, plug them in, and have song duels. Success is determined by how crazy the crowd goes, measured with a decibel meter.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

As we were dancing away, Avery showed up and joined us. The battle was won, cheering was rampant, and the room quickly cleared out. The audience joined the rave downstairs, which was swelling with bodies as people danced. I'm not really sure what was going on any more, I wasn't really paying attention to the DJ, mostly because I wasn't very impressed.

After hanging out with these guys for a while, we flipped through the programme and chose different events to go to. Dilu and Avery decided to head to the Old Port to meet up with some other people. We agreed to meet up in the morning at the Planetarium.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

madamewoo and I left the others to join a long queue of people waiting to enter a breakdancing competition. It was being held inside the Place-des-Arts métro station. When we tried to get inside from within Place des Arts, we were met by some STM security guards who informed us that it was full to capacity and we'd have to go through the one entrance on Jeanne-Mance. We stood there, in the cold, for a good half-hour before enough participants had left to let us in. We skipped through the doors with joy.

Once downstairs, we saw that there couldn't have been more than 80 people inside the station. We figured that the authorities must have been nervous about having this kind of event in such a crowded space, because it was mostly empty. There was a videotaped competition going on, but I couldn't get close enough to the stage to take photos.

Fortuitously, people started organizing themselves into small crowds where breakdancers started dancing! Some of them were in the competition later and were warming up, and others were just doing it for fun. And in another group, there were guys doing hip-hop. I was extremely impressed by their fluidity of motion and also the massive upper body strength involved.

Red city
Originally uploaded by diluvienne.

After a few hours of this, I had to leave. I caught one of the special shuttle buses and ended up at the Planetarium. There, we saw the last show about the New Horizons probe that radhardened worked on. It was great to see someone else's work being broadcast to the public in such an accessible way.

I went home and crashed on the couch. What a way to pull an all-nighter!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
23rd Mar, 2007 00:13 (UTC)
Great pics!
26th Mar, 2007 00:47 (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
26th Mar, 2007 00:47 (UTC)
23rd Mar, 2007 06:41 (UTC)
Holy shit. I'd *love* to go to an iPod battle. Hell, I'd love to compete in one! (Though my music collection isn't what it could be...)
26th Mar, 2007 00:47 (UTC)
Surely there must be this sort of thing in Seattle!
3rd Apr, 2007 14:11 (UTC)
Damn, now that I know what an iPod battle is, I'll have to go update my last.fm profile!
3rd Apr, 2007 19:29 (UTC)
Oh man, what a profile.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )