Joanne, one of my customers, brought this photo back from a trip to Ottawa recently where they stayed at the Hotel Indigo. Having recovered from the shock of finding an entire wall covered with a mural of a sweater that I owned in the '70's, I was intrigued as I'd never heard of this hotel before, having worked at the Chateau Laurier in my early twenties, and Ottawa being my second home.
When I looked it up on-line, I was taken aback on several fronts. First of all, it would appear that this pretty upscale "boutique" hotel has this type of mural wallpaper in all their rooms. The ones that they feature on the web site have you sitting in a forest of birch trees, or in a much-larger-than-life field of wheat.
Secondly, I was blown away when I realized that the Hotel Indigo is actually the latest incarnation of what used to be the old YMCA, which is right across the street from the old YWCA, and is the corner where my brother, Andy and I first found our Independence when we were but 7 and 9 years old.
We were the oldest of 5 kids and with one car and a Mom who never did want to have her driver's license, we were shown the way then allowed to go to swimming lessons by ourselves, taking the 35 minute bus ride over from Hull in Quebec, getting off at the Chateau Laurier, walking along Wellington to the front gate of Parliament Hill, then turning south on Metcalfe St and walking down the 6 or 7 blocks to our respective Ys. We never looked back. Andy has traveled extensively in Asia and has been on just about every continent on this planet. Although I haven't been as far afield, I have an instant sense of comfort in any city that I've ever visited, and independence is my middle name.
But can you imagine? Today, I believe that allowing your 7 and 9 year olds to take the bus alone to another province is considered a chargeable offense. Children's Aid would no doubt have something to say about it.
Everyone at the class was pretty amazed by the Hotel Indigo wallpaper and wondered aloud what percentage of the people who were assigned that particular room were knitters? Could you actually request a room with a particular scene? Anyway, in the way that life would have it, Alana came across this other version of knitted wallpaper the very same week that Joanne brought us the picture. I'm not big on a white on white colour scheme for my house for obvious reasons, but I must say that there is something much more appealing to me in this warm and balanced MEGA ribbing.