A perfect Saturday in Ottawa: the Bytowne Cinema, Capital Slam and Play Food & Wine

Jessey is a writer, digital communications strategist, and the founder of Local Tourist Ottawa.

I had such a great day yesterday, I thought I’d share with everyone what a perfect Saturday in Ottawa looks like from my perspective.

Here we go…

Never Let Me Go, based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro

1:30 p.m. – The Bytowne Cinema

We haven’t yet had a guest blogger take the time to write  a full post on the magic that is the Bytowne…but hopefully that will be coming soon! First called the Nelson cinema when it opened in February of 1947, the theatre has a long history of being the go-to spot for a great film.  Today it is known for its independent programming and, to be perfectly frank, its propensity for sharing great films I would have otherwise probably never heard of.

Yesterday’s film was Never Let Me Go, “a science-fiction story with virtually no science-fiction elements.” Starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield, the movie is about three young people trying to figure out the purpose of their lives and come to terms with the limited time they will have to live them. I won’t tell you much more than that, but I will say that it was excellent.

Also a great surprise, (and this always happens when I go to the Bytowne!) I ran in to two great friends from my university days.

6:30 p.m. Capital Slam kick-off at the Mercury Lounge

Wow. What a wonderful event.

Ottawa poet Brandon Wint

Capital Slam is the second longest running slam series in Canada, and every year poets compete for a chance to represent Ottawa at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.  After a fantastic open mic session, 12 slam poets took the stage, all wowing and inspiring the audience in their own unique way.

I was particularly taken by Brandon Wint – I hung on each and every word that he spoke. Montreal folk musician and poet Caytee Lush also sang and shared some of her poetry, and I’m officially hooked. Check out “Oh Paranoia” on her MySpace. Immediately.

If you’ve never been to Capital Slam, you really should check it out. The competition will continue the first and third Saturday of each month at the Mercury Lounge. I’ll be there!

10:30-ish – Play Food & Wine

Play Food & Wine is, without a doubt, one of my favourite restaurants in Ottawa. I go for the wonderful food (last night we shared: pork rillette, digby scallops, gnocchi and grilled hangar steak), the fantastic wine, the exceptional service, and of course – to see the smiling face of wine director and LTOttawa contributor Grayson McDiarmid. As always, Play was a delicious way to end a wonderful day.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend!