So yes, the holiday itself was absolutely fantastic. An unforgettable trip with some unforgettable people :)
To begin with I spent 3 nights with some family friends in New York, arriving on the Sunday. I can see now why a lot of people have a fondness for the place. It oozes personality and there is an awful lot to do, including some very nice bars with some of the best beer I have ever drunk! I did all the usual touristy stuff (went up the Empire State, strolled through Central Park and Times Square, etc) along with some bits off the beaten track that my hosts showed me. It also has to be said that I have never seen such a dilapidated and underfunded public transport infrastructure anywhere in the Western world! Pretty much all of the Subway and bus network was in serious need of major investment, refurbishment and replacedment!
I was joined on the Monday evening by nerv_ who jumped on the Amtrak (a BIG train) to Montreal first thing the following the morning, leaving me to another day in the city. I then took the same train the next morning for the epic twelve hour trip up to Montreal. Thankfully I ran into some friends of ovipositor who were staying in the same apartment block as us. This and the stunning landscape made the journey (which included a two hour wait at customs) far more bearable.
On arrival in Montreal myself and nerv_ went out for dinner and I was astonished at just how much parts of the city looked like they could be in Europe. The whole place had a very Parisian feel to it (or at least what I took to be a Parisian feel, having never actually been to Paris). I was also surprised to find that it was fully French speaking and not English with elements of French like I had expected. This seriously hampered some attempts at drunken conversation.
The next day we met up with some of the locals nerv_ had met the previous year, including the famous Kelly, who was rather cute (all be it six foot tall) and very lovely :) Even when she was biting me and kicking me in the shins.
Then began the Kinetic festival. The line-up, venue and sound system well and truly put Infest in it's place. All were excellent. However the concrete dance floor did kill my feet after a very short period of time and led to me progressively wearing more socks as each night passed.
Of the many acts I saw, I was very impressed with Memmaker and Marching Dynamics. Icon of Coil also made me feel very happy and childish :) Architect however were the best act of the festival as far as I was concerned. There four man live show was masterfully done.
Between all the music, drinking and epic afterparties, I ran into some familiar faces as well as meeting many new ones. Including the ever so lovely tygerwillow, who reminded me that the most beautiful moments in life are the ones that take you by surprise :)
After all this I wasn't very keen about the prospect of return home come the following Tuesday, but alas, it was a tactical necessity to fund my next trip. Which will hopefully be Kinetic again next year! This time via Toronto.
Pictures of my nine day jaunt are on Facebook. If you don't have me on your friends list already or don't have Facebook at all and want to see them, leave a comment.