Thursday, September 9, 2010

My fifth meeting with Thomas Anselmi and Nuba’s Ernesto Gomez took place yesterday at the under-(re)construction Waldorf Hotel (1489 East Hastings St.).

Six months ago, when Tom mentioned that he and Ernesto had taken over the joint, I was skeptical. Their ambitions were huge. But with each visit it became clear that not only were they meeting their goals, in some instances they were surpassing them. Architect Scott Cohen’s extension of the titki-moderne concept into the restaurant is measured, without being kitsch. Ernesto’s menu plan is an example of what Nuba does best – healthy food, locally sourced. Tom’s programming is both expansive and inclusive. The hotel will also feature a three-chair hair salon, operated by Laure-Elaine and, potentially, an artist residency program. I am impressed.

Early on, Tom and Ernesto had asked if I might contribute to the curation, and I accepted. October 30 is opening night, and Rodney Graham’s band have said that they will play. We also have gallery interest in co-presenting a projection series on the hotel’s external west wall. Hopefully additional galleries, theatre and dance companies, literary and film associations, amongst others, will take an interest in what is turning out to be an amazing site for contemporary creative exchange.

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