Winterpeg, Manisnowba

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“If I had a kid I would name it Weather. That way everyone would always be talking about it”

So said a friend of mine the other day. And it couldn’t be more accurate.

As a lifelong Winnipegger I’m constantly astonished by how many people talk about the weather. I’m aware that this city can have some insane weather, especially in the winter (we had thunder snow warnings this week). But it’s so funny that the weather seems to be the jumping off point for so many conversations, superficial and otherwise.

I’ve noticed it the most while I’m waitressing: it’s the easy, go-to, conversation while I’m standing around waiting for the debit machine to finish up.

“Is it still pretty windy out there?”

“Ya it’s crazy, it’s like minus 40.”

“Oh boy, I guess I won’t be walking home today.”

So on and so on. It’s the small talk, but it’s also the day to day experience that connects us all in a city that is so internally proud of its daily wind chill factor. It quickly becomes common ground and is sort of representative of the hardiness that is typical of the prairie experience.

The snow will fall and the wind will blow, but regardless of the conditions outside we will still find ourselves bundling up and waiting for the bus. It’s nice and it’s endearing.

I’ve loved growing up in this city and lately I’ve felt very grounded in Winnipeg. I mean I have two cats, my entire family, all my friends and a love that I would’t dare uproot. Because of this I’ve been struggling to decide my major, which is a very realistic dilemma that I need to relinquish with the week.

My pros and cons list have nothing to do with the weather in Winnipeg and more to do with my indecisiveness. I’ve never been good at making decisions but having to choose a major, based on three months of experience, has proved to be an anxiety inducing task.

When I signed up for Creative Communications I was hell bent on being a journalist. Now, I think it would be nice to make some money. Previously, I wanted nothing more than to travel the world and tell the stories I encountered, now I feel so settled I couldn’t care less.

While I know what I want do in my heart I also know that this city, and all of its’ crazy snowdrifts, will be the place I end up growing old in. I accept you, Winnipeg, minus 50 and all.

New York City

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Within eight hours our trip had taken us from the rolling hills of Pennsylvania to the angular landscape of Manhattan Island. We drove into New Jersey intending to park the car and hop on a train to our hotel in Hell’s Kitchen, unfortunately our great intentions turned into minor frustrations when finding a long term parking proved more difficult that planned. Eventually we left the Civy at the Newark Airport and headed to the Island just in time for a rainy Friday night rush hour.

Walking out of Penn Station at 5 pm gave us our first stereotypical New York City experience, complete with umbrellas, taxi cabs and lots of jostling for sidewalk space. By the time we stumbled up to our hotel we were completely soaked, pretty embarrassing since the hotel we booked was gorgeous and would have been well above our means without some help from Hotwire. Our room was tiny, but the king-sized bed itself beat sleeping on the ground or our one night stay at a roadside Comfort Inn.

Our time in New York was limited (two and a half days) and with so many friendly suggestions it was pretty overwhelming trying to decide what to do and where to eat. So much so that we ended up winging it or using Yelp most of the time. Our first night out it was still raining so we went to a bar down the street called the Beer Authority, pretty tasty cocktails and the pasta dish I ordered blew me away. Our Saturday consisted of concert food and nine dollar beers, but more on that later. Sunday on the other hand became our totally touristy day.

We woke up bright and early (eleven am) and decided the best thing to cure our post concert headaches was brunch at the HK Cafe, where my eggs benedict craving was thoroughly satisfied. Unluckily for Neal, I noticed a flea market a block wide as we where leaving the cafe and obviously had to investigate. After dragging him around to a close to a dozen vendors his logic prevailed and I agreed that we should probably go see the Empire State Building since we only had 24 hours left in New York City.

On our way we passed by a huge street party celebrating Peurto Rican independence, which was apparently distracting enough for us to j-walk right in front of a few police officers. We made it to the Empire State un-arrested and headed up to the 85th floor observation deck. The view was as breathtaking as you could imagine, but the thing that surprised me was how quiet it was looking over the hustle and bustle of such a massive city.

Our next must-do was a visit to Central Park, and I have to say getting there was an adventure of its own since the New York subway system is a hot confusing mess. Every time we tried to take a train during our visit we ended up getting on the wrong line or going in the wrong direction. But then maybe it was just our inexperience with a real city’s transportation system (nope it was you New York, it really was). Anyways, the park was beautiful and enjoyably busy, not to mention massive as we walked the length of it later on looking for a restaurant. We passed by lakes, birthday parties, and hundreds of people exercising before plopping down on a rock next to some tennis courts. Some of us napped and others just people watched, either way we both enjoyed resting our feet for a while.

We ended off the evening meeting up with some Winnipeg friends and eating fantastic Thai food at a little place called Ember. I left New York the next morning knowing I would have to come back to see everything that we didn’t have time for this time around.

Thrifty Adventures

thrifting thrifting3 thrifting2 thrifting4Over the past month I’ve spent most of my days off in various secondhand stores around the city, and thanks to some amazing partners in thrifting I’ve had abnormally good luck. My initial goal was to find artwork and other things to furnish my place, but of course I came across lots of funky clothes and jewellery that had to come home with me as well. One of my new favourites is an old leather camera case that fits my little Lumix perfectly.

The spots I would recommend checking out are The Old House Revival Company on Young Street, the MCC on Sargent Avenuve and Founder on Portage Avenue. I’m planning on turning some of my finds into craft projects so stay posted!

Cat Fur

Naala1 Naala2 Naala3Meet Naala my new kitty companion. I adopted her from a friend two weeks ago and she is quickly turning me into a crazy cat lady, as in she drives me crazy in the most entertaining way.

Her current hobbies include cuddling before bed, burrowing under the covers and attacking my legs every night at 5 am, sprinting from one end of the apartment to the other and eating everything that has feathers attached to it (not excluding jewelry and hair accessories). But even though she is a quintessential nutball I absolutely love having her around!

Finally

Boxes Unpacking Sunroom TulipsSo, here’s the scoop on all the dead air lately: I’ve moved! It was a long process and a slow process but I’m finally settling into my new (old) apartment. It’s a giant two bedroom in a character building just a block away from where I used to live. I’m currently roommate-less, and loving the alone time a bit too much, and while I can afford living by myself for the moment come August I’ll need a flatmate.

I inherited the suite through a friend when I fell in love with it way back in February, since then I had been driving myself crazy waiting for April 1st to arrive. Move in day was hectic but I was so thankful for the help I had because I have way too much stuff than is reasonable for one person (I admit it and I’ve made downsizing a part of my to do list). After two truck loads were hauled into the apartment, my mother and I decided it would be a great idea to go buy me more stuff from Ikea and Canadian Tire, hence the giant fern inhabiting my dining room!

I keep discovering things I love about my new place, like the creaky wood floors and hissing rads, and the never ending storage places, but it very much is a work in progress. Be prepared for a few infrequent home improvement posts over the next little while. I say infrequent because I don’t have internet at the moment, and don’t plan on getting it anytime soon, leaving more room for creative thoughts but less room for actual blog posts. Thank god for coffee shops!

Until next time.

xoxo