I’ve written these pages now for almost 5 years, since fate smiled upon Darlene and I and we were whisked away to New York City. Over the years I’ve covered many topics before finding my voice and becoming a cheerleader for my adoptive home town of Winnipeg. As any blogger will undoubtedly tell you writing is only half the job of running a blog, the other portion includes reading vast amounts of other people’s work and striking up constructive friendships that help hone the craft.
One such friendship that I cultivated is with the author of I’ll Have Nunavut, a blog by Suzanne Parm-Etheridge and her husband Ian. Two people adapting to life in Canada’s far north. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Suzanne was coming to Winnipeg as part of a conference and would be staying less than 10 minutes from our home.
Suzanne and I with Darlene enjoying a nice evening stroll on Corydon Ave.
We met at the Forks Market where Suzanne stayed and journeyed out to UnBurger in Osborne Village. Suzanne frequently commenting on Winnipeg’s beautiful parks and neighborhoods. In return Darlene and I asked questions about the far northern reaches of Canada. It was like we had been old friends for years.
From Osborne Village to Corydon Avenue the three of us strolled, enjoyed Italian Gelato and shared stories of our lives. As the sun dipped below the horizon a starlight tour of Downtown Winnipeg seemed in order. Suzanne loved the stories of old Winnipeg and really seemed to get a kick out of visiting Portage and Main, Winnipeg’s most famous intersection.
Darlene and Suzanne ham it up for the camera at Portage and Main.
Thanks for visiting Suzanne, I hope I didn’t bore you with my long-winded explanations and rambling stories. It’s one thing to have made a friend though our writing but it’s an absolute joy to have met you in person. Come back to Winnipeg anytime!
To wrap it up here’s a great song about Winnipeg by two hometown boys Randy Bachman and Neil Young with Prairie Town.
With the upcoming release of the twenty-third movie in the James Bond 007 series I thought it was time to finish the true life story of Winnipeg’s own William Stephenson the inspiration for the character of James Bond.
The morning of May 18, 1940 as recorded by Randolph Churchill: “I went up to my father’s bedroom. He was standing in front of his basin and was shaving with his old fashioned Valet razor. He had a tough beard, and was as usual hacking away.
‘Sit down, dear boy, and read the papers while I finish shaving .’ I did as told. After two or three minutes of hacking away, he half-turned and said: ‘I think I see my way through.’ He resumed shaving.
I was astounded , and said: ‘Do you mean we can avoid defeat (which seemed credible), or beat the bastards (which seemed incredible)?’
He flung his razor into the basin, swung around, and said: ‘Of course I mean we can beat them.’
Me: ‘Well I’m all for that, but I don’t see how you can do it.’
By this time he had dried and sponged his face and turning around to me, said with great intensity: ‘I shall drag the United States in.’
Finally a chance to sit down and write again for a little while, things have been a bit crazy here this last week and as such I missed my normal mid-week post. I do apologize for that. But on the happy side, spring is hurrying hard to get here and the melt is on. I just hope it’s slow and steady, otherwise the flooding could get real nasty here this year.
As the title implies I have a small book review for everyone today. Gabrielle Hamilton’s first major effort in the food writing genre. Blood, Bones and Butter tells the tale of how she came to own a small highly regarded restaurant just outside the Bowery on Manhattans Lower East Side.
It’s been nine long years since the events of September 11, 2001 happened and much like people who talk about remembering where they were when Kennedy was killed, I know that I will always have that fateful day burned deeply into my memory.
I remember sitting in my shared office at work my co-workers and I reading the newspaper and drinking our morning coffee as we did every other day before and since. We were joking around listening to a local rock and roll station when the news slowly began to break from New York.
The reports sounded confused at first, a small plane had hit a building in New York, a Cessna one eye-witness had mistakenly reported. It didn’t sound like a big deal at the time, we all went on drinking our coffee. Then the news told of a second plane had crashed in New York, hitting the World Trade Centre and this time it was a commercial airliner. Reports came with every song now, and it seemed prudent to change to a news radio station.
The second airliner approaching the World Trade Centre. (Photo: Reuters)
Looking at the playbill after Jeff Beck had left the stage I noticed that we only had two more headliners to go, Metallica and U2.
With appropriate heavy metal bluster Metallica took the stage with ear-splitting prowess. Originally the organizers of the event wanted Led Zeppelin to carry the hard rock part of the show and were pretty much turned down flat by the remaining members of the group. Thus it came to be that metal’s chosen heirs came to New York representing every thing that embodies teenage angst and rebellion.
Opening with For Whom the Bell Tolls, the heavy drumbeat thumping into my chest with some force. Then into One and Turn the Page, before bringing out New York Native Lou Reed.
By their own admission Metallica does not play well with others, and did not automatically grasp the “Jam” concept for the show. However when they learned whom they were to be teamed up with it all made sense, claimed lead singer Lars Ulrich. It was their job to become the backing band for their Rock and Roll Elders.
Lou Reed emerged onto the stage in a Deja Vu invoking cheer of “LOOOOO”, thinking back to the “BOOOO’s” that greeted Bruce Springsteen the night before. He appeared totally at ease with Metallica and the crowd as he lead off with Sweet Jane. White Heat/White Light followed in a similar rocked up fashion.