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.
Last post I promised everyone a return trip back into Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park. More to the point I all but promised to show you the working men and nudes that made Leo Mol sought after sculptor the world over.
As I showed in my last post Mol had a grand love of the beauty and quiet of nature. A very good friend of mine cared for Leo in his final years at the Taché Nursing Home where he was a resident. In our long walks through the garden that bears his name she would speak of Leo with worried tones. As one of the many nurses charged with his care she would often sit and visit with him, she spoke of the the way a mention of his artwork could snap him out of his haze and return a smile and razor edge to his mind as he discussed at length the processes and inspirations that brought life to his art.
I never got to meet Leo Mol personally, but like I often say Winnipeg is a small enough city to know someone through the company they keep. In his work I could see a steady and measured hand, a quiet mind that enjoyed beauty in all of it’s forms. A man driven and skilled enough to craft metal and glass and paint into the images that he alone saw in his minds eye.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the man I used to call Jesus, years in fact. When I first moved to Winnipeg in the early 1990’s he was already a fixture on the Osborne Village sidewalks. He was always dressed for the cold it seemed, ratty old blue parka, beat up winter boots and a heavy beard.
He was always dirty of course, living on the margins of society for so long. His hair was normally pretty wild and natty. But for some strange reason I found him to be the most agreeable person on the street those days. Most panhandlers back then were pretty aggressive. They would get in your face demanding a smoke or some of the hard-earned change in your pocket. All the while wearing ratty clothes but somehow the new sneakers gave them away. They may have experimented with the lifestyle but they sure were not living it the way he did.
Living on the streets for a night or two I think most people could imagine, but this man lived day in and day out on and around Osborne Village for as long as anyone I spoke to could remember. Rumours abounded that he had a family once, that he had a job, a nice house and a car. All of those things that society uses to judge us a success or a failure. Now he just survived.
After my evening out at local tapas restaurant Segovia the other week, I hoped to dig a little deeper in to what made this place tick. As luck would have it the owners of the trendy eatery in Osborne Village were more than happy to accommodate my request for an off hours chat and photo session.
Segovia Entrance and Patio Area.
I arrived just after 3 pm while Segovia was closed between lunch and dinner service. Luckily Carolina Konrad, Chef Donnelly’s partner spotted me taking photos of the patio area and warmly welcomed me in to the strangely quiet restaurant. Continue reading →
What to do, what to do. Here it is just before 9 am on Dec 31 and I still don’t have a plan on what to do tonight. Well maybe going through a quick list of what Winnipeg has to offer can help me make up my mind.
Starting at the centre of it all, Winnipeg’s historic Forks Market, is doing a family friendly First Night Celebration. It’s a day long event, complete with ice skating on the winding trails that crisscross through the site. The frozen Assiniboine River forms the worlds largest outdoor skating trail. Sorry Ottawa, but once again Winnipeg’s rink reigns supreme, check out the Video. It promises to be a chilly day hovering in the minus 20’s Celsius so hot chocolate and coffee would warm up the body while waiting for the fireworks tonight.