Tuesday, August 2, 2011

walking downtown, part two

Continuing with our downtown neighbourhood walk... Jazz wanted to see some of my favourite hangouts.
We could start with my gym, my place of fitness. yes, it is a favourite. really.
It is small, but that is precisely what I like about it. And it is next door to this pub with its very nice wrap around patio. Well, the patio itself is average, but it is on a quiet side street so there is not much traffic whizzing past. And there is a nice view over to the domes of the Ukrainian church. For some reason, it pleases me to watch the light on these domes and crosses. I was inside the pub once and found it not very pleasant, so it is only during patio season that I give them my custom. Plus, the server has been there since forever and when I went back after a long winter away during my second year of living here, she remembered me and my order, so ever since, I could truly say "the usual, please". I really like that.
Though, I do have to be careful where I sit now that I am going to the gym (because, shhhh, they can see me!) 

We have an independent bookstore that is wonderful for knowing just what you are looking for. 

They also host authors and monthly book signings and readings, mostly for free or maybe a small price of $10.

There is also the library for those books that I don't want to actually buy, but still want to read...
I tried to get a good shot of the main street, but it didn't work, so here is one block with a Belgian chocolate shop truffles! and a fun consignment shop with a mixture of vintage and new. The Rude Native is a good restaurant with 'global fusion' food. they had a banana lime chicken curry that was to die for, but they don't make that anymore so I stopped going.There is also another dress shop that I realize has moved from across the street. It is a strange phenomenon here that many shops move around from one location to another... rents must be rather steep I am imagining, but it is encouraging that owners want to stay in the area.

Then there is Village Square, a place that was apparently the place to shop in the 1980s. By the time I moved here it had lost its cach√©. Most of the shops are empty and anyone who has moved in usually moves out again within a year. 

I haven't found out much about it, but it is apparently owned by a curmudgeonly old man who is using it as a tax writeoff. It is such a shame as it is really rather quaint with its old buildings and cobbled streets. 

I'm not sure if some buildings are original and others were built to blend in or if this really was a village square. I see there is a new restaurant that has opened this month - Persian - which looks very interesting. I've never had Persian food before.

For coffee, my new favourite is this place 
that is actually a bike rental establishment with a bistro attached. 

The food is exquisite. All home made when you order and if heating is required, an oven is used - not a microwave. They have the best quinoa salad I have ever tasted, even when it is toasted in a panini.

Just in case you are getting glassy eyed and bored, this is probably a good place for another rest...


  1. Not bored at all - that's a great walking tour. Lots of neat plces in your city.

  2. SAW: thanks. It has been fun doing this.

  3. Your neighbourhood looks very relaxed and friendly - an inviting place to live.

  4. Oh, I'm liking this! Go to the Persian restaurant. We have a few here and the food is delicious.

  5. I wasn't getting glassy eyed and bored yet. As a matter of fact, I read this post twice to really let it sink in and have a good look at the photos which I enlarged. Persian food, which is really Iranian of course, sounds interesting and I would give it a try. Be ready for hamal meat, though.

  6. I saw two good places to have a beer! (I have an eye for that sort of thing.)

  7. Jabblog: it is rather friendly and family friendly, too!

    Jazz: the menu looks delicious. Perhaps this weekend. I'll let you know.

    Nora: I'm glad you weren't bored. it is an easy place to walk around. Halal is fine with me.

    Geewits: you spotted The Dickens!

  8. You must keep very busy with all those attractive places to go and buy and eat!
    It all looks very clean, which is oh-so-nice!

  9. Question: What is hamal or halal, please?

  10. June: I spend far too much time and money eating out!
    Halal is Islamic dietary restrictions - so their meat must meet certain guidelines regarding the way the animal is slaughtered. You can also not get anything 'rare' as they do not permit blood in their meat.

  11. Yes, halal, how dumb of me :o)

  12. What a privilege to see your haunts! They look very welcoming and comfortable. A great neighborhood.

  13. A really interesting post! I love seeing where other people live! And I thought a library in a bookstore a great idea!

    But I can't quite work out how a quinoa salad gets into a panini - especially as your paninis are a totally different shape from ours!

  14. LGS: more to come. I love my neighbourhood. I am never leaving.

    Gilly: this way is much cheaper than actually seeing where other people live!
    as for the panini, it was rather messy (he admits it needs a bit of fine tuning) we seem to use any kind of flat-ish bread.


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