Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I would like to formally ask the media to stop using such broad terms when referring to neighbourhoods. Forgive me, as I am out of town so it was through a friend that I heard that at least one media outlet was referring to the murders on Elgin as having happened in the North End. There was also an incident the other day at Arlignton and Logan that was classed as the North End. The North End starts on the other side of the tracks people.

Now, I know all the suburbanites would like to think that all bad things in this city happen in the "North End", but does this really mean they are afraid of anything north of the Assiniboine? Is that why the media has started this ridiculous mis-naming? From now on I request that the proper City of Winnipeg neighbourhood be attached to all negative news stories. Why just negative you ask? Because positive ones already work that way. Goodness knows if something good were to happen around Leila, Garden City (and I may just be sticking my own foot in my mouth here as I am sure there is a more proper term for the streets bordering Leila but I do not have a good internet connection to research this) would get all the positive press, however, if someone were to get mugged/murdered/carjacked it would have happened in the "North End".

Okay, enough ranting for now. On to another little geography thing - as we know, I'm new to this blogging thing and the stats never cease to amaze me - it's probably old hat to most of you but I am so curious as to who in Moldova was reading my blog? Are they friends with my reader from Paraguay? Maybe they meant to read my "Small world, big travels" blog? *shameless self-promotion plug* That's right kids, I've escaped a Winnipeg winter for a few weeks and am currently in Kenya. I've been meaning to do a travel blog for years and decided that this trip was as good as any to start, so if you get bored and miss my clever musings about Winnipeg, not to worry, even though I'm out of town you can still occasionally read a bit by me. In any case, please don't forget about me, I'll try to read you all as often as I can so I don't miss the 'Peg too much!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Paddlewheel at the Bay, Queen of my heart

Big announcement today assuming you are part of the senior set or in your thirties with a bizarre sense of nostalgia.

Paddlewheel Dining Room

They are going to close the Paddlewheel restaurant at the Bay downtown, this makes me more than a little sad. When I was younger my mom worked downtown, in Eaton Place. As a special treat, every now and again she would let me play hooky from school and she would take me downtown and we would have a day on the town. Because of this I have many fond memories of downtown, the giant chess board in the basement of Eaton Place, the magical teeny tiny little bottles of pop that they had in the basement of Eaton's (the whole smell of the basement of Eaton's actually), a stop at Orange Julius or at the Malt Stop in the Bay were for special drinks and lunch could be had at the Paddlewheel. In Jr. High the black and white photo booth in Eaton's basement was always a must-do.

I love The Bay downtown almost as much as I loved Eaton's. How, as you take the escalators up they get skinnier and skinnier and look like antiques by the time you reach the top floor. I wish I could spend some time in all those back rooms and hallways at The Bay - all those windows that you can't see out from the inside must have a view! As the absolute most random thing you will hear all day, did you know that the ladies bathroom on the second floor has ladies urinals??!! Well, I hope they are still there, back when I was a teenager that bathroom when on forever - there was a section of toilets that went all the way to the outside wall, those were the first to get blocked off. Then, it was the middle section that got blocked off - that's where the urinals are. Now I think there are only like 3 stalls left, although the rest of the bathroom is still big enough to play a game of football in.  Being the strange girl that I am I did actually get a photo of the ladies urinals (and may have snuck a guy friend into the ladies room when I was in high school because he didn't believe me, and it was waaaaaaaaay before the days of the instant gratification of digital photos) and I will try to remember to scan it one day so you'll all believe me too.

While I'm going down Bay memory lane, at some point in Jr.High we had some loss prevention officer (or something, who the heck remembers exactly now) come to scare educate us about the evils of theft or overpriced clothing (seriously, just wait a week and it'll be 25% off all --------------) and told us how at The Bay they had secret rooms with two way mirrors where they watched for shoplifters. Now, perhaps not the best thing to tell a bunch of teenagers, but whatever... it didn't encourage me to shoplift but it did become a game to try to find them all.

I haven't been to the downtown Bay store since they added the Zellers, I don't think I'm quite ready to say goodbye to the old Groceteria yet - the memories are too fresh. I hope the Malt Stop is still there.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recycle this, 10% Tuesday

Today was recycling day in my own little part of the city and I'm not going to lie, I was worried. Dragging the recycling to the back lane in the throes of winter is not my strong suit. Most of it went out last week, but not all, in part because I think there was 3 weeks worth to go out last week. So I've been making the effort over the last week to drag the random cardboard boxes full of recyclables to the back lane. I'm lucky in that the garage next to mine isn't being used right now, so I was able to start stockpiling my boxes there, eagerly awaiting Recycling Day 4.

It arrived. Well, actually, first last night arrived. I pulled into the garage, looked next door, was please that the local scavenger guys have learned that there are no beer cans in my recyclables, thus there is no need to empty the boxes all over the ground, and then I remembered that the actual blue box itself was still inside. I don't know if you were out last night, but it was freaking cold. There was no hope of me going into the warmth of the house and then coming back out again. Fast forward to this morning. I'm pulling out of the garage and see the big pile of recycling. Craptastic. Well, I'm certainly not pulling back in the garage, turning off the car, unlocking the garage door, unlocking the house and then dragging the blue box out to the back lane. So, I figured that it would just have to sit there another week.

*sound the angels* Well, miracle of miracles, they still took it all away!! Hooray!!  I was fairly certain that there was some bizzare rule that involved the colour blue and if the blue box or a blue bag wasn't also out there, they wouldn't touch it. You know, in case the multiple cardboard boxes full of plastic and cans  and more cardboard weren't actually meant for them.

Sadly, I am one of only about 4 people in my back lane that recycles (we'll save the "is recycling really worth it when you factor in how far they ship it all etc etc" discussion for another time) and I give absolute credit to the guys in the truck for remembering that I'm one of them and possibly breaking protocol to pick up my stuff. A genuine thank you. Now who wants to bring my blue box out for me next week?

Today was Customer Appreciation Day at Safeway - now, since I have a steady diet of mostly cereal, this isn't a day that normally does much for me. However, today was an exception; I even remembered to bring my reusable bags.  I won't bother to tell you what I bought because it just makes me look like a crazy single woman who lives with her cat* but I will tell you that in an effort to not frustrate others I used the self-checkout so that I could be obsessive and pack everything into my bags and not hold up the line behind me. Of course my plan backfired somewhat.  You see, this is because I also had coupons, 10% Tuesday just wasn't good enough for me (I am a Winnipegger after all!) and if you have coupons you need the self-checkout monitor.

The employee who had the thankless job of monitoring all of us self-checkout folks (which really isn't self-checkout by the way, bloody machine rejects you every time you use one of your own bags and you have to wait for them to override it) claimed she had never seen so many. She clearly needs to watch that extreme couponing show. I only had 16 coupons, and 13 of them were the same. I did get 40 bonus airmiles (coupon), and saved an extra $15 off my 10% Tuesday shopping trip.

*I really do only have one cat and no rocking chair.