I recently read a blog post by Calgary man-about-town Richard White, on the subject of whether Calgarians embrace winter. I have to say I'm not a big fan of winter, but it's a fact of life in this part of the world. Hiding in your (hopefully well-insulated) home for a couple of months is one option (and I sometimes think contemporary suburban homes are being designed to accommodate exactly that - several months of isolating hibernation during which there's no need to actually leave your house! But I digress...). Go outside, everybody! If you're brave enough to venture out, there are a few nice things to be found.
For example. Only in Canada would it occur to anyone to put the patio chairs out next to a three-foot snowbank. Hooray for my neighbours at Caffe Rosso for showing great winter spirit and giving us a spot to sit in the sunshine in spite of the cold! Sure, we didn't last long, but we loved it for a few lovely vitamin-D-soaked minutes!
Anyway, this year our team came up with the idea of inviting the residents of Inglewood and Ramsay to create do-it-yourself "chandeliers" with Christmas lights and hang them up outside their houses and/or places of work. We've had thirty entries and over fifty votes for our "OOH AAH People's Choice Award" for the top three chandeliers. (Voting ends at midnight on December 31st - don't wait! Vote now!)
Here are a few of the creations on display now in Ramsay and Inglewood! And take a look at the rest at www.finditcalgary.ca.
Now switch gears and head to Edmonton, where I've just enjoyed a delicious feast at RGE RD, a new local-food-themed restaurant that's the talk of the town.
Yes, it's about -20 degrees out here. Does that stop Edmontonians from going out? Heck no (as John D. Fitzgerald would say). The place was packed.
I really liked these sheepskin rugs. I mean, we all know it's freezing cold, so why pretend it's not? And the table shown here was up against the windows, which, as you may note, are covered by shades. The implication was clear: "the weather outside being frightful, why not just pull down the shades and focus on the food and cozy atmosphere!" Why not, indeed!
And speaking of embracing winter: I hear that RGE RD is planning a winter pop-up restaurant for 25 people on January 18th out at Nature's Green Acres, a farm near Viking. Furs, sleigh rides and amazing fresh food - details in this article from the Edmonton Journal.