Tuesday, 28 June 2011

What to do in Winnipeg: Monday Nights

Last night, a Monday, I confirmed my belief that Whiskey Dix for is the place to go for a dance party.

The Monday night hot spot used to be Alive but we walked down there and it wasn't even open.

After having a lovely Winnipeg afternoon consisting of shopping and patio hopping, I had a good day drunk-buzz on, which is obviously the best kind of buzz. Of course this led into a sloppy night drunk, which turned into all night party.

Bar I patio, which is always a good time in the sun shine, then the Toad then Whiskey Dix, where the average age of the clientele is 19, was filled with beautiful, well (kinda slutty) dressed people and mostly ladies at that.

The outdoor patio, the largest in the city, was filled with people and the latest music filled the air.

Having to leave early because of an unfortunate situation involving my friends I.D. being expired, we cabbed over to the Village and hit up G martini and the Toad once again. Both places were filled with people because, after all, it is the village and the village is rad but nothing really compared to the straight up party atmosphere of Dix (if that what you're looking for with your Monday night, and we were at the time).

I am excited to see this city and Dix when NHL players come to town, my prediction is that shit is gonna blow up.

Moral of the story is; Monday night are in fact a good time. Whiskey Dix for a dance party or the Village for a chill time, either way get out and party yo.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

What to do in Winnipeg: Thursday Nights

Thursday nights are quickly starting to become more fun than Friday nights in Winnipeg, and I have three top reasons why I can justify this statement:

1. Big Dancing (Osborne Village)
2. The Red Cactus  (Corydon)
3. Half off bottles of wine at Original Joe's (Kenaston and Grant)

Big Dancing is a rad, dingy club in the basement of Ozzy's where most phones don't get reception. If you kids are the same age as me, then you might call it the The D Machine of its time.

With its very cheap drinks, Molson Canadian's for $3.50 and Jagger on special, everyone is in the same sweaty, drunk boat around you.

Hosted by Cypha Dias and with music by The Hosers and Ric Hard, and guest DJ spots such as Shuttle from Passion Pit this past Thursday. The DJ's will rock your socks with the newest beats and jams.

There is also Tiny Dancing upstairs but it just seems like purgatory until you get downstairs to the Big D. Be sure to get there early to avoid the line, especially when it's cold outside.



For a more chill but still dancy atmosphere there is the Red Cactus on Corydon.

The Red Cactus is a small awkwardly shaped two level lounge with a patio in the front.
Thursday nights hosts “The Grind” Grant and Nazim, who play in a two man- one man band style show. They play lots of the classic hits and provide good ol' fashion boot stoppin' tunes.

The Cactus likes to get packed on Thursday, so be sure to be ready to bump elbows with your neighbours when getting drinks at the bar and get there early so you can get a table.



Finally there is Original Joe's at the corner of Kenaston and Grant.

Oj's has a restaurant-business feel by day but a lounge feel by night. With its large, spacey restaurant/lounge and patio out front, overall it is a very laid back place with great food.

Half off bottles of wine, the cheapest bottle being Naked Grape, runs at $11 before taxes. The cheap wine paired with the chill atmosphere makes for a very social place filled with lots of young and young-ish people.

Thursday nights are usually busy right until 2 A.M. but if you can't finish your bottle by then, or your table's second or third bottle, then you can always re-cork and take er' home.


*** Note: Since this blog has been posted, wine night at Original Joe's has since been moved to Tuesday nights.

Friday, 24 June 2011

THE WINNIPEG JETS IT IS

Announced, or leaked, today that Winnipeg's NHL franchise will take the name JETS back home.

A trade party will be happening at the MTS center and hopefully there will be no riots. Today or ever.

Yes. All the tweeting, online petitioning and pressure from the Peggers' has been worth it.

The online petition held over 13,000 signatures.

It now feels like the NHL is back in Winnipeg for real.

Welcome home Jets, welcome home.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

What to do in Winnipeg: Tuesday Nights

Oh Winnipeg.

Here is what I love about Peggers': No matter the rain or the snow or the wind or the in between, they will go out and be social. Not only go out but girls will still rock short skirt in minus thirty degree weather.

Tuesday nights in Winnipeg, one might think that perhaps this is not the most exciting night of the week but that is not true at all and this is because of;
Soul Night at The Cavern in Osborne Village (below The Toad in the Hole pub).

Last night was my first time attending the "Soul Night" but it was not my first time hearing Sheena and The Solutions play.

Soul Night has been around for awhile but this shit is now blowing up.

Some may say it is a very "scenester" scene, with the skinny jeans, big glasses and snobby attitudes but I think it was just plain ol' dancy fun.

Sheena (who switches off with Marty, but I have yet to see her sing), is the part time lead singer of The Solutions. Sheena's voice along with the horns, drums, keys and bass makes for a full, solid sound. Her voice could be considered mix of Aretha Franklin and Florence from Florence and the Machines and paired with the unbelievably talented Solutions, this band is fun without comparison.

While the band likes to have fun with their outfits, along with their funny little dance routines, it is songs like "Shout" and "Respect" that really get the dance floor going.

During "Shout" the band brought the crowd up and down, literally, while Sheena playfully teased the audience when they sang the wrong lyrics.

The closing song "Hey Jude" was epic in proportion as the dancers sang the "Nah Nah Nah Naaas" and Sheena belted out the "Judes."

The Solutions play every second Tuesday switching off with "Dr. Hot Bottom and the Soul Prescriptions" whom I have yet to see play.

If you are in the mood to sing and dance to the soulful oldies and get good and sweaty in the underground bar, this Tuesday night you should hit up the Cavern.

Check out The Solutions and support local music- http://www.myspace.com/thesolutionsband


Note***Since this blog has been posted, half priced wine night at Original Joe's has been moved to Tuesday nights. See "What to do in Winnipeg: Tuesday nights" post for details.

Scotch Eggs

"Scotch eggs!?" I thought to myself as I read the description on the menu at the Kingshead Pub in the Exchange District. "Why, it must be just like green eggs and ham?!"
No, it is not just like green eggs and ham. Someone did not just use food coloring to dye over easy eggs and honey ham green. And no I did not enjoy it the way that Sam-I-Am and that other disgruntled character both enjoyed their green eggs and ham.
Scotch eggs are hard boiled eggs, wrapped in ground pork, breaded then deep fried and sliced in half.
People may have said “Why the eff would you ever try that after reading the description?” I say, try everything once or until it does you wrong.
Dear Scotch eggs,
you did me wrong.
While eating it, I thought, “This isn't so bad. It tastes kind of like a really heavy, rubbery, salty breakfast... I'll just add pepper”... but afterwards, it feels like you just ate ten big macs.
Truthfully, if you get the chance to try Scotch eggs, I’m going to say go ahead and please do, because I will never discourage anyone from trying anything. But just don't eat a full plate of them and then try to function like a normal person
Moral of the story is- if you eat Scotch eggs, your butt may fall off.
The End.

PS. If you are looking for a pub in Winnipeg that is always busy, no matter the time of day. With a great atmosphere, hilarious staff and delicious, greasy food at fair prices (including Scotch eggs)- check out the Kingheads Pub in the exchange district. It is one of my favourites, especially on a Saturday night.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Winnipeg Jazz Festival

This weekend Jazz Winnipeg held its festival kick off in Old Market Square in the exchange district. This free outdoor concert was the beginning of the week long Jazz festival which occurs at various clubs and venues around the city.

Not being one that has ever attended the Winnipeg Jazz Festival before, I was pleasantly surprised at not only the large turn out in the Square on Sunday evening but at the mass of young people in attendance.

Only making it to the two closing acts on Sunday night, The Lytics and Moses Mayes, I walked up as the Lytics were rocking the audience (as per usual).

People were dancing from the streets, the pit and in the beer tents. The cube stage in the square was lit up and the performers were having a great time.

At one point Moses Mayes's man on the turntables, Grant Paley yelled out "We are officially a crowd surfing band!"

I'll be the first to admit that I am not someone who knows a lot about jazz or I may have categorized it as kind of an old persons thing on the CBC radio, but I was happily proven wrong. My only regret is that I had known about the festival sooner and I would have attended all weekend long.

If you want to check out any the Jazz Festivals club, lunch or theater series, check out their website for times and performers.
 http://jazzwinnipeg.com/festival/schedule/

Its great to see that Jazz is alive and well, and that Winnipeggers are fulling supporting festivals within our fair city.

Also, check out The Lytics and Moses Mayes - support local musicians!
http://www.myspace.com/lytics
http://www.mosesmayes.com/

Monday, 20 June 2011

Save Our "Jets"?

As an avid hockey fan, I was very happy when I heard that I no longer have to cheer for the Ottawa Senators anymore.

It was announced on May 31, 2011 that Winnipeg will be welcoming back the NHL this upcoming fall season, however, True North Sports and Entertainment have yet to announce the team's name.

This has caused an uprising among the citizens of Winnipeg who are protesting the name change by using the social media and email petitions. Also, The Winnipeg Sun has been adding fuel to the fire by featuring Jets related articles on the front page of their paper almost everyday (exaggeration but not by much).

When I was 8 years old I went to the fifth last Winnipeg Jet's games back in 1996. I remember my mom telling me to chant " Cheveldae," and "Teemu." I vividly remember the fans standing in their seats, refusing to leave at the end of the game as they chanted "Save Our Jets!"

I'm sure most people, like myself, that were born and raised in Winnipeg have the same sort of nostalgia attached to the Jets name.

On June 1st, Truth North kicked off the "Drive to 13,000," campaign to sell season tickets in order to prove that Winnipeg has the desire and funds to support a team.

The goal was met within 17 minutes.

 If the people come out to support the league, then the league should support the people by giving them what they want and what they've earned: the rightful ownership of their name-

The Winnipeg Jets.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Winnipeg: Known For Its Attractive Women

Is it not uncommon to hear that Winnipeg is known for it's very attractive girl population. If one was to google the question under any topical website, the answer will come out the same.

Winnipeg overall does indeed have very attractive girls.

I'm sure the same can be said about many cities, however given the rich heritage of Winnipeg with its many different backgrounds such as Metis, Aboriginal, Franco-Manitoba's, Filipinos, Icelandic and Mennonite; people were bound to meet, mate and produce pretty people. It is pretty much science.

Not only does Winnipeg have attractive girls but Winnipeg also has a higher girl to guy ratio, which leaves us single girls at not only a loss but a challenge. Of Winnipeg's population of 600 thousand, according to the 2006 census, 48.3% of the population were male and 51.7% were female.

Not only that but one quarter or 24.3% were 19 years old or younger, and another quarter of the population or 27.4%, were between 20 and 30 years old (Wiki). Young. Attractive. Single. Women.

Don't believe me? Walk into any Joey's, Earls, Moxie's or really any bar, mall, book shop or Starbucks especially in the Corydon-Osborne area and you will find attractive women. If there was some way to prove this then I would but just look around and see for yourself.

Winnipeg: Come oonnnnn down!
(Old School Winnipeg Kern Hill Furniture Co-Op reference, may he rest in peace).

Friday, 10 June 2011

Winnipeg: "One Great City?"

This past week I journeyed to Vancouver; a beautiful, clean, shining port city that I had never been to before. Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada, with just over two million in population for surely beats Winnipeg with its whopping 700 thousand people.

Not being one to have travelled to many North American metropolises in life, I was surprised at how clean Vancouver's downtown core was.

The transit system is wonderful for exploring the city, and the tram system is great for getting to and from the airport. The public transport system reminded me of a cleaner, newer version of London's great bus, tram and subway system sans the "mind the gap."

Vancouver's success and beauty then started to make me question Winnipeg's flaws.

Despite population size, what makes a city a city?
And a great city at that?
Sky scraping buildings brushing the clouds and causing awe and wonder?
The many opportunities presented by the city its self?
A well operated transit system?
Many shops, restaurants and boutiques?
 Finally I came to ask myself: Is a city ultimately defined by its downtown core?

Vancouver's warm climate yet expensive rents and property taxes provides positive and negative reasons to live there. Whereas Winnipeg's low rent, taxes and cold weather also provides positive and negative aspects as to why one may inhabit here.

 Both cities have their pros's and con's, but what keeps Vancouver's watch ticking at a faster, more advanced rate than Winnipeg's? Despite population size and economy, what else causes Winnipeg to be less "|advanced"?


After taking the ol' Transit Tom downtown this morning to my favorite area of the city, the exchange district, then walking over to Main something struck me as surprising; how deserted our downtown core is.

Further down toward U of W's and the Hydro building, there are plenty of people but get to Main and it became a lot more desolate.

 Vancouver's streets and transit system is always bursting with life, encouraging citizens to take to the streets and thus put forth more consumerism. Whereas Winnipeg's downtown core closes off the area by providing bad parking, not being easily accessible and gives off a dangerous and desolate feel.

As Jane Jacobs may say in her famous book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," that sidewalks primary uses are "safety, contract and assimilating children." By providing a public/private ratio people may find comfort, and safety with the many people around them.

Winnipeg has done the opposite, by closing off downtown specifically Portage and Main, making it less accessible and almost deserted in some areas; the city has caused itself to become more dangerous. Crime in the downtown area of Winnipeg, rather than in Vancouver, is much more likely despite the lower population.

 This is because less people are likely to go there, thus providing less protection to others by simply having people walking around there.

In this respect, Vancouver has taken Jane Jacob's first chapter in her novel to heart and provided a thriving, safe and ultimately great downtown core which makes Vancouver the great city that is.

Portage and Main's way of forcing people below ground to promote consumerism in the underground mall has done the opposite Instead of people going downtown to shop, they're rather go elsewhere.

Winnipeg downtown core is lacking, in turn makes me wonder: if a city is defined by it's down town core, then would Winnipeg be considered "one great city" after all?