I'm still looking for a place to live. Have I mentioned that in these blogs?
Well - I probably should. I still am homeless in Winnipeg. Homeless not in the sense that I have don't anywhere to sleep (I'm staying with a friend of my mom's), but homeless in the sense that I don't have a place to put my stuff, and my family by my side.
I'm now into my 5th month living in Winnipeg without my wife and kids. This running blog has always subconsciously been about me exploring and getting a feel for specific neighborhoods. I'm madly in love with Wolseley, love parts of the West End, Crescentwood, and South Osbourne.
I ran into a friend on Friday night who begged me to take a run through Old St. Vital.
So, I laced up my shoes on Saturday morning and hit the road.
The run, weather wise, was perfect. Slight breeze, 18 degrees, and a ton of families and kids outside to inspire being a bit more fleet of foot. If you haven't already guessed, I miss my kids. A lot.
Heading south on the Main street bridge passes me over Winnipeg's two rivers, which are at a crazy level right now. Regardless of what you've heard about flooding on the news on southern Manitoba, there are areas of Winnipeg that are currently underwater. Even in my short time living here, I've seen the river take over the banks and park areas next to the Red and Assiniboine. I really feel for the people of southern Manitoba that have it way worse than us. Hope the high temperatures on the next week help the situation.
|Sandbags just off Main St.|
Off the main street bridge I headed south through Norwood and onto Old St. Vital. St. Vital is another one of Winnipeg's absorbed cities. Read about it's history, here. It's another predominantly french speaking area, like St. Boniface (as touched on in an earlier blog).
|World War I monument|
While not the same cultural french connection as I felt in St. Boniface, Old St. Vital stretched along the banks of the Red and contains some very pretty houses, parks and neighborhoods.
|Soccer at St. Vital Park|
Taking a right on Fermor, I found more and more sand bags near the banks of the Red after passing a huge soccer tournament at St. Vital Memorial Park. Manitobans are resilient people when it comes to all this flooding. These games were going on literally 300 feet from the sandbags below the St. Vital bridge.
Crossing that bridge took me up the south end, of South Osbourne.
|St. Vital Bridge to South Osbourne|
One of the first times I came to South Osbourne was running a couple shows in 2008 at the newly reopened Park Theatre. Sidenote: I'm in the music industry. That's what brought me to Winnipeg. Yup. Canada's Music Industry runs through Winnipeg. For real. Anyways, Erick & the Park have done their part in aiding in the facelift to this area of town. Even a short few years ago this felt like a much rougher neighborhood than it does now. The Park is one, if not my favourite venue in Winnipeg and suits the neighborhood to a tee. At one point, this theatre, bowling lanes and soda shops were the rage. Time and progress pushed Winnipeg's people to other areas and the suburbs, leaving the businesses and housing behind.
But now, the people have returned. My friend Dom lives in this area, plus a few other people have recommended it as a good place to raise kids. I can't say I'd argue with them, as this Saturday afternoon run was littered with parents with strollers, kids eating ice cream and a vibrancy that feels very inviting.
|The Park Theatre|
|Park Alleys Bowling, next to the Park Theatre|
|Banana Splits from the Banana Boat!|
I work at a big building in the Village and just love the shops, houses and people that pack the streets. As an Edmonton comparison, it feels like Whyte Ave did in the mid-90s. The drunked-jockocracy hasn't yet taken over the area, and it's still (for the time being) a place for families to come out a Saturday afternoon for a walk around. Another huge plus is some days in the summer they shut down the street and make it solely pedestrian traffic. Now that it's warmed up here, I'm really seeing this city's true beauty. Its people. Its streets. Its neighborhoods.
Winnipeg is really starting to shine.
Really wish the wife and kids were here to see it.
Speaking of which, Jill (my amazing, beautiful and VERY pregnant wife) will be in the Peg this long weekend, so I may be a week behind in blogs. Trying to be diligent about posting every Sunday or Monday.
You'll forgive me if I have some catching up to do.
Ipod: Sklarboro Country Podcast with Demetri Martin
The Wolf Den with Paul F. Thompkins
Metallica - Kill 'Em All
Time: 1 hr 12 mins