November 2000 – Ottawa, Canada

A mishmash (and apologies for no new photos)

Jeezum crow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I apologise. I have no good reason, really…I just am easily overwhelmed by life and instead of dealing with things like term papers and work, I curl up with a bag of microwave popcorn, a Keith’s and watch back-to-back episodes of The Simpsons.

Seriously. I have no life. It’s a real problem.

But back to Ottawa…since this update is being written well into November, I’ll cut out the important business of Remembrance Day (there was a very moving ceremony downtown on the 11th, BTW.)

Let’s start with kids stuff. The Santa Claus parade moves through the core on November 18th. Admittedly, it’s not as grand as Toronto’s (which can be said for many things in this town…perhaps that’s why I’ll be there while the parade’s on), but it’s for a good cause. If you are so inspired, head for Elgin Street and bring a toy for needy kids…they’ll be collecting them along the parade route.

Election time! The guys in the lower 48 are still squirming from mishandled ballots, and we Ottawans have two elections this month. So, things could be pretty hairy on November 13 and November 27 (that’s the big one…Federal. I don’t think the Liberals will let go of their

Here’s the real topic of conversation:
My neighbourhood (well, it’s kinda near my house) is undergoing a revival of some sort. It always had the best bagels in town (from the Ottawa Bagel Shop) and a smashing magazine shop and health food store across the road (Take the #2, aka “The Freak Bus” down Somerset and Wellington or just walk up Holland to Wellington from Tunney’s Pasture station and turn right…keep walking until you smell the yumminess). But further down Wellington/Richmond (past Kirkwood) it has developed into yuppie heaven. The #2 will take you there…and Westboro Station’s at Churchill, which runs into Richmond.

Going West on Richmond…
Go to Tivoli (at 282) if you’re staying with friends or relatives. It’s not far into “The Village of Westboro”. Lovely plants make good gifts! The owner (Michael) is absolutely lovely too.

Go to The Village Café (at 295) for delicious sammiches and delectable desserts.

Go to Pack Rabbit (322) for tchockes (honestly, I’m not good with Yiddish spelling) and fabulous, cheap artprints. (“Skegness: It’s so bracing” says a print of a Victorian tourist poster I got there.)

Go to the Newport (334)…it’s Elvis heaven! Oh wait, he’s not dead. It is the headquarters of the Elvis Sighting Society. Elvis Lives Lane, an actual street of sorts, is located behind. Politicians and local celebs hang out here too…cool, huh? They also have CHEAP breakfast. Fry-up with coffee for $2.99…yum!!

Go to Bridgehead (360) for cruelty-free coffee in leftie surroundings (they sometimes have a Guardian Weekly lying around!)

Go to MEC for all your camping/walking/biking/ mountaineering needs….and it’s the most environmentally friendly building in Canada.

Go to Travelcuts (375) and go voyaging!

And finally, recover from all that walking at Gentle Annie’s Pub (385, Next to the Legion) and have a pint. Their Irish Stew, my more omnivorous friends tell me, is quite smashing.

(I’m thinking maybe the tour should have gone the other way. Darg. Does beer come before breakfast?)

I won’t get into this much, since lawsuits aren’t my bag…so go to the Ottawa X-Press website for more information. Or pick it up in a green newspaper box, since it’s free anyway and carries Savage Love.

What Else to Do
Museums are nice. Try the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. It’s next to the Château Laurier along the canal.

Really, seriously, truly…go walking on Parliament Hill. It’s a lovely place for people watching.

Oh, and Canada’s answer to, uh, either the Dave Matthews Band or Phish will be playing at the Corel Centre on December 6. Yup, the Hip will be in town for the umpteenth dozenth time. Call Ticketmaster (shudder, did I just type that?) at (613)755-1111 for your chance to go. There is no opening act. Weird, huh?

And there are buses that go to the Corel Centre for big events and hockey games. OC Transpo has details. OH!! And before I forget, take the bus. Really. You can now buy day passes at retailers all over town for $5 (and $6 if you buy it onboard.) I love the bus, despite some of my richer (meaning fully employed) friends kvetching about how stinky public transport is. Well, poopy on you guys.

Have a lovely rest-of-month. Don’t wear clogs in the rain.

If you want more information about this area you can email the author or check out our North America Insiders page.

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