One of the favorite places my friend Esther and I like to meet for visiting and sketching is the beautiful Folio Cafe on the Canadian Mennonite University grounds at the corner of Grant and Shaftesbury Avenue. Big windows provide plenty of light. There’s a patio where you can eat on nice days.
The lunch items are delicious. Homemade soups and sandwiches and desserts. Last week when I visited I ordered the beef borscht and a sandwich with goat cheese and marinated tomatoes on crusty fresh bread. For dessert there was a lovely latte and gelato.
After lunch I drew my own versions of portraits of artists Picasso and Tom Thompson. The Folio Cafe is spacious and welcoming and it is easy to spend several hours there visiting and drawing in the comfortable airy space the cafe provides. If you’ve never been to the Folio I suggest you give it a try.
A Blast From the Past Closes
Just in case you haven’t already heard it is Burger Week in Winnipeg. Nearly a hundred restaurants in our city have custom designed burgers for their patrons. We decided to try a burger at Shawarma Khan. It’s a restaurant near our home owned by Obby Khan a retired professional football player who used to be on the roster of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. My husband Dave had read about their burger in the newspaper and it sounded delicious. It was made with lamb, beef and flafel and served on a sweet potato-poppyseed egg bun lined with melted mozzarella cheese. The meat patty was topped with roasted red pepper, seven-bean hummus, pickled turnips, sriracha coleslaw, caramelized onions and garlic sauce. The burger was fabulous as you can see from these photos. I needed lots of napkins to clean all that juicy goodness off my fingers while I ate. I LOVED the fries that came with the burger. They were crispy and spicy and hot. Owner Obby Khan came over to check how we were enjoying our burgers and Dave asked him to pose for a photo with me. Obby was happy to oblige.
We may try another burger in the coming days since Burger Week lasts till Thursday. But the next time we are going to share a burger. I was so full after that Shawarma Khan burger I could barely walk.
Burgers and Blokus
Home Grown in Newfoundland
Animal portraits by Les Brandt on display at the Warehouse Gallery
Last night’s First Friday in the Exchange District was hopping! The first Friday of every month art galleries in our neighbourhood open their doors till 9 or 10 at night and people can stroll from gallery to gallery visiting the many different exhibits on display. It was a beautiful night yesterday and that combined with the fact that many restaurants in the Exchange were participating in Winnipeg’s famous Burger Week brought people out in droves.
We went to the Mayberry Gallery to see the Bob Kebic show. His canvases remind me of Tom Thompson’s scenes but his oil paintings seem to be created on a kind of grid. The Mayberry always has some of Joe Fafard’s work on show and last night was no exception.
They Held Down a Map by Meghan Hildebrand
I also enjoyed seeing some unique work by Megan Hildebrand. My favorite piece at the Mayberry was Park at Night by Sean William Randall.
We stopped for a lattee at the Parlour Coffee Shop. Then we headed over to the opening of an art show featuring our friend Les Brandt at the Warehouse Gallery. Titled My Manitoba Home many of the pieces depicted scenes in and around Winnipeg. This one called My Winter Street was my favorite.
Margaret Sweatman read from her novel The Players.
We rounded off the evening at the Little Brown Jug Brewing Company where we listened to three poets and authors read or recite their work. After each reading a group of actors presented improvisational dramas based on the works they had just heard. After that we walked home on a perfect balmy late summer night in Winnipeg.
First Fridays in the Exchange happen every month. The next one is October 6.
It’s About to Crash
Living in an Art Gallery
First Friday Favourites
Filed under Art, Winnipeg
We were invited to the new home of friends who recently moved to the St. James area of the city. The only bus I could take arrived a good forty minutes before our dinner date time. Walking towards our friends’ home from the bus stop I came upon a lovely little park I didn’t even know existed. As I wandered into Benjaminson Park I came upon a sign that explained the park had been named after Skuli Benjaminson (1879-1970) a pioneer who had owned one of the first homes in the area. He helped chop down trees so Portage Avenue could be built and was instrumental in bringing power lines into the area. He was the only owner of a car and telephone in the neighborhood’s early days and he generously provided communication and transportation services to his neighbors.
Benjaminson Park is lovely. There’s a bench under a tree which is the perfect place to read. You have a lovely view of the river. I sat reading my book for a good half hour enjoying the beautiful purple flowers around me, the birds swooping down to the river and the leafy greenery. I was almost sorry to leave but a fabulous meal with great friends awaited me.
Winnipeg is full of little parks like the Benjaminson. It would be neat someday to do a pilgrimage and try to visit them all.
The Grand Canyon For Free
Exploring Gros Morne National Park
Walking in A Haunted Forest
Filed under Nature, Winnipeg
At the Chaise Lounge with my friend Meena.
We’ve had house guests for the last two weeks and before they left Winnipeg they wanted to treat us to dinner at a restaurant of our choice. We decided to pick a restaurant we had driven by hundreds of times and always thought we would like to try.
The Chaise Lounge has a beautiful walkway lined with plants and flowers. We ate on the porch, but a peek inside showed it was a little more elegant. The food was good and we had an enjoyable time visiting with our guests one last time.
Meena is to the far left in this photo with my teaching colleagues in the English department in Hong Kong
We got to know Meena and Anil when we lived in Hong Kong and Meena was our colleague
Meena far right was a member of our Hong Kong book club
and a member of our book club. Meena and Anil now have children living in Winnipeg so they make visits here several times a year and stay with us. It has been such a treat to maintain our connection with these Hong Kong friends.
For some reason Dave was playing hide and seek.
We all had different entrees at the restaurant and received a bonus dessert because service had been a little slow. Not that we minded. It gave us more time to visit.
Hong Kong House Guests
Sculpture Garden Stroll
Introducing Visitors from Hong Kong and India to Mennonites
Revisiting the Good Will store on Princess Street
The GoodWill store on Princess Street in Winnipeg was a place of wonder and delight for me as a child. The store has changed somewhat since I used to visit there in the 1960s but one thing hasn’t changed. On the far wall just where they’ve always been, are rows and rows and rows of books from the floor to the ceiling. The shelves of the Good Will Store were one of my main sources for reading material when I was a child. We lived in Steinbach which didn’t have a public library till 1973, the year I turned twenty. Our Steinbach church didn’t have a library yet, in fact we didn’t even have a building. We met for services in a school basement. The old Kornelson School where I first attended classes in Steinbach didn’t have a library either and Steinbach didn’t have a book store. Perhaps because I had been read to often when I was a child, I grew up loving books and read voraciously. On family trips my Mom would tell me to get my nose out of my book and look at the scenery. Here I am setting off for my first day of school with a book in hand. I could read before I started grade one. So what was a girl who loved to read and had no access to books in her home town to do? My reading salvation lay at the Good Will store. On trips to Winnipeg my Mom often made a stop at Good Will and patiently waited while I picked out books to read. Books were 5 cents each. On my birthday my Grandma and Grandpa always sent me a one dollar bill in my birthday card. That was 20 books! Should I choose a Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, Box Car Children, Elsie Dinsmore, Bobbsey Twins, or another book in the Anne of Green Gables series or Little House series? I was in heaven in the GoodWill Store! All those books! The Good Will store on Princess Street offered me reading salvation as a child. I’m glad kids today have many more options for gaining access to books.
Who Do Family Stories Belong To?
Agatha Christie’s First Trip on the Orient Express
Lesson Not Required