March 30, 2010

We've been having a grand time. I would be more eager to go into details had I pictures to present you, but the internet at my hotel doesn't like me trying to upload photos.

Know that we are well and living it up!

Spring Break!

March 25, 2010

The original post I had in mind was going to be a photographic celebration of the dresses I have selected to go on vacation with me. But I figure you guys will see enough of that stuff, anyway, so instead here are some pictures from my previous visits to New York City!

Tomorrow we leave for little over a week to Washington D.C. and New York City. It's funny how all this happened because the original plan was always to go to Chicago. Don is an architecture-phile and I'm a fan of big cities. We were planning on Chicago last year but I was one week too pregnant to fly internationally. Bad timing. So we ditched Chicago and did Ottawa and Toronto instead, opting to meet up with some Edmonton expatriate friends and such.

Chicago got postponed until this year.

Before I ever started blogging my two best girlfriends and I were a seasoned globe trotting troupe. When I look back at those trips they rank amongst the best times I have had in my life. Ever. In recent years people have moved, gotten jobs, and are now all in serious relationships. Vacation time isn't as easy to come by as it used to be and a lot of the time it gets spent on attending somebody's wedding or going on a trip with one's guy instead of one's girls.

I suggested to my lady friends (Crystal and Rosie), that they could bring their respective men along and come to Chicago if they pleased. Unfortunately it just didn't work out:(

I was relaying this story at a later date to new lady friend, Raffaella. We started chatting about group travel and somehow ended with planning the trip with her and man-friend, Chris (who also happens to be our good friend and Don's campaign manager). Chris had suggested if we were into buildings and galleries and museums... D.C. would be a splendid place to take in such things. I was in agreement, but noted that I didn't want to spend over a week in a government town. So we tacked on NYC. Yes!

So Chicago... you're still on my wish list. It's just not happening next week. And I figured if Chris and Don were EVER going on a vacation together... those two dorks in D.C. is probably the most fitting thing.

I am beyond excited. With all the "bleh" from our extended winter (it snowed substantially here... again) and a general need to reboot, this trip has been long anticipated. I look forward to warmer weather. Lots of window shopping. Lots of walking around taking pictures. Lots of good food. Lots of adventures with friends.

There won't be outdoor movies in Bryant Park this time of year, but I'm thinking there are going to be plenty of fun things to do post 9 pm. The best thing about NYC is how there are people in the streets ALL THE TIME. Imagine that!

Tooling around Soho.

Sitting on the stoop at the Met years before Gossip Girl made it popular (though I haven't read the books).

EDIT: A kind reader pointed out these are actually the NY public library steps. Oops! But same idea:)

Shopping on 5th avenue. Breakfast at Tiffany's much?

Dancing! I love that you can go to a club in NYC and not be the oldest person there. Though I suppose it depends on the club.

Wandering around in DUMBO.

Getting gelato in Little Italy.

Meeting up with good friends! My best man friend, Richard, goes to Rutgers. He'll be taking the train in to spend some quality Miss Sarah time.

Times Square! Oh, am I ever eager to see the changes made in the last few years. I heard Broadway Blvd has revolutionized the human traffic. And on that note about walkability, I hear the High Line is wicked. Looking forward to seeing segments of that, too.

Do you know how hard it is to find a place to sit down in the upper west side?

Although I won't be traveling with my best lady friends of yesteryear, I'm sure the reunion of the "dream team" will be sweet when it finally happens. Until then, I'm looking forward to new adventures with other members of my urban family.

And yes, I'll see if I can get on a bicycle in either of these cities and will report back! If any of you readers are in D.C. or NYC, get in touch and we'll make magic.

Screen Test.

March 23, 2010

Another customer of redbike got in touch with me a few weeks ago. He had recently purchased this wicked Go Pro Camera and was wondering if I'd be up for doing a little project with him. Cliff, the bike godfather at redbike had pointed Ron (camera guy) in my direction because he knows I'm into talking about bikes and riding them, etc.

We're going to do some promotional redbike vids. Fun!

This is by no means a final cut. Ron was just randomly taping some stuff while we were checking out the renovations at the store. And the parts with me riding at the end aren't super exciting. I was just going around in circles so we could see what the footage would look like.

The parts where I'm talking about the bikes are not staged. I was just yammering on about it and he started taping. No planning. One take.

That also means what I'm saying might not technically be correct:) I often just make up names for things. And I'm certainly no bike mechanic.

I guess it's one thing to have my pictures up on my blog. And another to have a video of me riding around to my friend's wicked music. It feels like a whole other world when I can actually hear my voice in a recording... weird!

So stay tuned for more videos to come soon. We're waiting for some green and then we're going to do something with the Pashley and hopefully more stuff where I can ride those sweet Abicis.

Oh, and that camera is amazing. You can mount it... anywhere, and it's waterproof too! I'm thinking of getting one to shoot Dexter stuff with. I was actually a little skeptical when Ron was telling me about how great it was, until he loaded the footage into his computer and I saw how excellent everything looked.

Added note: I've just realized the end of the video is really good to watch if you want to get a sense of the Amsterdam's ride-style. Notice that the pedals are set in front of the rider so it's much more cruiser-like. When I'm riding it, it feels like I'm pushing the pedals (not unlike being in a paddle boat). It's very leisurely and laid back... closer to a recumbent bike than the Pashley.

Mixed Chorus.

March 21, 2010

Last night Don and I went to the U of A Mixed Chorus spring concert. It was really great! Sacred and secular music. Folk songs. The Winspear Centre. Night out with Don. All these things make me happy.

Don rode the Batavus and I took the Amsterdam.

Later on we went to the Artery for YEG Swap.

We stopped by Don's office to grab some stuff for the swap and stopped to take a picture with this laser installation. Well, it's an art thing, but calling it "laser" sounds way more excellent.

Oh, and there's this Olympics display at city hall. Don't I look a lot like the person in the painting?

I came away from the swap with a brand new set of mason jars and a great cozy t-shirt (dark pink heather)! And a friend of mine scored this wicked retro dinosaur puzzle. What a very good idea! Hanging out with people, trading things, and listening to live music. I had to leave before the last act (babysitter relief) but heard it was very good.

Even my babysitter (well, and also best friend Leanne) rides a bike! Steel Amsterdam Electra:)


March 20, 2010

We're having an excellent Saturday at the bungalow. In the photo Dexter is soliciting me for tiny bits of cheese while Dougal mopes on the sideline.

A few girlfriends are over here and we're chatting about the city, transportation, housing, and trains.

While all this is happening Dexter is blabbing "DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH" alternately with "AAAaaaAAAaaaaa" and "Ssss sssSsss while playing with his toys.

Don got a really good shot of Dexter's mullet. His hair is filling in but it's still much thicker in certain patches.

And you can't see here, but Dexter is wearing a Tour de France onesie. It was a gift from some family friends who were vacationing in France last summer.

And guess what's so exciting? Zoe Todd (featured in this article about cycling) rode her Pashley Princess Sovereign! Another fellow Pashley owner! So fabulous.

Hers is hunter green. I initially wanted a green one but the black ones arrived at redbike first, so I got a black one.







This morning a student's mom brought me a bag of Duchess Bakery's chocolate meringue puffs! I mean, I already get paid to teach these great kids and I get bakery yummies on top of it all? I'm so lucky.

And Zoe also showed up with a box of goodies from Duchess as well. Obviously many great minds are thinking alike today. And I like how it's all resulting in treats for me.

How's your weekend so far?

Design for Cold.

March 17, 2010

I watched this video posted at Copenhagenize today, and it almost made me cry (I know, I get so sentimental about the strangest things). It makes me feel optimistic that there are experts out there talking about building spaces in a way that is holistic and smart.

Spaces, and subsequently cities that appeal to people are of massive importance to how our cities are going to look 5, 10, 20, and 50 years from today.

Everybody I talk to who lives in a new neighbourhood complains about how unfriendly it feels. It's not like when we were kids, where you would be sent off to play unsupervised and just be told to come home for dinner. People don't always introduce themselves and bring you rhubarb cake when you move in. Playing doesn't happen in the streets anymore, it happens in fenced off backyards or supervised playgrounds.

I think the same can be said for adults in every day urban spaces. Though I do think things are slowly changing, this video made me think about how imperative it is for different levels and stages of planning to communicate. It really doesn't make sense for one entity to do a building, and only later inquire about landscaping and traffic flow. I think that's one of the reasons a lot of spaces don't work. You don't see people out walking around because the spaces aren't inviting. I mean, you're going to be spending a lot of money anyway. Is it much more expensive to build things that make sense?

And the best thing of all is the presentation is about how to design specifically for nordic climates. Just because it's cold it doesn't mean spaces can't be designed to make people feel inspired, happy, and welcome.

Watch this. Very educational and incredibly interesting.

It makes me wish social change were so much faster.

The Hat.

March 16, 2010

My good friend Dave and I get together biweekly for dinner and drinks. The beginning of our blossoming relationship was classic Miss Sarah. It got started in a summer (when I don't work). He was in between jobs. We were both available all the time when everybody else was 9-5. Glorious!

That was years ago. Since then this talented graphic designer and I have been on many adventures. It certainly makes things even more fun since he and Don are also friends (that's how Dave and I originally met). I'm sure you've all experienced the phenomena of old friends moving, getting different jobs, getting busier... it takes effort to keep a good friendship alive. That's why we have our biweekly thing set up. It's something I really look forward to, and tonight was no exception.

Dave biked over and then we biked up the street to the station (yes, we're lazy). Don was done work early enough to join us too.

Here we are locking up before catching the train. I'm not sure exactly what his rig is, but Dave has a super light bike and this great clip-on and off pannier. I also say it's great because I made him take a carton of orange juice in it later in the evening.

Don hasn't ridden the Batavus all winter. His tires were pretty flat and we had a few minutes. His favouriet has this attached bike pump. Handy!


Entering the proof of payment area.

I am a good citizen.

On the phone with my mom during the train ride, getting my baby Dexter update.

Dave suggested we go to the Hat, the place for a big burger.

When the food arrived Don rejected his cole slaw (the man doesn't like slaw). There was an explanation about how he used to think it was the cabbage but later he realized it was the too-creamy dressing which was the object of his dislike.

Being the Trek nerd that he is, Don started quoting from a Start Trek TNG episode where chief O'Brian is telling Keiko about potatoes or cabbage... it had something to do with wanting to introduce her to the food of his childhood. It's the episode where the federation and Cardasians are navigating an uneasy peace treaty. Anyway, Dave and Don start singing some folk song from the episode and I would have felt left out had I not a full understanding of how incredibly dork-riffic they were being.

Upon my protests that Don was clearly taking over quality Sarah and Dave time, my good friend pointed out to me that I merely needed to learn the words to be part of the club. Thanks, Dave.

I love the tin roof at that place.

And the bar is nice too.

We missed a train so walked up a block to the grocery place to get random provisions. Here is Jasper ave on a Tuesday night.

I think taking pictures at grocery stores is my new favourite thing.

This is one of the reusable bags I always keep in my purse. It folds into itself and forms a strawberry! My sister brought it back from Hong Kong as a gift.

After we got home we kicked off our shoes and watched that episode of Star Trek the boys were referencing during dinner. Admittedly, everything seems much funnier now that I have the context.

Simple things like getting burgers and watching some TV may sound mundane and boring, but it's the stuff of good friends, and I love it.

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