A few local experiences to have in Calgary in the summer to show you why it’s still one of the most underrated cities in Canada.
The Atlas Heart is a place to find the best local experiences in cool cities around the world, and to throw out misconceptions we might have about other cultures. With this in mind, I sometimes seek out other perspectives on this blog to help with a more layered view of the world.
Today, Cat Lin, a Calgary-based food and travel writer from For Two, Please, is sharing her love for “Cowtown” through her favorite local experiences to enjoy around the city.
This week flew by in a blur of hot sticky weather. I had two guest posts published (which you can view here and here), as well as my first online paycheck from my freelance writing (I don’t have to think of myself as unemployed anymore!).
All in all it was a great week to write home about.
This week consisted of a lot of work, but it was work that I actually enjoyed doing. Starting a new job always involves a learning curve, and I secured two freelance jobs for a long-term basis on Monday so I’ve had a lot to learn. I also wrote another guest post this week, and I’ve been trying to catch up on my own blog and social media channels with what little time I have left over.
I haven’t actually had a proper weekend in over two weeks now, and yet I’m so much happier than I was at the end of my time working as a bar manager in Wellington.
I feel challenged every day. I feel like I’m using my brain in a way that I appreciate. I’m exhausted, but I’m happy. Now, I just need to find a balance.
Even with all the work under my belt this week, I managed to go to a few events. Make Music PDX last Sunday was so inspiring, it made me want to get back into my own music that I’ve been putting off lately in favor of writing.
And speaking of music, I’ve decided to scout out all the open mics around Portland – there is one (or 5) pretty much every night of the week. On Wednesday, I went to my first one at Basil Bar. It was small and intimate, but the talent was refreshing, the cocktails were strong, and it felt like everyone there was a musical family.
On Thursday, I attended LitHop with my friend Cori and two of her friends. I have to say, it was even better than I thought it was going to be. Yes, there were a lot of hipsters involved, but there were also unique and eloquent writers that had such a way with words to make everyone in the room silent.
LitHop, for those of you who don’t know, is a literary bar hopping party. There were 6 venues and over 50 readings over the course of 3 hours. All of the readings happened simultaneously, and you could hop over to another bar within walking distance to listen to another writer or poet read out their published work. It was a loquacious night of literary nerding out.
On Friday, I volunteered for 7 hours at the International Beerfest in Portland, and realized that I’m not ready to go back to bartending anytime soon. No, it wasn’t that bad. I met a few interesting people, in fact, quite a few from the South and the East Coast, that I worked beside the whole day. The “alcohol monitors”, or managers, behind my booth were a tad pretentious, but other than that it was a fun and tiring day. I’m not used to spending 7 hours on my feet anymore!
I received 45 beer tokens for my volunteer shift, so I’ll be spending today at the last day of the festival trying the nicest and rarest bottles and reporting back with my favorites.
I explored my new neighborhood of Alberta this week in northeast Portland. I found a fantastic coffee shop called Barista where everyone works on their laptop, so I don’t feel out of place, and they specialize in really good coffee.
There’s also Tea Bar right around the corner from my house, and today I tried the best iced green tea I’ve had since I left San Diego. I’ll definitely be going back for more, I’m a bit of an iced green tea fanatic.
In other news, my room gets really hot during the day and night. And no, it’s not just because Portland has been hovering around 90-100 degrees lately, although that doesn’t help. It’s because my room is on the top level of our house and acts like an attic pretending to be an oven.
Anyway, I found this super sweet spot on my roof to cool off and enjoy some time outside my sauna. I go there most days now, especially to eat dinner and watch the sun go down.
The power went out tonight, so I just disconnected, took out a bottle of wine and the current bookI’m reading and relaxed into the sunset. It was a lovely way to end the week.