Two weeks ago, I traveled to
Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, for the first time. I knew little about Canada’s “Gateway to the West.” I’ve met a few people who grew up here. I remember a movie, , that screened at the Vancouver Film Festival several years ago. That’s about it. Well, my first impression was very positive, My Winnipeg fun and it can help you to get more positive. (Winnipeg in December might have been a different story.) My Winnipeg top 10: Travelling can be really
GREEN, LEAFY NEIGHBORHOODS Coming from the glorious summer gardens of Kitsilano, Vancouver, I was pleasantly surprised to find Winnipeg’s Armstrong’s Point just as verdant, with a canopy of soaring trees and lawns as plush as carpets.
B&B BREAKFASTS At Beechmount Bed & Breakfast, I woke to fresh fruit, homemade muffins, yogurt, and a perfectly formed omelet (here, filled with tender asparagus spears).
WALKABILITY From my B&B I could walk to Yoga North, the Iyengar yoga studio in town, in less than 20 minutes–and to the Forks, along the Assiniboine River, in 40 minutes. I noticed a decent number of joggers and cyclists. While I found Winnipeg quite walkable, however, it’s definitely car-oriented. Buses run infrequently.
LOCAL ART Here you can find unique pottery and other artwork, including pieces made by First Nations people, who constitute 10 percent of Winnipeg’s population.
PUBLIC ART I don’t know if they’re permanent or not, but near the Legislature building I saw a bunch of bear sculptures that resonated with me and my Berkeley background. Go Bears!
BOON BURGERS In Wolseley, the vibe is west coast / left coast. At Boon, the neighborhood’s burger spot, everything is vegan. This is a “grilled buddha patty” (chickpeas and brown rice) on a kale, arugula, and beet salad.
STELLA’S This Winnipeg institution reminded me of Vancouver’s Aphrodite’s or Berkeley’s Rick & Ann’s. Here’s the arugula salad with vegetable barley soup.
WINNIPEG ART GALLERY Sure, it’s not London’s National Gallery or New York’s MoMA, but a small-scale museum has its benefits. It’s less overwhelming and allows more focus. After all, I could spend hours, maybe a whole year, studying a single photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson.
SECONDHAND BOOKSHOPS Winnipeg has almost 20 secondhand bookshops. I’m always hunting for Somerset Maugham’s more-obscure works that libraries don’t carry. I found this vintage hardcover first edition (Doubleday, 1946) for $7 at Zed Books.
YOGA NORTH The preceding Winnipeg moments were fringe benefits. My main objective in Winnipeg? A successful result at my Intermediate Junior I assessment. On June 19-21, I passed, as did my five terrific fellow candidates from across Canada: Terri Damiani, Jane Kruse, Vic Mehta, Roberta Vommaro, and Martina Walsh. Here’s my souvenir tee shirt from Yoga North, which did an impeccable job hosting the assessment. I had my eye on it from day one, but postponed buying it until I knew for sure that Winnipeg would be a happy memory.