When I met Jason, he was a funemployed screenwriter who counted sandwiches at the Calgary Zoo among his favourite pastimes.
At least a few times a month in spring and summer, he’d hop on his bike—a slightly rickety number nicknamed Blue Thunder—for a short ride to one of his favourite sandwich shops near Riverwalk (Thi Thi Vietnamese Submarine! Jason would say go before noon if you want to skip the line that curls out the door.). Sandwich would join him for the rest of the bike ride to the west entrance of the Calgary Zoo (about 10 mins/2.7 km).
The tiger cage is right at that entrance, but Jason’s preferred picnic spot is by the flamingos. That’s also one of the favourite hangouts of the grouchy, sandwich-mooching peacocks, but that just makes lunch more entertaining.
In June 2013, the flood brought serious havoc to the Calgary Zoo and its island home. Luckily, the zoo reopened fairly quickly, but the west entrance—a lovely shaded quiet thing tucked beside the Bow River pathway system—remained closed. Until this spring!
When, after a trip to the Crossroads farmer’s market earlier this month, we saw the entrance was staffed again, Jason and I knew it was time for us to get our zoowich on.
This time the recipe was our Hillhurst neighbours Sidewalk Citizen (two roasted salmon sandwiches, beet salad and sweet potato salad) + Riverwalk bike ride to the zoo (about 15 mins/5.1 km). We dined with the Calgary Zoo’s flamingos and the peacock and topped it off by stumbling across a keeper presentation about the gorillas. In the corporate world you have to pay big bucks for a lunch & learn. (We learned why some of the gorillas at the zoo like to carry a burlap sack around like Linus, how lazy Kakinga the silverback is, and what kind of birth control the females in his troop are. It’s Tri-Cyclen, if you were wondering.
This blog post is part of my bid to become the East Village Resident Ambassador! In that role, I would live in the East Village, an exciting new neighbourhood rising on the banks of the Bow River in the heart of Calgary and tell stories about that life. If you think I’d be pretty good at this gig, you can help by watching my 30-second promo video, sharing it and keeping an eye on my tweets tagged with #EVliving. When you fave, RT and reply to those tweets, you’ll help my chances of becoming the Resident Ambassador.