comments 35

Great Idea: Make your ideal day a reality

As I bit into my brioche breakfast sandwich again I started to think that maybe my ideal “day-in-the-life” as an East Villager would go no farther. Maybe I’d just lounge peacefully on the banks of the Bow for hours and hours.

But… how long could my latte last?

Breakfast from Sidewalk Citizen on the banks of the Bow Riverbike-riverwalk

I did eventually hoist myself up. My vague plan was: write, read, bikeride and not get sunburnt.

I was drawn to St. Patrick’s Bridge throughout the day while crews assembled Michel de Broin’s towering Bloom. It was a feat of art and engineering that stopped foot traffic all day.

Lunch beckoned and I asked my boyfriend if I could tear him away from work to have a sandwich at the zoo with me. It didn’t take much convincing.

zoo-bike-lunchZoo sandwich selfie

Post-zoo, I got a text from mom, reminding me we had a to-do list to tackle. On a stroke of brilliance, I invited her for to-do list ice cream. Spots like Village Ice Cream (or Lukes Drug Mart, where I stopped later) just outside East Village are a considerable perk of inner-city living—you’re never far from a local treat.

Ice cream turned into dinner. I had just enough time to meet a friend to go to Night Writer at Loft 112. The funky space in Orange Lofts is a weekly chance to write and chat and sip local beer. After, host Gina took us to the rooftop for a view of the neighbourhood and told us historical tales.

Night Writer!  Whenever I can make it out, I lug my big ol' laptop down to Loft 112 for a Wednesday night edition of Night Writer. We sip local brews, talk writing and even sometimes get stuff done.

That was going to be the evening’s capper, but Jason and I returned to St. Patrick’s Bridge. Rumour was, Bloom’s lights would be turned on for the first time.

The collective intake of breath at first light was a snapshot of East Village. It was the exclamation point (or the ellipsis…) on an ideal day.

Filed under: Blog, East Village

About the Author

Posted by

I am a writer living under a pile of scrap paper and unopened fan mail from the cable company. I believe a messy desk is simply a sign of inspiration waiting to be uncovered. But I’m biased. More from me on Twitter: @zoeywrites


  1. Jodi Rrempel

    Zoey – fantastic! I definitely need to check out East Village. Can you remind me of the pie place? 🙂


    • Haha, Jodi, you know you have a reputation now when it comes to pie, right? We should probably do a whole pie tour of the inner-city one day very soon. Or a full tour of Sidewalk Citizen’s offerings which, while not generally pie-filled, are addictive and there’s always something surprising on offer.

      (Also, you still need to check out Pie Cloud!)


      • Jodi Rempel

        Ha! I’ll take it! Never too much pie. We should! An excellent way to be a tourist in my own city. Your food photos from Sidewalk Citizen look so delicious. Definitely have to try them. And Pie Cloud. Thanks for the info!


  2. Abby Lever

    Yummmmm I love Village Ice Cream! The salted caramel with chocolate sauce is my favorite!


    • Yes! I haven’t had their chocolate sauce yet—always tempted by their Sundae. Love watching the scoopers make fresh waffle cones though. I’m spoiled for all other waffle cones now, I think.


    • My pleasure! We almost missed it, ironically because I thought we must have missed it turning on earlier in the evening (we were watching from a rooftop a few blocks away). Luckily Jason hadn’t seen Bloom even in daylight yet so we hung out on the bridge and talked to the photographer who was capturing a timelapse of the construction (the early version of his results are here: He told us they hadn’t turned it on yet. So we waited. So worth it!


  3. tama g

    Several years ago Brent and I looked at a BOSA townhome in East Village and I haven’t really thought much about the area ever since. Lately with all your posts, I’m realizing we should make a trip down to see how it’s developed into a great little area with much to offer! Thanks for sharing it with us! 🙂


    • My pleasure! Maybe we can do brunch at Charbar (or relive my baked goods on the river) some weekend soon when you two are free?


    • You just need to follow your nose, Kim… My recommendation is Sidewalk Citizen (which you may be familiar with if you’ve been to Sunnyside Market in the past few years). Their Simmons bakery location is even grander. This past week, I’ve learned that sitting at their counter alone with a book and sandwich on their sourdough, half reading/half-watching the dough being kneaded and pastries being reorganized is a really nice self-date.


      • Oh! And patio-wise, there’s ground-level patios at Simmons for Charbar and Phil & Sebastian and Sidewalk Citizen—AND Charbar has the rooftop. Also Hears My Soul Cafe has a nice outside space (they’re a license coffee shop in the Orange Lofts). Future though, I believe the re-invigorated King Eddy at National Music Centre will have a patio too (or at least a rooftop event space).


  4. Derek

    Sounds like a guidebook “#evliving on 5000 calories a day”. Really interesting post on a rapidly changing part of Calgary. Can you give me one of the EV tales from Gina?


      • Derek

        As they said in the day “that Pearl was some dame!”. Thanks to you & Gina for letting me in on a part of the past of our Wild West city.


      • Hanging out at Loft 112 you’ll pick up a wealth of stories about Calgary and its (very, very) interesting past. Some stuff that doesn’t always make it into the “official” narrative.


  5. cherimac

    Sounds like a great day in and around East Village, Zoey. Thanks for sharing it, especially that Blooming finale. Any idea when Bloom will have its official unveiling?


    • Yes, Cheri! When St. Patrick’s Island opens later this summer (I’ve heard September is likely) then there’ll be a proper unveiling (though, literally speaking it would be hard to keep it under wraps at all any more).


  6. Lisha

    An awesome day, I think I’ll head over to East Village for some ice cream this weekend.


  7. Jenny Alice

    What a magical day in the East Village! It really felt like we were right there with you enjoying this adventure.


  8. Margy MacMillan

    A grand day…Nigth Writer sounds very cool.. How did you hear about it? How does it work?


    • Night Writer is a low-key opportunity to carve out some writing time and meet other writing types run by a friend of mine, actor/writer/scientific mastermind Gina Freeman. I actually first heard of Loft 112 (the space in Orange Lofts) from Janice Paskey a year or so ago.

      It’s very casual, but I would encourage anyone interested to join the Facebook group:

      Also, bring some change for beer fridge. It’s sponsored (by Village Brewery for sure, and maybe another local brewery?) which means buying yourself a beer helps fund other local writers. Win win!


    • Thanks mom 😉 And thanks for the reminder on your boundary question!

      East Village is sort of an irregular pie-shaped wedge of Calgary. It’s bordered by the Bow on the north and the Elbow to the east and the the CPR tracks to the south. Its west border is 3rd St. SE from the CPR tracks north to 4th Ave where it juts west for a block and then north up Macleod Tr. SE (there are some condos in that block).

      Also interesting: there was only 2,705 residents in EV for 2014’s census. (Hillhurst had 6,500 and even little Sunalta had more with 3,400—I didn’t realize the population was so small there. For now!)


  9. Donna Hreys

    I’m thinking I gotta drag my sister down for ice cream when she visits next week and share the Night Writer info with my niece!!!! So much to do in the East Village…. when you are Ambassador (always think positive) would love to hook up with you and have you show me around.


    • You know it, Donna! When you go for ice cream, head’s up that it gets really busy on warm summer nights (esp. weekends). Whenever I get there and there isn’t much line though, I like to try some of the flavours i haven’t tries yet on the little scoops (feel too guilty on the nights where there are 50 people behind me!). But the toasted coconut is a favourite too.


  10. mgiannitsos

    “Bloom” looks super cool! Kind of reminds me of the light sculpture outside the National Gallery in Ottawa titled “Majestic”. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in Calgary.


    • Ha! True Mickey, there was much food in my day (a girl’s gotta eat!). I didn’t intend to focus on my calorie crunching but these things happen.

      AND it all makes for good accompaniment to (and fuel for) riverside lounging, watching a rhino beat the heat, giving mom a bike ride tour through the ‘hood, a meeting in the sunshine, and social (and literary) lubricant.

      Food not even mentioned: midnight dinner down the street in Chinatown (at U&Me) after watching Bloom late. Sometimes a perfect day just sorta sneaks up on you.


Tell me something

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s