Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top 10 Things I Learned About Edmonton

Dear Friends and Partners,

Our friends and partners Steve and Leigh Anne suggested we do a 'Top 10 List' of the things we discovered since moving to Edmonton, and we thought 'Hey, what a cool idea!' so here it is in no particular order.

Top Ten Things I Learned Moving To Edmonton:

1. Edmonton is truly a vibrant and lively city - There are tons of festivals to see, music events, food fairs and outdoor entertainment. You've got everything from Dragon Boats to the Fringe Festival to The Grape Escape. Early this summer I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Italian Rudi Macaggi perform in downtown Edmonton.

2. Its tough to find a great restaurant - I can enjoy a good meal prepared and served along a dirty side street stall in Saigon or a posh Tokyo eatery. But, I admit I have had a hard time finding an all around decent restaurant here. I'm sure that there are lots, I just haven't found the 'right' one for me. I've had plenty of pretty good meals, but nothing mind blowing yet. The theme seems to be a more corporate style of restaurant and that's ok. I often go to places like these for lunch meetings. It is when I'm searching for the creative soul and palate of an artist that I've run into challenges.

3. Summer is hot! I heard this year's summer was pretty chilly but we enjoyed many days in the sun, barbecuing and swimming in the lakes. The days were long, hot and for the most part, dry. Yeah, I know what you're thinking.. But wait until winter. I'll tell you about that in a few months time.

4. There is an abundance of nature within the city - We were surprised to see big jack rabbits hopping about, the odd coyote and lots of prairie dogs all within the city roads and parks. In fact Edmonton has the most green space for a city this size anywhere in North America. Folks are active running, cycling and rollerblading all about. There are even a few magnificent buildings with classic brick and stone architecture to be seen. Ahh yes and the prairie sunset - a thing of unique and extended beauty.

5. Multiculturalism - I enjoy picking through baskets of fresh fruit at my local produce store. My fellow shoppers chat away in a variety of different languages and you can always learn a new way to cook eggplant while getting a different viewpoint and insight into other cultures.

6. The economy IS booming - Driving around I see more and more help wanted signs. The roads are busy with new construction and improvement. I get plans in the mail for proposed LRTs and see the upscale elegance of new neighborhoods like Rutherford, Summerside, Brintnell and Griesbach.

7. Friendly people - Albertan's are quite forthright and generally pretty genki, as we say in Japan. The general 'feel' is that of the entrepreneur with signs on trucks and lampposts coaxing potential customers to try the services for hire. People here also say 'Mnn-Mmn Bye' and 'Mnn-Mnn Thank you' here.

8. Coffee drinking - Well, not just any coffee, but Tim Horton's coffee. Folks line up everyday in the early morning to buy the stuff and scoff down the delicious donuts. This is more of a cult like appreciation than any Starbucks trend. Tim's makes some tasty sandwiches too.

9. Hot Deals - If you know what to look for you can always find a good deal. I'm talking about real estate mainly, but there is also an abundance of opportunity for those willing to create a business or service to a niche clientele. There are many potential customers here ready for you to serve.

10. Cheeses with names I can only pronounce when gesturing wildly - Yes, the Italian supermarket has an awesome variety of cheese along with meats, coffee and pastas. A great place to meet people for an espresso or black tea.

That's my 'Top 10' for better or worse. I'd like to hear your additions, so email them away!

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