Two Girls One City: Part III

Blog readers, meet Paige - the mastermind behind The Wholesome Handbook, an artistic, bucolic, introspective and inspiring woman, and one of my very closest friends. Despite the fact that we are total opposites - as she put it, I'm "buzzing with energy, always on the go" and she's "relaxed, contemplative, and probably barefoot in the garden" - we both love Calgary and spend a lot of our time exploring it. So we decided to put together a multi-part blog collaboration that focuses on our two (very different) perspectives of the city - one take wholesome, one take electric. Part three focuses on our favourite places to go for dates!


Suzanne: Coffee & a bike ride along the Riverwalk 

There's just nothing like a good bike ride! Start at the Simmons Building (just over the Langevin Bridge), admire the artwork, hang out in the sunshine for a bit, before hopping on your bikes and cruising down the Riverwalk, through Eau Claire, and down to the Peace Bridge. Once you've crossed, head into Kensington and take a break with a coffee from Higher Ground - make sure to snag a spot outside, if you can! From here you can either bike back along the Riverwalk, or bike to a restaurant downtown for dinner and drinks. 

Paige: Glenbow Museum
I never understood the reputation of museums being stuffy, boring places to hang out. A museum is a multitude of worlds confined in one physical space, complex and rich and wondrous. What's sexier than that? The Glenbow in particular always hosts fantastic travelling exhibitions, interesting lectures, and has an impressive permanent collection to boot. It's a great way to get to know each other, as the conversation is guaranteed to be lubricated by whatever ancient artefact or disturbing art piece is sitting in front of you. No awkward chats about the weather here! And plenty of dark corners for... further discussion. 


Suzanne: Beer & blues at The Blues Can 
The Blues Can is a charmingly run-down gem in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Calgary - and a great low-key date location. Its simple and unembellished interior states that you're there for the music, and not for a glamorous evening - and that's why it's so great! Order a schooner of beer and some frog legs or Creole nachos and soak up the amazing live blues music, which happens every day of the week. 

PaigeArts Commons
Arts Commons is a labyrinthine patchwork of theatres, concert halls, art galleries, and cafes. You can see an indie play at One Yellow Rabbit or King Lear at Theatre Calgary, take in some romantic Brahms or avant-garde Messaien at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, or sit in at a TED talk at the Jack Singer. While you're waiting for your show to start, hang out with the artist in residence at the voyeuristic Lightbox Studio and explore the +15 soundscapes and art galleries. A late-night stroll down Calgary's most magical street, Stephen Avenue, can't hurt your chances either. 


Suzanne: Punk Rock Singalong @ the Ship & Anchor 
Even if punk rock isn't your genre of choice, you WILL have fun at Punk Rock Singalong. It's hosted by Rob & Eric (two dashing young local musicians) on the best patio in Calgary, every Monday evening, July through September. Pack onto the east patio if you can find a spot, make fast friends with those around you, and make sure you pick up on the Bro-Hymn, where everyone on the patio cheerses each other and takes a swig of their favourite brew. High-fives and thumbs-up from passersby are a regular occurrence, and the police have been known to stop by once or twice for noise complaints (true to the punk rock spirit!). It's a crowded, happy, yelling, singing, drinking, cheersing, fun time for everyone!

Paige: Berry picking @ the Saskatoon Berry Farm
The Saskatoon Berry Farm the absolute cutest, kitschiest u-pick in southern Alberta. They've got several audaciously lush greenhouses, a tiny indoor farm populated by turkeys, fancy chickens and a resident pig, amazing views of the surrounding prairies, and a killer breakfast menu. Berry picking is surprisingly fun, and the towering hedges of Saskatoon bushes make you feel like you're out there all by yourselves. 


Suzanne: Recordland
I've been to other record stores in Calgary, but I always, always come back to Recordland. The crowded aisles holding over 2 million records, the hand-written labels, the staff that seem to know every record, band, and piece of music trivia there is, and the smell of old records - nothing beats it! When I'm stressed out (and also when I'm not), I like to grab a coffee from nearby Gravity Espresso Bar and peruse the quiet, jam-packed aisles until my arms are filled with 5, 15, or 25 records to add to my collection.

Paige: Hiking Johnston Canyon
Outdoor winter activities are so underrated! Fill up a thermos with Baileys-spiked coffee, lace up your hiking boots, and head out to K-country. The trails are quiet and picturesque in the winter, and the falls at Johnston Canyon freeze into monstrous white-blue monoliths. I've always felt such a primal, epic, ancient feeling wash over me in the mountains, and experiencing that with someone else is even more awesome, in every sense of the word. 

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