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101 Winnipeg days Blog of the Week: The Art of Getting By in Winnipeg

My summer quest: See Winnipeg as a tourist

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It's no secret that Winnipeg residents like to harp on the city. We even wrote a song about it. We love to hate our city.

In my opinion, we simply don't appreciate what we have. Leave the city for a few weeks, months or even years and you'll see what I mean. I personally LOVE this city (now). This certainly wasn't always the case. Growing up in Transcona, I always proclaimed my hatred for the city, (being 16, you always have to hate something), and I was going to move somewhere "sooo cool" when I graduated. Well guess what, 16-year-old Melissa? To leave, you need something important: money.

Fast-forward two years and I didn't have a money tree in my backyard, so now 18-year-old me had to choose a school here (the horror). So that meant I was trapped. Stuck pursuing my post-secondary education in this horribly "boring" town, I was ultimately doomed. The five years I spent at the University of Winnipeg would prove myself incredibly wrong.

Since my first semester over five years ago, I find myself constantly discovering new people, places and things to do. Winnipeg is booming, and recent developments across the city, such as the new Bomber stadium, IKEA, residential developments in the downtown and Exchange district and the return of the Jets are proof that Winnipeg is going to look very different in the next five years. Having recently graduated, I look forward to starting my career in this city and hopefully contributing to its future growth.

Long story short, I have made the decision to dedicate my blog this summer to documenting my explorations across the city to prove that there's more to Winnipeg than the awful weather, constant road construction, mosquitoes and HORRIBLE drivers. (I'll admit that those examples really don't make a great case for where I'm going here... )

I'm going to try and see this beautiful city as though I were a tourist; through new eyes, if you will. How will I accomplish that? Great question. Tourism Winnipeg put out a list of 101 things to do in Winnipeg in the spring/summer. Since I'm (no joke) so broke, I will naturally attempt to do all the free stuff first. Here are a couple of my recent forays.

Number 27: Watch a Goldeyes game

Does it count if I was there selling 50/50 tickets? I decide it still does. And who is going to argue with me?

To preface, I dislike baseball. There's just something about it that bores me to tears. The only redeeming quality I've ever found about the sport is the tight little pants... ahem. Moving on. Despite my dislike for the sport, there is nothing that beats the atmosphere of a Goldeyes game on a breezy July/August evening. It feels so home-y. The sense of community inside the park is astounding, and even just selling 50/50 tickets, the amount of smiles I witnessed (even when the Fish were throwing away their lead) was heartwarming.

Truth be told, I have been to my fair share of games over the years with my family. My dad loves going to Goldeyes games. I'll never forget daddy-daughter dates where he would take me without my sister and we would eat junk food and try and catch free stuff.

Once I started to get older, the only way my parents could convince me to go to a game was with food. The world's best incentive. How can you ever say no to a giant pretzel and bag of mini-donuts?

Now, I don't mind going to the Goldeyes games. I still hate baseball, but people-watching is a sport all on its own.

Number 83: Antiquing

This one was super fun. (I think I've said that about them all, but I don't care; they really have been super fun so far!) Instead of heading to the Exchange District, though, I went to The Old House Revival Company, which is right behind my office. They have four levels of some seriously cool (and old) stuff. I went with my dad a few weeks ago and we were there for a good one to two hours, but just went back recently so I could get some pictures to post and I spent a solid hour in there, again.

Seriously, I can't express how much of a grandma I can be sometimes, but this must take the cake. I think I was born in the wrong decade. They have everything you can possibly imagine: chandeliers, typewriters, books, dishware, clothes, lamps, furniture of all kinds, and the list could go on forever. I also love that they have a variety of doorknobs, hinges, locks and a number of other vintage parts. They are perfect for giving your cottage/cabin that old-time feel, or even your home.

My absolute, ultimate favorite part of this store is the books. OH, THE BOOKS. The bibliophile in me almost stroked out when I found a 1910s printing of Treasure Island.

You can find The Old house Revival Company at 324 Young St.

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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 21, 2013 A10

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