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Frozen pipes, Hawaii dreams

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Avi Waldman was one of the high spirited crew that helped make the RAW: Almond pop-up restaurant on the frozen Assiniboine River at The Forks a success.

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Avi Waldman was one of the high spirited crew that helped make the RAW: Almond pop-up restaurant on the frozen Assiniboine River at The Forks a success.

A few weeks ago, during the middle of the deep freeze, I was sent to take photos at the RAW: Almond pop-up restaurant on the Assiniboine River at The Forks.

The atmosphere inside the crazy tent/structure that Sunday morning was jovial and filled with anticipation as people arrived for brunch.

While I waited for the reporter to arrive I chatted with one of the crew working the counter. He was wearing a big fur hat and gold rimmed sunglasses. Besides the cold, all I wanted to do was figure out how to get a chance to take his photo.

Avi Waldman it turned out was the brother to the head chef that morning, Talia Syrie from Tansi at Neechi Commons.

While we talked I noticed a lot of effort was being put towards de-frosting the water supply and keeping the structure somewhat heated. Considering recent issues in the city regarding frozen pipes, I’m sure many can understand the situation they were in.

We chatted for a few minutes about the issues they were having trying to battle the weather.

"The biggest problems is the heaters staying on... when they’re on they’re great when they’re not, you don’t realize until it’s really cold."

I asked how the patrons are with the cold temperatures, "They dance. They dance a lot. We entertain them with music and sing to them. So, they will often dance with us. It distracts them and gets them warmed up."

I finished by asking him what he would do differently if they had a lot more financial resources to make the experience better.

"I would do it in Hawaii."

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About Mike Deal

After freelancing for the Winnipeg Free Press for three years, starting in 1997, Mike Deal landed a part-time job as a night photodesk editor.

His first day in the new position was supposed to be September 12, 2001. But when he woke to the news of the two towers on September 11, he automatically headed into the newsroom.

For the next few years, he split his hours at the Winnipeg Free Press between photo editing and photography. In 2008, Mike was hired full-time as a photojournalist.

Mike’s training includes a journalism diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. He also spent time at the University of Manitoba, working at the Manitoban and the U of M photo club and taking fine art courses.

Having also just finished shooting a personal project that involved taking 2,013 portraits using just his iPhone in the year 2013, he looks forward to taking the portrait project concept to another level. He will NOT be shooting 2,014 in 2014! Don't be surprised if he stops you in the street and demands a moment of your time. You have been warned!

Another personal passion of his is street photography, capturing the people of Winnipeg amongst the beautiful architecture of its downtown.

In his off-hours Mike enjoys taking photos with his iPhone, walks in Assiniboine Forest, and spending his free time with his partner Ariel and daughter Anna.

 

"I go to the street for the education of my eye and for the sustenance that the eye needs - the hungry eye, and my eye is hungry."    -Walker Evans

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