Natasha Havrilenko has only lived in Wolseley a little over three years, but it’s safe to say she’s been more mischievous in that time-frame than most Wolseleyites have in a lifetime.
The 24-year-old was born and raised in North Kildonan and briefly lived in Osborne Village, but her Chestnut Street apartment has been the perfect place to nurture her wild side these past few years.
Over beers at Cousin’s, Havrilenko shared some of her favourite anecdotes from living in Winnipeg’s granola belt.
"There’s the pants-less wonder," she said, of a man she often sees leaning against tree stumps on any given night at witching hour.
"I noticed him the first summer I moved into Wolseley. At first I thought, ‘I’m kind of new to Wolseley, maybe this happens.’"
The man was slumped over and leaning against a tree, not appearing to be homeless or in any dire straits – aside from the fact he wasn’t wearing any pants.
Havrilenko has seen him maybe 10 times since, always around her street, always in the same position, never wearing pants.
Wolseley has been the backdrop for many major moments in her life, including her first date with her boyfriend.
"’Twas an eerie October night," she said. "Me, hating the typical social construct of a date, wanted to think somewhat outside the box — in other words, be outdoors if the date goes awry, so I can run off into the night."
She decided to lure her best friend, along with her best friend’s boyfriend, into a sort of wild, Wolseley double date, which consisted of "cheap-as-borscht wine in coffee mugs and ghost stories" as they huddled at the picnic tables at Laura Secord.
Ahh, young love.
And then there are those special, one-of-a-kind Wolseley experiences. The kind that probably happen in every neighbourhood, in every city in the world. But at the time, it feels like it’s only ever happened to you.
"My friend Sarah doubled me home on her bike one hot summer’s night," Havrilenko said. "We somehow encountered a group of boys playing football in the street. We joined them, it started pouring rain. We continued to play by the light of the moon."
Would these experiences only happen in Wolseley?
Maybe not. But it certainly feels like it sometimes.
Laina Hughes is a community correspondent for Wolseley. She launched her book Wolseley Stories in March.