I had my activites for the day pretty much mapped out weeks ago, but actually changed it up at the last minute for various reasons. For example, I planned on visiting the new Farmer's Market first thing, but was scared away by reports from friends about the crazy busy-ness and I really didn't feel like getting up at 6am on a weekend (call me lazy, but I do that all week for work). My main goals for the day were to visit places that previous bloggers hadn't written about, and to have a mixture of experiences - e.g., visit new places as well as familiar ones, not stick to one particular activity, and plan the day out but also leave room for the unexpected. Interestingly, this is pretty much how I live my life a good part of the time so...neat!
WORD OF WARNING: this is a long post and there's lots of photos, so it's not a quick read. It's hard to cram an full 8 hour day of fun into a few hundred words (so sue me). Also, excuse the funky spacing in some parts - arranging photos in Blogger is quite the chore and I could only fix so much without completely messing up my format, so you will have to settle for less than perfect. Sorry!
At my mom's suggestion (she accompanied me on my lovely outing), we started our day at the Blower's Street Paper Chase
I have been itching to pick up the new September Vogue so I made sure I picked one up at the newsstand downstairs, and we also perused the hilarious greeting cards displayed at the front of the store. This one was my personal favourite:
Hilarious. Fun Factoid: When I was about 16, Kevin Spacey et al. were in town filming "The Shipping News", so of course the paper reported wherever he and his co-stars visited. Well, I'm ashamed to say that I had a little crush on Kevin at the time (who am I kidding, I still do. I admit it), so when I read that he had visited the PaperChase I decided to go see it for myself. Yes, I
Anyway, after paying for all 726 pages of fashion-goodness, we headed upstairs to the cafe for a nosh. I went with an old standard (cappuccino), and decided to try their homemade granola with yogurt and fruit and OH MY GOD it was delicious! See:
It made my tongue and tummy very happy :) And it was only $4.99, which I thought was very reasonable for something so fresh and filling. My mom had their Breakfast Wrap, which was basically egg, veggies, and cheese wrapped in a tortilla with salsa on top. I'm honestly not a huge egg person, but I had a bite and it was delicious too! And huge! That thing would easily fill you for an afternoon excursion!
We had a great table at the front of the building where the windows are on garage-door-style pulleys so they can be opened completely, giving you a view straight down Argyle Street. It was before 10am and shaded so it was a tad chilly, but still refreshing.
From there we decided to make our way down to the Art Gallery, however (as is often the case with my mom and I) we got distracted by clothing racks on the way down. These racks were sitting outside the entrance of Hilltribe - a store I'd been by a million times and always wondered about but never visited. We figured we couldn't pass this place by once we saw their amazing sales - $80 pants marked down to $20?! Hell, yes!
|Neat tile floor at entrance|
I really like unique "ethnic" clothing and accessories and this is basically exactly what Hilltribe sells. The decor and merchandise was very middle-eastern, yoga ashram, spa on the beach to me (note: these are not technical design terms, just my own wierd, inarticulate interpretation - surprised?). There was rack after rack of flowy clothing in interesting shapes and colours, tables of beautiful scarves, and shelves of dark wood sculptures of Buddha-esque figures, etc. I tried on a couple of dresses and a few pairs of pants that didn't fit, which was disappointing - but did find a pair of black pants I decided to buy. I really love all the tapered/harem style pants that are trendy right now but haven't been able to find a pair that doesn't make me look either fat and dumpy or like a fashion victim - until these! They are plain black, a light soft cotton material, and just have a slight taper in the leg and an elastic waist so they are trendy yet still wearable and flattering. I've worn them pretty much every day since I bought them.
Fun Factoid #2: Hilltribe sells their clothes wholesale, but they do all their designing at the Barrington Street store! I was excited to buy a pair of pants that were actually designed right there. Also, the pants I bought are part of the new collection but they were a sample pair, therefore I got them at half-off the retail price! If I had gone in this week after the full collection was officially released, I would have paid $84 instead of $42! I heart good deals :)
|Giant cat butlers rock|
|Would've bought this if it wasn't $70|
|I love this giant comb|
There were only a couple of other visitors at the time so it was very calming and nice to have the exhibits mostly to ourselves. To be honest, I wish they had at least one more compelling exhibit, like past ones they've had on Marilyn Munroe and Egyptian Art, but all in all it was a nice way to wile away an hour or so.
|Awesome window grate on the Scotiabank building, next to the AGNS|
|I just love the old buildings downtown|
|I'll always think of it as Loomis & Toles bc I'm old school|
|Yay for paintbrushes!|
Are you still with me?! Well, the good news for you is that's the end of my report, but bad news for me as this marked the end of my day. For my Big Day Downtown, I set out to have fun, get reacquainted with some fav haunts downtown and find new ones, and see how far I could make my $100 stretch - I think I accomplished all my goals! I got a cappuccino + breakfast, huge magazine, new pair of pants, art gallery admission, and full lunch for my $100 and I think that's pretty darn good! I already loved downtown Halifax and knew what parts of it were great, but I learned even more about what makes it great.
I feel very grateful that I could be a part of this challenge and I want to send big HUGE thanks to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission for giving me the opportunity to help promote our fair city and connect with some amazing local bloggers I never would have connected with otherwise. A HUGE thanks also goes to my mom for coming along for the ride - we always have fun together, but her support of my hobbies (like this blog) and the sometimes crazy adventures I want to have means so much. I could have done it alone but I imagine I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much!
In conclusion, I'd just like to say - if you live in Halifax and you haven't already GET YOUR BUTT DOWNTOWN! You might be surprised at what you find.
*Ugh, just realized this weekend is going to have to live up to last or it's going to suck. Not sure how I'm going to do that!