Not New Anymore

May 24th, 2013 by Emma Durand-Wood

Hi guys, it’s me. You’ve probably noticed I don’t post very much anymore… and also probably noticed that I keep mentioning that I don’t post very much anymore, but then don’t do anything about it. But here’s the thing… I’m rapidly approaching my FIVE YEAR ‘Pegiversary and, well, I’m just not that new anymore. It’s hard to write about “my adventures as a new Winnipegger” when my adventures generally consist of de-jamming carts at Superstore and angrily cursing the guy who revs his motorcycle right outside my bedroom window at 10:30pm (on the bright side, we won a free super-deluxe toaster oven from Midwest Tire yesterday — that was pretty sweet!).

Winnipeg has changed a lot in the time I’ve been here. We have the Jets now, an Ikea, two Target stores, more coffeeshops and shawarma, and better garbage and recycling services. I’ve changed a lot too: I’m a homeowner, I’m married with one kid and another on the way next month, I have a small but cherished network of friends and neighbours and acquaintances — several of whom I met through blogging, which is seriously awesome.  I am familiar with the secret handshakes of the city: not to pronounce the “l” in kolbassa, what the big deal is with the BDI, where to go if I want to C’mon Down, and how to get out of jail free any weekend of the summer.

There are still things I want to write about. Like how ridiculously cheap Winnipeggers are. About the weird, wonderful, and locally-adored tool known as a “roof rake”. What it’s like to be a part of a linguistically exogamous family. About my first adult pilgrimage to Winnipeg, way back in 2000 (a narrative I suspect may be eerily similar to Sophie B. Watson’s “Cadillac Couches” – on my reading list for the summer).  But for today, I want to share a couple of things from other new Winnipeggers.

The Spectator Tribune‘s Chris Hearn just wrote a lovely piece called “Hello Winnipeg. I think I like you.” In it, he sums up Winnipeg’s appeal perfectly by saying “It’s a feeling, man, it’s not something you can see.” You should read it!

You should also check out a blog called Why Winnipeg. Upon seeing the tagline “One Woman’s Adventure from Lotus Land to Manitoobad”, I knew this one would be good, and it is: full of short and funny observations about the ‘Peg from a gal who grew up in BC.

Okay, that’s all from me today. Just wanted to check in. Have a great weekend, everyone!


5 Responses to “Not New Anymore”

  1. Mike says:

    Interesting last couple of posts. I’ve been having the same feelings about Winnipeg lately too. I moved back in 2006 after having been away for 13 years, and when I first came back I was in love with the city. The trees! The flowers! The historic buildings and mature neighbourhoods! Being close to my family and young nephew! Lately it’s mostly been cursing the riduculously long winter, the way it rains every May long, the drivers and shoppers at Costco.
    I thought that maybe it was just the novelty wearing off, but you make a good point about changes in our own lives. I came to Winnipeg as a single guy, and I’m now married with a three year old … so now I don’t have much time for a leisurely bike ride to admire the trees and flowers and mature neighbourhoods. I haven’t seen my nephews since Christmas. I had no use for places like Costco when I was on my own. When I do actually have time to slow down for a bit, I do love this city. (In the summer. When it’s not raining. When I can sit out in the back yard with the apple and cherry trees blooming, having a fire with friends.)
    I guess it’s impossible to separate the city from the experiences that go along with your time there.

  2. Emma Durand-Wood says:

    Thanks for the very thoughtful comment, Mike. This winter drove me crazy too!! I thought I was just getting crotchety, but winter really is more of a pain when you’re wrangling a toddler in and out of a snowsuit, trying to avoid getting snow and mud all over the car seats, and explaining that we can’t play outside when it’s -40, even though everyone has a serious case of cabin fever.

    I hope you find the time to enjoy the good things in life this summer. Here’s to backyard hangouts and soaking up the few short months of nice weather! 🙂

  3. Kiki says:

    Glad to see you’re back to blogging…?!? Are you back to posting? Please do. I enjoy your perspective!

  4. Jen says:

    I stumbled upon your blog when I found out my husband was transferred to Winnipeg from Vancouver. We arrived here less than a week ago and my first ever visit to Manitoba was welcomed with a $300 speeding ticket for going 119 in a 100 zone (on a very flat and straight highway where I can’t imagine going 100 kms/hour!). Since we’ve arrived we’ve heard quite a few stories about speed traps so we’ve been watching ourselves. It was an incredibly odd experience driving into Winnipeg for the first time in my life, also knowing that I was moving into a house I’d never been in before that very same day. My whole life feels upside down, but we’re slowly settling in. We’re in the Bridgwater area which feels the most like home to me – perhaps not the most “true Winnipeg” experience here, but I love the access to all the stores. Last night we finally made the drive downtown through The Forks and Osborne Village and Portage and Main, and was pleasantly surprised with downtown Winnipeg. Granted, we went before dark, but there were so many more trees and much more character than I anticipated. I really enjoyed our drive down Osborne and look forward to strolling those streets one day. Moving from Vancouver, I’ve heard all the warnings about the prairies, “how will you live without mountains and ocean?” and to be honest, I haven’t found it to be an issue at all. There are beautiful parks and lakes all around, and the sky and sunsets are spectacular. The only part about Winnipeg that has me worried are the winters. I don’t even know what winter is, and I hope I am strong enough to bare it year after year! Thank you for your blog- it has made this crazy leap of faith not quite as scary!

  5. Sande says:

    Hey…you forgot about MY blog (….I’m one of the original lovin’ Winnipeg bloggers! I moved my family here from Vancouver in 2007. I hadn’t never been to Winnipeg before (other than a one-night layover) and am not from here, nor have family here! 😀 Sometimes people need an outsider’s view to remember there’s lots to love! Cheers 😀

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