Old Friend, New Conversation

I was recently invited to appear on West End Dumplings: The Radio Edition to chat with fellow blogger, Christian Cassidy.  It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.https://middlecitybigheart.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/old-friend-new-conversation/

Christian is an old friend and the man behind West End Dumplings — declared Winnipeg’s Favourite Local Blog in this year’s Uniter 30.

Christian’s historical knowledge of the city – coupled with his passion for this place – is incredible.

In addition to the blog and the radio show, Christian is a regular contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press and holds community workshops teaching people how to research the history of their homes.  Want to get to know him better? Tune in to West End Dumplings: The Radio Edition every Sunday at 7 PM on 101.5 UMFM.

On last week’s show, Christian and I got to talking about re-conceptualizing downtown — an idea discussed in a recent Planetizen article that argues a great downtown isn’t one central location but a collection of unique urban neighborhoods well-connected by public transit.  We agreed this idea could (and does) work for a place like Winnipeg.

Keen to hear more?  You can listen to the podcast of the show here — or check out “Secret Weapon to Revitalize Downtown; New Group Sees Hope in Redefining Urban Core with Historic Neighborhoods” or “Experts Define Downtown, But Not Every Great Neighborhood Is a Business District“.

Old Friend, New Conversation

Welcome Home

I love a good city.

I love the smell of a city, riding its transit, visiting its venues, admiring its infrastructure, meeting its people, hearing its stories, fearing its rumours, electing its officials and trying to pinpoint what makes it tick.

Blog Assignment 1 PictureCities are where life happens.  

Cities are not just about roads and taxes and snow clearing, they are also a reflection of our values.  They affect the way we interact and how we choose to engage.  Cities are where life happens.

This blog is a space for encouraging and investigating ideas about cities – big and little, ours and others – that captivate the imagination and motivate us to consider who we are, how we live and where we are going.   Ideas like: what makes a city greatBike or carWho’s in charge?

Welcome and hello.  My name is Katie My preoccupation with city life has found me living and working in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, enjoying brief sojourns in Adelaide (Australia) and Wellington (New Zealand), and travelling to cities throughout Central and South America.

I’ve always enjoyed the thrill of moving and settling into a new city – taking the leap, the awkward first day of a new job, the exploration of new haunts and hang-outs, the first moments of connection with new friends, the plagues of loneliness, and the self-satisfaction of figuring out new routines through good ol’ fashioned trial and error.  Ah. My feet itch just thinking about it.

Then, just last year, this thirty-something moss-free stone got a different kind of itch.  I’m not sure whether the itch was biological, ambitious, nostalgic, or just plain curious – but it needed a scratch.  I took another leap, backwards, to where it all began.  Winnipeg.

With my worldly possessions packed into a 10′ uHaul and a playlist worthy of Winnipeg including Neil Young, Chic Gamine, the Weakerthans, and Springsteen’s “Born to Run” (natch), I set off for Winnipeg.  I was excited to be home, and following a hectic couple of months as the campaign manager for a young, energetic municipal political candidate, I took a little time to stop and reflect on my decision and consider what brought me here and made me want to stay.

I would like to note that this period of reflection also resulted in the realization that the idea of saving money by living in my parent’s basement was far better than the reality of living in my parent’s basement.   But I digress.

Winnipeg is a middle city.  Like me, it often finds itself somewhere between where it is and where it wants to go. 

Winnipeg is a middle city.  Like me, it often finds itself somewhere between where it is and where it wants to go.  What some call a culture of complaint, I see as a desire for change.  We are our own biggest fans.  We celebrate what we have and we embrace new things.  When what we have doesn’t work, we look for ways to do it better.  We love this city, after all.

I love this city, too. That’s why I’m really looking forward to posting and discussing ideas about cities with you.  Ideas we can use to make this city great. Whether you just got here, returned home or never left – I want to hear from you.  What brings you to the city?  What keeps you here?  What brought you back?  Leave a comment to join the conversation.

Welcome Home