So as few of you know, and more of you don't know, I recently moved to Toronto to pursue new opportunities, leaving Ottawa, my home of the last 4.5 years, behind. It's weird to think that I first made the trek out east for university in 2007, and in what seems like a flash, I'm done school. But Ottawa was about so much more than school to me. SO much more.
Lists Installment 2: Ten things I will miss about Ottawa (in no particular order)
1.The poetry scene. Who would've thought that an innocent foray to see Shane Koyczan at the Mercury Lounge in 2008 would end up having such a significant impact on my life? I literally owe 90 per cent of my life currently to poetry right now, and Ottawa's scene is the one that grew me.
2. Shawarma. West and East Coasts call it donair, but Ottawa calls it Shawarma and it is the most glorious 2am meal ever. Favourite locations include Shawarma King on Bank St. and Castle Shawarma on Rideau.
3. Folk Night at the Laff. Probably the best quality open mic I have ever frequented. Hosted good friend Peter Ko one time for his first Ontario gig, and run by my buddy Brad Morden.
4. Eddy's Chip Wagon. Bank and Sunnyside. Best. Poutine. Ever. Doesn't matter if Eddy never smiles, talks, or gives correct change - the man hustles for a living and makes unreal fries. Respect.
5. Drop-in basketball at the MET. Not the greatest run in Ottawa by a long shot, but the people are nice and their mission is respectable. It's pleasant to be able to make it through a game without arguing over scores and fouls.
6. Reporting on massacres at the Raven's Nest. Honestly, Carleton's men's basketball program is one of the most dominant dynasties ever in the history of dynasties, and that's including the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls, and the Ming, Ting, and Wing. Gonna miss getting box seats under the pretense of my 'reporting.'
7. Busking on Sparks Street with my gal, Meaghan Weasley-Lagrandeur. People in suits are so generous with their change on Fridays. And Mondays. And Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, so long as it's decently warm out and I'm playing Maritime tunes with a redheaded fiddler.
8. Knowing Carleton's campus inside out and being able to play it like a... fiddle. Seriously, after being a tour guide for two years and having a hustler's mentality in general, I know how to get in and out of every spot on that campus and where to go to get free swag, free meals, and free clothing. And I don't feel a bit guilty, because they milked me of four years of tuition money anyway. Rather, it's sad to leave such a hand-out centre.
9. Sessions at Mont Cascades with the homies Kyle, Kiersten, Mary, Dan, Kaite, and Ayla. Great times shredding the mole hill that is Cascades. Can't argue with $75 season's passes though, or their nachos.
10. Good, good people.