(A) I shouldn’t be writing this, but here are some of my top picks if ever I were to enter the witness-protection program:
- Tacoma, Washington
- Winnipeg, Manitoba
(B) Winnipeg resembles Minneapolis in some ways: built around the same time, it appears; half decent / half dead downtown. Parking lots, etc. Both love hockey.
(C) Speaking of hockey, enjoyed watching Hockey Night in Canada at a Winnipeg bar. I don’t know much about the NHL anymore, but was able to dust off some old facts to stay in the conversation. Last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup was Montreal in the early 1990s. Mentioned the time I peed next to Cam Neely at a urinal in New Hampshire.
(D) The Exchange District has a remarkable collection of office buildings from late 1800s / early 1900s. The Forks Market is a pleasant former railway building that is a retail and dining center. The Manitoba Legislative Building is reliably impressive in the way that government buildings are meant to be.
(E) From time to time there are reminders that I’m in Canada and not America. E.g. advertisement on TV for Coronation Street, and some TV show about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
(F) Bars I remember visiting:
(G) Winnipeg is formed by the confluence of the Red River and Assiniboine River. I followed the scenic River Walk from The Forks up towards the Shaw Park minor-league baseball field.
(The city of Winnipeg is protected by a massive flood-control system, the Red River Floodway.)
(H) East of downtown, across the river, is Saint Boniface, the French Quarter of Winnipeg.
(I) Interesting building on the way out of town: the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 107 (Belgian Club) (map)
[Some of these notes were originally scribbled on a hotel notepad from “The Fort Garry”, a classic railroad hotel.]