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All In Hand

Two Years!

Miss Vicky Sat Feb 3, 2007

My goodness. It's been two years since the Webgeek and I launched Miss Vicky's Offhand Remarks. And what a two years it's been! When we started this thing it was a fun collaboration with my partner, a way of celebrating my community, a way of building a kind of virtual neighbourhood. One year later, having become more and more engaged in the muncipal political scene by writing about it, I made the rather large leap of running for city council... and then I found out I was pregnant. And now Gordie is here!

That's a whole lotta change.

In that time period, we've posted 560 entries, there have been 2859 comments and a whopping 142 users have registered! All but 20 of these folks have posted comments. Top 5 posters (aside from Miss Vicky and the Webgeek) are: amckay (with 447 comments), liss76 (174) accidental altruist (146), Flanders (140) and pinklitva (76 - where are you pinklitva? It's been a while). I'd list the posts that have elicited the most comments, but many of those ended badly, so I think I'll take a pass. Regulars know what I'm talking about.

I've been feeling pretty badly about my intermittent postings lately - although I had intended to keep the blog active through the campaign, pregnancy and Gordie's early months, it has been challenging to maintain quality and quantity. Often I have resorted to announcements and Ringing Endorsements, with far less analysis than the early days. So I decided to take a nostalgia trip to the archives for some inspiration and to dig out the highlights of Miss Vicky's first two years in the blogosphere. Here are some of my favourites:

Semi-solicited advice for googlers - analyzing our search terms

Punstravaganza

The Webgeek's Ode to the #2

Given the recent (overdue) apology and compensation and the stream of letters to the editor that have followed, it might be timely to point to this post about why we should all care about the Arar inquiry

also in the what's old is new again department, a good discussion about transit fare hikes

The environment remains a preoccupation.... we've blogged about.... waste, composting, the evils of plastic bags, Project Porchlight, and even alternative energy.

The Webgeek's had some fun posts. I enjoyed his rant about the ill-fated Renegades "Mardi Gras" promotion and the subsequent attempts to define sexism. Also his description of what happens on election day

We've done a LOT of restaurant reviews. But the one that gets the most hits is Miss Vicky's defense of Stoneface Dolly's, after a blistering review by the Citizen food critic.

Then there are Miss Vicky's own Recipes, more recipes, including the ode to beets and of course Comfort ing Tunafish Casserole.

And speaking of Comfort food

There have been some good Dear Miss Vicky queries - like the Reading List for pinklitva's teenage son, and of course the series of wedding anxieties and dilemmas. I do enjoy the advice column part of the blog, so please send in your questions!

and who can forget the Renovation diet? It went on and on and on and on and on and onand on. Whew!

As our attention turned to Gordon's imminent arrival, we did some preparatory research. No regrets about our choice so far!

and finally, there's the beginning of Miss Vicky's new role.

one of the best things about the blog are the folks I've met because of it. Like QUADgirl, who attended my campaign launch, or the many readers I encountered during the campaign or at community events who've said "oh YOU'RE Miss Vicky".

I don't have a definite plan for the blog, except to keep going. I do think it's become a go-to place for many in the neighbourhood, and I intend to keep updating everyone about the comings and goings along our mainstreet, important community events, fun arty and family outings. And good food, of course. I'm going to continue to write about municipal politics and keep an eye on this new mayor of ours. I hope you'll all stick with me.

Feel free to de-lurk and post some of your own favourite threads. Or just say hi!
357 Comments

Winterlude Brunching

Miss Vicky Fri Feb 2, 2007

A reader writes:

Dear Miss Vicky,

I have the whole fam-damily visiting for Winterlude, and seek reservations for a Sunday Brunch that won't break the bank. Where would you recommend?


Good question. I may need some help on this from my faithful legion, so feel free to make suggestions via the comments section, folks! Let's break this down by location and proximity to Winterlude venues: Downtown and Dow's Lake. I'd suggest some Gatineau restaurants but have never ventured over for brunch (it is hard to resist the lure of Cozy's on a weekend, as it's practically around the corner). This is going a little beyond Miss Vicky's usual geography, but what the hey. I may be stabbing in the dark with a few of these recommendations, but at least you'll have some ideas.

Downtown There are lots of options for brunch, but maybe not in the cheap eats department. I'm not sure how big your group is; a lot of the more obvious places might be crowded on a busy Winterlude weekend. In the Byward Market, I'd try the Blackthorn on Clarence (haven't eaten there, but I do like the location. Used to work there when it was the Ritz, actually!). Benny's Bistro, behind Le Boulanger Franšais (The French Baker), for fresh pastries. So yummy! If there are kids and you're a large group, there's always the buffet at Tucker's Marketplace, but if I recall correctly it's not exactly cheap and I'm betting it would be chaotic on Winterlude!

On or around Elgin, there is the Manx but it is PACKED on the weekends and doesn't take recommendations. The Lieutenants Pump has space and serves breakfast. Slightly off Elgin, on Cooper is Carmello's, which might be worth a try. And there is always the Mayflower or Dunn's.

If you're heading to Dow's Lake, and you're looking for a good group brunch activity, there are a few choices. I'd suggest heading a little further away from Dow's Lake and hitting Chinatown for Dim Sum. I've never been disappointed by the Yangtze, but I have also eaten across the street at Chu Sing and it was pretty good as well. The good thing about Dim Sum are the big tables - great for family gatherings. The Great Wall nearby has some favourable reviews on the 'net. I'll have to try it out myself one of these days.

The logical place would be Preston Street, but it seems to be quiet on Sundays. It really is unfortunate that the Prescott doesn't do the brunch thing. La Pergola does lunches and has some good 'net reviews, so might be worth calling about what happens there on the weekends. Il Primo is a great restaurant and does brunch but it's not really cheap eats.

On the OTHER side of the Arboretum from Dow's Lake, on Baseline and Prince of Wales, is the Greek Souvlaki House. Their breakfasts are cheap, and HUGE, and it's a big place so should be able to accommodate your fam-dam-ly.

Any other suggestions, folks?




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