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All In Hand

Here you'll find the sum total of Miss Vicky's Remarks thus far.

The Hallowe'en dilemma

Miss Vicky Thu Oct 30, 2008

Miss Vicky loves Hallowe'en and there is nothing he would like better than to take Wee G out Trick or Treating in a cute little costume on Friday evening. Whether he "gets it" or not, I think he would enjoy the ritual of knocking on people's doors and saying hi to the neighbourhood.

But there's that candy thing. It's not that I balk at introducing him to the concept of candy - he is two; he does get the occasional treat, and I'm not averse to splitting any Hallowe'en loot and giving him an appropriate share or doling it out in reasonable doses.

It's his allergies. Hallowe'en is a perilous time for a kid with food allergies, and Wee G just happens to have a really nasty combination - dairy and peanuts. While there are peanut free chocolate options out there, let me tell you there is not a lot that is both peanut and dairy free. I had a hard time surfing the shelves looking for something safe for our family to hand out. Chances are G will only be able to consume a small fraction of what he brings in. So what do we do? Avoid the trick or treating and just visit the neighbours? Confiscate the stash right away and find some way of explaining to a two-year-old that although people gave him stuff he doesn't actually get to have any? Any parents of allergic kids care to share some insight? What do you do?

Oh, and in case you are curious, Twizzlers are safe. Loblaws had packages of pretzels; those are good. I wasn't sure about the chip bags as there was no ingredient info on the box, so I passed over those. Lollipops, which I thought would be good, had traces of peanuts. The Maynards goodies (packages of swedish berries and so on) were OK. There are packages of fruit snacks which are OK. Oh, and raisins are good.

Buy this book!

Miss Vicky Tue Oct 28, 2008

Want to get a little early holiday shopping done? With the release last week of the Iacobucci report into the detention and torture of Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki, and Muayyed Nureddin, the spin about the level of the government's responsibility in the matter is, well, rather dizzying. All the more reason to read local activist and author Kerry Pither's book, a detailed look at what happened to these 3 men and to Maher Arar - and why.

If we all get our copies this week, there's a good chance this important book can hit the best-seller list. And if we don't want the issue to be buried - if we want Canadians to question the government's complicity in what happened to these men and to hold the government accountable - that needs to happen.

You can buy the book online from our friends at Octupus Books. Oh, and don't forget that Kerry is donating all proceeds from her book to Amnesty International

What are you waiting for? Buy this book!

Budgeting vs Bumpouts

Miss Vicky Tue Oct 28, 2008

So Councillor Leadman apparently announced at the Westboro Community Association AGM the cancellation of Phase 2 of the Wellington West Road Reconstruction. Apparently it and other resurfacing projects are going to be the victim of this year's council budget deficit. It is unclear whether this decision can be reversed in the upcoming budget process, but I highly doubt this community is going to accept spending years planning and consulting for a much-needed infrastructure upgrade and streetscaping, only to have it disappear thanks to Larry O'Brien's idiotic approach to city budgeting. Especially when we are getting hit with the highest property assessments in the city (thereby subsidizing our suburban neighbours and their shiny new schools, rec centres and roads).

Stay tuned more more updates and info on what you can do

Scrambles and Bumpouts: Have your Say

Miss Vicky Sun Oct 26, 2008

This came in from the Hintonburg Community Association. Pedestrian accessibility and balancing cars, bikes and feet have been top of mind throughout the reconstruction process. On Tuesday 28 October at 7pm in the library at Connaught School (Gladstone at Rosemout) there is a public meeting on two key possibilities for our community: bumpouts and pedestrian scrambles.

Here's what they say:

Bumpouts have been planned for a number of corners where the side streets meet Wellington. They vary in size along the street. Current one at Fairmont and Wellington will be altered in the new plan as well. They are primarily used to accommodate both pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the neighbourhood and also as a means of greening the community as well. The bumpouts create pedestrian peninsulas where walkers wait to cross the street. They shorten the distance to cross the street and slow down cars that whip around corners. Those that have raised concern in our community have mentioned the poor snow removal at Fairmont and Wellington and the fact that it is very difficult to turn left onto Wellington or right onto Fairmont with the existing bumpout. Many feel the present bumpout has made that particular intersection more dangerous rather than less dangerous. Will the new bumpouts have the same effect they wonder.

Pedestrian Scrambles are new to Ottawa. To our knowledge, there is not one yet in the city. They are used extensively in other parts of Canada. Essentially a scramble is a pedestrian crossing system that stops all traffic and allows pedestrians to cross the intersection in every direction. The suggestion for Parkdale and Wellington is that would happen every third light. Vehicular traffic would go first north and south and then east and west and the third light would be solely for pedestrians. Intersections with high volumes of turning traffic as well as high pedestrian volumes can greatly benefit from a pedestrian scramble.(These two characteristics are certainly true of Parkdale and Wellington.) Capacity decreases caused by lost time can be recaptured by by eliminating capacity decreased caused by right or left turning vehicles blocking the intersection while waiting for pedestrians to cross.

This open meeting is a chance for all to express their views and understand more about the proposed changes. All are welcome.

If you cannot attend the meeting, but would like to provide your feedback on either bumpouts or scrambles, please write to us at info@hintonburg.com.



Weekend Family Fun

Miss Vicky Fri Oct 24, 2008

Big day on Sunday!

The Herb Girls are doing another family fun concert at the Carleton Tavern on Sunday from 11:30 until 2. There is a sliding scale for admission. Costumes are welcome but not mandatory!

Sunday evening is Hintonburg's annual Diwali Festival celebration. Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights. The now-annual Hintonburg celebration is spearheaded by our friends at the Indian Express. The event takes place at Somerset Square (corner of Somerset and Wellington West) and starts at 6pm. There will be Indian treats and entertainment from 6 to 6:30, a Hindu religious ceremony called the Pooja at 6:30, the obligatory speeches by dignitaries, and then lighting of lights and sparklers at 7. It should be a great time and a wonderful way of celebrating Indian culture and our diverse community.


XPress Best of Ottawa 2008

Miss Vicky Thu Oct 23, 2008

Voting has begun for Ottawa XPress's annual Best of survey. Since it's a monster of a survey that takes forever to fill out, Miss Vicky thought she'd list the Kitchissippi nominees, as well as a few of her favourites

Most of the nominees (and suggestions for write-in candidates) are below the fold, but here are a few Miss Vicky wanted to highlight:

Best Cheap Eats: no Kitchissippi Nominees, so write in Vina Del Mar!
Best Watering Hole, Best Bar Staff AND Best place to hear live Music: The Elmdale Tavern
Best New Architectural Addition to the City: the Swap Box Project!

More nominees below....

Section 1: Food and Drink
Best African - Habesha
Best Appetizers/Tapas - Allium
Best bakery - Art-is-in, Harvest Loaf, Three Bakers and A Bike, Three Tarts
Best Bistro - Allium, Trio, Wellington Gastropub, Absinthe (hat tip to Hintonburg Chef Phil Denny of Jak's Kitchen on Bronson)
Best Brunch - no Kitchissippi nominees, so h/t to Jak's Kitchen
Best Burger - the Works
Best Catering - Dish (but feel free to write in Essence, Thyme and Again or the other many great caterers from the 'hood
Best up-and-coming restaurants - Jak's Kitchen
Best Cheap Eats - no Kitchissippi nominees - so write in Vina Del Mar!
Best Chip Wagon - Glen's, Richmond/Kirkwood (Miss Vicky has yet to try - any feedback, readers?)
Best Tea/Coffee House - Bridgehead, Caffe Ventuno (in Nicastro's). Or you can write in Nectar, Cyclelogik or Allo Allo Cafe!
Best Deli - Dirienzo's on Beech, Nicasto's
Best Diner - John's, Fil's
Best Farmer's Market - Parkdale
Best South Asian - Aahar on Churchill - anyone tried it?
Best Italian - Caffe Ventuno
Best Japanese - Hino
Best Mexican - Agave, or write in Amate (Miss Vicky did!)
Best Middle Eastern - write in Khatoon, 991 Wellington, or Helen's Cuisine in the Melrose Groceteria (1082 Wellington)
Best Natural Food Store - Herb and Spice
Best Pub - Wellington Gastropub, the Wood
Best Romantic Restaurant - Absinthe, Juniper
best sandwich - DiRienzo's
Bes Shawarma - write in Helen's!
Best Splurge - Juniper (although some would consider the Gastropub a splurge, so feel free to write in!)
Best Steakhouse/Steak - Hino
Best take-out - Indian Express, Thyme and Again
Best Thai - Siam Bistro, 1268 Wellington
Best Vegetarian - The Table
Best Vietnamese/Pho - Springroll House
Best Watering Hole - the Elmdale, of course!

Section 2 - Arts and Culture
Best Art Gallery - Cube
Best Festival - Westfest
Best Folk/Country - Miss Vicky needs to give a shout-out to her pal Marie-Josee Houle and her album Monsters
Best lounge - Trio
Best place to hear live music - The Elmdale Tavern
Best Theatrical Performance - Plan B at GCTC or write in Confessional - Ottawa Chamber theatre at the Carleton

Section 3 - Around Town
Best Bar Staff - The Elmdale Tavern
Best beauty Salon/Spa - Westboro Spa and Hair Studio, Shear and Spa Studio (Miss Vicky wrote in Character)
Best Bike Shop - Cyclelogik (althought they got the address wrong - it's not on Richmond anymore!), Bushtuka, Fresh Air Experience
Best Bookstore - Collected Works
Best Independent Record/CD Store - Legend Records
Best Jewellery Store -Bija Bijoux
Best men's clothing store - Shoreline Surf shop
Best women's clothing store - Miss Vicky wrote in Clothes by Muriel Dombret
Best musical instrument store - Lauzon, Retrotown
Best outdoor store - heck, take your pick - most of 'em are from Kitchissippi!
Best Vintage clothing - Hush, Heavens to Betsy (this one confuses me as neither sell vintage clothing - although I hear Heavens to Betsy will be getting more clothing in their new location)

4. Local Lore
Best Architectural addition to the city - well, you could go for the Gladstone Theatre or the Irving greenberg Theatre Centre, but Miss Vicky recommends voting for the Swap Box Project!
Best Neighbourhood - well, Hintonburg, of course! Although I suppose you
Westboro residents can support your own 'hood. Wellington Village/West Wellington types will have to write theirs in
Best new idea for the city - Miss Vicky wrote in Light Rail down Carling Avenue 'cause putting it on the Parkway is a boneheaded plan
Best reason to cheer the city - ok, Miss Vicky wrote in Hintonburg. She didn't like the options
Best reason to jeer the city - come on, you have to ask?

If I missed anyone, let me know!

Breaking Foodie News!

Miss Vicky Wed Oct 22, 2008

Amate is handing out free burritos at the corner of Scott and Holland. Right now. Go!

Ottawa Chamber Theatre - New Season

Miss Vicky Tue Oct 21, 2008

So the Ottawa Chamber Theatre's new season starts soon! They're doing four shows, alternating between the Elmdale and the Carleton Tavern.

Ottawa Chamber Theatre in Hintonburg has built a reputation developing new audiences for live theatre in Hintonburg's historic taverns. This season will show two productions at the Elmdale House Tavern and two at the Carleton Tavern. Miss Vicky has been really impressed with the last two shows, so she's looking forward to the next one!

The first play is John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, a masterful telling of a story of two unlovable souls who dare to love each other. The production is directed by Hintonburg's own Donnie Laflamme. According to Donnie, "John Patrick Shanley is one of North America's best, he won a Pulitzer for Doubt, wrote the screenplay for Moonstruck... Danny and the Deep Blue Sea is a very intense play about a man and a woman who feel unlovable, but learn to open up to each other. It's pretty risque,and passionate, and beautiful--like Hintonburg it speaks in the vernacular. It features two excellent actors who have worked their tails off."

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea plays Sundays and Mondays at 7:00 pm, November 2,3 9,10 and 16,17 at the Elmdale House Tavern, 1084 Wellington Street West.

Tickets are $20. For tickets and information call 613-791-4471 or 613-791-0097. According to Donnie, this is the cheapest deal in town now that everyone's moved into the Gladstone. Group rates might be available if you find cost is an issue - give them a call!

Note: Entrance to the tavern is restricted to age 19 and up.

Birthday Boy

Miss Vicky Mon Oct 20, 2008

Did I mention Wee G turned 2 the week before last?


Urban Intensification: Friend or Foe?

Miss Vicky Sun Oct 19, 2008

The West Wellington Community Association is holding a really interesting event on Tuesday evening. If Miss Vicky weren't single-mom-ing it during the evenings while the Webgeek is at school, she'd be there with bells on. Looking forward to hearing reports from those that attend!

Here's the notice:

West Wellington is BOOMING!...It's THE place to live, eat and shop in Ottawa... but is it improving our quality of life? Is it sustainable?

The WWCA in partnership with Collected Works is hosting an interactive discussion on community intensification with leading experts in the field.

Tuesday, October 21, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Collected Works, 1242 Wellington Street West (at Holland)
Speakers:Richard Kilstrom and Amy Falkner - Urban Design & Area Planning, City of Ottawa
Jonathan Westeinde, Managing Partner, Windmill Development Group


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