Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Martial Arts In Calgary

Location: Chinese Cultural Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Local Time: Monday, February 27, 2007 - 6:30pm

The Chinese Cultural Center in Calgary hosts a variety of martial arts classes, as well as Chinese language classes and dancing classes (not Chinese dancing though). Have a look at their site for full details.

I went to try the Wing Chun class. I've long been curious about Wing Chun because of the Chi Sao practice that is part of the training. Since this is about Calgary, I won't say anything more about Wing Chun, there are plenty of resources available for that. Even better, find a teacher and try it yourself.

I was able to sign up for the class over the phone, which was convenient. The class itself was held in a 3rd floor meeting room with a wooden floor, a nice workout space for the 6 people and 1 instructor who attended class.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Spanish Meetup

Location: Second Cup Center Street, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Local Time: Noon, February 25, 2007

Today I went to meet with a group of Spanish speakers/learners here in Calgary, the Spanish Meetup group. It was my first time to meet the group.

A friend of mine somehow stumbled on the Meetup website and sent a link for a different group to me, from there I looked around, motivated solely by curiousity. When I stumbled upon the Spanish meetup group, I thought that looked like a good time. And it was.

The group was great. Enthusiastic, fun people all around. A variety of levels (so if you are reading this and considering coming, don't be shy). Highly recommended.

The Broken Plate

Location: 302 10 Street NW, Calgary, AB, Canada
Local Time: Noon, Saturday, February 25, 2007

I've in Calgary for a couple of weeks now and today was my first opportunity to meet with Tammy, a friend I first met over a year ago in Nangi, Nepal.

We went for lunch at a Greek restaurant called The Broken Plate (302 10 Street NW). We started with a sampler plate of dips, on which I recognized humus, but there were 5 others as well, and really good pita bread to dip. I had a baized lamb shank. It was quite nice.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

An Evening of Food and Drink

Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Local Time: Friday Evening, February 23, 2007

I met my friend Wayne for a workout at the YMCA, then we went out for pizza at a place called the Urban Baker, on Edmonton Trail.

The two lovely young women who were working there graciously accommodated us and turned out 3 nice wood fired pizzas, even though it was about 10 minutes before closing time.

The pizzas were really tasty. Thin crust, but not crispy. One with feta cheese and spinach, one with sausage and one with chicken.

Next, down to Kenzington and 10 St. area for tea at a little tea place called Oolong. There you will find a wall of teas to choose from, all loose leaf in carefully labeled glass jars, available for sniffing. Roam the wall of infusions, roobios, white tea, black tea and green tea and make a selection.

Wine Fest Calgary

Location: SAIT Campus, Calgary, AB, Canada
Local Time: February 16, 2007 - Evening

I'm not by nature much of an alcohol drinker, but this looked like something interesting to try, simply out of curiosity.

Winefest, Calgary Wine Fest seems to be a yearly event. Val and I were able to get tickets for Saturday evening.

Never having been to a wine tasting, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I suppose I had some vague idea of people sipping wine from little paper cups and the spitting it out (which seems to be something people do.) Nearly everything I know about wine comes from the Wine For Newbies podcast, so I am not at all what might be termed a wine connoisseur.

Well, we navigated our way through the coat check, and dropped off our backpacks. Strangely, we seemed to be the only people with backpacks. At the main entrance to the wine tasting room, our tickets were checked and we were given wine glasses that we got to keep. Well, I assume we were allowed to keep them. All I really know is no one chased us down later as we made our way out to the C-Train.

Once inside, I noticed right away, there was no spitting. Val and I had eaten dinner just before coming, not wanting to drink a lot of wine on empty stomachs. We really shouldn't have eaten so much as there was lots of cheese available to tasting, as well as wine. Now, I may be an indifferent wine drinker, but I am a cheese aficionado. However, I was stuffed from dinner, so really wasn't into eating at that time.

We made our way over to the Wolfblass table, because I knew the name, and had given away a few bottles of their chiraz over the years as gifts, but had never actually drank the stuff.

"Some of the cab?" the girl asked.

Do I already look like I need a ride home? Oh, right. Cab for Cabernet Sauvignon.

It should be obvious to everyone by now I'm really not qualified to comment on the wines I tasted, so I won't.

We tried:

  • Delicato Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

  • Elephant on A Tightrope Chardonnay and Sabernet Sauvignon

  • Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages and Brouilly

  • Settesoli MandraRossa Chardonnay

  • Trivento Cabernet Malbec

  • Vignoble Barron Chateau Meric Red and Chateau Chante l'Oiseau

  • Yellow Tail Semillion Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz

We also tried Field Stone Fruit Wines Raspberry, Strawberry, Wild Black Cherry and Bumbleberry, which are fruit wines from a local producer located near Calgary. We didn't try Saskatoon Berry, but the others were my favorite of the evening. I may have flopped as a wine connoisseur.

All in all, a good evening.