As I get older, and more candles magically appear on my birthday cake, I am amazed how quickly a year flies by.
- One year.
- 12 months.
- 52 weeks.
- 365 days.
- 8,760 hours.
- 525,600 minutes.
- 31,536,000 seconds.
Although I typically dislike reminiscing … this year is the exception to the rule! Exactly one year ago, a single Facebook post led me on a journey that would change the course of my life (as I knew it).
Now … before I get ahead of myself let me give you a bit of history.
Prior to finding my way back to Calgary I had the fortune of living in some of the world’s greatest cities. Although I had a permanent mailing address in each one, I essentially lived out of a suitcase – a nomad, a gypsy – with no roots to any one place or community. That all changed when I noticed friends mention the “East Village” in random conversations. Although I had only known it as the “sketchy” part of town a decade ago it was now where people were going to sample “mobile” cuisines from amazing food trucks, checking out the music of local up and coming bands, experiencing the Opera beside the Bow River, and supporting local artisans at Market Collective. Then, while wasting some time on Facebook, a friend shared a post about the East Village Resident Ambassador contest and joked about entering so they could get out of their current house and win a full year’s rent in a trendy new area of the city.
A few days later I had a wicked craving for Village Ice Cream and thought it would be “neat” to wander around the East Village construction sites and check out the RiverWalk along the Bow River. With my Salted Caramel ice cream in hand (and nothing else to distract me) I found myself getting romantic about the “potential” of the East Village. At the time the area was still a collection of construction sites on the verge of completion. But … around every corner I saw glimpses of the things I loved most about each of the cities I had lived. I could see myself living in the two buildings nearing completion … the coveted prize for the first East Village Resident Ambassador. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and knew I had to look further into how to make this a reality. That night this website (www.sixfootcanasian.com) was born!
Of all the experiences I've had this past year, the most rewarding aspect has been getting to know the incredible people of Calgary! Although this site started out as my entry into the East Village Ambassador contest it has organically turned into a a place for me to tell the stories of others. Through the interview process I get to uncover a side of a successful business ... the "secret sauce" that makes it exceptional, unique and (ultimately) is the reason it stands out in a sea of competition. Below is a list of the stories specifically highlighting the people "behind" the business we've all gotten to know:
- Iron Will. Iron Heart. Iron Cowboy.
- Rockin' Muladhara Yoga Wear in the East Village
- The Art of Asian-Inspired Tattoo - Chiwon An
- Cooking from the Heart - Heart's Choices Thai Vegan Cafe
- Cajun Fine Dining on Four Wheels - Sticky Ricky's
- The Body Whisperer - Janis Isaman
- Family Values "with a Twist" - Family Squeezed Lemonade
- Reinventing Dress Up - Hip Image Mobile Photo Booth
- Capturing Unexpected Moments - Evolve Photography and Design
- Celebrating Artists, Artisans, Designers and Musicians - Market Collective
- A Lesson in Adaptability - Crafted Goods
- Taking the Mystery Out of Traditional Chinese Medicine - Coleman Smith
- What is "Community"? Ask Village Brewery!
- Best Friends, Yoga Buddies and Two Moms (on a Mission) - Soul Hot Yoga
- Magically Transforming Calgarians - The Costume Shoppe
- A Clean Start and Bright Future - Crystal Bar Soap
- My Journey from Pandas to Purple - An Unlikely Coach's Tale
- Getting Real and Raw with Cru Juice
- Hip, Relevant and Inclusive - Market Collective
- Bonnie MacRae-Kilb - Creating on Her Own Terms
- Million Dollar Plumbers to the Rescue - Proven Plumbing
When I lived in Calgary from 2006 to 2008, I really didn't make an effort to get to truly KNOW the city. Granted, the city (back then) was not the YYC we are proud to call home today! My return has also been my license to explore the city with fresh eyes and a new appreciation. Below is a list of stories showcasing special places and destination locations right here in our city:
- Downtown Calgary's East Village - Giving It a Second Chance
- How Did I Miss the EV Experience Centre?
- Research ... Research ... RESEARCH!!!
- Everything Happens for a Reason
- Ready, Set ... GO!!!
- The East Village Resident Ambassador Contest ... THIS IS FOR REAL!
- I Came, I Researched ... and I Bought a Condo!
- Discussing Retail Opportunities in the East Village
- Saluting the Sun at the East Village
- charbar - East Village Foodies Rejoice
- More Surprises at the EV Experience Centre
- Exceeding Every Expectation - Añejo Restaurant
- Overcoming Pain and Fear - Silverado Sport Physiotherapy
- Breaking (Some of) the Rules - Calgary Farmers' Market
- Saying "YES" to the (Ad)Dress - Avi Urban
- The "Secret" Behind Calgary's Best Happy Hour
One of the great things about Calgary is that it is REALLY good at bringing people together! Every weekend you can find an organized event where people celebrate being Calgarian, connecting with others, and sharing in unique experiences. Check out a few of the stories below I covered this past year:
- Father's Day in the East Village
- The Third Annual East Village Block Party
- YYCFoodTrucks - Summer Frenzy in the East Village
- Happy 148th Birthday, Canada! - East Village
- Stampede Brings the World to the East Village
- Calgary Home Business Show - Cultivating Relationships
- JUNOfest 2016 - Coming Full Circle
The Journey Ahead ...
As I look back I (honestly) can't believe it's resulted in 47 articles and over one thousand images shared (with more articles planned and lots of images I haven't yet posted)! More importantly, I've cultivated meaningful relationships with so many great people that I know will continue to grow and flourish!
In the upcoming year you can expect even MORE information about people, places, and events in Calgary that will intrigue, inspire, and motivate you to get to know your YYC even better!
Finally, I want to say a huge "THANK YOU!" to everyone that has made this Six Foot Canasian year possible. You know who you are and how much I love you all!