Sunday, 13 September 2015

In Praise of Your Local Pub

What a day. 

I didn't mean to write another entry so soon, but man, I could NOT cook at home tonight. Check it out: this morning I braved crazy winds for a late-season ocean swim. It happened to be incredibly warm and sunny yesterday, so my guy suggested we start today with an invigorating dip in the ocean. 
Invigorating, ha! A sandstorm swirled into our eyes as we struggled towards the water. A beautiful wooden sailing boat had grounded itself right up on the beach, an escapee from its moorings. "Are we gonna do this?" asked Jay, as we parked our bikes at the dog beach. "Fuck yeah," I growled, and shucked my shorts and tank top. Into the waves we went, watched by a bunch of incredulous dogs and their owners. Our hearts skipped a few beats, but the salt water scoured us clean. We hugged each other, as much for warmth as for joy, and beat a hasty retreat to Siegel's for toasted bagels, accompanied by enormous Americanos from Bean Around The World. 

Siegel's Bagels always makes me think of my earliest days away from home, when I moved out at 18 and went to live in Kitsilano. It's still open 24 hours, and their bagels are still chewy and delicious; the dense, small Montreal-style bagels that taste best toasted. I remember a time when I went illegally midnight skinny-dipping at the crazy retro apartment next door, and then had a wonderful warm bagel from Siegel's... But I digress. 

Skin still salty from my dip, I had to cycle like a demon to make an accordion concert at Spartacus Books... Which I would have done well to look up before I left Kits, as they've moved. More demonic cycling brought me to their new location, and my students did me proud. 

But after all that biking, I couldn't face the thought of cooking anything, and I needed a drink. So I biked up to my almost-local, the Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Pub.
Obligatory stock photo of the pub. I didn't take any pictures today. Sorry.

Why do I like this place? 

  1. Because your neighbourhood pub needs to feel like a comfy slipper, somewhere you could almost go to in your pyjamas, and Cedar Cottage feels like that. Also: 
  2. Big (gas) fireplace, if you can score a couch seat in front of it. 
  3. It's below street level, which is a nice quirk. You enter just off Kingsway, go down some stairs, and there you are. 
  4. It's the kind of place you can go to by yourself if you're a chick, and you probably won't get hassled. 
  5. They still have a cigarette machine. Not that I'll use it, but I like that it's there. 
  6. The food and drink are satisfying. Nothing fancy, just filling and affordable. I had the perogies, loaded with sausage, bacon and onions, and a sleeve of Lonetree Cider. I almost always have the perogies. Yum.
  7. It hasn't been renovated into hipster coolness yet. Long may it not be. You'll find a mix of folks, all of them decidedly uncool, just like you. And yeah, the decor is a bit grubby understated, but that's what keeps it unpretentious in there. 
Okay, I really hate the fact that there are around 20 TVs in there. (No, I'm not exaggerating. I counted at least 18.) But that's because I couldn't give a rat's ass about sports. If you do, you're gonna love it here. 

By my estimate, I was home within 10 minutes of leaving Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Pub. That makes it officially my new local bar. Next time I have a crazy-epic-swimming-biking-accordion-adventure kind of a day, I'll see you there. 

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