Archive for the ‘Halifax’ Category

Halifax Donair

Just as Philadelphia has cheeseteaks, Chicago has deep dish, Toronto has peameal — Halifax has the donair. And like those other great cities, Halifax’s greasy signature snack is loaded with more fat and calories than one should consume in one sitting — or one week for that matter. All the same, nothing removes a hangover quite like two Advil gel caps and a regular donair.

As you can see, it’s served on pita piled high with a special blend of spiced meat, tomatoes onions and topped with a creamy sweet and sour garlic sauce. I’ve been in cities across Canada and seen sandwhich boards in front of pizza shops advertising “Authentic East Coast Donairs”, but they’ve never been anything more than a beef shwarma with some kind of yogurt on top.

No, for the real deal you have to head east until you can smell the salt water of the Atlantic. Find Halifax and follow the shitty celtic music downtown until you see an intersection lit on all sides by the neon lights of Pizza Corner. If your timing is right, you’ll hear the drunken cadence of hundreds of pilgrims slowly making their way along Agyle, Grafton and Blowers towards this holy spot.

Order fast and be patient, these things take time to prepare. Once you have it, tear in. Despite what some locals might say, there’s no right way to finish a donair. Some pick away at it like popcorn, others eat it like a sandwhich. Know this —  no matter how hard you try, your hands will be covered in grease and sauce and you will get some on you shirt, pants or shoes — a souvenir you’ll enjoy forever. Also, don’t expect to get any kisses from vampires as the smell of garlic will linger on your breath long after the lights of Pizza Corner have faded in the rearview.

These little pieces of heaven start at about $4 a pop. Do yourself a favor and give one a try while blood can still make it’s way through your un-clogged arteries.

Had the chance to re-visit some favourite childhood roadtrip destinations during my Easter weekend visit to Hafilax.

Here’s a clip I shot with my cell phone in Queensland, 30 minutes outside of Halifax. It’s also my first YouTube vid. Look out Scorsese — the bell tolls for thee.

I’ll have pics updated shortly. Woot.

It figures. As soon as Nova Scotia would come up with a smart, edgy and humorous campaign to try to stem the flow of young workers heading out to Alberta they pull the plug on it, fearing that it might hurt Westerners’ feelings.

The “Delusional Calgaria” spot shows a transplanted maritimer’s friends and family staging an A&E like intervention to get the young lad to leave Calgary for a similar job back home in N.S. There’s nothing wrong with it. It seems once again, the tiny Maritime province is afraid to piss off its bigger, richer brothers — or in the case of Alberta — sister.

Here’s the clip:

As a transplanted Maritimer, I can honestly say this is a well-meaning spot — but the promise of a career and lifestyle that’s equal to or better than Calgary in Halifax is horseshit. I’ve been in Calgary for a week and I can see why Haligonians would want to move here. Tripple the salary, your pick of jobs, sloots and beer. Sure there’s no ocean, but there’s big, honkin’ mountains.

Still, I’m sad that Nova Scotia still hasn’t grown a pair big enough to let a harmless little ad campaign run.

Here’s a clip of Sloan performing “Underwhelmed” at the Seahorse during the after-party for last year’s Rolling Stones concert in Halifax. It’s just like the good old days, when I used to see them play like this at the Birdland and the Double Deuce. Ah the memories. Chris Murphy being an ass onstage. Patrick Pentland holding it down on guitar. Drunk kids shouting the lyrics. Does someone have a tissue?

Cool clip. Sorry I missed the gig. The Seahorse still sucks.

So long Sam…

Sam the Record Man

Was sad to read that the Sam the Record Man on Barrington St. in Halifax quietly closed for good on Tuesday. A big supporter of the local indie scene, this is where I bought my first Sloan, Eric’s Trip and Thrush Hermit cassettes. The store also employed a lot of local band members while they waited for their careers to take off — or fizzle.

Waiting in a frigid block-long lineup to get into their annual Boxing Day sale was another Halifax tradition. I think I still have the REM Out of Time CD that I bought for $3.99 during one of their door crasher specials.

It’s not really a shock, though. Nationwide, Sam has been on his way out for years and it’s just a matter of time before the flagship store on Yonge St. in Toronto does the same. The chain hasn’t been able to keep up with the “digital music revolution” and it was probably already hurting from the price war that HMV and Future Shop started years before.

Still, it was a Halifax institution and while it may have out-lived its purpose, the street won’t be the same without it. I’m glad I got to stop in one last time over the holidays to do some Christmas shopping — although I’ll always regret that that last album I ever bought there was Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong.

Shut up. It was for my mom.

Dick.

Now I’m crying.

It’s been hard to take Nova Scotia politics serioulsy ever since former-Phys Ed teacher and total spaz Rodney MacDonald became premier. He’s made so many rookie mistakes so early on that it’s starting to look like he’s running a high school model parliament.

The gaffs may have finally caught up to him though — the province’s public accounts committee in charge of monitoring government spending is investigating some loans his government issued. Until now, Rodney has rebuffed anyone who’s tried to obtain details about the loans, but this committee has some teeth since it upholds the laws as they pertain to provincial spending.

One was for Magic Valley Fun Park, an amusment park owned by friends of former premier John Hamm which is neither magical or fun.

The other controversial loan was made to a potato farm that was leasing land from one of MacDonald’s cabinet ministers. The minister — Ernie Fage — eventually resigned over this obvious conflict of interest only to be granted another cabinet post during the next shuffle.

Not to worry, Mr. Fage recently resigned again after being accused of smelling like booze while fleeing the scene of a traffic accident. Police are now investigating that.

I know this is all very boring, but it’s scandals like these that are going to make my bid for the Premier’s Office a total cakewalk.

Here’s video of Mr. Fage’s alleged fleeing:

“If you voted for Haper you can’t shit here… your asshole is in 0ttawa.”

— Oasis Lounge, Halifax, N.S.

It’s been fun Halifax, but I have beer to drink and ass to kick back in the big city.

Some highlights from the trip:

+ Brewtenders and pizza with cuzzy and katie.
+ Donair
+ Catching up on Chester St.
+ Sight seeing
+ Seeing old friends at MacFarlane’s
+ Unlimited supply of Oland’s, Alpine, Schooner and Ten Penny beer

Low-lights:

+ Realizing the Seahorse sucks
+ Donair
+ Still no PS3

Here’s a pic of me visiting one of my favourite spots — the Halifax Grain Elevators. We used to drink here when we were teens. We’d also climb up on them and do a bunch of other dumb shit until we moved on to the train tracks further down the road.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Anyway, it’s been fun. Stay tuned for my best and worst of 2006. Should be complete by Friday, hangover permitting.

The Seahorse sucks

The Seahorse tavern, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Here I am on the steps leading down to the former heavyweight best bar in the world. It used to be dark, with a heavy fog of cigarette smoke and some combination of AC-DC, Zeppelin or Guns N’ Roses blaring on the speakers. You’d walk in on a Friday night and know everyone in the room. Pints were $2.50 until 11 pm and they’d let you buy enough to cover the long, carved-up tables and church pews that made for seating.

Now it’s prettied up with plush booths, fancy lighting and a new kitchen. No more loud metal, because they’re trying to make it into a live music venue. It’s even got a dance floor dug into the floor where our table used to be. The City of Halifax’s clean air bylaw killed the smoking, but Victor Syperek did the rest. His attempt to recreate downtown nightlife according to his version of cool was alright in the ’90s, but he should have stopped with the Economy Shoe Shop.

Now I’ve got to find a new favourite pub, or stop coming to Halifax altogether. Maybe I’ll give Tom’s Little Havana a shot.

I’ll miss you Seahorse. RIP good buddy.