Bow to the King of Buildings

Petro Canada Tower and the Bow

Petro Canada Tower and the Bow

The Calgary Tower used to be the tallest structure in Calgary. Then Petro Canada built its tower a little taller and gave way to taller and bigger buildings such as the Bow which is now the tallest building in Calgary.

Employees of Encana Corporation and Cenovus Energy have been moving into the Bow since February of this year, but not all employees got new digs. Our friends in the Information Technology department ended up in the building next to the Husky Tower on 8th Avenue. It must suck every time they have meetings at the Bow. All they can do is to envy those who work out of there.

The Bow cost an incredible 1.4 billion dollars to build. It has 58 floors in total but only 53 floors are used for offices. Two floors are reserved for retail and four floors for mechanical. One green innovation is that the Bow has 3 sky gardens which are embedded in the buildings and allow office workers to stroll through or to sit down for coffee and meditate.

If you ‘like’ the Bow and think it’s not an eye sore in Calgary’s skyscape then be sure to ‘like’ this post. Or if you work in it, let us know what you think or how you like it by posting a comment here.

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Glow in the Dark Fries

Serengetti Platter

Serengetti Platter

We’ve eaten at the Short Pants Plaza for many years, mostly for pita pies at the Village Bakery. This time it was different because someone had mentioned to me that Safari Grill was a great place for African food. So we were game!

Decked out in earth tones with zebra printed tablecloths and chairs, Safari Grill restaurant could sit a large party and have room left over. The food was surprisingly good. The menu had a mix bag of African dishes, Indian dishes and Filipino appetizers. We went with something called Kachori which were four fried balls with lentil filling. It was served with a variety of dipping sauces ranging in heat level. I liked the green sauce but the red sauce had the biggest kick.

Safari Grill on Urbanspoon

My wife ordered the Lamb Chops but later were told that they were all out of it. She was disappointed.

I had the Serengetti Platter which came with corn, chicken and a skewer of beef. The chicken was grilled with tandori sauce and the beef was marinated with Afro spices. The corn had a kick too but not like the fries which were drenched with the hottest red sauce on earth. The fries were called pilipili fries and I would avoid that the next time. They were glow in the dark red and looked scary. But they were ok for eaters who can take a little heat. I can say, if you can take Suicide wings at Ed’s, you can probably eat these.

A plate of naan were served alongside. By the time we ate our food, it was hard to think of having dessert. The food was all delicious and we have to come back for the lamb chops that people seem to like. It was an adventure that we were glad to had experienced.

2012 Ferrari Seen Around Town

Tail lights of a Ferrari

Tail lights of a Ferrari

Someone in the city is making too much money and he is driving around in a brand new 2012 Ferrari. I’ve seen him twice in the same week. He was driving up 8th Avenue towards 8th Street and today, he was going up Bow Trail towards Sarcee Trail. I came up alongside with my VW Passat and peeked in. He had a passenger with him and he wasn’t that old. He was probably in his mid 40’s and well dressed.

Once the light changed, he reved up his engine but he had nowhere to go. There were too much cars in front of him but he could have changed lanes and gave some of us a show. It would have been worth a ticket to rev up those engines and tear up Bow Trail.

The 2012 Ferrari starts at $257,000. The Ferrari FF model sells for $295,000. Who drives one of these around Calgary? Where does one buy a Ferrari in Calgary? I decided to look around on the internet and found that Kijiji has a listing of a few Ferrari’s ranging from $19,999.00 to $259,900.00. Ok, so I found private sellers of the vehicle. Next, I need to mortgage my house in order to afford one of these babies.

Next life, maybe.

Welcuts

Welcuts

Welcuts

It’s a busy haircut place and they’re open 7 days a week. Only thing I would recommend to them is to have a clipboard and let people sign in. It lets new customers know how long the wait is and what number they are in line. Welcuts on Patterson Drive SW is located in a busy strip along with a Shell gas station, 7 Eleven, Alterations, Poco Loco pizza and Schooner’s Pub.

You can see from the banner on the door that they are a startup. Using Vistaprint for free business cards and cheap banners, Welcuts is well on their way to being a profitable haircut and beauty salon. They charge $17.95 for men’s cut and $20.95 for ladies’ cut. A bang trim is $6.00.

On Sunday, they were in full force with 3 hairdressers on the floor. There was a constant stream of new customers from 12 noon to 1:00pm. Customers peeked in and saw people waiting did not go pass the doorway, turned around and headed for their cars. There’s no reception and people just don’t want to wait. But they’re too busy to tell them that it’s no more than a 10 minute wait because they’re fast workers.

One thing I did observe, everyone takes haircutting for granted. If you want a haircut, please tell them what you want. Don’t just sit there and expect them to shave it off. How much do you want should be stated upfront. If you want layering, say so. If you want a shampoo, say so. They can’t read your minds!

Little Lebanon – Awesome Mediterranean Food

Serving Donairs

Serving Donairs

Free baklava to those who enter and order food. What a great way to greet customers! I just wished more establishments did that. Next time you’re looking for a taste of Lebanon food or a donair, you have to get down to 35th Street and 17th Avenue SW. Right on the SE corner and across the corner from the golden arches is Little Lebanon.

Little Lebanon on Urbanspoon

On a Sunday afternoon, they were baking up fresh fatayers which are triangular pastries filled with chicken, potato or donair meat. We’ve tried them before but only with spinach. This time we thought we would like to try the chicken and so we bought half a dozen for $5. Biting into a hot fatayer filled with delicious chicken was heaven. It was so good, I had to eat another then another. By the time I finished 3, I thought I better make it a dozen which is only $9.50. These are great for lunch and after school snacks.

When we walked in, they were loading up donairs for customers before us. They were piling on the meat as you can see in the photo. It was clear these guys were carnivores with very little to no veggies at all. You could if you wanted to, have tomatoes, lettuce, picked turnips and chili peppers in your donairs.

We ordered pita pies filled with beef. These are flat, thin pancakes the size of a large frisbee, baked crisp with ground beef smothered all over it. There’s some herbs and tomatoes in the mixture. Topped off with lemon juice and hot sauce, it makes a pretty good meal. Pita pies are $3.50 each and for a hungry guy, two to three should do the job. I would recommend a pita pie with a donair and maybe a fatayer to round things off. The dessert baklava is complimentary and is given to everyone who walks in and look lost.

Persimmons at Superstore

'Jiro' Persimmons

‘Jiro’ Persimmons

I’ve learned that some people have never eaten a persimmon. But then again, a lot of us haven’t eaten a durian including myself. Persimmons on the other hand are more popular with the asians but I’ve also learned that persimmons are now grown in Italy and other Mediterranean countries, Middle East and in the US. Originally, persimmons were cultivated in Japan then in China. When persimmons are ripe, they are very high in glucose content.

The ‘jiro’ persimmon can be eaten at any time but are not as sweet as the ‘hachiya’ persimmon. The meat of the ‘jiro’ persimmon is more firm like a green apple. It is slightly sweet and quite pleasant. The other persimmon is only sweet when the fruit is ripe. A ripe persimmon is one with a clear almost cracking skin.

Persimmons are not popular until October when they can be purchased for as low as 50 cents per pound. They are at its premium at the moment, sold per unit. But for persimmons lovers, the ‘jiro’ variety are available at Superstore for 88 cents each when bought in pairs, otherwise $1.28 each.

Why Not (this) Italian Ristorante

Why Not Italian

Why Not Italian

To be perfectly honest, I have been going to Why Not Italian Ristorante in the Strathcona Square for a number of years. I’ve seen different waiters come and go, so the service is definitely sporatic at best. The pasta is delicious and the calamari is so-so. The brushetta is nice and so are the dinner rolls (if the waiter decides to give you some). They are thrifty when it comes to feeding you bread so if you’re like me, they will be annoyed with you before the night is out. The veal is good no matter which dish you choose. The salads and soups can be improved but so can the service.

The cook makes delicious pastas such as the Linguini alla Vongole (or clams), both red and white sauce,  Spaghetti Bolognese, Linguini Diavola and Linguini Pescatore as my favourites. Their veal dishes are awesome too such as Vitello alla Pizzaiola and Piccata al Limon.

I would still recommend eating here. The food is delicious, atmosphere is typical Italian and the after dinner drinks are fair. If you don’t like the service, just give a smaller tip but don’t blame the cook – she’s the best!

Why Not Italian on Urbanspoon

OK Tires is better than OK

OK Tires on Richmond Road

OK Tires on Richmond Road

They say the safest time to change your winter tires over to your summers is after the long weekend in May. Well, I’m a late bloomer so I just had it done yesterday. I called Fountain Tire near Westbrook Mall and they couldn’t fit me in. Maybe everyone is a late bloomer like me.

The problem with Fountain Tire is that they don’t make appointments. It is first-come-first-serve but they are happy if you can drop your vehicle off with them so they could get to it when they have time. This may work well with you if you work nearby or can take the bus to downtown and pick up your vehicle later. But for me, I can’t wonder for 8 hours around Westbrook Mall without a car.

I called OK Tire on Richmond Road near 29th Street SW. They charge the same as Fountain Tire but three things (2 positives, 1 negative): (a) they will book an appointment for you, (b) you can wait for the work to be done and (c) don’t give air miles.

I rolled in at 10am and rolled out at 10:45am. It was fast, affordable and with great service. I couldn’t recommend them enough so if you need tires changed over, ask for Mike or Stephen. They don’t give Air Miles like Fountain Tire do but they gave me a nice little pouch for my tire lock. Be sure to ask for yours and if you don’t have a tire lock, use it as your change purse.

Closed Shaw-Nee Slopes

Shaw-Nee Golf Course

Shaw-Nee Golf Course

We no longer have a community golf course in the southwest, affectionately known as Shaw-nee Slopes to many of us who loved golfing there. In October 2011, Shaw-Nee Slopes closed for redevelopment of the Shawnee Evergreen Community.

Looking at the developer website, they are planning to build houses on the land. But a lot of the natural areas such as the ponds will probably remain intact to allow new residents to take in the beauty of natural tree lined green space and the wildlife that frequents the area.

The developers are correct when they said it is a bittersweet development. If you were a semi-private member of the golf course or played at this beautiful  golf course then your feelings are probably closer to being bitter. I know I am bitter and sad that we need more inner city land for more houses in Calgary.

Million Dollar View

Driving Range at Shaganappi Point

Driving Range at Shaganappi Point

You can go to any driving range in the city but there is only one range that has the One Million dollar view, Shaganappi Point. The range has a spectacular view of Calgary’s city core. Located just 7 minutes from the core of the city, the Shaganappi Point range is owned by the city. Jumbo buckets go for $12.50 and smaller buckets go for $6.50. The jumbo bucket has 100 balls, enough for you to practice your drives and your irons. The smaller bucket is good to warm up on before a game.

Shaganappi Point has a full 18-hole course and the Valley 9 for beginners or players that don’t want to invest 4-5 hours for a 18-hole round.