Monday, February 18, 2013

A Saturday in the City

It's Family Day weekend in Edmonton, the dead of winter, the weather is a little perkier but spring still seems a ways off, oh what to do? Well if you are like me and you have an expired groupon for the Art Gallery of Alberta that you want to use, the farmers market is running at City Hall and you have a new fish eye lens for your camera and your daughter calls and asks what you're doing Saturday, you say, "I'm going downtown, you should come too."

That's pretty much what happened this past Saturday and it was a lot of fun. Kait and Nick met us at City Hall and we puttered around the farmers market for a while and then Nicks dad and sister met us and the six of us spent the day together.

Rose and I love farmers markets and we always spend too much and get into a little trouble buying delicious home made goodies to take home for later. This time though, we were on our best behavior. We are trying to make healthy eating choices and are doing a lot of juicing and smoothies and that sort of thing, so baking and sugar and all of the usual unhealthy choices are out! (mostly)

So we spent most of our shopping time looking at stone milled heritage grain products and fresh vegetables, chocolate ambrosia  (how did that one sneak in there?) and chipotle rhubarb ketchup. While Rose sampled home made Indian food from two different stalls I wandered around taking pictures of our remarkable city hall. It is a very impressive building, bright and airy, with some great chromed benches and beautiful artwork and of course some impressive stairs and columns that photograph quite well.

City Hall Farmer's Market

Our plan was to go for lunch at Tres Carnales, a Mexican restaurant that I've heard quite a few good things about, but when Nick checked their web-site we found out they don't open until 4pm on Saturdays, oh well. We decided to walk over to The Blue Plate Diner and the six of us paraded through some rather grungy scenery over to 104 Street, just in time for the tail end of their brunch menu.

Lunch was quite good but for a variety of reasons, Rose and I opted to split the Elk/Bison burger and have the house salad with it. That would have worked out quite well.....except we were surrounded by plates overflowing with delicious looking fries that were calling out to us to gobble them up and thereby putting us both out of our misery.

Rose weakened I'm afraid and wanted to order some of our own, but I stood firm in the onslaught of tantalizing aromas and sounds of people all around happily munching on fries, only slipping a little bit and "borrowing" a few fries from Nick and Kait's basket of golden deliciousness.

That minefield avoided, (mostly) we headed across the street to evoolution, a delicious way to spend a Saturday afternoon, sampling premium olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars in cute, tiny little paper cups using bits of bread to soak up the mixed flavours and eventually choosing a few combinations to take home.

                        Espresso Balsamic Vinegar & Blood Orange Infused Olive Oil

I LOVE that place, the only problem is, there is so much variety and everything is so tasty that it's hard to make a choice and exit gracefully! Eventually we did make a choice, a few choices actually and I can't wait to try them out at home, delicious.

After that it was a walk back to drop off a few parcels at the car and then on to the Art Gallery of Alberta. I confess, I am far more interested in the building than most of the art inside of it and so, as everyone else enjoyed the art, I thoroughly enjoyed the building itself. Of course I can't resist trying out some of the art filters that can sometimes jazz up pictures and give then a little bit more punch. Check out a few of the pictures below: all shot with a Sony NEX 5n and a Rokinon 8mm Fish Eye lens.

High contrast black & white filter

Colour Polarizer Filter

Partial Colour/Yellow filter.

And that was about it, just another Saturday in the city.