17th Avenue
Calgary Culture

Having been born and raised a Calgarian, I have come to the realization that I am really not all that familiar with the real heart of my city. Earlier this year one of my very good friends from high school and I determined to explore the lesser-known nook and crannies of Calgary and area. So, ever so slowly, I have been going beyond my normal haunts in the deep south and discovering it store by store and cafe by cafe.

This past weekend a fellow photographer asked me to put down the pharmacology textbook and meet her down on 17th for a short photowalk – photographer terminology for “Don’t think. Just shoot”. So we did just that. I am now back to studying and my brain has exceeded it’s knowledge threshold and I am not certain I could distinguish a  medulla oblongata from a turnip, so, blogging about said adventure and findings seems quite appealing.

First, the topic of coffee. Calgary. As much as we all love Starbucks and Second Cup, please, for the love of caffeine, explore some of the other coffee places.  Having only been a coffee drinker for a year, with my primary motivation being all-nighters, I am not claiming any superiority on the issue. To be honest, I couldn’t pull a single note of flavour from a coffee cup if I was promised an IQ boost of 20.  Coffee is coffee is coffee. However, I do enjoy some good latte art and atmosphere and you do not get either of those from the aforementioned caffeine kings. Need some recommendations? Try Phil and Sebatian (Calgary Farmers’ Market, Marda Loop and most recently Chinook), Vendome Cafe (in Sunnyside, and they have an enjoyable website), Caffe Rosso (Ramsay and Stephen’s Ave) and Bumpy’s Cafe (near 17th) just to name a small handful.  Haven’t heard enough about coffee? Check out my friend (and his friend)’s site – recently returned from Toronto as the 4th (bestest? I’m introducing that as a word for now) barista in Canada.

Second topic of this blog post are neat stores. Actually. Store. As listed as #8 in my blog post 20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me, I really do not enjoy shopping. I quite honestly would rather be sitting in a lecture with a monotonic explanation of the moral obligations experienced by lumbricus terrestris. However, I did discover one store on 17th Avenue that you must check out. If I could redirect my entire life, I might just purchase that store and call it a bachelorette pad. Steeling Home is its name and it is marvelous.

Third and final topic is a challenge. Get out. Discover something new. Pick up another hobby. If I could have anything material in the world it would be a never ending tank of gasoline (sorry Earth).  Much of this summer I explored the small towns of Alberta; Farrow, Gladys, Caresland, Blackie, Herronton, Black Diamond, Nobleford.  These places have amazing little gems – they are kind of like the cherry on top of living in Calgary. Use that as a starting point.

Well, I best return to the books. If you have any recommendations of places not-well-known-but-should-be in Calgary, post it in the comments!

Enjoy these images of 17th.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Replies

  • Brittany  

    Thanks you two! I should probably mention – Stefano doesn’t know many Canadians ;)

  • Ekaterina  

    Brittany, awesome photos! I should start getting out more with my camera too. That Steeling Home store is amazing! I go there from time to time but haven’t been in for a while now.

  • Stefano Choi  

    Looks like you had a great time exploring your own backyard. Love seeing your work Brit! Quite possible the smartest Canadian I know ;)