Posts Tagged ‘Halifax


Being back in Halifax


Photo from Dennis Jarvis on flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.

Family circumstances mean that for the last week and a half I’ve been living and working from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and will be here for a few more weeks. It’s been a changing experience to be here, and a very different one from when I’ve returned here for holidays.

I was born and raised in Nova Scotia, and spent 6 years in Halifax going to university. I’ve visited here many times in the years I’ve been away, since we still have family here and nearby. But this is the first time where the initial weirdness of visiting has worn off. Being here for this long, and doing ordinary things like working and buying groceries, has made me feel a little more local once again.

These things, which initially felt strange, have started to feel normal:

  • Everyone’s so freakishly polite, especially in the service and retail industry.
  • Food portions are massive.
  • Relaxed drivers: three times I’ve had cars that were already waiting at a four-way stop reverse to let me cross the street without having to walk around them.
  • Everyone has a funny Canadian accent.
  • The price you see on the tag is not the price you’ll have to pay at the counter.
  • It’s cold: it’s well into spring but some days temperatures max out in the low teens. Nevertheless there are a lot of people in shorts and T-shirts.
  • Lots of hockey. And I don’t feel the need to specify that it’s ice hockey.

I’m looking forward to seeing how things feel when we head out to the country.


Goodbye to the Midtown Tavern


I spent six years at university in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in the late ’80s and early ’90s. One of the places that quickly became a favourite of mine was the Midtown Tavern. It was grotty and old and simple. It was popular with sports teams, the women’s toilet was an afterthought, and men slung beer and cheap steaks to other men.

It was brilliant. My uni mates and I went all the time.

Now I try to go back to the Midtown every time I return to Halifax. The nostalgia is enhanced by the fact that for the last few years there has been talk of an imminent closure. I was there last Christmastime: it was as no-nonsense as ever.

It looks like the end is finally coming (thanks to Dan for letting me know about that article). It’s a move, not a closure, but it’s not going to be the same. I’ll be in Halifax in late July but I don’t believe I’ll be able to visit the old Midtown before it closes.

Goodbye, Midtown Tavern.