Like I did last year, I’ve assembled a list of the things we really enjoyed about this week’s March Break trip to Halifax:
- The best meal of the trip was undoubtedly at EDNA. This place fires on all cylinders: transcendent staff, comfortable room, good music, absolutely fantastic food (the best gnocchi I’ve ever had, hands down). I’m only sorry we waited so long to search it out.
- There’s been a shift in the coffee scene for the first time in a long time: Weird Harbour is now my go-to, replacing the venerable Two If By Sea. Overseen by the serene Dan Weir, the place evokes the good old days of ROW142 here in Charlottetown. Runner up is Narrow Espresso in the South End; the coffee’s not quite as good, but the space is fun and the folks are friendly.
- Yu Yo was our favourite find of the trip: we went twice, and had good tea and great service both times. And bought more stationery than is healthy.
- We really, really enjoyed the new Discovery Centre.
- Fruition, in the Seaport Market, satisfied our need for a vegan eatery after a few days of non-vegan indulgence. It doesn’t get more “why on earth would you need a bun for a veggie burger?” vegan than this; the food was tasty, though, and we’ll be back.
- Ethan’s favourite new thing was the Ardmore Park Service Dog Area; he loved it.
- We stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown, on Brunswick Street. It’s not the cheapest place to stay, but you can’t beat it for being central, with both the South End and the North End an easy walk, and Quinpool Road and beyond a straight shot up Cogswell. The rooms are clean, the beds comfortable, and the breakfast plentiful and hot.
- Last year it was Oliver’s computer that needed fixing; this year it was mine. The Apple Store rose to the challenge again, and swapped a new battery into my 2011 MacBook Air with only a couple of hours wait (this is, by far and away, the longest any computer has ever lasted me; and it’s still going strong).
Meanwhile, Halifax appears to be continuing to eat itself: the downtown remains in a constant state of construction, with cranes and barriers around every corner. I’ve no idea who the market is for all the new office space and condos that are going up; are these new people, or just a rearrangement of people already there? The net effect of this, at least for the moment, is that Barrington Street, which was the vital heart of the city when I first visited in the 1980s, remains a veritable wasteland, and it’s not clear what the end game is. I suspect little will be settled if we return in a year’s time.