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Jane’s Walk + Tommy Guns

Saturday was a beautiful day to take part in two Jane’s Walks to learn more about Calgary + urban development.  How do submachine guns fit in?  Well read on!





My Alberta social coordinator + buddy Michelle gave me the heads up about all the Jane’s Walk festivities happening last weekend.  Jane’s Walk is to help educate the public about, “walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy, cities planned for and by people”.  The walks are usually held on the first weekend of May to celebrate Jane Jacob’s birthday.  Jane Jacobs was a writer, activist + mother who’s ideas + concepts about urban planning has influenced countless great minds of today.Jane Jacobs

She spearheaded the campaign against a freeway that would have gone straight through Washington Square Park – changing New York as we know it today.  Her book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” speaks about the usability of a city, creation of high pedestrian traffic – which all leads to a vibrant community of people living together – not detached from one another.  I need to get down with this book.

Our first walk was an exploration of the neighborhood of Crescent Heights – where Jeff + I lived last summer.  I met up with Michelle + the group at St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church.Jane's Walk - 01

I was very excited about this since one of my best friends from childhood is Ukrainian + I grew up learning about Ukrainian culture from her family.Jane's Walk - 02

There isn’t a very big Ukrainian community in Southern Califormia, but there are A LOT of Ukrainians in Alberta + this summer I vow to make my “Ukrainian Summer”!!!Jane's Walk - 03


Another view of downtown with Centre Street bridge that was built in 1916 for $375,000.Jane's Walk - 05

I think it’s amazing that you can see the Canadian Rockies in the distance from downtown!Jane's Walk - 06

So gorgeous!  Here on the left, we have one of the older homes in the neighborhood + I found it such a contrast to all the sky scrapers in the background.Jane's Walk - 07

Crescent Heights High school built in 1928.Jane's Walk - 08

Famous alumni indie rock stars Tegan + Sarah:Tegan + Sarah












And Tommy Chong – he’s a Canuck?!Tommy Chong

They weren’t mentioned on the tour – I did my own sleuthing!










Michelle + I noticed there were a lot of outside carpeted staircases.  Weird!  We figured better traction when it snows???Jane's Walk - 09

Man, it actually got HOT!!!  Here we are in front of Hughes’ House Bed + Breakfast.Jane's Walk - 10

My favorite building was saved for last.  The Danish Lutheran Church or also known as the Sharon Evangelical Lutheran Church.Jane's Walk - 11

The first church owned by the Danish Evangelical Lutheran congregation, it was completed in 1931.Jane's Walk - 12

First tour completed, Michelle + I took a lunch break + then met up with Jeff for the next walk!  The second Jane’s walk was a COMPLETELY different experience!  Set in the neighborhood of Inglewood, it was led by Calgary city counselor Gian-Carlo Carra, who brought his toddler along for the walk!Jane's Walk - 13

Jeff was bossing me around + telling me to get a picture of the graffiti (there’s Michelle! And a confused Asian man!)…Jane's Walk - 14

And a close up of some polite Canadian graffiti discussion at the bottom right of the picture.Jane's Walk - 15

Jeff looking street.Jane's Walk - 16

Gian-Carlo’s voice was 70% louder than the previous tour guide’s.  And he was 175% more charismatic.  His walk was more based on Jane Jacob’s philosophies + teachings, as opposed to the history of the area.  He took us to Inglewood’s art spaces + community gathering centers.Jane's Walk - 17

Inglewood is Calgary’s oldest neighborhood, established in 1875.  Here’s an old hotel with it’s original livery still attached.Jane's Walk - 19

Jeff was loving Gian-Carlo with his passionate love for his community + it turned into a campaign speech of sorts.  I was hot, tired, dehydrated + burnt out!  Stick a fork in me, I’m done! Michelle went off to go see Iron Man 3.  Jeff + I walked over to his friend’s gun shop down the street.Jane's Walk - 20

As the armorer (person in charge of firearms on set) of Hell on Wheels, Brian has a huge collection of guns + he gave us a tour of his collection!  Here’s a couple of Russian guns in the workshop.Jane's Walk - 21

The prop gun room.Jane's Walk - 22

There were rows + rows of handguns!Jane's Walk - 23

Here’s Jeff with a thompson submachine gun (tommy gun).  I told him to put on a mean face – and this was the best he could do!  Oh, Jeff.Jane's Walk - 24

“C’MON!!!  GET MEAN!!!!” I yelled at him.  Not a mean bone in his body!  I think this gun is a Schmeisser MP-18 – I don’t remember!Jane's Walk - 25

We thanked Brian + met up with one of the new cast members of Hell on Wheels for dinner in Kensington.  Who’s the new cast member???  I’m not telling!!!!!

A long day, I learned so much about Jane Jacobs, historic tidbits about Calgary + walked + saw so many cool things that I would have never had known existed!  Jane’s Walk – check it out in your city!

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. kenneth Papi~Dads nishino #

    WoW, Nan, the beautiful blue colored sky vs
    the starkness of the white Lutheran Church
    is amazing, so jeff and U made that trek 2
    Calgary, huh, that must of been quite a haul
    bet jeff was tired, huh, No wonder he couldn’t
    make a mean face,..haha…LOL, ok, hope all
    is well, best 2 jeff, cheers, Mahalo luv U, Dad’s

    May 6, 2013
    • Yep – the trek to Calgary is an hour drive! After that long day, I wasn’t looking forward to the drive home! No, Jeff can’t make a mean face because he doesn’t know the definition of mean!

      May 7, 2013
  2. Paul Brandt is another Crescent Heights alum. As was yours truly. 😉

    I wish I could’ve attended this year. As it happens, for the longest time I just assumed Jane’s Walks were marathons.

    May 6, 2013
    • Wow! I asked my husband, “Who’s Paul Brandt?” + he rolled his eyes + got really mad at me! A country western star?! I’m going to have to give him a listen! Jane’s Walk marathon – I would have thought that too!

      May 7, 2013
  3. Ukrainians are spread out all across the prairies. Lucky you, you can have real perogies, plus other favorites like cabbage rolls (a must, btw). I love my perogies boiled and then pan fried. Be sure to add the sour cream and bacon. The Lutheran church was quite Art Deco, beautiful. When I lived in Montreal, people there used sisal on the stairs to prevent slipping. Trust me, there are a lot of windy staircases in Montreal, so there must be some validity to it. And last but not least, I loved how the guy used his manners when asking about the graffiti. Classic.

    May 7, 2013
    • Polite Canadian graffiti!!! Yes, I’m going to try + go visit the Ukrainian Village, see that big egg + there’s Ukrainian Festival in June!!!

      May 7, 2013
      • We used to decorate eggs the Ukrainian way in elementary school. If memory serves me, I think they use wax and a needle. My advice: go to the festival with an empty stomach and buy things to store in your freezer. Maybe bring a little cooler. 😉

        May 7, 2013
      • Wow!!! So much Ukrainian influence in Alberta! Good idea on bringing a cooler to the festival!!! Thanks!

        May 7, 2013
  4. Oooh, the prop gun room is super cool! And where did you eat in Kensington? Anything to recommend?

    May 7, 2013
  5. Hiroko Nishino #

    Oh , I LOVE Ukrainian Church which is so orthodox and art deco Danish Lutheran Church. They make a sharp different excretion of their congregations. They both are so beautiful for fit to warship The Lord ⛪. Thanks , Shelli😄

    May 8, 2013
  6. peroxide queen #

    Shout me out girl! 🙂 Love it! I’m sure you’ll love the festival…is it just food or some home brew gonna be there. Watch out for that vodka! LOL! Sounds like you’re having so much fun. Loved the lake blog…haha you fell in….ahhhhhh just like that time you fell done the hill in Hawaii…oh wait….LOL!! Miss you but sounds like you’re having so many incredible adventures! xoxo
    Peroxide Queen

    May 10, 2013
    • I’m going to eat so many perogies!!! It’s definitely a different experience being out here! Miss you too!!!!!

      May 13, 2013

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