New Year’s Resolutions: New Year, New West

When I first started writing this post it was that awkward time between Christmas and New Years Eve when your mind starts to wander. Perhaps it was the extra chocolate, carbs or down time that got me thinking about the coming year. Either way, I’m writing today about New Year’s Resolutions my New West friends. (I know, insert groan here).

Ringing in the new year or starting it off with a drastic change is pretty common. At my local grocery store they are already stocking their aisle ends with low carb shakes, protein bars and granola. And I’m already reading posts from friends about 2019 being the year they lose weight or get fit for good.

Instead of “New year, new me,” how about flipping that script and doing more of the good things you did in 2018? Start with listing five important moments in 2018. Next: what did you do to get through those moments? Was it a tough project? Public speaking? Challenging family situation? Next: What did you do right to succeed or learn from those moments? For 2019: resolve to do more of those things.

For those struggling or wanting to consider some more solid resolutions I’ve put together an alternative list of New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Introduce yourself to your neighbour (especially if you live in an apartment/condo)
  • Give up buying coffee/lunch/snack etc for 1 day a week and donate those funds to a non-profit you support.
  • Commit to volunteering for 2 hours a month to a local organization
  • Make a goal of walking/running/cycling a certain number of times in the year
    • Note: I made a goal of running 100 days in 2017. The distance was not important, just the commitment. And I completed it!
  • Write one nice thing about yourself every day in a book
  • Every Friday (or another day of the week) send a compliment to each of your employees
  • Write a letter (with real postage) to someone (note: some prices go up January 14, 2019!)
  • Commit to recycling and composting/separating organics more thoroughly
  • Buy one grocery staple from a local vendor or farmers market
  • Try a new recipe once a week

Be creative – paint your resolution, draw out a goal in your bullet journal, add some colour.

My resolutions you ask?

  • Attend a weekly yoga class
  • Do a set number of burpees per gym visit (they’re that full body movement that gets you every time)
  • Read 1 book per month (I’ve been on more of a podcast kick this year)

Ultimately small steps and doing more of what I love and what I know is good for me.

So, New West, feel free to share your New Year’s Resolutions below in the comments (or your anti resolutions!)

Morning Ramblings

I wake up early most mornings. I’m up by 5am and out the door by 5:30am.
This summer I started walking the 2 kilometres to the Skytrain station each morning from Glenbrooke North. It reduced the stress of catching a bus and waiting in traffic. It also increased the amount of walking I did every day. Most days of the week I walk between 12 and 15 kilometres.
In the summer the sun is rising during my walk and there are some beautiful sights. In the winter, as things got darker, I changed my route to be better lit and stick to main roads. Lately it’s been quite a bit chillier and the sidewalks are a little slipperier than normal.
Regardless of the season, there are constants that I have observed. The patterns that each of us adhere to, the behaviours noticeable week after week:
I see the same couple running up First Street most mornings. Some homes still get newspapers delivered and the newspaper delivery guy is in and out of the car. Sometimes he throws the paper and it doesn’t quite land where he wants to, so out goes the efficiency of throwing the paper to the door instead of walking it.
There are also other walkers and wanderers. On several occasions, at the same intersection, several blocks from my home, I’ve seen a neighbour drive to work with her dog.
When there’s filming in New West and the call time is an early one, there are drivers coming and going into Queens Park.
There are patterns in our days that we don’t always notice. By changing up my routine and slowing that part of my commute down, I’ve become part of that pattern.
Walk, ride, run, stroll and drive safely out there New West. Assume that every corner has a pedestrian on it and slow down.
My final observation? People assume that at 5:30am that they can drive right through four-way stops. Please don’t do that. Really.

Tis the Season – Winter Celebrations at Anvil Centre

It’s being described as a ‘cornucopia of entertainment for everyone.’ And after checking out the event listing I can confirm there is something for everyone. There’s a hip-hop dance party, musical performances, singalongs and art installations, yoga and an Indigenous Circle – Storytelling and Tea.

Winter Celebrations kicks off on December 18th at 1pm at the Anvil Centre with an evening of joyful choir performances followed by Quayside Voices.

And Christmas isn’t complete without a reading of the Dickens classic, ‘A Christmas Carol.’ On December 21st and 22nd New West Performing Arts Collective will perform this staged reading.

There truly is something for everyone. Be sure to check out the website for a full breakdown of events.

Many of the events held on the main level of the Anvil Centre are free however tickets for events held in the theatre range from $10-$20 with some lower prices for students. Ticketsnw has them available for purchase now!

Women on Wednesdays brings new workshop to New West

Women on Wednesdays (WoW), a local group established to create space for women to gather and strengthen their participation in the democratic process, is hosting an exciting workshop in two weeks on Wednesday, December 5th.

See Something, Say Something: Confronting Harm for Women in Leadership is an event being held jointly by New West’s own WoW (Women on Wednesday) and FACEBC (Feminist Association for Collaborative Education).

After a moment where they didn’t know how best to speak up, WoW’s organizers Councillor Nadine Nakagawa and Trudi Goels realized there is a great opportunity to learn. They partnered with FACEBC and both are excited to host this important event in New Westminster.

In this workshop, participants will examine some of the tools that women in leadership roles can use to draw attention to someone’s harmful behavior, or draw the community’s attention to harm. What is a call in? What is a call out? What other ways can we confront harm? When is each method of confronting harm appropriate and what are the risks associated with each? This workshop will explore the ways we can have these difficult discussions in compassionate and community building ways.

This workshop is reserved for women-identified, transgender and non-binary folks.

There are tickets available through the FACBC website https://www.facebc.org/ on a sliding scale and free tickets are available by emailing Amanda@FaceBC.org. Your ticket includes a hearty vegan meal (sorry it is not allergen free).

The event details are:
Wednesday December 5th
7:00 to 9:00 PM
350 Columbia Avenue – New Westminster
The venue is accessible with a ramp at the front door, elevator to get between floors, and the bathrooms will be marked gender neutral for the evening.

For more information:
womenonwednesdays.org
facebc.org

Craft fairs are coming to town

The holiday season and craft fairs go hand-in-hand. And craft fair season is upon us people – get  yourself ready because there are quite a few in New Westminster in the next month.

I spotted a few signs around town this past week and thought that a compiled list of New West – based fairs would be beneficial to everyone. (Note: If you know of one and want me to add it please email hello@tenthtothefraser.ca).

Here they are in chronological order so you can add them your calendar:

Herbert Spencer Craft Fair
605 Second Street
Saturday, November 24th
10am-4pm

Thornbridge Gardens
649 8th Avenue
Saturday, November 24th
10am-5pm

Christmas Crafts in Support of the Deaf-Blind Community of Vancouver
Hosted at the River Market
Saturday, November 24th
10am-4pm

St. Peter’s Church Bazaar
330 Royal Avenue
Saturday, November 24th
9:30am-3:00pm

New West Craft – night market!
Hosted at the River Market and 100 Braid Street Studios
Saturday, December 1st
6pm-9:30pm

Fridays on Front (under the parkade)
Friday, December 14th
4pm-9pm

New West Craft
Hosted at the River Market
Saturday, December 15th
11am-4pm

And while it is technically in Burnaby the craft fair held at St Thomas More Collegiate is along Tenth Avenue:
Knights Christmas Market at St Thomas More Collegiate
November 24 & 25th
10am-4pm

The New West Farmers Market primarily hosts food vendors but also has a small selection of artisans.
Saturday, November 17, December 1st and December 15th
Belmont Street
11am-3pm

Voting with your dollar

It’s a regular occurrence unfortunately. A local business announces that they’re closing up shop for one of a number of reasons: lease terminated, profit margin too slim, irregular flow of business, cost increases, or just fatigue.

A lot of these reasons seem out of our control, so what can a community like New Westminster do? I believe it starts with small, regular steps and active decision making. I believe that every day we vote with our dollar. As such I wanted to share a few actions I take to vote with my dollar. But I also invite you to share what your favourite small businesses are in New West and what you buy from them.

Farmers Market
This year I made a conscious decision to purchase eggs from vendors at the New West Farmers Market instead of buying from the major chain grocery stores. This may have meant spending $1-2 more per dozen eggs but I knew that the money was going directly to the food producers and quite often the eggs were fresher, larger and proven free range or BCSPCA Certified.
During berry season (which was pretty amazing) I bought a large amount of berries from local vendors like Mandair Farms, Maan Farms, Peace Arch Farms and others. Their berries were normally picked and packed in the morning for delivery and sale that afternoon. My freezer is now packed with local produce ready for a smoothie or baked treat and I don’t need to buy imported berries at 3 times the price.

Pet food and products
Most major grocery stores carry a variety of pet products, some better than others. I made a conscious decision to stay out of big box providers and buy from small businesses in New West that offer the food my cat needs.

Spice, baking supplies and all things wonderful
Galloway’s is one of those incredible places that hasn’t changed much over the years. The ticket system sometimes works but the prices remain low and the products are pretty consistent. I remember my grandmother used to go there specifically at Christmas time to buy crystallized ginger claiming it was the best.

Bakery
Did you know that Kozak Ukrainian Bakery in Uptown sells a dark chocolate sourdough loaf? I’m definitely a babka bun fan paired with a warm latte.

Produce
There are plenty of smaller product vendors scattered around New West. Each of them offer their own blend of unique products. While not all of their produce is locally grown, I try and shop there as I know the funds will go to a local business owner. I particularly enjoy shopping at Freshico in Glenbrooke North and try and go there regularly.

So, New West, how do you vote with your dollar? What are you favourite local businesses? Do you know of a gem? Share below and encourage others to keep them in business.