Eva finishes school at 1:30 on Fridays, so yesterday afternoon we took a trip down to Kensington to do a little Christmas shopping. Kensington is a great little village in the heart of Calgary that reminds me very much of my old neighbourhood of Wortley Village back in London, ON. Lots of funky little shops and tea houses and the best used record store in the city - Hot Wax Records. I had noticed that the Kensington Riverside Inn was decorated up as Whoville, so I got the family photog to get a few shots. I especially like the lime green Whoville wreaths.
Hot Wax Records was a gold mine yesterday. First all, both the old hippie guy and Lorrie Matheson, local singer, curmudgeon and top-notch Ralph Klein critic, were working at the store. As we walked in the door, I heard Eva exclaim delightedly, "they're both here!" and I knew she wasn't talking about any cds she had found. I finally told Lorrie how much we enjoyed his performances at the Calgary Folk Festival this summer and he admired our cd choices.Although it was a trifle embarassing when he asked if these were Christmas presents and we had to admit that, no, all fourteen cds were for us. (They were used, it was a hell of a bargain, so lay off me!)
Hot Wax is the most well organized used record store I have ever tried to peruse. Not only is every cd properly filed, but they are alphabetized within each letter of the alphabet, not just all the "g"s lumped together. Plus they are categorized and they have a "just in" section where I found three killer finds.
After the Hot Wax stop, we found the really cool present that we had planned to get for Jerry (don't say anything to him) and Eva pretended she didn't know I was getting her some stuff at the art supply store.
We topped off the afternoon with a lovely break at the Oolong Tea House where we not only got the covetted window table, but I had the most wonderful London Fog tea and Eva had a mango smoothy and, piggies that we are, we shared a piece of carrot cake and a blueberry thing. The Oolong tea house has a great atmosphere, slightly dishevelled but comfortable, with soothing sage walls and wood cabinets loaded with tea blends. It's the kind of place where you could happily while away the afternoon sipping tea and people watching. Even the bathrooms were charming.
All in all, it was a most civilized and relaxing way to go Christmas shopping, even if we spent most of our money on ourselves.
But check out the great used cds we got:
- Pixies - at the BBC
- the Pretenders - Learning to Crawl
- Margot and the Nuclear So and So's - The Dust of Retreat
- Jesus and Mary Chain - Psycho Candy (we already had the songs, but not the cd)
- the Replacements - Stink
- Falconhawk - Here's Your Ghost
- James - B-Sides Ultra
- the The - Love is Stronger than Death EP
- Hylozoists - la Fin du Monde (I had to ask Eva if anybody bought this already because it was on my Christmas wish list)
- Sparks - Music that You can Dance to
- the Fall - Perverted by Language
- Lush - Spooky
- James - Gold Mother
- Kirsty MacColl - Titanic Days
Now that's what I call Christmas shopping.