After more than 30 years living in Saint John, Monica and I are still finding interesting things to see and do. Only 10 minutes from home, the Boar’s Head Nature Preserve in Saint John’s north end is one of the few remaining undeveloped and protected areas along the convergence of the Saint John and Kennebecasis Rivers. About a 4 km round trip, it is a good workout of climbing and navigating the rooty path. The reward is the river view at the end of the trail… spectacular.
On this beautiful late-August Saturday, Monica and I drove “out East” for a hike to Cape Spencer Lighthouse and then a picnic lunch and beach stroll at Mispec Beach. Lots of folks were out enjoying the sun and sand. We even found some sea glass 😀
For those who love the uptown Saint John vibe, here is a scene to bring a memory and a smile.
Bobby’s Hospice (non-profit) is Atlantic Canada’s first community palliative care facility and has been a revered landmark on the West Side since 2010. They also opperate The Hospice Shoppe, an upscale second-hand boutique that sells donated clothing and household items with 100% of the proceeds funding care at Bobby’s Hospice. In previous years, Saint Johners looked forward with great anticipation to the annual Bobby’s Hospice BBQ fundraiser. However, since COVID, Bobby’s Hospice has refocused their fundraising efforts to launch this brilliant online lottery. Many wonderful items and experience packages are available for silent auction, raffle tickets, or 50/50 draws.
Please visit www.winwithhospice.ca for details on how to purchase tickets to win this Nellyglass original piece of art as well as the many other prizes.
Thank you and good luck to you.
Monica and I enjoyed some fresh air around the city on this first day of winter. First, I took a deep breath of stained glass at Portland United church in the north end. Lots of glass there. That was invigorating! Then we strolled through the city market to our favorite lunch spot at Ta-ke Sushi. It was my first time trying the bibimbap and it was excellent! Then home to wrap presents and enjoy an eggnog-afternoon 😀
…and hello Year of the Pig. For a spontaneous winter date, Monica and I bought tickets to the Imperial Theater to see a wonderful variety show celebrating the Chinese New Year (Feb 5th this year). Astounding performances of music and dancing highlighting the skills and talent of some of the 1500 Chinese residents in Saint john.
After the show, we had a delicious Chinese meal at Bamboo East (in the north end of the city, lol) with lots of left-overs for my lunch tomorrow. 😀 My fortune cookie said, “Your greatness will be noticed” and Monica’s said “Be prepared for the truth”. Is that perhaps a bit ominous? Not sure, but we had a wonderful day anyway and thoroughly enjoyed something totally different on a Sunday afternoon.
Like always, the weather in Saint John at Christmas time is unpredictable. In fact, today we are getting a rain storm and there goes all the pretty snow. However, last night was a beautiful moon-lit wonderland and just frosty enough to make all the lights uptown sparkle. Monica and I thoroughly enjoyed dinner at an old fav restaurant; Sense of Tokyo (rated #1 sushi restaurant in SJ). Then pre-show cocktails at Hopscotch whiskey bar and finally a stellar performance at the Imperial Theater by husband and wife (with daughter guest star), Tomato/Tomato. Toe tapping to new and old Christmas tunes, what a wonderful lift of spirit.
Here are a few photos highlighting the evening.
A random Friday in late May brought a cool and semi foggy morning with the promise of afternoon sunshine. I had some suncatchers to drop off at CraftologySJ so Monica and I decided to go together and enjoy a walk in the city. Then home to enjoy the back yard for the rest of the day… including a surprise visit from Monica’s brother and his wife.
The highlights, in cronological order, are as follows:
- Visit to the Saint John Jewish historical museum – I wanted to go for the stained glass windows but walked away with much more. The very knowledgeable Catherine gave us a guided tour through the museum and the lives of the early Jewish families in SJ. This beautiful building was formerly a senator’s residence (1897) and then a funeral home for many years before the Jewish Society aquired it. It now houses the synagogue after the original church was closed in 2007 due to low membership.
- Photo stroll with Monica through Queen’s Square to the harbour front
- Stop off at CraftologySJ to deliver suncatchers
- Visit to Cobalt Gallery on Prince William St. where somebody may have just laid away a certain sculpture by Inuit artist Mikisiti Saila for somebody’s birthday ☺
- Lunch at Ta-ke Sushi (double salmon roll…!!!)
- Stroll up King’s St., through the city market and through King’s Square
- Visit to a decommissioned church on Germain St., now a Children’s Interaction Theater Company. The stained glass is abandoned and some of it badly cacked… but I saw lovely fragments including a square glass “dome”.
- Wine, munchies and conversation with Stuart and Darlene on the back deck.
Here are wth photo highlights of A Day in late May
It was Monica’s idea! I’m so glad she thought of it on this clear, cold and spectacular Friday morning Jan 26th. Lunch at our favorite sushi restaurant, Ta-ke Sushi on King Street. They have the best lunch specials for around 10 bucks. We left very full and happy.
This summer, the city of Saint John initiated a fantastic public art project to commemorate Canada 150 plus our province’s natural resources and foster a spirit of neighborly friendship and collaboration. Ten fiberglass salmon sculptures each standing over six feet tall and brightly decorated in various river and Provincial themes.
The sculptures are all within easy walking distance in the uptown core and will remain on display until the end of 2017. At that time, they will be auctioned off and the proceeds split between the artists and the Saint John Interaction School of the Performing Arts. Excellent! Both Ryan and Sarah grew up with and enjoyed this wonderful local theater company.
Here is a photo gallery showing the walking map and the 10 sculptures in the order they appear on the map.
As a pre-father’s day celebration, Monica and I were treated today by our daughter, Sarah, to lunch uptown at Cask ‘n Kettle. Then the three of us enjoyed a round the block Gallery Hop to seven fine arts shops all within easy walking.
I am very spoiled and so fortunate and happy to be so.
Monica and I took a walk this morning around the Saint John uptown area. As luck would have it, we found the doors open to St. John’s (Stone Church) at the top of Germain Street. Build in 1824, it is one of the oldest Anglican churches in Canada and is so named for the gothic stone tracery. Inside is filled with stunningly beautiful stained glass on two levels; angels in the upper level windows and biblical stories in the lower level windows.
Here is the photo gallery of Stone Church (Taken with my phone camera so there is a bit of wash-out in some shots).
On this very cold late March morning (-12C) the sun shone brightly into our living room and through the Schiffer Panel at an angle. The birds twinkled as if they were alive. It was lovely and worth sharing.
We (Monica, Sarah, Matt and I) feasted today in honor of St. Patrick; born 385 AD in England, captured as a teen and taken to Ireland as a slave, escaped to the mainland as a man, converted to Christianity at a time when it was outlawed, returned to Ireland to spread the word, created his first church in Armagh (Mon and I were there), and has been ever since the Patron Saint of Ireland. Plus, it’s Matt’s birthday today… double the celebrations!! I ended the day with sushi from Superstore. What a wonderful family food day.
On this cold and beautiful Sunday morning in mid-March (2017), Monica and I did some church sightseeing to get a few window shots. We visited two of the city’s oldest and most beautiful; Trinity Anglican (uptown) rebuilt in 1881 after the Great Fire and Assumption Catholic (West side) built in 1842.
The sun was bright and the windows sparkled in all their glory. I was in heaven for a few minutes. Here are the highlights.
Up at 5 AM and enjoying the crisp Saint John air. The grass is still showing here three days before Christmas but there’s a promise of a dusting coming. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the pretty lights along with a zoom in of Monica in her morning ritual of coffee and i-pad surfing. Family is nearby, presents are gathering under the tree, there’s a wonderful feeling in my heart. Merry Christmas everyone!
Artistic inspiration is all around this week in Saint John and I’m in pursuit with my camera, dragging Monica and others along with me. I see it everywhere; in glass, in stone, in food. It really lifts my spirits to look and find the beauty in this city so easily.
Starting with stained glass, my latest Nellyglass endeavor is producing and selling my work through CraftologySJ on Prince William Street. For the past three weeks, I have been in the studio designing and making Christmas trees, angels and other suncatchers to tempt the cruise ship traffic. There are more than 60 boats scheduled into port this fall, so I’m optimistic.
CraftologySJ features the arts and crafts from over 50 local artisans. You can find just about anything here for a one stop gift-shopping experience. It’s very cool and I’m excited to be part of the art scene in Saint John.
Just down on the harbour front beside market slip, the international sculpture artists are finishing up their masterpieces for the 3rd Sculpture Saint John symposium. The finesse of the work is breathtaking partly due to the mass of the rocks themselves but mostly because of the talent (eight artists from Canada, USA, Greece, France and Italy selected from over 150 applicants).
These pieces are destined for permanent public display in various communities throughout NB. We strolled on Saturday with good friends from Moncton, met some of the artist’s and took lots of pics.
Art is not limited to traditional media… at our favorite sushi restaurant, Ta-ke Sushi, the chef takes great pride in presentation and the fish is always excellent. We’ve eaten here many times and always leave satisfied and happy…especially when you can get a great lunch like this for less than $10.
We love Saint John. It’s got lots of character and that means lots of artistic inspiration. I hope you find some here, too.
What a beautiful Friday night in Saint John. Clear blue skies before dark with no wind, 25 degrees, crickets chirping right on into the evening in competition with the street music that drifted all the way across the harbour where we parked our car. “Third Shift”: a city social event of art in the galleries and in the streets, with sound, smell, light, taste and touch.
Thought provoking, sensually thrilling, physically exercising and emotionally enjoyable. What a perfect balance for a good life. Here are the return-trip shots of the journey from the parking lot across the harbour.
Today (Sunday March 6) Monica and I spent a wonderful afternoon listening to live Irish music uptown. The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Saint John is raising funds for restoration work and hosted an afternoon (free will donation) of local Irish musicians and dancers just in time to set the mood for St. Patrick’s Day. This church was built primarily by the Irish who emigrated to Canada between 1845-47 during the Great Famine. 30,000 people arrived during these three years, doubling the population of Saint John.
The weather was perfect for a walk so we did just that. Although a brisk day (- 1), the skies were clear and the fresh air was invigorating for the half hour it took us to go from the west side to the uptown church. Fortunately, we got there early enough to get some shots of the beautiful stained glass windows before the place filled with people. The music was excellent, of course, but it was the windows I wanted to see and so glad I did. After 25 years in this city, this was my first time in the cathedral. The restoration is coming along but still has a ways to go. Must return some day to see it again.
Here are some of the shots I got:
Monica and I decided to get out of the house and go for a wilderness hike on this very hot and humid Sunday… with a 35 degree humidex factor, we asked for it!
Destination, Walton Glen Gorge in Saint John County very near the Fundy Coast just an hour’s drive from St. Martins. Walton Glen Gorge is often referred to as NB’s Grand Canyon and sports NB’s tallest water fall at 140 feet vertical drop. This waterfall only flows during wet season and August has been hot and dry in NB so we didn’t expect to see it on this day. Nevertheless, the gorge itself is supposed to be spectacular with 300 foot vertical cliffs on either side. Since we had never been here before, we thought this hiking adventure would be good practice for our upcoming Ireland trip in 5 weeks.
Off we went toward St. Martins to find the Shepody Rd. which cuts across land through perhaps one of the last unspoiled and unsettled tracts of forested coastline along the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia to New Hampshire. En Route we passed through a turn of the century community called Londonderry (same as the one in Ireland). What an unexpected thrill to find St. Paul’s Anglican Church and graveyard complete with high crosses just as if we were in Ireland. How ironic. Some of the graves date back to the mid 1800’s.
Traveling on past Crawford Lake and turning south onto Little Salmon River Rd., we came to major construction where the extension work of the Fundy Parkway construed my mental map for the gorge parking spot. Lost momentarily, we backtracked to the only signage we had seen for the gorge which meant a 5 km hike was ahead of us. Very good then, off we went. Within 5 minutes, we were soaked to the skin in this 35 degree weather.
It took at least an hour to get there…passing McLeod Brook Falls on the way. Arriving at the canyon and we were rewarded with an unparalled panorama of this spectacular gorge with it’s 300 ft vertical walls. On my belly, I crept to the edge as close as I dared and stuck my camera over the edge for a snapshot. Photos just cannot do this justice. Because the weather has been so hot and dry, the main falls were not running on this day…so, we will be back…maybe next spring.
Hot and thirsty (we consumed all the water we brought withing the first 30 minutes of the hike) we started back to the car. An hour and a half later, we dragged our tired bodies into the car and cracked a cold drink (thankfully our cooler still had plenty of ice). What a day trip. We walked over 10 km and saw some of the most beautiful scenery NB has to offer. If you get a chance, you must come here and see this.