partyin' partyin' (yeah!)


Although I'm kind of jonesin' for a vacation right about now (no surprise, I always want to go on vacation), life in the city is just picking up. This is the best time of year. People stay out late during the week and there's always something some sort of outdoor event happening. We clearly are making up for the long winter.

Pride Parade and Al Fresco (the 104 Street Block Party) fell on the same Saturday again this year and just like last year it was gorgeous out. And because good things happen in triplicate, I had the pleasure of being on auntie duty. After a coordinated hand-off of Dexter at the market, I had a brief shopping trip, and then I found John, Glen, Wade and Phil who had found a choice spot to watch the parade.

Phil, waiting patiently for the parade to begin.
John, also waiting patiently for the parade.
After a bit of a wait the parade finally got started. They had moved the route to 102nd Avenue this year, which allowed for unobstructed views from both sides of the street. It seemed a bit more lively this year, with more floats, music and coordinated costumes.

Dexter certainly liked the parade. He danced and cheered and even took a turn wearing some parade swag. Sarah was busy teaching and Don was riding in the parade, but he stopped to say hello to his little boy. So, if you saw him stop to say hello to a cute little kid, it wasn't a case of politicians kissing random babies.

Dexter's pick for best in show was clearly this balloon. He played with it all afternoon.

Once the Pride Parade was done, we skipped the festivities in Churchill Square and headed back to the apartment to drop off my market wares. I was about to take Dexter back home on the LRT but he decided that he was cool and mature enough to sleep over at auntie's. No complaints from me. If only all kids went down for a nap that easy.

Fast forward a couple hours, and Sarah, Don, Dexter and I met up to walk downtown to check out the block party. Much of the parade crowd had lingered in the area. We first came across a crowd watching the salsa dancers in Beaver Hill Park.

I love the block party. I like how it's grown over the past few years and transformed into a really hopping party. Tiny rave princesses, long skirts and hobo bags! Live graffiti-inspired art! Drag Queens! And let's not forget the food. 

And yes, hipster culture was well represented. Edmonton's most socially conscious and stylish were out in full force. I particularly liked this bevy of boys who had gathered at the mid-way point of all the block party action. These guys have got it all.

On the left we've got leather loafers sported by a polo wearing fellow who dreams a little bit of Don Draper when he gels back his hair. We've got the thin blonde with dark frames who jots down notes in his moleskine while sipping espresso. He is half-way through his second unfinished novella. Next to him is the fellow in slim-fit denim. His airline bag is vintage Lufthansa and not a reproduction. And then there is my favourite. He rides an awesome fixie. He carries an 8-ball helmet that he never wears because he's already sporting a flannel newsie cap. And then there is the guy on the end. He must review video games.

Don't get me wrong. I love them all (I jest all in good fun, mocking these fellows with malicious intent would be a case of calling the kettle black or thowing a stone from my glass house, since the gentleman reminds me frequently that I too am easily categorized as a hipster with my maxi dresses, long hair tied up in a loose bun and my SLR in my purse. But I was an early adopter baby!). These guys are basically a spread from one of my favourite tumblr blogs, convoy.
And speaking of fashionable folks. Here is a linup of equally stylish ladies lined up for a trip down the runway.

The gentleman had attended TEDx earlier in the day, along with a large crowd of intellectually keen individuals, but it wrapped up just in time for us to grab some supper together. We grabbed some sandwiches from the Elm Cafe booth and then chatted with our fellow "urban-types" over the fence at the wine tent.

That is, when they weren't ignoring us to look aloof or discuss important worldly matters.

And then we bid Al Fresco adieu for another year.