You Know What Makes Me Happy? Hamilton
Did you know that Jay and I are looking for a house in Hamilton? And that Hamilton is awesome? YOU CAN DO ANYTHING IN HAMILTON.
I got this tote bag from Russell Gibbs (he keeps bees!), and it's my new favourite thing. I bring it all over Toronto on my bicycle to shock my fellow locals. For those of you who are not local, everyone in Toronto thinks that Hamilton is a really dirty suburb and everyone in Hamilton thinks that Torontonians are weird arrogant city people who foolishly think Hamilton is a suburb of Toronto. Which is EXACTLY what I thought, too. And then I fell in love with someone who lives there.
Admittedly, Jay's house-in-a-corn-field and description of downtown Hamilton living ("You can own chickens. In your backyard.") did not sell me on the city immediately. It took him almost eight months to drive me through the cute parts. Up to that point I thought that the local Bulk Barn strip mall WAS the cute part. In a moment of pure insanity I agreed to eventually maybe move there and set about finding the upside to a city that I grew up feeling nothing but a mild antipathy for.
We went to tailgate parties and Argos (Toronto) vs Ticats (Hamilton) football games where I wore Ticat colours and tried to blend in. We met Hamilton friends for brunch, brunch, and more brunch. They have a place called the Bedrock Bistro that is Flintstones themed. For real. I started to believe it could work out when I found the White Elephant, Mixed Media, and other cute shops. You know what else is awesome? Being able to afford housing. Being able to pursue my dreams in a way I can't afford in Toronto. Being able to live with the person I love. Having the space to maybe own a dog! (And chickens?!)
Back in Toronto, people were looking at me funny when I explained that I want to move to Hamilton and was EXCITED. Thankfully, I usually throw myself headfirst into decisions and dang people's opinions (See: dropping all of my photography schooling to become a seamstress & dropping my steady and very sweet full time job to head up a puppet workshop).
I am pretty psyched about Hamilton. There is something so charming about a city that is as passionate about itself as Hamilton is. People in Hamilton LOVE Hamilton. Now that I have my new makes-me-look-like-a-local tote bag I have big plans to wander through the city just saying random Hamilton phrases like "Ivor Wynne" and "James St. North" and looking nonchalant and not lost and stuff. It's gonna be great.
P.S. We are also looking in Guelph, but that's a whole other story and largely hinges on my desire to be just like my Grandma, who lived there. She taught me how cool black & white tile floors are, how to sew, and how to tell if someone took more than their fair share of cookies. She also cheated at cards. SHE WAS THE BEST.