ABBY IS STILL BREAKING ICE, BUT NOW ONLY FOR COCKTAILS

CHICAGO – Abby no longer cares how thick the ice is this winter in the Northumberland Strait. It’s not her concern anymore, now that she is one of the finest dining rooms in Chicago. Previous to this job Abby – the short form of her native name Abegweit – was the world’s most powerful icebreaker. She carried passengers and vehicles and even entire railway passenger trains across the Northumberland Strait that separates New Brunswick from Prince Edward Island. When CN Rail commissioned a ferry in 1946 from the Marine Industries Shipyard in Sorel, Quebec to carry its freight and passengerContinue Reading…

CHIVES GROWING UP ON THE FACTORY ROOFS FOOLED CANADIAN BOMBERS, BUT TODAY HELP SELL CANADIAN WORKS OF ART IN EUROPE

LEIPZIG, Germany – Chives, a healthy, evergreen herb with a pleasant fragrance play an interesting role for Canadian artists selling their creations throughout Europe. Canadians are designing, creating and displaying their art works at Spinnerai, a 25-acre art colony in this burgeoning city in the former East Germany. For more than 100 years the colony was Europe’s largest cotton spinning mill spread throughout 20 red-rick buildings. Today those buildings are home to art studios, galleries, theatres, plus residences for artists. And acres of chives are growing up on the flat roofs of the five-storey buildings, as they have been forContinue Reading…

KILL A BIG BEAR, ERECT 250,000 MILES OF STONE WALLS; EARLY LIFE AND TIMES IN IRELAND

GALWAY, Ireland – St. Patrick may have chased the snakes out of Ireland, but it was the Celtic farmers who eliminated the big brown bears from the Emerald Isle. European Brown Bears roamed this green island when it was covered with dense forests after the ice cap receded back into the Arctic. You wouldn’t want to encounter one in those woods. They were about the size of a Grizzly, with much the same disposition. They’ve been gone more than 6,000 years, but bits and pieces remain. A bear’s skull and its major bones can be seen in a bear’s denContinue Reading…

THE UNIQUE HOUSE ED BUILT

  He weighed only 100 pounds and stood a mere five-foot tall, but Ed Leedskalnin may have been the world’s strongest man. It’s either that, or he was an unfathomable engineering genius. You can decide as you walk through his house. The house Ed built in the Florida Keys is certainly one of the man-made wonders of the world. Let’s start at the front door. It’s a nine-ton block of coral and it rotates on two rusty iron spikes driven into the top and bottom of the stone. A child can spin the door with one finger, yet you can’tContinue Reading…

BIKING ON THE FROZEN ERIE CANAL

BUFFALO – Very few bicycles are rolling along the 643-kilometre-long Erie Canal towpath in winter, but many are riding on the canal itself. Lisa Florczak’s Ice Bikes are a popular feature at Canalside, a waterpark that turned derelict lands on the Buffalo waterfront into a people place. She converted a couple dozen traditional bicycles to glide along on ice without tipping over and she rents them out to those wanting to go riding on the old Erie Canal. She expects to see them wheeling and sliding along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa as well this winter. The skateway on theContinue Reading…