One of my favourite things to do is to explore other parts of the city I live in. Bowness for example was an independent town until 1963 when it was amalgamated with Calgary. Consequently it has its own Main Street, which has seen very little changes over the past 50 years. It has the quintessential 20th century North American town Main Street - extra wide to allow for diagonal parking and eclectic mix of one and two store shops in all shapes and styles. No architectural guidelines here!
Bowness is an authentic prairie town, situated in the middle of one of North America's fastest growing and most contemporary cities. It is like time has stood still. There is a car wash and lawn mower repair right out of the '50s. Cadence Cafe is a wonderful meeting place but today rather than farmers you are more likely to see cyclist or artisan having a chai tea. The library has recently moved to Main Street into what once was an iconic motor cycle shop building that still has the neon spinning wheel on top.
Bowness has a rich history. It was home to Calgary's first airport and it has one of Caglary's signature parks - Bowness Park on the south shore of the mighty Bow River. In the winter the park is home to a wonderful outdoor skating rink that is one of the best in Canada, maybe the world.
The anchor tennant for the street is Bow Cycle - mega bike shop with literally thosands of bikes. This is where Miss B got her Black Beauty bike that she rarely uses - that is a different blog. Bowness' Main Street is also home to a WINS thrift store, which is the busiest of their four stores.
Bowness is a great mix of mega million dollar homes along the river to quaint mid-century bungalows. It is home to many Calgary artists and olympic athletes as it has some of the most affordable housing and is in close proximity to Canada Olympic Park home to many of the 1988 winter olympic events.
Bowness reminds me of Clements St. in San Francisco which we discouvered when we were wandering about Haight Ashbury. In our usual fashion we saw a church that caught our attention, which then lead to stroll by an interesting tree and next thing you know we begin to feel the street change with some retail shops. Soon we are on Clement Street and we both looked at each ogther and said "This is what we have been looking for!" We both loved the Green Apple bookstore - but that is a story for another blog!
Hope you enjoy the pics below of beautiful downtown Bowness.