This is a new feature on the hill; a look inside our native city through the eyes of the artists exploring it’s cultural high points. Local joints, food, best cup of joe? We got ‘em. Best spot to get kicks or bump into Ryan Hemsworth? On lock. Need a 300 square foot parachute for a festival gig? Well, actually Rich Aucoin refuses to let that cat out of the bag, but you get the idea.
Look, we are proud to be from Halifax and glad to promote the art willing to leave our coastal fortress in search of larger audiences. Marrying the two seems as natural as donair sauce and pizza.
Up first? John Mullane. Guitarist and lead singer of In-Flight Safety. He’s a good friend, so it’s easy for me to list things he loves. Cats. Coffee. Talking about music. VHS tapes. Mentoring young musicians and playing soccer. But his hidden gems and local secrets, not so much. Here’s a day in his life.
Coffee: This is a central part of my Halifax experience. I don’t know why but it’s oddly important to me. I am slotting this into the morning but I don’t usually drink coffee in the morning. I am Maritimer tea guy in the morning. Coffee wise, I am in love with Two If By Sea and Java Blend. Java Blend has become a ritual for me about midday when I have decided I am becoming bored of myself. I am getting to know some of the staff and they are lovely. Two If is a premium brand of coffee curated to the highest degree of scrutiny around these parts. Zane Kelsall really inspires your average coffee drinkers to get a little more out your coffee experience. We are lucky to have him in HRM. They are now roasting their own direct trade beans as Anchored Coffee.
Brunch: This is easy. Hands down The Coastal Cafe is where I’ll be. Strong coffee, and crafty dishes made with local ingredients. It’s a tiny little spot but they organize it very well. Just don’t be one of ‘those’ people that claims the open table and then tries to order at the counter. Protocol people. Protocol.
Lunch: I am going to stay true to my neighbourhood, and it IS summer, so I would venture to Willman’s Fish and Chips and eat just that. Super friendly owner and the best fish and chips in Halifax.
Post-lunch blues: You are very getting sleepy. Turn to page 1. Or walk down from Wilman’s to the Hyrdostone Market and get some coffee at Julien’s.
Fun: Go to a lake or something. I know people do that. There are some beautiful lakes around HRM. It’s not really my thing. But it’s probably raining because we are in Halifax in which case go Halifax Vintage Arcade and play Mortal Kombat II. I will meet you there.
Dinner: Jincheng Chinese Cuisine on Dresden Row. We eat here pretty much weekly. Order the Gong Bao chicken. If you like spicy Szechuan you are in business 4 life. Best thing to happen to Szechuan food in Halifax since the Hungry Chilli closed. It was a dark time in this household for a few years. Don’t expect ‘service’ and there will be small chinese boy playing with race cars at your feet.
Drinks: At moment I am really enjoying Edna on Gottingen for drinks. It’s my new jam. Edna has amazing art direction and super great staff. Great place to hang out after the dinner rush. But The Carleton is where a lot of us seem to meet up or end up. It’s a great venue and a hub of musical activity in Halifax. Great people who work there and hang there!
Music: If you want to see a great cross section of the Halifax music scene get down to The Seahorse on Argyle St. Great PA. Great people and great venue. It’s intimate, but it feels like a proper rock show. Oh and yeah, tonight would be a great night to venture out there. Do it.
It’s Poutine Time: Willy’s on Blower’s. Do it. Open at the craziest hours. Like 3 am on Monday night. Local people, local business, tasty poutine.
In-Flight Safety is going to warm your heart at The Seahorse Tavern tonight, playing old favorites and those soon to be. Go.