BY: KARI OLFERT
(a North Enders experience) I have a confession to make, I was very scared going to Saskatoon’s Wild Wild West because we all know that it is not the safest area in Saskatoon. When you do venture out and if you know where to go, Saskatoon’s West Side has some cool attractions.
I spoke with 2 of my west side familiar friends, Chelsea and Cory, anymore than their first names would endanger them.
My adventure began with me looking outside my window and deciding that for the entire tour I would not be leaving my vehicle. I realize that this makes me a terribly chicken shit individual and that my younger self would want to kick my ass.
Here is a list of west side adventures that you should probably just go ahead and have. Add to my list, instead of yelling at me if you have places that I have not mentioned.
- Dim Sum. I could go on about the cool restaurants that you will find on the west side, because they are literally ‘tucked everywhere’ and if you have a west side connection, they too will have a favourite place that they like to get their eat on. For those of us who merely venture out yearly, when we want Dim Sum, to The Mandarin Restaurant we shall go.
- Cairns Field. I fell into this beautiful baseball park on my way to trying to hunt down the Hell’s Angels Clubhouse while simultaneously trying to yoga breathe my super fast heartbeat down. I pulled up to the field and looked around for shady people, and found myself running up the bleachers to get the best picture ever! A groundskeeper was there and was blasting his music, this was the first sign that my morning may actually turn out pretty sweet.
- Hells Angels Clubhouse. As you know, I drove by the first time and because of the fact that I am a total chicken shit and value my life (apparently), drove right by and went to play baseball. This time I drove right in front of the clubhouse. (I took off my plates before I did this.) The street was um dead silent and there are several businesses surrounding them, not surrounding as in guns and stuff, more like in the same vicinity, businesses like…
- Vern’s Pizza. The first ever location in Saskatoon. You know the stuff, 8 pounds of meat and 3 pounds of sauce enough to send you into a blissful coma after a night of drinking.
- Weird things. If you are anything like me, your life is mostly piles of boring neatly organized so you can find boring when you need boring. ELEPHANT IN A TREE. WHAT?! On the corner of Weldon Avenue and 15th, there is a motherfrickin elephant in a tree. See if you can find it!
- King George School. Seeing as Saskatoon’s West Side fosters a good chunk of Saskatoon’s origin, you can find gorgeous old buildings just hanging out being gorgeous, like King George School. Prettiest school award goes to…
- Lions Skatepark. If you know me, you know that I am a huge skater and a total liar. The Skatepark in Victoria Park is a skaters dream. There was a group of guys skating when I went to take my picture and they all stood to the side for me. So nice!
- Victoria Park. I love parks. I love nature, so this was my actual favourite part of Saskatoon’s Wild Wild West. Beautiful walking path along the river with barely anyone in sight, recluses rejoice!
At the end of my morning, because I whipped around like an ex-convict on the run (this is the west side after all, just kidding!), the west side and I had a mutual understanding, I no longer thought drug deals happened on EVERY corner and they no longer thought I had the largest stick up my ass and we became friends, Facebook friends, we don’t actually ever plan on talking, maybe a causal visit here and there if our real friends are around to make it less awkward. But friends, real social media buddies.
Next will be west side bars.
~also see ‘no, nu uh, not on your life, I choose sobriety, not really’
If you have a west side gem, I’d love to hear about it!