— The Route —

Journey Man

Why an Arena District plumber loves his daily commute

PATRICK-THEROUTE

Patrick Nybakken doesn’t just live downtown; he’s helping rebuild it, as a plumber on the City’s new $300 million office tower in the Edmonton Arena District. After having lived close to the Oilers’ current home, Patrick made the move downtown last year and now enjoys a 20-minute morning walk to the site on 104 Ave. and 101 St. It has come with a connection to his neighbours that he’s never felt in other parts of the city. “I am bound to run into a friend, or see a person I have never met but passed many times. We give each other ‘the smile and nod.’” He adds, “And more and more interesting places are always popping up.” Many of these new additions have cropped up along his commute to work and, best of all, have made it easy for him to be a conscious consumer.

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1. EARTH’S GENERAL STORE, 10150 104 ST.

Patrick’s made a lot of lifestyle changes in the last year, including taking supplements and vitamins. For those, he visits Earth’s General Store and stocks up on Vitamin D, probiotics and shea butter for the cracks in his hands—a side-effect of his labour.

2. DON WHEATON FAMILY YMCA, 10211 102 AVE.

While some days his job is exercise enough, other days the YMCA picks up the slack. “When I started going, I was going to spin classes,” he says. Now Patrick has added more routines: squats, lunges and push-ups. Since going, he’s made friends with other fitness-minded folk.

3. TRANSCEND COFFEE, 10359B 104 ST.

Patrick’s go-to meeting place is Transcend’s newest location, a minimalist-designed cafe inside the basement of the Mercer warehouse. He says it serves Edmonton’s best long black coffee (double-shot espresso in hot water). He’s fond of its variety of locally roasted beans, along with its clover machine method of brewing, which rescues the single-origin beans’ inherent flavours. It’s even helped educate his palate. “I’ve come to learn I’m a fan of the lighter roasts. Sweet notes…even a little sour.”

4. EDMONTON EMERGENCY RELIEF SERVICES THRIFT STORE, 10255 104 ST.

Patrick loves hunting for interesting vintage pieces while knowing his money is going towards a good cause. At this little-known thrift store, proceeds help victims of disasters such as fires and flood. “I usually look for unique knick-knacks for the house.”

5. MOTHER’S MARKET, 10251 109 ST.

On Friday evenings, Patrick stops by the weekend indoor market for fresh produce and meats. “I have a vehicle, but it’s nice not to have to drive sometimes for groceries.” He eats healthy, never forgetting some fresh garden carrots from Lund’s Organics, but can’t resist wild boar bacon from Foremsky’s Market Meats and Irvings Farm Fresh pork shoulder for his pulled pork recipes.


This entry was posted in 2015 Spring, Columns, Issues, The Route.