Big Day Downtown: People's Choice

Another summer, another Big Day Downtown. Every Summer the Downtown Halifax Business Commission bribes a bunch of bloggers to write nice things about the downtown core with $150 credit card. For one beautiful afternoon we get to happily turn a blind eye to the crumbling facades of empty buildings that Starfish Properties continues to collect in their seemingly endless endeavour to create an empty husk of a city and, at least in Passable’s case, focus on eating everything in our path.

All fury over the state of downtown Halifax aside, I actually do love the Big Day Downtown. It gives me an opportunity to think about our downtown in ways I rarely do. Positively, for one. LOL J/K J/K J/K. I love downtown Halifax! I really do! What the Big Day Downtown actually does is let me approach businesses in ways I perhaps wouldn’t otherwise. The best example of this would be last year’s challenge to do something that was “relaxing, thrilling, and satisfying,” which I took to mean “do something that makes you feel like a millionaire” and I dropped a giant tip on one of my favourite bartenders. When else could I ever do that? Never! (“No shit.” — my bank account.)

This year the challenge was to crowd source ideas. I tried. It was semi-successful. I’m not Zach Braff, ok? I don’t have any potato salad. I don’t know Veronica Mars. My first tweet was greeted with a lot of silence. A vague Facebook status and an accompanying tweet was more successful. I probably still wouldn’t hire me to run a social media campaign, though. Unless it’s making snide remarks about Big Brother. Those actually get some traction.

Anyway, I asked friends “If you were going to eat or drink just one thing in Halifax, what would it be?” Answers included some downtown suggestions: Talay Thai, the Midtown, Five Fishermen, Stories,Rocky’s, the Henry House, Satisfaction Feast at the market, Dharma Sushi, Boneheads. But a lot more  answers were elsewhere: EDNA, Curry Village, Mexico Lindo, the Westcliffe, Coastal, the Mic Mac Tavern, Java Blend, Pho Huang Minh, Tarek’s, and an overwhelming amount of suggestions for Salvatore’s. People love them subs.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really want to go to any of the downtown places suggested and waste my precious free money on a meal that was a half-assed suggestion. Not to mention that I also love finding an obnoxious “IT’S SEMANTICS!” cheat when it comes to the Big Day Downtown, because I’m a relentless asshole. So I decided to crowd source in the way that brings me the absolute most rage each and every year: The Coast’s Best of Food poll.

Good ol’ Best of Food, where everybody is wrong almost all the time, god bless ’em.* I hate that issue of The Coast.** I hate it so much, you guys. I hate watching restaurants climb all over themselves to beg for votes. I hate watching restaurants NOT climb all over themselves to get votes for amazing career servers who are a big part of the reason for why those restaurants are considered a “best.” I hate how angry and hurt people get when they don’t win. I hate that the goddamned Great Wall keeps winning Best Chinese Food. Honestly, that last one is probably my main problem with that issue. I mean, what the hellllllllll, Halifax??? Anyway, since this issue usually gives me an aneurism, I decided to crowd source my Big Day Downtown from it. Because at the end of the day I hate myself the most.

Hilariously, almost nothing downtown won anything in that damn poll. Fucking Best of Food. UGH.

Two downtown businesses did win, though: 2 Doors Down won Best New Restaurant and Stillwell won Best New Bar. “Oh, no!” I thought to myself. “I guess I’ll have to go to these two places that I already know I love!” That’s right, I sarcastically told off an issue of The Coast in my head. That’s how victorious I felt. Mostly I was just happy that there was somewhere other than the Great Wall on that damn list.

So on Sunday afternoon, Simon and I went out for a nice lunch and then toasted to ourselves over fancy beer. Thanks, Best of Food! Maybe we can be friends after all. (“凸ಠ益ಠ)凸” — The Best of Food poll.)

Here’s what our day looked like. Please note that we added a pretend “Best Candy” category and finished our day by buying a giant bag of sugar:

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*obviously I say this out of both a place of love and a place of always thinking I am right about everything.

**I also say this out of a place of love. In case you don’t know, one of the things I love most in life is to hate things!

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