Downtown Bro Date Ideas

Can we just all agree that downtown Winnipeg is just about the best place to hang out and relax for an afternoon? You have the Jets in winter and the Goldeyes in summer, The Forks all year with the most amazing atmosphere and shops to grab things you won’t find anywhere else, and in the downtown you’ll find some of the best restaurants in the world waiting to feed you.

Have you met my new friend Jordan Cieciwa? He’s the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s new Ambassador of Health and Happiness. Myself, Jordan, and his friend and camera guy Jaremy Ediger headed out for an afternoon and evening of entertainment downtown recently.

Jordan works with NOTT Autocorp when he’s driving around downtown making his wellness videos, so we saw an opportunity to have a little fun in his car, and test Jaremy’s photo skills.

First we checked out The Forks. Jordan is guilty heading to The Forks only when they have events going on. Immediately I saw my chance to convert yet another Winnipegger into a “True Forks Believer”. You have to go people watch and check out the stores that have amazing artwork, unique clothing, and just about everything else including bicycles that scream “Winnipeg”.  It also gave Jaremy a chance to take a couple cool photos.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

Even though I could walk and shop at The Forks forever, we had places to be and a fancy car to drive, so we zoomed off in style to our next stop, food at “La Roca“.

We found a pretty solid place to hang out with friends at La Roca. I’m not going to lie to you, the best part of La Roca is the amount of cheese in their quesadillas; well, that and the amount of people in the place having a great time. We were heading to the Goldeyes game next, and we weren’t the only ones there getting ready for the Goldeyes to be champs again. Lots of people in the place were gearing up for a good time downtown, and as always with La Roca, the atmosphere was electric.

We finished our food paid our tab and chalked another win up for La Roca. From there, things got real.

Real rainy that is.

We headed over to Shaw Park where we got the terrible news, game cancelled due to rain.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

For those of you who don’t know, the Goldeyes just won their second title in two years and their third since 2012. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are the American Association Champs back to back, 2016 and 2017!

This team is a well oiled machine: they play with pride, and they play to win. There are a ton of cities in the states that know about Winnipeg because our baseball team crushes them each and every year, but who’s counting right? We were! Huge congrats to the Goldeyes. Even though you didn’t entertain us this night, you came through in the end. History was written, and the events leading up to the win were so “storybook” that even Sports Illustrated took note. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are famous!

However for our day downtown, we now had a bit of a gap.

As it turns out, Jaremy is full of fun facts about Downtown Winnipeg so he took us to some of his favourite spots to share some local history. As a guy that loves the music and entertainment scene, Jaremy has walked most of the downtown to see a ton of local bands and he blew our minds with a couple facts.

Photo by Jaremy Ediger

There was a team decision made that we are going to start a regular trivia segment on Instagram. The downtown is simply the coolest, and it should be celebrated.  So, speaking of celebrations, we want to see where you party… specifically where you partied to celebrate the Winnipeg Goldeyes winning the second title in two years. The best celebration selfie wins $100 at La Roca. I believe everyone needs to get down there to try their amazing food! Enter to win now by sharing your selfie on Facebook (find the post and share your photo in the comments), Twitter on Instagram by September 30th at 4pm. Tag me @downtownpeggy to enter!

See you downtown,

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Spring Break Downtown: Highlights and Must-Dos

As the clock strikes 3:30 today, could you hear the cheering of voices from the children all around Winnipeg?

Spring Break is up next week, and there is no shortage of fun and amusement available throughout downtown Winnipeg.

Here’s our list of must-do events during Spring Break:

FESTIVAL OF FOOLS

Festival of Fools is free family event held at The Forks during spring break week. This 7-day free family festival features jugglers, clowns, acrobats, swinging trapeze and circus workshops and tons of hilarious shows! In addition to funding support from The Forks and the Winnipeg Arts Council, the WICF solicits donations at the event to both present the best in family entertainment and to keep the festival affordable for everyone! Did we mention it’s FREE?! And with The Common now at The Forks, it’s easy to make a day of it. Food options for even the most picky eater and of course, flights of craft beer for the adults.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Saturday, March 25 to Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bring your family and join us in special activities taking place throughout spring break! Spring break programming starts Saturday, March 25 and ends Sunday, April 2, 2017. All activities and special events are included in the cost of admission.

Special offer: Kids 12 and under get in free from March 25 – April 2, 2017.

More information available on CMHR website.

 

MANITOBA MUSEUM

March 25 – April 2 • Open daily 10 am – 5 pm
Meet you at the museum for a week of fun activities in the newly renovated and expanded Alloway Hall and the debut of a brand new Planetarium show.

  • Portraits of the North: Drawings by Gerald KuehlGet inspiration from Portraits of the North exhibit and experiment with different drawing techniques at our portrait station.
  • Crafts and hands-on activities – Create and decorate a miniature birch bark paper basket and decorate it with your own designs or create a Red River friendship bracelet.
  • Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre – Get up close to the live animal displays (Mon, Wed & Fri 1:00 – 4:00 pm)
  • Take the 10 Things Challenge – Try and do all 10 activities at the Museum before the end of Spring Break including boarding the Nonsuch, exploring the Dino Dig and building a race car.
  • Meet BMO the Bear (Tue & Thurs at 1:30 & 3:30)

Towne Theatre

After visiting downtown shops and restaurants, how about taking in a movie? Beauty and the Beast and other exciting movie experiences are waiting for you and your family at The Towne. Check showtimes here.

 

Millennium Library

Reading with Raptors

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 2:00PM – 2:45PM

Registration is required for this event.

Owls and falcons will be swooping in to the library with staff from the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.  Staff will bring an owl or falcon and together we will read stories and learn interesting facts about these wondrous birds.  For children ages 6 years and older.  Younger siblings may attend if accompanied by an adult.

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No matter what you do this spring break have fun exploring and experiencing our downtown and all it has to offer your family!

 

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Wonderful Wedding Show Comes to RBC Convention Centre

The proposal. The ring. The planning. When a wedding is in your immediate future everything becomes research—your last hotel stay, every other wedding you attend, every cupcake, donut, or pie, and even dress shopping becomes a second job.

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The Wonderful Wedding Show takes place January 21 and 22 at the RBC Convention Centre. This annual event is the largest single source of information available about Winnipeg wedding services, featuring the city’s leading wedding professionals. With over 300 displays and 130,000 square feet of the latest must-have wedding fashions and trends, wedding products and services, and much more, every couple can explore the ways to make their wedding dream come true. One lucky couple will even win a DREAM WEDDING!

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Make a day of the Wonderful Wedding Show. Start by meeting up with your bridal party at a downtown restaurant or coffee shop to plan your route throughout the show over brunch or appetizers. When you enter the RBC Convention Centre be sure to get your copy of V.I.B Weddings Magazine, a magazine for the Very Important Bride!  V.I.B. Weddings features local content and real weddings highlighting products and services from Wonderful Wedding Show vendors that will inspire couples with ideas and has a special Show Guide section with Exhibitor Listing, floor plan and editorial about the show.

Downtown Winnipeg is a regular spotlight in local urban weddings. Whether downtown Winnipeg is the backdrop for wedding photos, or where the wedding reception is held, to where couples book their honeymoon suites in one of many iconic hotels, there are so many wonderful spots, corners, and signature spaces that hold special memories for Winnipeg couples. Take advantage of our fantastic downtown scenery and architecture to make your wedding memories uniquely Winnipeg. Tag us in your Wonderful Wedding Show photos on Insta and Twitter with #finditdowntown and enjoy planning your special day!

Top left, clockwise: Photo credit @blackandgoldphoto; Inspiration Gallery 2016 winning table by Just In Couture Designer Planning & Luxury Décor, photo credit Wonderful Wedding Show; Bottom left: Wedding planning by Like A Star Weddings, photo credit @nghiatranphotography. All photos used with permission.

Don’t miss out on these key daily features:

Brides’ Lounge with performances by Danny Kramer Dance Band at 1:30 & 3:30pm daily

Eph Apparel Grooms’ Lounge – Grooms-to-be can even enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Sports Prize Package

Inspiration Gallery – 2,500 sq ft of inspiration!

Fashion Show – 12:30 & 4:30pm daily

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Purchase tickets in advance to be entered for a chance to win a FREE vacation courtesy of LA Travel Group, Air Canada Vacation, and Palace Resorts. Trip value up to $6,000. Includes flights, transfers, hotel, & taxes. Click here for more prize details

Tickets available at http://wonderfulweddingshow.com/tickets/

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Experience Downtown Winnipeg this Holiday Season

The holidays are always an exciting time for downtown Winnipeg. If you’re trying to find something to bring on the holiday cheer, you can #finditdowntown! There is something for everyone during the festive season.

 

  1. Nonsuch Hold Tours

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The holidays have arrived in Manitoba Museum’s Nonsuch Gallery, but the 17th century hasn’t left! The entire gallery has been authentically decorated, transporting you to 1668 England.

Treat yourself to the sights, sounds, and stories of the past. Listen to traditional folk groups, hear old Christmas stories, and take the rare opportunity to tour the Nonsuch’s cargo hold.

 

  1. Parkade Ball Hockey

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It’s not winter without hockey! Every Tuesday from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the top of the plaza parkade at The Forks turns into a ball hockey rink. It’s the perfect opportunity if you’re sick of passing cars constantly ruining your street hockey games.

 

  1. The Jungle Book

Calling all Disney lovers! Five actors play 21 characters in the Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s adaptation of The Jungle Book. The story focuses on Mowgli a lost child who is adopted by animals in the Indian jungle. If your family enjoyed the live action movie earlier this year, you will love this chance to get up close to the magic of this treasured story.

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It runs December 8 to December 30. Get your tickets before they sell out!

 

  1. Holiday Farmers’ Market

From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on December 15, Manitoba Hydro Place transforms into a vibrant farmers’ market. Whether you’re looking for fresh fruit and vegetables, organic hair products, or glass jewellery, you’ll surely find what you’re looking for.

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  1. It’s a Wonderful Life at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre

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Enjoy a classic Christmas movie at an iconic Winnipeg venue. On December 18, The MET is showing It’s a Wonderful Life, the film about a guardian angel showing a suicidal man what would happen had he not existed. Tickets include popcorn and The MET’s delicious buffet.

 

  1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

You’ve probably seen the movie. But have you seen it with a live orchestra? On December 11, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performs along with the 80s classic, which focuses on a child’s relationship with an alien who is trying to get home.

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  1. Nutcracker

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker is back! Experience the treasured Christmas tradition with RWB’s world-renowned dancers. With the addition of new characters, the show is fresher than ever, and includes some famous Winnipeggers in walk-on roles. You’ll be hearing those Sugar Plum Fairies dancing in no time. Don’t miss it! On from December 22 to December 30.

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#finditdowntown for Le Burger Week!

Something has come over Winnipeg – it’s saucy, juicy, meaty, and quite frankly, a bit messy.

It’s Le Burger Week. And people are going wild for the city’s best burgers.

How it works: check out the Le Burger Week website, let your mouth water for a bit, designate your top picks (play eenie, meenie if necessary) and then go forth and eat those burgers!

And don’t forget to download the Burger Week app and vote!

I’ve conveniently compiled a list of the nine downtown burgers I’ll be trying this week (photos courtesy of Charcoal Collaborative)! And if you try one, be sure to #finditdowntown and tag me in your tweets and Instagrams!

The Keg – 115 Garry St.
Maple Crunch Burger

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The Keg’s signature 8oz prime rib burger with jalapeño aioli, maple butter, bacon, melted brie cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce and house-made crispy chips on a toasted bun.

Shannon’s Irish Pub – 175 Carlton St.
The Grinder

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Served on ciabatta bun with a garlic mayo, cheese, tomato and Jameson-infused sautéed onions and house fries.

ERA Bistro at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
The ERA-sistable

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In house made beef patty, chedda, swiss, all the fixings on an in house made pao de queijo.

Rudy’s Eat & Drink – 375 Graham Ave.
The “Dad Bod” Onion Burger

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Caramelized onion, havarti cheese & house bacon stuffed in a freshly ground 100% steak patty on an onion cheddar bun topped with house-made onion rings.

The Merchant Kitchen – 314 Donald St.
Sweet & Sour Pork Belly Burger

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Slow roasted pork belly, pork pate, cilantro, Sriracha mayo, grilled pineapple, fried egg, sweet and sour BBQ sauce, sesame seed bun.

The Velvet Glove – 2 Lombard Pl.
Nacho Libre

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Ancho cumin beef burger, guacamole, pica de gallo, cheese sauce, crushed Doritos, pickle chips, red onion and Sriracha crema on a brioche bun.

Nick’s on Broadway – 287 Broadway
The Asobi Burger

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Manitoba Beef Patty soaked in bacon fat, goat cheese, nori bacon, watermelon radish, arugula, black garlic aioli, edamame chow-chow on brioche.

Oscar’s Deli – 175 Hargrave St.
Dirtyburger

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Two beef patties, bacon, pastrami, salami, American cheese, egg, lettuce, tomato, fried onions, dressed with hot mustard and horseradish sauce on a sesame seed egg bun.

SMITH at the Inn at the Forks

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SMITH spiced pork burger with house cured bacon, grilled pineapple, Fort Garry Beer mustard.

 

For the VIMs (Very Important Moms)

 

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Adorable mason jar for your Mother’s Day flowers from Freshcut Downtown!

 

Chances are there’s a mom out there who’s responsible for life as you know it. And once a year, we set aside a day to show that amazing lady just how much we appreciate her. This year, Mother’s Day is May 10, and I have a few suggestions about how you could treat the mom in your life!

 

Sydney’s at The Forks is offering a Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 10AM – 3PM
$42 for adults, $15 for kids under 12 | Call 204-942-6075 to reserve

Rudy’s Eat & Drink is offering a family-style brunch from 10AM – 3PM
$19.95 for adults, $12.95 for children | Call 204-421-9094 for a reservation

SMITH at the Inn at the Forks is offering a beautiful brunch buffet from 9AM – 3PM
$45 for adults, $20 for children under 12 | Call 204-944-2445

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar on Garry St. will open at noon. Call 204-942-7619

Resto 12 at the Radisson will host a Mother’s day brunch featuring a deluxe seafood buffet
$39.99 for adults, $24.99 for seniors, $$14.99 for kids under 12 | Call 204-975-6240

The MET is offering an elegant, Manitoba-inspired brunch buffet
$39.99 for adults, $24.99 for seniors, $$14.99 for kids under 12 | Call 204-594-9494

The MET is also offering Dinner & A Movie, featuring Pride and Prejudice
$40/person includes buffet dinner & popcorn. Cocktails at 5:30 | Call 204-594-9494

Carbone Coal Fired Pizza is offering a free Fererro Dessert Pizza after lunch or dinner on Mother’s Day to anyone who tags a pic with their mom using the hashtag #MyDateWithMom and #CarbonePizza. Also, wine by the glass, litre and half-litre will be on special.

Era Bistro at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is offering a fixed-price brunch menu – but their regular menu will still be available. They source fair-trade, sustainable and local wherever possible.
Three courses, $24 | Call 204-298-2190

The Velvet Glove at The Fairmont Winnipeg is putting on an amazing brunch spread by Executive Chef Eraj Jayawickreme. All mothers in attendance will be entered into a draw for a the grand prize – a Girls Night Out including accommodation in a luxury Fairmont room, Chef’s table for two in the Velvet Glove and breakfast in bed for two the following day.
$70 for adults, $45 for seniors, $30 for children | Call 204-985-6255 

 

What else do moms like? All kinds of treats to show you care! Why not check out The Forks Market for some gift ideas? I’ve spotted lots of cute jewellery and giftware at The Forks Trading Company recently, and lots of it is locally created. (I also sniffed all of the candles there – yum!) You could also check out Best of Friends at the Millennium Library or the WAG Gallery Shop has some b-e-a-utiful choices! Does your mama need a little relaxation time? Perhaps a trip (or a gift certificate) to Riverstone Spa or Ten Spa is in order, or how about some class passes to Yoga Public for some serious meditation?.

And you know what you absolutely cannot go wrong with? Flowers. Freshcut Downtown has you covered and your mom will love it!

Give your mom a big hug! And I want to hear how you plan to #FindItDowntown for Mother’s Day! 🙂

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Look for these cute succulent magnets at Freshcut Downtown!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAW: almond, the restaurant on the river, is back!

It’s official – January 24 to February 13, the pop-up restaurant on the river is reopening!

RAW almond, Credit: Jacqueline Young

This is, no exaggeration, one of the coolest projects I’ve ever seen done in the city (it made national news!). If somehow you missed this news story, and this one, and this one, or any of the others, here’s a refresher:

Last year, Mandel Hitzer of restaurant deer + almond and Joe Kalturnyk from RAW Gallery of Architecture and Design opened a pop-up restaurant called RAW: almond on the frozen river near the Forks, with amazing chefs from around the city hosting and cooking different fixed menus each night.

This year, they’re back and planning to be even more amazing – so here’s the rundown of what’s new:

  • It’s gotten bigger- and there’s a new design!
    Described as a ‘reimagined ice-inspired structure,’ the restaurant will be built from aluminium scaffolding that looks like a shard of river ice that’s been pushed up to the surface. It will seat 30 people at a time, with 3 seatings per night. Dinners are 5 courses, with wine, beer, and spirit pairings to accompany. While they’re dining, another 10 lucky people will be chillaxing at the…
  • New tasting bar!
    Guided by chefs, 10 people will nibble on 3 special snacks and drink pairings of their own.
  • More chefs, new chefs, Calgary chefs!
    This year, Jesse Friesen (Lobby on York), Luc Jean (Jane’s), Edward Lam (Yujiro) and Calgarian Jason Barton-­Browne (Teatro) are going to be joining the lineup!
    Back for a second year are:
    Mandel Hitzer (deer + almond), Scott Bagshaw (Deseo Bistro), Adam Donnelly (Segovia), Aron Epp and Ben Kramer (Elements and Diversity Food Services),Tristan Foucault (Peasant Cookery), Eric Lee (Pizzeria Gusto) and Alex Svenne (Bistro 7¼)
  • If you can’t get tickets, you’ll still have a chance to eat there
    OK, this isn’t new, but it’s VERY important. Every single seat last year sold out within a week, and I have no doubt it’s going to happen again this year! They go on sale December 20th at deer + almond and RAW gallery. BUY EARLY. I can’t stress this enough. BUT. If you miss out, there’s hope. Talia Syrie of Come ‘N Eat Café at Neechi Commons serving a $20, walk-­‐up brunch between 10 am and 3 pm on weekends.

We all – me included – complain about the winter a lot, but I think it’s awesome that we’ve started owning the fact that we’re a cold city, and start getting more creative with what we can do with 6 months of snowy goodness!

MORE UPDATES:

  • New chefs! Manitoba’s reigning Gold Medal Plates champ, Kelly Cattani (Elements and Diversity Food Services), joins the line up of culinary talent on ice; along with Winnipeg-bred Ryan Lachaine (Houston, TX), and man of mystery Jesse Kreuzer (NYC). And in a thrilling development, Vancouver-based Chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and Food Network Canada personality, Vikram Vij, will cook at the tapas bar in RAW:almond Feb 3 and 4.
  • The #GreatCanadianSleepout for a good cause! Mandel Hitzer, plans to sleep on the ice throughout the restaurant’s three-week run to raise money for three community organizations he holds dear: Boys and Girls
    Clubs of Winnipeg, FortWhyte Alive and Resource Centre for Manitobans who are Deaf-Blind. Mountain Equipment Co-operative is suiting him up, and he’ll spend each night of the #GreatCanadianSleepout hunkered down in a tent within the temporary ice restaurant.

The food carts are coming!

It’s blurry – kinda like photos of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. But the evidence is undeniable – the food carts are back! No matter what the calendar or the groundhog says, this is how I judge when springtime is almost here in downtown. So while it may not look like spring today, or feel like spring, I have hope – the hot dog carts are back and we’ll see grass soon!

Please don't be a mirage...
Please don’t be a mirage…

Speaking of street food – I discovered today that that’s some of the inspiration behind one of the two future restaurants on Portage Ave across from the MTS Centre is Central American street food – things like the taco carts in Mexico and sandwiches from Cuba. Um, yum!!! The owner behind the restaurant is also the one behind Pizzeria Gusto, so you KNOW it’s going to be good food. Check out info about the restaurant here!

 

SoPo Square

I was out on the Rudy’s patio last summer with friends, looking over at that big parking lot behind the MTS Centre, and thinking just how awesome it would be if there were a whole bunch more restaurants and patios there we could wander over to. Excellent to read this morning that the dream of patio-hopping may come true!

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JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
From the Winnipeg Free Press, March 12, 2013/Joe Bryska
Doug McKay displays images of the proposed development near the MTS Centre and the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

The new development is still being worked out, but it’s tentatively being called “So-Po” – short for South Portage –

And here’s what gets me excited about patio potential:

McKay and Scott Craig, Artis’s senior property development manager, said what sets the SoPo Square development apart from other downtown developments is the inclusion of a large, T-shaped, outdoor central plaza and three mini plazas around the perimeter of the development.

He and Craig said the initial vision for the plaza includes restaurants with outdoor patios on three sides of the plaza, a large portable stage at one end and light/sound towers at each of the four corners. The types of events that could be held there include outdoor concerts, fashion shows, corporate events and even an outdoor hockey rink.

One word for that – YAY!

What kind of restaurants would you like to see around a plaza like this?

The Jets are almost back!

Valentine's DayWhile the lockout was going on, it just felt way too sad for me to have my Go Jets Go page up on the site – just kind of reminds you every day they weren’t playing! But now that it’s over (whew!) my guide to places downtown showing the games and tips on pre/post game snack stops is back up and updated! (Check out the new listing for the Met – trust me, you’ll want to go)

The countdown to the first game is on, and here’s the updated page for you!