“Can you believe it’s June already?”

“I know, I so owe you a visit.”

I board the express bus from Union and shoot off to spend a glorious afternoon with my writer friend, Marnie Woodrow.

I’ve not spent a whole lot of time in “The Hammer,” and Marnie is keen on sharing her favourite haunts.



First, there’s the Hamilton GO Centre, itself a thing of beauty. I could spend the day there taking photographs, hang at the deli lunch counter.

There’s Marnie. Looking fabulous. How I love this woman.

We make our way to James Street North as I share my horror story having just passed a kidney stone.

Historic James St.N. has shades of Queen St.W. in the Driftwood Music days before “progress,” with its own distinct character/place.

Our first storefront of interest, STORE.

“We bought our wedding gifts in here,” says Marnie.

The sign reads “PLEASE TOUCH.”

Then and there, I knew I was not in Toronto.

STORE sells local pottery, art, and used books. Marnie and I peruse both, point out titles read and unread, of interest. She recommends, then buys a copy of Seth Morgan‘s Homeboy, hands it to me. Sneak.

And we meet one of the Jelly Bros minding the shop.

We discuss lunch options. There are many. I mention my penchant for smoked meats.

“I don’t know if The Salt Lick is open for lunch, let’s see.”

We stop into another gallery space, the proprietor offers a sample of some health drink, we inquire about the street, business. Art Crawl. Talk about my new boyfriend. (Now ex.)

The Salt Lick is open! And, yes, that is a BBB sandwich! Beef Belly Bacon. On a local Portugese bun. Beans. Slaw. With a drumstick on the side. Heaven.

We talk shop. Family. Share stories. Relish the ease of each other’s company. It feels like a hoilday. Marnie Day.

On our return, we stop at the Mulberry for a coffee. I could spend a lot of time here. I failed to mention, men also look noticeably good in Hamilton.

I spy jars full of dark coffee lovingly called Cafe Fem. I buy a jar for Marnie to take home to Janette.

We do a final poke-about at Mixed Media, and Chaises Musicales. Both trouble.

Next time, we’ll hit the library and the AGH.

Yes, I’m invited back.


Author MARNIE WOODROW is currently adapting a screeenplay for her latest novel, Heyday, from Tightrope Books.

Photos/story: KIRBY

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