It’s Friday afternoon on a very steamy summer day. I have had a monumentally busy week drafting documents, meeting with clients, speaking with other lawyers, preparing for court and… just being my usual dedicated, hardworking family lawyer self. Our office staff have served us well as always.
Time for a walk. Our funky, 60s “retro”-style offices are located at 279 Queen St. South, in downtown Kitchener, which is full of interesting streets, businesses, parks, people and activities. Lunchtime walks here are fun. We’re very close to Victoria Park, the downtown’s largest park with plenty of wide-open fields, forests, ponds, ducks, swans, swings and even a bell tower.
I step outside. My nose perks up to an unusual but strangely familiar smell. I smell…. pig?
When Schneider’s operated its pork processing plant here, the pallor of pork prevailed over the entire central area of the city. But the plant closed years ago. Why is the air filled with the smoky, briny odour of pork?
I realize that it’s Kitchener-Waterloo’s annual Downtown Ribfest & Craft Beer Show at Victoria Park. The ribs are already cooking and the craft beer is already flowing. I sprint the short pathway to the park. In what is normally a pastoral soccer field, there are at least seven or eight massive rib joints, decorated with mile-high mouth watering menus, each spouting trophies and awards from competitions across North America. Each with its own special barbeque sauce concoction. One of them even sports a “vegetarian’s nightmare” (full rack of ribs, whole chicken and sausages).
And on the other side, at least fifteen craft breweries , most of which I have never heard of nor seen in my local beer store. Some local, some big-city and some from tiny communities afar. All of them waiting to pour their custom brew for the thirsty public. The perfect accompaniment to a full rack of greasy, barbequed ribs, fries and slaw. The place looks like a giant carnival.
In Kitchener-Waterloo, we recently celebrated the opening of our new ION light-rail transit system with over a week of free rides. Trains full of families, neighbours and residents old and new, enjoying what our community has to offer. A few weeks ago, we rang in the summer with our 52nd annual Multicultural Festival in Victoria Park with music, dance and foods from around the globe. A few days ago, our main streets were lined with antique automobiles ranging from vintage 20s roadsters to 70s muscle cars during our annual Cruising on King classic car show.
“KW” is a great place to live …. and practice law. We even have a spacious new courthouse (not that we necessarily encourage you, the reader, to use it.)
Well, back to the practice of family law. It’s too early for barbequed ribs … or beer. But it’s not too late for the end-of-week emails buzzing in my smartphone.