Thursday, January 5, 2017

Calling It Quitters

No coffee. There was no coffee to serve in the coffee shop.

Power was on for much of Stittsville, following the freezing rain storm of Tuesday and then yesterday's snow, which weighed down the trees and power lines throughout the Ottawa area, but the coffee shop in which we met was in one of the few affected cells and was without.

Cold drinks could be had and there were plenty of fresh muffins and other baked goods on offer. The debit machines were down but the tablet cash register could read credit cards.

I bought a vanilla-bean scone and filled a glass with ice-cold water. I put three dollars and some coin on my VISA, and joined the winner of this month's Where In Ottawa at a table along the windows that looked out onto Main Street.

As we chatted and waited for loveOttawa's Dwayne Brown to meet us with the prize t-shirt, the owner of Quitters Coffee, singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards, came into her shop and apologized for the lack of coffee, and announced that the baked goods were on the house.

She saw me, already enjoying my scone, and said, "If you've already purchased your food, too bad." The smile on her face supported her goodwill.

"That's okay, I'm happy to support small business," I replied.

"Thanks to our paying customers," she said. "Because of you, we can open tomorrow."

I wished that I lived closer to Stittsville. Quitters would be a regular haunt for me. We have nothing like it in Barrhaven, not since Steamers got sold and then promptly went out of business.

Fortunately for our Where In Ottawa winner, Mike Alexander, this friendly and cozy coffee shop is only a five-minute walk from his house. Lucky bugger.

Photos from when the power was on, when I shot the first Where In Ottawa photos. The coffee is an eggnog latte with a shot of dark rum. Decadence, for sure!

When I asked Mike whether it was the photo or the clue that helped him solve the challenge, he told me that the awning looked familiar and he suspected that the location was his neighbourhood coffee shop. As soon as he saw the first clue, he knew the answer.
  • At the heart of the old-new village—the village, in which settlers had lived since the 1820s and was named after Jackson Stitt in the 1850s, was originally at the crossroads of Carp Road and Hazeldean Road. Remember the old Stittsville Flea Market grounds? There. After a fire, in 1870, devastated the village, it was relocated after the Canadian Pacific railway built a line that ran from Carleton Place to Ottawa. The new Stittsville had a station along the line, at the intersection of Main Street and Abbot Street, which became the heart of the new village.
I had a lot of clues for this challenge but never had the chance to use them. Clues like these ones:
  • Trans-Canada Trail stop—the tracks for the CP line are long gone but the trail remains, and is part of the Trans-Canada Trail. Many hikers and cyclists use this trail and make Quitters a stop along the way (DW and I have cycled to Quitters many times). A sign on the side of the coffee shop lets you know that you can park your car, your bike, or even your dog behind the building.
  • Give up? You'll never win—everyone knows that winners never quit and quitters never win. Unless you're at Quitters: they make winning brews.
  • I Kitty the fool that doesn't get this clue—if you follow Kathleen Edwards on social media, you'll know that her Twitter and Instagram nickname is @kittythefool, what I can only assume is a play on the famous words of Mr. T. And, as I said earlier in this post, Ms. Edwards owns Quitters.
  • Out in the Stitts—by this point, I figured that the challenge would be solved, but just in case, I did a play on the expression out in the sticks, meaning a rural environment, which sums up Stittsville. Or, at least it used to. Urban growth has made this once isolated village now link to Kanata, and there are very few farm fields in between.
Congratulations to Mike on his success and on claiming the t-shirt that was generously provided by loveOttawa. It also marked a few firsts for Where In Ottawa: the first time that a winner was awarded the giveaway in the very venue that was used for the photo challenge. The first time that both the prize provider and I came out to meet the winner. And the first time that the winner was photographed.

Thanks to Dwayne and Anita at loveOttawa for providing their fine shirt, which celebrates Ottawa in 2017, for Canada's 150th anniversary. It's great to work with others who love this city as much as I do.

You can see the photo that Dwayne shot for loveOttawa on their Instagram page.

The next Where In Ottawa is Monday, February 7.

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