Cocktail Crawl Tour through Winnipeg’s Skywalk System

The Winnipeg Walkway System, also known as the Winnipeg Skywalk, is a network of pedestrian skyways and tunnels connecting a significant portion of downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In 2015, a profile of Downtown Winnipeg published by the City of Winnipeg described the Walkway as a system of 14 skyways and 7 tunnels connecting 38 buildings and allowing for a maximum protected walk of 5 km. It went on to state that the system provides year-round climate-controlled access to over 170,000 m2 of space, including over 200 shops and businesses, 10 office complexes, 60 restaurants and snack bars, 700 apartment units, 2 hotels, 11 financial centres, and the Winnipeg Millennium Library, bringing together 21,000 employees. The walkway system has since expanded.



Skywalk System Map


But now there is a whole new dimension added to the Skywalk experience. A Cocktail Crawl! There are quite a few quality drinking establishments connected to the Skywalks. This idea has my mouth watering.



Hopefully everybody behaves and nothing gets out of control. Debauchery should be kept in check. Overindulgence can cause painful hangovers.




John Wayne got all those cowboys wrong. So did Clint Eastwood, come to that. Most cowboys didn’t wear Stetsons or ten-gallon hats on two-pint heads but generally anything that came to hand. What came to hand for most cowboys in the late 1800s was the bowler hat. It was durable, strong, and didn’t fly off a cowboy’s head when galloping on horseback across the prairie.

That was partly the reason why the bowler was invented. London hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler were asked by a client, Edward Coke, in 1849 to come up with a hat that wouldn’t be easily knocked off or damaged by low-hanging tree branches when worn by riders or gamekeepers. Most people wore top hats when riding which weren’t very practical. The brothers came up with a design of a hard felt hat with a rounded crown and an upturned brim to give shade and keep off the rain. As the story goes, when Coke was presented with his new hat he threw it on the floor and stamped on it several times. As the bowler withstood his fearsome attack, Coke picked it up, dusted it off, and paid twelve shillings for it.


The ‘Wild Bunch’ Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid

From that first sale, the bowler became the hat of choice among the working class. It was quickly exported across the world. It was soon being worn by cowboys, sheriffs, laborers, ditch diggers, snake oil salesmen, and politicians. In America, the bowler or the derby as it was called, became”the hat that won the west,” despite all what John Wayne and those American western movies tell ya.

Few hats have been as popular, or as successful, and even on occasion, as subversive, as the bowler. This old hat is the symbol of everyman. It has far-reaching associations with lowly workers and city traders; with the rogues of the Wild West like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; the decadence of the Weimar Republic (see Cabaret); the Surrealist movement (the work and dress code of the artist René Magritte); iconic movie stars like Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy; deadly Bond villains like Oddjob and Nick Nack; the Ministry for Silly Walks and stand-up comics like Jerry Sadowitz; and literature like Waiting for Godot and A Clockwork Orange.

It also has links to more controversial groups like the Orange Order, the group of Protestants who march in their suits and bowler hats every twelfth of July to ironically celebrate a battle the Pope of Rome wanted their hero, William of Orange, to win. In South America, the bowler is now part of the dress of Quechua women after it was first introduced by British workers in the 1800s.

This rich mix of bowler hat wearers led me to collect together a brief gallery of suitably iconic and hopefully interesting pictures. Do feel free to add to with your own bowler hat suggestions below.


Malcolm McDowell as Alex in ‘A Clockwork Orange’


Two of the most famous Bowlers Laurel and Hardy


Bela Lugosi


The Ministry of Silly Walks: John Cleese.



Frank Gorshin as the Riddler in TV’s ‘Batman’


Bond villain Oddjob from ‘Goldfinger’


Scaramanga’s butler Nick Nack from ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’


The Beatles


Diana Rigg from ‘The Avengers’

The Vibrancy In Small Bars: Japan’s Izakayas

Small bar located in the back alleys of Osaka’s Dotonburi district.

Travel & Documentary Photographer Lee Starnes is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  These images are from his project ‘Izakayas Of Japan‘.

Omoide Yokocho, Shinjuku, Tokyo





“I always liked side-paths, little dark back-alleys behind the main road,” Dostoyevsky writes in his 1879 novel, The Brothers Karamazov. “There one finds adventures and surprises, and precious metal in the dirt.”

Though it’s a pretty far cry from 19th-century Russia, the narrow back alleys of Japan are evidence that Dostoyevsky’s musings hold a universal truth. Clear on the other side of the world, the Land of the Rising Sun boasts an entire network of small, local businesses built around this idea of serendipitous experiences and tiny, unexpected places.

Down the side streets and back alleys of Japan, the culture of izakayas – small, intimate watering holes, often helmed by a single barkeep – is alive and well.


The Pontoncho area of Kyoto. Famous for Geishas and littered with traditional tea houses, small bars and izakayas




Tokyo’s Nonbei Yokocho or “Drunkard’s Alley”

Manitoba Moose Helping Polar Bears

The Manitoba Moose are a professional hockey team based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They are the minor team affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. The Moose play in the American Hockey League.

The Moose are very involved in the community. One cause the team supports is the International Polar Bear Conservation Center at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. The Moose wear their polar bear jerseys a couple times a year and then the jerseys are auctioned off.  The proceeds go to the Conservation Center.

Iowa Wild vs Manitoba Moose


Polar Bear at the center.


The Moose participate in other community functions. Below they skated at the outdoor hockey rink that won the best backyard hockey rink in Manitoba. The rink is located in West St. Paul just north of Winnipeg.

Many very small kids that skate like they know their business.





A $1 Billion Embassy Opens in London

New United States embassy opens in London.


The new site, a 12-story glass cube, designed by Philadelphia architecture firm KieranTimberlake and replete with moat and gardens, will open its doors to the public on January 16. It will house around 800 staff and is expected to receive 1,000 visitors daily.
The billion-dollar building was paid for by selling other US government properties in London. Some members of the US Congress criticizing the hefty price tag.
At a hearing in 2015, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and chairman of the House oversight committee, slammed the administration’s construction process as mismanaged, resulting in a building with an “opulent-looking” glass facade that favored aesthetics over security.


With a price tag of $1 billion, the new US embassy in London is one of the most expensive buildings of its kind in the world. After US President Donald Trump said he was canceling his visit to London in part because of his proclaimed outrage over the cost, it is now one of the most notorious.

In a late-night tweet, Trump blamed the Obama administration for a “bad deal” to sell the previous location in the high-end Mayfair district in central London and move to a former industrial site south of the River Thames.

In fact, the decision to move out of the Grosvenor Square building was taken under the Bush administration in 2008, principally because the building was proving harder to secure in an age of terrorist threats — and also, in small part at least, because the US government did not wholly own it.