One thing I love about Hamilton… are people who love Hamilton too.

When I was taking a French night class a little while back for an assignment we were asked to think of someone we admire to discuss for our next class as a conversation piece.  People talked about Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, their mother or their fathers.  I came to the next class and launched into how much I admire local Hamiltonian Matt Jelly.  I had just moved to Hamilton and was inspired by Matt’s love and passion for this city.  I admired his civic involvement and take-action mentality to get things done and create change.  I like people who do what they say, and while they’re at it get other people motivated to do the same.

I live downtown, and close to the “International Village”, where I usually  rarely make it past Dennigers heading east on King.  I have always thought of King Street as a place with a lot of potential but just a little empty or dare I say vacant?  More recently I have happily noticed new stores popping up in the neighbourhood like MODify Your Closet and Accoutrements.  What pushed me further along east on King was that I really wanted  to check out Matt Jelly’s recent art exhibition of Hamilton maps at Freeway Coffee House.  So off I headed east on King past my usual landmark destination.

On my walk to Freeway I discovered so many new places like Tundra Leather -a one stop shop for all things related to leather and working with leather (tools and all!).  It’s been open since 1963!  How had I never noticed this gem? There’s a new bookshop (J.H. Gordon Books) that’s being primed to open too.

AND then there’s Freeway Coffee House.  What an awesome space!  They serve local Hamilton roasted Red Hill Coffee, they host events and parties, and they have huge windows that stretch nearly the entire length of the vast space between floor to ceiling overlooking the parkette across the street.

I loved Matt Jelly’s Hamilton map exhibit.  I enjoy seeing and experiencing things that I have a direct connection to.  So of course my favourite map was my neighbourhood’s map.

I had a friend that told me that when she was younger she’d always giggle and say “cooties” instead of “Cootes”.  Haha Cooties Paradise.

Matt’s exhibit is showing at Freeway Coffee House until May 11th.  If you’ve never been to Freeway or that neck of King Street go and check it out. Grab a coffee at Freeway check out Jelly’s maps, and then head over to J. H. Gordon Books, which is scheduled to open this month.

*Freeway Coffee House, 333 King St. East

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