One Night Out in Halifax, Or Why Newfoundlanders Are Spoiled

I can’t really say I experienced much culture in Halifax, but doing so really wasn’t my intention. The premise for my Halifax weekend was based solely on spending lots of time with my best friend, and consequently drinking my face off to deal with work stress. Because that’s how real people do it.

There were a lot of things about Halifax that felt eerily similar to St. John’s. And then there were some drastic differences that made me realize how spoiled I am.

Our “Big Night” out in Halifax was Saturday. In preparation, Jo and her roommate made at least 40 jello shooters…for the three of us. We were planning on taking a cab into town around 9 p.m. for food at The Economy Shoe Shop (yeah, a restaurant, no shoes) followed by scandalous bar-hopping.

In St. John’s, an early night doesn’t start until 12 a.m. You “prime” at someone’s house, drink a dozen beers so you don’t have to spend too much cash, and then head out on the town. Any earlier, and things start to get expensive.

Anyway, The Economy Shoe Shop was great. I ordered some Garrison’s beer, a delicious, thick brew that took me an hour to drink and might have filled me more than my enormous platter of NACHOS. Yep, nachos again. They did not quite meet my Mustang Sally’s standards, but they did prevent me from getting black-out drunk.

After our food, we were all feeling kinda sluggish in the dim lighting and low-key atmosphere. I asked the waiter for directions to the bathroom and he told me to, “Walk straight through there, turn right at the giant tree, walk down the hallway at the left and you’ll enter fucking Narnia.” I got lost in there about three times, not kidding.

But then! Corbin of iBackpackCanada showed up! It was pretty thrilling meeting an Internet presence. He was all, “I feel like I’m meeting someone famous!” And I was all, “DON’T TELL ANYONE I’M DITZY.” We bonded over travel writing gossip, much to the annoyance of our friends. Anyway, at some point in the night we got separated, and alas, I lost my friend. Sorry, Corbin. It’s hard not to be a total flake sometimes. But I’ll be back.

Check out that stud muffin!

Check out that stud muffin!

We all ended up going to the Lower Deck. Or the Upper Deck. Middle Deck? It doesn’t matter. The place was packed. At one point I was leaning across the bar, when I glanced to the side, and at the exact same moment a guy from home turned to look at me.


WTFs all around. Atlantic Canada is small.

The place closed at 2 a.m. I was not having any of it, I threw a fit. So we all walked to the Dome, where creepy men and 18 year old boys lurk around every corner of the dance floor (separate blog post to come about the man bounty in Halifax and their love for gingers). It was different having to walk between bars in such a distance; in St. John’s, everything is grouped in one spot. This saves a lot of hassle and possible cab dollars. After bringing this up to one of the girls, she stopped, looked at me and said:

“You Newfoundlanders are spoiled as hell.”

She’s right.

Another major difference between Halifax (maybe the world?) and St. John’s: nothing closes until 3 a.m., at the earliest. Good things happen at that hour, people!

Lets play a game of How Many People Can You See Having Sex on The Dance Floor?

Let’s play a game of “How Many People Can You See Having Sex on The Dance Floor?”

We eventually got to The Dome..a venue with a billion bars in one. It is the most confusing maze I have ever experienced. Actually, so was the Lower Deck. Or Upper Deck. There were just stairs everywhere and dance floors and people grinding and security guards and OMG. I had a freaking blast.

Even if getting anywhere is a hassle, and I’m a spoiled Newfoundlander, I’ll be back, Halifax. Oh yes, you haven’t seen the last of me.

Shamless self-promo: Too much of a pansy to check out Chatroulette? Read about my experience here.

Two weekends of being completely ridiculous have majorly disrupted my work schedule, I’ll get back into it soon, folks. If I disappear for awhile just know that I still love you and am probably living in a cave somewhere eating bats. Also, I’ll do another travel bloggers round-up soon.)

  • February 25 2010

    ahahaha, great post ;D Stuff definitely closed down by 2am in Ontario :( sometimes 1am… such a sin. And in regards to the closeness of bars to each other? I went on a pub crawl in Saskatoon and we TOOK A YELLOW SCHOOL BUS between bars! not even a lie! and it wasn’t always a short ride!

    anyway, bit jealous of the wicked weekend you had – but since I had to work and therefore needed to live vicariously through someone else, I pick you. Damn, I had a good time last weekend! ;D

    • February 25 2010

      Hahaha, that is hilarious..although i think fun just for the bus part. And don’t worry, we’ll have an epic dance party again soon! I predict very soon.

      • February 26 2010

        heh. not to soon, I hope – I’m going to NS next weekend ;P I’ll be sadface if I miss an epic dance party!!

  • February 25 2010

    Looks like fun times were had, despite the challenges. I’ve never lived anywhere with a closing time later than 2 – usually they kick us out by 1:30!

    Did you actually down 1/3 of the jello shooters?

    • March 02 2010

      What?! Really?! You are missing out big time.

      And no, there were at least a handful left by the time I caught my flight. ;)

  • February 25 2010

    What a weekend! Glad you could find those nachos somewhere else ha. Oh and I will wait patiently for that post about why Halifax men love those redheads. Sounds entertaining.

    • March 02 2010

      Hahaha, it was absolutely absurd…redheaded heaven!

  • February 25 2010

    In college on the east coast we called it “pre-gaming” before you went out :)

    • March 02 2010

      I think I like that better than “priming”!

  • February 25 2010

    1. Those are EPIC nachos
    2. My fave bar here is called upper deck.

    • March 02 2010

      Not quite as epic as Sally’s though!

  • February 26 2010

    Ahh this really makes me miss home. Halifax has changed a lot since I lived there but so much still seems the same. I love the Lower Deck.

    I do hope you went to Pizza Corner at the end of the night, that grease is a must to rid the hangover the next day.

    • March 02 2010

      UGh, I DIDN’T! I searched for the damn corner at the end of the night, but we couldn’t find it. So sad. We ate at King of Donair instead…which I liked to call “KOD”. I’m such a Newfie.

  • February 26 2010

    Things close at 2am oh that’s just not on. You need to come visit aus we don’t close clubs till 6am or more in the morning you will love us :)

    I hope europe stays open late for me, even then I dont think I can compete with your awesomeness.

    • March 02 2010

      See, this is why I need to come to Australia!! Dammit!

  • February 26 2010

    Eating bats, eh?

    Cover them with cheese, beans, meat, sauerkraut and some hot sauce, and I’m right there with you.

    • March 02 2010

      I feel like this is something you might have tried before..

  • February 26 2010

    ohhh halifax sounds fun!!!!
    those nachos look delicious and have made me very, very hungry.
    the downtown of my city has bars that are all close together as well…like pretty much everything is in a big strip, so it’s pretty fun to go out and stumble around.

    • March 02 2010

      They were quite good!
      I agree, way too fun stumbling around bars. Just not when you have to walk a long distance when it’s dead winter.

  • February 26 2010

    I had to google Halifax because I have NO idea where anything is up there! But, it looks like a cute place and I’m glad you had fun! I love girlfriend-type weekends and nights on the town. Here in NY (nyc/long island), everything closes at 4am, BUT sometimes I wish they did close early because I regret the 6am bedtime the next day…and the rest of the week!

    • March 02 2010

      Hahaha, no kidding! 3 or 4 is a good time I think, otherwise I don’t sleep and things get messy.

  • February 26 2010

    Sounds like a fun night out.

    I feel like your post titles are Rocky and Bullwinkle inspired. I love it!

    • March 02 2010

      Hahaha, totally unintentional, but thanks for pointing that out. ;)

  • February 26 2010

    So, here in Costa Rica, where it does get dark by 5, I can’t stay up past like 10 and am sleepy by like 6. Only Candice can make me want to go out all night! Like, I want to tonight! Despite my mom being in town… you are so fun! (Will save the dorky writing comments — for now. But you have a GREAT ear for quotes and rhythm! Ok, I guess I didn’t really save them.)

    • March 02 2010

      Thanks Abby, sweetest blog comment ever! :) Come to TBEX, we can make magic happy. With tequila.

  • February 27 2010

    Ha! I remember going home from Edinburgh where everything shuts at 3am and being appalled when the lights came on at 2am!

    Prime is “pre-lash” in the UK…ooo, the language barrier!
    Glad you had fun!

    • March 02 2010

      “Pre-lash”?! That’s a new one, love it!

  • February 27 2010

    Ahh that top photo is so attractive, you look nice in it too Candice ;-)

    I think everyone drinks before going out don’t they? Worldwide FACT for drinkers surely.

    Clubs seem to be open late in East Oz, but are closed silly early in the west.

    • March 02 2010

      A lot of my friends in other Canadian cities just go out to the pubs super early because of the early closing time…I guess it’s more difficult if you have a 9-5 job, supper to cook, things to get ready for a night out, etc. Didn’t really fit into my schedule much when I was in Hali either.

  • February 27 2010

    LMAO at the Narnia part…that came out of nowhere! I would love to put my face in my plate of nachos right now. Great post!

  • February 27 2010

    That’s so great! You met an internet travel writing friend! I’m glad you had a fun time in Halifax, despite the lack of local culture. I’m sure you made your own culture happen.

    • March 02 2010

      Absolutely, and I anticipate another trip in the near future!

  • February 28 2010

    Come to Miami! There are places that don’t close until NOON!!!

    But, alas, we have the “everything is spread out” problem. I have definitely walked 15 blocks in my “fuck me” heels only to awake the next morning to blisters the size of the moon on my feet. The price of beauty.

    • March 02 2010

      Hahahaha ouchhh, yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Places don’t close until noon?! Who the hell parties THAT hard?

  • March 01 2010

    So that’s where you girls ended up! lol. Glad you had fun. I had a blast, was awesome meeting you. You gotta promise to show me the ropes of George St when I make it to Nfld. Gotta try a plate of those super-nacho’s I read about!!!

    • March 02 2010

      Oh hell yes!! Come for George Street fest, you won’t regret it!! Awesome time, glad you came by.

  • March 02 2010

    Hi Candice! I came across your blog through Matador – your articles and blog posts keep my laughing! Definitely like your writing, and living (ha!), style.

    I’m not sure if online etiquette dictates that I ask before I add your blog to my blog under “Blogs to Check Out”… so, can I add it? :)


    • March 02 2010

      Hi Alaina,

      Thanks so much for your kind comments, and of course you can! Any publicity is great publicity! I’ll add you as well. Thanks for dropping by. :)

      • March 03 2010

        Thank you so much! As you say, any publicity is great! :)

        By the way, I’m a big nacho fan myself. Can’t really find a good plate of nachos in Austria… Still trying though!

  • March 02 2010

    Ohhh, after reading this I know NYC is going to be killer! I just hope my liver is up for the challenge :)

  • March 02 2010

    hahah this was hilarious!

    also, i’d like to add that while lots of good things happen at 3am, there are just as many bad things. i seem to remember a lonely street in london & tequila.

    all the boston bars close at 2 (if not earlier) and it drives me mad.

    • March 04 2010

      Hahaha, tequila NEVER calls for good times! But it does sound more interesting in London.

  • March 18 2010

    I was at the Economy Shop! We were glad Halifax shuts down at 2am. My friends and I are old – lots of battle scars. :) Although, I was proud of my buddy who had a baby 5 months ago at the time, she finished off a litre of Hoegaarden in 20 minutes.

    • March 19 2010

      LOL, nice! Yeah that place was great. The next time I’m back though, there’s at least 1000 different pubs I want to check out.

  • March 27 2010

    Hey Candice, I would like to publish this article in next months newsletter for my website Visit my site, in the top right corner you will see a button saying “newsletter” click on it, it will bring you to flip viewer and install the viewer, (its safe & secure, been using it for five years) and the newsletter will load up instantly.. If your interested, you can contact me at my gmail account

  • April 15 2010

    Candice – you are one, bad-assed ginger! (Am I allowed to use ‘ginger’ if I’m not a redhead myself?)

    Glad I found your blog. Lord tunderin jeezus, girl, you can write.

    And to top it all, me, Halifax will be home to us this June. Great to read your take on it. The mrs and our 2 li’l ones are moving from Prague after a few years, but it’s now time to move closer to family.

    I’ll be reading – Cheers, -Jeff

    • April 16 2010

      You most certainly can call me a ginger, and thanks for your very kind comment! Woo! I’m especially happy that you used “lord tunderin’ jezus.”

      Are you from NS originally? Have you ever lived in Halifax? Loved that city, can’t wait to check it out again this summer.

  • May 03 2010

    Hey Candice,

    Just wanted to touch base with you and your article.. it’s posted at the link above
    Thanks again…

    • May 05 2010

      Awesome, thanks for keeping in touch, Bob!

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