sevenUP . Day Five . Claire Ryan

Uptown Saint John not only has unmatched historic charm, is situated on the beautiful Bay of Fundy, and has a prime arts and culture scene; we are also home to quaint indie shoppes and a mecca of dining and social spaces. Uptown Saint John Inc. recently asked seven local bloggers to spend some time and money ($100 each) uptown and share their experiences with us.

Beginning February 25th, every day for one week, we will highlight each blogger and their ventures. We hope you find these recaps both informative and inspiring.

sevenUP . Day Five . March 1, 2013
by Claire Ryan

Claire Ryan is a consultant at NATIONAL Public Relations and a longtime #livelifeuptown enthusiast. She is involved with FUSION Saint John, the Saint John Board of Trade, and 21inc., and writes a weekly column in the Telegraph-Journal that highlights community events and initiatives. Reach her at or @lclaireryan.

Claire's Blog…

I live and work uptown and, by extension, and am no stranger to spending money in the city centre. However, being given a hundred dollars and told I HAD to spend was new and, believe it or not, kind of overwhelming. So many places I could go! Things to see! Stuff to buy!

Where to begin?

I decided to throw away any hope of having a plan and instead set out to see how far I could stretch myUptown Saint John dollars. In the end, I got to spend a couple weeks checking out all kinds of Uptown stopsfrom ones I visit regularly to others I didnt know existedall while spending a few bucks here and there along the way.

Here are the highlights:

Corn Crib – 9 Charlotte Street
Corn Crib Natural Foodshas been a hub of natural and holistic living in Moncton for decades, and theyve recently expanded to include a new location in Saint Johna welcome addition for uptowners looking for easy access to natural alternatives.

This is the kind of store I could spend hours in, but on this visit I was sucked in by all natural personal products. So many delicious scents, in the form of perfumes, beauty balms, creams and candles. After sticking my nose into just about every item on the shelves, I picked up aPacificia soy candle ($13.95) in Island Vanilla. I had originally planned to gift it to a friend, but couldnt resist lighting it as soon as I got home and its been burning on my mantle every day since. Sorry, friend!

Billys Seafood – 47- 51 Charlotte Street
Its no secret that there are tons of great places to go for dinner or drin
ks uptown, andBillys Seafood is certainly one of them. But as often as I go out, I also love making a Saturday evening meal at home, and part of the joy of the night in is the Saturday afternoon spent uptown picking up fresh ingredients. On days like this, the fish market at Billys is often the first stop. On this trip, I picked up enough fresh salmon ($15) to make dinner and a couple leftover lunches, and rid myself of having to worry about what to eat at the start of a busy week. Not only isBilly one of the nicest people around, he goes the extra mile of removing both the skin and bones from my fish before I bring it home, basically doing all the dirty work for me and making sure my diet is full of healthy omega-3 fats.

Virginia Forbes . Ang & Sal's Hairstyling – Shoppes of City Hall
Ang & Sals Hairstyling, tucked away in the Shoppes of City Hall, is where youll find Virginia Forbesan ultra-talented and super-sweet aesthetician. I happened to be in on the same day as oursevenUP kick-off meeting, which was a very happy coincidence, as I left with an appointment for my first shellac manicure.

Ive since learned that Im one of the last people on earth to learn about shellac nail polish, but Im now converted. Im not one to indulge in manicures very oftena lack of patience and hand eye coordination prevent me from keeping one looking good for longer than a day. Shellac eliminates those barriers: in less than an hour you get painted with a polish that dries immediately, lasts for weeks and it does. not. chip. Seriously. Im on week three and my nails look as fresh as ever. And at $35, its a great treat for anyone who likes to feel (wait for it…) polished.

Petes Pub – Shoppes of City Hall
Whether you realize it or not, every time you walk through the pedway you are passing by one of Saint Johns best kept secrets: Petes Pub. On the other side of the mirrored walls is one of the citys oldest (and smallest) pubs, and its become a regular stop for my friends over the past year. The drinks are cheap, the patrons are friendly and Pete Ferguson is one of the friendliest bartenders in town. Its become our spot for countless happy hours, and in all that time we have not even come close to seeing every memento and photo tacked along the walls. I spent my remaining dollars ($30) treating two friends to a couple Big Dogs of Moose Light, a serving size exclusive to Petes Pub.

Petes Pub is perhaps best known for the fun run it hosts on St. Patricks Day every year, and its a great opportunity to check this place out. The Shamrock Shuffle is a 5km run/walk that will take place on March 17 at 1:00p.m. The $5 entry fee will get you a medal and a chilli feast at the end of the race, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. Stop by, meet Pete, enjoy a Big Dog and get all the details!

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