Sunday, January 30, 2011

First impressions.

Every two weeks, you can find a sliver of my life on newsprint.
I've been writing a column called Adventures of Nicole for the last year and a half. It started when I posted a note on Facebook recounting my J-School orientation.
The editor of my hometown paper is a Facebook friend, so he read the post and then told me he'd love to print it as a column.
Since then, I've submitted a story for nearly every issue.
Today I looked back at what I've submitted since moving to Yellowknife, and I started thinking about the many first impressions I've written about.
There was my impression of London, my impression of J-School, my impression of radio and T.V., my impression of my first newsroom experience, my first time on air, my first front page story, my first time on the east coast and of course my impression of Yellowknife.
Here's what I wrote Oct. 2, 2010 after my first day in the Northwest Territories:

I went from 27 C to 10 C in a matter of hours.

I guess that’s what happens when you leave Canada’s California for ‘The Knife.’

I arrived in the capital of the Northwest Territories at 11 p.m. on Friday night to find myself at an airport with one gate and a giant polar bear statue.

There to welcome me was an editor from my new paper. He quickly picked me out of the crowd with some assistance from a friend who happened to be on my flight.

She had overheard me explaining to my seatmate that I was relocating to Yellowknife to be a reporter for the local newspaper.

Having arrived so late, there wasn’t much to see as we drove away from the airport, but rather than driving straight home, Derek took me for a quick tour of the city’s downtown.

We drove past our office, a few crowded bars, a Shopper’s Drug Mart, a Subway and some small local shops.

It was nice to see there was still life in the community at midnight on a Friday night.

I was also relieved to see some familiar stores. I know it’s silly, but I didn’t imagine Yellowknife as a real city, with chain stores and restaurants.

I guess that just shows how ignorant I am when it comes to the North.

I spent today, my first day, exploring with Derek. He took me to the office, showed me my desk and introduced me to the only guy in the newsroom.

To get downtown, we took a trail that is partially made of huge rock slabs that you climb until you reach a bridge that crosses Niven Lake, a small body of water where people bird watch.

It was a beautiful sunny day, making the yellowing autumn leaves glow on the trees and the ground.

The landscape here is gorgeous in a very different way from B.C.

There aren’t mountains or huge lush fir trees, but rather immense blocks of bare rock surrounded by small birch trees.

Within the city, there are a number of lakes, which makes for a stunning view with all of the rocks and colouring trees.

I was so nervous before my arrival, but now that I’m here, walking the streets and meeting the people, I think I’ll fit in just fine.

I’ll let you know if my feelings change once I need my parka, insulated boots, fleece toque, ski gloves and face warmer.


Well, it's been four months and my feelings haven't changed. I still find myself in awe of the city's beauty and it's incredibly friendly people. I can only hope those feelings continue, but I guess when they stop, I'll know it's time to move on to another first impression.

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