Chris is a connector. He made his way to Edmonton in 2013 by way of dozens of other cities. He was born in Saudi Arabia. His father was a Canadian diplomat, so he moved around the world quite a bit while growing up. He settled in Ontario to take his undergrad at Queen's, but the itch to move far away caught him again shortly after he finished his English Literature and International Development degree. After living in Bangkok and then Toronto, he decided to make Edmonton home while his girlfriend pursues grad school (yea, sorry ladies). He didn't know much about Edmonton and tried not to buy into the outsider's perception that Edmonton has nothing going on.
When he arrived, he took a 6 month sabbatical to write fiction (some of his work can be found in Papirmass, a cool subscription for monthly art in your mailbox). It didn't take long for Chris to notice that Edmonton has an exciting energy to it. He found it easy to make friends and get involved in community projects. His experience makes him the perfect person for his communications role with Make Something Edmonton. The goal of the organization is to ask Edmontonians "What are you doing?" and "How can we help?" (check out The Noteworthy's profile on there). Chris gets to dig into the "What are you doing?" side, and he explains that he gets paid to fall in love with the city. Not bad.
Besides being one of the easiest people to talk to, Chris is a joy to chat with because he knows what's going on and takes a genuine interest in people. Besides his official Make Something Edmonton gig that requires him to be involved in a lot of cool things, Chris helps out with Open Edmonton (their #openartyeg project is fun) and continues to write fiction when he can. Fun fact: He knows fellow Noteworthy friend Cory Christopher from when they both studied at Queens!
Chris's Favourite Places
eat// Narayanni's - 10131-81 Avenue
On Tuesdays, the all you can eat vegan buffet is Chris's favourite.
eat// Langano Skies - 9920 Whyte Avenue
An Ethiopian restaurant that's good for vegetarians (like Chris) or carnivores alike.
shop// Old Strathcona Farmers' Market - 10310 - 83 Avenue
His Saturday routine: a breakfast sandwich from Toast (at the back) and then weekly grocery shopping.
go// Metro Cinema @ The Garneau - 8712-109 Street
He's a big move fan so he goes here often. He spent a lot of time watching movies there before he had a lot of friends in the city.
go// Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society - 8001-102 Street (South Location)
They're helping build Chris's mechanical intelligence. They service your bike but help you learn to do it yourself too. He's hoping to turn into a winter bicycle commuter.
Chris's Favourite Things
covet// His Bike
A recurring theme on The Noteworthy: people love their bikes. Chris hasn't treated himself to a super fancy bike, but he loves his "all-around urban assault vehicle" just the same.
Chris's Recommended Reads
read// The Waves by Virginia Woolf
It's tough but short. Chris thinks it's a great example of her work. Six narrators are merged together beautifully.
read// The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant
It's a nice foundation for philosophy. Each chapter is split in two: half about the philosopher themself, the other half about that philosopher's teachings.
read// Jimmy Corrigan the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
He had to throw something visual in there! Anyone who appreciates design would like this comic book/graphic novel.
Chris's Words of Wisdom
Be curious. Ask questions, and be sure to listen to the answers. He loves meeting new people this way. He's not a big fan of small talk, just the interesting stuff!
Chris illustrated something he's trying hard to improve on: focusing on only one thing at a time. If it's on his computer, he'll make the task at hand full screen. No distractions from other windows. Aside from computer work, it's a nice strategy to take on in life in order to get stuff done!