Royal City residents seem to have a summertime affinity for their local parks.
The Record recently asked a number of residents to share their favourite summertime activities.
"I love riding my bike at the Westminster Pier Park with my friends," said seven-year-old Sienna Campbell. "We can ride really fast on the timber wharf without worrying about cars, and afterwards go to River Market for ice cream."
Royal City resident Betina Ali has been making summer memories at Queen's Park for years.
"Ever since my girls were little - they are now 13 and 18 - spending a day at Queen's Park has always been one of our favourite things to do in the summer. Whether we were checking out the animals at the Queen's Park Petting Farm, playing in the water at the water park, enjoying a cold treat, playing on the playground or enjoying a free afternoon show at the bandshell, we always had a good day," she said. "My favourite is when the Shadows and Dreams Theatre Company comes and does Shakespeare in the park. It is always good for a laugh, and it is great to watch how much fun the kids in the audience have. This year they are doing The Tempest."
Mayor Wayne Wright's favourite summertime activity is getting a gelato and enjoying a stroll along the riverfront boardwalk at the Quay and Westminster Pier Park.
Blair Fryer, the City of New Westminster's communications manager, is partial to spending Sunday afternoons at Hume Park.
"Bring a portable barbecue, a cooler and a few lawn chairs and relax while the kids play on the new playground," he said. "After dinner, a quick dip in the outdoor pool is the perfect way to cool off and end a glorious New Westminster summer day."
Those sentiments are echoed by Massey-Victory Heights resident Jen Arbo, who lives near Hume Park.
"Summertime for us is about using Hume Park. The spray park, the ball diamond, the trails, the dog park, the pool, the grassy field, the playground - you name it," she said. "It has something for everyone to do, places for every kind of weather, and lots to explore."
Local rabble-rouser Patrick Johnstone enjoys spending time in his front-yard garden.
"Planting, watering, tending, pruning, weeding, and harvesting all give me an extended excuse to spend some time outside, enjoying the long days and the weather. The obvious bonus is 'free' fresh food. The less obvious bonus is the community building. Hardly
a day goes by out in the garden without someone stopping to chat while walking by. Usually the talk is about the garden - 'Your blueberries are almost ready,'- but as often it is about everything else: 'Did I see you on TV talking about the Pattullo Bridge?' 'Sure is a nice day' or 'Where did you get that rainwater barrel?'" he said. "I have met many of my neighbours, and people from other parts of the city, just by being in my front yard washing aphids off of my fennel or burying soaker hose. Something about a food garden makes people want to converse."
New Westminster resident Vladimir Krasnogor enjoys stopping to smell the roses in the Queen's Park rose garden (figuratively speaking, he says, as some have no scent), watching a ball game at Queen's Park, and going for an evening walk along the Quay boardwalk.
"Summer is my opportunity to get outside and enjoy everything New Westminster has to offer. I really enjoy visiting the growing number of outdoor patios popping up at our local eateries and coffee shops. The newly redesigned River Market has become my favourite destination to pick up a chai latte and watch the tugboats and other activities happening at our waterfront. It's great to see how this part of New Westminster is coming back to life," said Queen's Park resident Daniel Fontaine.
"The warmer summer weather also translates into a lot more bike rides through the historic neighbourhood of Queen's Park. The favourite part of the trip is seeing how many people are out walking and cycling through the community on those warm summer evenings."
Fontaine adds that summer wouldn't be complete without a regular visit to his favourite Mexican restaurant in New Westminster.
"The Taqueria Playa Tropical on Sixth Street in Uptown was an instant hit with their delicious bite-size tacos bursting with flavour," he said. "The great service and decor are one of the reasons why this destination is on the top of my list."
Keep an eye on our upcoming editions of The Record for the second part of our Summer in the City feature.