• Anywhere near 6th Street, up to about Campbell Ave and down past the I-10 Bridge…Is within horn sound range of the train tracks. While, yes, you will get used to this, if you are here for uni, forget that there is an active freight line running near where you live, have scared yourself shitless by watching horror films prior, and a train goes by (horns blaring)…Remember the fact that it is just a train. Nothing more, nothing less. You will likely get the biggest cat scare of your life.
  • The city plays host to one of the bigger active USAF bases. You will likely never get used to the sound of overhead jets and military choppers. Just accept the fact that the entire University is in the flight path and life will be easier.
  • Also remember that, yes there is also a civilian airport in the city. And yes, the University is also in the flight path of the civilian airport. This will usually be an issue in the summer months, when the Air Force isn’t training.
  • September to about Feb/March time is training time at the Air Force base. Fly overs of the University shall increase.
  • Nobody knows how to drive. Nobody knows basic bike safety. And the pedestrians are fucking loonies as well. Practice awareness of all three facts at all times
  • The University area is full of cyclists and skateboarders. They are locked in an ancient struggle as old as man. So far, the cyclists seem to be winning.
  • We’ve heard it before. Yes, we know it’s a dry heat. It wasn’t funny the first time. It isn’t funny any time after that.
  • Respect the crazies. Seriously. Some of them are Army Vets.
  • We have our own brand of crazy. And most of them are harmless, if not a bit smelly and annoying at times.
  • You will get to know some of the crazies…and a decent amount of the homeless folk…if you visit 4th Ave, the University, and/or Downtown enough. They’re fairly harmlessly sociable.
  • If you don’t want to talk to them, don’t make eye contact. Simple as that.
  • The population drops in the summer months due to the college kids leaving…except those of us who don’t.
  • Epic serves the best coffee near the University area.
  • Miss Saigon has the best pho. 
  • Though, Saigon Pho is on University and has better boba smoothies and boba teas
  • Yoshimatsu has excellent katsu-don and tempura.
  • Frost and Allegro both serve amazing gelato, but Allegro has more unique flavours of higher quality.
  • Caruso’s serves huge portions of homestyle Italian food, which is bloody amazing
  • The Guatemalan place on 4th Ave, despite looking incredibly skeezy, serves really good food
  • Zeeman’s serves Ethiopian food. You get to eat it with your hands. It is amazing. And the sourdough tasting pancake things that are you plate/utensil aren’t half bad either
  • Yes, we have one of the oldest continually operated dive bars- and it’s within walking distance of the University. No, I haven’t visited it yet. The Buffet scares me.
  • It’s windy. Just be aware of that.
  • No, construction will never be complete on anything that’s blocking traffic.
  • BUT, yes, it does move around.
  • Most of the best places downtown are walking distance from the University
  • People smoke pot. Most of them live near the University. Most of them smoke stuff that smells like a dead skunk. A large majority of them, surprisingly, aren’t actually students.
  • A lot of big events happen on the University grounds. Familiarize yourself with the layout. It will save you time and effort if you ever visit.
  • Yes, the clock on campus does play the U of A’s fight song at noon every single fucking day of the week. It gets old after a while.
  • On the plus side, you will always know when it is noon on campus.
  • Yes, you will likely meet at least one person who knows ‘that Ian’…and you won’t realize it until you talk about some of the stories you know about him
  • The geek world is wonderfully incestuous here. It’s guaranteed that you know someone, who knows someone, who you’ve likely gamed with in the past.


  • This city will grow on you. It is a beautiful, wonderful, fucked up city. But HELLS is it a fun place to live. And most of the people here wouldn’t have it any other way.
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    this. especially that last part.
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