Zoey explores her very own Sky Lounge in FIRST

Sometimes you just need to get out of the house. A change of scenery is good for creativity, but also it's -10 C out and you'd prefer not to take off your slippers.

When those moments hit me, I shuffle out of my condo at FIRST and ride the elevator up to the 18th floor. And then I have this gorgeous Sky Lounge as a veritable second living room where I can get some writing in...

watch a Flames game...

...or see if I've got the skills yet to shark my loved ones on the billiards table (I don't).

This shared space in our FIRST condo tower is a major bonus of living here. It feels like my personal living space is just this much bigger (plus it's stylishly appointed and features local art by Tracy Proctor). I've run into a neighbour playing euchre with three of her friends up here, and other neighbours working on projects or homework in the glass-walled meeting space.

The panoramic windows alone—with a view to downtown, the Rocky Mountains, the Bow River, Bridgeland and to Fort Calgary and beyond—are a reason to bring my friends and out-of-town visitors up for a peek at our picturesque city. As impromptu 18-storey tour guide I like to point out how fast the East Village is changing—the National Music Centre site, the Hilton Garden Inn, the Celebration Square that's nearly complete.

Then there's the crown jewel on an already practical and enviable shared space: the spacious party room with generous seating and kitchen you could cook Christmas dinner in.

The space, with cable TVs, a wine fridge, bar area and room for up to 30 people to mingle and that killer view to the east side, trumps any party room I've been privy to in the past.

I'm already planning my first party up there. I can't wait to let you know how it goes.