by Andrew Morrison | I’ve spent the better part of the last few weeks zipping up and down from the Okanagan Valley camping, resort-hopping, eating, sippng and generally taking it easy. In that time I’ve visited dozens of wineries, old and new.
Though I’ve long loved their products, the architecture and design has often left plenty to be desired. The lack of representative style has always irked. More often than not – perhaps out of fear that they won’t be taken seriously – owners tend to produce on a stunted aesthetic that replicates what they see and over-respect in their French, Spanish, Italian and Californian counterparts.
It’s aspirational thinking, and as a consequence we have not a few absurd-looking Italian villa-flavoured Burgundian chateau buildings with Spanish tiled roofs and Napa-inspired tasting rooms painted in seven shades of Tuscan regret. It may be a sad testament to a tremendous lack of self confidence on our part (not to mention taste), but I prefer to think of it as an opportunity to do something different. Read more
by Daniel Colussi | Vancouver’s music scene is nothing short of an embarrassment of riches. There are shows and goings on in various on and off the radar venues most nights of the week, by bands of all stripes and colours. In the past few weeks there have been a number great new releases. After the jump you’ll find some of the most stunning highlights to be birthed by city of gardens and glass. Read more
The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit.
The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. From our calendar to yours… Read more
Finally made it over to Thierry, the new atelier/shop from Top Table and long-time CinCin dessert guru Thierry Busset. Outstanding coffee well pulled? Check. Well-heeled clientele accidentally spitting sugar into cell phones? Check. Perfect palmiers, sablés, cigarette tuiles, and all manner of baked goods that will blow you away? Quadruple check! Service was quick and without incident, and the patio was a people watching paradise. If you haven’t been, go.
Our friends over at Kitsilano’s Zulu Records once again present their weekly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, staff from the West 4th music store provide The Track, the song that is on heavy rotation that week; The Playlist, which is pretty self-explanatory; The Gig, the must see show of the week; and The Glance, a view ahead to music on the horizon. From their ears to yours, enjoy…
LOWER DENS – “I Get Nervous” – (TWIN-HAND MOVEMENT)
This just in on vinyl! Yes, yes, to some, Lower Dens might have already been on your Top 25 Most Played for some time now, but now you can slap a sleeve on it and add it to your stack of wax. “I Get Nervous” is mesmerizing; good for background music at the dinner party you’ve been meaning to host all summer, but also good to sit down to once everyone has left. There’s a mysterious magnetic quality to Lower Dens sound that leaves a real lasting impression. There are no bells and whistles, no catchy filler and the result is simple and beautiful. Not only will your guests be leaving with ‘LOWER DENS” written on their napkin, but a mellow addiction to their new favourite band. Read more
Artist Yolanda Dominguez’s “Poses” video project features normal women vamping like models on the street and the bewildered reactions they receive from those passing by. The video, which she says addresses how many women feel about fashion magazines and the models they employ (“absurd, artificial, a hanger to wear dresses and bags”) also features two women holding clutches on top of their heads.
Reader “K.M.” | Kensington | Toronto, Ontario | 1:00pm | SHARE YOUR VIEW
We love posting the photographs that reveal the views from our reader’s windows. Whether it’s a back alley in the fall or a sandy beach in high summer, we’re always stoked to see what you see from home, work or while on the road. Some of our all-time favourite reader submissions below…
Taking a break from their essential celebrity coverage, the Vancouver Sun’s website returned to hard news today with a terrifying story on how many people in Vancouver don’t speak English. The interactive map is especially helpful. I shit you not: “the darker the colour, the more people there are in that place who can’t speak English”. Derp.
The new issue of Vancouver Magazine is about to hit news stands and within its back pages is a feature I wrote called “The Tipping Point”. In it, I talk about the new difficulties facing fine dining restaurants and how restaurant service has evolved from starched snobbery on the high end to a style that is more of an honest reflection of Vancouver’s love affair with all things casual. To wit: out of all the fine dining restaurants to open in Vancouver in the last five years, roughly half have already either closed or been forced to re-tool and re-brand. It was a tricky story to nail down because the landscape kept changing during the editing process. Originally, the focus was to be seen through the prism of my stage at L’Abattoir, which provided me with a front row seat for examining the extent to which service had changed, but with the closing of Lumiere and the opening of Hawksworth and Ensemble, that focus had to change. I’m very grateful to my editor, Rebecca Philps, for her help in shepherding it along. The delay in putting it to bed (this was supposed to be published six months ago) made for a far better and well-rounded story, and proof that the ground is not just moving under the trade’s clogs, but the feet of those who write about it as well. You can read the whole thing here.
Not all popsicles are created equal, as amply evidenced by this lovely bit of business from local company Icy Fresh Pops (consumed at the Main. St. Farmer’s Market late yesterday afternoon). It was made with lime juice and zest, serrano chilies, cucumbers from Yarrow, organic cane sugar and a little salt. $4 for a popsicle is a bit of a stretch, but man did it ever taste good! We tried to take it home so we could melt it in a glass of gin, but alas…twas too hot and how could one resist licking the hell out of something like this?
If you’re a bit of a budding Scout addict but not yet following us on Twitter or Facebook, you might consider doing so because – and this might sound crazy – we update both more than we do our own front page. To date, the majority of our social media contributions have been our headlines (hurray for automation!), but that’s changing. Because we’ve been on the road so often in recent weeks, much of the content has been coming from us – on the spot and in the moment – sharing on-the-move photo updates (via Instagram) with our thousands of followers and fans. We’d like to keep it that way, and with Twitter launching its new user photo gallery service yesterday (that’s a screenshot of ours above), we’ve started a running record of our wanderings for you to dip into as well. Mobile shots might not be all that and a bar of sexy, but as Seneca wrote some two thousand years ago, “there is no delight in owning anything unshared.”
Our friends Erin Sinclair and Jason Uglanica (interview) who put together the cool This is East Van book last May were invited to do the window display at Mintage on Commercial Drive. Scott Little filmed their work, which we present above. As you might already be aware, the pair are working on a second book, This Is East Van 2, and are looking to our readers to contribute photos (deadline is Sept. 15th). Get all of the details here.
Today we’re giving away a pair of tickets to go see Thievery Corporation implode some ear drums at Malkin Bowl this September 13th. Visit our Facebook page between 2pm and 5pm today for details on how to win (be sure to “LIKE” it if you haven’t already). Good luck!
NEXT GIVEAWAY: tickets to go see Broken Social Scene on September 24th
The GOODS from Big Lou’s
Vancouver, BC | The lazy days of summer have been just the opposite at Big Lou’s Butcher Shop and so, with tons of news to pass along we thought we’d combine a few items into squick update on a few new things that have us excited. Get all the details on our Hunting & Game Butchery Class, our picnic baskets and boxed lunches, and our brand new sandwich after the jump… Read more