VANCOUVERITES | Katie Piasta On Saying Yes, Dodging Nerf Bullets And All The Nice Dresses

June 27, 2017.

34375878144_f47b1e2947_k

by Thalia Stopa | Katie Piasta is one hell of a woman. A pillar of the DTES community, the long-time Strathcona/Chinatown resident runs the Window Community Art Shop, which Scout featured when it first opened its doors back in 2011. The PHS-operated, non-profit artisan retail space also doubles as a workshop for the Carrall St. Canvas Co., her line of aprons, clothing and bags. The mandate of both businesses is admirable: to employ and empower women residents of the neighbourhood who are recovering from addiction and/or suffer from mental health issues. Earlier this year, the shop relocated to a swanky new space on East Hastings Street, shared with the equally remarkable (and woman-run) Community Thrift & Vintage shop. Piasta recently agreed to open a window (har har) into her own inner world, a place where she is the proud owner of a miniature pony, the men wear platform shoes, and time travel is totally a thing…

What is your favourite Vancouver neighbourhood and why? Strathcona, 100%. I’ve lived in nine different houses over the last 14 years in this amazing community. Even though at times it’s been hard with all the constant shuffling around, due to renovictions, I still love it! I don’t think you can find the same village-like qualities anywhere else in this city.

What is your favourite rainy day activity? I always fantasize about snuggling up with a giant pile of glossy cookbooks, a pot of soup simmering on the stove and a great record on the turntable… But when you have kids and live in a co-op it usually means 100 kids coming in and out the door, piles of Lego underfoot, Nerf bullets whizzing past my head and and running the popcorn maker at full tilt.

What are you most looking forward to doing this spring/summer? Driving my family across Canada to Ituna, Saskatchewan for my grandmother’s 90th birthday. I can’t wait to visit all the tiny thrift shops in small prairie towns along the way!

Greatest fear? Not having enough time alive on earth to see and explore all the beautiful corners of this wonderful planet (and eat ALL the foods).

Who, living or dead, do you most admire? All of the mothers in my life.

An unexpected source of inspiration? All of my amazing co-workers.

il_570xN.916583952_93c8

The last book you read? She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb.

The last concert that you attended? Dakkabrakka – it was probably the best concert I’ve ever seen!

The song or album that you currently have on repeat? “1966” by Karen Dalton.

The one musician that you would most like to see perform live? Joni Mitchell, in the 1960s!

You can only eat one meal for the rest of your life. What would it be? Bibimbap in a hot stone bowl with extra daikon kimchi on the side.

Favourite DTES spot for a meal/beverage? There are so many it’s really hard to choose. I live my life from one snack to the next. I’d start with a veggie steambun from New Town Bakery; the barley bowl from The Birds and the Beets for lunch; a 3 o’clock chocolate pick-me-up from East Van Roasters; and late night chicken wings and pepper squid from Phnom Penh.

What is your guiltiest pleasure? Expensive gin and spending time at JJ Family Spa.

35180089616_3cc11bf08c_k

A bad habit you wish that you could kick? Always saying yes – my plate is perpetually full.

If you could have any pet, what would it be? A miniature pony and all the homeless dogs ever (I’d need a ranch for them).

If you could be any animal, what would it be? My dog – she gets to sleep all day in piles of soft laundry and is hand-fed so many snacks by the kids, without even having to lift her head.

You can have one superpower. What is it? Time travel, so I could go on a shopping spree in all my favourite eras.

Do you believe in ghosts? The afterlife? I used to believe in ghosts but, after spending the past 12 years convincing children that zombies, monsters and ghosts don’t exist, I’ve also convinced myself.

The piece of clothing or an accessory that you most covet? Well, I’m a bit of a vintage hoarder from years of working in vintage shops but once I found a 1920’s silk beaded flapper dress in the sari section at Value Village for $3.99. I was eight months pregnant and nearly went into labour, I was so excited! I also have a collection of vintage quilts that I adore.

The fashion trend, from any era, that you would like to see revived? Platforms on men.

The fashion trend you’d like to see die? Black platform flip-flops.

If you could change one thing in Vancouver, what would it be? More units of affordable supportive housing. I’d also like to see compassion from my fellow Vancouverites on issues surrounding the overdose crisis, poverty and the struggles that effect the people living in the DTES. I live and work in the DTES and my heart lives here.

OTHER INTERESTING VANCOUVERITES

#ScoutThis

There are no comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

People Getting to know Vancouverites, one by one…

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | When A Record Store Owner Picks His Favourite Albums, You Listen

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | When A Record Store Owner Picks His Favourite Albums, You Listen

We've done dozens of these interviews over the years but I think this is the first time we've ever asked a record store owner for their selections. The… more 

VANCOUVERITES | Seventeen Minutes With Mount Pleasant Polymath, Shannon Hemmett

VANCOUVERITES | Seventeen Minutes With Mount Pleasant Polymath, Shannon Hemmett

Designer, photographer, videographer, writer, singer and musician (in two bands!) - what doesn’t Shannon Hemmett do? Soon you'll be able to find her centre… more 

VANCOUVERITES | Local Artist Sitji Chou On Cats, Daydreaming And Future Collaborations

VANCOUVERITES | Local Artist Sitji Chou On Cats, Daydreaming And Future Collaborations

by Thalia Stopa | Sitji Chou’s own bio reads as follows: “Chou is an animator and illustrator surviving in Vancouver. He is shy and bad at talking/writing… more 

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | Burdock & Co.’s Julie Sopuck On Her 3 Favourite Albums Of All Time

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | Burdock & Co.’s Julie Sopuck On Her 3 Favourite Albums Of All Time

Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to reach deep inside their souls to pull out the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear… more 

VANCOUVERITES | Artist Katie So On Coffee, Tattooing And The Pleasure Of Being Spooked

VANCOUVERITES | Artist Katie So On Coffee, Tattooing And The Pleasure Of Being Spooked

by Thalia Stopa | From fine dining rooms and comic books to the more permanent art of the flesh, Katie So is busily making a lasting impression on our… more 

BIG INTERVIEW | ‘The Arbor’ Chef Rob Clarke On The Joys Of Tacos & Making People Happy

BIG INTERVIEW | ‘The Arbor’ Chef Rob Clarke On The Joys Of Tacos & Making People Happy

by Thalia Stopa | Seeing comfort food through a vegetarian lens has been done before, but we knew we were in for something special when the talented minds… more 

THE NEW BREED | L’Abattoir Somm Lisa Haley On Making Wine Lists, Lunatic Cats And More

THE NEW BREED | L’Abattoir Somm Lisa Haley On Making Wine Lists, Lunatic Cats And More

We often hear the same names of Vancouver hospitality titans in local media. They do very well to represent and have done so for years. We work up thirsts and… more 

POWER OF TWO | The Pie Shoppe’s French Sisters On The Joys Of Bickering, Hard Work

POWER OF TWO | The Pie Shoppe’s French Sisters On The Joys Of Bickering, Hard Work

While there is undoubtedly strength in numbers, sometimes just the power of two is enough to work magical things. From front/back of house pairings and… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Agrius Ai & Om Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio Anh and Chi AnnaLena Araxi Arbor Ask For Luigi Au Comptoir Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Bar Oso Bauhaus Beach Bay Café & Patio Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Bishop’s Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Botanist Bottleneck Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Bufala Burdock & Co. Cabrito Cacao Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cartems Donuterie Chambar Chefs’ Table Society of BC Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chill Winston ChocolaTas Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante + Bar Cioffi’s Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Cocktails & Canapes Catering + Events Cook Culture Crowbar Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen District Brasserie Dixie’s Authentic Texas BBQ Earnest Ice Cream East Van Roasters Cafe Edible Canada El Santo Elementa Espana Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Mao Fayuca Fernwood Coffee Company Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Hart House Restaurant Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joe Pizza Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper Kafka’s Coffee & Tea Keefer Bar Kin Kao Kissa Tanto Knifewear Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Lucha Verde Made By Pacific Maenam Mak N Ming Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mister Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, The Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Salt Tasting Room Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Sorella Stable House, The Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tavola Tempranillo Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timber Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Torafuku Tractor Foods Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats UBC Farm Uncommon Cafe, The Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ Program Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana Vij’s Restaurant Virtuous Pie West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .