GHOST HOODS | On The Rise And Tragic Fall Of ‘Nihonmachi’ On The Downtown Eastside

April 15, 2014 

The GHOST HOOD series dovetails with the new HOODS section of Scout

by Stevie Wilson | Railtown-Japantown is a compounded micro-hood that is part of DTES. Its boundaries are Main (some say Columbia) in the west to Heatley in the east and from the railway tracks (hence the name) south to Alexander Street. What was once a thriving industrial zone of warehouses and workshops has become something of a tech/design hub over the last decade. Railway St. itself is now a parade of local fashion houses (Aritzia has its head office here), design shops, tech start ups, interior stores, and even an urban winery. You’ll often find a food truck or three parked hereabouts, too, and a whole lot of Instagramming going down. What does the future hold for it? Either breweries and condos. Probably both.

Vancouver’s historic Japantown, however, is vastly different. Once home to generations of Japanese families and businesses, the area now features only a few remnants of the large community that once thrived there. The history of this cultural enclave is unique, and offers a startling look at the effects of racism, intolerance, and indifference in a city now celebrated for its multiculturalism.

Though the modern diaspora of Japanese-Canadians is now found throughout Vancouver, at one time this neighbourhood was the epicentre of local Japanese culture and business. The site spans from Cordova Street to Alexander Street, between Gore Avenue and Jackson Avenue, just north of Chinatown, with Powell Street as its (former) commercial center. It features several character buildings, primary historic sites, and a handful of municipally protected buildings, each indicative of the neighbourhood’s development – and its subsequent losses – experienced over the last century.

While Japanese (and Chinese) workers had been present in British Columbia as early as the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush in 1858, the first “official” Japanese immigrant to Canada arrived in 1877. Following this, an influx of Japanese immigrants came to Vancouver near the turn of the century to work in the booming fishing and forestry industries. While they were a welcomed labour force for local industries in the city, particularly the nearby Hastings Sawmill at the foot of Dunlevy, many white Vancouverites were wary of what they perceived as a failure of the Japanese to assimilate, observing that they had their own cultural and religious spaces, generally did not speak fluent English, and had a perceived (potentially dangerous) loyalty to Japan. Additionally, many non-Japanese fishermen were concerned about the growing majority of Japanese fishing licenses being granted, fearing that their jobs were at stake. The federal government aggressively limited Asian immigration and originally only men were allowed to enter the country, forcing them to leave their families behind.

While many white Vancouverites tolerated the Japanese community, prejudice found a strong foothold in the Asiatic Exclusion League, a racist organization with aims “to keep Oriental immigrants out of British Columbia.” Following the 1885 imposition of the Chinese Immigration Act, which placed a head tax on Chinese immigrants entering Canada, racism and racial segregation had been a common sight across the country and extended the growing Japanese communities. This tension culminated in Vancouver on September 7th when members of the Asiatic Exclusion League rioted in the streets of Chinatown after being roused by racist speeches at City Hall (then located near Main and Hasting).

They marched into Chinatown shouting racist slogans, smashing windows, and vandalizing buildings. By the time the rioters reached Japantown, members of the Japanese community were waiting with makeshift weapons and bottles, ready to defend their neighbourhood. In response to the growing anti-Asian sentiment in Canada, the Canadian Minister of Labour Rodolphe Lemieux and Japanese Foreign Minister Tadasu Hayashi declared what is known as the “Gentleman’s Agreement” in 1908, wherein the Japanese government voluntarily limited its approved number of immigrants to Canada each year.

As white settlers migrated out of the area and into newer, more affluent communities – particularly the West End – Japanese business, cultural centres, and mixed-use buildings developed in the Powell Street area. Shops along Powell began opening in 1890, but the retail industry of took shape later, during the commercial building boom from 1907-1912. Multiple residential buildings, often with street-level shops, became popular in later decades as the boarding room trend developed. These apartments typically housed seasonal workers; many now function as SROs.

Business development in Japantown – which locals called “Nihonmachi” (derived from the Japanese words for “Japan” and “Town”) – culminated in the 1920s and 30s, when local shops and restaurants flourished, and ties to nearby Chinatown also became strong. A shared sense of Asian identity – and likely a shared sense of the effects of racism – joined these communities. Fuji Chop Suey at 341 Powell, which offered Japanese-style Chinese food, is a unique example of the link between Asian cultures during this period, and is heralded as one of the important locales contributing to the area’s rich multiculturalism from 1931-1942. Japantown’s famous Asahi baseball team, established in 1914, won several championships and were a popular draw during the 1930s and early 1940s for the Japanese and non-Japanese communities in Vancouver. In 2003, the team was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ultimately, Japantown and Vancouver’s Japanese population fell victim to the xenophobia brought forth by World War II. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, a series of legislations were imposed on Japanese-Canadians under the guise of national security. In addition to curfews, interrogations, job loss and property confiscation, all persons of Japanese heritage were forcibly relocated to Internment Camps in remote areas of the province. Their property and belongings were sold, and all mainstream Japanese newspapers and publications were shut down. In 1944, Prime Minister Mackenzie King declared that all Japanese-Canadians were required to relocate to eastern Canada or face repatriation. By the end of the 1940s, however, many individuals had been granted re-entry to the west coast and, finally, the right to vote. The variety of Japanese shops, restaurants, and vibrant community culture in Japantown never fully recovered from these events, and until the resurgence of Japanese cuisine in the 1980s only two ethnic restaurants remained on Powell.

Today, Japantown still retains a few visible reminders of its past, but has yet to be designated as a Historic Site by the City of Vancouver. This means that many of its remaining historic buildings are at risk. In 2013, the 122 year-old Ming Sun building at 439 Powell was threatened when city officials deemed it structurally unsound. Without proper heritage designation, it was up to the local community to save the site and propose restoration, rather than demolition. As a reminder of the rich history of the area and the continued legacy of the Japanese community in Vancouver, the Powell Street Festival at Oppenheimer Park is the largest annual Japanese-Canadian festival in Canada, and the city’s longest-running community celebration since its inception in 1977.

MORE VANCOUVER HISTORY

SMOKE BREAK #1102 | “A Rising Tide” Film Follows The Early Surfing Pioneers Of India

April 15, 2014 

Lose yourself in this short documentary film, the first about surfing in India, a country with a 7,500km, a population of over 1.2 billion people, and barely one hundred surfers.

Through interviews with local watermen we celebrate the joy of riding waves and the aloha spirit of the Indian surf tribe. As the numbers of surfers in the country keep growing each day, we hope that these stories may never be lost and shall help create a deeper sense of surf community in India.

TAKE ANOTHER BREAK

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THE VIEW FROM YOUR WINDOW #163 | Up North Over The Rooftops Of South Granville

April 15, 2014 

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Reader A.J. | South Granville | 9:14am | Vancouver, BC | 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. What does your view look like right now? Take a snap of it and send it in. Check out the gallery of our all-time reader submissions below… Read more

GHOST HOODS | On The Rise And Fall (And Rise) Of Mount Pleasant’s “Brewery Creek”

April 10, 2014 

The GHOST HOOD series dovetails with the new HOODS section of Scout (launching on Monday)

by Stevie Wilson | In conversations about Mount Pleasant these days, the old “Brewery Creek” moniker is being increasingly employed on account of all the new breweries that have arrived in recent years. But what exactly is the significance of the name? It’s important to note that although it’s generally thought of as synonymous with the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, the “Brewery Creek” distinction refers to a particular stretch of waterway that was integral to the growth and economic development of the area. Long before white settlers arrived, this expansive region was a popular harvesting location for First Nations. It would later become an important economic sector for new businesses thanks to its flowing natural resource.

The patch of land that became known as Mount Pleasant was originally shrouded in dense, dark rainforest. The creek that drained this forest into the salty waters of False Creek sat at the bottom of a large ravine that was open to the sky. It offered an abundance of flowers, berries, and other plants used by First Nations for medicine and food. The (now lost) waterway began near where Mountain View Cemetery is located today. Water flowed downhill just west of modern-day Fraser Street to a marshy, dammed area near 14th Avenue (Tea Swamp Park). From here, the creek flowed down the Mount Pleasant hillside, following a northeastern path alongside a First Nations trail (near where Kingsway cuts across Main Street), and continuing into the eastern waters of False Creek (which have since been filled in) near Terminal Avenue.

In 1867, the creek area in Mount Pleasant became Vancouver’s first piped waterway, delivering water by flume to Gastown – then the center of the city – and the boilers at Captain Edward Stamp’s Mill near the foot of Dunlevy (later known as the Hastings Sawmill).

The Brewery Creek region was defined by its open landscape, its distinct flora and fauna, and the numerous businesses that followed the path of the waterway – including several slaughterhouses, the nearby Vancouver Tannery, and an assortment of local beverage-makers that used the creek to power their water wheels: the San Francisco Brewery (later known as the Red Star Brewery), Mainland Brewery, Landsdowne Brewery,  Lion Brewery, and the Thorpe & Co. Soda Water Works. Read more

GOODS | New ‘Phantoms In The Front Yard’ Show Exhibiting At The Burrard On April 25

April 10, 2014 

The Burrard Hotel is located at 1100 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver, BC | 604.681.2331 | www.theburrard.com

The Burrard Hotel is located at 1100 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver, BC | 604.681.2331 | www.theburrard.com

THE GOODS FROM THE BURRARD HOTEL

Vancouver, BC | The Burrard is always excited to team up to support its neighbours, and so they’re thrilled to host a short-and-sweet exhibition of miniature works with local artists’ collective, Phantoms in the Front Yard on Friday, April 25. Called “Everyone I’ve Never Known,” the show asks questions like, “Where do we know others, or not know them? How are we impacted by people we have never met? Who are the strangers that have made a mark in our lives?” It’s no coincidence that these are questions that come up in hotels ALL. THE. TIME.

Everyone is invited to come down to The Burrard on April 25 and check out the works in the courtyard from noon ‘til 8:30pm, with a reception with Phantoms in the Front Yard and the Burrard team from 6pm to 8:30pm that evening. All the works are miniatures, for sale, and priced between $200 and $500 each. In the meantime, you can enter to win one of the works, along with a two night stay in one of The Burrard’s updated, retro hotel rooms via Instagram or Twitter – just check out the Phantoms’ website for details. Read more

THE VIEW FROM YOUR WINDOW #162 | In Formation Flying High Above Coal Harbour

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Reader T.R. | Above Coal Harbour | 6pm | Vancouver, BC | 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. What does your view look like right now? Take a snap of it and send it in. Check out the gallery of our all-time reader submissions below… Read more

SMOKE BREAK #1099 | An Insightful Tour Of Great Britain & Ireland’s Myriad Accents

(via) Here’s UK movie industry dialect coach Andrew Jack giving a quick tour of the many accents of the British Isles. Omissions? We would have like to have heard his Mancunian.

TAKE ANOTHER BREAK

VANCOUVERITES | At Home With Amber Webber And Josh Wells Of “Lightning Dust”

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by Grady Mitchell | Lightning Dust is the brooding music made by Amber Webber and Josh Wells. Originally a side-project from their main band, Black Mountain, it has since become a full-fledged undertaking of its own. From their first release, a self-titled album in 2007, through 2009′s Infinite Light and last year’s Fantasy, they’ve moved progressively from a chiefly folk sound to a more shadowy electronic hybrid.

This combination of analog and digital is best displayed on tracks like In The City Tonight and Agatha off their most recent album, both of which feature glittering keys intertwined with rich, orchestral strings. Amber’s vocals are ethereal and delicate – a nice change from singing in Black Mountain, where, she says, “I’m wailing it the whole time.” Lightning Dust songs have a cavernous space to them, a resonance granted by their lofty, meditative sound.

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That gradual transformation was intuitive, influenced by their evolving tastes. “When the songs were written,” Josh says, “it’s what was most exciting to us at the time.” As for the increasingly electronic bent of their sound, well, now is the time, Amber says. “When I’m forty-five I won’t necessarily want to be doing a synth-pop record, but I’ll certainly still be playing the guitar.”

One of the facts musicians generally accept as a downside of Vancouver – its relative isolation from record industry hubs like Toronto, New York, and LA – the two see instead as an advantage. With the industry somewhat removed, they hold Vancouver as a place uniquely suited for musicians to experiment. Alongside many bands in the city’s vibrant music scene, they’re living proof that that’s true.

OTHER INTERESTING VANCOUVERITES

SCOUT LIST: 10 Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now & Next Week

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by Michelle Sproule | 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. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!

ART |  The Winsor Gallery has an interesting show going on this month. They’ve invited eighteen artists to each invite an artist to show alongside them, making for a total of 36 artists. The show is called Concurrently and, as Winsor explains, the “result is an a micro-simulation that explores the intricacy of relationships between artists and their artwork – and allows each artist to contextualize their own work in a very direct sense through their biggest influences or closest friends.” It’s a pretty rad concept, and fascinating to not only see what artists like Ron Moppett, Dana Claxton have produced or chosen for the show, but also to see who they’ve asked to show with them and what the pairing says about the artists themselves.
Thurs, April 3 | 6-8pm | Winsor Gallery (258 East 1st Avenue) | DETAILS

FILM | The Pacific Cinematheque is running a comprehensive David Cronenberg retrospective this month. From early experimental features like Crimes of the Future and Stereo to well known blockbusters like Crash, the selection of 13 full length films and four shorts was curated by the Toronto Film Festival and will be presented over the next few weeks on the big screen at Pacific Cinematheque. Dark, smart and tense, Cronenberg films are consistently provocative. Spreading a retrospective out over a few weeks is probably better for everyone – you can catch films in this series at various times and dates over the next four weeks. Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises? That’s some fine stuff right there, and well worth putting some time aside for.
April 3 – May 2| Various times | Pacific Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) | DETAILS

OPENING | Hot Art Wet City Gallery celebrates its one year anniversary this month and gallery owner Chris Bentzen has organised a group show to mark the occasion. Voices From Another Room showcases the works of five local artists, all of whom work in paper. As Bentzen explains: “This exhibition showcases paper as an artistic medium unto itself, and demonstrates its versatility beyond the role of a mere surface for other materials. Rachael Ashe, Alison Woodward, Joseph Wu, Connie Sabo and Sarah Gee Miller produce strikingly different styles of work but approach working intimately with paper through similar methods.” Drop into the Main Street gallery to see different ways in which paper can be cut, folded, twisted and manipulated – the end results will impress you. This exhibition runs until April 25th.
Thurs, April 3 | 7pm | Hot Art Wet City  (2206 Main St) | DETAILS

WRITE | It’s tax time, so pretty much the worst, most stressful, and potentially punitive time of the year to use Canada Post. But it doesn’t have to be scary! Spread some good vibes by writing a few friendly letters to friends. Just think of how great would it be to open the mailbox to find a beautiful, hand-written postcard or letter instead of one of those impersonal gimme gimme brown jobs that Revenue Canada churns out like it’s Christmas on Opposite Day. This week, The Regional Assembly of Text hosts it’s 100th Letter Writing Club. Keen letter writers have been gathering on Thursday evenings at the tiny Main Street shop for eight years now in order to pen or type old school letters, postcards and cards to send to friends, family member, and pen pals. The turnout for the 100th edition of the event is expected to be bigger than the cozy storefront can accommodate so co-owners Rebecca & Brandy have rented the Ukrainian Hall for some extra elbow room. They’re now hoping to encourage 100 people to come out to write 100 letters. There’s no cost and, as always, everyone is welcome. Paper and supplies will be provided. There will be some typewriters available but bring your own if you have one. For more information please call 604-877-2247
Thurs, April 3 | 7pm | Ukrainian Hall (154 East 10th @ Main) | Free | DETAILS

BAKING | Petit Four Pastries is temporarily setting up shop in the space beside the Les amis du Fromage (E Hastings location) and we thought you should know about it. “Petit Four Pastries is a fun-filled collaboration between four bakers who come from three different cities and backgrounds: Minnie – a native of Hong Kong – was focused on make-up artistry. Alyssa – originally from Moose Jaw – worked throughout Europe in childcare. And while they didn’t know each other while in New York, both Carol and Ada had corporate positions in the finance and advertising industries, respectively.” Expect decorative cookies, cakes and cupcakes as well as all manner of loaves, muffins, scones and croissant.
Sat April 5 | noon – 5pm | Les amis du Fromage (843 East Hastings) | DETAILS

BLOSSOMS | How awesome is it to have a city full of cherry blossoms right now? Get excited about it with the likeminded at the Sakura Days Japan Fair at VanDusen this weekend. Cruising the Sakura Days Japan Fair is like being teleported to Japan, or as close as most of us are going to get (by Saturday, anyway). The gardens are packed full of cherry blossom gazers, live entertainment, arts and crafts tables and martial arts performers as well as tea ceremony stations, haiku readings, flower arranging stations, origami making booths and lots of traditional and anime-inspired costumes.
April 5 & 6 | 10am-5pm | VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak) | $12 | DETAILS

STUDIO SALE | Alex Henderson of Henderson Dry Goods and Zoe Garred Fleet Objects are two local artists/designers who create beautiful handcrafted works. Henderson Dry Goods is a line of simple wood-based jewellery, coasters, clocks, mirrors and more, while Fleet Objects is an equally simple line of ceramics (table ware and jewellery) with clean lines and subtle colour accents. Although working in different materials, the two lines share a similar aesthetic and it makes sense that they should share a studio space. This weekend, said studio will be opening its doors to sell seconds and one of a kind pieces that were never put into production. Hit this sale to pick up everything from jewelry, ornaments, and mirrors to wood trays, lamps, bags and tableware.
April 5-6 | 11am-5pm | 1888 Main St | DETAILS

AFFORDABLE ART | Make your way to The Remington Gallery Thursday night for The Postcard Show, a 45 person exhibition in which each of the participating artists has created a postcard sized work of art to be entered in to a silent auction (bids start at $10).  Curator Paulina De La Paz wanted to showcase original art that could be high quality and interesting yet remain accessible in price and postcard format was an ideal solution: small but meaningful, affordable and transportable. Buying art can be easy.  While artists worked to the common theme of ‘transformation’ expect to see great diversity in style – everything from painting and drawing to textiles and collage.
Sat, April 5 | 7pm | Remington Gallery (108 E Hastings) | DETAILS

BUY LOCAL | Hustle over to Heritage Hall this Sunday for the annual Nifty For Fifty sale, wherein everything from clothes and shoes to jewellery and otherwise awesome accessories are on sale for $50 or less. Everything on site will be vintage or made by local designers such as Adhesif Clothing, Allison Wonderland, Floating Gold Iceberg, Flight Path Designs, Toodlebunny … the list goes on and on and it’s all cool and Vancouver-made. See you there!
Sunday, April 6 | 11am–8pm | Heritage Hall (3102 Main) | $1 | DETAILS

LAUGH | Taz VanRassel, Ryan Beil, Emmett Hall, Aaron Read, and Caitlin Howden are the five funny Vancouverites who make up The Sunday Service. They’ve been performing every Sunday for the past seven years and have built a significant following of people who like themselves a good laugh. Their following is so significant, in fact, that The Service has decided to relocate their gig from a West Broadway dining lounge to the newly refurbished (and, don’t worry, thoroughly disinfected) Fox Cabaret so that the congregation can continue to grow without being too crowded (one needs adequate elbow room for a proper belly laugh). The Fox hosts The Service for the first time this Sunday evening.
Sunday, April 6 | Doors at 8pm, Show at 9pm | The Fox Cabaret (2321 Main St) | $7 | DETAILS

Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List

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late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.

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GOODS | The Biltmore Cabaret Announces “Songs Of Neil Young” Tribute April 22 & 23

The Biltmore Cabaret is located at 2755 Prince Edward Street in Vancouver, BC | 604.676.0541 | biltmorecabaret.com

The Biltmore Cabaret is located at 2755 Prince Edward Street in Vancouver, BC | 604.676.0541 | biltmorecabaret.com

The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret

Vancouver, BC | The Biltmore Cabaret’s continued commitment to fostering local talent shines on in our ‘Songs of …’ Series. The ‘Songs of Neil Young’ Tribute Nights on Tuesday, April 22 and Wednesday, April 23 will feature the best of Vancouver’s singing and songwriting talent as they put their personal spin on classic Canadiana. Previous nights have included ‘Songs of Bob Dylan’ and ‘Songs of Bruce Springsteen’. These editions feature eight acts each at an incredible $6 a pop. The line-up includes: Louise Burns, Jordan Klassen, Johnny De Courcy, War Baby, Failing, Dominique Fricot, The Wild North, Altered By Mom, Skye Wallace, Rolla Olak, Lydia Hol, David Newberry, Shuyler Jansem, Redbitd, The Reckoners, and Heard In The Mountains. Learn more about the events after the jump… Read more

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #491 | 10 Essential Addresses That Typify Today’s Chinatown

by Ken Tsui | Vancouver’s Chinatown is a neighbourhood with over a century of cultural history crammed within a handful of blocks. There are countless Chinese stories embedded in the architecture and within the street front businesses. Though it’s on the cusp of being a certified UNESCO historical site, change is still very much afoot in Chinatown, making right now a very interesting time to explore it. The neighbourhood – it’s very plain to see – is flourishing with new businesses. Young entrepreneurs from across the city are opening up alongside traditional herbalists, restaurants, butchers, green grocers and kitchen equipment suppliers that have operated in Chinatown for several decades, making it a diverse mix of the treasured old guard and the welcomed new.  This is a (by no means complete) guide to some of these most treasured places. Take your empty belly and a couple of hours out of your day to explore…

Chinatown Supermarket | 239 Keefer Street | 604-685-5423
Navigating the myriad of neighbourhood grocers in Chinatown can be an intimidating experience, but this place is a friendly one­-stopper. With fresh produce, meats, and classic Chinese ingredients, it has practically everything you need to put together a delicious and authentic Cantonese meal.

New Town Bakery | 158 E Pender Street | 604-681­-1828
New Town is a regular haunt for Chinatown elders and a stopover for out-­of-­towners who flock to Pender Street for their steamed bun fix. It’s the definitive Chinese bakery, offering a wide range of sweet and savoury classics such as BBQ pork buns (some of the best in town), pineapple buns, and egg tarts. New Town has columns of steamers stacked full of pillowy steamed buns ranging from Sichuan pork and “Chicken Deluxe” to a vegetarian alternative.

Dollar Meat Store | 266 E Pender Street | 604-681­-1052
Don’t let the name fool you! The award-winning Dollar Meats is an old guard butcher shop that serves up some of Chinatown’s most delicious Chinese BBQ and cured meats. BBQ ducks and a crispy whole hog usually hang in the window while sausages and Chinese bacon cure to deliciousness in the shop. In operation for over 30 years, Dollar Meats takes pride in their artisan products and remains a Vancouver institution for traditional Chinese barbecue

Matchstick Coffee Roasters | 213 East Georgia St. | 604-336-­0213
Expanding from their original Fraserhood location to Georgia Street this year, Matchstick Coffee boasts the best coffee in Chinatown (it’s also one of the few places in the neighbourhood where you can get a cup of coffee before 8am). Along with the standard baked goods (excellent croissants), Matchstick Coffee offers a toast bar and dinner options like Mac and Cheese, plus a selection of local beer on tap.

Phnom Penh Restaurant | 244 East Georgia St. | 604-682­-5777
Butter beef, deep fried lemon pepper chicken wings, and hot and sour soup are the regular barn burners that keep people coming back to this Vietnamese/Cambodian treasure. When former New York chef-turned-celebrity food writer Anthony Bourdain was asked where he liked to eat in Vancouver, he simply replied “Phnom Penh.” He’s not alone, as evidenced by the fact that its large dining room is eternally bustling, even at unlikely hours.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie | 163 Keefer St. | 604-688­-0876
The award-­winning Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie strikes a fine balance in preserving culture through food. Chef Joel Watanabe’s menus are inspired by traditional Chinese flavours and ingredients but are prepared with modern culinary techniques. Bao Bei is a reflection of the modern Chinese experience, a delicious meeting place between the new and old.

Tinland Cookware | 260 East Pender St. | 604-608-­0787
Chinatown would not be complete without an unpretentious kitchen supply store. You won’t find brand name cookware here but they’re equipped with just about every single size of pot, pan, clear plastic storage container, ceramic bowl, and cooking utensil. Tinland has practically every tool you’ll ever need to outfit your kitchen at an affordable price.

Bestie | 105 East Pender | 604-620-­1175
Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown’s sausage and beer parlour specializing in currywurst is one of Chinatown’s most exciting new developments. It’s a perfect example of the new style of up and coming businesses that are taking a chance on the area. It just so happens that they’re also some of the friendliest, most charming folks on the block. Bestie may not be a typical Chinatown destination, but it gives Vancouverites of every stripe good reason to visit Pender Street.

Continental Herbal | 278 East Pender St. | 604-677-­3334
Continental Herbal is filled floor-­to-­ceiling with every herbal remedy and traditional Chinese dried good imaginable, including dried starfish. Even if you’re not entirely sure how to use any of it (including said dried starfish), Continental Herbal has you covered. They keep an in-­house herbalist in the back of the store who is always ready to fill a prescription. Beyond herbal remedies, Continental also has an impressive tea collection and a staff that gladly walks anyone who is interested through it.

Bamboo Village Trading Company | 135 E Pender Street | 604-662-­3300
Bamboo Village, located on Pender Street, is chock-a-block with cheap and cheerful antiques and homewares. The shop is a vibrant encapsulation of all things decorative, walking a very fine line between practicality and Chinatown kitsch. From an impressive array of paper lanterns and ornately painted ceramic bowls to Mao propaganda posters, exploring the visually striking, wall­-to-­wall collection at Bamboo Village is an adventure in discovering the things you never thought you were looking for.

GOODS | The Chinatown Experiment Is Set To Host New Series Of Pop Ups This Month

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. in Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown | chinatownexperiment.com

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. in Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown | chinatownexperiment.com

The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment

Vancouver, BC | From shopping to art exhibits, there’s something for everyone this month at The Chinatown Experiment. Take a look…

March 31 – April 7 | Obviously Chic
Women’s online boutique brings their brand of shabby chic to Vancouver.

April 9 – 14 | Riverlife
Solo art exhibit by vancouver based artist Hamish Todd.

April 11- 13 | Güd
Güd, a fabulous new line of natural personal beauty from the makers of Burt’s Bees, is opening a pop-up shop this April in Greenstems, an award winning florist located at 315 Abbott St. in Gastown.

April 18 – 21 | Terminal City: Rewired
Architect and visual artist, Peter Ridgeway presents a multi-media art exhibition.

April 29 | Neighbourhood Photographs
The Chinatown Experiment presents their 2nd Neighbourhood group exhibit. Read more

HEADS UP | “The Postcard Show” Set To Open At The Remington Gallery On April 5th

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by Grady Mitchell | Just over a year ago, Curator Paulina De La Paz organized the first Postcard Show after noticing the lack of platforms for emerging artists and curators in Vancouver. On Saturday, April 5 the show’s fourth volume will open at The Remington Gallery (108 E Hastings) at 7 PM, granting young artists, especially recent graduates, a chance to exhibit their work in Vancouver and internationally. For this edition, the artists will be creating their postcard-size pieces within the greater theme of “Transformation.”

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Works by Frazer Adams, Tony Yin Tak Chu, Mia Dungeon, Andrea Hooge, James Knight, Guillem Rovira, Carley Stadelmann

Most of the forty-five artists have contributed multiple postcards, which means there will be plenty to look at – and bid on. Every piece is for sale, starting at $10 in auction-style bidding. As you’d expect with such a stacked roster, the styles are eclectic, spanning photography, painting, illustration, textiles, origami, and even more unique mediums. Andea Hooge, for instance, specializes in scratch boarding; she coats a surface in paint and scratches away layers to create an image. Another artist in the show, Carley Stadlemann, has built her own Harmonograph, a device that takes sound waves and translates them visually into spiralling, precise, and hypnotizing patterns.

If young talent and affordable original artwork aren’t enough to draw you to the show, then consider this: the fourth volume will be Vancouver’s last Postcard Show for some time. After this, Paulina plans to take the exhibition international, starting with Mexico City.

Learn more about the Postcard Show and keep up to date with their TumblrTwitter, and on Facebook.

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