The GOODS from THISOPENSPACE
Vancouver, BC | It’s the first full month of fall; we’ve put away the air conditioner and brought out the raincoats. It’s also the season for taking in art and one stop on your gallery hop should include the solo exhibition debuts of two artists at our flagship storefront.
It starts with Jason Cusator’s large format abstract paintings and then Rudolf Sokolovski’s life-size bronze and wood sculptures. Later in the month, online women’s fashion retailer HART Republic comes to us all the way from Halifax for one week. There’s also a very first health care pop-up and finally a one-day fashion show meets vogue ball performance to wrap up this month’s calendar.
Whether your family is out of town or just not that into celebrating the holidays, Here There recognizes that the temporarily orphaned need to eat on Thanksgiving. So join them Saturday, October 11th for a fun-filled night of good food, music and plenty of drunk uncle speeches.
Dinner will be a big, help yourself-style spread of the Thanksgiving classics. Think roasted turkey, porchetta, autumnal roasted vegetables, sweet potato mash with candied nuts, gratin of blue russian potato and cauliflower, shaved apple and fennel salad, brioche stuffing, and two types of pie. The cooking is being done by chef Annabelle Choi, formerly the head baker at Matchstick Coffee (also toiled at famed San Francisco bakeries Craftsman & Wolves and Tartine).
While Choi is dishing out the Thanksgiving classics, there will be a cash bar pouring holiday cocktails and a stereo playing solid gold jams. It’s all going down in a fun, cozy, dinner party environment where all you’ll need to worry about is what you’re thankful for… Read more
by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting folks to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from Aaron Schubert and Gareth Lukes, the coffee, music, and apothecary connoisseurs behind the soon-to-open Lukes General Store on the DTES.
Beastie Boys – Check Your Head | LISTEN | Narrowing down my all time favourites to a top three is a difficult, so I’ve decided to focus on the records that have had the biggest effect on me while also standing the test of time. Check Your Head best exemplifies this criteria. When I first heard it at the age of 16, it energized, inspired and informed me in a way that no other record had before. I love the seamlessness and ease with which it crosses through the realms of Hip Hop, Punk, Funk and Jazz. The fantastic instrumental skills of MCA (Bass) Adrock (Guitar) and Mike D. (Drums) along with honorary member Money Mark (Keyboards) were really showcased for the first time on this record.
Sloan – One Chord to Another | LISTEN | No question in my mind — this is one of the greatest Canadian records of all time. Never gets old, never gets tired. The day I found it on vinyl was a happy, happy day. I still get excited when I see it in my apartment and remember that I have it. I believe it was recorded on a 4 track which is impressive considering how good it sounds. Its got 60s pop elements and some fantastic horns. There isn’t a weak song on the record and its tough to make a call on which of the four member’s songs are the best. Lyrically amazing as well. “I’m writing Young and Gifted in my autobiography. I figured who would know, better than me” [from Autobiography]
Al Green – Gets Next to You | LISTEN | Al Green at his most raw, raunchy and soulful. The Hi Records studio band is on fire on this one. The horns are sharp, precise and perfectly arranged while still dripping soul. The guitar playing is a perfect combination of funk and twang. The rhythm section is mean. It’s just a perfect record to me.
Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! – Live at ‘The Club’ | LISTEN | This is by far the best live record I’ve ever heard. Between the drunken patrons being overzealous, the insane musicianship and the undeniable soul of this record, I’ll never get bored of listening to it.
John Frusciante – To Record Only Water For Ten Days (2001) | LISTEN | I remember ordering this record from HMV when it first came out and assuming it was going to be like the Red Hot Chili Peppers which my 13-year-old self was quite excited about at the time. Instead, it turned out to be filled with beautifully reverbed guitars, poorly recorded analog drum machines, lyrics that still confuse me and some instrumental tracks that made me feel something I hadn’t felt before. This record was at least 10 years before it’s time.
Neil Young – On the Beach (1974) | LISTEN | This has to be my favourite driving record, which is somewhat odd since there are several slower songs on it. I think it’s just the atmosphere and lyrics which make me feel like I’m in a movie…and that can’t be bad.
These are the things we saw and shared on Instagram this month. Favourite moments from the road include camping at Diamond Lake and Big Sur, exploring the rim of Crater Lake, being dwarfed by Coastal Redwood trees in California’s Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and watching whales (Humpbacks) feed off the coast of Carmel. Closer to home, we dug the new brunch program at Bestie, the gyozas at the newly opened Gyoza Bar, and returning to Bufala for one of our favourite pies on the planet — their disc of ham, pea, taleggio and truffle oil. Plus the rain. Always the rain!
East Van Calamari | Detritus/Litter | The left-over elastic rings of spent latex condoms that litter alleyways across East Vancouver. A misnomer, as it is hardly a phenomenon exclusive to one specific area of the city.
Usage: “Um, dude…I think you have some East Van Calamari stuck to the bottom of your shoe…”
Fogtober | Phenomenon | What Vancouverites jokingly call October. We don’t get as much fog as London or San Francisco, but we sure seem to get the Pea Soup variety every October. Bonus: a warming ocean will ensure this tradition lasts for decades to come!
Usage: “Fogtober is totally clogging up my Instagram feed right now…”
Snortside | Nickname | The nickname of The Portside Pub, a once promising establishment in Gastown that now does the neighbourhood an invaluable service by containing a particular clientele into one area that can be easily avoided.
Usage: ”Did you hear about the double stabbing at Snortside last night?”
Strathcona Village | Bullshit | A fake neighbourhood within a neighbourhood recently invented by real estate marketers challenged to improve prospective home owner perceptions of Strathcona so that a developer could gentrify sections of it for profit. See also SoMa, East Village, Crosstown.
Usage: “If I see one more #StrathconaVillage sellout hashtag I’m going to throw my phone at the wall. It’s Strathcona, for crissakes!”
gravitypope Vancouver | 2205 West 4th Ave. | Vancouver, BC | V6K 1N9
Telephone: 604-731-7673 | Email: vancouver [at] gravitypope.com
gravitypope Tailored Goods | 2203 West 4th Ave. | Vancouver, BC | V6K 1N9
Telephone: 604-731-7647 | Email: tailoredgoodsvancouver [at] gravitypope.com
The People Who Make It Happen
Louise Dirks – Owner, CEO
Ramona Litwinowich – gravitypope Vancouver Manager
Natalie Tersigni – gravitypope Tailored Goods Manager
About The Company
Owner, CEO and principle buyer, Louise Dirks, opened the first gravitypope in spring 1990 in Edmonton, Alberta. Soon after, the store became recognized for stocking unique product with focus on quality and design. With the success of the Edmonton location, gravitypope opened a second footwear store in Calgary in 2000, and continued to grow moving west with a Vancouver location in 2004. After several years spent focusing on expanding the brand offerings, developing an in-house footwear collection and opening gravitypope Tailored Goods stores in both Edmonton and Vancouver; gravitypope moved east to Toronto in the fall of 2012 to open a micro-department store housing both the clothing and footwear collections.
Over the last 24 years gravitypope has built up an extensive footwear brand listings that ranges from popular sport, comfort and lifestyle brands to hard to find fashion and handmade artisan footwear from, Japan, and North America. Stocking over 175 footwear collections, gravitypope Vancouver offers quality footwear from around the globe: Adieu, Audley, Birkenstock, Camper, Chie Mihara, Chippewa, Church’s Clarks, Common Projects, Converse, Cydwoq, Dr. Martens, Fiorentini and Baker, Fluevog, Fly London, Frye, Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole, John Varvatos, Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Moma, N.D.C., Native, New Balance, Officine Creative, Paul Smith, Rachel Comey, Red Wing, Repetto, See by Chloe, T & F Slack, Tracey Neuls, Trippen, Vans, Vic Matie, Wolverine and more.
In line with the footwear stores, gravitypope Tailored Goods has grown to offer a carefully curated selection men’s and women’s clothing and accessories from around the world, including: Acne, Alexander Wang, Antipast, Band of Outsiders, Beth Richards, Carven, Christian Wijnants, Clu, Comme des Garcons, Creatures of Comfort, Engineered Garments, Filippa K, Forte_Forte, Fortnight, Fred Perry, Isable Marant, Jil Sander Navy, Liberty London, Maison Kitsune, Margaret Howell, Marni, Naked and Famous, Nudie Jeans, Paul Smith, Peter Jensen, Pomandere, Rag & Bone, Reigning Champ, Robert Geller, SNS Herning, Stephan Schneider, Sofie D’Hoore, Veronique Branquinho, Yoshi Kondo and Wings + Horns.
With six stores opened across Canada and a (newly designed) web-store, gravitypope is looking forward to celebrating its quarter century mark by continuing to offer exceptional service, quality product and a selection worth the trip.
Kinfolked | Consequence/Synonym | When something, usually a photograph, has been overworked to resemble the low contrast, over-filtered “look” prevalent in lifestyle magazines such as Kinfolk. The term is also used to describe any activity or interior that has been given over to said “look”, any item that has been wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine, or any establishment that attracts those who mimic the style and blitz it on Instagram.
Usage: ”Man, that picnic was so fucking Kinfolked…”
by Grady Mitchell | A short story collection is a tough enough test for a new writer, but author Michael Christie added to the challenge by centering much of his first book, The Beggar’s Garden, around the Downtown Eastside, where he had worked at an emergency shelter for six years. ”It was a place where you paid with a bad story,” Christie says. Nobody who came up to the counter was ever having a peachy day. The stories he encountered there inspired the book.
The dichotomies at play in this city make for rich storytelling. “What’s the difference between Vancouver and Victorian England?” the author asks. “Not much. We’ve got the highest echelons of society bumping right up to the lowest. It’s such a dramatic situation, and I realized I wanted to write about it.” Spinning nine different (but interrelated) stories with as many protagonists – from a Riverview patient with delusions of royalty to a computer programmer struggling in the dating world – allowed him to explore the shared traits among all facets of society, no matter how dissimilar.
“Literature can level the playing field and humanize everyone. I wanted to portray people on all levels of society struggling, being lost and trying to find connection with one another. That’s what I love about literature: it can encompass larger ideas than a simple view of poverty, or a simple view of class.”
Christie’s empathetic approach is key. He never finger-wags at his characters, nor does he romanticize their plight. While a disgruntled banker and a struggling addict face very different day-to-day challenges, they still grapple with the same issues of connection. The author tackles the intricacies of the neighbourhood with eloquence, tact, and enough skill to get the book long-listed for the 2011 Giller Prize, alongside writers like Michael Ondaatje.
Before he was a writer, Christie was a professional skateboarder. Although they seem worlds apart, he sees writing and skateboarding as similar activities. “Skateboarding is totally self-directed; there’s no coach. It’s just you, your skateboard, and the city,” he says. “Writing’s the same thing. No one tells me what I should do next.”
Although at first he faced skepticism as a skater-turned-writer, he won a spot at UBC’s MFA program, where he wrote The Beggar’s Garden as his thesis. “Now I’m a working writer,” he says. “I know it’s a luxury, and I try to remind myself everyday.”
His followup book, a novel titled If I Fall, I Die, is now done and awaiting release in January. It centers on the lives of an agoraphobic woman and her ten-year-old son, following the boy as he leaves home for the first time ever and gets enmeshed in the long-cold mystery of another missing child. To learn more, visit Mike’s website.
Local firm Peter Cardew Architects just sent us an email and video link countering the already accepted and established plans for the new Vancouver Art Gallery. “How can we ensure the public supports a new VAG? Ask them.” Food for thought:
In the search for alternate sites on which to construct a new Vancouver Art Gallery there was little public participation to ensure the best site was chosen for a major public building in the city. Also, in an economic climate that is far less robust than when the idea of a totally new gallery was first proposed, it is critical that public money be seen to be wisely spent. Only through actively encouraging open dialogue about such issues can governments, the public and potential donors be assured of enthusiastic public support. This video is intended to stimulate that dialogue and that enthusiasm.
The Vancouver Lexicon – our A-Z dictionary of local slang, myths, legends, and such – might appear to be complete, but we mean to keep adding to it every week. Today we aim to highlight five more localisms that everyone in British Columbia should know about, that is if they don’t already. They are Hipster Checklist, Back East, Wester Van, Etsy Sue, and The Subourbon.
by Ken Tsui | “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” says Sundance award-winning filmmaker Julia Kwan about her new documentary, Everything Will Be. Playing at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival, the film focuses on the past 3 years of Vancouver’s evolving Chinatown and the diverse collage of people who now call it home.
Julia grew up in Chinatown. Her parents found work folding linens at the Keefer Laundry and waiting tables at restaurants like Foo Ho Ho. “My mother was always nervous outside of Chinatown,” Julia lamented, “but put her in Chinatown and she’s in her element.” She remembers the strong sense of community when her family hopped from grocer to grocer on the weekends, shopping for provisions and running into friends along the way.
For Julia, the transformation of her childhood Chinatown is a personal ache; where the film’s inspiration finds its ignition. The documentary is a time capsule; it’s a process piece that studies the pivot when tradition meets change.
Julia was drawn by the resilience of the people in her neighbourhood, but she also acknowledges that her film captures the end of an era for Chinatown’s traditional shop culture. Some of the businesses featured in the documentary have already closed, even before the film’s release. “I really wanted to document the shifts in these people’s lives”, she says. “I wanted it to be an immersive experience and give people a feeling like they’ve been sitting on a stoop in Chinatown.”
Everything Will Be moves beyond the streets and gives the audience a unique look within the guarded cultural enclaves of Chinatown. The access and requisite trust didn’t come easy. Local Chinese herbalist Mr. Lai, whose storefront sits on East Hastings, initially refused to be featured in the film. And there were others, too. They were afraid that “it would effect their livelihood”, Julia recalls. Even the decision to hire Mr. Lai’s own daughter to work on the documentary didn’t sway him. It took more tenacity, not to mention months, but Mr. Lai finally agreed to let Julia document him and his business. “That’s the difference between fiction and documentary,” Julia says. “I feel like I’m constantly begging and asking for more.” The process was ultimately rewarding, and not only for the sake of the film. Genuine friendships have bloomed as a result.
The film also challenged Julia to work outside her comfort zone. She learned to relinquish control as a director and to recognize that amazing things happen if you are open to them. Throughout the film-making process, Julia learned how to better recognize authentic moments that will speak volumes in what audiences will surely view as an elegiac snapshot of the collective memory and legacy of Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Everything Will Be screens at the Vancouver International Film Festival September 29th, October 1st and October 3rd.