by Michelle Sproule | Have you ever had one of those experiences when you start thinking about how good an Earnest Ice Cream sundae is and you get so besotted with the memory of it that you get in your car and drive half way across town fully prepared to wait in a ridiculously long line up just to taste it only to realize that it’s Monday night and you have to wait all the way until Thursday before the tiny storefront opens it’s doors for service? Yeah, me too.
It’s not that they’re trying to torture us ice cream fiends. They have, it should be noted, distributed jars of their ice cream to numerous locations throughout the city where you can purchase it on any day of the week to pacify your cravings. The limited hours in the Fraserhood are out of necessity. They use that rest of the time (and all the space) to make the ice cream that will meet demand through the rest of the week.
Their smashing success has made the maintenance of the status quo impossible, so owners Ben Ernst and Erica Bernardi have decided to expand. They’ve just taken possession of the old Organic Lives space at 1829 Quebec Street on the corner of 2nd Avenue, where Mount Pleasant meets Olympic Village. When it comes on line this winter, this will be their main production space, though it will have a small retail component as well, which is to say we can walk in off the street and score ice cream by the scoop. The expansion also means that both locations will eventually be open for at least 6 days a week.
Right now, plans have been submitted to the city and they are just waiting for their permits. Though significantly larger, the new design will be similar to the Fraserhood location in layout and aesthetic (white walls, wood beams, brick — an uncomplicated, product-focused environment), plus there will be windows allowing customers to look into the production facility, which will take up the majority of the floor space.
The best case scenario for their opening date would be some point in December, but early 2015 is probably more realistic. Take a look inside…
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!
FRESH AIR FILM | Watching a movie in a field with stars above you is an a summer experience worth making time for. This Tuesday night catch a fresh air screening of Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom in Stanley Park (next week: The Princess Bride). Take along some picnic food and stake-out a spot on the grass with your best blanket because these warm summer nights are starting to slip away and you don’t want to be sitting in a puddle of tears in November wishing you’d taken the effort to cram in as much summer as was possible.
Tues, Aug 26 | Dusk (about 8:30pm) | Stanley Park at Ceperley Meadow / 2nd Beach | DETAILS
CHILL | Tonight is your last chance to get in on outdoor yoga at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens. Relax to the tranquil sounds of koi surfacing in lilypad-strewn ponds and the gentle rustling of bamboo, do a little yoga, and clear your head. These are all good things, plus you are only a block away from feasting on post-yoga Currywurst at Bestie.
Tues, Aug 26 | 6:15pm | Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (578 Carrall St) | DETAILS
WATCH | The Latin Film Fest kicks off on Thursday night. Over 70 films (36 of which are features) will be screened at three venues over ten days, so this is a festival that you won’t want to miss. From a documentary about a small community of albinos in the Dominican Republic to the story of a little boy obsessed with straightening his curly hair – the overarching aim of this fest is to bring Vancouver a cross-section of film reflecting the societies and people of Latin American countries in a real way. For a full line-up of screenings, visit the VLAFF website here.
Aug. 28 – Sept. 7 | Various times & venues | $8-$125 | DETAILS
ART | Grunt Gallery is an artist-run centre working to bring contemporary art programming to the public. They’ve spent the last three decades mounting exhibitions, scheduling performances, and presenting artist talks in order to inspire public dialogue about art. That’s a pretty great community service and one worth celebrating. This Thursday night, the gallery begins it’s 30th year with a party. Hang out with artists, Grunt board members, and community members while drinking up, eating cake, and watching a slideshow of past and present art exhibitions. Important things to know: attendees are encouraged to bring kids, the cake will be cut at 7:15pm, and this party is dog-friendly – which is awesome. No need to RSVP, just show up and bring friends.
Thurs, Aug 28 | 6:30-8:30pm | 350 E 2nd Ave – Unit 116 | Free | DETAILS
BEACH PARTY | Sunset Beach sounds like a pretty good time on Friday night: expect to see the strip of beach between Bute and Thurlow bustling with a roving Mariachi band, a makeshift Roller Disco rink (free skates to borrow), an art market (brought together by the crafty peeps at Blim), as well as ping pong, beach blanket hang outs, and free food from food trucks (you just have to sign up in advance to collect a voucher). Even if there are clouds in the sky, this is a great kick off to a Labour Day long weekend.
Fri, Aug 29 | 5pm till sundown | Beach Ave between Bute and Thurlow | Free | DETAILS
CONNECT | The Trout Lake Community Centre starts a new community tradition this Friday night. Twilight at Trout Lake is an end of the summer community gathering that encourages Vancouverites to bring lanterns to the park and participate in a procession around the lake to take in a variety of light installations, appreciate the beauty of the surroundings, and connect with friends and neighbours. This event goes down rain or shine. Arrive early to take advantage of the free lantern making workshop (6:30pm in the community centre)
Fri, Aug 29 | 7:30-9:30pm | Trout Lake Park (3300 Victoria) | DETAILS
BIRDS OF A FEATHER | Seasons are shifting. Bird migratory behaviour sees many of the species that have been hanging around Vancouver all summer start to head south while others arrive from the north. Grab yourself a Sunday morning coffee or tea and scoot down to Stanley Park for a guided walk that will focus on the varied and beautiful bird life of the park. Learn how to identify a different species, hear a little bit about bird behaviour, and fill your lungs with some outstanding fresh air while you’re at it.
Sun, Aug. 31 | 9-11am | Stanley Park Ecology Society – Nature House | $By donation | DETAILS
LIVE MUSIC | The 10th annual Victory Square Block Party happens this Sunday. Local talent taking the stage include The Shilohs, Cool, Dead Soft, Tough Age, Supermoon, Purple Hearts Social Club, Nervous Talk, and Fountain. There will also be food trucks (everyone loves a food truck), DJ’s to fill the space in between sets, prizes (a raffle of goodies supplied by local business) and general good vibes. Make sure you grab one of those raffle tickets with proceeds going to support Megaphone, a magazine sold by local homeless and low income vendors to generate personal income, and CiTR 101.9FM (Vancouver’s independent community radio station).
Sun, Aug. 31 | 2-9pm | Victory Square Block Party (Cambie & W. Hastings) | Free | DETAILS
GUERRILLA PARTY | If you wander a little further east along Hastings this Sunday you’ll run into the Urban Guerrilla Folk Festival. From Princess to Heatley there will be musicians, fire eaters, folk dancers, drummers, jugglers, crafters – the usual awesomeness that comes with an East Side community festival, and yet this one is slightly different with guerrilla tone: no food trucks, no sponsors, and no proceeds, just a big potluck.
Sun, Aug 31 | 1:30-5pm | Hastings (Princess to Heatley) | FREE | No website (come on, Guerrilla events don’t have websites)
CHOW | Food Cart Fest goes down on Sunday. Take advantage of the fact that close to two dozen food trucks will be parked around communal tables ready to feed you. And this week, Eastside Flea is arranging a Giant Open-Air Boot Sale & Market. “A boot sale is an old fashioned way of organizing a flea market. Traditionally vendors would pull up in their vans, open the back door and just start selling…” Check out the Boot Sale details here.
Sun, Aug 31 | 12-5pm | 215 West 1st Avenue $2 entry charge | DETAILS
Michelle 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.
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 six more localisms that everyone in British Columbia should know about. They are Stephos, Burb Panzer, Home Ownership, Puttin’ On The Jacket, Kids On The Block, and Tuff City.
by Andrew Morrison | The new Chambar opened this morning, right next door from the original. Scout broke the news of the award-winning Belgian-Moroccan restaurant’s expansion plans after the location was secured a year ago. We’ve been tracking its construction ever since.
Today was opening day, and the first time the previously evenings-only restaurant had ever served breakfast and lunch. Many of the dishes on offer this morning had transitioned into the new Chambar line-up from a menu made famous at the original location of Cafe Medina (eg. the short rib fricassee, Belgian waffles, etc.) before it moved to its new location on Richards Street last week. The old Medina, you’ll recall, used to be next door to the old Chambar.
Confused? It’s actually not as complicated as it seems.
The short story is that the owners of Chambar (Karri & Nico Schuermans) launched Cafe Medina with a business partner (Robbie Kane) seven years ago. When Chambar announced its plans last year to expand next door with a brunch/lunch service featuring chef Nico’s original dishes designed for Cafe Medina, a future with the two eateries existing side by side and competing against one another with the same dishes was plainly undesirable. The solution was a cordial split between the partners and several city blocks of distance between their respective new restaurants.
The new Chambar, as you can see from the shots above and below, has clearly maintained the soothing, casual aesthetic of the original, and yet is has grown considerably in size, both in seating and production capacities (the new kitchen is massive). It has also gained a patio, which will no doubt be considered one of the better ones in the city before summer’s end.
The quality of the food and drink, in my mind at least, is something of a given. I have no doubts about the kitchen or bar staff. The big question for most people will be this: “Does it feel like the original?” And it’s a fair question to ask, because in addition to the great drinks and delicious food, Chambar tabled a tangible soul — which is a rare thing in the restaurant business. The spirit of the eatery was one of the original location’s best qualities, not to mention a probable cause of the storied Chambar Effect. To date, I’ve only broken bread once at the new address, but I think the answer to that question is a big yes. Chambar remains Chambar, all day and well into the night.
by Nic Bragg | From Kitsilano’s Zulu Records, we once again present our monthly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, you’ll find The Track – the song on heavy rotation in the shop this week; The Playlist – our selection of videos; The Gig – the “must-see show”; and The Glance – which details the best gigs on the immediate horizon. From our ears to yours, enjoy… Read more
by Stevie Wilson & Andrew Morrison | The Sun Tower at the corner of West Pender and Beatty Streets is one of Vancouver’s most recognizable landmarks, particularly due to its eye-catching, mint-coloured dome that’s visible from nearly everywhere in the city. However, despite the building’s iconic status (and its magnetic tourist’s photography), it’s not too often that hear from anyone who’s actually been inside the dome or, better still, atop the cupola, so we decided to take a look.
Keep in mind that it wasn’t easy. The dome is impossible to gain access to if you don’t have the building managers on your side. It took plenty of correspondence and explanation of benign intent on Scout’s part to convince the keymasters that we were there by virtue of sincere curiosity and true affection for the building’s architecture and history. In the end, our foot in the door came last month when Scout was invited to a Vancouver Heritage Foundation event. One thing (begging) led to another (pleading), and eventually a tour was arranged in good humour, for which we will remain eternally grateful. Take a look…
To gain access to the dome, one most first get to the 17th floor, up a winding staircase made of marble and through a locked door. The interior is a bit of a shock at first. There are no frescoes, sculptured metopes or decorative flourishes of any kind at all, which is a truth that came rudely, really, as one half expects the gorgeous thing to be filled to the knees with treasure. But it’s completely bare and unadorned save for spidery support beams in yellow painted steel that have been bolted above a noisy blue machine that operates the building’s elevators. It was all very industrial, which is to say a little deflating of the imagination.
And yet it clearly wasn’t without beauty. The dome is lit by a ring of oculi (the fancy name for circular windows). These look over the city from the cardinal points, and gazing out of them was a real trip. Though the buildings that surround it are mostly new (especially to the west and south), the windows – recessed and antique as they are – soften their glaring modernity like a Hipstamatic filter. But the real view is up even higher. A sketchy, steel-framed platform leads to a ladder that rises to a trap door in the ceiling. Once unbolted, this leads to the cupola, or the open-air nipple that stands erect at the dome’s apex. Here, the building’s big fib is revealed. The green-tinge on the dome’s exterior isn’t real. It’s a faux patina design that’s been painted to mimic oxidized copper. Alas, the view – so raw and exposed – more than makes up for it.
The history of the Beaux-Arts building is readily found and filled with fantastic details, but here’s a brief run-down: Noted Canadian architect William Tuff Whiteway (of Woodwards fame) was commissioned to design the structure in 1911-12 by the now-infamous Vancouver mayor L.D. Taylor. It began as the offices for Taylor’s newspaper company, The Vancouver World, before the publication folded and the building was passed to Bekin’s, the Seattle-based storage and moving company. At the time of its completion, the building was recognized as the tallest (commercial) structure in the British Empire – a distinction that previously belonged to the nearby Dominion Building. In 1937, the Vancouver Sun took over the building, renamed it, installed a massive red neon sign across the top, and continued operations until 1965 when it relocated to 2250 Granville Street.
Unlike the exterior of the tower – which still features Charles Marega’s controversial “nine maidens” perched at the 8th floor, bare breasts and all – the interior has changed much over the years. In 2011 it was redeveloped by Allied Properties as creative spaces, though several historic features are still on display on the top floors, including tile work, marble staircases, single-paned fenestration, radiators, and beautiful door handles. Inside and out, there’s no other building like it. Take a look…