by Grady Mitchell | The new Serpens Gallery (replacing the Positive Negative Gallery at 436 Columbia St.) opened its first – and very Halloween-appropriate – show this past Friday night. It’s called Sahelanthropus; the name being a reference to the ancient humanoid skull that marks the point when chimps and humans began to diverge some 7 million years ago. It’s curated by artist Colin Moore, who say he’s ”always wanted to do a skull-bawd art show, and what better time than right before Halloween?”
Along with Colin’s work, the show features painter Jose Rivas, black and white illustrations by Peter Ricq, and two ceramic artists, Michael Holler and David M Robinson, whose works jive with the tactile, three-dimensional nature of the show’s theme. “Every artist learns to draw a skull at some point in their lives,” says Colin. “It’s good for learning anatomy.” Sahelanthropus will allow viewers the chance to see these studies first-hand, as well as some interactive aspects that you’ll need to check out for yourselves over the next two weeks.
(Regarding the gallery’s name change: former curator Adam Lupton has left for New York and grad school and handed the gallery off to his friend Steffen Quong. Steffen has given the gallery a rebrand and opened up much of the back area into a lounge-like zone complete with art and a long, communal table. He’s looking to keep a healthy variety of weekly events up in the space, including things beyond art exhibitions.)
The GOODS from La Mezcaleria
Vancouver, BC | On November 1st, El Kartel, La Mezcaleria and Tribe Collaborative are bringing Mexican tradition to Vancouver with a party in honour of “Dia de los Muertos”. Tribe Collaborative endeavours to foster creative collaboration amongst local artists and companies to produce innovative events. Produced in partnership with La Mezcaleria and El Kartel, with sponsorships from Jose Cuervo and Pabst Blue Ribbon, Tribe’s first major event will take place on the iconic Mexican holiday, “el Dia de los Muertos”: The Day of the Dead.
One of the richest and most ancient traditions in Mexican culture, “el Dia de los Muertos” is observed on Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov 2. This holiday is a gathering of family and friends to commemorate their deceased loved ones. Held at the freshly revamped space in the 1903 heritage building that is El Kartel’s new Chinatown location, this event will feature music by DJ Hubbz, Mr. Pablo, El Garzita and DJ Fantastico; live trumpet by Kristy Lee Audette and percussion by Daniel Ruiz; visual projections by Skunk; cinematography by Daniela Flor; and professional make-up application for party-goers that care to revel in the theme provided by Nara Vazco and Fa Mercado.
Highlights include an altar, face painting, traditional music and drinks, spooky vibes and lots of surprises! And of course, no true Mexican party is complete without the holy trinity of tequila shots, Palomas and Margaritas. Celebrate Mexico’s Day of the Dead with a community of local creatives who continue to bring culturally diverse events to Vancouver. Dressing-up is highly encouraged but not necessary. Details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from The Keefer Bar
Vancouver, BC | The Keefer Bar in Chinatown is looking for a motivated & passionate individual to join our team as a Cook. You will be responsible for managing a small (1 person) kitchen in a busy cocktail lounge. You will be in charge of food service for 3 (possibly 4) days a week, menu, organization and to ensure compliance with applicable health regulations. Learn more about the restaurant, the position and how to apply after the jump… Read more
Come the weekend, we’ve got it pretty good. And it wasn’t too long ago that Vancouver was a bit of a brunch wasteland overseen by an irregular army of greasy spoon same-sames. Then along came Abigail’s Party in Kits, and later, Cafe Medina, which changed the game completely. The persistent line-up out front showed restaurateurs of a certain calibre that brunch was a saleable “thing”; that it didn’t necessarily mean a monotony of eggs benedict, buckets of hollandaise, and hungover campers drinking bottomless cups of shitty coffee.
Today, all the cool kids are doing it: Wildebeest, Mamie Taylor’s, Tableau, Chambar, Homer Street Cafe, The Oakwood, Ask For Luigi, Bestie, Burdock & Co., Farmer’s Apprentice — they’re all on board, and then some. The question today is, who isn’t on board? More to the point, who should be? We’ve given it some thought and drafted a short wishlist of seven that you can pick from. Though all are worthy of consideration, you can only pick one…
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.
The GOODS from Bestie
Vancouver, BC | In 1810 that sly dog Crown Prince Ludwig got hitched to a spicy dame by the name of Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (who almost married Napoleon). The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the big ol’ party they threw on the front lawn of the the city gates to celebrate. In the 204 years since, Munich’s Oktoberfest has become arguably the world’s most impressive festival that celebrates both drinking and Bavarian agriculture.
From now until Sunday we’re continuing the tradition of celebrating the harvest season by serving up Oktoberfest platters each evening starting at 5pm. Each platter includes a giant bratwurst, braised red cabbage, fancy potato salad, soft pretzel, mustard gravy, and a 24 oz. stein of Coal Harbour Brewing’s Munich Lager for $20 plus tax.
As usual, no tickets or reservations required. Just come on down to Pender Street and say “I want a giant sausage in my mouth.” We’ll do the rest. Read more
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.
The GOODS from Bao Bei
Vancouver, BC | Bao Bei is looking for a part-time host for weekend evenings. With a no reservation policy, the host at Bao Bei must think with a strategic mind in order to manage the smooth turnover of our busy room. This is one of the most important positions at the restaurant; to be successful the candidate must enjoy working with the public and feel extremely confident while doing so. If working in a high energy, challenging, and fun atmosphere appeals to you, please drop your resumé in person at Bao Bei from Sept. 16th onwards between the hours of 3:30pm – 5:00pm. Learn more about the company after the jump… Read more
Those who follow us on Instagram might remember this shot from last weekend. Taken at Bestie’s first ever brunch service, it shows a “Bennywurst” (sliced pork thuringer sausage with poached egg, and a mess of first-rate hollandaise on golden hashbrowns) above a special plate of asparagus with fried egg and ham. And yes, they were both as delicious as they look. Bonus: hot Elysian coffee!
Brunch service: 11am-3pm on Sat & Sun | 105 East Pender St. | 604-620-1175 | bestie.ca
The GOODS from The Parker
Vancouver, BC | The Parker is excited to offer a unique way to celebrate the holidays this year. Through Mealshare, the restaurant will feed 100 individuals in need for each and every private party booked. We’ll be celebrating the season of giving by giving back.
Mealshare, the buy-one give-one non-profit that feeds people in our neighbourhood and abroad, has made an immediate impression on the dining scene in western Canada. The Parker is proud to be one of its first members in Vancouver.
The Parker’s intimate room paired with thoughtful service and beautifully crafted menus helps create the perfect private holiday celebration for the discerning diner. Our award-winning innovation and sustainable practices make it a unique choice for companies looking for something different this year. And helping to feed those less fortunate at the same time is what the spirit of the season is all about.
For bookings, the restaurant is ideal for groups of about twenty to thirty. Please e-mail us at info [at] theparkervancouver.com for details. We look forward to creating an unforgettable holiday event with you and your company this year. Read more
The GOODS from Bestie
Vancouver, BC | Starting this weekend Bestie will be open for brunch at 11am every Saturday and Sunday!
We’ve been testing out brunch items every weekend for the last few months and are excited to launch our little brunch menu that includes, but is is not limited to, “bennywurst” with hash, fresh coffee from Elysian Room, and Bestie all natural caesars served with pickled watermelon rind.
Brunching hours are 11am to 3pm. Regular lunch and dinner service continue on until 1am on Saturday and 10pm on Sunday, which means we’re now open 7 days a week. For all you currywurst diehards, our regular menu will still be available during brunch. You can even throw a free-range egg on anything for $1.50 to brunch it up.
Join us this weekend and cure your hangover or quench your thirst for eggs served on top of things. We hope to see you in Chinatown soon. Read more
The GOODS from THISOPENSPACE
Vancouver, BC | There are a few reasons to celebrate September and it starts with the impressive line up we have in-store. Each pop-up has fully embraced our ethos of #roomtoplay and are bringing a unique experiences. It’s starts with GVEAFUKPOPUP, a revolving four-day pop-up with a new theme each day. Things slow things down at popupMOMENT for meditation, yoga, and a mindful meal. For the first time, you can bring your dogs in for portraits and pet supply shopping at AnalogueDog. Continuing on the photography theme, there’s a photoshop bootcamp weekend with DigitalDarlings. Following that, local designer AlexSYu returns from London for a one day pop-up following his show at Vancouver Fashion Week. Finally, online high-end consignment store ClosetCrows brings the experience offline for you to touch, feel, and try before you buy. Phew…that’s it. Oh, and did we mention we’re celebrating our first month as thisopenspace, and that the pop-up ready space is turning two years old this month? Yay! For a full list of what’s ahead including more pop-ups being held around town, check us out. Read more
by Maya-Roisin Slater | Scout’s new Neighbourhooding series is part of our expanding HOODS project. It explores Vancouver’s myriad neighbourhoods through the eyes of the people who call them home. Jill Southern has lived in Chinatown for 5 years. She’s an art director by trade and the founder of Pender Keefer Georgia, a series of Chinatown guidebooks. We recently caught up with her on East Georgia Street, just a stone’s throw from her apartment…
What or who do you think is a defining fixture of your neighbourhood?
Chinatown streets, any given day from 9 to 6: produce bins are wheeled out to the sidewalk, trucks unload new pig carcasses and containers of fish, parking is near impossible, and the sidewalks are an obstacle course of tourists and old lady carts.
Where’s your favourite place to get breakfast?
Matchstick weekdays, Pazzo Chow Saturdays, Kam Gok Yuen on special occasions.
Tell us about your favourite hideaway…
New Mitzie’s Restaurant on Pender — a classic Chinese-Western diner with endless coffee refills, booth seating, and entertaining people-watching.
What’s the best mom and pop place in the area?
That’s the great thing about Chinatown, it’s full of mom and pop shops. Some of my favourites: Fresh Egg Mart, Golden Wheat Bakery, Chinatown Supermarket.
What sets your neighbourhood apart from other areas in Vancouver?
Chinatown looks and feels like no other neighbourhood in Vancouver. Its distinct culture and history are visible in its buildings, residents and community, while its changing identity makes it fun and fresh. This neighbourhood never bores me. I love how I can feel like a tourist in my own town.
If you could describe your neighbourhood in a haiku, how would it go?
If you were walking through your neighbourhood while courting a lady/gentleman where would you take them to set a romantic scene?
There are a couple of rooftop parkades where, if you know your way around, you can sneak a stellar view of the city.
What’s the scariest thing about your neighbourhood?
The constant fear of getting shat on by pigeons.
What’s your favourite piece of architecture in the neighbourhood?
It’s a tie: 1. Sun Yat Sen gardens (pay the admission fee to see the best of it). 2. [Bob] Rennie’s stunning re-do of the Wing Sang building.
How do you think your neighbourhood will change and develop in the next 5 years?
It will unfortunately become less unique. New businesses and condos will continue to flow into the neighbourhood while hip, modern spots replace unfashionable, old spots. There is a lot of new growth in Chinatown, which doesn’t strike me as entirely bad or good. Chinatown has a very resilient way of dealing with change.
Maya-Roisin Slater speaks English, and is doing her best to turn that into a career. Beyond Scout, her words and photos can be found in publications such as BeatRoute, Discorder, and Lotusland Mag. She also enjoys writing nauseating poetry, pretending that gluten-free-vegan slop is actually food, and bullying her customers at German sausage empire Bestie.
The GOODS from Mamie Taylor’s
Vancouver, BC | Mamie Taylor’s is searching for full-time and part-time front-of-house staff for both the dining room and lounge. About Us: Laid-back and casual regional American dining. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we’re very serious about what we do. About You: Fun and easy-going with a minimum of three-years serving experience. Some wine and cocktail knowledge a definite plus. Must love (or at least tolerate) taxidermy. Email us in confidence at info [at] mamietaylors.ca. More info after the jump… Read more