by George Giannakos and Robyn Yager | Slowing down a little and breaking out a good book is never a bad idea. But what to read? You could walk into any bookstore and roll the dice on a recent release, but here’s another option: pick up a book that you last put down 5, 10, or 20 years ago. For the next book in Scout’s Read It (Again) series, we’ve picked Joseph Heller’s timeless 1961 World War II novel, Catch 22.
Why You Should Read It Again | Catch-22 is Heller’s masterpiece. The anti-war satire is filled with humour of all sorts – though mainly of the dark and paradoxical type. The story follows the mis-adventures of Yossarian, a bombardier who is constantly forced to fly more missions due to the infamous ‘Catch-22′ while weaving back and forth non-linearly in time through a web of characters and sub-plots that make for an wonderfully entertaining read.
Pair It With | Leading up to your next unanticipated flying assignment, it’s probably best to sip slow from an aptly named Aviation. Made of gin, maraschino, lemon, and liqueur de violette, it’s a drink that’s just as “swift and straining” as each of Yossarian’s flying missions. The chosen venue for this drink is Chinatown’s Mamie Taylor’s. With their modern American provisions and decorations of mortality (taxidermy), it’s just the sort of place the late and cynical Joseph Heller would appreciate.
The GOODS from House Wine
Vancouver, BC | Fresh and pure, the wines of New Zealand have established themselves as incredibly food friendly. But are they bold enough to stand up to the most intense and exotic cuisines? We’re putting them to the ultimate test. Home to some of the world’s best Asian food, Vancouver is blessed with a colourful and diverse palette of flavours. Join us as the city’s top Asian restaurants each create a dish to pair with the vibrant wines of New Zealand. From Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling to Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir, you’ll get to explore a variety of combinations at this stand up, grazing event. Kia ora and Kanpai! Get all the details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from The Parker
Vancouver, BC | To celebrate our first fantastic year on Union Street, we‘re very excited to offer our new Degustation option where Chef Curtis Luk will design a unique dining experience featuring new dishes such as House-Made Tofu Quenelles in Black Bean Sauce with Braised Beans, Hand-Made Carrot Cavatelli with Seared Broccolini, Beluga Lentils and Kobocha Squash Purée as well as his beautiful Rice Pudding with sorbet and candied autumn apples. Every experience will be unique and for $29 per person, two can expect four gorgeous plates and one shared dessert. At the bar, Steve Da Cruz will have many pairing options from his Columbia Watershed based wine program including some of the finest Pinot Noirs from BC and Oregon such as Crowley, Ex Nihilo and de Lancelotti to name a few. Nich Box also has a few new cocktails up his sleeve like the Mary, Queen of Scots made with Jura Superstition Single Malt, Sweet & Dry Vermouth and a hint of Yellow Chartreuse. Book your table tonight and catch one of the amazing flicks screening at Tinsletown during the Vancouver International Film Festival of which The Parker is proud to be a sponsor. Read more
The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment
Vancouver, BC | October brings another unique listing of events to The Chinatown Experiment. The journey starts in the Albertan tundra and then across to the villages of Central Asia. It all takes place in our little pop-up shop in Chinatown.
Sept 25 - October 22 2013 | IZM Furniture (www.izm.ca) | Izm is a furniture design/manufacturing studio based in Edmonton, Alberta. Izm’s modern aesthetic is one of simplicity. Raised on the Alberta prairies, IZM founders Jerad Mack and Shane Pawluk developed a design aesthetic inspired by low horizons and minimalist vistas. Every line has a function; every detail, a utility. Reinforcing this style is a refined craftsmanship honed over a decade of furniture production. Izm has been recognized as a leader in the North American design industry winning the Best of Year award from Interior Design Magazine (New York), Best of Canada from Canadian Interiors, and Canadian Designers of the Yearfrom Western Living.
October 25 - November 5, 2013 | Bingo Bill Exchange (www.bingobillexchange.com) | Shyrdaks are soft, 100% wool felt carpets made in bold and contemporary colours. They are striking but simple appliqué designs handmade in Kyrgyzstan. Vancouverites Nina Watts and Ann Klaveness travelled to this little known country in Central Asia last March to find the best examples of local handiwork and commission more work. This enables Kyrgyz women to pass on thousandyearold techniques to younger generations of artisans. Originally made to decorate and insulate the portable dwellings of the nomadic Kyrgyz, contemporary Shyrdaks are now being snapped up by design sophisticates internationally. Read more
by Andrew Morrison | The good folks at the Fraserhood’s awesome Matchstick Coffee Roasters have picked up a space in Chinatown. If you’re unfamiliar with Matchstick, they’ve been kicking ass at Fraser & Kingsway for coming up on two years now, squarely focusing on hand-crafted preparation of single-origin, high quality coffees. They’re working on getting their building permit for the 2,800 sqft space at 213 East Georgia – the same block as Mamie Taylor’s and Phnom Penh, and just a few doors in from Main Street - with the goal of opening up in the early new year. More details soon.
The GOODS from The Keefer Bar
Vancouver, BC | Every Thursday night for the past three years, Chinatown’s Keefer Bar has paired their award-winning cocktails with sizzling striptease by Western Canada’s longest-running neo-burlesque troupe, Sweet Soul Burlesque. This year, in celebration of their 3rd anniversary, the partnership has further collaborated to create a beautiful, high-production value pin-up calendar with the goal of raising $10,000 for the Downtown East Side Women’s Centre.
“We’ve always wanted to do a calendar, but we needed an extra twist and really quality collaborators to make it a worthwhile project,” says rapper/chanteuse/’striphop’ MC Crystal Precious, who hosts the weekly show. “The idea of raising money for the Women’s Centre was key in bringing some of the best stylists, costumers and photographers in the community together. The result is a seriously gorgeous package. We’re really excited to get it out there.”
The calendar features modern pin-ups of the Sweet Soul dancers & Keefer staff donning vintage inspired wear and extravagant Lace Embrace Atelier corsets, all posed against the bar’s apothecary style decor. Styled by the newly relocated East Vanity Studios and photographed by Shimona Henry of Pin-Up Perfection Photography, it will be available for sale October 1st at independently owned retailers around Vancouver. 100% of all the sales’ proceeds will go directly to the Woman’s Centre.
September 26th will mark the calendar’s launch with a very special 3 Year Sweet Sip Anniversary show at The Keefer. Guests will enjoy complementary welcome cocktails, special guest performers and even a burlesque performance by Keefer manager and world cocktail-making champion Dani Tatarin. Cover is $25 and includes an advance copy of the 15 month calendar (Oct 2013 – Dec 2014). Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Josh Blodans and Jules Vagelatos of Vancouver’s wee shoemaking firm, Love Jules Leather, make excellent shoes by hand (I love their boat shoes!), but they have always been in a bit of a pickle with their soles. Since their supply chain is a cruel game of manufacturer’s “minimum orders”, the little guy – in this case a company making just a single pair of shoes a day – is pretty well screwed unless they’re supplying their own soles.
So that’s just what Josh and Jules have just decided to do. Making their own soles not only will afford them a great deal of independence, but it will also allow them to finally make a woman’s fit and men’s sizes above 13 (prior to this, they could only get men’s sizes 6 – 13). They’re doing it with a little help from their friends…and Kickstarter. They launched a fundraising campaign on September 9th (watch the video above) for $10,000 to get the ball rolling and – amazingly – they reached that goal in less than a day . They have now accrued three times that amount – at the time of writing, a whopping $33,162. They were even named Project Of The Day on Kickstarter! How’s that for awesome?
I paid them a congratulatory visit at their tiny Chinatown workshop the other day and they were over the moon. They’re really awesome people who craft beautiful, fully-customizable shoes, one pair at a time, and totally loving what they do. That’s a rare ass thing and wonderful to boot. You can learn all about the project and what they plan to do with the extra money here. And yes, you can still contribute and get yourself loaded up with some of the goodies seen above.
Chinatown’s Bestie has been open for a few months now, and our friends over at Warren Lane Pictures have just put out an awesome little video that details its construction process in typically charming fashion. Press play above and enjoy.
And in other Bestie news, they’re doing a little beer collaboration with 33 Acres this Sunday, September 22nd. The festivities will take place from 1pm to 5pm at Mt. Pleasant’s new (and very gorgeous) 33 Acres Brewery.
Bestie will be on site serving pretzel, pickle and cured sausage tasting plates to complement a very special brew. Expect music and merriment and a modern Oktoberfest vibe. See you there!
by Andrew Morrison | I toured The Emerald last night. The second-floor, old school Vegas-inspired restaurant and lounge from Rachel Zottenberg and David Duprey (The Narrow, Rumpus Room, Rickshaw, Fox Cabaret) is set to open next week at 555 Gore Street between Keefer and Pender on the eastern edge of Chinatown. They’re doing a private friends and family dry run this evening and then opening to the public – softly – on Monday night.
The Emerald is split into four sections – a 23 seat bar and lounge, a 65 seat dining room complete with white linen table cloths, a semi-private “boardroom” long table, and a still-unfinished performance venue tucked away in the back that will showcase live comedy acts and such.
It’s pretty amazing what they’ve done with the place. I certainly didn’t expect to find what I found when I climbed the ruby-carpeted stairs. What used to be the old Fu Wah dim sum joint (the place had been dormant since before the Boer War) has been transformed into something straight out of Nevada, circa 1960. There are Rothko paintings (copies on canvas done by a friend) on the walls, round tables, deep set booths, vintage blown glass bric-a-brac set in the room dividers, a mounted sailfish, cozy recliners, huge chandeliers, even a bearskin. It’s almost like a movie set, and there’s nothing on the exterior that hints at the interior save for an old Sinatra quote on the awning: “The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.”
The menu fits it like a glove. Think scampi, prawn cocktail, waffle fries, shake and bake cauliflower, tea sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs (including a vegetarian version), and a great many other things that gel with the theme. There are about 15 beer taps in the lounge, nearly all of them craft and local, plus a deep list of vernacular cocktails that includes a Bloody Caesar made at the table from a push cart (an accidental nod to the room’s dim sum past?).
The hours will be from 5pm to midnight seven days a week with cheap Vegas-style brunches on weekends.
by Michelle Sproule | To mark The Chinatown Experiment’s impending first year anniversary, they are organizing a pop up shop of their own called “Neighbourhood Collective”. Starting today and running through to the 22nd, it will feature many of the space’s alumni together with fashion retailers like Hey Jude, Citizen Grace, Strathcona Stockings, Chikum, Charlie & Grace, Jordan River Soapworks, and Truce Bags; artisanal food producers like Pella’s Gourmet, Yummus, Sugo Sauce, Edible Mark, Caramels by In the Oven, Sunday Morning Ice Cream, Nice Pop, Panoramic Coffee, and The Pie Shoppe; plus local artists Tristan Casey, Deirdre McAdams, Andy Grellman, and Janice Wu
The space will be arranged as a retail store with vendors products mixed throughout. “The goal is to see how each business’ products sell with the support of the others,” they write. “There is a very supportive community of young entrepreneurs in Vancouver and bringing them all together will help everyone’s brand. At the same time, they are all competing for shoppers’ wallet share so it will be interesting for businesses to see how their brand competes.”
The 1 Year Anniversary Party will take place from 7pm to 11pm on Friday, September 20th, and we hope to see you there. The shop – located at 434 Columbia St. in the heart of Chinatown – will be open during those hours for late night shopping, drinks, and music. They also plan on hosting a Neighbourhood BBQ on Sunday, September 22th to cap it all off (weather permitting).
The GOODS from Mamie Taylor’s
Vancouver, BC | Mamie Taylor’s is looking for a bartender and support staff. Who knew, we are busy! The successful bartender applicant will have previous experience as well as an interest in cocktails and spirits (mixologizing should be kept to a minimum). Support staff should be interested in learning how every aspect of a restaurant runs and will be capable of working well with others. Email resumes to info [at] mamietaylors.ca.
The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment
Vancouver, BC | The Chinatown Experiment exists to provide creatives the space to test and play with their ideas. We remove the barriers to entry for businesses and artists by providing affordable space, flexible rental durations and turnkey logistics. From promotional support to equipment rentals we got customizable solutions for you to save you money and time. This frees you up to focus on the most important part….your idea. Since our inception in September 2012, we have played host to many retail pop ups, art shows, food events and creative gatherings. Typical uses include retail shops, art exhibits, cafes, workshops, product launches, photo shoots, movie screenings, networking events, creative talks, and community events. Are you an artist looking to showcase your work? A designer launching a brand? or an online boutique looking to meet your customers face to face? We want to invite you to try an experiment. Contact us here. What is a pop up shop? Pop up shops are temporary retail spaces. They are an excellent tool to build brand awareness and allow businesses to connect with customers to tell their story. They foster local entrepreneurship and encourage people to support local goods and services. The Chinatown Experiment is a perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to test out their ideas.
Minsct | September 5 – 8 | Minsct (pronounced ‘minst’) is a performance adventure wear brand and lifestyle medium founded in the singularity of a cluttered mind. Based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, its existence originates from the unstoppable human desire to create, absorb and share progressive ideas. Working as a collaborative family, we have made it our mission to bring you exclusive, timeless garments built for life’s epic journey.
The Popup Wedding Project | September 14 – 15 | An elopement style wedding venue that is shaking up Vancouver’s wedding scene by partnering with some of Vancouver’s best to throw not one, not two, but TWELVE pop up weddings.
Neighbourhood Collective | September 16 – 22 | To celebrate the local economy we have assembled a collective shop full of the great businesses and artists from your neighbourhood.
IZM Furniture | September 25 – October 22 2013 | Raised on the Alberta prairies, IZM founders Jerad Mack and Shane Pawluk developed a design aesthetic inspired by low horizons and minimalist vistas. To learn more about The Chinatown Experiment and our past experiments please visit our website.
The GOODS from The Keefer Bar
Vancouver, BC | The ideal candidate will be Food Safe-certified, personable, organized and able to work alone in our petite kitchen. The duties of the position include ordering, shopping in Chinatown, food prep, cleaning and washing dishes. You must be an efficient multi-tasker able to handle fast-paced environment and produce orders in a timely fashion. You will work alongside our bar team and help us create and serve a variety of delicious small plates. The hours are 5 shifts per week at $13 per + tips. Please come by in person with a resume between 4-6pm or email info [at] thekeeferbar.com… Read more