COOL THING WE WANT #447 | A Bright Red Ninja Suit That Will Repel The Sasquatches

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(via) As serial campers, we treasure a reliably warm and functional “base layer”. Accordingly, we’re digging the hell out of this Poler x Airblaster Ninja Suit. The four-way stretch Merino Wool and lycra onesie suit comes complete with hood, chest zip, thumb hook cuffs, and a crotch fly for #1 access. It’s bright and weird and the badge makes it clear that you’re not to be fucked with. There’s no way a Sasquatch would dare approach the unpredictable wearer of such an imposing garment. It’s just too dangerous! A little pricy at $189.99, but as soon as we started thinking of it as lingerie it made sound financial sense.

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COOL THING WE WANT #446 | A Slice Of This Beautiful Blackberry Pie (With A Hug)

Berry season might have come to a close, but we still want to eat the hell out of this homemade foraged blackberry pie. We also want to give its maker, Seattle’s Sarah Carrier, a hug for sharing the story of her mother’s love of cookbooks and for staying true to her grandmother’s pie recipe.

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COOL THING WE WANT #445 | “Window Seat” Photo Book By Jennilee Marigomen

September 23, 2014 

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by Grady Mitchell | ”Light is the most important thing,” says Jennilee Marigomen. “Light is everything.” The Vancouver photographer has masterful control over that most ethereal substance. She combines her deft hand for light with a love of colour and coy dashes of humour to create work that celebrates the routine miracles of everyday life. She’s happiest, she says, when she finds “something that shouldn’t really be there.”

The core of the humour in Jennilee’s work revolves around the often clumsy interaction of manmade objects with nature, something especially abundant in a city like Vancouver. “Nature always finds its way.” Another key feature of her work is Vancouver’s unique light. “It’s actually more the lack of light,” she says. The familiar overcast of the city’s misty winters create a soft, diffused tone. The short days and capricious weather are both a gift and a curse. It makes light difficult to catch, but also precious. “You feel like this is a really special thing happening.”

Jennilee has collected one of her most beautiful series, Window Seat, into a book that will be released on September 26th at Make Gallery. The photos were taken on a trip through Mexico, a place with very different light. Its intensity and heat were a challenge, but one she embraced. The light is more direct, the colours more vibrant, but the images still bear Jennilee’s meditative and revelatory approach.

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The title, in a direct sense, refers to the book’s opening photo of an airplane window rimed with frost, but it also embodies the way Jennilee works. Shot in the coastal towns of Sayulita and San Francisco, Jennilee operates as an observer, not an active participant. It’s as if she quickly came across these scenes, snapped a photo, and just as quickly vanished without a trace, content with the record of a brief moment that will never come again. You can grab the book for $35 at Make Gallery on September 26, and see more of Jennilee’s work on her website.

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COOL THING WE WANT #444 | The New Local History Book ‘Vancouver Confidential’

September 19, 2014 

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Local writer Stevie Wilson, the very same who pens the popular DIG IT and YOU SHOULD KNOW columns on Scout, has been busy contributing to a new book of local history called Vancouver Confidential. It’s a “collaboration of artists and writers who plumb the shadows of civic memory looking for the stories that don’t fit into mainstream narratives …. [shining] a light on the lives of Vancouverites that have for so long been ignored.” Within its pages, you’ll read…

Tom Carter on Vancouver’s Entertainment Czars, Aaron Chapman on Vancouver’s WWII Towers and our “Fear of the Outside World”; Jesse Donaldson explores the case of the Lovers’ Lane Marauder, James Johnstone revisits old Strathcona through the eyes of long-time resident Lucille Mars; Lani Russwurm investigates the “Red Shadows” and the 1930s communist scare with a spy’s eye view of Vancouver; Eve Lazarus probes the 1928 Lennie Commission into police corruption and all of its ensuing ramifications; Diane Purvey addresses the strange case of Viola Woolridge and how the mores and legal system of 1947 resulted in Viola (or at least her character) being put on trial for her own murder; Catherine Rose takes us back to the Dirty ’30s and shines a light on the “unholy trinity” of Police Chief John Cameron and gangsters Joe Celona and Shue Moy; Rosanne Sia looks at a 1931 Pender Street café murder/suicide that resulted in a ban on the hiring of white waitresses in Chinatown restaurants; Jason Vanderhill reveals the little-known story of Joseph Kennedy Ltd. and the liquor interest in 1920s Vancouver; Stevie Wilson on the staggering unemployment, relief camps, and Hobo Jungles of 1931; Will Woods on Mayor Gerry McGeer’s transformation from iron moulder and labour activist to controversial mayor and reader of the Riot Act; Terry Watada on Etsuji Morii, the “Al Capone of the Japanese community,” and the Black Dragon Society of Japantown, and John Belshaw pays tribute to early Vancouver street photography and the work of James Crookall.

Vancouver Confidential was made available at bookstores on Monday, September 15th. The official launch goes down at 6pm this Sunday, September 21st at the Emerald Supper Club in Chinatown.

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COOL THING WE WANT #443 | A “Soulbox” Cabin Hidden Away In A Naramata Orchard

September 5, 2014 

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(via) This two storey “Soulbox” modular cabin by German design firm allergutendinge really trips the Dr. Seussian light fantastic. It was created as an escapist “research station” for one or two people looking to get away from their busy city lives. We don’t even have to squint to imagine it plopped down somewhere in the recesses of a Naramata orchard. “Oh, the fun we’ll have…”

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COOL THING WE WANT #442 | This Small, One Room Cabin Deep In The Topanga Wilds

September 2, 2014 

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This tiny retreat in California’s Topanga Canyon was built by Mason St. Peter over the course of 2 years (it was worked on two weekends of every month). Between us, we think it would look a lot better here in BC, perhaps on one of the Islands, its lovely deck shadowed by an arbutus or two…

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COOL THING WE WANT #441 | Rain Boots That Can Reduce To 20% Their Original Size

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(via) After getting caught in two of today’s three torrential downpours wearing the same pair of slip on Vans, we’re liking the idea of Sardines. Not the fish, mind. It’s the name of these Wellington-style boots made of “injection moulded thermoplastic polyurethane” (ie. plastic). They reduce to one fifth their original size, which is an improvement on the original considering a standard pair of Hunter Wellies take up as much closet space as a Boeing 747. Imagined and developed Spanish designer Estel Alcaraz, these puppies are pretty much perfect for Vancouverites. Bonus: canary yellow FTW.

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COOL THING WE WANT #440 | This Wood-Handled Mushroom Foraging Folding Knife

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(via) This purpose-built Mushroom Foraging Knife was designed for foragers with a sharp, sickle-like folding blade (with serrated top) for harvesting, tweezers for removing thorns, and a wild boar hair brush for cleaning the mushrooms before they bless the buttered pan. The cost is actually pretty reasonable at $32.99, which is about the price of an entry-level Swiss Army knife.

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COOL THING WE WANT #439 | A Camera Insert For A Fjallraven “Kanken” Backpack

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Full disclosure: we’re cheating on this one. We no longer want this awesome camera insert for a Fjallraven “Kanken” backpack because we went out and bought it as soon as we saw it on Still Life’s Instagram feed today. The shot above is ours – taken after the purchase – with some our gear. It demonstrates how the insert easily fits a bulky Canon 5D MkII with a long lens attached plus four other lenses (4omm and 50mm below the fold), a battery charger, extra batteries, filters, memory cards, and spare caps (the kit comes with a small zipped pouch for these smaller bits and bobs). The kit is entirely modular with dividers that easily velcro in and out of a padded frame; very simple to put together, modify, and remove. Still Life on Main St. has plenty of ‘em, not to mention a whole bunch of Kanken bags to plug them into (bags sold separately for $80).

Camera Insert $40 | Still Life | 2315 Main St. | 604-876-5659 | www.stilllifeboutique.com

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COOL THING WE WANT #438 | An Escapist Retreat High Up In A Gnarled Brace Of Oaks

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(via) This modern, minimalist treehouse was built high above ground around two old oak trees as a family retreat in Northern Germany…

It was constructed by tree house designer Baumraum and features an eye-catching, egg-shaped silhouette book-ended by two oval windows and a glossy white facade. The rest of its modern exterior is a combination of wood and zinc metal, which gives this small structure a minimalist feel as its supported by four steel rods. The cozy and inviting interior space includes sleeping benches covered in gray felt set against medium-colored wood planks. In addition, there are plenty of windows that provide gorgeous, unobstructed views of the treetops and bathes you in natural light. To access this getaway, you climb two ship ladders that are separated by upper and lower wooden decks. The trees pierce the terraces and bear their weight, which sits as high as 18 feet.

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COOL THING WE WANT #437 | Swell Sweats From Mt. Pleasant AC’s Spring/Summer Line

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The new Spring/Summer line from Mt.Pleasant Athletic Club line has just hit the shelves at Gravity Pope, Nouvelle Nouvelle, Walrus, and Corner Store, and we wouldn’t mind snagging the lot…

“Inspired by vintage athletic wear from the 50′s and 60′s is what sets the tempo for Mt.Pleasant Athletic Club. With a simplistic approach the brand focuses on a classic collegiate style while paying homage to the Mt.Pleasant neighbourhood. It’s namesake comes from it’s co-founder and creative director (Carlo Brito) who was born and raised in Mt.Pleasant during the late 70′s and early 80′s.”

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COOL THING WE WANT #436 | This Wood Fired, Octagonal Picnic Bench Masterpiece

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The multi-level, octagonal Jag Grill table seats 8 (duh) and comes apart easily for cleaning and storage. The only problem is the price. The beast weighs in at an obscene $2,499. But as the Jag PR verbiage says, “There are some things that money can’t buy, and one of those things are memories…” Nice try, Jag PR. Nice try.

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COOL THING WE WANT #435 | First Edition Copy Of “The New York Pizza Project” Book

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This recent Kickstarter to fund The New York Pizza Project coffee table book reached its goal of $25,000 a few days ago. Hardly a shocker. The first edition is being put together by five New Yorkers whose friendships were cemented by a common love of pizza. There’s a lot of crap on Kickstarter, but every once in a while there’s something worth sending dollars in for. This was definitely one of them!

“Our wish is to create a beautifully designed and professionally printed coffee table book that celebrates the New York in New York Pizza. A few years ago, the five of us were sitting around eating pizza and talking about the pizza shops we grew up in. Aside from the always heated debate about the best slice in New York, we found ourselves reminiscing about the little things — the Icees, the orange booths, the pizza guy who never smiles — stuff like that.

We started discussing the idea of a book that encapsulates all of those little things we love about New York City pizza. Before long, we were spending our nights and weekends visiting local shops, talking with the owners and customers, taking photos, and having fun.

At first, the photography was our primary goal. We were focused on the quirks and charms that gave each space its character. We’d photograph the pizza boxes, the packs of sodas stacked to the ceiling, the walls decorated with movie posters, and the neon signs calling in customers from the street. After a few months of playing back our interviews, we began to develop a deeper connection to the subject. As we became more comfortable talking to people in the pizzerias we visited, they started opening up to us a bit more. Their stories became the highlight of each trip.

The portraits and anecdotes we were gathering began to paint a picture of everyday New Yorkers, through the places where they work and eat. These mom-and-pop pizzerias are special precisely because they are so ordinary. In our eyes, they are the backbone of what makes New York so great. There are no gimmicks — just a solid slice and soda for a few dollars. Many of them continue to thrive despite the 99 cent pizza next door and the booming cost of rent. In a city where tastes and trends are constantly shifting, these places endure. The employees work hard, they put out good product, and in return, they have loyal customers. If they were to disappear, the city would lose part of what makes it unique, part of its DNA.

We wanted to make a book for all of these reasons. At this point, we’ve been to over 100 neighborhood pizza shops, taken thousands of photos, and captured hundreds of hours of interviews. We’re ready to share our experience with the world, and showcase the people and places that make New York pizza so unique. We hope you’ll join us.”

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COOL THING WE WANT #434 | A Gorgeous, Instructional Bible For Lovers Of Barbecue

A brilliant piece of deliciously useful marketing by JWT Brazil:

Barbecue is a Brazilian passion, and Tramontina is the leader brand of kitchen supplies in Brazil. It has the most complete line of barbecue accessories. But the brand needed to prove just how seriously they took barbecuing in order to gain the respect and loyalty of their most important clients: barbecue restaurant owners. We developed a limited edition book: “The Bible of BBQ”. This book shows Tramontina’s vision of how to make a perfect barbecue. Literally. Each page of the book was made to be used in a real barbecue. For instance: a page that you can actually use to sharpen your knife; a page (made entirely of salt) to salt your meat, a page printed on coal and a inflammable page to start the fire.

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