The Writers’ Exchange is a local program that offers inner city kids a place where they can learn to love the craft of writing. The Writer’s Exchange used to be run out of classrooms across East Vancouver, but this past Fall it opened a public space at 881 East Hastings. Here, kids gather after school to learn about reading, writing and the versatility of their own imaginations in a safe environment – all for free.
The literacy superstars who run the show, namely Sarah Maitland and Jennifer MacLeod, are aiming to ensure that every Vancouver child has the opportunity to build the literacy skills necessary to access a world where anything is possible. That’s a pretty great vision and we think our city will be a better place for it. But stuff like this doesn’t happen unless community pitches in to make it happen.
And that’s where you come in…
TIME | Volunteer some time! A few hours one day of the week would make a huge difference. Giving kids a familiar and supportive mentor is a key part of what the success of The Writer’s Exchange has been built upon. “As a volunteer mentor, you can help with reading, creative writing projects, literacy games and cool crafts, or support a small group of kids during in-school book-making programs. Help us make literacy fun and accessible for kids!”
DONATE | If you don’t have time, maybe you have a little food or money that you wouldn’t mind contributing. Healthy snacks or cash donations are accepted with appreciation. The Writer’s Exchange also loves books and art supplies.
TECHNOLOGY | The Writer’s Exchange is looking for donations of Apple Computers. We know a lot of our readers are Mac users, so if you or your office or organization are looking at refreshing your hardware any time soon, please consider donating your old computers to The Writer’s Exchange. Macs are great for creating stop-animation videos, processing photographs used for some of the books that the children create and are generally easier for newbies to learn on. Anything after 2005 can be refurbished and used by these kids.
Connect with Jennifer or Sarah at The Writer’s Exchange here.
PS. Once upon a time, a burrito was born. He was sitting around in the freezer until someone put him in the microwave. The burrito never felt so alive. — Crissy, age 9
Honour Bound details the many cool things that we feel honour bound to check out because they either represent our city extremely well or are inherently awesome in one way or another.
The GOODS from La Mezcaleria
Vancouver, BC | Are you vivacious, energetic, organized, and confident? We need you! Our Host is the first face of La Mezcaleria and therefore incredibly important to us. You will represent our brand, our family and our vibe. This is a demanding position. Are you up for the challenge? 2+ years of experience is a must, and Spanish is an asset. Please send your resume and cover letter to info [at] lamezcaleria.ca and learn more about the company after the jump… Read more
(via Dezeen) It’s been over a year since David and Susan Scott launched their own firm, Scott & Scott Architects, but they’ve only recently completed their studio headquarters on the ground floor of their 1911 home off on 19th Ave off Main Street. They’ve clad the floor and walls with Douglas Fir planks which they’ve treated themselves with a mixture of Canadian whisky and beeswax (watch the video below). A rear workshop is divided from the main space by a functional storage hide/wall. David and Susan also designed the tables themselves using galvanised steel frames and hand-stitched leathers. Floor to ceiling window frontage invites the neighbours to look inside, but it also allows the architects to work with plenty of light (there are glass pendant lights hanging from the ceiling to add more in the evenings).
Have you heard? It’s supposed to be a pretty gloomy week. Not to worry, though, because France. Yup, for us, crap forecasts tend to conjure visions of (and desires for) restorative, old school French bistro fare. The last time it rained we fell for it hard in the form of properly gooey onion soup gratinee (the gruyere cap amplified by mozzarella); Alsatian tart flambee with crispy lardons and fat dollops of creme fraiche; and flavourful hanger steak (done to the rare side of medium-rare) prostrate in a deep puddle of green peppercorn cream next to a pile of salted frites. It was all washed down at Les Faux Bourgeois in the heart of The Fraserhood (where summer is for the weak and patios fear to tread) with winter-generous pours of 2011 Brumont Tannat-Merlot.
Les Faux Bourgeois | 663 East 15th Ave | Vancouver, BC | 604-873-9733
This gallery of Alley Chairs can be found in our new HOODS section. It was curated by Nicole Arnett, an invaluable friend to Scout. It documents (invents) the dramas that explain the abandoned alleyway chairs and sofas of East Van.
by Lisa Giroday, Sandra Lopuch and Sam Philips | Are you feeling adventurous about your veggie garden this year? Want to grow some weird shit this season? One culinary herb we love that isn’t seen in most gardens is, well, lovage, or, botanically speaking, Levisticum officinale.
As mentioned in previous articles, when a plant bears the name “officinale”, it indicates that the plant has medicinal properties. Lovage tea can be applied to wounds as an antiseptic or drunk to stimulate digestion. Lovage apparently has the one of the top highest quotients of “quercetin”, a flavinoid. Don’t ask us what this means on a molecular level, but this mythic substance acts as a bronchodilator for asthmatics and as an anti-inflammatory, reducing the release of histamines and other allergic chemicals in the body. Crazy!
Lovage is easy to grow, prolific (but stays fairly centralized), and one plant will do you for the year. The leaves are quite pungent, and have an aroma and taste similar to celery. Lovage blooms umbels of yellow in late spring and is a perennial, coming back every year. It’s abundant, available until frost, and literally requires no work despite offering multiple benefits!
With the shift towards warmer temperatures, lovage has abruptly started bursting out in the garden and is now officially in season. It is one of the first signs of green to emerge in the veggie garden scene come spring. We welcome it the same as one would welcome tulips and daffodils.
The culinary uses of the lovage leaf as an herb are endless, but it’s especially great when small dosed in a salad. One of our favourite early spring mixes consists of mustard greens, kale, chervil, purslane, kale flowers, and a wee bit of lovage. This mixture of goodness is hard to come by, even at the farmers market; you might have to grow your own or go to a restaurant with good, local sourcing.
Other culinary uses for this wonder herb include lovage pesto, as a chiffonade garnish, and as a base for mirepoix or soup stock. We dry and freeze our lovage in the Fall to get us through the winter. The root is also edible, and the seeds can be used as a spice, similar to fennel.
Conclusion: lovage is super versatile, so try growing it this season!
Victory Gardens is a team of local urban farmers for hire. Lisa, Sandra and Sam help transform tired or underused residential and commercial green spaces into food producing gardens. Their goal is to challenge the way communities use space and to participate in the change needed to consume food more sustainably. For the rest of the growing season, they’ve hooked up with Scout to share some cool tips and tricks on how to get the best from of our own backyards.
The GHOST HOOD series dovetails with the new HOODS section of Scout (launching on Monday)
by Stevie Wilson | In conversations about Mount Pleasant these days, the old “Brewery Creek” moniker is being increasingly employed on account of all the new breweries that have arrived in recent years. But what exactly is the significance of the name? It’s important to note that although it’s generally thought of as synonymous with the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, the “Brewery Creek” distinction refers to a particular stretch of waterway that was integral to the growth and economic development of the area. Long before white settlers arrived, this expansive region was a popular harvesting location for First Nations. It would later become an important economic sector for new businesses thanks to its flowing natural resource.
The patch of land that became known as Mount Pleasant was originally shrouded in dense, dark rainforest. The creek that drained this forest into the salty waters of False Creek sat at the bottom of a large ravine that was open to the sky. It offered an abundance of flowers, berries, and other plants used by First Nations for medicine and food. The (now lost) waterway began near where Mountain View Cemetery is located today. Water flowed downhill just west of modern-day Fraser Street to a marshy, dammed area near 14th Avenue (Tea Swamp Park). From here, the creek flowed down the Mount Pleasant hillside, following a northeastern path alongside a First Nations trail (near where Kingsway cuts across Main Street), and continuing into the eastern waters of False Creek (which have since been filled in) near Terminal Avenue.
In 1867, the creek area in Mount Pleasant became Vancouver’s first piped waterway, delivering water by flume to Gastown – then the center of the city – and the boilers at Captain Edward Stamp’s Mill near the foot of Dunlevy (later known as the Hastings Sawmill).
The Brewery Creek region was defined by its open landscape, its distinct flora and fauna, and the numerous businesses that followed the path of the waterway – including several slaughterhouses, the nearby Vancouver Tannery, and an assortment of local beverage-makers that used the creek to power their water wheels: the San Francisco Brewery (later known as the Red Star Brewery), Mainland Brewery, Landsdowne Brewery, Lion Brewery, and the Thorpe & Co. Soda Water Works. Read more
The GOODS from Odd Society Spirits
Vancouver, BC | The 14th annual San Francisco Worlds Spirits Competition officially announced their 2014 winners yesterday. Odd Society Spirits received multiple awards for their East Van Vodka, taking home gold for package design, and silver in the vodka category. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is regarded as one of the most respected spirits competitions in the world. Products are evaluated by leading spirits professionals and are judged blind, making this annual competition one of the most reputable and recognized competitions in the spirits industry.
Thirty-nine spirits experts convened at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco for the 14th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition March 20 through March 23, 2014. Distillers and importers from 63 countries submitted 1,474 spirits into 89 different categories. The packaging portion of the competition was judged independently and took place in a single day. A panel of four distinguished graphic and packaging design professionals awarded 78 medals for excellence in design from 201 packaging entries.
“It is an absolute honour to have our vodka recognized in multiple categories at such a prestigious competition,” says Gordon Glanz, Founder and Distiller of Odd Society Spirits. “Being able to compete on an international level is thrilling. Being awarded for our packaging as well as our spirit is overwhelming.”
The East Van Vodka recipe was perfected by Distillers/Co-Owners Gordon Glanz and Joshua Beach, while the package design was created by the brilliant team at Cause + Affect. East Van Vodka was created as a tribute to East Vancouver, where the distillery is located. Made from 100% malted barley grown in Prince George, East Van Vodka is distilled in custom-designed European-made copper stills and proudly blended with purified Vancouver tap water. The whimsical label features artwork of an owl named ‘Cornelius’ sporting a mustache, pipe and naval uniform, illustrated by local artist Shwa Keirstead. Read more
We’ve invited East Van’s small batch Odd Society Spirits to join the Wine & Spirits section of our GOODS program as a recommended local distiller of fine things to put in your mouth. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We would like to thank them for their support and for making British Columbia a more discerning (and occasionally intoxicating) place to be.
The GOODS from Tacofino
Vancouver, BC | Tacofino is proud to be working with Food.ee to bring our fresh, locally sourced, 100% Ocean Wise, fast “slow” food to people in offices. We understand that you’re busy working in the afternoon and maybe just can’t get away, but you sure are dreaming of a hot and delicious lunch. You’re probably not the only one – your coworkers probably are, too. So, what to do? Get in touch with Food.ee. For a nominal fee, they promise to deliver a restaurant-quality meal to you and your party right at a specified time.
So if you just can’t get away from that pile of paperwork to head down to our White Lightning food truck to get yourself a chicken karaage burrito, or if you just really need that Chocolate Diablo cookie to get you through the afternoon, Food.ee is your saviour! Bonus: if you order online – delivery is free. White Lightning’s menu can be found on the Food.ee website, along with ordering instructions. Read more
Delivered piping hot in an impervious molcajete bowl (made from volcanic stone bowl), the queso fundido with chorizo at La Mezcaleria on Commercial Drive is a delicate but delicious operation. If you bring children to it, they will require assistance. The best way to eat it, according to managing partner Ignacio Arrieta, is to fork it out in coalesced globules (that might burn a hole through lesser metals) and smear it onto the provided tortillas which you then mount with guacamole and squirt with chile de arbol salsa. Pair yours with either a Michelada or a Margarita, and have yourself a very swell evening.
1220 Commercial Drive | Vancouver, BC | 604-559-8226 | www.lamezcaleria.ca
The tasting lounge is open: Thursday, 1PM through 7PM; Friday and Saturday, 1PM through 9PM; and Sunday, 1PM through 6PM. Tours of the distillery are offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4PM.
Gordon Glanz, Founder & Distiller
Miriam Karp, General Manager
Joshua Beach, Production Manager & Distiller
About Odd Society Spirits
Odd Society is a small-batch craft distillery in the heart of East Van. Housed in a converted motorcycle garage on Powell Street, Odd Society Spirits is well situated in a happening craft liquor community, with neighbours including Powell Street Brewery, Parallel 49 Brewing Company, Storm Brewing, Coal Harbour Brewing and Bomber Brewing. The area is also quickly becoming a hot dining destination with popular restaurants Bistro Wagon Rouge and Kessel & March popping up just steps away from the distillery. Dedicated to combining old world distilling traditions with new world ingredients and ingenuity, Odd Society Spirits has created a family of spirits that entice and intrigue.
Founder and Distiller Gordon Glanz holds an MSc in brewing and distilling from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland where he experimented with distilling whiskey using raw grains and commercial enzymes before studying under the masters at Springbank distillery in Campbeltown.
Now back in his home town, Gordon is applying his penchant for experimentation and knowledge of tradition within the Odd Society, which he operates alongside his wife and partner, Miriam Karp, and good friend Joshua Beach.
What’s in a Name? The name ‘Odd Society’ reflects an interest to use their spirits and distillery as a way to bring together a diverse collection of creative and unique people. They wanted to make a home where guests could feel comfortable revealing their inner oddness.
The Odd Society is about experimentation, embracing change and celebrating individual and collective oddities.
This philosophy extends to their ideas about distilling. Just as any successful society is made up of a variety of distinct personalities in concert, they want each of their spirits to create a cast of unforgettable characters. From the subtle and discrete Wallflower Gin to the raw and untamed Mongrel, their family of spirits is meant to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of the Odd Society community.
Scout Magazine, Andrew Morrison – Awesome Thing We Drank
Vancouver Courier, Cheryl Rossi – Odd Society Sets Up In Brewery District
North Shore News, Tim Pawsey – Small-Batch Distiller Sets Up Shop
Wallpaper Magazine, Hadani Ditmars – Enter The Odd Society
The Vancouver Sun, Randy Shore – Odd Society’s First Product Is A Natural Grain ‘Sipping Vodka’
Beatroute, Sarah Bauer – A Fresh Crop of East Van Craft
Globe and Mail – On The Job With A Vancouver Distiller
PrevailPrevail, Prevail – Inner Spirit
Vitamin V Daily, Maria Tallarico – That’s The Spirit
Montecristo, Kimberly Budziak – Odd Society Spirits’ Crème de Cassis Royal Lineage
The GOODS from La Mezcaleria
Vancouver, BC | We looking for dynamic and highly motivated experienced servers. This is a great opportunity to be a part of our family. Located in the hub of Commercial Drive, La Mezcaleria is an authentic Mexican restaurant with a vivacious energy and the drive to succeed. We are seeking strong servers who will work late nights Fridays/Saturdays and are flexible to cover shifts when needed. If you have a passion for Mexican food and want to be a vital part of our team, please send your cover letter and resume to info [at] lamezcaleria.ca. Spanish is an asset. Serving it Right-certified and 3+ years experience. Lear more about La Mezcaleria after the jump… Read more