This short profile film by Juliet Zero looks at the work of Jim Meyers at Portland, Oregon’s Hedgehog Tree Care. “Jim calls his team of arborists “athletes” and we can’t think of a better description. The tremendous strength and technique used by the arborist matches the most demanding and technical sport. He was kind enough to hoist members of our team up to the tree-tops and though we were using cameras instead of chainsaws, we gained respect for this amazing job.”
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | Come down to the The Biltmore Cabaret, kick up your boots and swing a shaleighleigh with us for a St. Patrick’s Day Party featuring The River and The Road playing their first Vancouver city show of 2014 with Mike Edel, Greg Drummond & Twin Bandit! After crossing an ocean, leaving a hemisphere, and a long stint hitch hiking across the American Southwest, singer/guitarist Andrew Phelan made his way to Chicago with the looming need to cross into Canada for work. He had two flight choices—Montreal or Vancouver—and flying west was cheaper. Once there, he found a healthy contest in singer/banjo player Keenan Lawlor, who had been playing around Vancouver for the previous eight months. Keenan had moved across water to forge a new path, but in his case, it was the Georgia Strait instead of the Pacific Ocean. In the beginning the two butted heads, seeing in each other the greatest competition for the attention of an East Vancouver open mic audience. Competition turned to collaboration, busking, and living on scraps together to make their musical existence possible. After several months as a duo, they recorded their debut eponymous twelve-track album. In the spring of 2012, the band emerged as a dynamic four-piece with the addition of drummer Cole George and bassist John Hayes. Learn more after the jump… Read more
by Sean Orr | Coleman Country: BC Gov’t Poised to Move Against Portland Hotel Society. Behold the old standby of divide and conquer, and it’s really quite genius: federal and provincial government neglect creates a vacuum; organization steps in to do the work of government; organization is flawed (duh) but entrenched and stands in the way of government’s plans; government rides back in on high horse and “exposes” organization for profiting off poverty. The irony? If it was run like a bloated government bureaucracy it would get nothing done and have to pay three times as much to their employees.
And speaking of divide and conquer, Irwin Oostindle blames PHS for failure of W2 space: “If PHS had left even 1% on the table that could have seen the community amenity succeed, instead they strong-armed the process for their own benefit.”
I’m developing an appetite. Lunch, anyone? Vancouver condo king invites $25,000-per-person donations to Vision Vancouver. Not sure how The Province can feign outrage when this is pretty par for the course.
Cone but not forgotten: City of Vancouver taken to court over view corridors. Best comment: “Sure housing prices are out of control because demand vastly exceeds supply, but MY views!!! MY VIEWS!!”
Illuminating: Stunning Rodney Graham chandelier to be installed under the Granville Bridge. I’m not sure if Graham is using the chandelier as a symbol of the aristocratization of housing in Vancouver, but if he is maybe Westbank [the property development company] could also dress the homeless people who sleep under the bridge in tuxedos. After all, they believe “the entire environment should be designed in the public interest.”
Or maybe they could just dangle this free rancher from the bridge instead to keep costs down (because tuxedos are expensive)…
Schadenfreude of the day: Last call: Shark Club closing its iconic downtown Vancouver location on April 30. Iconic? No. Alas, it’s not a permanent closure either. It’s just a transition to new owners. Sorry.
Rat poison left in East Vancouver dog park, neighbourhood warned. Name change to Dog Illing Park?
Dave Grohl shocks local drummer, reveals he’s a big fan. Congrats on all the exposure, guys! This one’s for you: We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful.
Game of Homes: If B.C. Were Westeros From ‘Game Of Thrones’ It Would Look Like This. Winter complaints are coming.
Ladies and gentleman, this is your new Canucks goalie.
The GOODS from Heirloom Vegetarian
Vancouver, BC | South Granville’s Heirloom vegetarian restaurant is in hot pursuit of talented servers and an experienced bartender. Applicants must have a passion for the service industry. All interested parties can email their resumes to info [at] heirloomrestaurant.ca or deliver them in person between 11am and 4pm daily. Learn more about us after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Pizzeria Farina
Vancouver, BC | Passionate about pizza? Pizzeria Farina is looking to hire an experienced Chef de Cuisine/Manager. Applicants must have cooking experience, possess strong leadership skills and most importantly be passionate about food. The Chef de Cuisine will be responsible for the daily operation of the kitchen including ordering, inventory and managing a brigade of wonderful people. Please send your resume to info [at] pizzeriafarina.com. Learn more about the Main St. eatery after the jump… Read more
by Luis Valdizon | Tom Dixon inconspicuously entered the design world as an art school drop-out in the 1980′s while trying to repair his post-accident motorcycle with no technical training. His works have since been collected by some of the world’s most top museums, including the London’s V&A, New York’s MoMa and Paris’ Pompidou. Just two months ago he was the recipient of the prestigious Maison et Objet Designer of the Year award. I was fortunate enough to chat with Mr. Dixon on the last stop of his North American lecture tour. The evening, hosted by Gastown’s Inform Interiors on March 3rd, was lively and tightly packed by a handsome crowd of design enthusiasts. What follows is the transcript of my conversation with Dixon and a gallery of photos from the evening.
Can you share some details surrounding the night in Milan when you slept on a public park bench, which resulted in the inspiration for your first season with Adidas?
It was my first visit to the furniture fair. I thought that I would be able to find cheap accommodation quickly and that just wasn’t the case. I had no idea of the scale of the fair. Sleeping on the park bench is not something that I can recommend. It’s never comfortable and the temperatures drop substantially in Milan. It wasn’t a great experience. I’m just hoping not to do it again without my own sleeping bag.
I think it’s funny that these sort of things still happen in Milan. Only two years ago there was the Icelandic volcano eruption and everything stopped. There were about a couple hundred-thousand people stuck in Milan and very quickly they didn’t have hotel rooms or residences. For the benefit of my own interests, it could easily happen again, so it’s better to be prepared.
Your release with Adidas has an unmistakable editorial presence in its packaging and presentation. What inspired this?
There’s no point in me trying to be a fashion designer. It’s not what these collaborations are about. What it is for me is sort of entering a new universe without any preconception. There’s a lot of fashion that’s very poorly explained compared to product design. It’s not very normal to give a lot of information on the packaging. I wanted to bring my experience in other trades to the fashion business rather than become a fashion designer. The graphic sensibility and the information on the pack is really about trying to communicate a bit more in a way that they don’t in the fashion business. I get very frustrated, for instance, when I go to a museum or an art gallery and I see this amazing stuff and I want to know more and they don’t tell you. I try my best to reinvent those trades in a way that best suits me. The collection addresses my inability to pack efficiently; so, it’s a personal problem. I think I design with myself as the customer in mind rather than try to be like a proper designer that should be solving problems for other people. I’m a-typical like that.
You shared an idea of being “a proper modernist” for the first time through your collaboration with Adidas. What did you mean by that?
Modernist? Did I say that? I think the advantage with massive companies that are experts in what they do is that they have access to many more resources, and everybody wants to work with them. It’s an opportunity to work with futuristic textiles and new manufacturing techniques. They are cutting edges in their respective trades in ways you’d never get the chance to if you were doing it in a conventional manner.
Can you speak on the role of mathematics in your design?
I went to a very bad school in the 70s where there was a lot of experiments in education going on. There wasn’t a great deal of discipline. There was very bad teaching, and I found the whole thing very frustrating. However, there was one short-lived period that I had a really great math teacher and it opened up this tiny little window in this other magical world which I’ve never been able to access since. There’s something about the beauty in everything matching up and everything being logical that I’m still inclined to seek. There’s something quite nice about geometry because it is perfect. It appeals to everybody. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Muslim and like Islamic art, or whether you’re a scientist interested in DNA, or if you’re a child building Lego; geometry is always there. It’s underpins everything that’s constantly around us. There’s something rather fascinating to a designer about that, and if you do use geometry in your work it you often find that it appeals to other people as well.
You blur the line between the artist and the entrepreneur with little very backlash in comparison to, say, Damien Hirst. Why do you think that is?
Because he’s much richer than I am (laughs). I’m sure the backlash will come when I get really, really rich. For me, what was kind of nice about commerce – and I think that too few designers are interested in the kind of trading aspect of it – is that it’s what has allowed me to become a designer. The fact that I could think of an idea and the people would spend their hard earned cash on buying it off me seems like such a perfect way to make a living, right? It’s like alchemy, where you can turn something into gold. It’s not like I’m a super successful business man. I really like the idea that I’ve created a platform to have an idea and if that idea is good enough people will just buy it. It’s a great way to live.
What is your first memory of an encounter with an object that influenced your design aesthetic today?
I went to an exhibition at the V&A museum in London and I saw a video of an Alvar Aalto stool being made. It was plywood…pressed plywood with the glue oozing out. And it was that that sort of sparked something. I’ve always been more interested in the manufacturing rather than the actual objects. I don’t think it was the design objects that appealed to me. What appealed to me was the manufacturing process, so when I found welding and I learned how to weld then suddenly this whole world where one could create structures very quickly and very easily became apparent to me.
Did you grow up in a design-minded home?
My parents were design aware but they weren’t designers. One was a teacher and one was a BBC newscaster so they weren’t really involved with anything to do with design. Now that I think about it – and even your last question – it was a pottery teacher at my old school. The school was not exactly academic. It was a big school, but it had the luck of having a proper ceramics department and also life drawing class, which is quite rare in secondary schools. The combination of enjoying drawing and actually getting my hands stuck into the wet clay and turning pots and such was really the moment the form-giving and the practical element of design really got me interested.
You’ve talked about having a “child-like enthusiasm” in your design philosophy. How has your relationship with your children or experience as a parent influenced you?
Funny enough, my kids are even more conservative than me. I spend a lot of time trying to get them to try to be more child-like and they constantly try to get me to be more conventional. They’d really like to have a trad [traditional] Dad. That’s what they want they want, a trad Dad, not a crazy Dad. I guess it’s kind of role reversal in a way.
Despite two accidents, one of which ended your music career, I hear that you still ride bikes?
Yes, it’s pretty much a daily occupation. We’ve had a rough winter so I put them away. I’m a bit more fair-weathered now. By the time I get back, the spring will have started and I’ll get moving again. Fact is that in London traffic is so bad and the city is so big that honestly it’s the only way of getting on in your day.
With your latest venture into scents and now again with music, your design seems to want to cover all the human senses…
The beauty of music is that it allows you to communicate with people without using language. Previously when I was doing it in the beginning; that was my job. You had to go around with eight sweaty boys in a transit band and tour the country, but now I can do it for fun. Music really is superior fun.
The GOODS from Burdock & Co.
Vancouver, BC | Chef Andrea Carlson and Matt Sherlock of Sedimentary Wines guide guests off the well-worn path of red and white to explore the world of orange wines. In a four-course tasting experience, guests are introduced to these quirky, funky, zingy Italian wines paired with flavourful dishes that bring out the best in each intriguing bottle.
Orange wines are created using ancient traditional techniques not commonly used in modern times; in a method usually reserved for red wines, white grapes are macerated and allowed to sit in their skins for a fortnight or more, resulting in wines with complex flavour, rich texture and glowing with a warm copper hue.
Only 20 seats are available for this extraordinary evening. Interested parties are encouraged to act quickly to reserve a seat. Tickets are $130 per person including tax and gratuity. Get all the tickets and menu details (with wine pairings) after the jump… Read more
This is the first in a nine-part story chronicling Dageraad brewer Ben Coli’s exploration of two questions he had to answer before taking the gamble of his life in starting a brewery: What is Belgian beer? And, can it be brewed here?
by Ben Coli | On any sunny day, the Dageraadplaats, a square on the east side of Antwerp, is full of people. Kids ride laps around the square on their bikes, form impromptu gangs and generally run wild, while parents sit and chat with friends and neighbours while enjoying the sun and watching passersby.
The square contains no monuments and no public buildings of note. If it appears in any tourist guide to Antwerp, it’s as a footnote, not a destination. The Dageraadplaats isn’t a ceremonial space; it’s just a pleasant place for the community to gather. There’s a basketball court and picnic tables under the trees in the middle of the square, and the edges are lined with café patios.
At any of the cafés, from the Moeskop to the Zeezicht, you can buy incredible beers like Orval, Duvel and Westmalle Dubbel at very reasonable prices. These beers are simply a part of life in Belgium. It is not uncommon to see a couple of retirees drinking Tripel Karmeliet at a café at ten on a Tuesday morning. What else is retirement for?
By mid-afternoon, the café tables begin to accumulate a wide variety of beers, each served in its own particular glass. There is Rochefort’s graceful goblet, Mort Subite’s fluted tumbler, Duvel’s iconic tulip bulb, and Kwak’s ridiculous flask and wooden stand. More often than any of these, you’ll see the bolleke – an upward-sweeping footed goblet full of copper-coloured beer from Antwerp’s own De Koninck brewery. So much variety, so many different flavours, so much beer culture, all from one tiny country.
I love Belgium. I love the people – the Flemish and Walloons both. I love Antwerp and the Ardennes. And I really love the beer. But I don’t live in Belgium, I live here in Vancouver. I love our beer, too, our IPAs and our imperial stouts. But when I’m not in Belgium, I miss Belgian beer. I miss its diversity and complexity, its depth and surprises.
Can we have that beer here? Not just occasionally as an expensive, imported bottle, but as a standard, locally-brewed beer? Can we drink an authentic-tasting Belgian-style beer from the other side of the city, instead of the other side of the world?
Dageraad means “daybreak” or “sunrise” in Flemish. Vancouver is already experiencing the dawn of a new beer culture, and Dageraad Brewing will be part of it.
I’ve been visiting friends in Antwerp for about a decade now, and over the years I’ve had a slow, smouldering love affair with Belgian beer. It started off as a dalliance, a summer fling, but it gradually grew into a passion.
A year and a half ago I made a commitment: I went to brewing school and took two beer sabbaticals to Belgium. I brought along the other love of my life, my wife, journalist Erin Millar — or she brought me along, it’s hard to tell. We visited breweries and were often welcomed by brewers who recognized us as fellow aficionados. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about Belgian beer and ask brewers for their secrets.
It has been my experience that most brewers are incredibly generous with their time and knowledge when they meet a kindred spirit. In the following eight posts, published here over the next few weeks, I’ll recount what I’ve learned about Belgian beer, in part to pay forward the hospitality I received from brewers in Belgium, and in part to announce my new brewery.
I’m opening a brewery.
It’s called Dageraad Brewing. It’s named after a square in Antwerp. It’s also named after what that square is named for: daybreak or dawn, that period of time when the sky is brightening but the sun has yet to rise, when there are still stars in the western sky and the pale moon is just starting to fade into the pale blue sky.
The beers aren’t going to be Belgian. Belgian beers come from Belgium. My beers are going to come from a little industrial unit in Burnaby, BC, Canada, so they’ll be Canadian or British Columbian or Burnabarian, which is a word I made up that I like very much. But the beers will be Belgian-inspired, because those are the beers I like best.
Can you brew authentic Belgian-style beers in Canada? What does Belgian-style even mean? In coming posts I’m going to explain what Belgian-style means to me and argue that yes, you can brew those beers here. And then I’m going to prove it.
Photos: Goffe Struiksma | Map illustration: Eli Horn
Ben Coli is owner and brewer of Dageraad Brewing, British Columbia’s first brewery specializing in Belgian-style ales. An award-winning home brewer, Ben formalized his brewing knowledge at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and at Brewlab in the United Kingdom, earning a certificate from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Before his beer obsession took over, Ben was a writer of books, magazine articles and marketing content. He is currently writing a book titled “How to Love Beer.”
The GOODS from Wildebeest
Vancouver, BC | Wildebeest is looking to hire an experienced leader to manage weekend brunches. The ideal applicant has local experience in brunch/breakfast service and is available to begin this month. Hours would be 9am to 4pm with competitive compensation and a benefits plan. Please note that this is a part-time position, limited – for the time being – to weekend brunches only. It would be well suited to an individual looking for supplemental employment in a progressive, delicious restaurant. Please email resume and cover letter in confidence to eat [at] wildebeest.ca. Read more
Staff Meal is a new column by Ken Tsui. The photo essays will detail the stories behind the family-style meals that some of Vancouver’s busiest restaurant crews get either before or after service.
by Ken Tsui | After a busy service on a Saturday night at Chinatown’s award-winning Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, executive chef Joel Watanabe cranks out one final meal. Tonight, it’s his take on tostadas, and it’s for his staff. Think crispy tortillas topped with a healthy dose of cumin seasoned black beans, tomato sauce, melted cheese, guacamole, and shredded lettuce all dressed with lime and a pico de gallo salsa. Tostadas were one of the family classics in the Watanabe household when Joel was a kid. He and his brother were hooked, both invariably asking for the treat to be a part of every birthday meal. In the spirit of sibling rivalry, they even devoured the fully loaded tostadas competitively, with Joel holding the household record of fourteen eaten in one sitting.
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | Hidden Charms is pleased to announce a very special performance. Rich Hope and His Blue Rich Rangers after a lengthy hiatus are returning to the stage to perform – for one night only – the iconic Byrds album Sweetheart of the Rodeo in it’s entirety. Now hear it live and in the flesh as the Rangers rev it up. Post LP performance will feature the usual assortment of Rangers barroom rockers and honky tonk hits to round out the night on the dance floor. Learn more after the jump… Read more
Standing proudly at the north end of Burrard Street, Vancouver’s Marine Building, which opened in 1930, is certainly one of the most iconic and stunningly beautiful heritage buildings in the city. If the doorway is any indication of the level of craftsmanship and style of the offices inside, just imagine how impressive it must be to set foot in the art deco-styled penthouse!
Next week you will have an opportunity to do just that. On the night of Wednesday, March 12th, the Heritage Vancouver Society will lead an informative tour of the building’s jaw-dropping lobby and gorgeous penthouse. Tickets aren’t cheap, but this will be money well spent, particularly because your 100 beans counts as a donation to the Heritage Vancouver Society (tax receipts will be issued) and there will be a reception that includes wine and hors d’oeuvres.
We went last year and it was such a fantastic experience that we want to go again. Click on any of the photos below to get a feel for the magic of the place…
Wed, Mar. 12 | 5:30-8pm | Marine Building (355 Burrard) | $100 | DETAILS
The GOODS from Hawksworth
Vancouver, BC | Canada’s Restaurant of the Year is searching for a dynamic and highly motivated front of house manager to join our management team. In this pivotal role, reporting to the General Manager, you will be required to lead the front of house team, oversee day-to-day operations, train, supervise and schedule staff, monitor guest experiences and liaise with the Chef de Cuisine and Executive Chef/Owner. Get all the details on requirements, et cetera after the jump… Read more