GHOST HOODS | On The Rise & Fall Of The City’s Black Neighbourhood, “Hogan’s Alley”

Fielding-William-Spotts-copy

by Stevie Wilson | Like most cosmopolitan cities around the world, Vancouver is known for its distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own character, landscape, and history. But what happens when an entire neighbourhood is razed to the ground and its community is displaced? The historic Hogan’s Alley in Strathcona is a unique example of how a neighbourhood can come to define the history of a group of people, and the intricacies of cultural identity within urban spaces.

The name “Hogan’s Alley” is often explained as being the colloquial term for Park Lane, an alley that spanned from Main Street to Jackson Avenue between Union Street and Prior Street, and the surrounding area. The lane, which ran parallel to Main Street, did originally border the sides, backs, and gardens of homes, but to consider the whole neighbourhood as simply an “alley” would be a disservice to the businesses, residences, and cultural centres that developed around it.

Hogan’s Alley was not marked on the city map in any particular fashion, and its precise boundaries are not entirely clear. City archivist J.S. Matthews noted on a photo from 1891 that the lane adjacent to the home at 209 Harris Street (now East Georgia) was known as Hogan’s Alley; from where exactly he learned the nickname is unknown.

While the definitive nomenclature is still up for debate, what is clear it that multiple generations of families and workers, predominantly of African-Canadian descent, called this area home for decades. Ultimately, many of these families were displaced when the City demolished a number of homes and businesses in Hogan’s Alley to build the second version of the Georgia Viaduct.

The black community which came to define Hogan’s Alley came to the area shortly after the turn of the century. Many individuals had come from Vancouver Island, likely in search of work in local resource industries, and this section of Strathcona (then known simply as the East End) quickly developed into a mecca for those of African-American and African-Canadian heritage. Many had also migrated to Vancouver from California and Louisiana. At this time, Vancouver was seen as having limitless economic potential.

Sun-July-19,-1952-2-of-2

Prior to his political defeat in 1934, Mayor L.D. Taylor had a unique and often controversial perspective of how Vancouver should mitigate the growing crime rates in the city. In particular, his “open town policy” on vice crimes such as prostitution, gambling, and illegal drinking meant that areas such as Hogan’s Alley were ripe for these types of “victimless” crimes to continue unchecked. Moreover, his ties to corruption in the police department further frustrated those who recognized the fragile state of the city’s lower-income neighbourhoods. Given Hogan’s Alley’s proximity to transportation centres and the commercial hub of Hastings Street (the very same reasons residents were drawn to the area in the first place), it attracted a wide variety of legal and illegal activities for locals and visitors in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Park Lane itself was only 8 feet wide and spanned only a couple of blocks, but the area was filled with a variety of after-hours entertainments, including bootlegger establishments, cheap eateries, and popular brothels. These businesses, popular with loggers, sailors, and other resource industry workers, included Buddy’s on Union for booze, the Scat Inn on Park Lane for music and food, and even a back-alley wine merchant called Lungo. All this – including stories of a blind prostitute known as the “Queen of Hogan’s Alley” – led to a rough-and-tumble reputation that scared many folks off and intrigued even more.

While Hogan’s Alley was a predominantly black community (Vancouver’s first), there were other cultures and ethnicities prevalent in the area as well. Several Jewish families and business were well established and an Italian consular office was located in the Bingarra Block at Union and Main. Some of the houses on the 200-block of Union Street, which became vacant during World War I, later became home to Chinese families.

It is important to note, however, that this area was once a comfortable community for Vancouver’s black population. Indeed, while other ethnically defined areas are historically common in Vancouver (Little Italy, Chinatown, Japantown, etc), this was the first – and only – example of a cultural enclave for African-Canadians. It is also the site of Vancouver’s first black church, the African Methodist Episcopal Fountain Chapel (823 Jackson Avenue), which was purchased by the community in 1918.

During its heyday in the 1930s and 40s, Hogan’s Alley featured a number of black-owned businesses that added a distinct southern flavour to the neighbourhood. One of these black-owned businesses was Emma Alexander’s Mother’s Tamale and Chili Parlour at 250 Union Street. Emma’s niece, Viva Moore, later opened the famous Vie’s Chicken and Steak House at 209 Main Street, which operated from 1948 until 1976. Run by Viva and her husband Rob, the restaurant was a popular spot for locals and even a few famous faces, including Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong. Sadly, the unique culture and popularity of businesses like these, and the fact that a growing community was thriving in the area, wasn’t enough to protect the neighbourhood from “progress”. Eventually, Hogan’s Alley’s reputation as a red light district gave Mayor Tom Campbell’s government the justification to approve the $11.2 million Georgia Viaduct Replacement project.

Since its destruction in the early 1970s, the surrounding area has evolved from a primarily residential neighbourhood into a growing commercial sector, with a number of shops, cafes, and restaurants along Union Street catering to a new generation of Vancouverites. Modern civic and cultural organizations, such as the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project, help memorialize and educate people on the experiences of black individuals in Vancouver, as well as the history of Hogan’s Alley.

The Jimi Hendrix Shrine at the corner of Main and Union (adjacent to the former site of Vie’s Chicken and Steak House) pays homage to the musician and his grandmother, Nora Hendrix, who migrated to Vancouver from Tennessee in 1911 and worked at Vie’s restaurant. Nora’s home at 827 East Georgia still stands today, where she raised three children with her husband Ross. In 2013, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Places That Matter program installed a plaque near the Hogan’s Alley Cafe in conjunction with Black History Month. While most tangible remnants of this historic neighbourhood are long gone, the legacy of its community and its place in the story of Vancouver is, thankfully, still remembered and celebrated.

MORE VANCOUVER HISTORY

GOODS | Les Amis Du Fromage Set To Host “Petit Four Pastries” Pop-Up On May 10th

Les Amis du Fromage | 843 East Hastings, 604-253-4218 & 1752 West 2nd Ave, 604-732-4218 | buycheese.com

Les Amis du Fromage | 843 East Hastings, 604-253-4218 & 1752 West 2nd Ave, 604-732-4218 | buycheese.com

The GOODS from Les Amis Du Fromage

Vancouver, BC | On Saturday, May 10th – les amis du Fromage will again host Petit Four Pastries for a Mother’s Day themed pop-up at their East Vancouver store. If your mom loves baked goods, then come by to pick up a gift! This time around, the ladies will be bringing their usual goods – the signature buttercrunch, all sorts of cookies and brownies, hand-painted decorative sugar cookies, shortbread and gluten-free almond financiers… And there will also be some limited-quantity, made-for-mom treats that would be great dessert that evening or for Sunday brunch: rustic chocolate cherry hazelnut coffee cakes, cranberry orange muffins and lemon thyme loaves – to name a few. Get all the details after the jump… Read more

HONOUR BOUND | Old Macs & New Mentors Needed By Kids At “The Writer’s Exchange”

6949414070_fecc2ec918_z

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.

GOODS | Les Amis Du Fromage Pairs With SPUD To Deliver “Best Macaroni & Cheese”

 Les Amis du Fromage | East Van: 843 E. Hastings, 604-253-4218 | Kits: 1752 W. 2nd, 604-732-4218 | www.buycheese.com

Les Amis du Fromage | East Van: 843 E. Hastings, 604-253-4218 | Kits: 1752 W. 2nd, 604-732-4218 | www.buycheese.com

The GOODS from Les Amis Du Fromage

Vancouver, BC | Les amis du FROMAGE, Vancouver’s most critically-acclaimed cheese shop, is set to deliver their famous macaroni and cheese directly to the doors of Lower Mainland residents thanks to their new partnership with SPUD – Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery. The aptly named “Best Macaroni and Cheese” can now be ordered online at spud.ca.

The Best Macaroni and Cheese from les amis du FROMAGE is based on a family recipe and is lovingly produced in small batches with quality ingredients at their East Vancouver location, just down the road from SPUD. Priced at $7.99 for 400g and $18.99 for 950g, this decadent four-cheese macaroni blend includes Cheddar, Gruyère, and Stilton. Each order is delivered frozen and ready to heat.

“I was honoured when SPUD asked if they could add our macaroni and cheese to their stellar line-up of ready to eat products,” says Joe Chaput, chef and co-owner of les amis du FROMAGE. “We are now able to reach areas well outside of Vancouver, including West Vancouver, Richmond, Langley, Mission, and Chilliwack.”

SPUD delivers local organic groceries to the doorstep of houses, apartments, and offices within Vancouver and surrounding municipalities. Customers simply sign up online and shop; their selected groceries are then delivered on a set day that following week. Read more

AWESOME THING WE ATE #920 | Arrival Of Spring Finds Confirmation At “The Parker”

13519567804_e004ed8c39_b

You know when the weather starts to change and you get confirmation of it in a restaurant? You can get yours now at The Parker with roasted turnips, house-made cheese, crispy bread, radishes, and generous spoons of parsley puree ($12) – so simple, strikingly pretty, delicious, and seasonally suggestive. As is the case with so many other dishes currently on the menu at the Strathcona/Chinatown eatery right now (pretty much the entire menu), it was like eating a sunny day in Spring. More plates and a cocktail or two of similar impact below…

237 Union Street | Strathcona/Chinatown | Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | theparkervancouver.com

MORE AWESOME THINGS WE ATE

GOODS | Les Amis Du Fromage Set To Host “Petit Four Pastries” Pop-Up Next Saturday

Les Amis du Fromage | East Van: 843 E. Hastings, 604-253-4218 | Kits: 1752 W. 2nd, 604-732-4218 | www.buycheese.com

Les Amis du Fromage | East Van: 843 E. Hastings, 604-253-4218 | Kits: 1752 W. 2nd, 604-732-4218 | www.buycheese.com

The GOODS from Les Amis Du Fromage

Vancouver, BC | Spring is here, and we can’t think of a better time to host a Pop-Up shop for our friends at Petit Four Pastries. We recently discovered Petit Four Pastries during a visit to the Bakers Market in South Vancouver.

This pop-up will showcase the talents of the four bakers: Ada, Alyssa, Carol and Minnie and feature their decorative cookies, confections and small, bite-sized desserts – otherwise known as… petit four! The pop up pastry shop will be open on Saturday April 5th from noon until 5pm at the East Vancouver location of les amis du FROMAGE located at 843 East Hastings. Take this opportunity to do some sweet shopping and show some support for this new start-up business.

Petit Four Pastries is a fun-filled collaboration between four bakers who come from three different cities and backgrounds: Minnie – a native of Hong Kong – was focused on make-up artistry. Alyssa – originally from Moose Jaw – worked throughout Europe in childcare. And while they didn’t know each other while in New York, both Carol and Ada had corporate positions in the finance and advertising industries, respectively.

Two years ago, they met in pastry school in Vancouver – and decided that Petit Four would be one forum that would allow them to work together – creating delicious and beautiful treats – with a little bit of humor and a whole lot of heart.

Since opening in January 2014, they have been growing fast – selling out weekly at the Vancouver Bakers’ Market and taking frequent custom / special orders. Read more

DIG IT | On Groceries & Police Shootouts At The Finch’s Market Location In Strathcona

87014A

by Stevie Wilson | As one of Vancouver’s most unique neighbourhoods, Strathcona has plenty more to offer than just a grouping of heritage homes. The “East End”, as the area was originally called, was one the first residential settlements in the city and, unlike many other communities, it never developed its own commercial sector, preferring instead of rely on a handful of locally-owned convenience and bodega-type stores.

A great example of Strathcona’s continued romance with small markets is the street-level corner of the Jackson Apartments at 501 East Georgia. Built in 1910, the Italianate-style apartment building was designed by E.E. Blackmore, the same man behind the storied Pantages Theatre on East Hastings.

Georgia Street, which was then known as Harris Street, had been poised to be a direct streetcar route to downtown via the original Georgia Viaduct, but when those plans fell through (because the viaduct couldn’t support trams), the neighbourhood still had the BC Electric line, which not only guaranteed its popularity as a residential spot but also gave it enough commercial viability to attract some trade.

229455802_b020e89ff0_b

The first recorded main-floor business at the Jackson Apartments was the Costalas Costa Grocery in 1911. It began the address’ unbroken “market” tradition that continues to this day (though Finch’s Market specializes in coffees and sandwiches, it also functions as a neighbourhood grocery, selling everything from apples and dairy products to preserves and pasta).

Screen-Shot-2014-03-11-at-11.28

It was here on this corner in 1917 that police chief Malcolm MacLennan famously met his end. He and an 8 year old bystander were shot and killed by a local man named Bob Tait in a shootout with the VPD. There is a mosaic memorial to the fallen chief set into the sidewalk just outside the front door.

IMG_4603

In the 1970s, when the streetcar rails were removed, it was known to the community as Fung’s Grocery. More recently, locals will recall it as the infamous U-Go-2-Store, which featured a variety of smokes, pops, Mr. Noodles, No Name bags ‘o chips, and a few candies that cost just a nickel apiece.

Today, the address operates as Finch’s Market, whose owners, Jamie Smith and Sheryl Matthews, gutted the space and built from the ground up to reveal and maintain much of the space’s historic charms, including the original brick walls, large fenestration, radiator, and corner entrance to match the oriel windows (see above). Scout Editor Andrew Morrison lives close by and took plenty of pictures during the construction process, so be sure to also take a close look at the gallery below. You can really see just how big of a transformation it was. Oh, and pop inside sometime for a quiet lunchtime retreat (they do some seriously great sandwiches) with a little local history on the side.

MORE VANCOUVER HISTORY

——————————————————————————————-

Stevie Wilson is a historian masquerading as a writer. After serving as an editor for the UBC History Journal, she branched out with a cryptic agenda: to encourage the people of Vancouver to take notice of their local history and heritage with Scout columns that aim to reveal to readers the many fascinating things that they might walk past every day without noticing.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Hungry Developers And Dressing Up The Homeless In Tuxedos

ovaltine

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.”

Related: Downtown Eastside: ‘It’s just the Ovaltine’.

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)…

Related: Infographic: Vancouver’s soaring home prices, 1977 to the present.

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.

Gastown

5952496669_c62f123568_b

Gastown, so named after one of its unofficial founders, “Gassy Jack” Deighton, occupies the western stretch of the Downtown Eastside. According to our read of the landscape, its the area between Columbia (east), Cambie/Homer (West), Hastings (North), and Water (South), save for the 300 block Carrall and the blocks of Hastings east of Abbott, which we classify as being part of the Downtown Eastside’s core. It has come a long way since its day as the Township of Granville and the great conflagration of 1886 (which burned most of it to the ground), ebbing and flowing over the decades as a hard-edged entertainment nexus where much of the rest of Vancouver feared to tread.

Over the last ten years, however, Gastown’s slice of the city’s zeitgeist was fattened by a large number of interesting, independent, and cocktail-forward eateries launched by a new generation of young restaurateurs. It also saw a new wave of higher end retail shops and fashionable boutiques open during this same time frame, not to mention the arrival of new lofts, condominiums, and the new Woodwards building. All of these new developments have transformed/gentrified the neighbourhood, some argue for the better and others for the worse. Doubtless it’s become something of an “it” destination, similar to Yaletown in the early 2000′s, which is to say it’s quite possibly cursed with a future full of stretched SUV limousines, shitty chain restaurants, and people who want to fight for no good reason at all.

History and angst aside, it’s no longer easy to get a table as a walk-in on a Friday night, so if you’re headed this way (and you really should), be sure to make at least the roughest of game plans.

current-poll

Which restaurant serves up the best burger in Vancouver?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

the-colour-palette

gastownpalette

Standard post-1886 fire brick red/brown; stained copper green barrel base of the Gassy Jack statue; soft, spherical yellow streetlights at night; Blood Alley beer piss; broken fake cobblestone grey; ubiquitous Corbel Commercial Real Estate “For Lease” sign blue; Juice Truck pink; Guinness brown; green summer leaves of Maple Tree Square; the new “W” sign atop the Woodwards development; Meat & Bread house mustard yellow; cigarette filter brown.

here-you-will-find

5985214109_53f84bca3a_z

GOOD GRAFFITI AND WHEAT PASTE/STENCIL ART
FOOTBALL MIKE KEEPING THINGS IN ORDER
THE OLD FIREPLACES OF “THE NEW FRISCO HOTEL”
A RESTAURATEUR HAPPY HE NEVER JOINED THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION
ALEX “RHEK” USOW CREATING INTERESTING THINGS
AN ANCIENT, UNUSED BAR HIDDEN IN A HOTEL BASEMENT
OLD SCHOOL POWELL PERALTA SKATE SHIRTS
DESIGN MASTERPIECES AT INFORM INTERIORS
THE STENCH OF STALE URINE AT THE EASTERN ENTRANCE OF BLOOD ALLEY
A PARADISE FOR SHOE FETISHISTS
SOME VERY PRETTY AXES

what-to-eat-and-drink

4813734184_e0c2a14cda_z

THE FULL BRUNCH SPREAD AT WILDEBEEST
MAPLE BACON CHOCOLATE BAR AT MEAT & BREAD
BRUSSELS SPROUTS & PORK BELLY AT POURHOUSE
SUMMERTIME PATIO PINTS AT CHILL WINSTON
A MINT JULEP AT THE DIAMOND
THE FONDANT POTATOES AND AN AVIATION COCKTAIL AT L’ABATTOIR
A CUP OF COFFEE AT REVOLVER
PIZZA AT NICLI
BEEF & PORK ALBONDIGAS AT THE SARDINE CAN
FRESHLY MADE CHOCOLATE AT EAST VAN ROASTERS
GARLIC BUTTER & PARMESAN POPCORN AT SIX ACRES
WILD SOCKEYE NIGIRI AT SEA MONSTR SUSHI
AN H-MADE COCKTAIL AT NOTTURNO
A PINT OF THE DARK AT THE IRISH HEATHER

cool-things-of-note

12555253723_466101f80a_z

- The triangular Hotel Europe on Powell Street was Vancouver’s first reinforced concrete structure and the first fireproof hotel in Western Canada.

- In 1971, police arrested 79 people in Maple Tree Square after a protest against drug laws and raids escalated into a bloody brawl between protestors and armed police. This is known as the Gastown Riot.

- Blood Alley’s nomenclature is not so spooky: the alley is actually named Trounce Alley, and the connected “Blood Alley Square” was named by a city planner in the 1970s as part of a project to revitalize and draw attention to the area.

- In 1869, Vancouver’s first jail was built in the Township of Granville (informally known as Gastown). It consisted of two cells constructed of logs, and later was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1886.

- The Boulder Hotel at 1 West Cordova (the original Boneta location, RIP) was once the central point of the Granville Township in the 1890′s, and features stones mined from Queen Elizabeth Park.

- The massive 1972 street “renovation” of Gastown was noted as being the first time in North America that perfectly good roads were torn up to be rebuilt in the old style.

- The “historic” steam clock, an iconic Gastown landmark, was actually built in 1977 and features three electric motors.

- Chef/Restaurateur John Bishop got his start cooking in Gastown in the 1970′s.

- The NABOB Coffee Company was founded in Gastown in 1896, in what is now The Landing (home to the Steamworks Brewing Company).

things-we've-seen

———————————————–

GOODS | Vegetarian Eatery “The Parker” Bumps Up Service To Seven Nights A Week

February 25, 2014 

The Parker is located at 237 Union St. in Strathcona/Chinatown | Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | theparkervancouver.com

The Parker is located at 237 Union St. in Strathcona/Chinatown | Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | theparkervancouver.com

The GOODS from The Parker

Vancouver, BC | The Parker is very excited to be adding full dinner service on Sundays and, of course, Meatless Mondays. Diners can now book their table from their cell phone for what has become the hottest Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-free dining destination in Vancouver. With the extraordinary value of the $29 five-course Chef’s Choice Dégustation, along with Steve Da Cruz’s ever-changing showcase of wine and cocktails to pair with Chef Curtis Luk’s playful and inventive cuisine, there have never been better reasons to try something different. Any day you like. Read more

SMOKE BREAK #1092 | Animated Interview With Ex-Vancouver Resident Jimi Hendrix

PBS just dropped an excellent animated treatment of Jimi Hendrix’s last interview on September 11th, 1970 (a week before he died). Hendrix spent a lot of his childhood in Vancouver, living in Strathcona with his grandmother, Nora, who was a cook at Vie’s Chicken and Steak House. The eatery used to sit near the corner of Prior and Main in what was then known as Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver’s first (and last) black neighbourhood, which was largely destroyed when the City tried to get into the freeway business and failed (as evidenced by the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts). In case you didn’t know, there is a shrine/micro museum dedicated to Hendrix where the eatery used to back onto the alley that now faces the Union Bar.

TAKE ANOTHER BREAK

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The Ping Pong Punk Rock History Of 828 East Hastings St.

hastings2_effected

by Stevie Wilson | The Hastings Dance Studio at 828 East Hastings sits like a bright orange beacon just east of Hawks Avenue in Strathcona. Unless you’re an avid flamenco dancer or table tennis star you might not know much about what goes on inside. For decades, this building has been a community center and hotspot for swing dances, readings, boxing matches, punk rock shows, weddings, and even political rallies. It was constructed with funds collected by the local Veneta society, debuting in 1928 as the Silver Slipper. It was the first Italian Hall in the area, catering to this growing cultural demographic in the area.

Soon after launching, the building’s purpose broadened in scope, blooming brighter as a general community hub. By the 1930s, The Celestial Gents (Canada’s first modern Chinese swing band) were playing here to much fanfare, as were The Pony Pals, an early version of the 1940s BC country band The Rhythm Pals. Various dances and sock-hops geared towards Vancouver’s growing teen population were also a fixture.

Following the Second World War and the forced interment of Japanese-Canadians, the Vancouver Buddist Temple utilized this address as their interim space before moving to their current location a few blocks to the southwest on Jackson Avenue in 1954. By the 1960s, the building had been renamed the Hastings Auditorium and featured a unique neon sign depicting a couple in the midst of a ballroom-dancing. In the 1970s, it continued to operate as a meeting place for a variety of community groups and gatherings, including the Vancouver chapter of the notorious Fair Play for Cuba Committee (made famous by the membership of Lee Harvey Oswald prior to his assassination of JFK).

With the 1980s came another transformation: the venue became well known for alternative music shows. It became a mainstay in the growing Vancouver punk scene alongside other spots such as the Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret and the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. The name changed, too: fans of local bands, including the Pointed Sticks, D.O.A., and Young Canadians (formerly The K-Tels) will remember it as Viking Hall.

1175263

The hall was also the site of Charles Bukowski’s last poetry reading outside of the United States. It was in 1979, and entrance cost $6. The evening featured Bukowski’s typical boisterous banter with the 650-person crowd in-between a 17-poem set. Video footage of the reading, thought lost for several years, was eventually organized by fan Dennis Del Torre into a documentary film nearly 25 years later, entitled There’s Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here. Those in the know might also recognize the venue from Dennis Hopper’s 1980 cult classic Out of the Blue, which features a (half) live scene of the Pointed Sticks playing two of their songs for the crowd.

These days the address still serves as a community space. Known as the Hastings Dance Hall, it’s home to Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy and the Vancouver Table Tennis Club. Much has changed inside, but the exterior – aside from a few coats of bold paint and missing original signage – remains much the same. Enjoy a peek next time you’re in the area, and maybe try out a few moves!

YOU SHOULD KNOW EVEN MORE

——————————————————————————————-

Stevie Wilson is a historian masquerading as a writer. After serving as an editor for the UBC History Journal, she’s decided to branch out with a cryptic agenda: encouraging the people of Vancouver to take notice of their local history and heritage with You Should Know, a Scout column that aims to reveal to readers the many historical things that they walk past every day without noticing.

GOODS | The Parker In Chinatown Making “Dégustation Menu” A Permanent Feature

The Parker is located at 237 Union St. in Strathcona/Chinatown | Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | theparkervancouver.com

The Parker is located at 237 Union St. in Strathcona/Chinatown | Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | theparkervancouver.com

The GOODS from The Parker

Vancouver, BC | The Parker is proud to deliver Chef Curtis Luk’s new Dégustation Menu as a permanent menu feature. We’re very excited to start 2014 off on the right foot by delivering outstanding value for all our guests with 5 courses shared for 2 or 4 people for only $29 each.

Much has been made over the healthy lifestyle that vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dining can offer, and we’re thrilled to help lessen the wallop on the wallet. Each dinner is unique and designed toward each diner’s specifications. We love wowing our vegan and gluten-free clients with our beautiful plating.

The Parker is also looking forward to introducing some new wines from the old world in 2014 as it continues to discover the best of BC and beyond. Wine lovers can expect small lot selections and unique pairings from Steve Da Cruz as well as an ever-growing prowess on the wood from Nich Box.

Thanks to everyone for all their support over the past year. We anticipate the next to be even greater! Reservations can be made on our website. Learn more about The Parker after the jump. Read more

GOODS | Both Campagnolos Ready To Roll In “Alla Famiglia” Style On New Year’s Eve

December 19, 2013 

1020 Main St. | 604-484-6018 | campagnolorestaurant.ca | 2297 East Hastings St. | 604-569-0456 | www.campagnoloroma.com

1020 Main St. | 604-484-6018 | campagnolorestaurant.ca | 2297 East Hastings St. | 604-569-0456 | campagnoloroma.com

The GOODS from Campagnolo & Campagnolo Roma

Vancouver, BC | Main Street’s Campagnolo and Hastings-Sunrise’s Campagnolo ROMA are both serving up family-style feasts on New Year’s Eve. Alla famiglia groups of 4 or more at Campagnolo will receive multiple dishes of antipasti, primi, pizza, secondi and dolci for $48 per person from 5pm until close. To reserve, call 604-484-6018. At ROMA, it’s a chef’s choice feast of antipasti, primi, pizza and dolci priced at $39 per person for parties of 2 or more with bookings from 5pm until close. Call 604-569-0456 to reserve. Note that a credit card number is required at the time of booking at both restaurants and that reservations are only available for the New Year’s Eve menu. Learn more about both restaurants after the jump… Read more

« Previous PageNext Page »