VANCOUVER DETAIL #283: Who Knows The Origins Of The Mysterious ‘Brite Cafe’ Sign?

You may have seen this “Brite Cafe” sign while it was sitting on the floor at Rainier Provisions in Gastown. It was found in the basement of an old building at East Hastings and Heatley but its origins are unknown to us. We’ve googled the hell out of it, but to no avail. If any of our heritage-minded readers can solve the mystery, please let us know in the comments below! Cheers and thanks!

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VANCOUVER DETAIL #282: Awesome Cycle Tire Pump Just Installed At Hawks & Union

The city recently installed this new public bicycle pump on the Adanac Bikeway at Union & Hawks in Strathcona. It’s really simple. Cyclists (or parents with newfangled jogger strollers) just roll up, stabilize whichever tire(s) needs air in the bracket provided, click in and then pump using a handy foot lever. Note that it only works with Schrader valves. If your tires have Presta valves, you’re in luck as another (Presta-friendly) pump was just installed not far away at the entrance to Science World. Bonus: cherry blossoms! Ride on!

UPDATE: It does that Presta valves! You just have to read the pictogram directions!

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Vancouver Detail is an offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the less macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight.

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

VANCOUVER DETAIL #281: There Is A Gigantic Sundial On The Roof Of Tinseltown

February 13, 2013 

What the hell is this for? The top image is from Reddit and the bottom one is from a local realtor who writes:

This picture was taken from my studio listing at The Taylor located at 550 Taylor Street. So this picture was taken from the 20th floor. The building to the left of the picture is the Europa building at 63 Keefer Place. This view is looking West over the roof from the East.

If you look closely, it’s WTF o’clock.

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Vancouver Detail is an offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the less macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight.

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

VANCOUVER DETAIL #280: Easter Island “Moai” Statue Hiding On A Strathcona Roof

January 28, 2013 

Because of course, right? Viewable from Hawks Ave on the eastern edge of Maclean Park in Strathcona.

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Vancouver Detail is an offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the less macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight.

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

VANCOUVER DETAIL #279: The Sculpture At The Top Of Century House On Richards

January 22, 2013 

Even in the fog it’s easy to make out the sculpture on the top of the old Beaux-Arts building at 432 Richards Street. From a distance it might look like two beavers spraying clouds of musk on your second to least favourite chess piece (the feeble rook), but the reality of it is far less exciting. It’s really just the emblem of the building’s original owner, the Canada Permanent Mortgage Corporation; two beavers flanking a lighthouse being the early Canadian equivalent of Helvetica in lower case. Not exactly riveting, but a facet of our city’s history nonetheless.

We know it not only as Century House, but also as the Canada Permanent Building, an old pile that has hosted many an unsuitable thing since the suits vacated it in 1951 (everything from a bank to a book store). Its most recent incarnation was as a club/restaurant called Century. If you’ve never heard of it, you didn’t miss much except for a mural-sized portrait of Che Guevara and seven shades of Tuscan regret colouring the splendour of a shell that had been shucked 50 years previous.

The Class “A” heritage building’s glory days may have been on pause for a while, but its granite bones still project a sense of power and permanence, and the interior, with all its gleaming marble and vaulted ceilings, remains one of the most dramatic in the city. Good luck to whoever hopes to resurrect it next.

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Vancouver Detail is an offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the less macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight.

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

VANCOUVER DETAIL #278: Smeagol The Eagle Scores Some Chow For Baby Gollum

This is Smeagol the East Side Eagle flying low over McLean Park with a seriously ripped apart crow in his clutches. He’s on his way back to his mate Deagol to feed their one remaining eaglet, who we’ve taken to calling Gollum. The new (fully brown) fella can be viewed – from a respectable distance with binoculars – testing his wings in the massive, unmissable aerie/nest located in the tall tree near the southwest corner of Strathcona Park. I reckon Gollum is about eight weeks old now, about as big as his folks. He’s always hungry, so both Smeagol and Deagol are taking turns to hunt for him several times a day. If you walk under the aerie, the ground is littered with bones.

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Vancouver Detail is a new (and overdue) offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the more macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight. 

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

VANCOUVER DETAIL #277: Brass Elephants Wrapping Up The Foot Rail At “The Diamond”

February 24, 2012 

It gets pretty dark in The Diamond (6 Powell St. in Gastown) and there’s often drinking involved, so don’t blame yourself for missing these brass elephant youths wrapping their trunks around the bar’s foot rail. I’d never seen them until very recently. Owners Mark Brand and Josh Pape found the set of proboscideans at a liquidation auction held in memory of a defunct Port Moddy pub. You’d think the set would be a one of a kind in Vancouver, and for a while they thought it to be. Lo, the exact same one holds the toes of tourist tipplers at the Old Spaghetti Factory just a few doors west on Water Street. Are there others?

Bonus: this is now your default alibi for staring at bar floors.

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

VANCOUVER DETAIL #276: Elevator Doors Depicting Frogs Being Eaten By Mean Herons

February 20, 2012 

In the bowels of the ancient Sinclair Center (757 West Hastings Street between Granville and Howe), across from the sketchy food court and underneath the passport office, there are a series of beautiful brass elevator doors, each one depicting the unappetizing scene above. See the heron’s raised foot? That can’t be good. Poor frog.

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EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

VANCOUVER DETAIL #275: Bending Elbows Where Scores Of Strippers Once Bent Knees

February 16, 2012 

If you’ve ever been to the new Boneta in Gastown (of course you have), you’ve probably seen this oddly-shaped brass pole at the end of the short bar. Though seemingly without function, it is nevertheless a priceless piece of Vancouver’s past. It came out of the old Drake Showlounge, the venerated but sketchy stripclub at the foot of the ancient and storied Drake Hotel (606 Powell). The City purchased the building for $3.2 million back in 2007 (apparently from the Hell’s Angels), and have since renovated it for SROs. Back in the summer, they opened the main floor’s interior up for salvage grabs. Among the discarded flotsam, Boneta owners Mark Brand and Neil Ingram found the brass pole that the strippers once employed to help them up and down the dance stage (ie. not the pole they used to gyrate upon, the fate of which remains unknown). “This can’t be allowed to just disappear,” Ingram remembers thinking upon the discovering it. He and Brand purchased it on the spot and carted it down to their new bar, which was then under construction. There, it has been anchored it ever since as a piece of our history, suitably recycled.

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Vancouver Detail is a new (and overdue) offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the more macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight. 

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

Vancouver Detail #273: Smeagol The Eagle, A Winged Fixture Of The Downtown Eastside

February 10, 2012 

This is Smeagol the Eagle, a bald eagle with an 8ft wingspan who is omniscient in the skies over Chinatown, Strathcona, and the whole of the Downtown Eastside. His daily perch sits atop the cross of the Korean Foursquare Church at 431 Princess (at East Pender), where he is well known to the kids of Strathcona School just across the street. Smeagol has a lifemate named Deagol, and the two of them can often be seen swooping, calling, hunting, or just plain hanging out out high, contemplating their urban domain. Next time you’re in the area, look up and say hi.

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Vancouver Detail is a new (and overdue) offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the more macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight. 

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

Vancouver Detail #272: Troops Train For D-Day Invasion On Kits Beach (While You Pee)

February 7, 2012 

As seen in the men’s washroom at Vera’s Burger Shack | 213 Carrall Street in Gastown

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Vancouver Detail is a new (and overdue) offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the more macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight. 

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

Vancouver Detail #271: Hand Drawn Map Of Our City By Sean Colohan At “Style Garage”

February 2, 2012 

Us: “Woah! That’s pretty cool.”
Sean: “Yeah”
Us: “Who did it?”
Sean: “I did.”
Us: “It must have taken awhile.”
Sean: “Yup.”

Chalk Map of Vancouver (from found image) | by Sean Colohan | Style Garage | 124 West Hastings 

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Vancouver Detail is a new (and overdue) offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the more macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight.