New Chinatown Eatery Invites Diners To Hang Their Family Photos

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by Andrew Morrison | When Simon Kaulback and Ron Oliver opened Mamie Taylor’s in Chinatown last month, they had spent the better part of a year collecting old (and weird) taxidermy, plates (no two are the same), and begging strange bits and bobs off friends and colleagues so as to make their restaurant feel like it was one of a kind. I don’t think they’ve gotten everything up yet, but every wall now has something hanging off of it. All of them, that is, except one; the big green monster at the front of the room that everyone passes when they walk through the door. They’ve reserved that one for you.

Well, probably not for you. They’ve kept it for your crazy grandmother and for your wild Dad in the days before he met your Mom. It’s for your Godmother who once drove a tractor through a barn on a dare and for your Grandfather who shot down a few planes over France in the war that he never talked about. Kaulback and Oliver want Vancouverites to start rummaging through the old framed photos that their spouses won’t let them hang (for whatever reason) and consider sharing them with the world on this, their last naked wall.

So, if you have an old photo of your hippie mom smoking reefer, they want it. Got a shot of your great-grandfather swinging a 3 wood off the deck of a tug boat? Sounds about right. What about a photo of your Uncle on the stoop of your family cabin with a young woman who isn’t your Aunt on his lap? Yup. What about a blown-up photo of your Dad wearing a see-through raincoat holding a beer and a shotgun? Perfect. Now you’re talking! Basically, they’re looking for aged and interesting Canadiana for this art wall; the goal being the creation of a public safety deposit box of customer legends and memories that would otherwise be forgotten and gathering dust in a box under your stairs. It’s a cool idea.

Of course they aren’t going to take just anything. There are some goalposts. Participants must…

1. Instagram a picture of their photo(s) to @mamietaylors with the hashtag #greatwallofchinatown.

2. Frame their photo (if it isn’t already).

3. Be willing to surrender the photo (uninsured) for at least one year.

4. Not be older than the photograph (“unless you’re really fucking old,” Simon says).

Keep in mind that they aren’t looking to own your photographs. They just want to hang them and hear the stories. And because there is only a finite amount of space available, they won’t be accepting every photo that gets submitted. If you’re interested, they’ll be checking their Instagram feed often, so get digging for the #greatwallofchinatown today.

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