Saturday, May 23, 2015

Vancouver's Best Kept Secret

My exploration of the Fraser River continued this weekend, with a bike ride to the "River District" development. And along the way my companion and I stopped in at what might be the last authentic diner in Vancouver. Locals only (they didn't disappoint in the character department), classic Chinese/Canadian greasy spoon fare, friendliest service ever by the only guy working there (Jimmy, the owner), red vinyl booths (need I say more). Un-modified, un-hipsterfied, and hard to find unless you know where to look. Unfortunately we had already eaten, but the coffee was good, and I'd go back for the $4 breakfast.

The Northern Café (formerly the Lucy Tim Café (LT Café)) dating from the 60s is at the back of a lumber yard buzzing with manly-man aura. Don't be scared, keep walking past the two-by-fours, soffits, and hinges, and ignore hostile glare from gruff looking fellow with German Shepard straining at the leash.

Tragically, Wannabee's Funk & Stuff was not open. Though you can peek in the windows at the weirdness. It looks nothing like a store – more like an eccentric's workshop full of unfinished projects. Impossible to capture on film so I didn't try.

Up the stairs, and down the hall... watch your step.

Yeah, it's good.

Portrait of Bert, the founder of Northern Building Supply. Could he be more perfect? 

Signage for the ladies' room was very emphatic. Consequently, the ladies' room was actually quite clean and serviceable.

Find your way out...

Proceed to wonderful trails along the river.

Stumbled upon a pre-sales opening day.

The perfect life. No, seriously. Look at those chairs.

What's he contemplating...

Further down the trail. Oh, look. A hummingbird! Let's get closer.

REAL CLOSE.

River District!

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Happy Show

I worked on some of the exhibit production for The Happy Show: Stefan Sagmeister at the Museum of Vancouver. Feels good to see it all up and looking great. (The show opens during the week Vancouver ranks lowest in life satisfaction.)

View Stefan's TED talk on happiness and design.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday in Strathcona

Coffee at The Wilder Snail

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Heritage Preservation – Vancouver Style

This is a grand Shaughnessy house with a Bel Air aspect. The house calls for preservation and enhancement of many charming architectural details. 
Unanimous support for this application as it retains and refurbishes a grand Shaughnessy house. This meritorious project fits the FSODP (First Shaughnessy Official Development Plan) and the Guidelines and greatly adds to the character and charm of the First Shaughnessy neighborhood.
– First Shaughnessy Advisory Design Panel Minutes 
I've regularly enjoyed walking past this 1925 Spanish Revival at 1656 Laurier Avenue. An application sign out front didn't seem too scary, as you're no longer allowed to demolish pre-1940 homes in this neighbourhood.

So it was quite a shock to walk past it the other day and see all but a ghostly shell remaining. Here's the real estate listing. Not exactly a tear-down by the looks of it. Enhancement, deconstruction. Potato, potahto. There's little doubt that everything inside was turned to wood chips.

The architect is Jim Bussey, the same man who brought these contentious town houses to the area. Most of his work is tasteful, so fingers crossed that at least the outside will be brought back to its former glory.