Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm back!

I know you're all very disappointed that I didn't blog while I was away, right? The truth is, I had neither the time, the inclination, nor the internet access to do right by you, dear readers. I apologize.

I did, however, witness the launch of Discovery first hand from Cocoa Beach, which was a rare treat indeed. Other treats included fabulous meals at Narcoossee's, Joe's Crab Shack, Jack Baker's Lobster Shanty, and my family's perennial favourite, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre. I hear secondhand from my parents that their dinner at Victoria & Albert's was nothing to sneeze at, either. While they were there, my sisters and I spent a rather eventful evening at the Wall Street Plaza, before heading to the rooftop bar at Vain. I have to say that my time spent enjoying cocktails outdoors the other day made the snow a little harder to take upon my return. But alas, here I am, ready once more to share with you the chilly wonders of East Van. It's good to be home.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Can Has Pixie Dust!

Tomorrow morning I'm getting on the first of three flights that will take me to that mecca of crass but irresistible commercialism, Walt Disney World! Not necessarily the destination I would have picked, but it will be an extremely fun family vacation, nonetheless!

I'll try to slip in some restaurant reviews, but consider this your warning that any content forthcoming this week will be of the Floridian ilk. Shield your eyes if you must, East Vanners, this could get sparkly.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Golden Afternoon

Yesterday evening I ran to my car amid a sudden downpour of hailstones. They were admittedly child's play, compared to the golf and baseball sized stones I've witnessed in Calgary, but still. Rounding the highway to Vancouver, I saw a brilliant opening in the sky, all pink and orange. A week or so ago we had another of these magnificent sunsets, but I missed that one. Yesterday I got right outside as soon as I got home to take in the light show. Unfortunately, these were all taken by my iPhone, so the quality is lacking, but damn, was it ever spectacular. Enjoy!

Curiously, just as I rounded the freeway bend into Coquitlam this morning, a suspiciously similar hailstorm began out of nowhere. Almost as if it had never stopped in the first place...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Post Valentine's Reminder

Anyone who knows me well would tell you that I spend a lot of time fretting about my financial situation. It seems like there's never enough to make it until the next payday, let alone save for emergencies or the future.

I chanced upon a nice scene today that encouraged me to chill out about the perpetual lack of funds and spend more of my mental energy being grateful for all the love in my life. Thank you, anonymous fabric graffiti artist; you made my day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

East End Blues & All That Jazz

February is Black History Month, which I think is a much more worthwhile cause for celebration than Valentine's Day. But I digress...

If you're looking for a way to mark this special month, I can't think of anything better than a performance of East End Blues & All That Jazz. This "musical tribute to Vancouver's historic East End black community" is running three shows this weekend at the Firehall Arts Centre. Tickets are very reasonably priced ($15 students/seniors, $20 everyone else). If I weren't headed to sunnier climes on Saturday morning, I would definitely check this out. Thanks to my awesome neighbour/new friend Travis for the tip!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Canada Screens: Small Town Murder Songs

The next Canada Screens is happening this Thursday, February 17 at District 319. Buy your tickets here before it's too late! The movie is Small Town Murder Songs, which sounds positively riveting. Same deal: pre-party at 6:30, and the show starts at 7:30, and a post film Skype rehash with the director. I have a contingent of friends attending, but sadly, as it's on a Thursday again, I won't be able to make it. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


On this morning's walk, I came across indisputable proof that no one, truly no one, can resist the siren song of a free buttermilk biscuit from McDonald's. I had a bite of A's, and it was indeed delicious, but we were justly horrified when the grease ran down her sleeve. She did make a rather bold proclamation though: apparently the classic Egg McMuffin is better.

For a while last year, I got weekly deliveries from spud and I love what they're doing. I had to suspend my deliveries because I don't actually need enough groceries to make it worthwhile, and I can ill afford their admirable emphasis on organic and local. In my oft-imagined hypothetical future where I have somehow considerably increased my cashflow, I see myself reanimating our relationship. If you don't live alone, and aren't on a super tight budget, it's worth checking out. Their selection and customer service are both great, and it's obviously very convenient.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monument for East Vancouver

Ken Lum's large scale light installation been up for a little over a year now, and the controversy over the symbol's origins seems to have mostly died down. Personally, I couldn't love it any more than I do. I chose to name my blog what I did knowing full well the gang connotations of the phrase as an addendum to the cross symbol in decades past. I think the sculpture and the name of my blog (to an admittedly MUCH smaller extent) speak to the richness and many layered nature of this area's culture and history. Check out a short video about the piece's construction and installation here. (Sorry the embedding isn't working for me!)

Thanks to Canuckism for passing along the video!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

As you've probably heard, last Thursday marked the beginning of a new year in the Chinese calendar. Walking down Hastings near Nanaimo today, I chanced upon a miniature version of the parade planned for tomorrow through Chinatown and the DTES. Billed as Chinatown's signature event, the Chinese New Year Parade began in 1974 and has been organized by the Chinese Benevolent Association since 1979. This year's parade route is a little over a kilometre, beginning at noon tomorrow, February 6, at the Millennium Gate on Pender.

I managed to finagle my way into the parade, (in a capacity which I will not reveal here!), along with my friend who is visiting from Calgary for the weekend. Aside from Little League opening day festivities in my younger days, I've never marched in a parade. Said friend hasn't been in one since a Santa Claus parade in Regina circa 1989. You can imagine our collective excitement.

The parade is just one aspect of the planned celebrations; there is also a free festival with family activities, and a post-parade ticketed banquet at the Floata restaurant. It should be a great time, as long we manage not to celebrate too hard tonight in our planned rockout downtown!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tonight at the Waldorf

Last November, a combination of an irresistible social coupon deal and poor impulse control on my part led me to get half of my hair cut off. Thus, it will be a while before I patronize Barbarella salon at the Waldorf as an actual customer. Luckily, this reality doesn't preclude me from checking out their launch party tonight! Also taking off tonight is the first of planned monthly multi-room parties: The History of Dance.

I've become an almost weekly regular at Nuba, I went to a private party in the downstairs cabaret once, and I've been known to haunt the Tiki Bar on occasion. Despite all this, I have yet to check out one of the Waldorf's increasingly legendary parties, mostly due to insanely long line-ups and a lack of planning.

There's no time like the present, plus I have a friend coming into town tonight from Calgary. He's been dying to check out the Tiki Bar, and with all these special events, the Waldorf is certainly the place to be tonight. See you there!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Belgian Brunch

For something a little different, we headed to Beatty Street for a breakfast straight outta Belgium. I had only been to Cafe Medina once before. Last winter, there was a short article in the Sun inviting people to bring warm clothing to a fundraiser at the Medina. In exchange for a jacket, donors would receive a free drink, which I had assumed would be a latte or something similar. Instead I stumbled headlong into a rather exuberant party with beautiful people standing around trays of beautiful canapes. Never one to pass up free food and drink, I happily accepted my cocktail and tried in vain for the next 45 minutes to get someone to talk to me. I always use this story as an example of how people in Vancouver are a bit more aloof and cliquey than folks on the prairies. I highly doubt that I would have had trouble sustaining a conversation with strangers if this party had taken place in Calgary, for example.

But I digress. My mom opted for a hot chocolate, which was exactly as she hoped it would be: frothy and not too sweet, made with real chocolate. I had boring loose leaf tea, as I was nursing the slightest of hangovers. The paella pleased with very flavourful orzo, andouille sausage, avocado, and unidentified but tasty green objects as a garnish. I wanted an omelette (no surprise there!), but in the name of interesting food blogging, I went for the waffles. I ordered two waffles (about $3 each) with three toppings ($1 each). The waffles were just as good as ones I had years ago in Belgium itself, and the toppings were a revelation: good old mixed berry compote, milk chocolate lavender, and white chocolate pistachio rosewater. Yum. For an average female appetite, I bet two waffles would do it, but I don't have one of those, unfortunately. Luckily, I did not get my insatiable appetite from my mother, so she generously let me polish off the last of her paella. I'm more into the old school diner type of place for breakfast, but Cafe Medina offers something different, which is definitely welcome.

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