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The revolving towerâ€ƒ Vivian Leung , 692
Archive is Vancouverâ€™s people-powered magazine.
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H OW A R C H I V E WO R K S Our app finds the most popular photos in Vancouver and we publish them in a monthly magazine.
H OW T H E A P P WO R K S
It’s like Tinder for photography. Swipe up if you like a photo. Swipe sideways if you don’t care. If a photo sucks, swipe it down. You can swipe a photo only once, every swipe is equal, and all swipes are kept secret. Each photo is assigned a score based on these swipes. SUBMISSION DEADLINE
There’s a timer in the app that counts backwards from thirty days. When it reaches zero we stop counting swipes, pull the winning photos off the server, and make the magazine. A week later, copies of Archive can be found in cafés, restaurants, and shops across Vancouver. W H AT TO P H O TO G R A P H
There are four categories for your photos: People, Places, Things, and Monthly. People is self-explanatory. If a person is the focus of your photo it belongs in the People category. Places is for photos on a big scale like sunsets, landscapes, beaches, or architecture. Things is for the small stuff like food or animals. If the subject of the photo could fit in your living room, it belongs in the Things category.
Monthly will change every issue. It could be tattoos, the beach, cats, or black and white photos. Its purpose is to make each magazine different. If you’d like to suggest a monthly category, email it to email@example.com. W H AT N O T TO P H O TO G R A P H
Don’t be antisocial. Don’t post nudes. Don’t embarrass people. Don’t upload copyrighted material. Don’t post photos with watermarks. Don’t use the service to try to sell products. For fuck’s sake, do NOT post inspirational quotes. There are lots of ways to be a jerk with a camera, please avoid them all. If you encounter a photo that breaks one of these rules you can bring it to our attention by touching the three dots beside the photographer’s name. We will review it as soon as possible. T H E P H O TO S T R E A M
The default photostream consists of every photo on the network presented in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest). You can refine your stream at any time by touching the sandwich icon in the top left corner of the app. Browse a category by touching People, Places, or Things. If you want easy access to the photos your friends have submitted, touch the Following filter.
L E A D E R B OA R D
Top Photos is a list of the top 50 images based on score. It resets each month. Top Photographers is a list of people ranked by the average score of their five best photos in a given month. The winner will be interviewed and given a six-page spread to showcase their best photography in the following month’s magazine. CO M M E N T S
We didn’t include commenting in the app because user-generated comment sections often devolve into an orgy of racism and harassment. Instead, we will hand-pick someone from Vancouver each month to provide the text that accompanies the photography in the magazine. That person might be a comedian, a musician, or a bartender. Their profession is irrelevant so long as their comments are insightful, interesting, or funny. If you would like to be the commenter, read the three questions below and send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. 1. If you could fight one person from Vancouver (past or present, alive or dead) who would it be and why? 2. What is the worst restaurant (or bar) in Vancouver that is secretly good, and why? 3. Use a metaphor or simile to describe how people in Vancouver dress.
TRU E STORIES
W H AT ' S N E W I N T H E A P P
Our readers submit stories about their lives and we publish them. A story should be between 1200 and 1500 words, set in Vancouver, and based on real events. If interested, email a draft of your story to email@example.com. We are hiring writers for other elements of the magazine. If you’d like to write for Archive, True Stories is a good way to introduce us to your writing.
We have simplified the scoring. From now on, a photo’s score is calculated by taking up-swipes as a percentage of total swipes. It’s presented as a %. If 100% of the people swipe up on your photo its score will be 100 %. If half the people swipe your photo up it will score 50 %. Sideways swipes are considered abstentions.
F E E D B AC K
Nothing is more valuable than accurate criticism. If you have any comments, complaints, or ideas about how we could make a better magazine or do a better job running Archive please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I read every message and will respond when I can.
x 100 =
If the app isn’t working the way you think it should be working, that’s something we want to fix. Archive is still in its early stages and we want to build the best possible experience. If you notice something buggy, think something could be made better, or you want to get involved in other ways please send an email to email@example.com. T H E M AG A Z I N E
Archive is a record of the moments that animate life in Vancouver.
S U B S CRI B E A T P A T RE O N . C O M /A RCHIVE M A G A Z I N E 3
HOW WE CHOSE THE COVER — This photo was chosen as it aptly sums up the current global zeitgeist. Look we know everything is fucked right now, but please don’t throw yourself off a cliff. It’s going to get better, hopefully. In the meantime, whatever you do, do not read the comments section. Waiting to Take the Plunge Oliver Mann, 859
VA N C O U V E R
ISSUE 05 photos submitted between nov. 24, 2016— jan.27, 2017 PUBLISHER
Elective Media Inc.
Allan Harding firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORS AT LARGE
Samuel Kerr email@example.com
Douglas Haddow Michael Mann
Still Creek Press
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MAIN STREET Still Life – 2315 Main St
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— CHECK OUR WEBSITE OR IN THE APP FOR A LIST OF ALL LOCATIONS.
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IT H T IT H T
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I S S U E 0 5 | F E B R U A R Y
Contents 08 Editor’s Letter 12
24 In Your Mouth With David Stansfield John Bello, 753
25 Adult Colouring Book Art by Justin Gradin
28 Blow It Out Your Ear
People Comments by the Archive Staff
With Trevor Risk
46 I’m Still Here
By Sam Kerr
Places Comments by Dusty Baker
64 Stardust By Stacey Marcoux
66 Things Comments by Peter Gordon
78 Top Photographer Emmett Sparling
85 Winter is Coming
92 A Vancouver Crossword (with dick jokes)
Comments by the Archive Staff
Harrison Mooney and Merlin Von Duck
93 Congratulations, You Played Yourself By Doug Haddow
96 Top Rated Photo of Them All
ARCHIVE VANCOUVER IS MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THESE LOCAL BUSINESSES. IF YOU LIKE ARCHIVE SUPPORT OUR FRIENDS.
T E R E T
N D A T I
Alex Brielle Morgan, 691
the fine jewellery shoppe 217 w.hastings st.|604.681.0047 @cavaliergastown
#HowFarWouldYouGo | @CavalierGastown 217 W.Hastings St. Vancouver, BC
Editor’s Letter We’re Building a Website!
of new and interesting websites covering Vancouver. This was definitely a good thing. Unfortunately, as time went on the sites that secured the largest cultural footprint were the ones that pursued advertising dollars most aggressively. Since advertising seeks audience we ended up with stories about the “10 Best Bathrooms on BC Ferries, and you’ll never believe what’s at number 3!” It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just a function of an ad-based business model. And this brings us back to why Archive hasn’t made a website yet. If we are to succeed we want to do it because we make something that Vancouverites are willing to support. We constantly get emails from readers asking where they can find the latest issue of Archive Vancouver. And every month we run out of copies. So we’ve decided to start a subscription service. So here’s the pitch, for $9.95 (shipping included) we will mail you the latest copy of Archive Vancouver as soon as it’s off the press. If you can’t afford to part ways with 10 bucks but you still want to support Archive, we will take the change in your couch. For anything under $10 we will print your name on the friends and sponsors page of the magazine so people will know you’re part of the Archive fam. You can visit our subscription service on Patreon at www.patreon.com/archivemagazine If you like what we do, please support us.
SAM KERR 8 Archive
Lovely day to feed the birds Alison Boulier, 790
Our lack of a web presence thus far may have seemed like a deliberately obtuse personality quirk, like your off-the-grid friend who doesn’t have Facebook, but in reality it was just a matter of priorities. We have one developer who does all of the “hard computer stuff” and building our app was a reallife version of the Hugh Jackman scene from Swordfish for three months straight. To make a magazine that reflects Vancouver we needed an app that let people submit photos and then choose the ones to be published. Since we couldn’t have a magazine without an app, the app came first. To understand why we built our magazine before our website, it’s important to look at what made print valuable in the past. Newspapers, in every city, had a local monopoly over a variety of forms of advertising. This monopoly was reinforced by the large fixed costs associated with buying printing presses and managing a network of distribution. Then technology ended that monopoly. When the internet made distribution free it meant that newspapers were in competition with one another. Suddenly, people in Vancouver could read the New York Times if we wanted to. Also, web pages have no marginal unit cost so anybody could start their own blog which meant newspapers had to compete with a bunch of dudes in their mom’s basement. When the firewall protecting newspapers’ local advertising monopoly was breached we ended up with lots
2321 MAIN STREET • WWW.FOXCABARET.COM
All Photos © Lindsay’s Diet www.lindsaysdiet.com
A TWO FLOOR VENUE + NIGHTCLUB IN THE HEART OF MOUNT PLEASANT FOXCABARET
SU BSCRIB E TO A R C H I V E VA N CO U V E R If you like Archive, now you can support it as we started a Patreon page to run our subscription service. For $9.95 we will mail you the latest copy of Archive Vancouver as soon as it comes off the press. Shipping is included. Ten bucks may seem like a lot for a magazine but it’s pretty close to what you’d pay for a beer at the Cactus Club and it’s less than a pack of smokes. Hell, I paid $25 for nachos at Colony last week and that’s cheese melted on chips.
If you can’t afford to part ways with 10 bucks but you still want to support Archive, we will take the change in your couch. For anything under $10 we will print your name on the friends and sponsors page of the magazine so people will know you’re part of the Archive fam. For more information check www.patreon.com/archivemagazine
Top Photographers is a list of people ranked by the average score of their five best photos in a given month. The winner will be interviewed and given a sixpage spread to showcase their best photography in the following month’s magazine. Rank
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Congratulations to Barrie Underhill
on winning a spread in next month’s magazine. If we don’t get ahold of you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Von Hagen
The Charlie Waterproof Moto Jacket
Archive Staff Picks This month, we did something different with staff picks. Readers of Archive tell me that they love seeing portraits in the magazine, but pictures of human faces have been highly unpopular on the app lately. To square this circle, I asked the guys to choose a portrait as their staff pick. So, enjoy these fine portraits in spite of their terrible scores.
It is the year of the Rooster, so dance like there’s no one watching, love like you’ll never get hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and pound a two-six on a messy wedding party dance floor like your liver is some sort of alien parasite feeding off your life force and can only be destroyed through a nightmare-grade off-brand grain alcohol hangover. DOUG HADDOW
1 2 S taff P i c k s
look of disapproval John Bello , 616
- WHY THE TUCK NOT? www.thetuckshoppe.com | 604.620.6773 | 237 Union St. Vancouver, BC
The Mona Lisa is a brilliant painting because it captures the moment before a smile. There is a rumour of happiness beginning to form in her lips, even though it’s a painting and the smile will never actually arrive. Art historians have referred to this effect as “the uncatchable smile”. This photograph has a similar quality. Looking at her face, you can almost tell what she’s feeling and what she’s thinking. In fact, if you stare just long enough it becomes abundantly clear that she’s about to freak the fuck out. SAM KERR
Kate Kerluke , 669
1 4 S taff P i c k s
Because I’m old as dirt, I can tell you that the people this dickbutt is “paying homage” to wouldn’t care for him one bit. The coolest guy on the hill back in the ‘80s wasn’t Mr. Stretchy Pants with a zinced up nose, because that guy could actually ski. Guys in the ‘80s who dressed like this were always TERRIBLE skiers who had a need for speed. They were always smoking hash off of tinfoil with a half-cut bleach bottle and were completely soaked after the first run because denim is absorbent and they would eat shit CONSTANTLY. Those were the salad years. This guy probably likes Father John Misty. DUSTY BAKER
1 6 S taff P i c k s
Style for miles Tim Barker, 765
$3.95 TACOS ALL DAY
1117 Granville Street
There’s a thing on YouTube called the hat challenge where millennials throw hats onto each other’s heads. Because it’s the internet, the hat throws have predictably become more and more elaborate over time. This particular hat was thrown from the caboose of a passing train, as it went over a bridge approximately 400 meters above where hipster Indiana Jones is standing. The hat did not land on his head.
The Lift Off... Collab with @gillvanmastrigt Ben Williams, 744
1 8 S taff P i c k s
919 Granville Street www.studiorecords.ca @studiogranville
I vote hard no on tankers in the Georgia Strait and flaccid yes on mustard-coloured Speedos. DAVID STANSFIELD
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Third beach Helen Anna, 630
@PARALLEL49BEER PARALLEL49BREWING.COM FACEBOOK.COM/PARALLEL49BREWING @PARALLEL49BEER
“Alright man, let’s take a picture with the thing you love most.” *Grabs bat* “Hmm, okay. What about the thing you love the second most?” *Grabs girlfriend* HARRISON MOONEY
2 2 S taff P i c k s
Canadian Wasteland Dylan Maranda, 650
Hand Crafted Cocktails & Nigiri Specials 6 POWELL ST. GASTOWN www.di6mond.com diamondgastown
with David Stansfield
There used to be a show in the ’00s, probably on Showcase, where a skinny British guy travelled the world exploring weird sex. I can’t recall its name and googling “weird sex tv 00s” just took me to Buzzfeed. It doesn’t matter. I only remember one scene, but the memory of it sticks with me like a scar. There’s a bare room with a plastic sheet on the floor and folding chairs around the sheet. Each of the chairs has a cake on it. A blurry naked person stands in front of each cake. Then, all at once, everyone sits in their cake. A montage of blurred-out bodies writhing in cake follows. It’s the bizarro version of the squeaky-clean Eyes Wide Shut orgy scene. And I think it’s a perfect metaphor for Valentine’s Day. A cake with a butt in it on TV. Happy Valentine’s, Vancouver.
David began his wine career as a teenage cellar hand 20 years ago. Today, he works as an independent sommelier and is a co-host of the popular Sunday School wine school. When not ruminating on the grape, his interests include spy novels, escape rooms, contact juggling, Slovenian design, and beer.
Carne Cruda $18 – Kissa Tanto While young and broke, I took a girl on a dinner-and-a-movie date. The dinner was a bowl of soup and the movie a free video at the Scientology Centre on Hastings. I am not qualified to offer dating advice. However, I’ve worked in enough restaurants to watch other people date well. Here’s what I’ve learned: the best dates sit at the bar. Less awkward staring. More accidental touching. Better access to drinks. The sexiest bar in Vancouver is at Kissa Tanto in Chinatown. Order the Carne Cruda. It’s raw Snake River Farms Wagyu beef sexed-up with simple but decadent toppings. Raw meat is hot. Wappa $11/gram – Various Locations
Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Moulin-à-Vent $22.99 - BC Liquor Stores Marry/Fuck/Kill is a good game. The right combination really tests your core values. It’s a serious Betty/Veronica/ Midge situation. If I’m playing M/F/K with red wines, Gamay gets the F all day (Marry: Grenache; Kill: Zinfandel). The best Gamays come from 10 villages in Beaujolais called crus. Their wines are all about pleasure with just enough dirt to make them memorable. Cru Beaujolais is a guaranteed win for a fancy-restaurant date-night wine selection. It’s cheap but cool and drinks like good sex.
The Georgia Straight, like The Province, is best read from back to front. I’ll take the dessert of Dan Savage before the salad of local politics any day. The man gives good advice, though I struggle with his frequent suggestion to pair weed and sex. When I smoke with my hippie neighbour, it’s the last thing on my mind. Maybe he’s just not my type. With the right strain, I could be down. Try Wappa. It’s a sweet 60/40 Indica/Sativa split. The Indica relaxes the body while the Sativa provides a little euphoric lift. It’s the weed equivalent of Erykah Badu on Big Baby D.R.A.M.’s “WiFi” track.
R ADULT COLOURING BOOK “Bad Bromance”
Art by Justin Gradin
@ A RCHIVE A P P 2 5
Print Made Easy. www.stillcreekpress.com
Proud Printer of
Anarchy Sam Trafford, 495
BLOW IT OUT YOUR EAR with Trevor Risk Local man describes everything terrible about the music business in Vancouver. 28 Archive
VANCOUVER HATES (AND HAS ALWAYS HATED) HERSELF
Nick Gilder was too preppy for the tastes of the city’s music ou can’t say Vancouver is self-loathing if you work in fans—Bob Rock and Paul Hyde were once outcast by the punk a creative field without sounding sour and resentful. scene for being able to afford a taxi to a gig. However, even if the That kind of sentiment in most comparable cities punk/new wave scene numbers are as inflated as revisionists is reserved for the kind of person who failed to meet their make it seem, there’s still the fact to consider that people specific goals, and now wants to explain their failure away attended the event only to let him know how terrible he was, and with the fallacy that it must have been the city’s fault. In that he wasn’t welcome in his own town. “Hot Child in the City” Vancouver, however, if you speak to enough amateur local should probably be Vancouver’s official anthem, but instead it music and culture historians, you can piece together a fairly constant thread of Vancouver having hatred for her own talent exists to give Gilder PTSD. Two years ago I received an email with the subject line and product. “Shhhhh, Google Play Music invites you to play...” the “Shhhhh” It’s 1972, and a hockey series between Canada and part being fairly unsubtle (it’s the fifth “h” that’s boosts the Soviet Union’s best has just finished game four of the your mail-out open rate above 15%). To promote their brand, series. Canada has just lost the game 5-3 at Vancouver’s Google Play was throwing a super turbo secret party in a secret Pacific Coliseum. Boos pour down from all levels while a location featuring Vancouver’s flagship power-pop act, The sweat-soaked Phil Esposito pleads his case with Vancouver New Pornographers. The whole thing was only for the most fans, sitting in their miserable seats, seemingly taking special VIPs in the city, and no, there was to be no “plus ones”. pride in making their home team feel ashamed. Once out of A few days later I received another invite to the same event, Vancouver, the team trounces the Russians and creates the from a third-party publicist. Following that, a few days later, I most cherished Heritage Moment to an entire generation. received another one from a different publicist. Eventually I This might not be where it started, but it could be where was invited by five different points of contact and was asked to Vancouver decided it was going to hate itself permanently. spread the word, and could have as many spots as I required. I I moved to Vancouver at the age of 18, a decade and a half was out of town during the event, but scrolling my Facebook ago, from a tiny hee-haw town that’s most aptly described as feed I saw one saccharine post reading “Wow, got to see the Letterkenny. My closest major city growing up (not including New Pornographers last night with only about 25 other people Ottawa, because: Ottawa) was Toronto. Toronto loves herself in the room,” and I laughed to myself thinking “The New some Toronto. It’s an opposite but equal issue to Vancouver’s. Pornographers play field festivals in America, and have David Toronto allows Drake to coach the Raptors because he put Cross in their videos.” the CN Tower on his album cover. If a band is from Toronto, I get that this entire essay might read a bit too close to Sam it gets so much support from the city’s citizens that the rest Malone’s scorching-hot “Root for your home team” take from of the country is expected to follow suit. Even if it doesn’t the episode of Cheers where he was temporarily a sportscaster take anywhere outside of Ontario, it doesn’t matter to the (and rapped about having a groin injury), but it’s far more financiers because there are more people in the GTA than, complex than that. Wading through the general scorn one feels like, all of Western Canada (see: controller.controller). from attempting to expose a decades-long negative thread Toronto gets high sniffing her own farts, which actually throughout the heartbeat of a great city is difficult enough. originate in Oshawa. When I came to B.C., I thought that was standard for every Trying to reverse the mindset might be too much of a mountain to climb, even though literal mountain climbing is the preferred major city. I expected to see all my favourite Vancouver acts recreation of local music supporters. I grew up watching on The Wedge at small venues. I figured I remember once being in Hamburg at a music conference, the Pointed Sticks would be the parade marshals on B.C. Day. After I eventually realized this city was nothing like Toronto, I representing music from Vancouver, and two charming but frank German men approached me. “We hear you’re from set out to figure out the root of this dour phenomenon. Vancouver. Our favourite music is from there right now. That It’s the late 1970s and Vancouver is the world’s leading must be so fun to see them and to know them in your own city,” spot for new wave and punk (or so I’m told by every music one of them probed me. I told them that I know them personally, industry veteran and girlfriend’s mum who has ever told me and that I love them too, but the city isn’t really so big on some variation on this story). Vancouver’s Nick Gilder has an promoting them or supporting them, to which the other man international breakout hit, “Hot Child in the City”. He tours replied “Ja… das… actually incredibly stupid.” extensively as the direct support for The Cars, and the final It doesn’t matter how hot of a child you are in this city. At show with them is a homecoming in Vancouver. Less than best, you’re just gonna end up running wild and lookin’ pretty. three songs into the set (or three notes, depending on who tells the story) the boos pour down towards him. Shortly after, Roman candles fire towards him and his set ends early. @ A RCHIVE A P P 2 9
Feeding yourself to feed your city. Once a month we invite some of the finest chefs in the city to Save On Meats diner to plan a one of a kind “menu”. Proceeds from the evening go to support A Better Life Foundation’s meal programs, which feeds some of the city’s most vulnerable. To join or get involved www.greasyspoondiner.com
Fish & Chips Fish of the Day, Split Tar Tar Sauce , Roasted Cabbage, Dill, Lemon Gel, Potato Two Ways GREASY SPOON VOL. 23 FEATURING MARK SINGSON
3 2 P e opl e
Each month, we choose people from Vancouver to supply the comments that accompany the photos in the magazine. If you would like to be the commenter, check the questionnaire on page 2 and send your answers to email@example.com.
Commenter of the Month
A R C H I V E S TA F F
Stewie Tizya, 584
when an interviewer asked her about the injury she looked into the camera and said, “It’s never too cold for angels to fly.” When I look at this photo of a soaking wet girl surrounded by raindrops frozen mid frame, I can’t help but think about what this photographer must be saying to encourage her on in the face of these terrible weather conditions. I’ll bet it was, “Moisture is the essence of wetness.”
Echoes of the Afghan Girl Emmett Sparling, 835
: Sometimes a model has to endure the elements to get the perfect shot. I watched a show about a fashion shoot in Alaska. Temperatures were sub zero and the models were wearing basically nothing, and the photographer kept saying, “It’s never too cold for angels to fly,” which seemed totally inconsiderate since he was wearing a down jacket and gloves. At the end of the show it was revealed that one of the models had a mild case of frostbite on her left foot, and
When you work on a publishing schedule you find out that people are unreliable. This month, the professionally funny person we asked to supply the commentary for the People section didn’t show up to work. So that responsibility fell onto the Archive staff. We apologize in advance.
Caught in Raincouver Oliver Mann, 804 S U B S CRI B E A T P A T RE O N . C O M /A RCHIVE M A G A Z I N E 3 3
Fair-weather Friends John Bello, 768
: The two seagulls in the bottom righthand corner of the frame are so much cooler than the other birds. Just standing there, staring down their beaks at everyone like, “Look at these idiots, fighting over scraps of bread. Don’t they know there are literally mountains of hot garbage just down the road at Annacis Island? They’d lose their shit if they saw our vacation home at Cache Creek.”
Bond Illya Swan, 768
3 4 P e opl e
The chef Illya Swan , 788
: A hot tub on a cliff’s edge overlooking the city may work on Tinder but in Archive magazine it just makes you seem pompous. I bet this guy badmouths his “old yacht”.
Mornings at Big White Aaron Von Hagen, 779
@ A RCHIVE A P P 3 5
Brickwork Thai Go, 783 C.K. Thai Go, 825
3 6 P e opl e
Urban Hunter Illya Swan, 766
N.W.T. Illya Swan, 790
: Old people have the best sense of humour. An old timer in the produce section of Whole Foods once told me, “if life gives you melons, you’re probably dyslexic.” One time, at a hockey game, an elderly woman told me her “husband had the heart of a lion and a lifetime ban from the Toronto Zoo.” And I’ll never forget when I was walking down the street and this fella with blue hair dropped his pants on the sidewalk, took off his diaper and threw it at a passing bus. Hardy har har.
S U B S CRI B E A T P A T RE O N . C O M /A RCHIVE M A G A Z I N E 3 7
Let your dreams carry you away Oliver Mann, 831
3 8 P e opl e
One day I’ll be great Nick Ignatev, 794
@ A RCHIVE A P P 3 9
James Lynn Samantha Chan, 804
Window reflections Tee MissNomer, 791
: Don’t you hate it when the barista spells your name wrong on the coffee cup at Starbucks? I mean, what happened to customer service? I walk in and politely place my order the same way every day: a double ristretto venti half-soy nonfat decaf organic chocolate brownie iced vanilla double-shot gingerbread frappuccino, extra hot with foam whipped cream upside down, double blended, one Sweet’N Low and one Nutrasweet. Then I say my name very clearly. How hard is it to spell Kent?
4 0 P e opl e
John Bello, 815
S U B S CRI B E A T P A T RE O N . C O M /A RCHIVE M A G A Z I N E 4 1
Ballet BC Saad Ali, 764
: Is that ballerina throwing up a gang sign?
“Okay, back up a little.” “I’m touching the tree.” “Just a tiny bit more.” “Dude, I’m like in the tree.” “Now cover your face.” “Is this some kind of joke?” “Perfect. I got the shot.”
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Fly like a butterfly Nick Ignatev, 761
If you stare back you may never find yourself again Oliver Mann, 784
Mood Paige McCullough, 763
@ A RCHIVE A P P 4 3
jump for it Daniel Chau, 835
4 4 P e opl e
John Bello, 766
: According to Modern Angler Magazine the best way to have sex with a mermaid is the following: Lie mermaid faceup at the edge of a hot tub. Place a pillow under her fish parts for elevation. Extend the tail straight up in air. Partner then enters mermaid while standing or kneeling beside hot tub. Grip tail for leverage and stability needed for vigorous thrusting. Repeat mantra, “Moisture is the essence of wetness.”
Waiting for my ship to come... Aaron Von HageN, 783
: Sometimes a photo does more than capture a moment in time, it tells you about the future. This guy on the left, for example, is about to get his shoes wet. Wearing socks was a huge mistake.
n April of 1994, the CTV News Hour invited two rival gangsters on air to threaten one another. Bindy Johal was in studio, dressed in a leather jacket and white collared shirt with the top two buttons undone, his hair styled high and tight. He said, “This Jimmy Dosanjh, they portrayed him as a hit man, this-that. I guess he was a very serious person. From what I’ve seen of him on the street, I don’t think he could hit his way out of a paper bag.” At the time of the interview Jimmy Dosanjh was dead and Bindy Johal was the prime murder suspect. Ron Dosanjh, Jimmy’s brother, was also invited on a television to offer his perspective on the dispute. Ron said, “Bindy, I’m here and I’m badmouthing you, buddy. If anybody’s a nobody, buddy, it’s you. Maybe that’s why your life is worth a loonie on the streets. I wouldn’t shoot you in the back. I’d do it face-to-face, square in the forehead.” Two weeks later, Ron Dosanjh was murdered in a drive-by shooting. He was waiting for the traffic light to change at the corner of Kingsway and Fraser when a shooter pulled up beside his truck and opened fire with an AR-10 assault rifle in broad daylight.
This wasn’t your average gangland slaying. It was a public execution that had been foreshadowed on television and it made Bindy Johal into Vancouver’s first celebrity gangster. Bhupinder Singh Johal was born in Punjab, India on January 14, 1971. When he was four years old his family immigrated to Canada and set down roots in East Van. His father was a mill worker and his mother was a secretary. There is little reporting on Johal’s youth but it would seem that he had a normal childhood. Rob Sandhu, a teacher at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary, said, “When he came into Grade 8 it didn’t seem like he had any problems.” Five years later he was a different man. Johal’s propensity for violence and lack of respect for authority earned him a reputation in East Van and in the halls of Tupper. He was expelled from school in Grade 12 after a visit to the principal’s office ended in violence. The story goes that Johal was called in for a lecture about his attitude. When questioned about his alleged gang activity, he responded by kicking the vice principal in the groin so hard that the man needed to be rushed to the emergency room. Johal was charged with assault and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
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It was at Tupper where Johal met one of his first criminal associates: Faizal Dean, a member of Los Diablos street gang. Los Diablos was a mid-level criminal organization that retailed drugs on the street and carried out the violent “contract work” that larger outfits like the Lotus gang aimed to avoid. In the 1960s Los Diablos was mainly made up of people who spoke Spanish but the gang became more multiethnic over the years. By the time Johal joined in the late ’80s its members were almost exclusively of South Asian descent. Leadership of Los Diablos was held by the Dosanjh brothers; Ron was the brains and Jimmy was the muscle. They bought narcotics in bulk and used their network of dealers to distribute the cocaine to customers across the city. Johal was one of the dealers. When asked in court about his relationship with Jimmy Dosanjh, he said, “I was a smalltime drug dealer. He was a big-time guy. Wherever we went, we got respect because everyone was afraid of him... He was a big shot and when I was beside him, I was a big shot.” That relationship changed in 1991 when Jimmy Dosanjh was arrested for the murder of a Colombian cocaine trafficker named Teodoro Salcedo. With Dosanjh awaiting trial, Johal and Dean decided to go out on their own. They began buying cocaine in bulk and selling it on the streets in direct competition with Ron Dosanjh and Los Diablos. It was a ballsy move but Johal knew that Ron was vulnerable so long as his brother Jimmy was behind bars. The plan worked so well that some of Los Diablos defected to the new organization run by Dean and Johal. There was a tenuous peace between the rival gangs for a short period of time, and then a series of dramatic events unfolded that would thrust Bindy Johal into the public consciousness. First, Faizal Dean was arrested for the murder of Parminder Chana. On the night of October 12, Dean phoned Chana to set up a meeting, claiming that police had uncovered a credit card scam they were operating. Chana was on his way to work a night shift at an ICBC salvage yard in New Westminster so he suggested Dean meet him there. When Dean arrived accompanied by Rajinder Benji, Chana knew that the meeting wasn’t about credit cards. Chana was dating Benji’s 17-year-old sister and Benji didn’t like it one bit. According to court testimony, Dean held Chana down while Benji stabbed him 53 times. Two days later, Chana’s girlfriend, Jaswinder Benji, committed suicide, leaping to her death from Surrey’s Pattullo Bridge. She left a note behind which read, “When Parminder died. I died.” Local media weaved the combination of forbidden love, murder, heartbreak, and suicide into a modern day telling of Romeo and Juliet set in New Westminster. The public ate it up. The only witness to the Chana murder (other than the two co-accused) was Sanjay Narain. Narain was a liability as he was known to freebase cocaine and yap to women about his
criminal exploits. Johal decided to silence him. Writing for The Province, Neal Hall described an encounter: “On a December night in 1991, two cars pulled up to a road leading to the top of Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver. Young men in their early 20s got out and walked along the top of the dam on the Capilano River. They were expecting a drug deal to go down. But in the distance, a shadowy figure appeared. He wore a long trench coat. As he approached, he drew a gun, pointing it at the head of one man in the group—Sanjay Narain. Although police have heard various versions of what happened that night, investigators believe the man in the trench coat was notorious Vancouver gangster Bindy Johal.” Narain’s body was found in the Capilano River. He had been thrown to his death off of the Cleveland Dam. Anytime a murder witness gets killed there is a chilling effect on the public’s willingness to testify in court. If a key witness to a crime described as a Romeo and Juliet-style murder-suicide gets thrown to his death off a 300-foot tall municipal landmark, the public will probably take notice. Of course, Bindy Johal was the prime suspect. Given the circumstances of the crimes and the heat surrounding him, one might have expected the perpetrator to go into hiding. Not Johal. He enjoyed the infamy, and became a regular at nightclubs on Richards, Granville, and in Gastown. The fact that police followed him everywhere he went only added to his mystique. Johal had become the notorious gangster that he aspired to be when he learned the game under Jimmy Dosanjh. And then, right on cue, he was released from prison. Witnesses at the preliminary hearing for the murder of Teodoro Salcedo refused to identify Jimmy Dosanjh in court. As a result the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence and Jimmy was a free man. As one might expect, Dosanjh didn’t take too kindly to the idea that one of his former lieutenants was now operating a narcotics ring that was a parallel power to his own. Dosanjh wanted to return to the old order of things in East Van so he took out a contract on Bindy Johal’s life. It’s not clear how he caught wind of the assassination plot but once he did, Johal decided to spend some cash. Using backchannel communication he offered to pay the hit man twice the price to double-cross Jimmy Dosanjh. Shortly thereafter the hitman told Dosanjh that he had a shipment of stolen electronics that he wanted to offload. They set up a meeting in an alley at 33rd and Fraser and when Dosanjh arrived to view the stolen goods a pair of cars blocked off the ends of the alley, boxing him in. Then, gunmen started shooting. Death likely came as a surprise because a lit cigarette was found still smouldering on the ground beside Dosanjh’s body when the police arrived.
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The public was convinced that Johal was responsible for the murder of Jimmy Dosanjh. This opinion was so pervasive that Johal was invited on the evening news to opine on what the murder meant going forward with respect to the gang war in East Van. A credulous TV anchor sat across a desk from an unabashed gangster and asked for his opinion about a murdered foe. Next, reporters went to Ron Dosanjh’s house in search of truth, meaning, and a criminal’s opinions. Tit-for-tat gang violence escalated by the week. There were nightclub shootings, drive-by shootings, and shootings in the street. When Ron Dosanjh was gunned down in broad daylight at the corner of Fraser and Kingsway it seemed like the violence had reached its apex. Then, five days later, Glen Olson took Bindy’s dog for a walk. Olson was a neighbour and Johal had asked him to dogsit for a few weeks while he went into hiding. Olson took the dog out to the park for a little exercise and a hit squad opened fire on him with assault rifles. Twenty-four shell casings from an AK-47 were found at the crime scene. Muckrakers at the CBC managed to track down Bindy the following week. They asked if he thought his life was in danger. Bindy looked straight in the camera and said, “I just want these guys to know, you’ve got another thing comin’, bitch. I’m still around.” When dog-walkers are getting gunned down and broadcasters are interviewing murderers on the evening news, your city might have a problem. Mayor Philip Owen put together a 150-man special unit to investigate the killings and over a million dollars were spent solving the crime. Bindy Johal was arrested. Bindy and five co-defendants were charged with the murders of Jimmy and Ron Dosanjh. The judge cited concerns for public safety when refusing bail for Johal, but three of the other co-defendants were released on $100,000 bond. The case would turn out to be one of the longest and most expensive in Canadian history. Crown prosecutors spent five months laying out their case, which included over 100 witnesses and mountains of wiretap evidence. But, in the end, the verdict would hinge on something completely unrelated to the arguments being presented before the court. When the trial began one of Johal’s co-accused, Peter Gill, noticed an attractive woman in the jury box staring at him. Gillian Guess, a twice-divorced 40-year-old mother of two, initially mistook Gill for a lawyer because of his excellent grooming and bespoke suit. She was attracted to Gill and didn’t even seem to hide it. “Miss Guess would flip her hair, look over at him and kind of smile. There was more happening than her assessing the accused. She’d smile almost coyly. It was very unusual,” said court clerk Emma Hyde.
I’M STILL AROUND
Peter Gill was one of the co-accused out on bail. Three months into the trial, he and Guess met socially, outside the courtroom, for the first time. They went for a romantic stroll in Stanley Park and Gill explained that he was an innocent victim of police racism. Guess believed him. She would later state that he aroused a maternal instinct (Gill was eight years her junior), while simultaneously promoting a sense of fear and excitement in her. On that first date they found a spot under an oak tree and kissed passionately. She claims to have trembled in his arms. “At the time, I thought I felt love for him. But in retrospect it wasn’t love. It was an obsession,” said Guess. “It was really stupid of me, but I really did think that if we had sex, it would get it out of our systems.” It was the first known time in Canadian history that a juror had a sexual relationship with an accused murderer while the trial was before the court. In late October, 1995, Guess and her fellow jurors returned a verdict of not guilty on both counts of murder. Less than a month later Guess and Gill were spotted by police dancing together at a nightclub. Police began following the pair and it wasn’t long before it became abundantly clear they were dating. After enough evidence was compiled they were arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. Thanks to a quirk in the criminal code it was determined that her relationship with the accused was not technically illegal at the time that it took place. Although Guess would later be found guilty, the Crown had no grounds to retry Johal for the murders of the Dosanjh brothers. With the trial over, Johal was back on the street for the first time in two years. Within three months of his release there was a stabbing at a strip club, three drive-by shootings, and a pair of nightclub shootings all tied to him. It’s even alleged that Johal would go to nightclubs and discharge his firearm into the ceiling for no reason other than intimidation. He was sending a signal to his rivals that the boss was back in charge. But it wouldn’t last long. In early 1996 a criminal associate of Johal’s bought two kilograms of cocaine from a teenager named Randy Chan. The cocaine had been diluted and Johal took it as a personal affront so he stuffed Chan into the trunk of his car. This was a dangerous move because Chan was the younger brother of a high-ranking member of the Lotus gang. For the next 56 hours Bindy drove around the city negotiating the terms of Chan’s release. When police learned about the kidnapping they immediately deployed 70 officers to recover the missing teenager, fearing this dispute could set off a full-scale gang war. Eventually, Chan was released in exchange for five kilograms of cocaine and Johal was arrested on a charge of unlawful confinement. “I’ll beat this one for sure,” he told TV cameras as he was loaded into a van for a court appearance. While awaiting trial Johal shared a cell with a man named Bal Buttar. They took a liking to one another. After Buttar
earned his friendship and trust, Johal began grooming him for a position in “the Elite”, a crew of murderers whose sole job was to assassinate Johal’s enemies. Buttar described this stint to Kim Bolan for the Vancouver Sun, “When I was in jail with Bindy, Bindy told me, ‘You are going to be the one underneath me. You listen to me. If you take care of things at your end, I’ll be happy with you, brother. If you f— me over, I’ll kill you. Right.’ ” When a date was set for the kidnapping trial Johal was released on bail and the Elite was unleashed on the Vancouver underworld. In total, Buttar speculates they murdered between 25 and 30 people over the next handful of years. At first it seemed like the murders fit into a strategic framework that strengthened the budding criminal empire’s position in the city. However, over time, Buttar noticed Johal using the death squad to settle personal beefs. In one such case Buttar alleges that Johal made up a story about a criminal associate holding out cash from the organization when in fact the murder was ordered because Johal was jealous about a girl. The turning point came in the summer of 1998 when Buttar and some friends were out at a nightclub. A young criminal associate named Derek Shankar decided to phone Johal and ask him to join them. Johal said he was too tired to attend the party so Shankar called him a baby. At the end of the night Buttar and the crew piled into his truck and drove home. When they arrived Johal was waiting for them. After identifying Shankar in the back seat, Johal hopped into the truck and told Buttar that he wanted to go for a ride. They drove to a secluded spot in New Westminster where Johal told Buttar to stop so he could get out of the car and take a piss. As he left the vehicle he dragged Shankar out with him. Buttar described what happened next to Bolan in the Vancouver Sun: “All of a sudden I hear a big noise and I turn around and there is Derek Shankar going down . . . Bindy shot him. Bindy looks at me. I had my piece. I’m thinking hey, should I pull my piece on him and I thought, no that’s too quick. I was about to jump in the truck and he says no, help me dump him in the water. So I chucked him in the water. Derek Shankar — you’ve got to understand — I have known that guy for a long time. He was from Richmond. He was one of the Richmond boys. So I saw [Bindy] kill him. We chucked him in the water. We chucked the gun off the Queensborough Bridge. “When Derek Shankar went down, Bindy’s whole brigade went down. You know what I mean? He took down one of the best kids. He was a guy who was a party animal with us. But he was a legit kid. He never f—ed around.”
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Buttar never fully trusted Johal again after that night. If Shankar could be murdered over an insult then everyone was vulnerable, including Buttar himself. One evening in early December these fears were confirmed. They were driving to a nightclub in Surrey when Johal made an illegal turn on Scott Road. The police noticed the traffic infraction and pulled the car over. Johal began to panic. He produced a gun and pleaded with Buttar to tell the cops that the firearm was his. Possession of the weapon would have breached Johal’s probation and he would have faced eight or nine months on remand. It struck Buttar as strange because Johal had always been very careful not to carry firearms unless he planned on using them. In that moment Buttar realized that Johal was planning to murder him that night. Buttar took the gun and agreed to plead guilty. He didn’t sacrifice his freedom out of loyalty. He did it because the incarceration would provide a perfect alibi for the murder that was about to take place. “When Bindy was getting reckless, I took over the Elite,” Buttar said. “I told them to get him. I gave them $20,000 and they got Bindy in a nightclub.” At 1:30 a.m. on December 20, 1998, Bindy Johal was shot behind the right ear at close range on the dance floor at Palladium nightclub in downtown Vancouver. He was 27 years old. Over 300 witnesses were on hand when the murder took place. No one came forward to identify the shooter.
n 2015, acclaimed Canadian film director Deepa Mehta released a movie called Beeba Boys. It told the story of Jeet Johar, a flashy Indo-Canadian gangster whose crew of young criminals upset the pecking order of organized crime in Vancouver. During the press tour leading up to the film’s release, Mehta was asked one question, repeatedly. Her response, “By the way, once and for all, Beeba Boys is not based on Bindy Johal’s life. You heard it from the horse’s mouth. It’s inspired by events, headlines, characters, but finally it’s an original script. And Randeep Hooda is not playing Bindy Johal… good to get that off my chest!” This came as a surprise to Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of the Vancouver gang squad. Houghton was concerned that the “South Asian Scarface” would set a bad example for young people by glorifying the lifestyle associated with organized crime. “They have heard stories about Bindy Johal, they really think he’s a great guy, even though they weren’t even born when he was around and involved in his very violent lifestyle, and they want to see this movie because they want to become like Bindy, and that’s very upsetting to us,” he said. There’s only one measure by which Bindy Johal could be considered the most successful gangster in Vancouver’s history: infamy. The dramatic nature of his crimes and the bizarre relationship he fostered with the media elevated him to the dubious status of celebrity gangster. Even in death, Bindy Johal is still around.
P L AC E S
Magical tree house Barrie Underhill, 842
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Each month, we choose people from Vancouver to supply the comments that accompany the photos in the magazine. If you would like to be the commenter, check the questionnaire on page 2 and send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commenter of the Month
DUSTY BAKER Dusty is best known for taking part in the world’s first ever high five on October 2nd 1977. Baker is also the pseudonym of a software engineer who works in Gastown and would like to remain anonymous.
Dusty: This is a picture of Desolation Sound, which is ironic because it’s also the title of a blog post I wrote about Sarah Michelle Gellar’s career. While some of you may think that blog post was written with cruel intentions, I assure you SMG doesn’t hold a Grudge 2.
Morning Dew Olivia Prior, 873
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Celebrate living Nick Ignatev, 847
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Still movement Emmett Sparling, 842
Van City Heights Emmett Sparling, 835
Lost Lake Trails. Aaron Von Hagen, 890
Dusty: AGAIN with the log pictures, folks. Must be nice to not have to worry about dropping your expensive camera in the water. That’s like when my dad used to wear his rhinoceros horn pants in the rain. Never truly knew the value of a dollar. Kinda like that rumour about Brandy blowing her entire I Still Know What You Did Last Summer salary on the Steve Bartman baseball.
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So that’s how they put the moon away... Nick Harborne, 894
Dusty: The person who has this view is probably thinking “hurry up with that building already so I can stop looking at this nature bullshit”.
Stop for a minute. Breathe Nick Ignatev, 852
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Stop & Stair Danika Lee, 850
Blowin in the Wind Matt Hosford, 861
Cold path Kristy Heer, 873
Dusty: I love nature just as much as the next guy but IT SURE WOULD BE COOL to drive one of those Mad Max-style cars with chainsaws for wheels and go HAM on this row of trees. Okay maybe I don’t love nature as much as the next guy.
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A time to reflect Sina Ronaghi, 843
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Lions Gate Bridge Brittany Rudek, 860
A perfect spot to reflect. Barrie Underhill, 865
The north Sina Ronaghi, 884
Dusty: Do you ever just want to hang out in the middle of a remote lake, wait for people to show up, and then poke half of your arm out of the water while holding a huge sword? You know, just so your buddy hiding behind the trees can pickpocket a couple of Japanese hikers? No? Well then I guess I’m keeping all of these Yen I was going to share with you.
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Moody mountains Karin Keller, 887
Dusty: If you don’t see a frowning ape’s face in that mountain, then you probably don’t listen to as much metal as I do and therefore we can’t be friends and microdose LSD with my good buddy Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Sure, I’ve disappointed my immediate and extended family but that JTT knows how to party.
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— READER SUBMITTED STORY
Stardust By Stacey Marcoux
met a few of them in a West End alley. With garbage bins as my witness, I hugged Jana tight, telling her I loved her. The chilly summer evening air stood still among us, heavy with the anticipation of losing our friend. A moment of disbelief lingered while I locked sad eyes with Sarah, a superstar caregiver whose wit could make me laugh like no other, and Elliot, a transplant from England adept at tipsy debates about the state of all things. We stood in our layers of clothes as driving logistics were dryly discussed. Jana waited quietly, both defeated and strong. A meteor shower was scheduled that night, luring us with the much-needed promise of a little stardust. The Perseids were set to entertain. However, with the city lights being an ever-present and overbearing companion to the stars, we headed to Mount Seymour, part of the great rock-faced beauties watching over us from the North Shore. All of us but Elliot hopped into Sarah’s car to begin our ascent, stopping along the way to first grab Martin, a French-Canadian masseur slash cook who sauntered slowly and spoke little, and then Vanessa, a headstrong beauty who loved animals a lot and people almost too much. Ness had just finished her first shadow shift at a new nursing gig. The patient died while the other nurse complained about his family’s choice of music. A gem, clearly. Shedding tears for both the loss of the unknown man and the impossibility of some people, our need for a celestial sprinkling grew. Arriving at Mount Seymour felt like pulling up to the parking lot of a music festival. We had all been under the impression that the mountain would be fairly empty save for a few astronomy types and maybe some adventurous families, yet the lots were near capacity and a steady slew of people were trudging up the side of the road, periodically glancing upwards at the stars. I suddenly wished someone had been clever enough to pack a flask. We parked behind
another car on the side of the street, citing the if-they-canthen-clearly-so-can-we logic that lends itself so well to convenience. We walked alongside a random sample of Vancouverites. A car alarm sounded ceaselessly in its obnoxious and unheeded warning. “So much for getting away from it all,” Sarah quipped. Eventually rejoining Elliot and his two pals, we passed from pavement to grassy rock and began to seek out our final destination. The atmosphere reminiscent of an outdoor sleepover at summer camp, we stumbled through, trying our best not to step on our star-gazing comrades’ limbs. We placed our yoga mats and sleeping gear down and quickly formed ourselves into a cozy pile— human-Tetris, mountain style. Despite the layers beneath me, the earthly warmth of the mountain seeped through. There we lay, snugly angled. A ragtag group of friends all hailing from less-shiny places, yet who sat together beneath the sky for now. Jana was the type of girl that looked so good in a skirt you almost wanted to hate her. But we didn’t. We loved her like she loved dance tents and sequinned sneakers. A rare Slovakian elixir of spirit and heart, Jana represented the perfect reminder of the dangers of judging a woman by her body. Powerless against almighty immigration, she had to leave the country—aka her home for the past four years— within two weeks. Despite the verdict, Jana marvelled with the rest of us as her head was snuggled into Ness’s lap and the sky ever so briefly lit up with what I pictured as shiny, perfect blue-and-white five-point stars, but in reality were ugly grey space rocks or something. Someone brought shelled peanuts. We crunched them and gasped in unison with our fellow mountaineers; a somewhat juvenile, yet nearly automatic verbal response to each stream of light shocking the night sky. I wondered
Chris Barker, 819
TR U E S TO RY
Our readers submit stories about their lives and we publish them. A story should be between 1200 and 1500 words, set in Vancouver, and based on real events. If interested, email a draft of your story to email@example.com. We are hiring writers for other elements of the magazine too. If you’d like to write for Archive, True Stories is a good way to introduce us to your writing.
aloud what it would be like if an earthquake were to happen at that moment. You know, the big one. Would we be safer or in more peril up here? No one cared to ponder such morbidity with me. I tried unsuccessfully not to romanticize the moment. The earth ever supportive below, my friends warm at my sides, and magic streaming above. Aesthetically, emotionally, the night screamed evocative. People have a frustrating tendency to cut out before the good stuff really happens. The epic dancing, the best drugs, the brightest meteors. Elliot’s pals had decided to descend back before the rest of us. They weren’t really part of our story anyway. Their desertion, however, added to our evening—the long-lost adolescent thrill of packing an extra, un-seatbelted passenger into the backseat of the car. With the time creeping closer to midnight, and a satisfactory meteor experience under our collective belt, we unpeeled ourselves from the mountain, found some brambly bushes
to pee in, and shuffled back to the car sufficiently star-dusted. Stuffed in the back with Jana perched cat-like on our laps, any discussion of her leaving was pointed in its absence. Our aggregate warmth lending itself to the comfortable silence, we bumbled down the dark road. Silence. In the right moment it could be holy, but it could also punch you, heavy and sharp. This particular brand of silence, though serene, seemed drenched in a wistful recognition of our own impotence. It was as if she were being torn away. The following day, a quiet sleepiness floated about, as so often seemed to be the case late in the afternoons of the city. Lush colours rested against the concrete and glass. All was thick and silent, as though we had just remembered that this is a rainforest. We stand where giants once stood. Towering dark and damp and magnificent. I crossed the bridge framing all before me, missing Jana already but certain that her sparkle would linger and continue to catch the light.
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Hitchcock’s stuff Nick Ignatev, 784
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Each month, we choose people from Vancouver to supply the comments that accompany the photos in the magazine. If you would like to be the commenter, check the questionnaire on page 3 and send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commenters of the Month
PETER GORDON Peter Gordon has represented Marpole in video game competitions across the country. At his apex, Peter ranked 6th in Western Canada at Burger Time and 4th in Bubble Bobble. A lower body injury in the 1998 Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition Western Quarterfinals prematurely ended his career. Now, he helps the youth of Marpole avoid the dangers of obesity.
Peter Gordon: Dude, I’m no dog technician, but I’m pretty sure this pomeranian is getting the same “no feeling” from your I Know What You Did Last Summer gloves as I am. As an aside, the sequel to I Know What You Did Last Summer was called I Still Know What
You Did Last Summer but it should have been called I Still Know What You Did Two Summers Ago. I can’t wait for the new installment in the series, I Don’t Care What You Did Twenty Summers Ago But Jennifer Love Chew-it Sure Is Washed Up. sam Paige McCullough, 807
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Shooting hoops Libby Williams, 761
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4 years and 4 months JoAnna Rickard, 778
Momma and baby eagle Janet Hoffar, 803
Peter Gordon: Eagles scare the hell out of me, mainly because I’ve never seen an animal whose eyes glow with such fiery hate. Bad body language all around. Which is weird, because America is such a peaceful, loving country.
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drip drip drop Daniel Chau, 760
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Jellyfish yvr Casey Rolseth, 761
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pasta Daniel Chau, 769
Peter Gordon: This is just irresponsible. There are millions upon millions of sober people in the world and here’s this psychopath cracking a half dozen eggs into a perfectly good pile of cocaine. It reminds me of a story I heard while working on the set of that classic Freddie Prinze Jr. movie Scooby-Doo. Rumour was he took the role to pay for his massive cocaine-omelette problem.
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Mmm Stephen Hui, 773
Berry pancakes Brenda Nelson, 796
Peter Gordon: Unpopular opinion alert: dim sum is gross. I can’t shake the feeling that half the items on the menu are cooked in a sauna where someone took a piss on the rocks. Dumplings look like a nutsack filled with chicken feet and bean curds. I got dragged to dim sum last week and it felt like the monkeybrain scene from Temple Of Doom, but everyone was laughing and clapping instead of being appropriately horrified. Can’t we just get to the shark fin soup and be done with it?
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Empty House Brianna Johnson, 790
First day of snow Shazmin Hussein, 794
The landing Maxence Roger, 770
Kitsilano Sunrise Dirk Erkau, 794
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An impatience Laura Mohr, 793
Chris Barker, 781
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Flying home Steph Hunter, 820
Peter Gordon: A door with no handle that’s five feet off the ground and painted the colour of a urinal cake soaked in creme de menthe puke. Not sure how I’ll ever forgive you for stopping me from enjoying the majesty of your boiler room that smells of death. I haven’t seen a door that scary since working as a Best-Boy Grip on Ryan Phillippe’s blockbuster hit Anti-Trust. The door didn’t appear in the film, I saw it when Phillippe invited me back to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Gastown loft. Don’t say being a gaffer doesn’t have it’s perks. Omelettes anyone?
wet paint Chelsea Ker, 798
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Top Photographer is a ranking based on the average score of a person’s best five photos in a given month. The winner will be awarded this section of the magazine to do with as they please. Last month’s winner was Emmett Sparling.
W H O A RE YOU AND W HAT D O YOU D O W HE N YO U AREN’T TA KI N G P I C T U R ES?
I just graduated from high school and I’m currently taking a gap-year before I go to film school in the fall. I play soccer competitively and love going on adventures—with and without my camera. I plan to travel in the spring.
EMMETT SPARLING @emmett_sparling
C A N YO U G I V E U S A T I P O N H OW T O TA K E A G R E AT P H O TO? W H AT K I N D O F C A M E R A D O YO U U S E ?
I use a Canon 6D. My biggest advice would be to invest in a good lens, and learn how to edit your photos. Also collaborate with as many people as you can, because that’s the best way to learn new tricks. Try to take photos every day because that’s how to get your creativity working.
W H AT D O YO U H AT E A B O U T VA N CO U V E R ?
W H O I S YO U R FAVO U R I T E L O C A L P H O TO G R A P H E R A N D W H Y ?
I hate the rain. Waaaaay too much of that.
My favourite local photographer is Elizabeth Gadd. Her work is out of this world. Her use of light gives each one of her photos a magical and relaxing feel.
W H AT ’ S YO U R FAVO U R I T E P L AC E TO H AV E A B E E R I N VA N CO U V E R ?
W H AT D O YO U L OV E A B O U T VA N CO U V E R ?
I F YO U CO U L D C H A N G E O N E T H I N G A B O U T A R C H I V E , W H AT WO U L D I T B E ?
I love how Vancouver is so close to nature. You can be shooting downtown in an urban environment, and then 15 minutes later be in the middle of Stanley Park, surrounded by trees. It’s the perfect place for a photographer. I also love how safe the city is. 78 Archive
Still underage, can’t drink yet.
I’d love it if Archive were more accessible to more people— in more shops, cafés etc. I had a hard time finding it, but that might just be me.
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W I N T E R I S C O M I N G
Lesser Garibaldi Lake Stephen Hui, 869
M O N T H LY
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Spotted towhee Stephen Hui, 822
86 Winter Is Coming
Monthly is a category that changes every issue. It could be tattoos, the beach, cats, or concert photos. It’s purpose is to make each magazine different. Last month’s category was called Winter is Coming. We chose it to celebrate the most iconic parts of the season like dogs dressed as reindeer, drunk coworkers, and lots of snow. Next issue’s theme is Black and White, and in the next copy of Archive this space will be filled with photos that consist of two distinct shades, highlighting the tension of our increasingly polarized city as we limp toward a provincial election.
: When I see a shot like this, a cold desolate landscape with the sun going down and nobody around to hear you scream, I wonder if it was the last photo the guy took before he died. Imagine, you’re out hiking alone and you come across this setting so you snap a great photo. Then, out of nowhere, you slip on some ice and break your ankle. You try to call for a medievac then you realize that you just used the last of your battery uploading the photo to Archive. At least it made it in the magazine, RIP.
Winter forms our character and brings out our best - Tom Allen Barrie UnderhilL, 868 S U B S CRI B E A T P A T RE O N . C O M /A RCHIVE M A G A Z I N E 8 7
Winter Gold Barrie Underhill, 835 88 Winter Is Coming
View from Horseshoe Bay ferry Steph Hunter, 865
Groomers Paradise Tim Barker, 849
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The long march Matt Hosford, 839
Solo Hike Marc de Montreuil, 824
Dropping into Bowen Island Andy Traslin, 826
Mount Baker Calvin Nisbet, 824
: I wonder if the guy who snapped this picture took the opportunity to go behind that waterfall. If there’s one thing video games have taught us is that behind every waterfall is an old man willing to give you his white sword. Another thing I learned playing video games is my momma so fat that Xbox 360 guessed her weight.
90 Winter Is Coming
Winter Wonderland Barrie Underhill, 854
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A VANCOUVER CROSSWORD
Puzzle by Harrison Mooney. Edited by Merlin Von Duck.
ACROSS 1 Astound 5 Marc Maron podcast 8 Fetty Wap’s favourite is 1738 14 Apolo who won three speed skating medals at the Vancouver Olympics 15 ___ Tu (Verdi aria) 16 “Bologna” around the nipple 17 Gross Seattle burger chain on top of Aritzia at Thurlow and Robson 19 Vancouver’s ___ Bayshore 20 Body part mailed to Bunny’s Lebowski’s husband 21 Cocaine or 41-across, e.g. 23 A long time ___ in a galaxy far, far away... 24 Of the balls 26 “Winnie-the-Pooh” author 30 Former home of the Downtown Eastside Street Market mentioned in a Blind Melon song 32 Daniel and Henrik Sedin facial feature 35 Online gaming service where everyone calls me the N-word 38 Org. that’s home to Liverpool and Arsenal 39 B.C. NDP housing critic David 40 Org. that will look for you if you get lost on Mount Seymour 41 Drink order at Delaney’s or JJ Bean 45 Equiangular geometrical shape 48 Really expensive restaurant in the Hotel Georgia (like, really expensive) 50 Straight shooter, or coffee with a triple shot of 41-across 52 Erect, as a Presidents Trophy banner at Rogers Arena 56 Park that’s home to Kerrisdale Little League 57 Religious group (but in French) 59 “Much ___ About Nothing” 60 “The House of the Spirits” author Allende 64 Hitchcock-inspired Olympic Village art installation (and a potential name for this puzzle) 66 Son or daughter-related 67 Alleged pedophile Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ___ You Get Enough” 68 Parallel 49’s Gypsy Tears and Salty Scot 69 2013 Kanye album with a music video parodied by Seth Rogen 70 American ice cream maker Joseph 71 Nothing more than
LAST MONTH’S ANSWERS
WITH DICK JOKES
DOWN 1 Varieties 2 2000s-era teen drama featuring Ryan Atwood, who wore a grey hoodie and a leather choker 3 ___ Armour, maker of Steph Curry’s ugly dad shoes 4 Partner of neither 5 Geocities offering 6 White Spot’s ___ O sauce 7 Last name of Fran Drescher’s character on “The Nanny” 8 Crow’s cry 9 Where Portland is (abbr.) 10 Some refrigerators and TVs 11 General rule at the movies 12 What Saturn, Venus, Jupiter and Mars will do in September of 2040 13 Douche ___ 18 Weird-looking belly button 22 Sprinted past 25 Choose 27 Mount and/or island in the Philippines 28 Author Tucker, known for being a huge douche 13-down 29 Online slang for offline 31 U-shaped river bend 32 The Province journalist Dana, whom Justin Timberlake once told to “kiss my ass”
33 They can be black or special 34 How a shirtless beta-bro on Granville Street might describe himself 36 Bramwell Tovey is its music director (abbr.) 37 Suffix with east or west 39 Curvy letters 42 Slang for cool that’s no longer cool 43 Lady sheep 44 ___Train 45 With extreme anger 46 Former pitcher Dave who threw the only nohitter in Blue Jays history 47 Words of surprise 49 Flower at the centre of Charlie Kaufman’s “Adaptation” 50 Exalt, as Vancouverites once did for Trevor Linden (before the Jim Benning era) 51 Missing “Westworld” character who may or may not be dead 53 Musician Steve with supporting roles on “The Wire” and “Treme” 54 Cow tit 55 Lebron’s business associates, to Phil Jackson 58 Suffix with cigar 61 “Just a Friend” rapper ___ Markie 62 Water, in Quebec City 63 Bean and Cool J 65 Will ___ of The Black Eyed Peas
Downtown from North Van Aaron VonHagen, 823
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU PLAYED YOURSELF By Douglas Haddow
ere’s something you might not know: Vancouver is the third-most-filmed city in North America. That’s pretty darn cool. Actually, you probably knew that, given the constant sidewalk obstructions caused by loitering production assistants who appear to be on permanent smokebreaks, save for their pedestrian-hassling duties. And you probably know that despite the large volume of film production that transpires in this city, Vancouver rarely plays itself. It’s usually used as a stitched-together body double for a gloomy Seattle being menaced by a serial killer, a techno-dystopian San Francisco, the somehow permanently overcast part of Los Angeles, or if the producers are uniquely desperate, the somehow permanently overcast part of New York City. This phenomenon has caused much discontent among those who like to think seriously about such things, such as local cinephile Tony Zhou, author of the wildly popular YouTube channel Every Frame a Painting. Tony believes that Vancouver should have its own cinematic identity and that we should strive to tell our own stories, and not just facilitate the stories of our American cousins. And you know what, he’s right, we should. The joyous amusement one feels when happening upon a film shoot while walking downtown often leads to a dejected unease when you see a row of fake USA Today newsstands haphazardly positioned where a Georgia Straight box once stood. It’s sad that our city is so seemingly devoid of character that you could literally slap a couple Yankee logos on it and pass it off as generic any-town, USA. Surely, in a city as vibrant and diverse as our own, we would have ample
SCIENCE RULES! Paul D Clarke, 825
stories to tell that would resonate both here and beyond. But here’s the rub: Vancouver is actually constantly playing itself. This city churns out a near-constant stream of films about unique stories about the lives of Vancouverites, but they are typically instantly forgotten and end up in the dustbin of our collective consciousness. Over the course of a weekend I went to the trouble watching a handful of them to see what hints of potential I could glean from our city’s nascent cinematic identity. Here’s what I discovered: BALLISTIC: ECKS VS . SEVE R (2002)
Mix one part Antonio Banderas, the El Mariachi Desperado Assassin, one part Lucy Liu, AKA O-Ren Ishii, AKA Master Viper, AKA Madame Blossom. Toss in a director who for some reason goes by the one-word moniker Kaos. And booya! Break out the popcorn because this is about to get radical, right? Wrong. This movie blows goats. Big, surly goats with bad attitudes who insist on staring you dead in the eyes while you blow them. The film’s plot is as convoluted as it is dumb. It involves a bunch of American assassins and secret agents inexplicably running around Vancouver trying to kill each other for obtuse reasons, each one more vague and confusing than the last. Also: nanobots. I’m not going to try to explain it in detail because I’ve gone full Rust Cohle on it and no matter how many thumb tacks you string together it never comes close to making any sense. Less a movie and more a collection of images featuring individuals who’ve previously appeared in movies behaving in a distinctly movie-esque manner, B:EVS is an exercise
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in humourless action drudgery that breeds the sort of contempt in the viewer that is typically reserved for the grubby cretins who get publicly shamed for abusing animals on YouTube. The result is a piece of cinema so bad it should be badgood but is instead so bad-bad that it makes you want to pour salt in your eyes. It’s only redeeming quality is that it features numerous scenes where the characters kill scores of innocent Vancouverites in locations like the Main Library and the Vancouver Aquarium. So if you’ve ever been on a bad Tinder date in a public space, B:EVS will provide an opportunity for cathartic therapy where you can imagine your missed connection being gunned down with extreme prejudice by a trenchcoat-wearing Lucy Liu. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing. Which if you are is pretty fucked up, dude. Please go see a therapist immediately.
him at a SkyTrain station muttering “we need to get to Vancouver!”. All around Vancouver, Ice Cube is hopelessly attempting to get to where he already is. The effect of this cognitive dissonance allows for an alternative reading of the film: maybe Ice Cube’s character is actually suffering from some undiagnosed mentalhealth issue, has kidnapped a couple of innocent American tourists, and is forcing them to take part in a deranged tour of Vancouver’s transit infrastructure. A side-note on some local trivia that may be of interest: the Japadog cart, home of the original Oroshi, is stationed outside the Sutton Place Hotel, which is known to house A-list stars when bigger productions sweep into town. Spend enough time draining high balls in the hotel lounge and you’ll eventually run into a tipsy Matt Dillon or even catch a rare glimpse of Kevin Bacon pecking away on some light bistro fare.
ARE WE THERE YET ? (2005)
I’ve met militant South Central rapper turned congenial human marshmallow Ice Cube, in the flesh, twice in my life. The first time was at the Japadog cart on Burrard Street. The second time was also at the Japadog cart on Burrard Street. Both times I clumsily attempted to ingratiate myself with the Cube through the verbatim recital of some of his most cherished lyrics, such as those found in early ’90s classics like “No Vaseline” and “White Cave Bitch”. This experience has, in my mind at least, confirmed the following suspicions: firstly, that Ice Cube really loves Japadog. Secondly, a famous rapper’s security detail generally frowns upon it when you approach them mumbling “The bigger the cap, the bigger the peelin’, Who gives a fuck about a punk-ass villain?”, with your mouth stuffed full of kurobata sausage. Most of the viewing public is under the assumption that Are We There Yet? is a straitlaced family comedy. The film is premised upon Ice Cube safely escorting his new girlfriend’s two young children from Portland to Vancouver. A simple enough plot, but given that the film was shot almost entirely in Vancouver and is set en route to Vancouver, makes for a strange watch given this confusing mix of setting and location. For example, there are numerous scenes wherein Mr. Cube is standing in or around a highly recognizable Vancouver landmark while he desperately pleads with the lovably mischievous children that they need to get to Vancouver. We see him at YVR pleading that they “need to get to Vancouver!”. We see him at the Greyhound depot pleading “we need to get to Vancouver!” We even see
E V E RY T H I N G ’ S G O N E G R E E N ( 2 0 0 6 )
Written by fashion designer, artist and part-time novelist Douglas Coupland, this is the most Vancouvery film to ever be set in Vancouver. Imagine if you could fill the Gastown Steam Clock with B.C. bud and take a bong rip off it while Matthew Good whispers the Cactus Club happy hour menu into your ear as if it were poetry. That’s a fair approximation of what watching this movie feels like, only more irritating. There’s nothing about this film that stands out as being uniquely terrible, but neither is there anything especially interesting. Much like the thoroughly passable Szechuan chicken lettuce wraps at Cactus Club, it’s just sort of there, drifting in a cultural void, waiting for someone to ingest it. The protagonist is Ryan, a twentysomething “slacker” (was that really ever a thing?) who one day loses his girlfriend, apartment, and job in what amounts to the ultimate bad case of the Mondays. In typical Vancouverite fashion, he then decides to ditch his few remaining ethics and scam people out of money to enrich his lot in life. If you enjoy local clichés, Everything’s Gone Green provides a rich tapestry: a beached whale, a grow-op, the film industry, empty condos, middle-class ennui, Expo 86 kitsch, yuppies, real estate schemes, a malaise-ridden white guy, Asian gangs, snowboards, Science World, and a quirky Chinese love interest. Coupland said that the film “is about when you get older and you feel certain doors closing very quickly on you. It deals with that feeling of now or never.”
D O U G L A S H A D D O W
I think I know that feeling, but the tone the films strikes is less similar to the existential challenges of entering adulthood and more akin to the disappointment you experience when trying find a place to eat downtown on Friday night, only to give up and go to the Cactus Club.
Disclaimer: I worked on this film. But that in no way clouds my judgment regarding its quality. Go rent it immediately, Okay?
B E E B A B OYS ( 2 0 1 5 )
Unlike Are We There Yet? and B:EVS I had high hopes for Beeba Boys. I felt it was the gangster epic the Lower Mainland deserved. But much like a Russian jet filled with important foreign dignitaries, this movie starts out really strong before it immediately nosedives into the unknowable darkness of its own murky narrative ocean. The film was written and directed by the eminently talented Deepa Mehta, who received the Order of Canada for “challenging cultural traditions and bringing stories of oppression, injustice and violence to the fore,” and is best known for her Academy Award-nominated elements trilogy; Fire, Earth, and Water. With Mehta at the helm, this Indo-Canadian crime thriller seemed to have all the right ingredients. It was going to be like The Godfather meets Scarface meets The Departed, but set in Surrey. Instead it feels like The Godfather III meets Dick Tracy meets Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power, but set in Surrey. Given Mehta’s talent this film is inexplicably messier than a Granville strip stagette after last call. It makes one think that maybe there is some sort of ancient curse on domestic film productions that immediately makes a film’s plot incoherent once the screenwriter decides to set it in Vancouver. CO M E A N D F I N D M E ( 2 0 1 6 )
This is the most recent addition to the “Vancouver actually playing Vancouver” pantheon, and quite easily the best. An intense yet intimate romantic thriller that stars Aaron Paul and Annabelle Wallis and is directed by Zach Whedon, Come and Find Me follows the twisting love affair of David and Claire, whose idyllic relationship comes to an abrupt and mysterious end after Claire disappears without a trace. Shocked at discovering that Claire wasn’t who she said she was, David begins to follow her trail down a frantic and increasingly dangerous path that leads him from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Devastated but incapable of letting go, he’s forced to risk everything if he ever wants to see her again.
In Everything’s Gone Green, a friend says to the protagonist, Ryan, that “once you become a sleazebag, you remain a sleazebag. You don’t just go and unsleazebag yourself because all of a sudden your conscience hurts you an itsy little bit.” I would be remiss if I didn’t note how Coupland’s sterling dialogue is applicable to the current state of Vancouver’s local cinema. If you make the effort to find and watch the films that have been set here, they can be a wee bit…unsatisfying. More often than not, they leave a rather bland taste in your mouth, and once an audience begins to associate their own city’s films with that flavour, it’s a hard to convince them to keep coming back for seconds. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. In this way, our local cinema is sort of like one of those terrible all-you-can-eat discount sushi restaurants you find on Robson that prey on innocent tourists. Yes, the sushi is bad, but does that mean we should stop eating it and supporting their predatory business model? No. If anything it means we should eat more, because you never know, it just might get better if we continue stuffing our mouths with over-mayo’d California rolls. To this end, Archive has set up a new podcast called “Vancouver Is Always Playing Itself” where we will do the dirty work of interrogating and critiquing the stories that this city tells—stories about you, me, and everybody we know. Which, for some reason, are mostly stories about sexual dysfunction and bad dates. Check the website or iTunes, subscribe, and get to know why and how Vancouver is always playing itself.
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Bowen’s Stars Emmett Sparling, 895
Top Rated Photo of Them All— 96 Archive
Archive: It’s easy to see why this photo scored so high on Archive. As infinite celestial bodies meet with a tiny tree on our little blue planet, it invites rumination on how we are but specks of sand in the desert that is the heavens. Oh shit, no wait, that’s not it. It’s because this is actually the default wallpaper on your iMac.
all of the lights John Bello, 712
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Our app finds the most popular photos in Vancouver and we publish them in a monthly magazine called Archive. Swipe up if you like a photo. S...
Published on Jan 30, 2017
Our app finds the most popular photos in Vancouver and we publish them in a monthly magazine called Archive. Swipe up if you like a photo. S...