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Volume 1 Number 1 • January 2009

14 you don’t need a weatherman if you’ve got claire martin 20 HOW TO SELL YOUR HOUSE IN A BUYERS’ MARKET 18 porsche 911 42 jurgen GOTHE: WHAT’S MOVING AT THE LIQUOR STORE (BESIDES [YELLOW TAIL]) 16 if a tree falls in the city, WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF IT?

myvancouver From the publishers of VLM

People who make Vancouver run and who make it fun

+

What they love {and don’t love} about the city they, and we, call home

Lara Doucette, a.k.a. Lala Fastwater of tikibartv.com. Turn to page 24 to learn what Lala, Olympian Daniel Igali, country-music star Jessie Farrell, journalists Gloria Macarenko and Gary Mason, punk rocker Joe Shithead Keithley and icons Red Robinson and Joy Metcalfe have to say about our kinda town.


Over $130 Million Sold in 2008 Alone!

 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009


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Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine

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DPS Jason Soprovich

Just stop and ask for directions

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myvancouver

Volume 1 Number 1 • January 2009

features

16

Q+EH? CLAIRE MARTIN The International Weather Festival voted her Best Weather Presenter in the World three years running. She works for the U.N. She worked for Environment Canada’s Meteorologist Service, got a degree in meteorology and now is national and B.C. weather presenter for the CBC where, according to her co-workers, she lives in a cave. Interview by John MacLachlan Gray. Photography by Zenaida Kwong

20

net worth Market leader Selling Vancouver property in this buyers’ market? Forget what you used to think it was worth, then price ahead of the pack. By Peter Mithem. Illustration by Kathy Boake

16

24 24

JOY METCALFE, SOCIAL BUTTERFLY AND CHRONICLER, JOINS OTHER CITY SHAPERS TO DESCRIBE ‘MY VANCOUVER.’ see page 24

COVER story ‘my vancouver’ News anchor Gloria Macarenko, The Globe and Mail’s Gary Mason, Olympian Daniel Igali, Lara Doucette a.k.a. online starlet ‘Lala Fastwater,’ country-music star Jessie Farrell, punk rocker Joe Shithead Keithley, plus icons Red Robinson and Joy Metcalfe – people who shape and/or shake up our city tell us what Vancouver means to them. Photography by Jonathan Cruz, Eydís Einarsdóttir, Chris Haylett, Robert Karpa and Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

34

40

best cellars Aussie rules Down a notch from years past, [yellow tail] still nails two of the top five best-selling wines in B.C. Not for no reason. By Jurgen Gothe. Photography by Owen Berry

mv 40

cover

departments

Photography by Robert Karpa. Hairstylist: Kelley Schedewitz, Burke + Hair Salon. Clothing: Lara Doucette’s own.

8 EDITOR Bob Mercer 10 IT HAPPENED ONE

10 12

34 36 37

 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

NIGHT 1988, Science World fundraiser RED REMEMBERS Red Robinson’s Top 10 hits from yesteryears intelligence Mark these dates. Note these people and what they are doing the face Photography by Chris Haylett the hit list Jennifer Watton CATWALK Guy Babineau

39 CARE + FEEDING

Three squares: Timbre Restaurant, Falafel Maison, West 39 CAFE SOCIETY Gary Barclay 19 DINING GUIDE Capsule reviews 19 LYON’S GATE Bernie Lyon with Lee Bacchus


Full page Clara Hartree/ Brougham

January 2009 myvancouver 


EDITOR Bob Mercer

What else is new?

“W

hat isn’t new?” might be the better question as one year of remarkable change in the world yields to another. Mats Sundin in a Canucks uniform is new, and for most fans exciting – cause for hope. What’s not new is the once-burned-twiceshy griping from diehard pessimist fans who expect a repeat of the Mark Messier letdown. Given the choice, we’ll go with hope. In the political world, late 2008’s cluster of elections gave us Barack Obama and a seeming sea change in the way the USA gets along with the rest of the world. Then the election of Gregor Robertson, and more tellingly his Vision/COPE/Green near-sweep, signaled a major turn at Vancouver City Hall. The fall election season’s only yawner was the underwhelming federal reelection of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. How long ago that sleepy event now seems. Then, the fleeting possibility that Canada might be governed by an historic coalition belatedly added a few volts of jolt to the national election result. Many Canadians seemed to think a coalition government was dangerously without precedent, but why? Canada has had such governments before. B.C. was ruled by coalitions pieced together by W.A.C. Bennett in the post-war era and, arguably, by his son Bill in the Expo era. Vancouver’s long-dominant NPA is a coalition mostly of Liberals and Conservatives, while Vision Vancouver is a coalition of Liberals and New Democrats who in turn ran in a coalition with COPE and the Green Party. Stephen Harper’s own Conservatives started as a coalition of the Reform Party and some Progressive Conservatives under the banner of the Canadian Alliance. Coalitions happen. We should admit that every political party is a coalition – and it’s a good thing. How else do we give voice to the many, and not just to the few who manage to be first past the post? A new year, and this one more than many, is a time of hope – and we can hope that, however Canada comes out of the current political tempest, we see a new era of cooperative leadership for our one troubled country in a troubled world. This is the world into which myvancouver is born. But myvancouver does not emerge out of nowhere; it is successor to VLM, a magazine that had 15 years of history in Vancouver. Former VLM readers will find some features unchanged, others gone and replaced by new ones. We were proud of the old title and the audience gains it made over the last few years. But in a changing city and world, we felt it was time for something new. At least, that is our hope. bmercer@myvancouvermag.ca

myvancouver myvancouvermag.ca editorial Bob Mercer Editor & Art Director Jennifer Watton Associate Editor & Art Director Jurgen Gothe Associate Editor, Food & Drink

Gary Barclay Associate Editor, Arts & Entertainment

Contributors Guy Babineau, Lee Bacchus, Roxanna Bikadoroff, Kathy Boake, Beverly Cramp, Jonathan Cruz, Eydís Einarsdottír, Gaetano Fasciana, Jurgen Gothe, John MacLachlan Gray, Chris Haylett, Robert Karpa, Sonia Leal-Serafim, Bernie Lyon, Thea Mercer, Peter Mitham, Oraf, Julie Pegg, Red Robinson, Alex Waterhouse-Hayward, Tony Whitney Editorial Interns Owen Berry, Andy Wang

advertising + marketing Julie Hamilton Director of Sales Hilary Kaye Account Manager Kathryn McCready Account Manager

Theresa Marshall Account Manager Rene St. Louis Account Manager

corporate President & Publisher Bob Mercer

General Manager George Mleczko

myvancouver is a publication of VLM Enterprises Ltd., 400–73 Water St., Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6B 1A1. Tel: 604-630-1000. Fax: 604-630-1001. myvancouver is published monthly and distributed to selected homes in Metro Vancouver and via newsstand, subscription and in selected copies of The Globe and Mail. Editorial submissions are welcome but we cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and images. All material should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Publication Mail Product / Sales Agreement No. 41639014. Printed in Canada.

 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009


nature inspired

vancouver 1018 west georgia street 604 689 7055 ;C@8GA=H<Gď˜ď89G=;B9FGď˜ď;9AC@C;=GHGď˜ďK5H7<A5?9FG

January 2009 myvancouver 


it happened one night

Red remembers Red Robinson charts the month’s Top 10 hits from 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago. Red’s Red Rock Diner airs Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on fm1049. Top 10 hits of 1999 Jan. 12: Britney Spears releases her début album, Baby One More Time. 1. Believe, Cher 2. No Scrubs, TLC 3. Angel of Mine, Monica 4. Heartbreak Hotel, Whitney Houston 5. Baby One More Time, Britney Spears 6. Kiss Me, Sixpence None The Richer 7. Genie In A Bottle, Christina Aquilera 8. Every Morning, Sugar Ray 9. Nobody is Supposed to Be Here, Deborah Cox 10. Livin’ La Vida Loca, Ricky Martin

1

01/88

2

Top 10 hits of 1989 Jan. 20: George H.W. Bush is inaugurated as 41st President of the U.S. 1. Another Day In Paradise, Phil Collins 2. Miss You Much, Janet Jackson 3. Straight Up, Paula Abdul 4. Right Here Waiting, Richard Marx 5. Lost In Your Eyes, Debbie Gibson 6. Like A Prayer, Madonna 7. We Didn’t Start the Fire, Billy Joel 8. Two Hearts, Phil Collins 9. When I See You Smile, Bad English 10. Blame It On the Rain, Milli Vanilli Top 10 hits of 1979 Jan. 9: The Music for UNICEF Concert is held at the United Nations General Assembly to raise money for UNICEF and promote the Year of the Child. 1. My Sharona, The Knack 2. Bad Girls, Donna Summer 3. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?, Rod Stewart 4. Reunited, Peaches and Herb 5. Hot Stuff, Donna Summer 6. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor 7. Escape (The Piña Colada Song), Rupert Holmes 8. Ring My Bell, Anita Ward 9. Babe, Styx 10. Too Much Heaven, Bee Gees

3 Jan. 30, 1969: The Beatles’ last public performance is a bust.

4

5

January, 1988

6 10 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

All photos by Oraf

Before there was Telus World of Science, there was plain, popular, unbranded Science World, which in 1988 just was settling into its new digs in the Bruno Freschi-designed former-B.C. Pavilion at Expo 86. Canada Place was the scene for a gala fundraiser. 1 Ballroom at Canada Place. 2 Gordon Campbell, Science World’s Barbara Brink. 3 Ice sculpture of Bruno Freschi’s Expo 86 dome. 4 Dave Abbott and wife. 5 Gordon Campbell, Andrea and Jamie Maw. 6 Nancy Campbell.

Top 10 hits of 1969 Jan. 30: The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records. The impromptu concert was halted by the London police. 1. Aquarius (Let the Sunshine In), Fifth Dimension 2. In the Year 2525, Zager & Evans 3. Get Back, The Beatles 4. Sugar, Sugar, The Archies 5. Honky Tonk Woman, Rolling Stones 6. Everyday People, Sly & Family Stone 7. Dizzy, Tommy Roe 8. Wedding Bell Blues, 5th Dimension 9. I Can’t Get Next To You, Temptations 10. Crimson & Clover, Tommy James and Shondells Top 10 Hits of 1959 Jan. 7: The U.S. recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro. 1. Mack The Knife, Bobby Darin 2. The Battle of New Orleans, Johnny Horton 3. Venus, Frankie Avalon 4. Stagger Lee, Lloyd Price 5. The Three Bells, The Browns 6. Lonely Boy, Paul Anka 7. Come Softly To Me, Fleetwoods 8. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Platters 9. Heartaches By The Number, Guy Mitchell 10. Sleep Walk, Santo and Johnny


Full page Full colour Nood

January 2009 myvancouver 11


Intelligence Datebook

Brian Howell’s Wrestling: One Ring Circus, at Winsor Gallery, Jan.15–Feb. 8.

Behind the mask

01/09 THEATRE 10–31 MISS JULIE: FREEDOM SUMMER Stephen Sach’s adaptation of August Strindberg’s classic script, starring Caroline Cave, set in the heart of Mississippi on a steamy summer night in 1964. The white Miss Julie and her black chauffeur, John, struggle for independence and freedom from the personal and social demons that bind them. Jan. 10–31. Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, Hamilton at Dunsmuir. 604-873-3311. vancouverplayhouse.com 22–24, 26–31 MEDEA In this savage Greek tragedy about love, entitlement, lust and retribution, Euripides gives us a nearer view of passionate emotion, both in its purest forms and in the wildest aberrations by which men are controlled, or troubled, or destroyed. Translated by Kenneth McLeish and Frederic Raphael, directed by Lois Anderson and presented by Theatre at UBC. Jan. 22–24, 26–31 at 7:30 p.m. Telus Studio Theatre, Chan Centre of the Performing Arts at UBC, 6265 Crescent Rd. 604-2803311. ticketmaster.ca EXHIBITIONS JEFF WALL: VANCOUVER ART GALLERY COLLECTION The institution’s first solo exhibition in nearly two decades of work by the internationally renowned Vancouver artist Jeff Wall from the largest public collection of his photo-based art in the world. Through Jan. 29. Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby St. 604-662-4719. vanartgallery.bc.ca

12 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

James Cotton, Vogue Theatre

The fat lady doesn’t live here anymore Forget waiting for the fat lady to sing. Opera today calls for the svelte, sensual likes of Rinat Shaham to play Carmen, the beautiful Gypsy with a fiery temper who woos the corporal Don José. Shaham, an Israeli-born mezzo-soprano, has won accolades for her operatic and concert performances

throughout the world and has collaborated with eminent conductors such as Simon Rattle, André Previn, Christoph Eschenbach, Leonard Slatkin, William Christie and David Robertson. Vancouver Opera’s Carmen is Bizet’s most successful opera, produced in Paris in 1875 and now a staple of the

operatic repertoire. Conducted by Antony Walker and directed by David Gately, in French with English surtitles, the performance will last approximately three hours and 10 minutes. Jan. 24, 27, 29, 31; Feb. 3, 5 at 7:30 p.m. Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Hamilton at Dunsmuir. 604683-0222. vancouveropera.ca

Rinat Shaham, in the title role of Carmen, comes to the QET.

Photography by Deborah Gray courtesy of Florida Grand Opera

JAZZ CLUBS & LOUNGES The Cellar Restaurant & Jazz Club 3611 W. Broadway (604-738-1959) — Wednesdays through Saturdays, 8:30 and 10:15 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30 and 9:15 p.m. Jan. 9–11: Joey DeFrancesco trio, led by the baddest Hammond B3 burner in the business, winning five consecutive Down Beat Critics Polls, with Pat Bianchi on keyboards and Byron Landham, drums. cellarjazz.com 900 West Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 W. Georgia St. (604-662-1929) — Mondays through Wednesdays, 5 to 10 p.m., and Thursdays through Saturdays, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Various local vocalists with accompaniment. Jan. 22–24: Maria Ho duo. fairmont.com/hotelvancouver.com

Over the past decades, wrestling superstars such as Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Bret the Hitman Hart and The Rock have become household names, but what about the countless wannabes who hurl, pounce, pin down and act out in community halls and high school gymnasiums across North America, paying their dues while counting the days before they get the call to the big leagues? In Wrestling: One Ring Circus, a premiere solo exhibition at Winsor Gallery, photojournalist Brian Howell looks past the spectacle of the sport to the personalities behind the masks and spandex through a series of black and white archival inkjet prints. While wrestling leagues openly admit to their choreographed theatrics, Delta’s Howell sees the sport as anything but fake. “The wrestlers themselves take on characteristics that enable them to do and say whatever they please. The experience is one of honesty,” says Howell. “Sometimes this experience is grotesque. It can be racist, sexist, homophobic. Rather than hide these real themes, wrestling exploits them.” From shots of grimacing, bloody faces to flying bodies to the fanatical, working-class fans, Howell has captured the spirit of a remarkable community. Jan.15–Feb. 8. Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Winsor Gallery, 3025 Granville St. 604-6814870. winsorgallery.com

An orphan at the age of nine, James Cotton, the harpist from Mississippi, was raised by his mentor Sonny Boy Williamson. In 1954 when Muddy Waters needed a harmonica player, he found Cotton playing a club in Arkansas and took him to Chicago. During the 12 years they remained together, Cotton’s arrangement of “Got My Mojo Working” helped popularize the song that has become a perennial favourite. Leading his own band since 1966, the Grammy Award winner has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, the Smithsonian Institute, and won countless W.C. Handy Blues Awards. The little boy who started with a 15-cent harmonica as a Christmas present has gone on to perform with B.B. King, the Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter, the Allman Brothers, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Sam and Dave and the Grateful Dead, and now celebrates his 65th year in the entertainment business. The James Cotton Superharp Blues Band appears Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville St. 604-280-4444. ticketmaster.ca

Photography by Christopher Jacobs

Photography by Brian Howell

CONCERTS 16 KATHLEEN EDWARDS The Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter from Ottawa, who in 2006, was nominated for Juno Awards for Songwriter of the Year and Adult Alternative Album of the Year for Back to Me. This year, Edwards’ third studio album is Asking For Flowers. Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1660 Broadway. 604-280-3311. ticketmaster.ca 16 DIONNE WARWICK Signature interpretations of 56 hit songs, from “Don’t Make Me Over” to “That’s What Friends Are For,” have propelled this singer through 47 years in show business. Her new gospel album Why We Sing features guest spots by her sister Dee Dee Warwick, who died last October, and Bebe Winans. Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. River Rock Show Theatre, River Rock Casino Resort, 8811 River Rd. Richmond. 604-280-4444. ticketmaster.ca 17, 19, 24, 26 VSO WALL CENTRE BRAHMS FESTIVAL The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Bramwell Tovey, and two guest artists playthe music of Brahms. Violinist James Ehnes on Jan. 17, 19 at 8 p.m.; Pianist Peter Donahue on Jan. 24, 26 at 8 p.m. Orpheum Theatre, Smithe at Seymour. 604-280-4444. ticketmaster.ca 23 BRUCE HORNSBY Since his first album in 1986, Hornsby’s 13 albums have sold over 11 million copies and “The Way It Is” was the most played song on American radio in 1987. Last year, he released two new albums: a bluegrass record, Ricky Scaggs and Bruce Hornsby, and a jazz trio record, Camp Meeting with Jack DeJohnette and Christian McBride. Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. River Rock Show Theatre, River Rock Casino Resort, 8811 River Rd. Richmond. 604-280-4444. ticketmaster.ca 28 KODO DRUMMERS OF JAPAN Primal foundation-shaking rhythms and quiet reflective pieces constructed with subtle strings and delicate flutes, exploring the possibilities of traditional Japanese drumming. Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. Orpheum Theatre, Smithe at Seymour. 604-280-3311. ticketmaster.ca

Still got his mojo workin’


WHITNEY ON WHEELS Tony Whitney

Photography by Annie Leibovitz

Porsche spice

Uber-celeb Elizabeth II, by Annie Leibovitz, at London’s National Portrait Gallery till February 1 WANDERLUST Bob Mercer

Annie get your camera Gallery-goers love London for the art, and the odd unplanned star-gazing It’s not easy being Canadian when you are in the cloakroom lineup of London, England’s National Portrait Gallery with Alfred Molina ahead of you, checking his coat. Not easy because you’re thinking: “Alfred Molina! You were brilliant as Diego Rivera in Frida and hilarious as yourself in Coffee and Cigarettes, but I actually saw you on stage in London in 1987 in Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money, before all that!” Then you’re thinking: “Wait till I tell my teenaged son I stood next to Alfred Molina, the guy who played [bad guy] Doctor Octopus in Spiderman 2!” Not easy because, being Canadian, you won’t even let on that you recognize this brainy, busy movie actor. And being Canadian, you certainly don’t say anything to the guy, who obviously is taking a relaxed day off in his home town, wandering the galleries. The show, Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005 (which runs till February 1) is a characteristic mix of Leibovitz’s grit and gloss, the familiar and the near-fantastic. Whole rooms are filled with her signature, majestic celebrity portraits – and they don’t come much more of either than in a series on Her Majesty, Elizabeth II. Yet, too, there are walls of the most touching and intimate family snaps, including many of Leibovitz’s romantic companion Susan Sontag in the latter stages of terminal cancer. No one can sum up the allure of London, which being a city for all seasons is as rewarding to visit in winter as in summer, and as expensive too. You could not list all the places to see, but you can recall its moments, tiny and perfect, such as seeing a celebrated stage and film star wander unselfconsciously – and unperturbed – from room to room, from image to moving image.

How do you improve a car that is perfect already? For its storied 911, Porsche worked ‘from the inside out’ The original launch of the iconic Porsche 911 was staged in the early 1960s and actually it wasn’t a 911 at all back then, but a 901. But as it turned out, Peugeot had somehow gained a copyright lock on all three-number car designations with a zero in the middle, so then-tiny Porsche opted for 911 rather than fight a costly legal battle with the giant French carmaker. Most of this trivia has been long forgotten (and it’s interesting today to compare the financial status of Peugeot with hugely-successful Porsche) and the 911 legend has grown to mythic status. Every single 911, generation by generation, has been better than its predecessor – sometimes dramatically better – but the basic look and layout always has remained the same. As always, the latest 911 has its flat-six “boxer” engine in the back and boasts a profile fundamentally unchanged for four decades. Porsche says it’s changed the new-generation 911 “from the inside out” and certainly that’s where enthusiasts of the marque will find the most radical updates. Mechanically, the car is fairly close to the last one in most respects, but many would ask just where a car manufacturer can go when it’s developed a model to a state of near-perfection for its particular role in life. Porsche is very serious indeed about “proper” sports cars and the way they’re designed, built and used. Visit the factory in Zuffenhausen and you’ll hear Porsche staff refer to many (often fairly distinguished) rivals as mere “boulevard cruisers” or “two-door sedans” that simply don’t deliver the kind of performance they build into every last detail. Porsche 911s are manufactured virtually one at a time. One look at the manufacturing operation

Creating buzz for the 911 is a new seven-speed dual-clutch auto/manual transmission whose Porsche name is doppelkupplungsgetriebe. Huh? You can call it simply PDK. and you somehow know that if ever you take a 911 to a stretch of unrestricted road or a big track, you’ll get race-car performance and handling along with a feeling of total confidence and security. I once had a 911 Turbo up to 305 km/h on a large oval track and still was able to carry on a normal conversation with a Porsche executive. As ever, the new range includes Carrera Coupe, Carrera Coupe S and Carrera Cabriolet models, plus versions with all-wheel drive (Carrera 4) and the blindingly fast Turbo, which has all-wheel drive as standard. The base 3.6-litre engine delivers 345-horsepower and if you opt for an “S” model, it leaps to 385horsepower. Either way, you get an exceptionally fast sports car with very impressive acceleration and top-end speed. Much of the buzz about this new Porsche has been generated around a new transmission: a seven-speed dual-clutch auto/ manual that replaces the old Tiptronic unit that earned its share of criticism. Porsche actually developed a transmission like this for competition cars 25 years ago and now, after quite a wait, all 911 buyers can enjoy its advantages. This fascinating piece of engineering is manufactured by German gearbox maker ZF; the Porsche name for it is doppelkupplungsgetriebe, but happily for most of us, it’s being referred to as “PDK.”

Using the PDK, Porsche claims that shifts can be accomplished (using those now-ubiquitous steering wheel “paddles”) faster than with the manual box, and fuel consumption is reduced by 13 per cent, despite the gain of 20 more horsepower with the latest engine. There’s no power loss at all when the PDK shifts, incidentally, which underlines the technical achievement of this transmission. The interior layout differs from that of the old car; it’s in the cockpit that you’ll find the most noticeable updates. Elements of the instrument array and console layout are entirely new and the better for it. This is a wonderful new Porsche; the only puzzling aspect is how on earth they made it better than the last one. Compared to 911s of years ago, this one is a delight to drive fast on winding roads and is very comfortable on freeways – once you’ve threaded yourself into the seats. Like all 911s, you don’t as much climb in and get behind the wheel as “wear” the car – that’s how good it feels once you’re belted in and fire it up. SPECIFICATIONS – Body style: 2+2 sports coupe, as tested. Engine: Available with 3.6-litre and 3.8-litre flat-six engines. Transmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed semi-automatic. Fuel economy: Approx. 10 litres/100 km combined. Acceleration: Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 4.5 secs. Price: $97,500 base. mv January 2009 myvancouver 13


Intelligence LIVING DESIGN Beverly Cramp

If a tree falls

... more often than not, it ends up as firewood, a terrible waste. Ron Cromie recycles salvaged trees to give them a second life as beautiful furniture If a tree falls in a downtown street, what happens? Usually it’s sawed into sections in-place and left for people to cart away for firewood. This is an unnecessary waste according to Ron Cromie, the visionary owner behind the hardwood furniture store Kozai, who recently discovered that the last two remaining cherry trees on his street had been chopped down, probably because they were considered unsafe. “They were at least 100 years old, having been planted around the time houses in my neighbhourhood were built,” says Cromie. “I came home one day and they were already cut down and in pieces. This wood could have been prime source material for furniture.”

$8,980,000 At 3525 Point Grey Rd., this oceanfront home offers 3,415 sq. ft. on 2.5 levels with views from all principal rooms, the roof top terrace and beachside patios. An open main floor plan features floor-to-ceiling glass doors that fold back to allow a full indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Gourmet chef’s kitchen features 12 Miele and Sub-Zero appliances adjacent to the entertainment-size living room and dining room, which in turn overlook the outdoor swimming pool. Master suite features adjacent den with seven-piece ensuite bath and large walk-in dressing room. Other features: lower-floor media room, guest bedroom and private study, cherry and walnut custom millwork, 8’6” interior doors, limestone floors, European bath fixtures, elevator, Lutron lights and auto blinds, air conditioning, integrated audio and security systems plus three-car garage. Listed by Malcolm Hasman, Angell Hasman, malcolmhasman.com Beds: 2. Baths: 2. Baths (partial): 2. Interior floor space: 3,415 sq. ft. Lot: 5,694 sq. ft.

14 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

Cromie is inspired by the Japanese American woodworker George Nakashima (1905–1990), who was trained as an architect and later became one of the leading furniture designers of the 20th century. “He popularized free-form tables and he talked about giving trees a second life by turning them into furniture. One of his innovations was to celebrate wood for what it is, cracks, splits, knots and all.” Walking into the Kozai store (kozai is the Japanese word for hardwood) just off Granville Street, one of the most imposing sights is a row of large, richly-grained, wood slabs propped against a wall. The wood has been milled smooth and finished with a low-maintenance lacquer resin. The warm-coloured slabs – reddish brown, golden and darker hues – are from hardwoods such as Western Walnut, Red Elm, Chestnut, Maple, Butternut, Oak and even Arbutus. Add table legs or supports to one these wood slabs and you have created a one-of-akind table. Cromie sources most of his table-top slabs from Washington and Oregon, where the wood has been salvaged from city streets, backyards, parks and other public areas. These states have well-organized collection programs for gathering mature trees that have been

blown down during windstorms or have had to be cut down. It is a program that Cromie would like to see develop in Vancouver but he is under no illusion as to the difficulty of this prospect. “The production cycle from when a tree falls to the point at which it becomes a piece of furniture is long and requires a fair bit of infrastructure. The first stage is to collect the wood and mill it. Then it has to be given time to dry – and that involves being stored under the right conditions, which ideally takes a couple of years. Only after that can we determine what the wood is good for.” Although Cromie doesn’t see such a program being an immediate viability for Vancouver, he is adamant that we should start planning for it now. “There are many mature trees that are at risk of bad weather. Every time there is a big storm, the trees are falling down; not just in Vancouver but Victoria as well. Typically, these trees end up as firewood and that’s not good enough anymore.” Kozai also carries solid hardwood furniture designed and produced in Japan. “We are the only retailer dedicated to Japanese hardwood furniture,” says Cromie. “Most woodworkers hold up Japanese wood products as being the gold standard.” Cromie extends the concept by working with local woodworkers and local wood. “We are marrying exquisite Japanese wood designs with West Coast hardwood slabs.” Now if only the City of Vancouver would see the wisdom of giving fallen trees a second life beyond firewood or woodchips. mv Photography by Jason Vander Hill

Open house


Full page Coast Appliances

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January 2009 myvancouver 15


Intelligence What’s your sign?

16 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

The Grade Three teacher you fell in love with, the good witch in a story by Roald Dahl – Claire Martin is a bit of both.

Q+EH? John MacLachlan Gray

Claire Martin The International Weather Festival voted her Best Weather Presenter in the World three years running. She works for the U.N. She studied mathmatics, statistics and physics in England, worked for Environment Canada’s meteorologist service, got a degree in meteorology and now is national and B.C. weather presenter for the CBC where, say her co-workers, she lives in a cave

M

y first TV weather presenter was Percy Saltzman. Percy was like a high-school science teacher in an ill-fitting suit, explaining and predicting the weather in front of a blackboard, drawing the fronts and highs and lows

with an enormous hunk of chalk. Probably it was so that the chalk wouldn’t break on-camera. Really, his big accomplishment was that he actually memorized the forecast – no teleprompters back then. At the end of each broadcast, Percy would say, “And that’s the weather,” and toss his piece of chalk in the air, and catch it in his hand.

Photography by Zenaida Kwong

January Pluto’s move into Capricorn means the establishment is in for some serious psychotherapy over the next 15 years. Even the cloven-hoofed ghost of Nixon has returned to spill his guts on screen. (For best results, if you know your rising sign, read it too.) Capricorn Dec. 21–Jan. 18. Anally inching your way along precipices whilst deriving valuable nutrients from bark and snow since birth means you’re well-suited to the survivalist lifestyle we now collectively face. (Don’t worry, that guy in the black cloak following you just wants to play chess.) Aquarius Jan. 19–Feb. 17 A sort of dolphiny-rainbowy vibration now surrounds you, affecting everyone you encounter, whether you’re conscious of it or not. Simply go with the flow. The Aquarian Age probably won’t be like Hair but this month you’ll embody its “harmony and understanding.” Pisces Feb. 18–Mar. 19. Those of you born in/before 1964, hopefully, have learned to balance reality, order and status quo with dreams, chaos and rebellion. Though normally passive about too-tight footwear, today’s kippers may opt for a little creative shoe throwing – “toetry in motion.” Aries Mar. 20–Apr. 18. “Watching romantic comedies can have damaging effect on viewers, making expectations too high,” states a recent British study. What a bunch of sourpusses. Your romantic expectation of spring might be premature, but it’s your heroic duty to detect the scent of life early and get up to make the espresso. Taurus Apr. 19–May 19. An enormous power source is available to you now. Use it wisely and you’ll outlast an army of Energizer bunnies. Abuse it and it’ll backfire on your ass, as Taurus Bernard Madoff discovered. (Note: Harper and Ignatiev are bulls.) Be confident, ignore the buzzing flies. Gemini May 20–June 20. Gemini Paul McCartney can’t seem to write a decent song without the juice of a brooding, cynical partner. Similarly, you fluffier twins dodge your darker self, then get all hot over Mephistopheles. Barring a knighthood deal, opt for the doppelganger you were born with. Cancer June 21–July 21. Like crabs Jack and Gilles, tumbling down Parliament Hill, you may feel manhandled by authority figures or boys’ clubs this month. Pleasant or painful, the experience will stimulate your “inner masculinity” and help stabilize your lopsided, lunar perspective. Leo July 22–Sept. 21. Dubya, though Cancerian (see above), has Leo rising. The rising sign provides a first impression, and the one I got from his recently unveiled portrait was that he sat for it on the crapper. Don’t let self-pity mar this year’s masterpiece, unless you’re good at turning your dung into gold. Virgo Aug. 22–Sept. 21. Is there a crack in everything, or is everything just cracked ? Helpful hint for purity purveyors (that means you, Mayor Robertson): Download Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” to your iPod before attempting to recreate Eden. Libra Sept. 22–Oct. 22. Don’t worry, things lighten up around the 19th, when the sun moves into compatible Aquarius. Whistling while you work is fine, daydreaming while you iron isn’t. Scorpio Oct. 23–Nov. 20. Blackwater probably won’t get a contract renewal in Iraq this year and Gitmo will soon git no. Others who operate under imagined invisibility may find themselves outed, for better or worse. Hopefully for better in your case – let’s see the gems you’ve been hoarding. Sagittarius Nov. 21–Dec. 20. Congratulations on recently passing the watermelon that grew inside you from a seed swallowed in the mid-’90s. Exhausted, but much lighter, you enter the year with a slaphappy kick in your step. Roxanna Bikadoroff


That chalk-toss became, for viewers, a signature piece – so hungry is TV for “personality,” in whatever form. Many people watched the forecast because of the chalktoss, and I’m sure the letters would have poured in if he skipped it. Naturally, as weather presentation developed as a genre, the “personalities” took over. Only, what TV producers termed a “personality” back then was the drunk at the party who wears a lampshade on his head. In my life I have seen weather-presenters in clown noses and bunny suits. Then gender balance came into the picture – and of course, given the temper of the times, that meant legs and breasts. Such is the essentially vaudevillian nature of TV that at no time did anyone think the presenter might be an actual meteorologist. Where’s the pizzazz in that? What’s telegenic about a meteorologist? Enter Claire Martin – who studied mathematics, statistics and physics in England, then worked for Environment Canada’s Meteorologist Service, then obtained a degree in Meteorology from the University of Alberta, and is now National and B.C. weather presenter for CBC. The International Weather Festival (everything has a festival these days) voted her “Best Weather Presenter in the World” three years running. (I have no idea what it means to be the best weather presenter in the world.) I met with Ms. Martin in her broadcast studio, which used to be the CBC cafeteria and is now a dark hole. At the news desk, anchor Gloria Macarenko, voicing urgent promos, turned to me and said, “She never leaves the building. She lives here.” In response, over the PA, a voice of God from the booth observed, it’s not fun when the weather person never gets to go out into the fresh air. Office jokes are often expressions of concern. However, I saw no problem with Ms. Martin’s health. She positively glowed, with fine, animated features and that smooth English brow that tells you, fundamentally, everything will be all right. The Grade Three teacher you fell in love with. The good witch in a story by Roald Dahl. As it turned out, Claire Martin is a bit of both. John MacLachlan Gray: Until recently, the TV weather presenter was the class clown or the cute sidekick. Something seems to have changed. Claire Martin: Yeah. In the States it’s a very big deal – over a thousand broadcast meteorologists now. It’s a complete career path. In Canada this is still quite new; the Americans obviously have a much bigger market. But it is growing – the CBC now has nine broadcast meteorologists. JMG: Who do you see as your audience? CM: A little bit of everybody, as well as a narrow group. Everybody, the minute the weather comes on-air, they stop and listen. It connects us to where we live and our environment. At the same time, CBC is definitely after a very specific January 2009 myvancouver 17


audience. Viewers are slightly more academic, understanding – and more patient. Whereas Global – I spent 14 years with Global – likes clipped, slightly faster, louder, more exciting programming, CBC viewers don’t. So my core audience is a narrower group. But if you’re channel-surfing, weather is weather is weather. JMG: To what degree does your education contribute to your job, other than as a source of gravitas? CM: Without my education I wouldn’t do this. I think it’s obvious to an audience when they’re not given the straight goods. Nowadays, a TV health presenter may have a medical degree. People expect me to know what I’m talking about rather than just having fun with them. JMG: Do you create a forecast yourself, or do you

18 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

get it from the National Research Council? CM: I do everything myself – and that’s partly the problem. [Pause.] Well not a problem, but I’m in quite early as Gloria says. The national forecast has 18 cities. So it takes me a good four hours to cover the country. And then I have to start concentrating on B.C. JMG: Canada is 10 per cent of the surface of the globe for heaven’s sake. CM: Exactly. And people say, “Oh, you must work 20 minutes a day. You come in and do the forecast. How nice for you!” It’s a story but it’s also a science, and I have to sit down and number-crunch, and if I’m interrupted I lose my thread and have to back up a bit. So it’s good that I live in a cave, because I can concentrate there.

‘It’s as though I bring the weather in a basket like Pandora’s Box. And I predict the future – and 90 per cent of the time I’m right. Funnily enough, the more you are right, the greater the perception of witchcraft.’ JMG: Tell me about your “weather moments,” in which people ask the most amazing questions. CM: The questions are often brilliant and hard to answer. What is wind? A really sharp question, because it means somebody went out one day and asked themselves, “Where did that come from?” The moments come from all over the place, and I’m still surprised at these really smart questions. Does lightning go up or down? Where does fog form from? Why is it darker in a cloud? Why is the sky blue? JMG: They’re almost existential questions. Everyone who ever has lived has asked them at one time or another. CM: Yes. JMG: Even so, fewer and fewer people are spending less and less time outdoors: What’s the weather forecast for? CM: That’s true but we spend our quality time outdoors. Even if it’s going out to the car, there’s still a moment when you smell the air, look around. JMG: In Vancouver, you’ll have someone say, “Wasn’t it a lovely day yesterday?” And really it wasn’t that lovely – the sun may have poked out for about a second. CM: Gloria is the most incurable optimist that way. She’ll come in and say, “What a lovely day,” and I’m in my cave, and I look at the report from the airport and it’s overcast, about eight degrees; so what? JMG: If you get two Canadians in an elevator and they speak, it will be about the weather. I often wonder whether in the Caribbean people talk about the weather. Do they have weather presenters? CM: I work part time for the United Nations and I travel all over the place, and I’m amazed sometimes. In the Middle East, they had a weather person: On Dubai TV, she comes on for precisely 40 seconds and she basically says, “Another hot and sunny day in Dubai [laughs], with a temperature of 80 and so on. “And tomorrow will be a fine hot and sunny day too.” And I remember standing in front of my hotel TV and thinking, I want that job! [Everyone laughs.] JMG: There’s a tired old joke in which the weather presenter is blamed for the weather. Why does it persist? Does it contain an element of truth? CM: Yes. It’s as though I bring the weather in a basket like Pandora’s Box. And I predict the future – and 90 per cent of the time I’m right. Funnily enough, the more you are right, the greater the perception of witchcraft. And I have what I call my spidey senses. It isn’t purely mathematical. Science allows for an element of instinct. I go hurricane-chasing in the States, and crews like me to be there


because they trust my instincts – to tell them where to park their million-dollar vehicle. JMG: The weather presenter talks about unstoppable global patterns, how they will affect a locality, and how to prepare for it, physically and mentally. Is the weather presenter a religious figure? CM: No, but we definitely have a level of … [thinks awhile] ... We’re a benevolent psychologist. We deliver information that’s going to happen no matter what we say. We… [another pause; thinks]... People know the world is changing and we have to deliver a subject in such a way that doesn’t panic people but informs them. JMG: I don’t know many other broadcasts in which the inevitable is discussed. CM: Yes. Right. JMG: The question is not “will it happen?” or “how can we stop it?” CM: No. It’s about when and to what degree. JMG: So you find yourself acting on a model in which life is like a CD. The events already exist. CM: Yes. It has happened. JMG: Still, you have a choice of how to react to it or whether you can learn from it. CM: Sure. But watching the average Canadian’s feeling towards climate change is like watching one of those old cartoons with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd: the wide cliff shot, and they’re backing up, backing up, backing up – while being dragged over a cliff. JMG: Feet like windmills thrashing backward. CM: Yes. You can sense that in a lot of people. mv

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20 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

Market leader Selling Vancouver property in this buyers’ market? Forget what you used to think it was worth, then price ahead of the pack

J

anuary, the dawn of a new year emerging from the shadows of the old. A steady slide in property values grabbed media headlines as 2008 drew to a close, and a further drop is expected in 2009 – a nine per cent drop, if the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is right. While developers and realtors fret over the potential for sales to rise or fall, the average homeowner faces the key challenges of a down market: determining how to sell a property that’s not moving and renegotiating the mortgage of one that’s a keeper. The big questions, of course, are how deep the down cycle is and how long it is going to last. While home prices in Vancouver have been on a steady decline since May 2008, the latest housing market forecast from Central 1 Credit Union (formerly Credit Union Central of B.C.) reports that sales across the province have been in recession for three years. The average downturn is half that long, meaning the current recession is longer and deeper than people are aware. Moreover, even if sales rebound onto more bullish ground, prices typically remain in a recession phase twice as long as sales. Given the extended length of the current sales recession, the stats from Central 1 indicate that we could be well into 2012 before prices begin to strengthen. Of course, there are bright voices: Cameron Muir, chief economist with the B.C. Real Estate Association and a former senior market analyst with CMHC, expects things could begin to pick up as early as spring 2009 and anticipates the 2010 Winter Olympics instilling optimism in local buyers. But as Gary Serra, a realtor with Sutton Westcoast Realty remarked in a recent letter to clients, buyers can either listen to what they want to hear or they can face up to reality. “We are in a significant downmarket,” his letter continued. “They last a minimum of 18 months and up to four years. After that, it does not bounce back. It stays flat for three to 10 years. Then we will get prices soaring again.” The softening conditions that have

seen markets for everything from debts to assets drop in value demands a strong dose of realism. Assets to be sold have to be treated at current values rather than some past expectation of value, and Serra advises the vendors he works with to price to sell. “People who have listed recently, they still are pricing them based on what the market was not what the market is,” he said. “There’s a lot of property out there that isn’t really priced accurately to today’s market.” The imbalance is clear from recent sales-tolistings ratios, which are half those of a year ago. Available properties exceed demand, prompting owners to cut prices in an effort to attract potential buyers. Serra says a price slightly ahead of the market is good, and a price that’s aggressively ahead of the market may be even better. The goal is to attract the kind of interest that will result in a final price that maximizes the return to the vendor. “If you’re always following the decline, then the only time you catch up to it is at the bottom, when the market bottoms out,” Serra says. “If you lead the market – in other words, if you’re ahead of that curve – then you will definitely capture the attention of buyers.” A half-duplex he listed this past fall in Strathcona hit the market at $70,000 below comparable properties in the area, but it

Illustration by Kathie Boake

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A half-duplex listed in Strathcona hit the market at $70,000 below comparable properties in the area, but it attracted three offers. The final price was $40,000 above asking, meaning the vendor took a $30,000 hit on the property upfront but sold quickly and with fewer concessions attracted three offers. The final price was $40,000 above asking, meaning the vendor took a $30,000 hit on the property upfront but sold quickly and with fewer concessions than the buyer might have won through protracted negotiations. “My client was very happy because she ended up netting more than she would have if we had just followed the market down, because it ended up selling for a little bit more than the average would have been,” Serra says. A similar phenomenon works in a condo development where several units are on offer. “If you’re the best price in the building, then you’re leading the market and chances are you’re going to have buyers walking through your door first,” Serra says. “Even in this market, well-priced and -marketed properties are still going to get multiple offers and full market price.” A vendor taking the money to invest in another property has the luxury that other buyers have, of being able to negotiate down other vendors and so making the proceeds of the last sale go further. Making financing go further in the current climate is more difficult, but not impossible. Muir believes that many homeowners will

feel better once the recession hits and they realize that the fundamental strength of the B.C. economy has left them with their jobs. It’s a good point, but for buyers seeking refinancing, particularly those who purchased within the past 24 months, dropping home prices mean it will be more difficult for them to secure financing. That’s because a negative equity scenario could be playing out – the case when the value of the property is less than the amount of the mortgage outstanding. While residents of B.C. typically pay down their mortgages faster than those elsewhere in Canada, many presale buyers may be caught in this bind. This will require them to either source additional capital to address the shortfall, or sell. While there aren’t signs of this happening to any great degree yet, it’s a danger to avoid. Throwing cash at the asset is one option, and sourcing cash is difficult in a downturn. However, speaking with a financial planner to rebalance your portfolio – including real-estate holdings – will be an important first step. The planner may be able to look at what other assets you have, and determine an effective means of repaying your debt. mv

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My Vancouver

Portraits of city shapers: what they love {and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t love} about the city they, and we, call home

24 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009


Joy Metcalfe Social butterfly “There’s so much of what I love about Vancouver including the vibrant social scene and the increasing numbers of generous humanitarians, the first gentle, hushed snowfall of the winter season, the safe and friendly Blue Buses of West Van, little kids splashing in the clear pristine waters and sand bars at Boundary Bay and picking roses in my garden in December. “A favourite memory is dancing together on special occasions at the Hotel Vancouver’s

Panorama Roof. “What I don’t like is the proliferation of gangs and criminal activity and the sad state of the homeless, mentally-challenged, needy and drug-addicted, particularly in our youthful Native population. “I would like to envision a government that would institute more stringent measures against the criminals in our midst with more police officers on the force even if it means more correctional institutions have to be built, more trained social workers who can recognize children’s peril and more educators in the public school system. “Old laws must be updated

and changed to reflect today’s society and we must have more law enforcement and education for those who don’t fear the law and its consequences. “Vancouver is such a fantastic city with its mountains, seashore, scenic beauty, moderate climate, safe, clean and green. The population is bound to increase every year. “I think the new idea of carriage houses on larger lots is an excellent idea as long as the plan is scrutinized thoroughly and doesn’t impact the neighborhood negatively. “And if I had my druthers, I’d make public transportation free and licence and register bicycles.

Three things I love n Eons ago, dancing at the Panorama Roof in the Hotel Van and now dancing cheek to cheek at the Harrison Hot Springs with the fabulous Jones Boys – dancing, dancing, dancing n Watching the snow fall softly and gently on a crisp clear Vancouver night n Enjoying a White Spot Legendary Hamburger and it’s secret sauce Joy Metcalfe has reported on Vancouver’s high society for print and radio just long enough to have become a living legend herself. Watch for her column next month in myvancouver.

January 2009 myvancouver 25


Photography by Jonathan Cruz

My Vancouver

26 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009


< OPPOSITE PAGE

Gloria Macarenko Anchorwoman, CBC-TV

Photography by Jonathan Cruz

“Vancouver reminds me of a fresh-faced teenager: vibrant and full of promise, yet suffering from mood swings and a few acne scars. “The endless delays, detours and noise due to construction projects are wearing on me but the air we breathe … those first gorgeous gulps of West Coast air on the trip home from YVR is something I especially appreciate if I’ve been out of town for a while. “Kudos to the city planners who’ve made green space and waterfront access a priority but enough with the glasswalled buildings – more organic architecture please! “And there’s nothing quite like the dining innovation here, from fish to pho to fusion there’s never a dull moment on the Vancouver restaurant scene. “As the city matures I hope that issues such as homes for the homeless and treatment for the addicts and mentally ill are given the attention they deserve. The glaring need for solutions to these problems is, of course, the blight on our beautiful image.” Three things I love n Walking across Burrard Bridge on the way to work. n Cruising the seawall with a stop at Go Fish. n Jim Byrnes. Gloria Macarenko has anchored CBC Television news in Vancouver since 1989. She lives with her husband and two sons in Kitsilano.

Gary Mason

Columnist, The Globe and Mail “I arrived in Vancouver for the second time in the summer of 1979. I had visited briefly one winter a few years earlier. This time I had come to visit a couple of university buddies but also to see if there was a future for me there. “I shared a basement suite in Kits. I had no job so my days were spent playing tennis and going to the beach with my unemployed friends. We drank beer, in quantity. “The weather was perfect. There was none of the suffocating mugginess of southwestern Ontario where most of my crowd was from. My friends and I would lie on the beach and when an ocean breeze wafted over us we’d smile and imagine it was just like Greece – a place we’d never been. “I don’t recall there being a moment when I realized I would be staying. It just happened over time. I was having too much fun. But more than anything the pace

of the city just seemed right for me. And so it would be that like so many before me and so many after, I would never return home, not permanently anyway. “Today, almost 30 years later, I continue to love Vancouver for its near-perfect pitch and tempo. It’s like those long-distance runners with strides so languid and smooth and graceful you feel relaxed just watching them. They make what they do look easy. To me that’s Vancouver. “And the mountains aren’t bad either.” Three things I love n Shaughnessy Golf Club. n The lounge at the Wedgewood. n Main Street north of Broadway. Gary Mason is an award-winning journalist and author and currently a Vancouver-based national columnist for The Globe and Mail newspaper. He began his journalism career in Vancouver in 1981 working for the Canadian Press and later went on to have a distinguished 19-year career at The Vancouver Sun before joining The Globe. January 2009 myvancouver 27


“Vancouver is easily head-and-shoulders number one of all the places I’ve ever lived in. There are always cool things going on and as the city evolves the people evolve, which is a good thing. The city is going to get more densified so there’s building going on to hold more people but it’s also about having more parks and community centres for those people. I think that’s the way it’s going, especially with new people moving here all the time. “One thing Vancouver does need is a dedicated entertainment strip, like a road or a series of clubs in a row – something like Austin, Texas has where you can walk from club to club. I’m talking about live music

28 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

Country-music rising star

here. We need both types of clubs [live music and dance] in the same area because right now the clubs on Granville Street are limited. “What do I like about Vancouver? I like the weather – there are good seasons without freezing your ass off. I like the ocean – I come from a family background of people working on the water; downtown has a great view – especially on a sunny day. And there’s always a beautiful countryside to escape to if you get sick of the city!” Three things I love n Going to see the Giants play at Pacific Coliseum. n Hon’s (the one in Chinatown) n Places to see live music and have a beer, like The Commodore, The Railway Club or The Waldorf. Joe Shithead Keithley is the founder and lead singer of D.O.A. He also is the owner and president of Sudden Death Records (suddendeath.com).

“Vancouver will always have special meaning for me because I got married on Kits Beach in the summer on one of the hottest days of the year – that we are always only two steps away from nature is just such a blessing. “A cliché is often a cliché because it’s true and so I only semi-apologize for sounding clichéd but it’s really difficult not to think of Vancouver without appreciating and talking about the natural beauty we have here. “Having said that, I’d love to see us support our local businesses because we have so many great farms in the Lower Mainland and there are a few great shops like Market Meats on Fourth that sell from local farms and I’m a big believer in supporting our local economy. In one of my favourite areas of town, the local butcher, the local baker and the local grocery store have all had to move because they couldn’t afford their rents. When all we have is big chains I think we lose a part of our identity and that’s really sad. “But really, there’s only one thing I can say I dislike about Vancouver: people who walk under awnings with umbrellas. Come on people!” Three things I love n The people n The natural beauty n The off-leash dog parks Jessie Farrell is a musician born and raised in Vancouver. In 2008 she won the Canadian Country Music Award for Female Artist of the Year together with the Rising Star Award. Farrell’s album Nothing Fancy was released in late 2007.

Photography, opposite page, by Chris Haylett. Styling by Leila Bani at THEYrep.com. Styling assistant: Leah Gudmundson. Hair by Julie Matson at Satellite Salon. Make up by Jon Hennessey for NOBASURA. Jesse Farrell wears: Obakki leather jacket; Elizabeth and James pants and Yves Saint Laurent shoes from Holt Renfrew. Jessie’s own ring. Special thanks to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Punk-rocker, businessman

Jessie Farrell

Photography by Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

My Vancouver

Joe Shithead Keithley

OPPOSITE PAGE >


January 2009 myvancouver 29


My Vancouver

30 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009


Daniel Igali Olympic gold medalist

“My first impressions of Vancouver: coming from Nigeria, I thought it was so clean and orderly. Things were so mellow and everyone said, ‘please.’ You go into a store and nobody’s shouting at you, they’re asking, ‘Can I help you?’” “When I’m traveling I miss the people here. In Vancouver you can walk for a fabulous stretch and see a thousand different faces from different nationalities. You see Chinese, European, Native Indians, Caucasians and black people. I love a society that not only condones and tolerates but also agrees to live together like this … that is in a sense romantic for me.” “B.C. Place is where most of the things I love take place. I go to concerts and see people laugh, drink and dance. Complete strangers will just hug you for no other reason than they are happy … or they are drunk!” “I used to go to Toronto almost every weekend for sponsorship engagements. It’s a different body language there. Business-wise everything revolves around Toronto but in my heart, this is the place to be.” Three things I love n B.C. Place Stadium n Grouse Grind, purely for pleasure – if I timed myself I would get too competitive. n The nightlife. I’m into rap music. I usually go out around midnight, have a few beers, dance a little and leave by 2:00.

Photography, opposite page, by Eydís Einarsdóttir

Daniel Igali won a wrestling gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in October 2007. He is a Master of Arts candidate in Criminology at Simon Fraser University, where he also helps coach the wrestling team.

Lara Doucette a.k.a. Lala Fastwater Star of tikibartv.com

“The seawall is the best single aspect of Vancouver. When I was a kid growing up in False Creek, we would always run the seawall on sports day and even today I love to walk it and the park. Ohmygod, I love the nature in Vancouver: the ocean, the mountains, and the Gulf Islands – everything you can do in Vancouver, especially in the summer. I even love the B.C. Ferry Terminal at Horseshoe Bay, the boating aspect and water travel. “I imagine Vancouver could get a lot busier and grow a lot. I just hope that it stays beautiful and that it stays green regardless of all the building and construction. Right now there’s great cycling routes that make it easy to get around the city so I hope that those kinds of things stay a part of Vancouver. “Dislike about Vancouver? What? Nothing!” Three things I love n The Grouse Grind, I love that. n Going down to Lombardo’s to sit at the bar, it’s a really homey place to hang out. n Cafés on Main Street and Commercial Drive. Lara Doucette, a.k.a. ‘Lala Fastwater’ of tikibartv.com fame, has been a Vancouverite her entire life. When not fighting off evil Drinkbots she writes fiction and poetry and is a sometime-photographer.

Photography by Robert Karpa. Hairstylist: Kelley Schedewitz, Burke + Hair Salon. Clothing: Lara Doucette’s own.

< OPPOSITE PAGE

January 2009 myvancouver 31


My Vancouver

32 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009


Hall of Fame deejay

“Well, I love the selection of restaurants. I lived in an area in this town when there were probably three places you could go. I love Robson Street, shopping along there, and it’s sort of our Rodeo Drive North. And I love the fact that the city is located so close to nature. The proximity to nature is unprecedented compared to anywhere else, and I’ve always loved that. And those are the big things that I love about our city today.” “Well, I hate the blight out my window at the Downtown Eastside. I’m in the old – what was known as the B.C. Electric building [B.C. Electric Interurban Depot], where trams used to come in and out. And here’s an interesting thing for you: They used to go from here to Steveston, on rails, at 60 miles an hour and the other way, to Chilliwack, at 60 miles an hour, and they don’t exist any more. The pictures are all in the hallway because this is a heritage building. I’ve been down here with Bruce [Allen, music manager] for about 22 years, but nothing’s ever done; nothing ever changes.

“Number two, the traffic chaos: This is a city in a great metro area with two million people and we’ve got cow trails. Now, either outlaw automobiles or do something. “The third thing, I’m an optimistic guy and there’s too many Negative Nellies. Half of our newspaper all the time is, “No! We don’t want to enlarge by a foot and a half the causeway in Stanley Park!” “No! We don’t want any roads built!” “No! We don’t want the Olympics!” … They’re people with no vision, no vision at all, and that drives me nuts. This country was not built by people who thought that way.” Three things I love n Joe Fortes is almost a hangout for me. It reminds me of New York chop houses. n As a music freak, I love HMV on the corner of Robson and Burrard. The seemingly unlimited selection of CDs and DVDs is such a treat. n My favourite part of the Cove [Deep Cove, where Robinson lives] is Cates Park on the shoreline. It reminds me so much of my birthplace on Vancouver Island, Fanny Bay. Red Robinson is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame. His weekly radio show, Red Rock Diner, airs Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on fm1049. January 2009 myvancouver 33

Photography by Jonathan Cruz

Red Robinson


style The face

During winter our skin goes through drastic temperature changes as indoor heating goes up and outdoor temperature goes down. As the weather conditions change, so too, should your skin care routine. Makeup artist and beauty expert, Sonia LealSerafim recommends Philosophy Micro-Delivery Exfoliating Wash to protect and condition the skin. “It will slough off dead skin cells and help retain moisture,” she explains. If your skin is feeling a little drier than usual, Leal-Serafim suggests lightly misting D20 Hydration Spritz by Jane Iredale before you apply your makeup. “It will smooth dry, flaky skin and help foundation go on evenly,” she says. “Keep it handy to spritz your face throughout the day if exposed to an especially drying atmosphere or to set your makeup.” “It’s important to apply a sunscreen yearround,” says Leal-Serafim. She prefers Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, a sheer, lightweight moisturizer with SPF 20 – also a favourite among stars such as Angelina Jolie. “The hint of colour adds a healthy glow to your complexion and the moisturizing formula leaves a natural dewy finish,” she says. And remember, bronzers are not just for summer. “The winter sun may be bright at times, but it’s still a cool grey colour cast, not the warm summer glow that makes us instantly look healthy,” says Leal-Serafim. She recommends a small brush of Cargo’s bronzer in medium to give you an instant healthy glow. Jennifer Watton

34 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

Toolbox Philosophy Micro-Delivery Exfoliating Wash at Beautymark; Jane Iredale D20 Hydration Spritz at Spa Utopia; Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer at Holt Renfrew; Cargo Bronzer at Kiss and Makeup

Photography by Chris Haylett; hair and makeup by Sonia Leal-Serafim; model: Kelly L. from John Casablancas International

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the hit list Jennifer Watton

Print and pattern Start the new year fresh with bold wallcoverings, a bright leather-bound journal, recycled carrier bags and a cheerful frock

paper-phile Patina Designs evokes simpler times with its hand-printed recycled leather journals. Using historical imagery like vintage wallpaper and old newspapers, Vancouver designer Denise Wilson silk-screens an array of affordable accessories including sketchbooks, agendas and journals. $16–$140. (Heather Ross, Dream, Ainsworth and other local boutiques. 604-763-5124, patinadesigns.ca)

old made new The Nea dress is made with an original fabric pattern designed for Marimekko in 1973, by Japanese artist Katsuji Wakisaka. The pattern’s retro shapes and vivid colours are made fresh for 2009 in this sleek bubble-sleeved shift dress. Adorn your body and your space by hanging this frock on the outside of your closet, like artwork. $299. (1233 Hamilton St., 604-609-2881, marimekkovancover.com)

36 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

bag it Commercial Drive’s old street banners have found a second life as reusable nylon shopping bags. The bags are designed and manufactured by Dream Designs on a cost-recovery basis and 100 per cent of the proceeds are donated to the development of new green spaces in the neighbourhood. Available at more than 14 shops along the Drive, $9.95. (Commercial Drive Business Society. 604-251-2884, thedrive.ca)

rock and roll Rollout is a creative studio that designs and digitally prints custom wallpapers by the square foot. They work with community-based artists and designers to produce inspiring interiors – seen in Yaletown’s Pacific Goldfish Kitchen and Plenty flagship in Kitsilano. Rollout’s premium latex-based inkjet wall coverings come in 36-inch-wide rolls that are digitally printed to any volume. Artist Series papers are $10 sq/ft or print your own artwork for $8 sq/ft. (#301–321 Railway St., 604-681-3780, rollout.ca)


catwalk Guy Babineau

Jason Dussault swims against the current

His strategy for tough times in the apparel industry: ‘To focus on what I do best, creating hoodies that are works of art’

T

he koi is one of the most powerful mythological symbols in Japanese culture. It’s also a global tattoo staple. Koi is known in the West as carp; its status as a cultural icon began millennia ago in China where, according to legend, it transformed into a dragon after swimming upstream, battling waterfalls and other adversities along the way. In Japan, it is a symbol of bravery. A freshly caught koi lies on the kitchen cutting board awaiting the chef’s knife without flinching, like a samurai. Embossed in gold leaf and other metallics, the koi forms the centrepiece of Vancouverbased Dussault Apparel’s new line of seven high-end hoodies named The Magnificent Seven. Inspired by the 1960 Hollywood interpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film classic The Seven Samurai, the limited-edition line debuts this month in selected Vancouver stores before the rest of the world sees it at the Magic apparel trade show in Las Vegas in February. The feisty fish is an apt metaphor for the fortunes of the recently launched and publicly traded Dussault label, which is fighting for survival in tough economic times. It’s an upstream battle. Fashion and apparel companies everywhere are foundering. But Jason Dussault has a plan. “We’ve had to make a lot of drastic changes. We couldn’t have picked a worse time to launch in the U.S.,” says Dussault with a philosophical shrug, sitting on the edge of a cutting table in one of several local workshops where his rockstar clothing is painstakingly constructed. He’s long-haired and handsome in a bikerbearded way, very down to earth, and passionate about what he does. Last year the former suit-wearing stockbroker, who taught himself how to sew and make patterns, paired up with Kiss frontman and product-licensing guru Gene Simmons to open a wild store on L.A.’s Melrose Avenue, the Dussault Motel. A big hit with the celeb crowd, it was inspired by the ambience of ’70s horror movies. “It took me seven months [to build the store]. I personally designed every square inch. I searched through thrift stores to get the right picture frames and lights. I had a set designer come in and stain the walls like nicotine, as if it had been there for 40 years.” It’s no surprise that Dussault has custom-designed a hoodie for Rob Zombie, the former metal rocker and writer/director of the recent horror movies House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and the remake of Halloween. He’s also done

duds for Quentin Tarantino, Kid Rock and Swollen Members, among others. The flagship U.S. store opened in October 2007 but by June 2008 other stores around it started to close so Dussault came home to ride out the recession, keeping a private showroom in L.A. “Rather than waiting for the inevitable I decided to be proactive. It is so expensive to market yourself in the U.S. I had to lay off six people and am doing all their work myself as well as my designing. I stopped producing accessories and other clothes to focus on what I do best, creating hoodies that are works of art.” He’s not kidding. He signs them. These are the Tiffany’s of hoodies, featuring supersoft (and sustainable) bamboo fabric, Italian lambskin, ultra-suede, heavyweight silk, faux mink fur and high-quality cotton. The labourintensive design, detailing and construction justify a hefty price tag of $1,200. Dussault also has created a new line of distressed jeans called Trash. “I hand-dye each pair myself, wash them 13 times and hand sand them.” Although he’s shelved the store he started with Simmons, they continue to collaborate on a line of leather bags called Moneybags. Dussault also recently designed custom black-leather jackets for the Vancouver Canucks. He’s not coy about the future. Failure is not an option.

“I try to stay positive. I think that the obsession with what celebrities are wearing might change. I have been waiting for the backlash. That said, the people who are buying [Dussault clothing] have to keep up appearances. Their jobs rely on how they look: the rock star, producer or movie guy. But it’s also for the club-goer with money and guys like me when I was a suit, who want to express who they are on the weekend.” Dussault pauses and smiles: “OK, it’s for guys who want to get laid.” Items by Dussault Apparel are available in Vancouver at Boys Co and Heart and Sole as well as at Zed Threads (Port Moody), Gracie G’s (Langley) and So Swift (Surrey). mv

FROM TOP: Dussault koi jacket, Jason Dussault as a suit, Dussault (right) with Kiss bassist/pitchman Gene Simmons, Dussault Moneybags line ‘assault’ bag. January 2009 myvancouver 37


FP FC Glowbal Group

www.glowbalgroup.com 38 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009


CARE + FEEDING Three squares

Café society

Eastside, West and a Robson Street treat

Top Vancouver chefs combine culinary forces at Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill for Senza Frontiere, the Chefs’ Table Society Fundraising Dinner to promote and foster budding chefs throughout B.C. On January 12 at 6 p.m., at $500 a plate, diners are promised a 12-course “decadent, feel-good feast” and an opportunity to meet their favourite chef. Hosted by Pino Posteraro, the lineup of participating chefs will include Daniel Boulud, now of DB Bistro Moderne and Lumière, Vikram Vij of Vij’s, Hidekazu Tojo of Tojo’s, Michel Jacob of Le Crocodile, Dino Renaerts of Diva at the Met, Rob Feenie of Cactus Club, Robert Clark of C, Scott Jaeger of The Pear Tree, David Hawksworth of Hawksworth at the Georgia Hotel, and Nico Schuermans of Chambar. Net proceeds will be invested in a Chefs’ Table Scholarship and Bursary Fund to help young chefs committed to the development of regional cuisine. To reserve, call Cioppino’s at 604-868-1235 or e-mail pino@ cioppinosyaletown. com. … Regional TastingLounge (r.tl), with a 50-seat capacity and Prohibition-style private room for VIPs, has opened its doors at 1130 Mainland in Yaletown, featuring an ever-changing menu of contemporary regional cuisine. “It’s about offering our guests seasonal, organic and fresh ingredients with geographically broad flavours,” says Executive Chef Erik Smith, who will highlight B.C. along with Spain and the Middle East for the next few months. “Whenever our menu changes,” adds Operations Manager and Sommelier Alain Canuel, we’ll bring in new labels to reflect our new dishes.” ... Aurora Bistro on Main Street has closed its doors. Chef/owner Jeff Van Geest is ready for a fresh start and welcomes more time to spend with his family. … Join Yew’s three guest executive chefs from Four Seasons Resorts in Hawaii for a taste of the tropics, serving lunch and dinner January 12–17. … Ambiance Vins and La Régalade French Bistro have introduced VIP Monday, when wine importers highlight various wines from their portfolio every two weeks at 2232 Marine

Walking into Timbre, what immediately hits you is the aroma of smoke and cedar. The relatively new Commercial Drive destination boasts a decidedly rustic aesthetic, with roughly hewn large wooden tables that can seat parties upwards of eight people and lumberjack competitions playing muted on the two mounted televisions. But the main brunch entertainment is the live bluegrass band that performs for diners’ amusement every Sunday morning for “Bluegrass Brunch.” We settle in at a table by the window and sip coffees while taking in the cheery country tunes bubbling from the little stage. The atmosphere is as busy and fastpaced as the soundtrack as servers fly back and forth between the barstools dropping off dishes and refilling coffees. I decide on the Crab Cake Benny ($13) – once a one-off special and now back by popular demand, the salty crab cake mingles nicely with thick Hollandaise. Tasty, too, is the Cedar Roasted Salmon Omelette ($11). The hearty Veggie Hash ($9) packs some heat. All the brunch plates are served with a small medley of seasonal and exotic fruits that we attempt to put names to, and the hash browns are crunchy and savoury, just the way I like them, and the toast arrives looking like it was made on the grill. Musically, there is more to Timbre. Friday evenings are set aside for jazz, weeknights a range of acoustic music most easily labeled folk. The thread is that the music, like the space, is intimate. Overall, Timbre is a great place for a big group to enjoy home-style brunch on the bustling Drive. Thea Mercer

dinner West, 2008 W. Granville St. 604-738-8938, westrestaurant.com

Lunchtime may not be the best time to drop by Falafel Maison for lunch unless, like the small throngs that crowd the tiny storefront’s doorway at that time of day, you are willing to forego a seat just to tuck into what many, the management included, call “the best falafel in town.” From noon till 2 p.m. most days, there are legions who apparently agree – office and construction workers from neighbouring offices and worksites, plus, claims owner Hussein Alawie, from the residential towers that dwarf a sweetly archaic block of old shops nearby such as Café S’il Vous Plait, Robson Shoe Renu, Robson Flowers and Waverly Barber. Alawie, who came to Canada from Lebanon in 1986 knowing little English, has been owner or partner in a string of similar shops, but now is settled into his single Robson location, where his wife Jamal prepares the food in the compact kitchen behind the order counter. Her toothy, uninhibited smile is at once as charming and as exotic as anything on the menu. None of the couple’s four children is likely to carry on in the business, which is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, with Hussein Alawie on site most of those long hours. The food is simple, delicious and inexpensive – a falafel sandwich costs $4.75, vegetarian plate or shawarma plate $7.95, and that is pretty much the price range. And the food is halal, the Islamic equivalent of kosher. Visit in the off-peak hours, as we recently did, and you might grab an outdoor seat or one at a window bar where you can grab a discarded Globe and Mail from the pile or just watch life at the real end of Robson Street glide by. Bob Mercer

Had the world’s wobbly economy dampened mid-week luxury-dining budgets? Not so, judging from the nearly full white linen-and-Riedel-clad tables. Or fine diners were selectively splurging, as I did. Renowned Vancouver architect, the late Werner Forster (Il Giardino and Le Crocodile), re-designed the room when Ouest became West. The space is the ideal match of scale and symmetry – airy yet intimate, modern yet mellow, elegant but not stuffy. Executive Chef Warren Geraghty joined West last winter, but I had not had the pleasure of sampling the fruits of this disarming chap’s cuisine until a few weeks ago. Geraghty’s cooking, service and wine pairings proved impeccable. My dining buddy and I opted, mainly, for seafood. Eyedropper amounts of orange/cracked pepper mignotte added perfect zest to tangy Washington beach oysters. Seared arctic char “gravadlax” with olive oil/dill Hollandaise was a delicious shock of hot and cold, crisp and velvety. Qualicum Bay scallops, grilled golden outside, were pearly white within. Same for roasted ling cod. Rabbit, always on the menu, was on this frosty evening – a saddle, splendidly done sous-vide, a sliver of rabbit ham perched atop. (The three-course prix fixe included the cod and a casserole dish of Dungness crab.) Trendy without spendy is today’s culinary New York craze in fine dining – lavish food without frippery – no reservations, no linen, few servers. I hope luxury dining in Vancouver need not succumb. I, and my palate need a thorough pampering on occasion. Better to piggybank the toonies and head West for dining with all the frills. Julie Pegg West

Photography by Gaetano Fascianna

Falafel Maison

Photography by Owen Berry

Timbre Restaurant

lunch Falafel Maison, 516 Robson St., 604-801-6450

Photography by Owen Berry

BRUNCH Timbre Restaurant, 2068 Commercial Dr. 604-215-7515, timbrerestaurant.com

Executive Chef Erik Smith’s menus at r.tl highlight B.C. and other wordly fare. Drive in West Vancouver from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Approximately 10 wines and a platter of cheeses and charcuteries with fresh sliced baguettes will be offered for tasting, this month, on the 12th and 26th. Admission is $25 an reservations can be placed at ambiancevins. com. ... Sha Lin Noodle House on West Broadway has won the Diners’ Choice Award for Best Noodle Soup Restaurant to be presented at the first annual Chinese Restaurants Awards at the Edgewater Casino, Plaza of Nations, on January 15. In an afternoon ceremony, the Critics’ Choice for the best of 25 signature dishes will be awarded to restaurants throughout the Lower Mainland. Dining deals: Owner/Chef Albert Wei goes to market everyday and prepares almost everything from scratch at Kanata Chowder House, 812 West Broadway. Try the coldweather wine-based stews such as the Portugueseinspired Algarve or Coq au Vin at $7.50 or the Octoberfest Plate – two kinds of sausage and garlic mashed red potatoes with warm gravy, sauerkraut, and baguette – at $6.95. Regular items include half a Montrealstyle smoked-meat sandwich with Canadian rye bread and a cup of white clam chowder for $7.25. … Good value for three-course dinners set at $18, $28 or $38, when nearly 200 premier restaurants take part in Dine Out Vancouver from January 14 to February 1. Reservations will be accepted from January 5 at tourismvancouver.com, for venues and menus. Gary Barclay

January 2009 myvancouver 39


BEST CELLARS Jurgen Gothe

Aussie rules

Down a notch from years past, [yellow tail] still nails two of the top five best-selling wines in B.C. Not for no reason

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40 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

As the best-selling wine in B.C. Liquor Stores, the [yellow tail] Shiraz had total sales last year of $10,505,000. with Mr. Popularity, the [yt] Shiraz. If you love this signature down-under red, this is the one everybody else likes, and what’s not to like? It’s full with sweet berry fruit and a hint of mellow plum brandy, plenty of oak, still roasty going down, instantly appealing, like candy apples. You can see why it’s the best seller; as the old chestnut has it: We profess to like dry wine but really prefer sweet; we profess to admire thin women but actually prefer them on the fuller side; we profess to like Rachmaninov, but really prefer Tchaikovsky. I didn’t make that up, I’m just quoting an old, anonymous source. The rest then, are all whites, starting with Sawmill Creek ‘Barrel Select’ Dry White Wine. No vintage is ever stated, and you can get this in a regular bottle (750 mL), 1 litre, 1.5 litres, three and even 16 when you’ve got a lot of people coming. If you track down the virtual winery’s tasting info, they’ll tell you, in a hedgy sort of way that this is “an elegant blend of popular grape varieties … [with] … a complex bouquet highlighted by herbal and fig characters; the taste is full-bodied with

hints of green apples … [and] … a smooth, long finish is highlighted by an appealing touch of oak aging.” Which is just what I was going to say, along with the fact that it’s kind of dull, really; quite fresh and clean, but very light in fruit and lacking definition and character. Moving right along we come to [yellow tail] Chardonnay, whatever the vintage is currently going; [yt] adopts the MacDonald’s stamp, meaning it tastes the same year after year, country after country, and that’s what the wild success of the brand is built on. There’s a somewhat smoky/greasy edge to the flavours (they call for peach and coconut; we couldn’t find any of that); lots of substance but not much fruit. If you’ve got some good cheese grits or buttermilk-fried chicken – it needs to be as cold as you can stand it. Next comes the Jackson-Triggs ‘Proprietors’ Selection’ Sauvignon Blanc n/v. You can be forgiven for getting lost in the product line – Proprietors’ Selections, Reserves, Grand Reserves, they all designate different price tiers, and they all represent good value for money.

This one is very pale and while the label points to a “distinctive floral bouquet” and “citrus and dill” we were stymied in locating those; the taste being as pale as the colour. There was a hint of cucumber or watermelon someone found after a second glass. We’d all gone on to the last on the list … … which is the Sumac Ridge “Private Reserve” Gewürztraminer 2007, a personal favourite ever since the winery started producing it; the surprise is that I didn’t think there were that many people in B.C. who liked a good gewürz. And good gewürz is precisely what this is: one of the best in B.C., regardless of price. It’s lightly floral at the front of the tongue, and then shows some easy grapefruit, with just the right hint of sweetness. Lovely with cream cheeses, peppered Boursin, mellow blues, spicy main dishes. And the winner is: well, it wasn’t really a contest, but the Sumac Ridge proved the runaway favourite, the Shiraz, a distant second. Hey, this is what you’re drinking Vancouver. I just line up the numbers. mv

Photography by Owen Berry

ince the name of this column in your favourite new city magazine is “Best Cellars,” I thought we’d take a look at the other ones: the true best sellers in British Columbia. And here they are, in order of bestness, with price appended: 1: [yellow tail] Shiraz. $12.99. 2: Sawmill Creek ‘Barrel Select’ White Wine, $8. 3: [yellow tail] Chardonnay, $12.99. 4: Jackson-Triggs Proprietors’ Selection Sauvignon Blanc, $9.49. 5: Sumac Ridge ‘Private Reserve’ Gewürztraminer, $13.99. Which all proves what, precisely? That generally speaking, we prefer domestic wines over imports, and Aussies – [yellow tail] in particular – over wines from other parts of the world. Numbers are compelling, so here are the numbers before we get to the tasting: As the single best-selling wine in the liquor stores’ system, the [yellow tail] Shiraz has dropped just a smidgen – not that it matters much in the overall scheme of things: last year’s total sales for this wine added up to $10,505,000, and I’ll happily take the Blue Box receipts for that next year. Hell, I’d even buy a truck! Then there’s a considerable chasm: the next in line, Sawmill Creek White, is up five-and-abit per cent over last year, to the tune of $4,492,000. Just behind, at $4,036,000 (up 9.3 per cent) is the [yellow tail] Chardonnay; then comes the J-T Sauvignon Blanc, up 9.6 points, at $4,009,000, and the last of the big five being Sumac Ridge Gewürz, up a whopping 28 per cent to $1,853,000. Let’s talk about your Nortel shares, then… . One other set of stats: by Country Dollar Sales find Canada in first place (more than double the total of the next in line, Australia), with Australia in the Avis position, still more than double the total of number three, bring the USA. By Litre Sales find Canada still in top spot, more than triple Australia’s, which holds on to number two with not quite double the volume of number three, the USA. OK, let’s drink ’em, not white before red this time, but starting


Capsule reviews PRICE GUIDE Below $30 = [$]. $30–$50 = [$$]. $50–$70 = [$$$]. Above $70 = [$$$$]. ASIAN Hoshi Sushi [$$$$] On the ground floor of Granville Island’s Sandbar Restaurant, in this cozy 18-seater corner with a view of the courtyard, you can find menus to rival Tojo’s – at a relative bargain price. Order the $60 omakase, roughly translated from the Japanese as “I’m in your hands.” 1535 Johnston St., Granville Island. 604-669-9030, vancouverdine. com/sandbar/menus_sushi.html Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant [$$] Dim sum here will run you twice what it might in one of those humbler Chinatown joints. But in surroundings like this, a high-ceilinged, spacious room off the lobby of the splendid heritage Marine Building, the sticker shock barely stings. 355 Burrard St. 604-6888191, imperialrest.com Pho Hoang [$] Service here is indifferent and the glass-brick décor exudes coolness rather than warmth, but the hot, scented broth of the deep bowls of pho, or beef noodle soup, more than compensates. 3388 Main St. 604-874-0832. Posh [$] The $9.88 lunch at Posh is the bargain of the century, with a truly intimidating list of 35 menu items including pork or beef and introducing the timid Westerner to such delicacies as black fungus, chayote, and konjac roll. 1788 W. Broadway. 604-7377674, 303-posh.com Prima Taste Restaurant [$$] Authentic Singapore food in a modern, attractive room with an agreeable ambience that marries the best of old and new Singapore. 570 Robson St. 604-685-7881, primataste.com Zen Sushi [$$] Zen incorporates the traditional roots of Japanese cuisine with West Coast influences, using quality ingredients. 2232 Marine Dr., West Vancouver. 604-926-0667, zensushi.ca BRITISH The Irish Heather, GastroPub [$$] Sean and Erin Heather are proprietors of this friendly, casual and comfy neighbourhood hangout. Bangers and Mash are top-rate with tasty pork bangers from the British Butcher, fish and chips served with gutsy coleslaw and malt vinegar, whiskey-soaked smoked salmon, blueberry bread pudding and hearty cheese plates. 217 Carrall St. 604688-9779, irishheather.com CARIBBEAN The Reef [$] A cute tiki bar faces onto the dining room floor, which is still sporting the comfy aquamarine booths from Frenchies, now offset with bamboo walls and painted wooden tables. The food is delicious, especially when topped with the house-made jerk and hot sauces, available by the bottle for home-use as well. Try the brunch on weekends and select breakfast items weekdays until 3 p.m. 1018 Commercial Dr. 604-568-5375, thereefrestaurant.com FRENCH Cassis Bistro [$$] Cassis is that sort of Gallic café where you might find Sartre. Add cool jazz and you’ve got a dead ringer for a side street Paris café. Cassis delivers a decent plate and a great buzz. And it’s the ideal spot for brushing up on Colette.

420 W. Pender St. 604-605-0420, cassisvancouver.com Chez Michel [$$$] A warm and casual French ambience. A diversified menu is complemented by carefully selected wines from countries throughout the world. 1373 Marine Dr., West Vancouver in Ambleside. 604-926-4913, chezmichelvancouver. com Elixir [$$$] A cozy Parisian bistro ambience – white tablecloths, tiled floors and Toulouse-Lautrec prints – with a sophisticated menu that matches a clientele of Yaletown urbanites, celebrities, and film industry types. Weekday breakfasts are often bustling. 350 Davie St. (Opus Hotel) 604-642-0557, elixirvancouver.ca Le Gavroche Restaurant [$$$$] A good choice for intimate dining. Established in 1979, Le Gavroche is set in a gently refurbished two-storey Victorian house with fireplace, an upstairs terrace and a sweeping view of Vancouver’s Coast Mountains and harbour. 1616 Alberni St. 604-6853924, legavroche.com Jules [$$] A handsome room with one exposed brick wall and bare wood tables. The salade de chèvre, with goat’s cheese melted onto dressed beets, and steak frites are fine. 216 Abbott St. 604-669-0033, julesbistro.ca LATIN La Bodega [$$] Since 1971, this downtown staple has been famous for its traditional Spanish tapas, whether for cozy dinners for two or boisterous parties of 10. The service is friendly and casual, and the quaint checkedtablecloth ambiance suggests that there might be snuggling stray dogs canoodling over spaghetti and meatballs out back. 1277 Howe St. 604-684-8814/5, labodegavancouver. com Havana [$$] This funky restaurant transports you to the country Hemingway fell in love with. From its signature savoury black bean soup to the Carne Havana, a grilled sirloin with Dominican Chimichurri and salsa verde, Chef Trevor Booth’s menu sent my taste buds into overdrive. 1212 Commercial St. 604-253-9119, havanarestaurant.ca Zocalo [$] Contemporary Mexican fare in an eclectic, funky room. Try the huevos con chilaquiles or huevos divorciados. There is obvious care in these dishes evidenced by homemade tortillas, cornbread and chorizo. Closed Mondays. 2115 Main St. 604677-3521, zocalorestaurant.ca MEDITERRANEAN Al Porto Ristorante [$$$] Beautiful surroundings and a warm welcome await those who cross through the iron-gated doorway. Spacious but filled with cozy retreats to enjoy the expertly executed cooking, cuisine that literally defines the flavours and culture of Italy. 321 Water St. 604683-8376, alporto.ca Araxi [$$$$] A culinary cornerstone in the heart of Whistler Village, Araxi holds an international reputation for excellence in food, wine and hospitality. Extensive menus by Executive Chef James Walt celebrate homegrown ingredients from the nearby Pemberton Valley Farms in addition to showcasing fresh seafood from the Pacific Ocean. 4222 Village Square, Whistler. 604-932-4540, araxi.com Bay Moorings [$$] With an all-

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Capsule reviews season heated patio for pizza, Greek, Italian. 6330 Bay St., West Vancouver at Horseshoe Bay. 604-921-8184, baymooringsrestaurant.com La Buca [$$] The kitchen shines with Italian flavour at this 32-seat joint that jumps. Alone, tête-à-tête or with a group of friends, you are made to feel welcome, comfortable and satiated – without breaking the bank. Reservations recommended. 4025 MacDonald St. 604-730-6988, labuca.ca Cafe Il Nido [$$$] Its motto remains: “Everyone leaves happy.” Cuisine: pizza, Greek, Italian. 780 Thurlow St. 604-685-6436, cafeilnido.net Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club [$$] Live jazz seven nights a week, an extensive wine list, tapas and signature entrées with a West Coast flair, plus scrumptious pizza and pasta dishes. 1141 Hamilton St. 604-6847900, caponesrestaurant.net CinCin [$$$$] Executive Chef Mark Perrier’s ingredient-driven seasonal focus delights with creative dishes infused by Mediterranean influences. Outstanding desserts demonstrate the Michelin star-studded pedigree of acclaimed Pastry Chef Thierry Busset. 1154 Robson St. 604-688-7338, cincin.net Don Francesco [$$$] Warmly Italian, with floor-to-ceiling windows, across from The Sutton Place Hotel. 850 Burrard St. 604-685-7770, donfrancesco.ca Il Giardino [$$$$] The yellow-painted heritage house is a warren of terra cotta-coloured rooms and passages, along with a lavish interior courtyard. The mains here are massive. The key to Il Giardino’s longevity: treat ’em like regulars, and give them lots to

eat. 1382 Hornby St. 604-669-2422, hotelvilladelia.com/restaurant_ ilgiardino.cfm Gusto di Quattro [$$$] Cozy and comfy dining, an anecdote to the chill and damp of winter, with dishes like spaghetti and meatballs (polpette), a perfect al dente tangle of noodles sauced modestly with tomato and porcini goodness and three beefy polpette atop. A well-groomed young staff pays attention to detail. 1 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver. 604-924-4444, quattrorestaurants.com Marcello Pizzeria & Ristorante [$$] In a lovely and lively Old-World atmosphere, there’s no need to go to Naples to get a taste of Italy. Lunch and romantic dinners of authentic pizza, pasta and gnocchi from a wonderful open kitchen with a large wood-burning oven. 1404 Commercial Dr. 604-2157760. Quattro on Fourth [$$$] In the heart of Kitsilano, with crimson-washed walls, rustic wrought-iron chandeliers and candlelight casting a glow on rich mahogany tables and a hand-painted floor. Italian cuisine. 2611 W. 4th Ave. 604-734-4444, quattrorestaurants.com Villa del Lupo [$$$] Situated in an ornate heritage mansion, the menu in this discrete, private setting celebrates fresh, healthy and subtly exquisitetasting foods. 869 Hamilton St. 604-688-7436, villadellupo.com  SEAFOOD Blue Water Café & Raw Bar [$$$$] Known for innovative and brilliantly executed West Coast seafood dishes prepared seasonally and responsibly by Executive Chef Frank Pabst. Housed in a handsome brick-and-beam heritage

warehouse conversion in the heart of Yaletown. 1095 Hamilton St. 604-6888078, bluewatercafe.net C Restaurant [$$$$] A high ceiling gives the dining room an atrium feel, and the spacious seawall patio is a promise of summer to come. The maincourse halibut was perfectly composed: crusty fish, smooshed potatoes, chewy little morel morsels and a slick of creamy, peach-hued sauce. A fine place to celebrate. 1600 Howe St. 604-6811164, crestaurant.com Dundarave Fish Market [$$] This popular little neighbourhood eatery and retail market hums along with seafood lovers packing the patio and hunkering down in its cozy interior. There are plenty of fish dishes, much of it local, and plenty of ways to cook it. 2423 Marine Dr., West Vancouver. 604-922-1155, dundaravefishmarket. inknoise.com/main The Fish House in Stanley Park [$$$] The moment you arrive, you can’t help but relax. Look out onto English Bay or the gardens and forests of Stanley Park. Enjoy exceptional seafood, the fresh oyster bar and flaming prawns. Sample from a selection of micro-brewed beers, an award-winning wine list and martinis. 8901 Stanley Park Dr. 604-681-7275, fishhousestanleypark.com A Kettle of Fish [$$$] From B.C. salmon to Nova Scotia lobster to Mahi Mahi from the sunny waters of Hawaii, every seafood item on the menu is guaranteed fresh and prepared with care. 900 Pacific St. 604-682-6661, andersonrestaurants.com STEAK Morton’s, the Steakhouse [$$$$] Specializes in classic, hearty fare, serving generous portions of USDA prime aged beef, as well as fresh fish,

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lobster, veal and chicken entrées. 750 W. Cordova St. 604-915-5105, mortons.com WEST COAST Altitudes Bistro [$] Ten appetizers, a couple of soups, a few salads and hot and cold sandwiches. Majestic scenery from the 120-seat patio atop Grouse Mountain. 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver. 604-998-4398, grousemountain.com/ grousemountaindining-altitudes-bistro.cfm Argo Café [$] Some places that call themselves greasy spoons serve you an anemic little pile of sliced deli turkey bolstered with – ugh – cheese. The Argo’s version features real meat, correct tomato-bacon-mayo proportions and a tousled heap of the best thin-cut French fries in town. 1836 Ontario St. 604-876-3620. Avenue Grill [$] The house special Benedict with avocado and shrimp benefits from free-range eggs and what my companion declares possibly the best Hollandaise in Vancouver. A threepancake order is cheerfully cut down to two for the seven-year-old in attendance but is still costly at $8-plus. 2114 W. 41st Ave., 604-266-8183. The Beach House at Dundarave Pier [$$$] A beachfront landmark with views from every table, where a large fireplace illuminates a Japanese motif above and radiates a rosy glow. From a menu of pasta, seafoods and meats, service is courteous, caring and well-paced. Marine Dr. and 25th St., West Vancouver. 604-922-1414, atthebeachhouse.com Beyond Restaurant & Lounge [$$$] Breakfast, lunch, tapas, dinner or late-night libations in this chic multileveled 300-seater, with each area and tier having its own persona. Hints of Asia and India influence a menu of fish

and fowl. The kitchen is farm-supplied with a focus on organic and seasonal. 1015 Burrard St. 604-684-3474, beyondrestaurant.com Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant [$$$] Steveston’s newest eatery has a wraparound patio to watch the fishing vessels and tugs parading by and fishermen selling their wares. The blackened wild salmon burger, pan-seared and chockfull of sautéed cipollini onions, caper-garlic aioli and house greens, is to die for. 140–3866 Bayview St., Richmond. 604-275-7811, bluecanoerestaurant.com  Boneta [$$$] Eclectic’s the word for both the airy décor and the tight menu, displayed via PowerPoint above the open kitchen. While the confit tuna salad was OK, the grilled mackerel and tomato chutney was spot-on. 1 W. Cordova St. 604-684-1844, boneta.ca Cactus Club Café [$$$] The new steel-and-glass CC at Bentall 5 downtown has rolled out some of Rob Feenie’s new items, innovations that are subtle but significant. Tuna tataki is about a dozen slices of buttery sashimigrade loin atop tangy Asian slaw in ponzu vinaigrette. Garnished with juicy, peeled orange, diced avocado and mango, and micro cilantro leaves, the starter is an absolute showstopper. Service, never obsequious, is impeccable throughout. 558 Burrard St. 604-682-0933, cactusclubcafe.com Café Deux Soleils [$] Generous portions and a limited kids’ menu make this a popular breakfast spot. Soups, salads and veggie entrées are still available through the evening. 2096 Commerical Dr. 604-254-1195, cafedeuxsoleils.com Café Presto Panini [$] Folks who file into this hole-in-the-wall Italian-style café opposite Vancouver Law Courts aren’t here for the décor

but for what could be the best panini in town. 859 Hornby St. 604-684-4445, prestopanini.ca Chill Winston Restaurant & Lounge [$$] For entrées on the new winter menu by Executive Chef Richard Tyhy, the options are limited, and a good chunk of the mains are tapas-sized gourmet pizzas like the functionally titled Earth, Turf, or our pick, Surf, a West-Coasty construction of house-smoked salmon and clams abed spinach and feta and drizzled with a lemon-dill cream sauce that is tangy but not overwhelming. The service is warm and friendly, and while the delivery is a bit slow, no one here seems to be in a hurry. 3 Alexander St. 604-288-9575, chillwinston.com Crave [$$] The tables are comfortable, if a bit cramped. The food, however, is fantastic, with a brunch menu ranging from an Egg White Frittata to Pancakes and French Toast with a few inventive Bennies to round out the mix. The Dungeness Crab Cake Benny has delicate Hollandaise drizzled over freerange organic eggs that hit the mark beautifully. Service was friendly but slowish. 3941 Main St. 604-872-3663, craveonmain.ca Delilah’s Restaurant & Bar [$$$] The menu is prix fixe; small dinners include an appetizer and entrée or a full four-course dinner of soup, appy, entrée and dessert. All dishes are available á la carte, as well. The food is mostly continental with a few twists, such as the Cajun-spiced Catfish Fillet served buttery soft with spot prawns. For all its opulence, Delilah’s is about comfort and fun, with service that is warm and personable. Comox at Denman. 604687-3424, delilahs.ca Diva at the Met [$$$$] One of Vancouver’s premier dining locations, a unique blend of international styles with


a generous dash of Pacific Northwest flavours. 645 Howe St. (Metropolitan Hotel) 604-602-7788, metropolitan. com/diva Fuel [$$$] Chef Robert Becham’s high-end regional fare utilizes cooking techniques from around the world suited to each dish. Ninety-nine per cent of everything is made in-house with fresh ingredients. 1944 W. 4th Ave. 604-288-2700, fuelrestaurant.ca Goldfish Pacific Kitchen [$$] Glam surroundings, upscale food, free valet, free wireless, and bargain prices in Yaletown? In a “Sex in the City” sleek room, replete with black/white flowered Phillipe Starck chairs, flat screen TV and tall brown suede banquettes, the deal here is the Gold Plates, a different special Monday to Friday. 1118 Mainland St. 604-689-8318, goldfishkitchen.com Lift [$$$] A dynamic, urbane and sophisticated oceanfront restaurant/ lounge on the Coal Harbour seawall with views of Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains. Progressive West Coast Canadian cuisine and a contemporary wine list. 333 Menchions Mews. 604-689-5438, liftbarandgrill.ca Little Nest [$] This airy room is dotted with mid-century modern loungers and mismatched tables and chairs. Food here manages to be fresh, sophisticated and child-friendly. 1716 Charles St. 604-251-9994, littlenest.ca The Mountain Club [$$] From the people who brought The Ocean Club to West Vancouver, an almost identical menu with selections from “earth” and “ocean.” Cool and elegant with a spacious patio. Whistler Town Plaza, 40–4314 Main St., Whistler. 604-9326009, themountainclub.ca Narrow Lounge [$] Descend a set of concrete stairs and walk into a bar/lounge that you’d see anywhere

in the hippest part of London or New York City. Close quarters encourage kibitzing with your fellow diners and the full-length bar is a great spot for artists to discuss their latest projects. Open daily, 5 p.m. to midnight. 1898 Main St. 604-488-4740, narrowlounge.com Nice Café [$] Instead of $12 plates drizzled with artisanal syrup, the new Nice offers credible Bennys, vegetarian or non-, for under $6. The Nice doesn’t have much in the way of décor, and service can be spotty, but hip Main Streeters don’t seem to care. 154 E. 8th Ave. 604-874-4024. Nu Restaurant & Lounge [$$$] Stylish and casual fine dining in a room of virtually 360 degrees of floorto-ceiling glass, under the south end of the Granville St. Bridge at False Creek. Small plates, appetizers and specialties such as lamb cheeks, beef short ribs, duck, halibut, salmon and steaks. Classic cocktails and an innovative wine list. 1661 Granville St. 604-6464668, whatisnu.com  O’Douls Restaurant & Bar [$$$] Standard breakfast fare kicked up a notch via excellent service. The breakfast tab for two ($50-plus with tip) is as rich on the wallet as the silky citrus Hollandaise on the Pacific smoked salmon Benny. The seemingly bottomless carafe of coffee shows up often, always hot, always fresh. 1300 Robson St. 604-661-1400, odoulsrestaurant.com The Ocean Club [$$] West Vancouver-born and -bred Chef Doug Scott delivers the best of local ingredients, featuring handcrafted cocktails, a Wine Spectator-awarded Pacific Northwest wine list, and elegantly casual food in a sexy, hip environment. Open Late. No Minors. 105–100 Park Royal, West Vancouver. 604-926-2326, theoceanclub.ca

Parkside [$$$$] Chef Andrey Durbach serves deeply-flavoured, lusty dishes he calls “food for adults.” 1906 Haro St. 604-683-6912, parksiderestaurant.ca Raincity Grill [$$$] West Coast fare but with a twist: the 100-Mile Diet, and centres their menu accordingly on game, fish and fowl as well as organic vegetables all sourced from B.C., Alberta, Washington State and Oregon. 1193 Denman St. 604-685-7337, raincitygrill.com Rugby Beach Club Grille [$] Affordable prices in an “Upscale Sporty Casual” ambience, with Monday Lobster Nights and Seafood Sundays. Try the Roasted Pear Gorgonzola Salad. 950 W. Broadway. 604-736-2438, rugbybeachclub.com Saltaire [$$$] An imaginative menu of seafood, tapas, pastas, chops and wood-fired pizzas. A heated patio on the terrace for a panoramic view of English Bay. 235–15th St., West Vancouver in Ambleside. 604-9138439, saltaire.ca Steamworks [$$$] Since 1995, a favourite of locals and visitors for lunch, a drink after work or dinner. The Gastown Brewing Company, located onsite, uses steam to fire its kettles for a great-tasting brew. Executive Chef Andreas Scharfetter recommends the wild B.C. salmon dishes. 375 Water St. 604-689-2739, steamworks.com Suvai [$$] Little wider than a building corridor, this charming 30-seat-only gem buzzes daily for dinner, lunch and weekend brunch. We like the simple décor, from taupe walls napped with local art, sleek dark wood, and comfy upholstery to the plain napery and cutlery. And the place is as clean as polished silver. The tight menu offers four mains, including the much-lauded ginger-star anise beef short ribs, and

a daily fish special. 2279 W. 41st Ave. 604-261-4900. Sylvia’s [$$] A Vancouver landmark of 96 years, the feel is a bit of tradition and bit of modern comfort. The details, such as the dainty little coffee cups on matching saucers or the fresh select fruits tucked onto every dish, make Sunday brunch at Sylvia’s a far cry from a diner breakfast. 1154 Gilford St. 604-681-9321, sylviahotel.com Tomato Fresh Food Café [$] Drenched in Saturday morning sunshine from high-ceilinged skylights, we are greeted with the aroma of freshbaked goods, the warmth of natural wood, walls painted tomato-red and cream-yellow, an empty bar lined with swivel stools, and an enormous indoor fig tree. A spacious, well-lit cheerful space to socialize or read – with room to spread out the Sunday edition of The New York Times. 2486 Bayswater St. 604-874-6020, tomatofreshfoodcafe. com Village Taphouse [$$] A new venture of Cactus Club, this restaurant/pub offers a whiff of modern elegance in a Whistler après-ski kind of way. The Pacific Northwest-inspired dishes by Executive Chef Darren Clay are as smartly designed as the room. It’s a great while-away-the-afternoon spot on a cool, wintry day. 1C–900 Main St., Village at Park Royal, West Vancouver. 604-922-8882, villagetaphouse.com West [$$$$] Superb dishes showcasing modern interpretations of classic combinations by Executive Chef Warren Geraghty. Pastry Chef Rhonda Viani conjures equally compelling desserts. Martinis and cocktails are pressed-to-order and the highly awarded wine collection is housed in a magnificent, temperature-controlled wall of wine. 2881 Granville St. 604738-8938, westrestaurant.com

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Spa treatments, steam caves, and seafood – these are a few of my favourite things. When you go to a spa you expect certain things; fluffy towels, warm robes, wonderfully scented lotions and soaps and yes, lots of pampering of course. What you might not expect is to be walking through sandstone sculpted caves and pools, encountering indoor rainfalls and glacial waterfalls, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa.

How to get there Take the Island Highway 19 North towards Courtenay and Campbell River from Departure Bay, Nanaimo. Turn off at Exit 101 and then turn right at the bottom of the off-ramp. Continue down the hill and turn left at the lights onto Highway 19A (Old Island Highway). Stay on this road for approximately 10 minutes, you’ll find us 5 minutes past the small village of Union Bay on your right hand side. Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa 4330 Island Highway South Courtenay, BC V9N 9R9 Phone: 250-338-1323 Toll Free: 800-663-7929 Fax: 250-338-0058 Website: www.kingfisherspa.com

44 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

U

nique to North America, the Pacific Mist Hydropath® spa adventure offers the many benefits of hydrotherapy including remineralization, detoxification, relaxation and more, in a setting that evokes the Island’s natural seaside elements. Second only to it’s distinct and unique spa, the Kingfisher’s location is the ultimate in West Coast scenery. The resort is situated amidst old growth forest on the ocean’s edge of the eastern shore of Vancouver Island and offers the best in West Coast hospitality. With plenty of opportunity to watch wildlife, stroll the gardens, or walk the beachfront, the Kingfisher in its entirety is a peaceful and tranquil environment. Casual yet elegant is the catch phrase for the Kingfisher as demonstrated by their cozy and comfortable rooms, the complimentary spa amenities (including a heated outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, West Coast steam cave and fully appointed fitness room), and their warm and knowledgeable staff. Opt for a lodge-style ocean view room or one of the seven different layouts of beachfront suites, whichever you choose they all have a spectacular view of the Gartley Bay and are a minute walk away from the spa, ocean, or dining room. One not-to-be-missed elements of a stay at the Kingfisher has to be the seafood buffet. Featured once a month in the off-season and twice per month in the summer seasons (it’s best to book ahead for a reservation) the Grand Seafood Buffet is an offering of over fifty items prepared by Executive Chef Troy Fogarty. Enticing reasons to stay at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa, and with direct flights to the Comox Valley offered on Pacific Coastal Airlines, the only question is – what are you waiting for? Need a rest from the holidays? Try the Kingfisher Winter Getaway Package, which includes a complimentary night and a $50.00 resort gift card. For details visit www.kingfisherspa.com.


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January 2009 myvancouver 45


lyon’s gate Bernie Lyon

False Creek ferries

Besides shuttling West Enders to Granville Island (and vice versa) these pocket passenger ships also float one of the best cruise bargains in the city

T

hey look like they belong in the bathtub rather than the brine. But since the early ’80s, little bobbing boats-that-could – a fleet of miniature ferries now split between two rival companies, False Creek Ferries and Aquabus – have plied the busy waters of False Creek at a blistering five knots and braved the sometimes choppy waves of English Bay year-round. Besides shuttling West Enders to Granville Island (and vice versa), these pocket passenger ships also float one of the best cruise bargains in the city. Vancouver, resting upon an isthmus, looks strangely anew from aboard these endearing vessels. And an all-day pass, which will allow you to connect the dots among nine docks and destinations on the south and west of the city, is just $12 ($8 for kids). Okay, the Carnival Cruise fleet they’re not. And you want to watch your step descending the precipitous ramp at low tide (former mayor Sam Sullivan once had himself and his wheelchair hurtle wildly to the edge of the dock). But for a seal’s-eye view of a swelling metropolis, these bath toys might buoy your spirits. Illustration by Bernie Lyon. Story and photography by Lee Bacchus. For more visit: splinterinyoureye.blogspot.com

NEXT MONTH in myvancouver

46 myvancouvermag.ca January 2009

Jennifer Beals

The night watch

Net worth

As her groundbreaking made-inVancouver TV series The L-Word begins airing its final season, the brainy screen beauty talks about the unexpected difference it has made in her life and the lives of others. The actress with an activist bent also reveals what fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama, for whom she campaigned, is like up close and personal.

Love is never having to ask what time it is if, as is increasingly a trend for troubled times, you are wearing a luxury gift watch. An heirloom-quality designer watch is the seductive gift that is, paradoxically, a sensible hedge against an uncertain economic future. As the days tick down to St. Valentine’s Day, myvancouver explores the history and mystery of the timeless timepiece for her.

If you live by the mantra, “Buy low, sell high,” then the current downmarket should be a time to invest more heavily in RRSPs. B.C. residents contributed $4.7 billion to RRSPs last year, an average of more than $3,000 a person (the national average was $2,780 per). But many economists expect contributions to be down when the season ends March 2. What gives? What should you do? Read February’s myvancouver, that’s what.


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January 2009