Archive | March, 2013

A Walk On The Drive

30 Mar

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For many, the heart of East Vancouver is ‘The Drive’ as it is fondly known. It is the stretch of Commercial Drive that runs 21 blocks from Venables at the north end to 13th Avenue at the south end.  It is one of my favourite destinations in East Vancouver.   A few stops I love to make are the First Ravioli Store, 1900 Commercial Drive, for the City’s best fresh pasta.  Or for a vast selection of cheese, not to mention hearty sandwhiches made to order at the La Grotta del Formaggio, 1791 Commercial Drive.   Every birthday I only ever request one cake and that’s the Saint Honore cake from  Fratelli’s Authentic Italian Bakery, 1795 Commercial Drive.  If you take a left at Venables and walk a block east to Uprising Breads, 1697 Venables Street, you will find some of the best gingersnap cookies in town.   As always, there is a lot of hustle and bustle on The Drive on a beautiful sunny day.   This is what it looked like today in photos.

Photo Credit: CreatEveInVan

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Burlesque Ooh La La!

28 Mar


In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a resurgence of burlesque in the last 20 years. What is burlesque? Wikipedia defines it as “a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subject”.  The modern version has more of a variety show format.   I can tell you that burlesque is alive and well and thriving  in Vancouver, if the number of shows is any evidence.  If you wish to take in a burlesque show, there are a number to choose from with each show offering something titillating for the senses. For starters, this Friday, March 29th the Rio Theatre, 1660 East Broadway, has a cast of burlesque performers including 60s GoGo dancers, jugglers and belly dancers in a presentation of Paris a Minuit.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and show starts at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.


If you miss that performance, the Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street, has a Taboo Revue Burlesque show this Saturday, March 30th. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and show starts at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.  If those dates don’t fit your schedule, every Sunday night at The Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward Street, you will find Kitty Nights Burlesque showcasing burlesque originating in New York City for all of $7.00.  Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and show starts at 9:00 p.m.   This show is deemed to be the “Best Place to Meet New People” and listed as one of the top things to do in Vancouver by Lonely Planet travelers. They can’t all be wrong.

Photo Credit: Voracious V

East Village Chocolate Tour Saturday, March 30th

26 Mar


Who does not love chocolate?   Well if you wish to experience chocolate in a whole new way, consider taking the East Village Chocolate Tour.  Bonnie and Alexis of Off The Eaten Track offer a number of culinary tours on the East side of Vancouver.  This weekend, it is all about chocolate.  For $45, you get a 2 hour walking tour in which you will learn about chocolate from the experts.  This one time event starts at Steam Tea House where you get to sample 2 chocolate infused teas.  After that, they will take you to Black Rook Bakehouse for their famous Black & Tan cake which I’ve learnt was featured in Vancouver Magazine’s 25 Things to Taste Before You Die.  Then you are off to Campagnolo Roma for an exquisite Italian tiramisu.  The tour ends at Schokolade Café where you sample hand made chocolates with an award-winning Chocolatier.  The tour starts at 4:00 p.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m. Meeting place is Waterfront Station at 601 West Cordova Street. To buy your ticket, or to learn more about the other culinary tours Bonnie and Alexis offer,  check out their website at

Photo Credit: Off The Eaten Track

Winter Farmers Market In Photos

24 Mar

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It was a busy day in the beautiful sunshine at yesterday’s Winter Farmers Market. In case you missed it, here is a sample of what will be in store when they do it all again next weekend, March 30th. Same time 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., same place adjacent to Nat Bailey Stadium at 30th & Ontario. For more information as to which vendors are at the market next week, checkout their website

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Award Winning Marmalade At This Weekend’s Winter Farmers Market

22 Mar


I recently had the pleasure of attending an artisan bread making class presented by local artisan bread maker, Chris Brown, of Rise Artisan Bakery.  Chris sells his delicious artisan breads at the Winter Farmers Market held at Nat Bailey Stadium. He will be there in good form this Saturday, March 23rd along with his hot cross buns just in time for Easter.  What is notable is that Chris also makes world class orange Seville marmalade and I do mean world class.  Chris recently entered his marmalade  “The Bitter End” in the World’s Original Marmalade Awards held in Penrith, England.  There were over 1,500 entrants from around the world. Chris made away with the Silver Medal in the Artisan Category.  I can attest that the marmalade is really that good, in my humble opinion.   The award winning marmalade will also be available at this weekend’s Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey Stadium 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.   To learn more about Rise Artisan Bakery, check out their Facebook page. Congratulations Chris!

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Cuadro! Being Performed Friday, March 22nd At The Wise Hall

21 Mar

Cuadro_Poster_2013_11x17_FinalThis Friday, March 22nd, the Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street, is being transformed into a Spanish café.  The Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy presents Cuadro!  Dancers will be performing Guajira with fan, Tientos, Farruca, “Nomad” by the bata de colas, Alegrias and a jazzy Tarara.   The event features a special musical guest from New Mexico, Vincente Griego, who has spent his life studying the art of flamenco singing. This will be a colourful musical event showcasing the talents of the students of the dance academy.  Tickets will be available at the door for $25, or they can be purchased in advance for $22 by calling T: 604-671-9182.  The box office at Wise Hall will be open at 6:30 p.m. on March 22nd, show begins at 7:30 p.m.  DSC_0220_LindaMozaicFlamenco

Wine Tasting At Vancouver Urban Winery

19 Mar

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If you wish to taste some wines from BC’s Okanagan, you don’t have to travel very far.  I invite you to check out Vancouver Urban Winery. This operation is the brainchild of two young enterpreneurs, Steve Thorp and Mike Macquisten who were recently voted into  Western Living Magazine’s 5th Annual 40 Foodies Under 40.

Vancouver Urban Winery is Canada’s first wine on tap operation, FreshTap.  They repackage wines sent from wineries in pressurized 19.5 litre stainless steel kegs. This not only cuts down on waste, but is also environmentally friendly in that each keg equals 26 750ml bottles of wine. Once a bottle is opened in a restaurant, it loses flavor with oxidization quickly.  Thus, a greater likelihood the wine will be tossed.



A side benefit for us Vancouverites, is that last summer Vancouver Urban Winery opened it doors to the public for wine tastings.  The majority of the wines are from British Columbia with a few from other countries including their own brand of Roaring Twenties  for sale by the bottle in their retail store on site.  Wine tastings are 1 oz pourings which start at $2.50 per tasting or $3.50 for premium wines. You can choose which wines you’d like to try individually, or you can try the Sommelier’s Choice where they choose 5 flights of wine for you to taste for $12.00.  There are various meats and cheeses available to nibble with your wine that you can purchase. We opted for the  Sommelier’s Food & Wine Choice Pairing for $24.00 which included 5 flights of wine (2 whites & 3 reds) and a selection of local meats and cheeses paired with each of the wines.

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Vancouver Urban Winery is located in a fairly non-descript building two blocks South of the docks and 2 blocks North of Oppenheimer Park.  At the entrance you will find beautiful doors with intricate woodwork and stonework.  On entering, the interior has a unique layout with 24 foot ceilings, wooden beams and beautiful ironwork from its predecessors.    There are some long wood tables perfect for large groups, or there is the fireplace with 2 long leather sofas which make for a nice way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon or wind down after a day at work.  The Vancouver Urban Winery is located at 55 Dunlevy Street (just 3 blocks North of East Hastings Street). They are open for tastings and tours, Mon. to Wed. 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Thur. to Fri. 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Sundays from Noon to 5:00 p.m.  They are closed Saturdays for private events and occasionally will book private events during their operating hours. They update their Facebook Page regularly with their operating hours, upcoming events and promotions. One current promotion is Thirsty Thursday which is a 2 for 1 tasting special from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.  The Tasting Bar this month features Roaring Twenties Wine Co. Quails’  Gate, Noble Ridge Vineyards & Winery and Road 13 Vineyards.  This is definitely a spot to check out.  Cheers!ILiveInEastVanMarch2013 284

Photos by Patti Zazulak and CreatEveInVan

The Baker’s Market Returns March 30th

17 Mar

PurpleMacaronsBakersMarketIf you have a sweet tooth, the Baker’s Market in SE Vancouver is the place for you. This concept was inspired by the local farmers markets, but you won’t find any veggies here. Although you may find some vegan baked goods.  The range of products is quite diverse including exquisite French macarons by J’adore les Macarons, gluten free products by We Against The Grain and  Sweet Lily Bakery specializing in puff pastry, cookies, cakes, pastry, and cupcakes.  That is only the beginning. You will also find organic muffins, brownies, handmade chocolates, Belgian waffles, scones, preserves, tarts, granola and much more.   This market is a community based event that brings out the professional and amateur baker as well as student and Mommy bakers.    The Baker’s Market starts up again Saturday, March 30th at the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre, 7646 Prince Albert Street (60th & Fraser). It will run each consecutive Saturday until May 4th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  As the event is held indoors, it is a go rain or shine. Add to that, there is free admission, free parking and free samples!  So come out and support your local talented creative bakers.

New Exhibition Coming To The Cultch Gallery March 20th

15 Mar


An opening reception is being held Wednesday, March 20th at The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to attend this event. The Cultch Gallery is presenting a Dialogue by Shya-fen Tsai and an exhibition of the Goddess Series of paintings by Sande Waters.

Shya-fen Tsai was born in Taiwan in 1949. She had dreams of becoming an artist, but was discouraged by her family. After immigrating to Canada in 1974, she fulfilled her dream of becoming an artist.  Shya-fen enrolled in the Emily Carr University of Art & Design where she studied painting and sculpture.  Her art is abstract in nature and can be found in private collections around the world.

Sande Waters is a resident of North Vancouver.  She studied art at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design and the San Francisco Art Institute.  Sande is a watercolour and graphite artist.  Her  current body of work on display is titled the “Goddess Series” uses beautiful imagery derived from gender and sexual symbolism.   Her paintings, drawings and photographs are shown and collected in Canada and the United States.

The exhibit runs from March 19th to April 7th, 2013.sandewaters_goddesswithblueeyebrows_16x10in

Want to Make Your Community A Better Place?

13 Mar

NeighbourhoodSmallGrantsFlyerIf you would like to make your community a better place, consider applying for a Neighbourhood Small Grant.  If you have not heard about this program, it is worth looking into.  You can apply for grants from $50 to $500 for projects in your neighbourhood. The aim of the program, which is funded by the Vancouver Foundation,  is to connect and engage people within the community in which they live.  Neighbours can get together and make an application for a variety of events. Some examples of past events include neighbourhood block parties, clean up campaigns, ethnic cooking classes, emergency preparedness plans, community gardens and an outdoor movie night.   The ideas are only limited by your imagination.  Once your application is submitted, it is reviewed by a Resident Advisory Committee made up of residents in your neighbourhood. Applicants are advised by May 1st if they receive funding and are asked to have their projects completed by November 30th.   In East Vancouver, the program is available in the following 4 areas:

Carnegie, Strathcona, Ray-Cam
Cedar Cottage, Kensington, Hastings-Sunrise
Mount Pleasant, Little Mountain
South Vancouver, Collingwood

Deadline for applications is March 31st.  Applications can be made on on-line at the Neighbourhood Grants Program.

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