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What’s On East Van: August 18, 2017

18 Aug

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Lots happening in East Van this next week.  Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out cool events for the upcoming week. Beyond the week, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Family Night Series – Grandview Park – August 18, 2017

The Commercial Drive Business Improvement Society is hosting a free community event in Grandview Park Friday, August 11th. The evening which runs from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm includes crafts for kids, poetry, photography and live music.

Italian Market – Italian Cultural Centre – August 18, 2017

One of our favourite markets, The Italian Market happens in the parking lot of the Italian Cultural Centre. Lots of great local vendors with, of course, a hint of Italian flavour. Some delish food trucks will be hand and an outdoor eating area. Market runs from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Community Paint Day – Britannia Community Centre – August 19, 2017

Are you artistic? Love to paint? You are invited to join others in creating ground murals at Britannia Community Centre from Noon to 4:00 pm this Saturday.

PNE/Playland – August 19, 2017

It’s opening day for the Pacific National Exhibition this Saturday, August 19th.  Things kick off at 10:00 a.m. To see what’s on for this year’s fair, visit PNE/Playland.

Artful Sundays – Napier Greenway -August 20, 2017

Artful Sundays return to the Napier Greenway at the Britannia Community Centre this Sunday.  You can expect to find local artisans, workshops, demonstrations and live music.  Event happens Noon to 5:00 pm. It is a free event and everyone is welcome to attend.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival – August 18 & 19, 2017

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival brings four films to the York Theatre on August 18th and 19th.  To learn more about which films and times, visit Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

Pop Up Pulp Jewels From France – Uncommon Café – August 24, 2017

French Designer Camille, owner, designer and jewelry maker of Pulp Jewels is hosting a one-day Pop-up Sale on August 24th at the Uncommon Café from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. To learn more about the event visit Pulp Jewels Event.

Entertainment, Comedy + Live Theatre

New play Two Rooms is featured at Havana Theatre from August 15th to 19th. The play focuses on a hostage taking in Beirut and the actions of the spouse on the other side of the world and how that culminates into a startling conclusion. Looking to laugh? Don’t forget Havana Theatre features improv comedy Friday and Sunday nights. Another option for entertainment tonight, is the Rio Theatre which is hosting Lord of the Schwings: A Tolkien Burlesque Night. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The fun kicks off at 8:00 pm.

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New In Town: 77K Freeze On The Drive

14 Aug

77kFreezeVarietyFlavoursWe stopped in at a new spot in town recently, 77K Freeze located at 2240 Commercial Drive just steps away from Cabrito Tapas and Jam Jar.  This is undoubtedly a very cool concept, pun actually wasn’t intended, but fits.  What is it exactly? Well you get to create a frozen dessert with what you love and it’s made fresh on the spot in front of you with liquid nitrogen. Nothing is pre-made, everything is to order on the spot by their Freezeologists. If you have food allergies or specific dietary needs such as no diary, you can pick the base you want. You know exactly what’s in your dessert and get to see how it’s made.  We think that’s pretty cool.  77K Freeze is brought to you by a team of 7 with a range of backgrounds including scientist, engineer, designer, artist, manager, healthcare professional and one creative genius. We definitely think these frozen desserts are worth checking out next time you find yourself on Commercial Drive. 77K Freeze is open 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm Sunday to Thursday and open till 10:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. You may wish to check out their Freeze Xperiences or Dark Matters Xperiences in which they offer a group of up to 15 people the opportunity to try up to 5 frozen desserts again. These are custom made according to requests made by the group.  The cost is $25 per person for Freeze Xperiences offered on Friday evenings and $35 per person for Dark Matters Xperiences offered Saturday evenings. You can ask about the Xperiences in store, or visit Eventbrite which features some of their upcoming events.

Photo Credit: 77K Freeze

 

Outdoor Pizza & Beer ‘Good Grains’ Happens August 24, 2017

9 Aug

GoodGrainsThe Italian Cultural Centre invites you to an evening of beer and pizza in their outdoor space adjacent to Beaconsfield Park. Outside of having some great beer and authentic Italian pizza, you will learn about BC grains, the bakers and brewers and at the same time meeting some of the bakers, brewers and growers.  The event is about is as local as you can get. Pizza will be made from Fraser Valley grown wheat, beer is from Luppolo Brewing Company and Vancouver’s only organic brewery, Dogwood Brewing. Tickets for the event are $30 per adult and $5 per child.  For tickets call 604.430.3337 or visit their website at Italian Cultural Centre.

Killarney Shopping Centre – The Last Outpost?

7 Aug

Depending on how you view the history of Canada, it was explored and settled or it was conquered and occupied. Either way the pattern of Westward expansion seemed to involve a commercial enterprise, usually the Hudson’s Bay, plonking down an anchor store somewhere. Then a fort was built around it and they started trading. I believe that the shopping centre of the post war expansion was the distant offspring of the old trading outposts. Basically, build a ring of retail around a parking lot and then let the people come.

There are not many of these old style wide open centres left. Oh, you can still find them in places like Campbell River and Quesnel, but for the most part on the Lower Mainland theyʼve been eaten up by the mall. Still there are a few holdouts left and one in particular that comes to mind is the Killarney Shopping Centre.

Located at East 49th and Elliott this commercial outpost is oddly frozen in time. Sure it has a bank and a Starbucks, but in the condo clearcut thatʼs slowly migrating from the West Side to East Van, it really doesnʼt look much different from when it was built in 1962. It is mostly single story and has a gas station. Remember those? They used to have them in downtown Vancouver.

The main draw though, for the Killarney Shopping Centre is the Killarney Market. It is one of those near extinct commercial entities that still exist sporadically in East Van; an independent grocery. The market was originally a Safeway, then an IGA and now it is a 24 year old independent run by two brothers, John and Tito Chiang. Walking the aisles it has that small town old store feel, though it has a diverse stock of ethnic KillarneyMarketBublefoodstuffs you probably wouldnʼt find in Quesnel. Killarney Market also gained some publicity by being in the Michael Buble video for “Havenʼt Met You Yet “ Though mentioning this kind of makes me cringe. When it comes to guys in a suit jacket singing, my taste lies more toward Nick Cave than Mr. Bubbly.

One other curiosity of the Killarney Shopping Centre is its home to Wally’s Burgers. For those unaware of the significance, Wally Burgers was located on Kingsway for 46 years. It was a small greasy burger joint of the 1950ʼs movie variety. It was also a kind of right of passage, a stop over for those traveling West for a night in town. A place to put some padding down before the boozing. It was also a stopover for those traveling East heading home. A place to absorb the boozing or maybe lay down some padding for the impending hangover.

Wally’s closed on Kingsway in 2008 and then in 2010 some enterprising folk rebooted the whole thing and now have three locations. How does it compare? Well, unless youʼre either half-pissed or hungover itʼd be pretty hard to tell. Nostalgia aside, the thing I find most curious about Killarney Shopping Centre is how long can this uniquely dated shopping centre, this aging commercial outpost last? The most recent property assessment was for over 39 million up by 10 million over the previous year. At some point an income trust or dark lord developer is going to decide to cash it in.

By Contributing Writer Al Tee

Photo Credit: Killarney Market & Wally’s Burgers

Upcoming Foodie Events In East Vancouver

24 Jul

We love food and checking out foodie events in and around East Vancouver. Honestly, there are a swack of them to choose from this summer and into the fall months.  Some from past experience we’ve learnt do sell out quickly. Thus, if there is something that’s up your alley, we recommend grabbing tickets sooner vs. later.  Whether you like pie, cookbooks, BBQ, wine, cocktails or cheese, we think there’s something for everyone.

Sushi Workshop – Gourmet Warehouse – September 23, 2017

If you wish to learn how to make your own sushi, you may wish to check out the workshop being offered at Gourmet Warehouse on September 23rd.   Seasoned pro Chef Cindy Low will teach you how to make sushi in this hands on class. She will cover it all, how to make sushi rice, mix wasabi, prepare a variety of fillings and will cover rolls, cones and a variety of other shapes.  She will even give you tips on how to host your own do-it-yourself sushi party.  Workshop runs from 11:00 to 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 23rd. Cost of the class if $79. To register, visit Gourmet Warehouse.  Added bonus 10% off your purchases in store the day of your class.

September – November 2017: Cheese & Wine Tasting – les amis du fromage

 The fine folks at les amis du fromage have a great line of cheese & wine tasting classes starting September 12th with Wine & Cheese 101. More classes follow in September featuring cheese from Italy, France and Quebec. Price runs $65 – 70 per person per class and includes wine with your cheese tasting. Although the dates seem a little ways off, these classes do sell out.  To purchase your ticket(s), visit les amis du fromage. Note, all classes take place at their East Vancouver location at 843 East Hastings Street.

August – September 2017: Summer Pie Workshops – The Pie Shoppe

We can personally speak to the pie making talents of the French sisters that created this shop. These two sisters have some serious pie making experience under their belts and we have to say make some pretty dam fine pie.  They are teaching a number of workshops this summer if wish to master the art of pie making. If you prefer to start with pastry fundamentals, they have a workshop dedicated solely to that on September 13th. To register for their workshops, visit The Pie Shoppe.

October 5, 2017: Book Launch ‘Starters, Salads & Sexy Sides’ by Caren McSherry – Gourmet Warehouse

Caren McSherry, chef and owner of the Gourmet Warehouse, has written a cookbook ‘Starters, Salads and Sexy Sides’. They are hosting a book launch on ThursdSexyStarters&SidesKarenMcSherryay, October 5th which includes a cast of local culinary talent such as Scott Jaeger from The Pear Tree, Robert Clark from The Fish Counter, Trevor Bird from the Fable Kitchen to name a few.  Tickets for the evening event are $50 and include a copy of Caren’s new cookbook. To reserve your spot, we recommend you call the store directly at 604. 253.3022.  

Photo Credit: Gourmet Warehouse 

Off The Beaten Track – Casa Verde & Spartacus Books

19 Jul

ACasaVerdeccording to Robert Stone – I recommend the Netflix doc “ Get Me Robert Stone “- the past is prologue. Now if you donʼt subscribe to that theory then you most likely werenʼt inspired by my suggestions to stop in at what was once Commercial Village. But if you do, you may want to check out another curiosity. Right in the middle of Commercial Street, at 3532, is a restaurant. Itʼs called Casa Verde and unless you were looking for it, you wouldnʼt even give it a side glance. With itʼs fading green awning and neutral storefront, the place looks like one of those “ social clubs “Tony Sopranoʼs pals would hang at. But actually itʼs a real restaurant. A Portuguese restaurant thatʼs been run by the same family for twenty years. Iʼm not going to review Casa Verdeʼs fare. Which is a good thing. I may not be the best food critic given that I did not like the much praised and acclaimed Savio Volpe on Kingsway and Fraser. I can tell you that the proprietors of Casa Verde recommend the salted Cod or their weekend chicken barbecue special. But thatʼs not whatʼs interesting. Whatʼs interesting is that behind Casa Verdeʼs almost invisible storefront, thereʼs also a banquet hall that holds up to one hundred. The hall feels like it should be accessible through a bookcase operated secret passage. Itʼs discreet and it might be the perfect venue to roll out your start-up launch, or throw that party when your new single drops.

On the other hand, maybe you donʼt have time for something as frivolous as checking out a restaurant you may never dine in. How could you have time when thereʼs injustice and inequality in the world? After all, you are a social justice warrior. Thatʼs why you live in East Van the birthplace of Vancouverʼs progressive thought. East Van was home to the first Lefties on city council Bruces Yorke and Erickson and the Godfather of Progressive Vancouver Trout Laker Harry Rankin. Itʼs also home to long serving former NDP MP Libby Davies and future long serving NDP MP Jenny Kwan. So itʼs ironic that in your rush to those committee meetings youʼve never stopped, right at where Commercial Street meets Commercial Drive, and checked out Spartacus Books at 3378 Findlay.

Spartacus Books is Vancouverʼs original Lefty book store. Itʼs been around since 1973 and for years was a beacon of socialist thought on the Downtown East Side. But eventually evil forces – think developers not CSIS- conspired to run Spartacus Books out of itʼs long time location and over to this innocuous spot under the Sky Train behind the Croatian Cultural Centre. Banished to this location, Spartacus Books soldiers on encouraging truth justice and the East Van way. Theyʼre friendly folk, mostly volunteers, and they wonʼt try and force feed you Das Kapital or insist you watch a North Korean video. If youʼre trying to establish an ideological position, validate your East Van political street cred, or just worry about the fires of capitalism being highly infectious, Spartacus Books can help.SpartacusBooks

By Contributing Writer: Al Tee

 

 

What’s On East Van: July 14, 2017

14 Jul

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Lots happening in East Van this next week.  Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out cool events for the upcoming week. Beyond the week, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Playland Nights – July 14, 2017

Playland hosts an adult only evening from 7:00 pm to midnight Friday. You will find beer, wine, special cocktails including Candy Floss Martinis and Snow Cone Vodka and the usual midway games and 25 rides. Advance admission is $26, tickets at the gate are $29.

Tango Lesson – July 14, 2017

Love to dance? Want to learn to dance the tango?  The Italian Cultural Centre is hosting dance lessons Friday nights in July. Classes are from 6:00 – 7:30 pm and cost is $20. To register visit, Italian Cultural Centre.

Eastside Flea – July 14 – 16, 2017

The Eastside Flea happens this weekend at 1024 Main Street. Friday night is their Shop N’Bop which features food trucks, pinball, a select group of artisans, craft beer and cocktails from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. The full market happens Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm each day and features over 50 local vendors.

Free Outdoor Concert – Trout Lake – July 19, 2017

Trout Lake Community Centre is again playing host to a line up of free concerts every Wednesday night from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. This week the Soda Crackers take the stage. In the event of rain, the event goes indoors.

Outdoor Long Table Dinner – July 20, 2017

The Italian Cultural Centre is hosting an outdoor long table dinner on Thursday, July 20th a Taste of East Van. The evening is a collaboration with Slow Food Vancouver and showcases local growers and producers. Tickets are $45 for dinner. Wines will be available for purchase. For more info or tickets, visit Italian Cultural Centre.

Entertainment, Comedy, Live Music + Theatre

Playland is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm this weekend. If you are looking for some family entertainment, the Commercial Drive Business Society is hosting free dance and Zumba in Grandview Park from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sunday. This is a free event, everyone is welcome to attend. Friday night, Trout Lake will be featuring an outdoor movie at 9:00 pm showing Shrek. If you are looking for some thinking theatre, The Cultch is featuring Deviance until July 15th.  The show highlights the fine line between abnormal and unacceptable behaviour. Have a great weekend!

Image: June Hunter

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