Tag Archives: Main Street

Breakfast & Blooms At Olive & Wild

24 Apr

IMG_1932We were recently invited to one of our favourite stores, Olive & Wild, 4391 Main Street. If you are unfamiliar with this store, it features a beautiful selection of items for home décor. This weekend, they hosted a workshop titled Breakfast & Blooms with the talented Jacquie Moysir of Il Fioraio Florist. It was a floral workshop in which Jacquie led a group of 8 to create a beautiful arrangement they could take home with them.  The  morning started with a greeting from Shamus the store mascot followed by coffee, baked goodies and fruit. Once everyone had their hit of caffeine, the workshop got underway with Jacquie giving tips on how to keep flowers fresh. Then the creative got under way. While the group looked on Jacquie created a beautiful arrangement with all the flowers she brought for the workshop along with instructions. After that everyone got busy and created their own arrangement under Jacquie’s watchful eye.  This is fun and creative way to spend a Sunday morning.  Note, after class attendees can shop and receive a 15% discount on any purchase in Olive & Wild. We’ve included a sampling of photos from the event.  The next scheduled Breakfast & Blooms is Sunday, July 29th at Olive & Wild. To register, visit Il Fioraio Florist.

An Evening Of Storytelling At The Cottage Bistro April 10th

3 Apr

StorySlamApril10Vancouver Story Slam is back at the Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main Street on Tuesday, April 10th for an evening of storytelling.  These monthly gatherings are organized by Susan Cormier and hosted by Bryant Ross. Ten storytellers will take the stage and share their original stories with you. Those participating this April include Alix Born, Chris Cannon, Katharine Moore, Lalo Espejo, Maia Brundage, Michele Luchs, Mike Funergy, Naomi Steinberg, Trish Irvin, and Zach Allan. The event will open with a guest story from special guest storyteller T.J. Mair. The event is $5 at the door which gets you a ballot giving you the opportunity to vote on your favourite story.  There are cash prizes awarded to the winners.   If you wish to learn more about this event or participate in an upcoming event, email them directly at Vancouverstoryslam@yahoo.com. If you can’t make this one, future dates are posted on their Facebook page. Note, space is limited at this venue. So if you don’t want to miss it, best to get their early.

Nifty For Fifty At Heritage Hall Sunday April 15th

2 Apr

NiftyFor50One of the best sales in the City is back on Sunday, April 15th at the Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street.  Nifty for Fifty was founded by Adhesif Clothing designer, Melissa Ferreira, in 2007 with 12 designers. It has now grown to 30 sellers with over 3,000 shoppers attending the one day sale. If you are not familiar with Nifty For Fifty, the sale is a way for designers to show gratitude to their customers by clearing out local merchandise all of which is $50 or less. You can expect to find clothing, jewelry, sketchbooks, pottery, bags, scarves and much more by some great local designers. Some of the designers on hand include Adhesif Clothing, Dahlia Drive, Daub & Design, Cord & Stone, Devi Arts Collective and many more.  A number of items available on this day will be up to 80% off. So mark your calendar for this shopping event, but just a reminder this is a mainly cash event. For those that want the best selection or first dibs at some of the great deals, we recommend you get their early. The sale starts at 11:00 a.m. and goes to 7:00 p.m. Admission is $2 at the door.


Vancouver Story Slam At The Cottage Bistro February 13, 2018 With Contributing Writer Al Tee On Stage

31 Jan

sVancouverStorySlamFeb13If you love storytelling, be sure to check out Vancouver Story Slam. Their next event happens Tuesday, February 13th at the Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main Street.  These monthly gatherings are organized by Susan Cormier and hosted by Bryant Ross. Ten storytellers will take the stage and share their original stories with you. Those participating this February include Al Tee who wears a few hats including contributing writer for IliveInEastVan.com. The line up also includes Aneesah Jaffer, Arianne Robbins, Cory Thibert, Elisa Paczos, Griffin, James Long, Johnny Scoop, Marylee Stephenson, Mike Sheridan, and Rob Boffard. The show will open with a guest story by storytelling duo Sherry MacDonald and Jim Murray.  The event is $5 and that also gets you a ballot giving you the opportunity to vote on your favourite story.  There are cash prizes awarded to the winners.   If you wish to learn more about this event or participate in an upcoming event, email them directly at Vancouverstoryslam@yahoo.com. If you can’t make this one, future dates are posted on their Facebook page. Note, space is limited at this venue. So if you don’t want to miss it, best to get their early. 

Shop Local With These East Van Shops

19 Dec

WhiteChristmasFinished your Christmas shopping? If not, the countdown is on. We recommend skipping the craziness that is the malls. Why not stop into one of these great local businesses that will a) not only appreciate the business, but b) offer some truly great service.  We’ve set out a few of our favourite spots we think are great for gift giving. Note, many of the stores have extended hours this week to help you with your Christmas shopping.

Les amis du fromage – 843 East Hastings Street

For the cheese lover, this is a great spot, but that’s not all they have.  They have a host of kitchen accessories and gourmet condiments perfect for giving gift.  Add to that, they are hosting a Sweet Pop Up Shop with delish items from Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar until December 24th.  If you know a true cheese lover, take note of their upcoming Wine & Cheese Tasting classes in the New Year.

Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 East Hastings Street

Who does not love to receive great food at Christmas?  There is such an array of delectable food items in store at Gourmet Warehouse whether for entertaining over the holidays or gift giving.  You can find just about everything here whether it’s small appliances, knives, condiments, baking items or maybe a gift certificate for an upcoming cooking class. There are lots of great gift ideas in store.  This week, they are making it easy for you. Gourmet Warehouse is open 10:00 am to 8:00 pm until December 22nd. Saturday, December 23rd 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and December 24th 8:30 to 4:30 pm.

Bird On A Wire Creations, 2535 Main Street

Bird On A Wire Creations is located near Kingsway on Main Street and features a host of new as well as established Canadian artists. They have an amazing selection of one-of-a-kind items.    If you missed artisan markets and craft fairs, you will find many of local makers in this store.  They are are open 10:00 am to 7:00 pm this week.

Giving Gifts Co., 4570 Main Street

Giving Gifts is a unique concept store made up of 5 rooms with items from over 70 local artists and small businesses in one lovely boutique shop.  The items are also eco-friendly and fair trade made. This store also has a great selection of gifts for kids and toddlers.

Little Mountain Pop Up Shop, 4386 Main Street

The Little Mountain Pop Up Shop is currently hosting ‘Holid-eh!’ featuring over 20 Canadian makers.  A few participants include Fox & Fancy, Bar Skin Bar, True North Trading Post and more.  They are open for holiday shopping until December 24th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and for those last minute shoppers, December 24th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Olive & Wild, 4391 Main Street

If you are looking for some beautiful unique home décor items for gift giving this year, we recommend checking out Olive & Wild. Lots of beautiful items in store sourced locally and globally.

Second Nature Home, 3565 Commercial Street

Second Nature Home is great little shop just steps away from the Commercial Street Café in a great little stretch of road nestled next to the Toso Wood Gallery.  It boasts an array of eco-friendly items from Canadian artisans many of them local.  There is a wide selection of products and we might add great knowledgeable service. This week, they are open Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday, December 24th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Doctor Vigari Gallery, 1816 Commercial Drive

Doctor Vigari on The Drive boasts quite a collection of art from BC and Canadian artists whether you are looking for large or small pieces, there’s lots of choose from including tiles, prints, jewellery, sculptures, furniture, ceramics and much more.  Also framing is available in store to finish off that perfect piece of art whether purchased in store or elsewhere.

Lala’s On The Drive, 1748 Commercial Drive

A newer addition to The Drive, Lala’s has an array of gift giving items, some silly, some sassy, many just plain fun.  Lots of unique items for gift giving.

Wherever you shop, we hope you will continue to support our local businesses.


First Pick Handmade At The Heritage Hall September 16 & 17, 2017

13 Sep

First Pick Postcard jpegThis weekend you are invited to First Pick Handmade YVR happening at the Heritage Hall at 3102 Main Street on September 16th and 17th. This is a curated event of 27 Canadian men’s and women fashion accessory designers. They will be on hand with a limited run of their fall picks.  First Pick Handmade will transform Heritage Hall into a 3,300-square foot pop up boutique department store for the person that values Canadian design and quality materials.   The event will include a combination of long standing designers as well as newer start ups.  The common thread all these designers share is high quality construction and materials. The event will showcase clothing, jewelry, hats, winter accessories, shoes and bags, for both men and women.  Some of the local designers featured include Westerly Handmade Shoes, Friday Socks, Bill Would, Winterluxe, Anderson Boots, Daub and Design, Lana Betty and Buruko Bags and Zed Handmade just to name a few.

First Pick Handmade was created and curated by Janna Hurtzig  who is the founder/designer behind Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere and Astrosatchel labels.  Hurtzig has been part of Vancouver’s handmade scene since 1988 in a variety of roles including co-organizer of Shiny, Muddy Fuzzy.  So we are expecting to see some great things at this upcoming first ever market.  First Pick Handmade YVR runs this Saturday from  11:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Entrance is $3.00 at the door.

A Slice Of Life In East Van: Henry’s Shoes

26 Jul


The French Emperor Napolean Bonaparte – he of the short stature and tall hat -supposedly once said an army marches on itʼs stomach. But thinking about it, an army actually marches on quality comfortable shoes. We as upright mammals, crave the kind of shoes that absorb the day to day pounding on our feet traversing East Van. But what happens when your favorite shoes blow a heel? Or the sole comes apart? The stitching frays or the tongue detaches? Do you toss them? No! Theyʼre your favorite shoes! Do you try Gorilla Gluing them? Yes! But when the glue no longer holds do you toss them then? No! Never! Thereʼs got to be a way to fix them. But where? Whoʼll do quality work and not charge you so much you start fantasizing about Boxing Day sales? 

 I found the answer. Sort of.

 A year or so back, I begin to patronize a short commercial strip on the west side of Main at 48th. Itʼs one of those groupings of two storey buildings that canʼt possibly last in the condo clearcut we call home. I love these spots but always wonder, how much longer? This particular spot features two grocers, one of which Persian Foods has an inventory to match itʼs name, and a hair salon and a dentist. But it was only after multiple grocery runs, that a side glance lead me to the other business in this little block.

Henryʼs Shoe and Shoe Repair.

From the outside, I thought this space was an abandoned storefront. With itʼs faded sign and what looked like cramped cluttered shelves, I assumed the space had once had a business but now was sitting idle and empty. Then one day, the door was open, and the sign, which Iʼd never paid attention to, caught my eye. It was two words on the sign that drew me in; Skate Sharpening.

My immediate thought; ʻ Bullshit. Nobodyʼs sharpening skates in there. “

So in I went. It was small tight like it appeared on the outside, and crammed with old school Geppetto-esque machinery. An elderly Asian man worked hunched over one of the machines. I yelled to him, but nothing. Eventually he looked up.

Me; “ You sharpen skates here? “
Him; “ No more. I do hockey pants, hockey gloves, goalie pads. “

He pointed to a rack of things to be picked-up and amongst piles of shoes, was a pristine pair of goalie pads. That was the ice breaker. Turns out I was talking to Henry Ng an 88 year old cobbler who escaped from Maoʼs China in 1949 because in his words; “ Canʼt make money there. “ He went to Hong Kong then came to Vancouver in 1951. He got into shoe repair. Works everyday 11 to 7pm. Takes one holiday a year to go on a boat cruise. ʻTold me heʼd been in that location since the mid 1960ʼs. He even owned the building but wasnʼt interested in cashing in and selling. I was hooked. I gave him my hockey gloves to re-palm. I just one tiny concern. Henryʼs is a cash up front only business. The sole record of our transaction was a tattered stub of paper with a piece of green masking tape on it. He did have a business card with a phone number, but it was so old it didnʼt even have an area code. Plus at his advanced age, you know, Iʼm going to sound insensitive but, you wouldnʼt want to show up one day looking to pick up your stuff, and find the doors locked no Henry. It would be a tragedy, of course. But also it would be a huge hassle. I just want my gloves back I donʼt want to wait for probate.

Fortunately, Henry came through. A pro job on the gloves. Then I mentioned him to a lady friend and she went in with a favorite pair of multiply repaired broken heeled boots. After Henry did a nice job on the boots, she started rummaging through her closet for every favorite shoe sheʼd thought she might want fixed.

But then one day, a week ago, I saw a ragged hand written sign on his door. He was closing July 23rd. What? No! I went inside.

Me: “ What happened? “
Henry: “ I sell the business. “

He emphasized that he hadnʼt sold the building heʼd just sold the business. But nonetheless, after decades of repairing and extending the life of peoples footwear and equipment, slapping them together with what ever parts he could find, Henryʼs own parts were finally wearing out.

Henry; “ Canʼt hear. Feet no good. Back no good. Retire. “Henry'sShoesFront

Henry did say though, it was still going to be a shoe repair shop. Somehow I suspect the clutter will disappear, and a new artisanal blacksmith will operate the premises. But then, is there such a thing as shoe repair gentrification?

By Contributing Writer Al Tee

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