Friday, August 13, 2010

Sunshine, Vancouver Treats, and Shoes, Again . . .

Through the long, rainy winter, living on this island is a commitment of love that means rough crossings in small boats with layers of rain gear. And through all seasons, it means lugging groceries and other supplies into a boat on one side, then out on the other side, an extra, cumbersome step to whatever one usually does when fetching and carrying. Garbage has to be hauled to town, more lugging, messier lugging. When we realize we've forgotten an overdue DVD, or the book we'd promised a friend, or more importantly, our lunch, or once even my purse, we can't just zip back home for it -- ferries go every hour on the hour. . .

But in the summer, when we look at the weather forecast and see sunshine and 31 degree temperature (88 Farenheit) stretching right into next week? And we're sitting at the beach? It's worth every drenched bike ride on every muddy road.

If you're still in the city, though, and if that city is Vancouver, and you know it's too hot to cook, you might want to head to Nuba (three locations, but we head to the one on Seymour and Davie)and pick up one of their falefel-filled pitas. The lamb hushwie pita is my current favourite, but I'm still working my way through the menu -- vegetarian goodies abound. The prices are so reasonable, the food is so nutritious, and it's so delicious that you'll be scooping up all the messy extras that keep dripping out of your pita.

And since you're stuck in the city, why not play tourist this weekend? Vancouver offers many possibilities in the summer, obviously, but you could get to the beach AND take in a great exhibition at the Vancouver Museum on Chestnut Street (right near the Planetarium) -- Fluevog & Friends, a very cool look at the history of our very own long-gone-international
shoe designer.

You'll get a glimpse into the design process, following preliminary sketches to the finished shoe,

and you'll see how an investment made in the 1970s could be paying off todayand if that realization doesn't send you scurrying off across the Burrard Street bridge to the Fluevog stores downtown, then maybe you'll be inspired by this visionary platform from the early years.Besides a collection of shoes ranging from the beautiful to the bold to the absolute beyond, the show illuminates that period of Vancouver's history in the 1960s as it pivoted from the provincial to the cosmopolitan . . . or at least tried to. Peter Fox's British connection helped bring the whole Carnaby Street influence to a city that had not previously been known for its sartorial exuberance. And Fox, Fluevog, and later, Rice, were also instrumental in the revitalization of Gastown -- and that whole movement to small, funky retail establishments of a kind we hadn't seen before.

And check out the letters Fox and Fluevog sent home, respectively, from their various buying trips -- ah, the days of snail mail! Pages and pages recalling anecdotes, expressing frustrations, brimming with excitement over new products, and decorated overall with brilliant little sketches of potential new designs.

So go, have a fun weekend in the sun, and get a little air-conditioned shoe history when you need some cool (both kinds!). And all my non-Vancouver readers, when you get back from booking your flights to our great city (or ordering yourself a consolatory pair of Fluevogs!), let me know how you play tourist in your own town. Or does it take a visiting guest to get you out there?


  1. Honestly...we need the guest to get us out and about to many of those tourist spots...Canada Day we did this ourselves because the downtown vibe was so exciting!

    Nice to know that there are so many fun things to see and do and I can appreciate why tourists enjoy our fair city so much.

  2. It sounds like a fabulous exhibit! I wish I could arrange another visit to Vancouver soon to see the exhibit and then pop over to the Gastown store with you to ooh and ahh over the shoes.

  3. Oh the exhibit sounds wonderful and I do wish I could see it, but sitting looking at the water and watching the boats go by is wonderful here, it must be fabulous where you can actually walk to the beach. Enjoy summer before its gone.

  4. Hostess: It's fun to play tourist at home, isn't it?!
    Pseu: Ah, I'd love that too!
    Mardel: Aren't we lucky to have such wonderful views?! Pater's just gone out for a paddle 'round the island, not able to resist the call of the water. . .


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...