Thursday, July 3, 2008

cabinets and curiosities on main street.

the last time we visited vancouver together, aitor and i were graciously housed in our friend noah's apartment. noah lives on south granville and he and i were performing at a a festival down on granville island. those who know vancouver will appreciate that this little strip of swanky shops and tourist haunts is not the best representation of vancouver (or at least the vancouver that young, poor people like me and aitor would inhabit if we lived here). south granville is great if you want to watch bif naked shop at caban or eat with your grandparents at the normandy, but mostly people in fleece vests just stared and pointed at aitor when we were there.

with no slight to noah's hospitality, i was happy that we were offered housing by my pseudo-stepfather this time. he lives right near main street which, in spite of recent yupping up, had a better chance of changes aitor's sour impressions of vancouver.

today we decided to go walk a bit of main street with the ultimate goal of eating some of the best and cheapest sushi in the world. but before we got to that, we stumbled into a curiosity, antique and "surrealist decor" shop called either alexander lamb antiques or wunderkammer. to my great amazement, the back room of this shop now houses the remaining collection of the exotic world museum. with aitor's general interest in curiosities (and desire to convert our apartment into a museum), i had long told him stories of exotic world from my childhood. it used to be housed is the storefront now occupied by neptoon records and was this crazy collection of things maintained by a couple who liked to travel and archive. i have the fondest memories of this place and thought it had disappeared years ago. and then all of sudden, we were in the midst of all this stuff (well, what must be a smaller collection of it).

nearby on main, i also saw these:

i'm sure some local crafty could tell me what these are. i mean, i know what they are - a softer finger-crochet version of knitta-type public art. but is this part of a larger action or someone's small whim?

we finally stopped digressing and made it to simply delicious, an outstandingly cheap and amazing sushi place at 28th. i kind of panic there because the gomae is like $1.43 and rolls are all $2 and it's all good! i just want to order everything. sushi is one of vancouver's most shining miracles. so much so that i actually broke down and took a picture of our plate of sashimi (i didn't think i was the meal-blog type):

i guess i come by it honestly. my mother photographs almost all her meals (and those of the people around her):

after refueling, we doubled-back on our walking tour of main street with some more art/craft appropriate stops. we stopped first at little mountain studios, an art gallery and performance venue run in part by my old pal and multi-disciplinary wunderkind, ehren salazar. ehren wasn't there - actually it was closed - so we just stalked around the windows like creeps. then we went to red cat records to look at the album art that ehren did for woodhands' lastest cd and 12". it was kind of like visiting with him but not really.

we are going to have to make a better visit when we get back from the gulf islands. i wish we had more time here.

we rounded out our tour with a visit to the regional assembly of text. do you ever have the experience of witnessing something that is at once aesthetically uplifting and also disheartening in that someone has already done it? i get this double sinking/lifting feeling a lot at this shop. the two artists who run in must share many aesthetic tendencies with me but they are more focused and seemingly get more done. they also make buttons and are on my snobby list of button superiority (with popnoir and what what, among others).

amid all the things they make, the shop itself also features gallery drawers (that artists are commissioned to fill) and the lowercase reading room - a former storage space, turned gallery, turned zine collection. if you are going to vancouver, i recommend a visit, especially to all you typographical/design/officephile kindreds.


jasfitz // the daily frolic said...

I am so psyched about this posting of yours. It is simply outrageous to think that I have never been to the West side of the country. And already, I am living in a different country. I can't wait to make it up to Van City based on a post like this.

Utterly awesome and very delightful indeed.

sweetie pie press said...

well, don't get me wrong; vancouver is the city of my birth and i do have some issues with it. but main street is pretty rad and the old place really is getting cooler all the time.

Unknown said...

I've never met Brandy and Rebecca but a friend knows them and they are part of the mail art club we participate in. Their shop looks amazing! It's a great example of what Tyler and I were thinking when we were talking about compromising less with All Citizens and instead turning it into something more personal (since it doesn't make money anyways, may as well have fun with it and worry less about appealing to locals, we've already been pegged as freaks).

I miss Vancouver sushi.

sweetie pie press said...

serena, i thought of you a lot in vancouver and at that shop. actually, i think of you and tyler a lot everywhere we go. especially here on pender island.

Unknown said...