Monday, July 7, 2008

terminal city.

terminal city is my favorite of vancouver's nicknames. it gets this name from the railroad terminus (originally intended for new westminster) but sounds so bleak and hollow and skidzy. i've always liked it.

today we also saw a bit more of vancouver's terminal underbelly as we drove from main street down to gastown. this is also a part of vancouver i've always felt i understood - the drugs and destruction of a pacific port city, but also the community that bustles and works far away from the sheen of fancier neighbourhoods. i could ramble on about the slums of vancouver, but the truth is i've never lived in any of them (although i did put in some formative years working on the downtown eastside). when i come back to these parts of my hometown i am mostly just happy that i have had the good fortune to not be a junkie. i am also appreciative of the freewheeling, independent life i have built for myself in a new light.

so back to that freewheeling life...we were on our way to gastown to have a meeting with my longest-standing vancouver store, dream on cordova (no website, can you imagine?) wendy opened the shop around fifteen years ago and i probably met her close to that time. she specializes in independent canadian clothing design with lots of accessories and a few other things thrown in on the side (books, pouches, art know). i've bought some of my all-time favorite dresses there, some going back to high school. go there.

after our visit (she stocked up on some new artist sets), aitor and i finally got an actual visit with our friend ehren and his studio/collective space, little mountain studios.

little mountain is some sort of collective studio space that also serves as a performance venue as well as housing a little gallery in the front. when we visited today, our other friend, aaron read, was building a little recording studio in what can only be described as a series of cubby holes. he also sits in these little holes to make music. he's a small guy.

this sort of arrangement kind of sums up the exciting shambles that is little mountain. i can only imagine that the space is in a constant state of flux. but the creative output there covers the walls. working right in other people's work must be fortifying to the little mountaineers.

ehren also showed us one in a series of large-scale pencil drawings he was commissioned to do for nat bailey stadium. i can't really express how perfect ehren is for this job. not only is he an incredible artist, but he is also the only one i know who had to leave art for a while to pursue a professional baseball career. i think the art won out in the end.

we rounded our day out with a double-date dinner party with our friends taz and olivia. they have some strict rules around their place:

olivia also makes a mean thai curry.

sweet dreams, vancouver, wherever you sleep. we have to leave you again tomorrow. we will try to write. it's's complicated.

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