The Best Of …

September 21, 2016

It is that time of year again, when the Georgia Straight announces “The Best Of” in Vancouver.  As usual, the majority of awards go to the west side but some local businesses score.

Those awarded #1 spot:

  • Attic Treasures for retro furniture;
  • Canna Clinic for best dispensary customer service (also #2 as best dispensary to chill, and #3 as best dispenary);
  • Daily Catch for seafood;
  • JJ Bean for local coffee chain;
  • Puff for best head shop;
  • Womyn’s Ware for sex toys (also #2 for fetish stuff)

Those in #2 place:

  • Choices for organic produce;
  • Spark for women’s wear independent;
  • Spartacus Gym for best independent gym;
  • Zool Suleman for immigration lawyer

Those in #3 place:

  • Donald’s for produce;
  • Figaro’s for garden store;
  • La Grotta for specialist cheese store;
  • Pasture to Plate for butcher

Congratulations to all of these, and to the many fabulous restaurants, bars, stores, and services in Grandview that were not recognised this year.

Date for the Calendar: Co-Op Bookstore AGM

September 21, 2016

On Friday 30th, the wonderful and venerable People’s Co-op Bookstore at 1391 Commercial is holding its Annual General Meeting. It will take place in the store at 7:00pm.

We have three bookstores on the Drive today, and we don’t want to lose any of them. Come along to the AGM and get involved!

Readers’ Choice Awards 2016

April 29, 2016

This week’s Courier includes the results of a reader survey on “the best of” Vancouver. There were quite a few winners on the Drive.  Most of the categories were voted on as “east”, “west” and “downtown”; so, except for the first, all the winners below are for “Best Eastside…”

  • Italian Day won best Festival city-wide;
  • Fratelli’s — Best Bakery;
  • St. Augustine’s — Best Pub/bar;
  • Vera’s — Best Burger;
  • Charlatan — Best Cocktail Bar;
  • Saloniki — Best Greek;
  • Sula — Best Indian;
  • Havana — Best Patio;
  • Bandidas Taqueria — Best Working Lunch;
  • Dream Cycle — Best Bike Shop;
  • Catz Lair — Best Hair Salon;
  • Donald’s — Best Produce Store.

Congratulations to them all.

For what it is worth, I agree with the Bakery, Greek, and Patio awards (so long as I could sit in Havana’s patio eating Fet’s food).  The others, for my taste, are as follows:

  • The Dime — Best Pub/Bar;
  • Cannibal — Best Burger;
  • Fet’s — Best Working Lunch;
  • Tino’s — Best Hair (salon);
  • Santa Barbara — Best Produce Store

I suspect I would really like Sula but I haven’t tried it yet. And I don’t have a bike, so ….

Good Scents

July 8, 2014

About half an hour ago I was waiting for a bus at First & Commercial.  The sun was beating down and even with my summer hat, I was feeling as if I might melt into the sidewalk. I noticed that AAA Produce had their awning down and there was a dark cool space where the shadow lay.  I walked over and stood relaxing in the dark coolness.

Suddenly I noticed that I was standing in a pool of delicious, delightful smells coming up and surrounding me from the peaches, nectarines, watermelons, mangos, apricots, apples, pears, melons, pineapples, grapefruit and oranges on display.

Boy, that was a splendid moment.

Co-op Bookstore Still Needs Help

June 19, 2014

Earlier this year, I wrote about the emergency fundraising drive that was needed to make sure the People’s Coop Bookstore on Commercial Drive survived the year.  According to an update to Rolf Mauer’s blog, the campaign went well at first but is now sputtering once again.

The People’s Coop, the oldest independent bookstore in Vancouver, is a vital resource for the neighbourhood and we would all be lessened by its closure.  They don’t need a lot of money from each individual, and I urge everyone to help them (and all of us) out as much as you can.


Farewell to Patricia Salmond

May 25, 2014

Yesterday afternoon we were privileged to attend a celebration of the life of Patricia Salmond, late owner of the “Urban Empire” store and well-known and well-loved Drive diva.

Salmond memorial

There was a very good turnout of family, friends, and Drive characters to say their farewells.  Thanks to everyone who helped arrange this lovely and loving event.

On the negative side, it was sad to hear that the owner of the building in which “Urban Empire” flourished has essentially locked out Ms. Salmond’s daughters and they have had to abandon the stock of zany goods still in the store.  Shame.

People’s Co-op Bookstore Needs Emergency Help!

April 9, 2014

The wonderful People’s Co-op Bookstore on Commercial Drive, the oldest independent bookstore in Vancouver, has been in financial trouble for several years.  Now they have issued an emergency request for funding.

They need to raise $15,000 by the end of June, and another $15,000 by December or they will be obliged to close, and we will lose an incredible resource from our neighbourhood.

The good news is that an anonymous donor is going to pitch in $1 for every $2 raised in this appeal.

Please send your donation to the People´s Co-op Bookstore at 1391 Commercial Dr., Vancouver, V6L 3X5 or phone the bookstore (604-253-6442) to make a credit card donation.A donation of $250 gets you a lifetime 10% discount on book purchases at the store.