Monthly Archives: August 2013

The DapperDame Does Vancouver (for the first time!)

Fact: Canada has the world’s longest coastline. Despite this (nationalistic pride inducing) fact it has taken me 28 years to make it to any of that beautiful edging.  Last weekend I met the lovely Nads & Hi-C to explore Vancouver and confirm my suspicions that Toronto is still the best my favourite place in Canada. Vancity came prepared with a strong case for itself. So beefy a case, in fact, that I am forced to divide the title in half: Vancouver is (so far) the most beautiful large city in Canada. If I were to speak with someone who had never been to our fair country and they asked what ONE CITY they should see I would tell them Vancouver and be done with it. The city puts on a good first impression – even landing at the Van International Airport was a beautiful sight over the misty water with mountains framing the view. But (but!) as soon as the talk turns long term Toronto still remains more varied and big-city – it has the cliched “heart beat” I’ve yet to find elsewhere.

Enough comparison. With only three days I would say that I hit a good chunk of the city. Staying in Mount Pleasant with Nads and having Friday to myself I took the bus down to Stanley Park to tour the aquarium. Highlight: giant octopus eating.a.crab. Highlight #2: the view of downtown from across the water and the big tree in the park. From along the waterfront it becomes apparent that downtown Van is not a city but a condo farm. They all share the same DNA and were bred to look good beside the water. A difficult commodity to export, though.

The rest of the day was spent building up blisters by walking from Stanley Park to Gastown and then on to China town. Over the weekend we also explored Commercial Drive, Kitsilano and Granville Island. We partook at, according to the internets, the only hookah place in the city, shopped a bit including at a mini-flea market and ate excellent food. Vancouver would be a great place to be a vegan. On my walk to Gastown I ended up sitting at the bar of a humid underground eatery ordering a raw-vegan-organic “nice” bowl. The restaurant was aptly named Gorilla Food.




Definitely try the apricot + fennel macaroni


Julian Assange making my green hippie food



The DapperDame gets a little Folky (2013)

I haven’t been blogging. The end. There is little explanation other than laziness and the fact that I have been so busy I haven’t really owned groceries in weeks. Thanks, Tim Hortons, for your hearty vegetable soup. What kept me so busy from Thurs-Sunday of last week was a very special event indeed: Edmonton Folk Festival 2013. 4 days of music that was (mostly) new to me. Plus it was Edmonton’s only second real scorcher all summer.  That is until the haunting Loreena McKennitt summoned the thunder and the rain in the last half hour. Thousands of people huddled on the hill with lightning flashes in the orange sky behind us with her playing the storm in like the band on the deck of the Titanic. The whole event ended rather abruptly with an announcement to “get thee off the hill!” as, within minutes, we were all drenched and running through a lightning storm across a bridge to the car. A glorious evening, even for someone who gets a little jittery around electricity stabbing down from the sky.

Here are a few of musical highlights from the festival. I’m sorry you couldn’t all be there to watch some of the mash-up sessions but I’ll link to some of my new favourite songs and artists.

LP – the big star of the main stage that was one of the most anticipated and easily delivered. Her hair didn’t disappoint, either.

John Smith – a deep-voiced ginger crooner from the UK (Edited to add: this song feels like the perfect soundtrack to the novel Away by Jane Urquhart)

Lisa Hannigan – best line of the day: Irish people spontaneously combust at 29 degrees. Thankfully she didn’t catch on fire.

David Francey – I was missing out on this folky-goodness – he wrote this diddy for his new step-daughter who was entering high school

Carolina Chocolate Drops – insane bluegrass and the first black band to play at the Grand Ole Opry (in 2010…great and sad). Plus one of the members plays these awesome sticks.  Also recommended: Your Baby Ain’t Sweet Like Mine

Cold Specks – this is an artist I had already listened to and was very much looking forward to her concert. She has an incredibly powerful voice and is a bit of a quirky person/performer.

Bonus: I now see what all the fuss surrounding the Avett Brothers is about.

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