Monthly Archives: February 2009

Not Work

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

Two birthday celebrations on a Wednesday night have left me itching for champagne:

One for the gracefully bed-bound, Liv, which I was so pleased to attend.

And one for the ever-charming, Rich. I am sorry I missed your party. Instead of my presence, I give you internet fame.  I am sorry readers, he’s taken.

Happy Birthdays!

Jen

New to you

Between budget restraints and being a bit under-the-weather, Ash and I haven’t had much champagne to report of lately.  Not that I’m complaining. It would just be nice to have a little bubble-powered story to tell you.  Sometimes when I’m too sleepy or distracted to think of new things to say, I roam around trying to find nice pictures to show you.  I found this one hereWork hard and be nice to people. Simple, right?

Life itself is feeling pleasantly simple these days. Our cash rolled into glass jars labelled “groceries”. My nephew’s little knock on the back door. The amoires sold on craigslist. Dinner plans with parents. Sunday walks on Seaview trail. Lime cordial in our gin and tonics.

It’s snowing tonight, just a little. Like a deliberately scarce shake of salt upon the city.

Winterupption

False Creek Ferry 

Going to Granville Island this Friday night to partake in the new, though poorly advertised Winterupption festival.  I just heard about it yesterday when the Dean of our School of Music popped his head into my office to tell me about a show he’s performing in. His band Poetic Justice is backing up a spoken word performance. To the average person (i.e. a husband-type) this might sound like torture. You say “spoken word” and suddenly husbands get all twitchy like you’ve just suggested you’d like to clip his toenails or have your fifth child. Luckily, Ash is pretty adventurous. Plus he made me sit through The International last night in Coquitlam of all places…so I’m pretty sure I have a little marital give-and-take coming my way. 

Anyway – all So I Married An Axe Murderer jokes aside – this Winterupption Festival sounds like fun. There’s everything from live music, to street theatre to market culinary demonstrations. And I believe even a glass or two of wine.

Undercover

Campagnolo Restaurant, Main Street

(Please ignore the covert, spy-quality blackberry photo)

Risky business(es): 1) Intravenous Drugs; 2) Opening a restaurant next to the Ivanhoe.

Undercover as a grossly ignored corner of Vancouver’s most troubled area, something interesting springs to life. A restaurant. It kind of reminds me of this:

 Overgrown

Having been raised in East Vancouver, the word “Ivanhoe” conjures up a lot of imagery pertaining to infectious diseases, stolen strip loins, shopping carts, mouthwash and system failure.  But now that I’ve been to Campangolo, I can add Tagliarini Pork Ragu with Basil and Pecorino to the list. And a few perfectly roasted beets to start.

Located right next door to the Ivanhoe, Campagnolo neither fits in nor sticks out. It’s the artsy, bohemian, arguably hotter brother of the far preppier Fuel on West 4th.  The atmosphere is all very five o’clock shadow and suits a moody glass of red wine (a highly suggested pairing for adventures on the outskirts of town). The dining room faces Main Street with a seperate wine-bar tucked on the alley-side. Both rooms have nice architecural features (beamed ceiling, light fixtures, brick walls) that create an overall dining experience that is really just about you, the person you’re sitting across from, and the food.    

The food itself is an easy conversation on the plate. Each ingredient has its own story to tell and needs be noticed – much like the people outside on the street.  

I definitely recommend you take a look.

NZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Because it’s Dreamy. I want to go there.

Alice in the pretty green dress: thank you for the card! It made my day! And it arrived on a weekend full of stories from New Zealand….

Last night, our dear friends, Jaimie & Al, made a short pit stop in Vancouver before making the final leg of their journey home after a month in New Zealand – a place that is taking up so much of my dreaming time these days.  They kite-surfed, rented a sailboat, spent a glorious week in Fiji, celebrated Quinn’s birthday with a retired circus pony and…ahem… did it all with 3 kids. Every life is different, but their life seems especially pumped full of technicolour happiness. I love being around them and wish it were far more often.  Ash and I have decided to make our first voyage to their home in Northern Saskatchewan this summer.  I think we’ll bring them a replacement bottle of Veuve Cliquout (long story – but we’re going to make them open it the moment we get there, black flies or no black flies, before we even get in the door).

And then there’s Ms Alice…still in New Zealand. It’s her home. You can see from her photos how fiercely she loves it.  My brother-in-law, Alex, is there with her in what I suspect is voluntary, blissful captivity. They’ve spent the last few months taking holidays from their holidays, and making us all long for sun on our necks, farms in our backyards and a bit more bare-bummed joie de vie in our lives.  I stole these photos shamelessly from her Facebook albums….

Home front door

I love this house. It’s her family home.

Don’ they look happy? I can’t wait to visit!

Have a seat. It’s Wednesday.

Champagne Chair

What to do with all those leftover corks? Here’s an idea from Design Within Reach. Previously, DWR and I were in a big fight. I had ordered Ash a very high-tech air purifier for Christmas to cure all his allergy related ailments – and they never bothered to send it. And when I called, they really could have cared less. I ended up getting him a nice laptop bag from Banana Republic instead (leather, sorry Glenn!), but it just wasn’t the same. His nose is still stuffed. Whiskey-particles still account for 80% of our breathing air (the dog, not the drink). Ordering things online is such a leap of faith to begin with – and this was a serious letdown.  Lucky for them, this is a new day. There is a hint of Spring in the air. Renewal feels mandatory. Boycotts are being lifted all over town (my town).

So, I give you a few more of these cute little champagne chairs. It’s Wednesday afterall…

Enjoy. And shop with caution,

Jen

Hey, that’s my coat…I like what you’ve done with it.

 Fur Pillows from Coat Check

Because I have been in the smelly back corners of Main Street vintage shops, I ask you this question: is this gross or genius?

A Vancouver-based company named Coat Check is saving mink coats everywhere. Yesterday’s social faux-pas is today’s designer recycled good. The Coat Check ladies refurbish old fur coats into reincarnations of plush throws, pillows and personal accessories – and sell them back at an upscale price ($250 for the pillow above).  All this from their studio space in Chinatown! I am intrigued.   

I am also curious. How do you communicate to those Liberation BC protestors that your new bag is really made from a very friendly, green rabbit? Lately, fur has pretty much been the domain of those who want to look fancy-hookerish (please see: Yaletown, Fridays) and the Queen E crowd on Opera nights.  In the home, however, it’s a different story. My mind immediately jumps to that faux white Ikea rug that was so popular last season (and nothing is cuter than my naked naphew on that rug). Then it jumps to lazy mornings in bed, cold winter nights, fireplaces, hot chocolate, reading on Sundays.  

There is just something comforting to me about fur in general. Something very half-man, half-steed.  Something that smells more like nature-in-the-raw when the mountains all around are deocrated with ski hills and condos.  I can almost hear Pan’s flute now…

Coat Check on Etsy.