Tag Archives: gastown

Things to Do in Vancouver: November 2013 Edition

Ah, November… that month between Halloween and Christmas, where your neighbours to the left still have rotting pumpkins on their porch, and your neighbours to the right had their Christmas lights turned on the second the clock struck midnight on November 1st. Lucky for us, there’s plenty of fun events, festivals and fairs happening around town for the next four weeks – check out our (growing) list of Things to Do in Vancouver: November 2013 edition. Sound off in the Comments section and let us know of any other events we may have missed that you think should make the list! If you’ve attended any of these events last year, we’d love to hear your feedback on them as well!

Every Friday NightFriday Night Late Movies at the Rio
November’s Late Night schedule was just released, and every Friday this month, you can catch 80s and 90s classics at the Rio – The Lost Boys, Thelma & Louise, Drop Dead Fred and Heathers (in that order).

Every Saturday from 10am-2pm - Vancouver Winter Farmers Market
Check out the Winter Farmers Market at 30th & Ontario (Nat Bailey Stadium) for some fresh, local, organic eats.

November 7th – 10thVancouver Asian Film Festival
VAFF brings 40 films from local, American and international filmmakers to Vancouver this fall, including one on “Linsanity” with Houston Rockets’ Jeremy Lin; a cop thriller with Those Asian Guys from “Dexter” and “Twilight Saga”; a North Korean comedy (yes, really) about a trapeze artist; a Japanese documentary on being “hafu” (mixed race); and a chiller about an Asian serial killer with a very particular angle. All screenings take place at (my favorite theatre in town) Cineplex Odeon Tinseltown.

November 7th – 11th –  Circle Craft Christmas Fair
Yep, it’s November, which means it’s basically Christmas. Vancouver Convention Centre West plays host to this year’s Circle Craft Christmas Fair, where you can check out everything from glass blowers to toy makers to sculptors and jewellery designers. Admission is only $10 (or $6 if you go after 5PM).

November 7th – 14thVancouver Jewish Film Festival
The Vancouver Jewish Film Festival is the longest running Jewish film festival in Canada. We have an established track record and we are proud to bring the best and most current films to our Vancouver communities. The Festival is inclusive and encourages multi-cultural interaction and presents high quality entertainment. Comedies, feature dramas, thrillers, hot and timely documentaries and whimsical shorts are programmed to appeal to a wide audience base.

November 11th – 17th, 2013Hopscotch Festival Vancouver
Vancouver’s premium whiskey, beer and spirit festival is celebrating its 18th year in 2013 (that’s right, if the festival were a person, it could legally drink in Alberta!) Renowned as one of the best drinking festivals in the world, Hopscotch Festival boasts over 100 booths, 300 products to taste, as well as a slew of master classes and satellite events. Prep those livers, Vancouver!

November 11th, 2013Remembrance Day at Victory Square
This Remembrance Day, take a moment to stop and pay your respects at Victory Square in Gastown. Their annual Remembrance Day celebration and parade takes place from 10am-12pm (I work right across the street, and every year I make a point to leave the office and check it out)

November 14thYoga with the Beluga Whales
Vancouver Aquarium will be hosting Yoga with the Beluga Whales from 8:30-9:30am on the 14th, where participants will be able to enjoy the serenity of the underwater beluga exhibit while doing the most Vancouver thing possible… yoga. Tickets are $31.50.

November 16th – 17thEastside Culture Crawl
The 17th Annual Eastside Culture Crawl – Vancouver’s 3-day visual arts, design and crafts festival. This event involves more than 15,000 people visiting artists in their studios in the area bounded by Main Street and Victoria Drive north of First Avenue in Vancouver, Canada. I would argue this is one of the most exciting events of the month – it’s a great place to admire all of this city’s dedicated local talent, soak up some culture, and hopefully spark some of your own creativity!

November 17th – Deck the Dark
Deck the Dark is a Strathcona Community guerilla event to bring light to dark spaces, will be happening in MacLean’s park on Sunday November 17th at 4pm. Lights, equipment, and warm drinks will be provided for the community to come together and sporadically light up the space during the beginning of the dark winter months. Residents are welcome to bring their own lights and equipment to add to the display.

November 22nd – 24thVancouver Alternative Fashion Week (VALT)
VALT provides Vancouver’s wildly explosive alt-fashion scene with a unique departure from more traditional runway shows. This multi-day event boasts over 50 jury-selected artists, musicians, performers and fashion designers, in a celebration and promotion of unbridled creativity. VALT 2013 blends music, art, technology, culture and fashion into a fully interactive and immersive experience over 3 nights of futuristically-themed revelry. This year’s theme is broken up into three components – Utopia, Dystopia and Techtopia. Check out VALT 2013 at the Centre for Digital Media. Tickets are $25/night, or $60 for a weekend pass.

November 23rdUgly Sweater Run
Trendy marathons seem to be the thing to do these days in Vancouver, so rummage up the Ugliest Sweaters you can find and celebrate the Holidays by participating in “the best 5k of the year.”  Join thousands of runners and walkers from around North America at a local Ugly Sweater Run near you. If you’ve never run a 5k before, this is a great way to burn some calories before receiving hot chocolate and beer. Cost is $39 if you’re running solo, or $34 if you’re in a group of 4 or more – all proceeds benefit The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.

November 23rdCandyTown: A Yaletown Christmas Festival
We checked out CandyTown last year, and it was good ol’ fashioned holiday fun. Mainland street was lined with booths that were selling snacks, hot beverages and Christmas ornaments/decorations, there were ice sculptors putting on live shows, a skating rink built by the Skytrain, horse-drawn carriages, and (the best part of the entire day in my opinion) an adorable one-antlered reindeer. Cool to see that the event will now be an annual occurrence on Mainland Street!

November 30th, 2013 – January 4th, 2014 - Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
I actually just made a trip to Capilano Suspension Bridge this past weekend (my first time going in about 6 years) and I absolutely loved it – The bridge itself still terrifies me, but it’s a great way to spend an hour or two and enjoy the great outdoors. When I went, I noticed a ton of staff lurking in the trees hanging Christmas lights (in prep of Canyon Lights). For some outdoor holiday fun, be sure to check out this annual event, where the entire park is decked out in thousands of twinkling lights. Yes, admission to the Bridge can be a bit pricey, but you’ll feel good knowing that proceeds will be donated to the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund.

November 30th – Christmas on the Drive
The event is on November 30th, 2013 from 1pm- 5pm in Grandview Park (between Charles & Williams Street on Commercial Drive). Santa Claus  will be at the Park (BYOCamera), Horse & Carriage Rides, Ice Sculptures, Photo Booth, The Vancouver Opera will be singing, Kids Activites,  a goody bag for the first 200 hundred people and the lighting of our huge Christmas tree in the park around sunset. All activities are free or by donation with the donations going to The Kettle Friendship Society.

Cotte d’Armes Presents Dark Navy in Vancouver

Cotte d’Armes Presents Dark Navy in VancouverFebruary 16, 2013

On February 16th, New York-based designer Clarence Ruth presented his Cotte d’Armes denim line at the swanky Montauk Sofa, which is a spectacular venue in the heart of Gastown (located at 228 Abbott Street). Outside, there was a line-up down the block (a sure sign that this was a show not to be missed). Inside, Gio Levy was keeping the energy high by providing the music for the night as beautiful people mingled over cocktails and cake pops, waiting for the show to start. What could be better than a great party in a spectacular space filled with comfortable couches, well-dressed people and liquor? Seriously, what could be better?

Immediately upon arriving, I was warmly greeted by Empress Communications’ Christel Laycock, who was throwing the event with Bond media group. Empress Communications is a prominent Vancouver-based PR/event/marketing management firm that is no stranger to throwing events and putting on fashion shows in town. When I asked Christel about her thoughts on the Vancouver fashion industry, she pointed out that the city is abuzz with a lot of passionate, creative people, however, “the problem we run into is that once they are successful, they end up needing to leave the city to forward their career” – a very valid point, indeed! She continued, “we are ahead of the game in eco fashion, yoga wear and performance fashion, and that’s what we’re known for, but there is so much more to Vancouver fashion than just that.”

After grabbing a couple of drinks at the bar and taking our (very comfortable) seat, it was time for the show to begin! As the models began to step out on the runway, it was clear that there was a little bit of military inspiration and biker influence in Clarence’s line. A particular pair of mens denim with leather accents (pictured) stood out to me – and as I looked around the room, I noticed a lot of people in the crowd wearing them, too (clearly I was late to get the memo). As Christel explained, “Clarence really pays attention to the details and likes to try new things, like the way he combined the waistband and zipper fold, giving a tighter fit.” It was a fantastic show that was refreshing to see in Vancouver (seriously, what’s with the lack of menswear in this city?) but to see a full gallery of what Cotte d’Armes currently has available, be sure to check out their official website, and enjoy The Sociables’ featured photo set (provided by Ann Nguyen)

Tattoo Removal

Mid-tattoo removal… trying to internalize the pain.

Like many of you out there, I initially started Googling tattoo removal simply out of curiosity (or so I thought). I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t actually want/need to remove one of my tattoos, but perhaps I just wanted to know that it was an option. Well, sure enough, a few days ago I decided to bite the bullet and go in for a removal consultation & treatment. To be completely honest, the only thing that was holding me back from ever booking the removal was the cost – there’s countless places in town (and all over North America) that charge upwards of $300 per session (there’s even a company in town that charges you by the square inch of your tattoo..), and it’s common to need anywhere from 7-10 treatments, depending on a wide array of factors (which I’ll get into later).

After spending a bit of time online one night, I came across Gastown Tattoo Removal (located in Gastown Tattoo Parlor at Abbot & Cordova) – the only place in town that seemed to have affordable removal options. You’ll need to go in for a consultation, but it could cost as little as $75 per treatment (their minimum charge) or up to $150. Hallelujah! A tattoo removal company that was open and honest about their pricing!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-tattoos.. In fact, I have another tattoo (on my spine) that I will never get rid of. If anything, I’ll actually be going back to Gastown Tattoo to get it touched up. I know plenty of people with amazing body art, and I’m all for it. This one on my forearm just wasn’t doing anything for me anymore, though. I just want my forearm back!

I went in for my consultation and met with Ed, who is hands-down one of the most personable, friendly, no-bullshit people I’ve ever met. Another major thing I like about Gastown Tattoo Removal is the atmosphere. I know a lot of dermatologists offer tattoo removal now, but this place has character – the staff is all incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, there’s cool artwork and stencilings all over the walls, there’s music playing… I guess it just had a relaxed, safe feel to it that helped put me at ease about the fact that I was about to endure a ridiculously painful removal process.

The consultation was a pretty smooth, worry-free process. Ed asked me several questions about my health/lifestyle and had me fill out a questionnaire to make sure there were no red flags (If you’re thinking about tattoo removal, the person doing the removal has the right to request a note from your doctor as he/she sees fit) Luckily, I passed with flying colors.

So my adrenaline began to kick in around the time the laser turned on. Suddenly it became real. All the horror stories I had read about the excruciating pain began popping up in my head. When I asked Ed if it hurt, he told me straight up that it’s painful. And he was correct. Gastown Tattoo Removal actually let me and James bring in cameras to document the process, so there’s going to be a video posted in the coming weeks, where I embarrass myself in front of the internet. No, but seriously, the video is going to document the entire removal process – from consultation to completion (which is a long process, let’s be clear), but there’s little to no full documentation of an entire removal process online, so it seems like a video that could help a lot of people better understand the whole removal process, see the progress of my removal over X amount of time, see what kind of weird things might happen to me along the way, and get to know Ed & Gastown Tattoo Removal. So far, so good – it’s been 2 days since the removal, and I’m showing no signs of swelling, peeling, or blistering. But I still have anywhere from 7-9 more treatments to go! Look for our video in the coming weeks!