Places to grab a drink in Vancouver

It’s Friday night, you are all dressed and have nowhere to go, maybe you’re new to Vancouver or just aren’t inspired by the nightlife. Well, well, well you’re in the right place.

I’ve been curating this list for close to a year, while y’all were sleeping, I was out there grinding, getting my hands dirty, to give you: the best places to grab a drink in Vancouver.

Strathcona Beer Company (895 E Hastings St, Vancouver)

The best thing at Strathcona Beer is their sours, they’ve got a Blood Orange Maple one pictured below which sounds delish. However, I recently tried their Peach Cobbler Sour, made with peaches, graham cracker crumbs, lactose and Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract. And oh my god, it was so refreshing, light and yummy. Not to mention, ABV: 10%.

I really hope I’m selling you on this.

Along with your tart sour, I’d recommend grabbing a pizza. My favourite is the Hawaiin pizza. It’s super unique, and I know there are a lot of pineapple pizza haters out there but trust me this pizza is built different. Instead of cheap ham, it’s got capicola, and to balance out the sweet pineapple the pizza is drizzled with a jalapeno cream, topped with Padano and pistachios. Don’t knock it till you try.

Parallel 49 (1950 Triumph St, Vancouver)

My favourite thing at Parallel 49 is the atmosphere. Sure, the beer’s great and the food is  bomb, but the indoor-outdoor layout in a quiet East Van neighbourhood is just so nice on a warm evening. The picnic benches outside make it a great place to bring a big group of friends.

I love going here after a long day and splitting an order of spicy rub wings with someone. I haven’t figured out my favourite beer at p49, but I’m working my way through the menu. Recently I ordered something called the Salty Scott, I can’t find it anywhere online but it was salted caramelly stout. It was super rich and delicious and if anyone can find it, I’d love you forever.

La Casita (101 W Cordova St, Vancouver)

“A Taste of MEXICO in the HEART of GASTOWN”

When I was a little theatre kid, my parents used to take me to La Casita after my shows at SFU Woodwards. It was tradition to reserve a big table for our friends and family, and get queso, wings, the whole nine yards.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on stage, so when my boyfriend and I stumbled into La Casita on a Friday night, it was a blast from the past. Except now I’m 19 and can enjoy a marg!

We ordered margaritas, mango for me, lime for him. It was Friday so the nachos were on special for $12.

The margaritas were delicious and the bartender was super friendly and cool. The real star was the humungous American-sized plate of nachos that the two of us could barely get through together… And trust me, we can eat! The perfect way to cap off a Friday night out.

They also offer delicious drinks like Horchata and Hibiscus Flower Ice Tea, Mexican and local Beers, Tequila, Margaritas, Pina Colada, and many more.

The Cambie (300 Cambie St, Vancouver)

The Cambie can get pretty busy on the weekends, but it’s for good reason! Cheap fun drinks, arcade games and hip location. I like that The Cambie isn’t right on Granville, it’s close enough that you can head to clubs if you’re feeling it, but far enough to avoid the clubbers if you aren’t. The patio is huge and is so nice in the daytime with a burger and a beer.

Oh god, I wish it was summer.

The main draw is how cheap the drinks are. Although it looks like they recently raised the price… ouch. $10.25 for a 2oz cocktail still isn’t the worst, especially if you’re downtown. The last time I was there, I ordered a Bellini and I really enjoyed it! No, it didn’t blow me away, but for the price, location and overall experience, I’d do it again!

Oh and maybe you can meet your next wife here!

Wedgewood Hotel Bar, Bacchus Lounge (845 Hornby St, Vancouver)

If you’re feeling a little fancier and have a special friend to impress, or even just to treat yourself to one drink, I’d highly recommend the Bacchus Lounge.

Sit by the fireplace in the beautifully decorated lounge. Beautiful Venetian décor and original artwork with a classy cocktail in hand, you’re living the dream, round of applause.

My mum took me here on my 19th birthday, for my “first drink” wink wink. But in all honesty, it felt like my first drink, because truly nothing compares to a 20 dollar cocktail. I was lucky enough to be treated to 3 off-the-menu special cocktails from the bartender. One of them had this green tea smoke in it, it was just an amazing experience.

Unfortunately, not everyone is cool and charismatic enough to get secret drinks, but I’ll say, the Apple Cider Mule and the Elderberry Bramble sound gorgeous.

My mum and I the Bacchus Truffle Frites with Parmesan Aioli. My mouth is watering…

The Princeton (1901 Powell Street, Vancouver)

You may laugh at me for this one, but this pub holds a special place in my heart. If you’re looking for a mellow old-school bar head to one of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood pubs, The Princeton. They’ve got tons of fun gigs, a pool table, and karaoke on Thursdays! What’s not to love?

The interior is the super classic pub-y style, but what makes The Princeton different is the huge window looking out onto the train tracks leading to the Port of Vancouver. Every few minutes, you’ll hear, see and even feel trains passing by.

The pub is a historical landmark and a great time!

The menu is pretty generic, I usually just order whatever’s on special! I like that it’s just a good ol’ neighbourhood pub. Last time I had the Popinjay West Coast Sour from Strange Fellows, which was on special for $6.74 Pints 20oz.

How to thrift like a boss

Growing up working-class, I’ve been thrifting for my clothes for as long as I can remember. If I ever wanted something, I always had to check Value Village before asking my mom to buy it new.

Back in high school, I remember sitting in my math class eavesdropping on the popular kids giggle about how “gross it was to be wearing someone’s old clothes.” I felt so ashamed and lesser than. I desperately wanted to fit in, so I would save up my babysitting money and beg my mom to take me to Brandy Melville.

It’s funny looking back now that thrifting is the “cool” way to shop. All the Aritzia girls who I was scared of, are now filming #thrifthaul Tik Tok’s.

https://www.tiktok.com/@toriknollmeyer/video/7053114699268853038?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1&lang=en&q=thrift%20haul&t=1642967034162

As much as I wanted to be a Brandy Melville Aritzia Lululemon Queen, my mom was not about that, and nor was her bank account. So instead I learnt how to thrift like a boss.

I would say 95% of my closet is thrifted. At first, when I started thrifting, I’d be trying to find trendy name brands or dupes. Eventually, I started picking up pieces I genuinely liked and I fell in love with fashion.

My friends often ask me to thrift for them when they see the goodies I find. I’ve developed a process and routine that I love, and I think for the sake of the environment and your wallet, I should share my tips and tricks.

Step 1: Become a member (Super Savers Club)

So many of my friends forget to sign up for memberships at Value Village. I know it’s an annoying process at checkout to be giving your name, email, and whatever, but trust me it’s worth it.

The actual points you collect shopping can give you a 20% deal once in a blue moon. But what actually makes a Value Village rewards membership worth it is the sales emails. Fun fact, most sales are only available to members. A 40% denim sale won’t be advertised in-store. Members get exclusive emails for deals, for different dates to avoid crowds and shortages. So for example, my mom will get a 30% off footwear deal from February 2nd-10th, and I’ll get the same email for February 8th-16th.

30-40% off is a huge sale, and you simply won’t get those deals if you don’t sign up for a rewards membership at Value Village.

Step 2: Create a list

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in a thrift store, that’s why in my notes app, I have a list of things I want to thrift.

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Instead of aimlessly wandering down the aisles, I hit certain sections first and keep an eye out for specific patterns and fabrics that are on my thrift list.

This is not only more efficient, but it saves money. Often when I enter a thrift store with no objective I end up buying things I don’t need. My general rule is, to check for the items on my list first, then after if I’m still feeling it, look through other sections of the store.

Now you’re off to the races!

Size doesn’t matter

A common mistake I used to make was solely sticking to my size. I would only look in size small and limit myself to tight-fitting generic sizing. One of the beauties of thrifting is that you can experiment, in this case with sizing.

Sizing is really inconsistent, especially in women’s clothing. This is why you should never limit yourself to a number, letter or section.

I also find vintage sizing is often smaller, so don’t be discouraged if some gorgeous vintage Levi’s won’t zip up. It’s not you, it’s them.

@campycrystal

Sizing is stupid #realwomen #fashion #fashioninspo #sizing #sizingproblems #foryoupage #beauty #modellife

♬ original sound – Crystal Mathis

 

Experimenting with different sizes has helped me figure out what I like and dislike in pants. For example, as a taller woman, I often have to size up and sacrifice a form-fitting waist for a full-length pant. I’ve found the men’s section is awesome for finding quality jeans that fit my body type. But, for shorter girls, I know that the little boy’s section can be great for baggier denim with a short inseam.

Navigating the store

I don’t want to say there are certain sections you should steer clear from because gold can be found anywhere in the thrift, however, I will say there are definitely aisles I’ve scored more in than others.

If it’s your first time, I do recommend checking out every section, if you’re a guy check out the women’s, if you’re a lady check out the men’s, so on and so forth. If we’ve learned anything in 2021, fashion has no gender.

Now that you understand the layout you’re working with, you can decide where you can focus on.

For me lately, that’s been,

  • Men’s Jeans/Athletic Pants
  • Women’s Long Sleeves
  • Coats and Light Jackets
  • Men’s Sweaters
  • Shoes

Vintage > Fast Fashion

In the past few years, the fashion industry has been undergoing vicious trend cycles. Things can go in and out of style within a month, and we’re seeing this in the thrift stores. Lots of cheaply made trendy pieces are ending up on the racks.

When thrifting, I’d avoid brands like Shein, H&M, Forever 21, etc. They may look trendy and fun but it’s super poorly made clothing that will be considered “tacky” in a month or two. It just won’t have a long life span in your closet. Vintage brands, on the other hand, are timeless. If they’re in the thrift store, they’ve lasted 10, 20, maybe even 50 years, that’s quality Urban Outfitters can’t compete with.

As we are seeing right now with the resurgence of 90s to early 2000s fashion, we are on a repeat cycle of trends. Whether it be 60s mod or 90s grunge, quality vintage pieces stick around.

Personal Style

If you want to make thrifting worthwhile, explore your personal style. Fashion is only fun when you’re expressing yourself. As I mentioned, thrifting is a great way to experiment with different shapes, fabrics and styles.

You are wasting your time if you’re trying to impress others with how you dress, trust me, I’ve been there. Fashion is just one of many ways to express yourself and I was so desperate for approval that I lost myself out of fear of judgement.

All of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe are thrifted, and yes, it takes time and effort but if you like saving money and looking fresh, the payout is so worth it.

I told myself I wouldn’t do it but…

Queue Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Going vegan for the week

Happy Veganuary!

I’m going to be honest, I had no clue what Veganuary was before starting my 5-day vegan journey. Basically, Veganuary is an annual challenge in the UK, that promotes and educates about veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January.

As a Canadian, 1-month sounded a little too long so I opted for a week, minus the weekend because, well I want to enjoy my weekend. Sorry!

However, for this week I put my attitudes aside and got to it-

5 days of Veganism

A little background here, I was one of many teenage girls who go through a vegetarian phase in high school. I was vegetarian for 2-3 years of my life, so I have an idea of how to cook meat-less foods. However, eggs, cheese, even honey are staples in my diet, so I definitely had a lot of learning ahead.

I woke up Monday I had committed to this challenge, I grabbed an egg in a delirious 7 am state, thank god something clicked in my brain because that would’ve been a horrible start to my week.

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My first vegan breakfast was pretty good! I know tomatoes can be controversial, but with some salt, pepper and lemon – mwah chef’s kiss! The only main difference was normally I’d have butter on the bagel, but Earth Balance did the trick.

The breakfast was decently filling, for little to no protein or fat content. This became a common theme as the week went on, filling myself up with carbs. Which leads me to something I discovered about veganism. There seem to be two main types of vegans.

The Animal Lover <3

These vegans choose not to eat animal by-products on ethical principles. These vegans are often the ones to be stereotyped as self-righteous or “in your face.”

Clearly, they’re very passionate and my philosophy when it comes to food is, whatever makes you happy. I think guilting yourself into eating a certain way is a recipe for disaster.

This is the biggest qualm I have with veganism. Anyone can be guilted into eating a certain way, this doesn’t make you a better person. This cult-like veganism is a toxic community that gives people a certain self-righteousness. Disordered eating and cultural differences don’t matter to these vegans, as long as your “killing an animal” you’re are bad. It’s sad that people can see the world so black and white, but I think it makes life easier for people who feel lost in the complexity of the world.

I do want to acknowledge, there are definitely animal-loving vegans who aren’t like this, just, unfortunately, the aggro vegans take up a lot of space under #vegan.

Instagram Health and Wellness

The “health” focused vegans aren’t necessarily “animal lovers” or sustainabili-Teens, they just believe that veganism is the healthiest way of eating. Think LA, Erewhon, Wholefoods culture. These vegans don’t really care what you’re eating, they’re just trying to treat their body like a temple; lots of smoothies, protein powders and supplements.

@biancataylorm

As requested! Lmk if you want more❤️ #28XTREMES #vegan #veganfit #veganfitnessjourney #healthylifestyle #fitgirl #vegangirl

♬ Acoustic Guitar Stroll – Dow Brain

Health is wealth, and if a vegan diet suits your health and fitness journey then that’s awesome! A healthy lifestyle is a far better motivator than guilt and self-righteousness.

Neena’s a vegan?

You know the joke where vegans introduce themselves with “Hi I’m vegan!” before mentioning their name. To be honest, it was kind of fun to tell people I was vegan for a week. I get it. Even better, was complaining about being vegan,

“Aw there’s nothing for me to eat wahhh”

– Me, every ten minutes

Snacks were the hardest part. I could fudge together some decent meals, but when it came to snacking I was limited to hummus and crackers pretty much all week.

I definitely could’ve gotten more creative, but I wanted to be budget-friendly and realistic. Most of us can’t afford to go out and buy out-of-season fruits and overpriced vegan snacks every week, so I worked with what I already had.

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One of my favourite meals of the week was this udon noodle and fried tofu bowl. I topped it with green onions, sesame seeds, soy sauce and sesame oil. This was a super balanced dish in comparison to my chips and salsa meals. Everything was super flavourful so I don’t want to hear any of that “vegan food is bland” bs. The tofu provided some good protein, so I didn’t miss the meat at all. I’m definitely going to whip this up again in the near future!

My tofu noodle bowl was a hit, but unfortunately, I am a busy and at times lazy college student, so as the week progressed my motivation dwindled.

I definitely required more coffee throughout the day, likely due to the lack of protein in my diet. That’s nobody’s fault but my own. Maintaining a balanced vegan diet requires more time, money and work than I thought. Tons of my meals weren’t even photographable, how sad and lame they looked.

One of the reasons some of my meals were so rushed and boring, was because I was so hangry leading up to a meal. Once it was dinner time, I wasn’t wasting any time making some vegan homemade falafel. I was popping something in the microwave and calling it a day.

Vegan hanger is next-level people. I kinda understand why vegans can be so rude on Instagram.

I abused the hell out of my favourite food, which just happens to be vegan. This may surprise people but my all-time favourite food is oatmeal.

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I’ll admit I had oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It’s easy, microwavable, tasty and filling. So after 2 days of trying to be innovative with my recipes, I reverted back to my comfort meal, oats.

The oatmeal gave me a decent amount of energy throughout the day and it’s something I genuinely crave, so it didn’t make my diet feel restrictive.

Final thoughts

Pros

  • I normally have a really sensitive stomach and I had no tummy aches on a vegan diet.
  • Didn’t eat out at restaurants, so I actually ended up actually saving money.
  • No junk food
  • You get to call yourself vegan.

Cons

  • Hangry – Moody, out of it, tired
  • Poor sleep? Likely due to drinking more coffee to compensate for lack of energy
  • Restrictive
  • Not convenient – time-consuming to prepare tasty meals, tricky to grab food out
  • Not a social eating experience – Not eating the same food as friends and family

Did this mini Veganuary convert me to veganism? No.

Where I’m at in life, veganism doesn’t work for within my lifestyle, but I definitely learnt a lot that I’m going to carry out into my regular way of eating. The fact that I didn’t get experience any digestive issues like, bloating or indigestion was amazing to me. I’m going to incorporate a lot more vegan meals into my diet now that I know they are “safe” on my digestion.

Even though I’m not a vegan convert, I’m glad I tried this out and got a glimpse into what veganism would look like for me. If you have the time and money to try out your own version of Veganuary, give it a shot! It’s easy to judge other peoples lifestyles from the outside, but when you’re in it, you now have

Why I love trashy television

I consider myself a fairly smart person. I’m up to date on politics, I can use big words and I can a few philosophers. When you’re as intelligent as I am, your brain is constantly jumbled with morality, law and critical analysis. So when I’m unwinding at the end of the day, I like to take a break from using my massive brain, this is why I watch Reality TV.

I have a theory that the smartest people like the dumbest television. And that ladies and gentlemen is why I religiously watch Selling Sunset, Big Brother, Love Island, so on and so forth.

Tumisu/Pixabay

I’m profusely made fun of by my friends and family for my overconsumption of reality tv. I can’t decide who’s the problem, me or them?

Sometimes I go out of body and see myself cuddled up on the couch watching people in bikinis argue, and I’ll admit it, I do cringe. But whatever makes you happy right? Even scarier, sometimes I catch myself fully immersed into the show, with a smile plastered on my face laughing and crying along with the heavily medicated rich. How can I possibly empathize with such surface-level content?

I’m not even one of those naive viewers who think it’s unscripted realness. Oh, I’m fully aware the producers, editors and alcohol are the only things making it worth watching. Yet somehow I’m sucked into this world of lipstick and scandals.

I think we should all get over ourselves and submit to the world of reality tv, and here’s why…

It’s a mindless escape that involves 0 brain power

Some of my favourite films include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Donnie Darko and Midsommar. Point being, I do enjoy a film that makes you think. But isn’t it the worst when you can’t get lost in a story because you’re too busy trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Reality TV lays everything out for you and then repeats 10 more times. You can eat, chat, even have a nap while watching reality television and jump right back in. You’ll never be confused or bored, it’s constant entertainment spoon-fed to you like a baby.

I won’t accept the argument that reality TV is too simplistic. Nothing is more complex than the drama between Mary and Christine. See, Christine didn’t invite Mary to her baby shower, after she just got mad at Mary for not inviting her to her Bachelorette party, but in reality, it wasn’t a real Bachelorette party, it was just a get together with the girls and a stripper pole, but Christine doesn’t get that, and she told Davina and Maya so now they feel left out and excluded from the group, which is totally fair but its all a big misunderstanding and the girls should really just talk it out.

An escape from my boring life

I don’t think anyone, including myself, has a boring life. What a depressing thing to say Neena!

No matter how interesting my day-to-day life is, it’ll never be as entertaining as drunk singles on a tropical island. The reality of reality tv is nothing like my reality. I’m not a diva or a wealthy socialite, I’m a 19-year-old girl living with my parents in Vancouver, it’s healthy escapism.

It’s fun to live a lavish, scandalous life vicariously through reality stars. Even with the worst cast, you’ll always find someone on screen that you identify with. I think if anyone sat down and watched an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, they’d come out with a favourite or at least a lesser of two evils. Cough cough* Kourtney.

Reality TV can be educational

Education is more than just essays and equations. What draws a lot of people to reality TV is curiosity. We are nosey little creatures and reality TV puts it all on display, all of it. You can learn a lot about the world by looking into someone else’s life. It’s easy to get stuck in a little echo chamber but with reality TV you can hear the thoughts and opinions of successful clout chasers.

Reality shows present moral dilemmas and life lessons that we wouldn’t normally be exposed to. Just because reality shows aren’t entirely real, doesn’t mean they aren’t real people with real stories to tell. Behind all the makeup and glam there’s some soul, I promise you.

@kardashianreels

This is the scene that the famous Kim crying meme came from #kimkardashian #kimcryingface #kardashianmemes #scottdisick #kourtneykardashian

♬ original sound – kardashianreels

 

I mean for me, the idea of wanting to be a reality TV star is interesting enough, what kind of person wants to sign their life over to a production company? Tell me more!

It’s not only horrible rich people

I’ll always love a good Real Housewives or Jersey Shore, but I’ll even admit, they can be a lot. After a binge-watch, I usually need to detox from those super-indulgent shows. They’re all fun and games until you start using slang like “tragic!” and “bible.”

There are genuinely good reality TV shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race. Rather than exploiting the stars, the show promotes their success. They don’t shy away from tough conversations of diversity, inequality and trauma.

“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love anybody else?”

-Rupaul

There are voices that need to be heard, and shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race give a platform to historically silenced voices; LGBTQ+, BIPOC.

https://www.tiktok.com/@rupaulsdragrace/video/6994525066801237253?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1&lang=en

RPDR still has drama and divas, but the show balances its clichés with a strong sentiment of embracing yourself for who you are.

Social media etiquette for dummies

Social Media is becoming a social responsibility. Who would’ve thought, the platforms originally used for memes and LOL’s, are now a digital landscape of commerce, dating,  education and branding? The internet is an extension of our beings and without access to it, it’s practically impossible to participate in the modern world.

The social media Big Bang was fairly recent. The “Meta-Verse” is still developing, and it’s already left many of us in the dust.

Ref. Your moms Facebook

🤓

Posted by 105 The River on Friday, 9 April 2021

As a Gen Z’er who grew up with Likes, Comments and Snap Scores, I’m here to give you the ins and outs of social media etiquette. Because no one wants to see your minion memes.

Facebook

The platform most popular with the older generations, Facebook is the wild west when it comes to the unspoken rules of social media.

Facebook has been completely ditched by the youngins. I think a lot of young people stopped using it when they started getting friend requests from their grandma’s. Privacy settings are confusing on Facebook, so suddenly you had to worry about your grandma seeing a photo of you at a club because your dumb friend publicly tagged you.

Collectively we decided the platform was family and employer-friendly, and Instagram would be for the fun. No matter your age there is still “netiquette” to follow on Facebook

  • As mentioned above don’t post raunchy, night-out pics. Especially not publicly, and don’t be that person that tags everyone!
  • Sharing cool articles and work-related content is cool, 24/7 selfies and train of thought sh*t posting is not.
  • No Candy Crush, Farmville Shenanigans.
  • Be careful who you friend. There are tons of scammers, creeps, and potential employers checking up on you. Keep it tight to people you ACTUALLY know.

Twitter

“trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers”

-Drake

Twitter can be used for many different things, and there are right ways and wrong ways to use it. Twitter is a fairly uncensored app, at least in comparison to competitors Instagram and Facebook. You can easily stumble across violent, suggestive, NSFW images/videos. Twitter comedians, bots and acclaimed journalists all share space on this lawless platform.

It’s just too easy to shoot off a thoughtless tweet as Drake exclaims in his song Back to Back. This makes the app fun and thrilling, however, these “thoughtless” tweets can come back to haunt you.

That brings me to,

  • Think before you tweet. Imagine your mom, dad or grandma reading your tweet… if you don’t want them reading it, delete it!
  • If you’re not using your profile for business and branding, make your account private.
  • Tweet sober.
  • You’re not as funny as you think you are

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snapchat

Snapchat is dying; I’m not even sure why I still have it, It’s embarrassing. What’s even more embarrassing is my Snapchat score, attributed to my 16-year-old validation-seeking self. Snapchat is designed for high schoolers, so unless you’re in high school you should also be embarrassed to have it. Nothing is grosser than someone in 2021 asking for your snap. Grow up.

Nevertheless, I’m a massive hypocrite who still uses the app every day so I will shut up and share my do’s and don’ts.

  • Unlike Instagram/Twitter/Facebook people can see when you screenshot their snaps, stories, or location.
  • Don’t do snap streaks, grow up.
  • Everyone can tell you have a Snapchat filter on.
  • Be careful of what you send, just because the app is centred around transitory content, doesn’t mean everyone will respect that.
  • Your friends can see your location on snap maps! Turn off snap maps if you’re throwing a surprise birthday party or visiting your ex.
  • Buck up and delete the app, c’mon.

Instagram

Instagram is set up to look like a visual glimpse into your life. It’s your responsibility to map out your life and personality into a little curated gallery for people to see. Obviously, we all know it’s all BS. Nobodies as perfect as they make themselves out to be on Instagram, it’s a highlight reel. Nevertheless, you’re expected to create that highlight reel. We must know your passions, your job, your relationship status and when your last vacation was, all in a matter of a few clicks.

I can’t teach you to be an Instagram model… but as a judgemental follower, I can teach you how not to be annoying.

  • Don’t overdo it. If you’re posting all day every day, I’m sorry but people are going to get sick of your content.
  • Unless you’re running a business account, avoid long lists of hashtags. #Like4like #f4f
  • Comment nice things on your friend’s posts! It makes people feel good.
  • Be funny and be original. As long as you’re being appropriate, be yourself and have fun! Have fun with the app. Serious selfies are scary.
  • Send your friends memes and things that remind you of them.
  • Don’t send your friends gossipy rude comments. It’s easy for someone to screenshot those comments or show them to the wrong person, more importantly, be nice, but also be smart.
  • If you get sponsored by a brand, make that money. But also, don’t be surprised if people unfollow, constantly plugging your promo code for an essential oils brand can come off inauthentic and pyramid scheme-y.

Overrated v. Underrated 2021

As we head into the new year, I think it’s important to look back. Back on a year of feats and failures, as individuals and as a society. Not in a particularly reflective insightful way, but more in a way of; Did Kim K really say that?

Today, I’ll be the judge and go through the most trending topics of 2021 and decide whether they were Overrated, Underrated, or Justified. 

Crypto

Cryptocurrency boomed in 2021. Prior to 2021, Bitcoin was the only crypto coin I could name off the topic of my head. Now, we’ve got entire sports arenas named after the phenomena. Many argue that crypto is the way of the future, while others still can’t wrap their heads around the idea of a non-physical coin. Whether you’re on the crypto train or not, it’s officially been adopted into the mainstream as of 2021, with Matt Damon being the face of cryptocurrency, it’s no longer confined to the corners of the internet.

WorldSpectrum/Pixabay

I would rule cryptocurrency: Justified, however, I would say it’s Underrated in the sense that we should all stop the excuses and start educating ourselves on the topic.

Squid Game

Squid Game already feels like a fever dream, and it’s only been a few months. Squid Game became the most streamed show ever on Netflix, after its release in 2021. I find that hard to believe based on how gore-y and intense the show is. You wouldn’t think everyone would be down with that but hey, 2021 has been full of surprises. I work at an elementary school, and at the peak of popularity, I would hear grade 3’s singing that Squid Game tune. The obsession with this show was so random and sudden. There were no big Hollywood stars in it, no hype leading up to the release, but all of a sudden everyone and their dog was watching Squid Game.

The South Korean Netflix series’ popularity even led to some controversy. A Korean influencer, Youngmi Mayer pointed out the “botched” subtitles that changed the show’s meaning – erasing cultural nuance, missing metaphors and Korean idioms. Public figures like Chrissy Teigen and Mr. Beast were prime examples of misunderstanding the narrative.

Egregiously wealthy people recreating a show about egregiously wealthy people exploiting the poor is more than a little ironic.

I’m going to go with Overrated. Not at the fault of the show and it’s creators, rather what America has done to it.

Covid Themed Things – Greys Anatomy, comedy specials, marketing campaigns and so forth

Something really bothers me about Covid, pandemic themed media. I know it’s supposed to be relatable and comforting, but honestly, when I’m watching TV I’m trying to escape the pandemic, not be reminded of it.

I find most of it extremely predictable and annoying. Complaining about wearing a mask and how you’re secretly wearing pyjamas on Zoom isn’t quirky or funny. It’s kind of an equivalent to Facebook mom memes. Relatabiltiy can’t be the only punchline.

Posted by Coronavirus Public Meme Service on Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Overrated I hate this trend is depressing and I’m over it.

Working from Home

This topic definitely divides people, and it’s not as simple as introverted v. extroverted. With Omicron causing a surge in cases, many schools and workplaces in Canada returned to an online platform. For BCIT Radio Arts & Entertainment students we were given a choice, with hybrid learning – Live streamed classes from campus where students have the opportunity to return to the classroom or participate through Zoom.

HaticeEROL/Pixabay

I’m personally, a Zoomer. I can see both sides to the argument, and I do at times miss the social aspects of school. Here’s my thinking though,

  • Saves time, approx. 1 hour of commuting, I can use to do work
  • Saves money – Gas, food, parking
  • No risk of Covid exposure
  • No reason to skip class – Even if I’m tired and out of it, I can still manage to click a Zoom link.
  • And of course, I can be in my pyjamas 😉

I think working from home is Underrated. I love my classmates and teachers but I like my pyjamas and cat more.

No, but for real, I genuinely want to keep my family safe and with covid cases soaring it’s not a risk I want to take if I don’t have to.

Early 2000s Revival

Lowrise jeans, juicy tracksuits, Bennifer 2.0 and #FreeBritney are all examples of the early 2000’s renaissance in 2021. In a time of such discomfort and complexity, I believe we found comfort in the nostalgic early 2000s.

https://www.tiktok.com/@teabby/video/7044955436784651566?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id6924475655456376325

I have mixed feelings here. One part of me loves how people are having fun with fashion, bright colours, sparkles and pop music #sliving (your best life)

But then there’s the other part of me that’s over it. The early 2000’s weren’t all glitter and glam. It’s also notable for the blatant misogyny in the media, think back to Britney Spears, the promotion eating disorders and failure to recognize black creatives and artists.

I don’t know, I’m at a toss up here… what do you think? Justified in that It can be fun and playful, but Overrated because I don’t like some of the connotation the movement can carry. Thing is, If it was fun and playful for everyone, I would say Underrated, but clearly its not. Let me know your thoughts!

Air Fryers

At first I wasn’t convinced by the whole air fryer obsession. It’s kind of just an oven, right? I was so wrong. This is not a paid sponsorship, I promise. Air Fryers are awesome. Not even in a diet-y less calories way. Mostly because I’m lazy and impatient. I hate cleaning up oil and waiting for my oven to preheat. Boom! Both problems solved with an air fryer. Sure, the health aspect is nice but most of all, I can have frozen spring rolls perfectly crispy and ready in under 10 minutes.

@healthysimpleyum

For those getting an #airfryer this Christmas! #airfryerrecipes #airfryertiktok #veganrecipes #kitchenhacks #plantbasedtiktok #kitchentips #jackfruit

♬ Own Brand Freestyle – FelixThe1st & Dreya Mac

I honestly feel bad for my friends who haven’t been indoctrinated into the air fryer cult. The fact that not every house has one, atests to the fact its Underrated. I’d trade my microwave and toaster for an air fryer any day.

 

 

Instagram accounts you NEED to follow

I may not be the most avid Instagram poster, however, I’m quite the follower. My home page is my little sanctuary to see art, people, clothing and food that I love. It’s 2022, it’s time to unfollow annoying people from high school and bad meme accounts.

Without further ado here are my favourite Instagram accounts right now:

Local Faves

@Seasonsofeastvan

www.seasonsofeastvan.com

Seasons of East Van is a super cool project that centers around photos of “spontaneous interactions out in the neighbourhoods of “East Vancouver”.”

Everyone I know in East Van hopes to one day to be stopped by SoEV for a photo. In fact, I know quite a few people who were lucky enough to be featured. Every photo is a beautiful glimpse into a stranger’s life. Something about these photos is so real, it’s just cute little people in their cute little outfits doing their cute little things.

@oldvancouverarchives

I’m a complete nerd for archived photographs. I get this feeling of euphoria, looking at pictures of what used to be. It’s insane to me that at one point Vancouver was only trees and beaches. And now boom, I’m here typing away on my Macbook on my Ikea bed in a house with heat and water. It blows me away how way time works, how these photos are under a hundred years old yet the city is unrecognizable. Those mountains sure are unmistakable though!

Pop Culture Realness

@overheardcelebs

Please go through that post and then maybe 30 more! OverheardCelebs is the best celebrity journalism out there. The stories are real unedited and usually give me a big smile. Whether it be Woody Harrelson helping some folks move in NYC or Larry David returning someone’s lost credit card, you’ll get a kick out of this ‘Anti-Gossip Journal.’

@Goosebumpscinema

Goosebumps Cinema posts clips, photos and edits from critically acclaimed films. You don’t have to be a film buff to get goosebumps watching these clips. You’ll recognize the cult classics and be introduced to films to add to your watch list. This account has been essential during lockdowns.

@girlbosstown

GIRLBOSSTOWN is a Tik Tokker who posts PR move predictions, insights and opinions. In a world where business and marketing seem to be dominated by men, the self-proclaimed “Internet Agent” gives hilarious takes on the business side of celebrity scandals and social media trends. The content she’s covering is super easy to digest, while also being clever. I’ve gained tons of insight into marketing and PR moves, while simultaneously giggling away. No t need for a man in a suit to explain NFT’s to me, I got GBT.

Pleasing on the eyes

@__dreamspaces

I’ve always had this dream that someday I’ll be a famous interior designer. I’ve never looked into it, and I doubt I ever will, but maybe that’s the career of an alternate universe Neena. @Dreamspaces feeds into my interior designer fantasy. The account features “Really nice spaces and places.” The photographs are unique and dreamy curated by @angelebaby, juxtaposing the current trend of white modern barn house decor that fills your interest feed. Yuck!

@subwayhands

Photos by @hannahlafolletteryan

The name says it all. This account features hands in the NYC subways. This account is so insanely niche and random, but similar to Seasons of East Van, these photographs are a glimpse into a real life. No one here is posed and Instagramable, they’re just people on the subway. It’s a reminder of how different we all are, and all the stories we have to tell, just based on our hands. There’s so much beauty and individuality in the world and I love how @subwayhands photographs it.

@looneytunesbackgrounds

I was only allowed Teletoon Retro as a child so I’m a huge Looney Tunes fan, but something I never appreciated was the background art. These backgrounds make me feel warm fuzzy nostalgia. The colour palettes and simple lines are so easy to look at, yet still, tell a story. Even without the zany characters! “Looney Tunes without Looney Tunes.”

@lagunavintage 

Vintage Book Shop

Another trip down memory lane, @lagunavintage has curated a page of vintage children’s book illustrations. These images are again, so comforting and bring back so many memories. I love sending them to my mum, these books are so old, they’re nostalgic for both of us. The children’s books these days just aren’t the same with their digitized illustrations, there’s no heart and soul. I’m continuously inspired as an artist by these vintage works, if I had a bit more money I’d have a collection.

@aprettycoolhoteltour

What is more fascinating and hilarious than a themed hotel? I think most of us would rather save the money while travelling and stay in a generic Best Western. Thankfully, couple @aprettycoolgirl and @coreybienert have taken it upon themselves to road trip across the US, staying in the craziest, coolest and unique-est hotels. They’ve done it all, from an underwater hotel in Florida to an Arctic Cave in Kentucky. There’s no shortage of Ooooh’s and Ahhhh’s and Ews! Join me in watching this adorable husband and wife tour “fantasy suites.”

Okay, that sounded weird, but I think you get it!

Laugh out loud? Lots of love! Lol.

@reductress

Reductress is a satire page that pokes fun at the style, tone, and perspective of media targeted towards women. It’s always been hilarious the ways the media capitalizes off women so blatantly, with performative feminism, weight loss supplements and girl boss-ery, and the Reductress hits the nail on the head every. single. time.

The best part of satire pages like The Onion or Reductress is how the comedy is sometimes subtle enough to dupe readers. I cry laughing every time I see comments and reposts angered by a Reductress headline like, “How To Get Men to Chase You But Not When You’re Jogging At Night

@power.of.self.care

@power.of.self.care is another account that I constantly see taken seriously. Maybe I only like these accounts because they make me feel special. Thank you satire, feed my inner narcissist.

This account is a hilarious take on the wellness culture and ‘radical self-love’ that the internet pushes on us. The real thing is so funny and pretentious and corny, like these Instagram models in Tulum preaching gratitude to me. I go to therapy for my mental health, I go on Instagram to laugh and further damage my mental health, let me live.

Let’s talk about the Coachella 2022 Lineup

The Coachella lineup release marks an important start to the year. It can be a glimpse into what this year has to hold musically. Hinting at potential releases and giving insight into who is “up” or “down” by industry standards. Basically unveiling the hierarchies that go unstated within the music industry.

Headliners are often the make-or-break, and after a two-year hiatus, we knew this year was going to be a little different. The 2020 Coachella festival was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Later rescheduled to April 2021, which also ended up being cancelled.

Rumours circulated that the original 2020 headliners would be on our 2022 lineup. Unfortunately, for Frank Ocean, Rage Against the Machine, and Travis Scott fans, that didn’t pan out.

Frank Ocean is a wildcard and as fans have come to know all too well, it’s hard to rely on him for performances, album releases or any communication at all with the public.

Rage Against the Machine go on tour this Spring, so Coachella wasn’t in their cards.

And Travis Scott made the right decision to step back from live performances, after the tragic events at Astroworld last year.

That leaves us with our 2022 headliners, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Ye, (Formerly known as Kanye West) and Swedish House Mafia. 

The Headliners

The first thing I noticed about the headliners was – wow, no bands?

It’s rare to not see at least one band in the big font. Whether it’s ACDC or Arcade Fire, there’s usually a rock band in the mix. It feels like it’s a nod to tradition. Until recently music festivals were only comprised of rock bands, so to eliminate them completely sounds pretty radical. But unfortunately, there’s no denying, bands aren’t keeping up with solo performers. A band hasn’t made the top Spotify artists since 2016, where pop-rock duo Twenty-One Pilots climbed the charts.

Headliners Billie, Harry and Ye are heavily influenced by rock. Billie and Harry are both known for whipping out the electric guitar on stage in crazy rock get-ups, and Ye’s recent album Donda, is full of guitar riffs, samples, and features from infamous metal legend, Marilyn Manson.

@vegankatie

we 🎸stan 🎸this 🎸guitar #harrystyleslive #harrystylestour #stockholmsyndrome #hshq #fypシ゚ #stockholmsyndrome1d #longhairharry #livemusic #loveontour

♬ Ur so crazy I think I wanna shot – Tommy

Point being, the lines are becoming blurred within musical genres. Artists are no longer feeling pressured to fit in a mould and be confined to power ballads or indie pop.

If you’re completely opposed to this pop-oriented festival lineup, Bonnaroo 2022 is sticking more to its roots, with Stevie Nicks and Robert Plant. Although there are fewer acts (110-ish versus 180) they’re definitely going for a less pop-y top 100 vibe.

The Middle is Never Mid

Obviously, it’s always exciting to see who’s got their name in bold, but often the middle is where it’s truly at. Particularly the placement of each artist. For example, Doja Cat shot up four lines from where she was on the 2020 Coachella poster. While Run the Jewels moved down on the list.

The headliners may have all the glitz and glam but for Coachella 2022 the middle is stacked with talented, of the moment artists you may not get the chance to see Live anywhere else.

Niche Internet Celebrities

A new phenomenon we are seeing is a lot of these new up-and-coming artists have only found popularity within the pandemic through Tik Tok, so Coachella will be their opportunity to make a name for themselves as a live performer. Many artists who grew during the pandemic through social media are finding it hard to escape the pigeonhole of an “influencer.”

Doja Cat is a prime example of someone who went from being an internet meme:

To a fierce performer, ranked number five on both the Top New Artists of 2020 and Top Female Artists of 2020 charts.

Coachella may have gotten boosting Doja Cat right, but they aren’t totally hip and up to trend. They somehow missed out on the fact that pop-punk(-rap?) is back, neglecting to book artists like Machine Gun Kelly, who’s ruling the charts. It’s all good with me though, I can’t stand the punk white rapper thing anyways.

Who I’m excited for (Not that I would actually attend, it’s like $549 American for the ticket alone, plus a plane ticket, hotel, shuttle, food, water, drugs)

Day 1 – April 15 & 22

After The Melodic Blue, I think Baby Keem would be awesome to see as a new (but familiar) face in the rap scene, and who knows maybe he’ll bring out his cousin, Kendrick Lamar. Wishful thinking?

The Avalanches are one of my favourite musical groups, they postponed their 2022 North American tour “due to ongoing personal health issues.” So it’s hard to say whether they will actually be at Coachella, but nevertheless, dope band, a great addition to the 2022 lineup.

Last year I came across Raveena on my Spotify Discover Weekly, and immediately fell in love. In November 2018, she performed at Tyler, The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival. Her music explores self-love and healing and blended R&B, soul, and jazz music. If you have the chance I’d highly recommend not only listening to her music but reading about her story, growing up in a traditional Sikh household.

day 2 – April 16 & 23

21 Savage is awesome, I don’t care what people say. I feel like people don’t take Atlanta rappers seriously enough, based on the way they talk and act. His recent nods to OG 90’s rap culture in Savage Mode II hit so hard. I still can’t get over the fact he’s secretly British.

I know Danny Elfman is more than Tim Burton movie soundtracks, Oingo Boingo was cool and all, and I know he’s working with Trent Reznor on some new music. But, I want him to go full-on Nightmare Before Christmas. He did it for Halloween 2021 with headliner Billie Eilish, so he can do it again. Pleaaaase, Danny!

Rina Sawayama is everything to me. I love her so much. She’s a trailblazer, she’s an icon, she’s gorgeous. She’s the pop princess the world needs.

Tons of young new rappers performing, and some people aren’t down with the new, so it’s great they’ve got Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, with some more old-school stuff. Just don’t let Freddie have his phone.

day 3 – April 17 & 24

I wish I could say I wasn’t excited for Ye. His controversy is hard on his fans. I will never defend the words that come out of his or his manic tweets. But will I love and defend his musical career to the grave? Yes. Separate the art from the artist… Right guys?

I’m also ashamed to admit I used to be a Doja Cat hater. She can be a polarizing figure and she’s had her fair share of controversies, but if there’s one thing certain, she’s a performer and a fun one at that.

Alternative rap artist JID is a great artist to see Live. Hopefully, we’ll get some Spillage Village action or some new releases, because lord knows we need em.

It’s sad that Denzel Curry is primarily known for doing the bottle flip song (Ultimate, 2015) when he’s arguably one of the best rappers right now. His music is super original and he’s got crazy energy. I can’t wait to see what kind of creative set he comes up with.

 

Is it possible to love your body?

As a young woman, I tend to be dissatisfied with my body on a daily basis. As depressing as that sounds, I think the majority of women feel the same way.

I remember hearing in a Dove commercial a figure like, “97% of women have an I hate my body moment every day.”

I don’t know how they got that number, and why they were using women’s insecurities to make a profit, but it’s always stuck with me.

Why do we all “hate” our bodies? Is it self-inflicted? Has it always been this way? Will I ever truly be satisfied?

There are many theories as to why women have a growing dissatisfaction with their bodies., even with eating disorders having the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder, we still can’t find a way to stop this cycle.

Where did it begin?

If you’ve ever been to a museum and looked at the old glamorous garments worn by women of the past, it’s no secret there were idealized body types even hundreds of years ago. Corsets, bustiers and bustles created curvaceous silhouettes that mimick a woman’s curves by holding in her waist and supporting her breasts.

b0red/Pixabay

The understructure of wires, pads, and ties was more important than the actual body under the garment. There’s no evidence that “thin-ness” was particularly desired.

It all really began rolling in the 20th century, there’s a very defined shift towards an increasingly young and increasingly kind of athletic and slender body.

Magazines displayed slender women’s bodies and suddenly an epidemic of eating disorders began in young women. See the connection?

By the 1920s the ‘ideal woman’ was thinnest it had ever been in the US.

Looking back on our history, it’s clear that the media plays a vital role in promoting the “body standard.” But we know all this, don’t we? How many times can we tell ourselves to stop comparing ourselves to Instagram models or magazine supermodels? If turning off my phone would make me love my body, life would be a lot easier.

Culture and Thin-Heritance

It can feel as though women are predisposed to hate their bodies. Although eating disorders aren’t proven to be genetic, there’s evidence to show that a mother’s views about food, dieting practices, and negative attitudes and comments about her body, put her child at high risk of an eating disorder. This is called ‘Thin-Heritance.’

@tashcoug

Who can relate #moms #momtok #ed #weight #bodyimage #parenting #parents #SoundcoreGoForGold #messytok

♬ that is a scarecrow – ☕️ Mochadrift

Many homes value external features like thinness, over health and wellbeing. Even the most loving mothers can unintentionally pass down their unhealthy relationship with food, exercise, and their body. It’s a cycle that we are just recognizing now, but it’s so hard to break. So many women struggle to accept their bodies, and how many of these women become mothers?

Body image also stems from cultural messages. My family is very English, and that at times comes with banter and insult fuelled humour. There’s an infamous story in my family about how when I was around 2 years old my grandad made a comment about how I better “lose the tum” before I go into grade school.

In other cultures, it gets far worse than witty remarks. Until recently, many non-American countries, considered a plumper figure to be ideal. However, as access to the internet is becoming more widespread, even in developing countries, girls are beginning to view themselves as fat. In efforts to look more like Western women, young girls are going on diets and developing eating disorders.

The Male Gaze

As a young woman goes through puberty you come to realize that finding a man will not be a problem in life. Existing in a female body automatically puts you on the market, and demand is always high. No matter your rolls, waist size or length of legs.

Women don’t want to be thinner so men will sexualize them. In a world where much of your value comes from your appearance, you come to believe, if you’re going to be an object, might as well try to be a ‘high-value’ one.

Society can make women feel only worth their bodies, the media uses this to their advantage to sell a product.

It works for everyone but women, to have women hate their reflection.

A solution?

Obesity is a real issue, especially in North America that comes with many risks including, diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. But no woman needs to be told they’re fat.

I often see this argument, that obese people need to be told their fat and shamed into weight loss. As if they are living in some magical fairy tale world and don’t already know?

If you find yourself commenting on a stranger’s appearance, it’s obviously not because you care about their health.

Whether you’re obese or fit, you know the feeling of shame. No matter your diet or exercise regime there’s nothing that seems to fill the void of shame women carry in their bodies.

This may not be the happy ending you were looking for, but I’m not old enough nor wise enough to what a life in which you love your body feels like. The negative self-talk is a constant hum in the mind of what Dove claims to be 97% of women.

I don’t think there is a solution, but I think if we look at all the things I’m talking about; history, culture, relationships, and the patriarchy. We can begin to heal and fight back against a cycle. Speaking our truths won’t rid us of insecurity, but it’s important for women to find safety and compassion in a world that profits off our unhappiness.

What I believe is, you don’t need to love your body, but you don’t have to hate it.

Not your average list of things to do in Vancouver

We’ve all been there, bored and aimless googling “thing to do in Vancouver”

Usually, these lists are full of expensive tourist attractions like Grouse Mountain or taking a tram around Stanley Park. Often it’s paid advertisement and it leaves you feeling even more bored, poor and hopeless than before.

Now, as a born and bred Vancouverite I have decided to take it upon myself to share my “secret” spots and help you the next time you think: There’s nothing to do in Vancouver.

This list is budget-friendly! With almost everything costing you less than a Beaver Tail and hot cocoa on Grouse.

Aberdeen Centre

4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC V6X 4J7

Located in Richmond, the Aberdeen Centre is an Asian shopping centre with over 160 stores. Including, but not limited to fashion, furniture, lifestyle products, fresh groceries, and a one-of-a-kind food court experience.

I find malls like Metrotown or Pacific Centre to be slightly nauseating, but for me, Aberdeen is so unique that it immerses you into another world.

I’ve always wanted to travel to Asia, I mean who hasn’t? The diverse customs, art, food, and fashion are things I dream of one-day seeing (and tasting.) However, travel isn’t an option for most of right now.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

Visiting Aberdeen Centre feels like a mini travel experience, like a Costco sample of what’d be like to travel across Asia. All retail and food stalls are either Korean, Chinese, or Japanese.

The food court is the biggest draw-in, as it features a diverse selection of Asian cuisines, all reasonably priced and authentic. Your friend can have Katsu while you have Korean fried chicken.

Mark Lai/Facebook

If you enjoy the Chinatown Night Market in the summer, you’d love the Aberdeen Mall year-round.

Commercial Drive + Rio Theatre

East Van used to symbolize the working class, more alternative, “gritty” lifestyle, at least in comparison to the West Side. But now that houses in East Van are selling for 2 million, it’s a laughable and out-of-date caricature. Although the housing market has gone bonkers, Commercial Drive has managed to keep some of the OG East Van spirits alive.

Sightings are becoming less common, but the essence of “the drive” is still there. You still got the old Italian men smoking outside Abruzzo’s with their espressos. Or the laid-back hippies in Sweet Cherubim eating their vegetarian platters.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I think it’s time you know! Take a stroll down Commercial Drive, spanning from Venables to Broadway, I promise you, there’s plenty to see.

My recommendations:

DownLow Chicken

Long line ups, but definitely worth the hype.

 

Continental Coffee for a pick me up.

And of course, The Rio Theatre

An experience you can’t download

The Rio is a Vancouver staple. If you can’t manage the Commercial Drive stroll, the one thing I want you to do is visit The Rio. Conveniently located steps away from the Commercial Drive/ Broadway Skytrain Station.

Be sure to check out the Movies and Events schedule on their website. They show everything from new releases, cult classics and live performances.

This week at The Rio:

Now Showing at The Rio Theatre – https://mailchi.mp/riotheatre/january13

Posted by The Rio Theatre on Thursday, 13 January 2022

The Rio also has a full bar, featuring local craft beers and ciders! Beat that cineplex.

House of Dosas

1391 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5V 3E3

Are you a night owl?

If you’re sleeping in until noon on these short winter days, it can feel as though you’ve wasted away your entire Saturday. But fear not! The House of Dosas also has an out-of-wack sleep schedule.

Open from 11 am-3 am, House of Dosas is one of the few (good) eateries to be open almost 24/hrs a day.

House of Dosa is a popular joint that serves everyone’s dietary needs and cravings. Gluten-Free, vegetarians, vegans or carnivores it’s got at all, at any hour.

Quick Tip: If you’re ever starving after a night out and everything’s closed… House of Dosa is a top-tier drunk meal. Available on Ubereats, Skipthedishes, and Doordash.

Kobiniya Japan Centre

1238 Robson St, Vancouver BC

Kobiniya is a mini Japanese supermarket packed full of fun snacks, groceries, appliances, beauty care and ready-made meals. I would describe it as a more fun and flashy Fujiya.

Posted by Konbiniya Japan Centre on Thursday, 24 June 2021

They only sell products that are from Japanese brands, so it feels like you’re actually in Japan!

I think you should go inside and look around to get the full experience, but they do offer online shopping with delivery and in-store pickup.

My friend who immigrated to Vancouver from Japan recommended trying out:

  • Instant Ippei Chan Yakisoba
  • UFO Noodles
  • Kororo Fruit Juice Gummy – Melon

Other best sellers at Konbiniya include:

  • Various Japanese frozen cuts of Pork, Beef, and Salmon
  • Frozen Sanuki Yude Udon
  • Sweet Rice Dumpling

Drive around Shaughnessy and admire the wealth

Vancouver is notable for its stark wealth divide/inequality. Vancouver has the 3rd highest rate of income inequality in Canada and the biggest gap between housing prices and income in North America.

Instead of crying about it (which I very well could), I lean into it. Take a drive through one of the wealthiest areas in Metro Vancouver, Shaughnessy, where the average house price is $2.89 million, the highest in Vancouver.

I like to drive, walk, or bike through the neighbourhood treating it almost like an art gallery where each millionaire is showing how they can best display their wealth. Some houses are beautifully designed and kept, while others are monstrous and plain ugly. It shows how money clearly doesn’t equal taste. And it’s fun to make fun of rich people, right?

Also interesting to note! If you happen to uncut grass or empty driveways, you have likely come across an abandoned mansion. A common sight in Shaughnessy that has attracted squatters over the past few years.

For various reasons, many of these mansions are vacant. Foreign buyers, heritage permits and high prices are making the area reminiscent of a ghost town. Even more of a reason to take a look!