Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vancouver Day Trip

I was able to sneak in to Vancouver for a quick visit yesterday. It's been over a year since I was last there, and I quite enjoyed being an anonymous hick from the sticks. My first destination was the Museum of Vancouver's Art Deco Chic exhibit. So, so fabulous! My experience was enhanced in the most lovely way by a pair of female voices, English accented, exclaiming over "The colours!" "The beadwork!" "The drape!" I could have sworn it was part of the installation, and I imagined that it was the mannequins chatting amongst themselves, until I rounded the corner to see a pair of older ladies, discussing each dress in detail as if they were choosing outfits for their next soiree. Their best comment was "Those shops today that sell clothes from the 1970's as vintage...hmmph. Now THIS is vintage!"

While I was there I also snuck round to the "Revolution" gallery for a nod to the Smilin' Buddha neon sign. The Smilin' Buddha was a famous nightclub that had devolved to dive status by the time I spent some fabulously wasted evenings there punk rock dancing, back in the '80's.

From there I bussed over to Homecraft on West 4th in search of crewel thread. Homecraft has been there as long as I can remember, a jumbled, overstuffed yarn store. I was surprised to discover that they are going out of business, since the owner has retired and none of her kids are interested in taking it over. They had the thread I was looking for, and I took everything they had left in dark brown. Now no one else in Vancouver or possibly the Lower Mainland will be stocking this yarn. Sad. The sales lady told me "There's just no money in it." All their knitting yarns are half price, so if you are in Vancouver it is worth a visit. They are scheduled to close their doors as of August 15th.

Of course my next stop was Dressew, the treasure chest of sewing supplies and unrelated bargains. (Chocolate? Fright wigs? Fake papier mache fruit? They've got it.) I limited myself to a package of chenille needles and a purse-sized retractable measuring tape. Total cost: 56 cents.

On the bus back to Horseshoe Bay, a striking looking woman wearing the most gorgeous mohair shawl sat next to me. I commented on her beautiful wrap and she told me that it had been her pram blanket when she was a baby - her mother had bought it hoping she could wear it throughout her life - and she had! It was from Derbyshire, England, and striped in varying widths of plum, grey, black and yellow - an unusual and sophisticated combination. The lady said she was now 61, and the shawl was still soft and lovely. She wore it like a queen - and was the most stylish person on the bus by a long shot.

7 comments:

  1. I love so much the Deco era. I remember visiting an exhibition at the V&A in London a few years ago, it was simply stunning. It wasn't only the design, but the craftiness of those who made the objects: such high professionality!
    Pity for all those little shops going out of business, I think it is happening everywhere in the world.

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  2. Ah, Homecraft...surprised they held out as long as they did, and sorry to hear it's going--i worked a couple blocks down on 4th and used to pop in on my lunch
    And lordy, do i miss Dressew for the downstairs and all that weird and wonderful stuff :)

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  3. Nothing better than vintage. Anything.

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  4. onesmallstitch8:51 PM

    what a great trip, sounds like you hit some of the best spots in Vancouver

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  5. Yes, I didn't mention that I also dropped in on the Law Courts where my ex and I filed our divorce papers. Drama-free, but I am glad I treated myself to some goodies beforehand.

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  6. I'm glad you got to do a bunch of really fun things - as well as the not-so-fun - in Vancouver. One day you'll have to come back and we'll do lunch and Dressew, yes? You can show me how to get out of there for less than $100!

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  7. I would love to do that, Louisa!

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