October 13th, 2005
For researching holidays, the New York Times travel section has some of the best ideas out there: Trouble is, they know it, and charge for their archived articles.
Get around it, by accessing the Times through the Vancouver Public Library website and download to your heart's (and wallet's) content.
Read last week's story on London's new EasyHotel, which starts at just 10 pounds a night, last month's piece on the new Paris wine bars serving vin naturel, or the May 15 story on Barcelona's new Casa Camper, opened by the famous Camper shoe company.
You knew there was a reason you were still hanging on to that grubby little card. Now quick, return that copy of Lady Chatterly's Lover you took out way back in English 101.
www.vpl.vancouver.bc.ca (click on electronic resources).
October 12th, 2005
Come on, admit it. We all like to peep...er...people watch, and this beats binoculars in a West End apartment any day.
www.eyesoflaura.org is the suspenseful (albeit fictitious) blog of a bored security guard who's hacked into a surveillance camera above Robson Square.
Commissioned by the Vancouver Art Gallery, Eyes of Laura uses cryptic images, video clips and journal entries to unravel a mysterious crime.
But here's the best part: you can actually control a live video camera overlooking Robson Street - allowing you to, among other things, scope hot lawyers, observe Palmer Jarvis shenanigans, and find out who shops at Sears.
Check it out at www.eyesoflaura.org. In the meantime, avoid Robson on bad hair days.
October 11th, 2005
You've got the tall black boots, you've got the cashmere sweater coat, now you just need this season's coolest pair of slim, dark jeans to wear with them.
Just arrived (and quickly disappearing) are Nudie jeans from Sweden.
Made of Italian raw indigo denim, the instruction manual (yes, they come with one) tells you not to wash them for six months.
I mean, we hate laundry too, but what's up with that?
The idea is that over the six months you work in the denim, then when you finally wash them, the die will slip away from the stress points, leaving your own personal distressed wash.
Less laundry for custom denim? We like the sound of that.
Nudie jeans, $185, for men and women. Read more at www.nudiejeans.com
At Lark Eight Ave., 152 E Eigth Ave., 604-879-LARK, www.lark8thave.com
October 7th, 2005
Here at vitamin v, we go where the wind blows, and right now, it's blowing us straight to new French restaurant Mistral.
Named for the wind so strong that it brings North African sand into France, this bistro is where we want to be as fall brings in its blustery days.
Traditional, heartwarming dishes include tender steaks in green peppercorn sauce, salade frisée with lots of lardons and brioche croutons, little quenelles of fois gras paté and cod brandade to sp read on bread, cassoulet, plates of pommes frites, pork sausages and apple with proper puy lentils, venison with tiny chanterelles...can we stop for lunch now?
Mistral French Bistro, 2585 W. Broadway, 604-733-0046. Now open for lunch. View menus, prices, and make reservations at www.mistralbistro.ca
October 6th, 2005
Looking for a perfect honeymoon spot?
Or maybe it's time for a second honeymoon?
Maui is the current retro choice, but without retro prices, Hawaii can make your bank account, well, retroactive.
But consider the Maui Sands, a 1960s condo complex constructed when land was so cheap, you could build just two stories and surround them with lots of lush gardens.
Located five minutes from Kaanapali Beach (the 1960s playground of Hawaiian royalty) it's across the street from a fantastic fishmonger, close to a grocery store, next to car and snorkel rentals, and is right on the water.
It's quiet, peaceful, and condos rent from US$110/night. So let's keep this just between us, OK?
View pictures of condo rentals (click on Maui Sands) at www.mauigetaway.com
October 5th, 2005
They say genius skips a generation.
Find out if it's true when Olivier Widmaier-Picasso, Pablo's grandson, speaks in Vancouver on October 13.
He's the dashing young author of the best-selling biography "Picasso: The Real Family Story," which reveals never-before-told family secrets.
Residing in Paris, in addition to being an author, he is also a producer and media consultant.
And a marketing genius, that's for sure.
Tickets $15 ($10 for Vancouver Art Gallery members, students and seniors). October 13, 7 p.m., UBC Robson Square Theatre. Call 604-662-4717.
October 4th, 2005
Gone are the days when a well-timed trip to the Sally Ann yielded an armload of vintage finds for less than a Bryan Adams box set.
But thanks to Mintage, Vancouver's newest purveyor of previously enjoyed fashions, you can still find plenty of pieces to add authenticity to this season's retro-inspired looks.
In a huge, lofty space with 18-foot ceilings and a barn-like atmosphere, scope military-issue WWII aviator jackets (pilot sized so they'll fit women), cowgirl-chic boots, vests, shirts and crinolines, and more metallic gold than a Palm Springs retirement community.
And if it's more expensive than you're used to, well, they did call it Mintage didn't they?
Mintage, 320 West Cordova St., 604-646-8243
Coming soon: www.mintagevintage.com
October 3rd, 2005
Love the look of healthy flushed cheeks you get after a 10 km run?
"Fake it till you make it" is our motto, ladies.
Inner Glow from make-up artist Alison Raffaele's Skin line is a water-based gel blush that comes in a chubby stick that's a snap to dab on your cheek apples.
No brushes to clean, no breakage, no spills, no mineral oil: it's our kind of make-up.
Two new shades have hit the shelves, named for Raphaelle's favourite attributes of women: a sheer red called Graceful, and a peachy-gold called Glamourous.
And those attributes, darling, you'll never have to fake.
Available in Vancouver at Beauty Mark. Find store locations or purchase Skin Alison Raffaele Inner Glow ($39) at www.beautymark.ca
September 30th, 2005
Does your freezer look like the sad aftermath of a summer party? One orange popsicle, a nearly empty bottle of Vodka, a frozen pizza that everyone forgot to heat, and something wrapped in tinfoil that you are too scared to open?
Time to transition to the Fall Freezer, packed with roasts and stews and all the things you want when it's drizzly and cold and you don't want to shop.
First stop: The Blue Goose Cattle Company, purveyors of premium organic, non-medicated, dry-aged Angus beef, and suppliers to West Vancouver's Whole Foods.
Get factory-direct prices on vacuum-packed burgers, New York strip, sirloin tip roasts, ground beef and more at their North Vancouver warehouse (delivery available).
The Urban Cowboy freezer pack (from $89) contains 12 pounds of rib eyes, filet mignon, burgers and more.
So when's the party?
Blue Goose Cattle Company, #123- 1305 Welch Street, North Vancouver, 604-980-9106 or 800-913-3466.
For more hotel deals and to book the Thanks for Playing package, visitDownload an order form and view products and prices at www.bluegoosecattle.com
September 29th, 2005
It's officially shoulder season at Whistler, and, no that doesn't mean it's time to break out the Flashdance-style sweater to Tommy Africa's. It means the most amazing deals of the year.
Best bargains are at the Thanksgiving weekend Turkey Sale (October 8-10), the biggest ski and snowboard sale in the country, at the base of Blackcomb Mountain.
Once you've off-loaded your old fluorescent pink stretchies, take in the last day of the Whistler Farmer's Market (Sunday, October 9, 11-4 p.m. outside the Fairmont Chateau Whistler) where you can pick up Pemberton-grown Yukon Golds for your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, golden beets, rainbow chard, and fresh blueberry pies.
Stop at the Blackcomb Liquor Store at the end of the market for BC wines that you can't find in stores, such as the elusive first vintage from Lang, Joie and Kettle Valley.
And if you need a place to cook it all up, consider the "Thanks for Playing" package (through October 31), with various hotels offering a third night free (e.g. Delta Whistler Village Suites, $188 for three nights).
Now you can surely shoulder that.
For more hotel deals and to book the Thanks for Playing package, visit www.tourismwhistler.com