It’s road-trip season, and if you’re looking to spend a little time on the sand, out on the water or just taking in some beautiful views, Vancouver will likely be on your list of destinations. So, we’ve put together a visitor’s guide for you with the help of Ryan Guldemond, frontman of Vancouver’s favourite alt-pop band Mother Mother.
So, add some tracks from Eureka to your road-trip mixtape, and check out a few of Guldemond’s favourite haunts.
Favourite bar: BierCraft
For chill time I like to go out to the BierCraft on Commercial Drive, if it’s just a conversational kind of outing. There’s lot of charming staff, I like the lighting and the openness and the vast beer selection. I like to order the Duvel. It’s a lager, but it’s pretty strong. I typically like darker beers, but the Duvel has a nice piquant quality that really hits it for me.
Address: 1191 Commercial Dr.
Favourite restaurant: Rain City Grill
(Photo: Roland Tanglao/Flickr Creative Commons)
One of my favourite restaurants. They only serve brunch on weekends. It’s a classy place, it’s very lovely the way they present their food. It’s fresh, it’s local and one dish that rings a memorable bell is the halibut and fennel polenta eggs benedict. It’s really good. The place overlooks English Bay, and with mimosas and coffee, it’s fantastic.
Address: 1193 Denman St.
Favourite record store: Audiopile
(Photo: Ned Raggett/Flickr Creative Commons)
It was impressive because I just wanted to buy every Leonard Cohen record there was, and they had pretty much everything. That left a good impression. The atmosphere is pretty minimal, and to the point. There’s no fluff, it’s just lots of records. Some record stores, it takes a lot to get a rise out of the teller, they don’t want to bestow their secret audiophile knowledge, it’s too sacred. But the owner is pretty forthcoming.
Address: 2016 Commercial Dr.
Favourite vintage store: Attic Treasures
(Photo: Attic Treasures/Facebook)
It’s a nice little place on the north end of Commercial Drive. They find retro stuff and restore it. It’s pretty pricey, but you can get classic, mint furniture, and vases and neat paintings. There’s a mug that I got there. I really like coffee mugs, and it’s an Italian mug that has this flamboyant painting of a peacock. It’s quite a treasure. And it looks like that ’50s kitschy style.
Address: 994 Commercial Dr.
Favourite venue: The Railway Club
(Photo: Railway Club/Facebook)
I like a good mind-blowing intimate experience at the Railway Club. I like the “secret handshake” spots that are smaller. You go up there and you feel like you’ve gone through a portal. It doesn’t have a nostalgic feeling, but it doesn’t feel current either. It’s maybe something like a haunt in a Bukowski book, but it’s not seedy.
Address: 579 Dunsmuir St.
Favourite bookstore: MacLeod’s Books
(Photo: Scott McDonough/Flickr Creative Commons)
My mom has been a bibliophile for years, and has owned a plethora of bookstores. I just sent her an email asking for The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse. But there’s MacLeod’s Books. It’s like a total overwhelming mess, which is what you want your favourite bookstore to be. It shouldn’t be too tidy. It should be hard to find shit, and the guy who works there should be a crazy scientist-eque type of person. That’s what it is, just disheveled, high, teetering stacks of books everywhere.
Address: 455 Pender St. W.
Inspiring view: New Brighton Park
(Photo: Ryan Guldemond)
Go to New Brighton Park. It feels pretty out of arms reach of the average Vancouverite and tourist. Whenever I go there at night it’s empty. There’s a lovely little vantage point that overlooks the port, and the mountains, and the cityscape, and there’s a train that’s right there, close to the water’s edge. You can see those orange cranes, and the big, lifeless boats that lurk. I find it a little disturbing almost. There’s just a cross pollination of industry and nature that speaks to the inherent malfunction of land and man coming together.
Address: 3201 New Brighton Rd.
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on Jul 09, 2012