Before my walk, I met my sister at her studio on Parker and Clark and informed her that she was giving me a guided tour around East Van.
We started the walk by touring around her studio building. She took me through a hobbit sized door to the roof where you can view the city. Looking over East Van...I noticed how diverse and unique this part of the city is. After we ascended the stairs, we took a walk around the outside of the building. It is sort of an odd shape so that there are many little alcoves. The ground is gravel strewn and the building is old and shabby. Some of the walls are covered with colourful graffiti art and text.
We walked up to Commercial and saw a street artist doing chalk drawings on the sidewalk. His focus seemed to be the Virgin Mary. We dropped a couple coins in a hat next to the drawings.
One thing in particular I noticed about Commercial is the types of restaurants they have there: I have never seen so many places to eat that cater to vegetarians and vegans in one area before.
We walked by a random park on our way to get coffee. There were people sitting on the grass with their blankets spread out neatly in front of them. They were selling an assortment of books, jewlery and trinkets. Their wares were placed in neat lines on their blankets. We passed by without buying anything and wondered if any of it had been stolen.
We continued on to Turks, a mostly unremarkable coffee shop except that it has delicious coffee. My sister ordered an Americano, while I opted for tea. We sat awhile by the window people watching. There was an assortment of artists, bohemians, and contemporary hippies that strolled by.
We left Turks and realized we were hungry so we headed for Havana's. I've been here before and anticipated the freshly squeezed orange juice with my meal. They have really good food here. The atmosphere in the room is shabby and exotic. The walls are covered with years memories as seen by the layered engravings of names, dates and phrases on the walls. There is an art gallery in the back that we take a look at before we go. The paintings were of faces and were Cuban themed; there was even one of Fidel Castro. They seemed dark to me.
After lunch we returned to the studio. The loading bay was covered with random stuff and seemed to be used as a sort of share shed. A couple of artists were picking through the stuff as we walked back into the building. We returned to my sisters studio to finish off our walk with a Granville Island Winter Ale. That's when I remembered that I had a camera with me. I've always been horrible about taking pictures.