Leaving Vancouver/Cigar Store Whiteman/Spirit Wrestler Gallery

I’m heading south in a few minutes. I stayed about 3 extra days in Vancouver, it’s such a wonderful city. Here are a few discoveries:

• Kintaro Ramen. Japanese soup kitchen on the 700 block of Denman. The place was packed. Great soup on a cold day.

• The 1100 block of Davie is full of little restaurants, a lot like the upper West Side in NYC. I had good Vietnamese soup at Pho Central. I was sitting at a table in the window and a guy came in from the street and said, “I saw you on TV Monday…” The Dish is another cool little restaurant. There’s a Greek restaurant that had a line out in the street.

• Daryl’s Native Arts and Coffee, 945 Davie, has a few really nice First Nations art pieces, good coffee, and the below wooden figure out front with a sign saying “The cigar store Indian ‘Elijah’ has been replaced by this cigar store white man, General Custer. It’s payback time.”

Spirit Wrestler Gallery

Above: Raven and whale bentwood box by Douglas Zilkle at https://www.spiritwrestler.com/

I wandered in to this gallery in Gastown on Sunday and was stunned. I was surrounded by objects of great beauty. This gallery carries museum-quality artwork created by (alive) native people, of 3 cultures: the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast, the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic and the Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand). I bought a jade crossover pendant made by a young man (Tamaora Walker) of the Te Arawa tribe (one of seven Maori groups of indigenous peoples), and I think I’ll wear it the rest of my life. For me, a place like this, with their focus, is better than museums which tend to overwhelm me.

I had a long conversation with Nigel Reading, one of the owners. When I left, I told him that being around these beautiful objects “…made my heart sing,” like, I said, you know,.the ’60s song “Wild Thing.” He said, “Yeah, wasn’t that the Troggs..?”

I’ve been telling all the Canadians I know to check this gallery out. It’s at 47 Water Street in Gastown.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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