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Adventures in Gastown

Gastown Orling & Wu

This past weekend, I took myself off to historic Gastown in search of Orling & Wu, a home decorating store I had heard about. I have been looking for someone to recover my two rosewood chairs, because the seats have sunken inward (or downward). The store offers unique home decor items like designer tableware, fabrics, wallpaper and accent furniture pieces. I did a double take when I saw the price tag for a dust pan and brush – until I read the tag; the bristles were made of real animal hair. I had a similar experience with the roses/pussy willow print pillow I fell in love with. But it’s made of silk with down fill, so I guess it’s okay. How luxurious is that? I showed Mr. Orling a picture of one of the rose wood chairs, and listened while he explained the process for having the chairs recovered. I’m not even going to talk about the settee the pillows are decorating – it hurts too much! I fell in love with that too!

Gastown Blood Alley Square

You might remember my previous post, Searching for Blood Alley, where I went looking for Blood Alley and found it, but not the sign. That was because I was looking for it on a building like I had seen in one of pictures that was part of an image search I did when I was trying to find a map of the alley. And also because entered from Abbott St. instead of Carrell St. So this Saturday while wandering around Gastown, I realized that I had turned myself around and was walking away from the water instead of toward it. I started heading back to Water St. When I looked up and there it was in plain sight – “Blood Alley Square.”

Artspeak in Gastown

After wandering around for awhile, my last stop for the day was Artspeak, a non-profit centre run by artists. What made me walk through the door and want to explore the exhibition, Bacon Brest by Alex Da Corte, was the sculpture made out of ghost chairs. The first time I encountered a ghost chair, I was a copywriter for an online furniture store. I don’t particularly enjoy acrylic/plastic furniture – my preference runs to wood with darker finishes. But there is something about ghost chairs that capture my imagination. Da Corte used six of them to make this piece. Bacon Brest is a commentary on Hollywood and how its inconsistencies, successes and failures create a flawless veneer for those who live and work there. For me, the ghost chair perfectly reflects the them of this exhibit.

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