culture

Full of colour

October 14, 2014

Chefchaouen, Morocco via Artful Desperado

Here’s another batch of colourful shots from beautiful Morocco. Bright hues and lots of texture. Enjoy!

See the Rest of this Post

Hello Morocco

October 6, 2014

The Medina in Fez, Morocco via Artful Desperado

The Medina in Fez, Morocco via Artful Desperado

The Medina in Fez, Morocco via Artful Desperado

hey hey hey! Guess who’s back!? After a few – very much needed – weeks of vacation, I am back to reality and life. I’ve been slowly but surely selecting a few images to share with ya and it’s been a bittersweet experience; going through the memories of all these amazing places while hitting the wall of reality, it ain’t easy. First world pains.

So, instead of making a boring “travel guide” (there’s already 1000 guides for these cities) I will share little snippets of my favorite spots, it’s almost as if you could peek into my memories.

The cities I visited were Paris, Barcelona, and Munich in Europe and Fez, Meknes, and Chefchaouen in Morocco. Needless to say each place was unique and stunning. I’ll start with my absolute fave: Morocco!

These images are some moody snapshots of the medina in Fez, a 1200 year old city full of history that words simply cannot describe. The food, the colours, the culture – insanity!

Enjoy the show (oh and if you have any travel questions, just ask away! I’m happy to share any tips).

See the Rest of this Post

Local Folks: Johnny’s Pops

July 17, 2014

Local Folks: Johnny's Pops / Photo by Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Johnny's Pops / Photo by Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Johnny's Pops / Photo by Tomasz Wagner

It’s time for another instalment of Local Folks: a collaborative series between Amy and Tomasz of Tomasz Wagner Photography and yours truly.

It’s no secret that we all are obsessed with popsicles. I mean, lickable dessert? Yes and yes. And who better to show us the art of the pops than the man himself; Johnny of Vancouver’s very own Johnny’s Pops. Read the full Q&A after the jump!

See the Rest of this Post

Artful Travels: Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater in Arizona

April 24, 2014

Artful Travels: The Grand Canyon

Artful Travels: The Grand Canyon

Artful Travels: Meteor Crater Arizona

Artful Travels: Meteor Crater Arizona

Artful Travels: Meteor Crater Arizona

Hello! It’s Gab here checking in. So I just came back from a – much needed – mini vacation (seriously, I need mini breaks so I don’t go cray cray). I didn’t take as many photos as I should’ve, and for a good reason: I basically wanted to enjoy the vacation without ANY kind of interference, including taking photos of every single thing. In a way it felt so awesome to be so free of technology (except for a couple updates on IG and twitta).

For this mini vaca I went down to visit a dear friend of mine in Arizona, a state that has become one of my favourites! Probably because it’s WAY different than Canada. All of those desert-y landscapes are out of a movie.

Here are a few tips in case you want to visit the Grand Canyon state (which you totally should):

Bike around the Grand Canyon: yes, you can bike around the rim. SO COOL. We rented our bikes at this spot, and it was about $30 each for half a day. The staff was lovely and gave us a couple easy routes to explore. Dudes, I’m telling ya, biking around the canyon and in and out of the forest is the bees knees. Be ready to make sudden stops to snap the perfect photo and bring some snacks to have an impromptu little picnic.

Oh and there are actual bike paths along the canyon with map stations so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

Visit Meteor Crater: if you want to feel like you’re in an X-Files episode – and you are a total geek like us – then you should definitely pop by Meteor Crater. It’s crazy to be able to see an actual – and the best preserved in the world – crater created by the impact of a meteor. Again, this attraction is only for those who love geeking out on earth/space stuff. The little museum by the crater is kinda cheesy but has neat stats and info about the site and you can buy some fossils and alien IDs HA!

On your way back from the crater you’ll get to enjoy the stunning desert landscapes, and if you’re lucky enough, you might catch an electrical storm!

Pop by Flagstaff: Flagstaff is a charming little town (well I think it’s a city?) that’s on the way to the Grand Canyon. During winter is buzzing with skiers, but on spring and summer it becomes a super chill town with cute little shops and greasy-spoon yummy eateries. A couple to try: Macy’s (good chai lattes and delicious breakfast croissant sandwiches), and Brandy’s Bakery (get the swedish oat pancakes!).

If you need to crash for the night, the beds at the Little America are pure heaven! (Don’t you love sleeping in comfy hotel beds?). Also, the graden in front of the hotel is home to a family of incredibly adorable prairie dogs.

Oh, and did I mention it was 30 degrees and sunny (almost) the whole time? Yah. Such a treat! Unlike here up north where we are still wearing boots and scarves. Oi.

Hope you get to visit these copper-hued natural beauties soon! It’s so worth it!

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver

April 17, 2014

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

Hey fellas! Guess what? The Artful Desperado is premiering a brand new series in collaboration with two talented dear friends: Vancouver photographer Tomasz Wagner and his lovely accomplice Amy Tran. Together we’ll unearth the best kept secrets and treasures of a specific destination. Obviously we’ll start close to home and take it from there.

Our very first post features Revolver Cafe along with their new place next door, Archive. Both spots are a must-go for coffee lovers! Let’s hear from George Giannakos (pictured on top image), one of the men in charge of this family-owned gem in the heart of Gastown.

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

What occupied your days before Revolver and Archive?

Coffee! More coffee! Ever since my parents opened up a coffee shop called Crema in West Van (December 2006) I have been working in coffee. I worked there right up until we got the keys to the space that is now Revolver. If you want to go further back than that though, I was studying Languages at various colleges/universities for a bit, only to ultimately leave to work full-time at Crema not long after it opened.

What influenced your design decisions for Revolver and Archive?

Revolver’s design decisions were influenced by many places we’ve been to, seen or imagined. We worked with Craig Stanghetta of Ste. Marie Art Design who has done some gorgeous rooms in Vancouver and he did a great job of translating what we were saying and thinking into realization. There is certainly more than one aesthetic you could lop Revolver into, but one of the main themes is the idea of being ‘open/exposed/transparent’. And this is something that is persistent in our open bar and shelving, exposed electrical and plumbing, all the way through to every drink being served in glass.

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

What challenges have you faced as a business owner in Vancouver?

I can’t say there have been many challenges that I would attribute specifically to Vancouver internally. At least in Gastown and specifically on Cambie St., life is good! That being said, because we work with shops and roasters based out of the U.S. there is always the potential for extra shipping fees and customs/duties hassle. This would be a reality for any business that imports goods from another country though

What are your favourite places in Vancouver?

I have a long list of go-to places but some of the establishments that I keep finding myself back at around town would be the Pourhouse for imbibing, Moderne Burger for immortal burgers and fries, Shiro Sushi for humble Japanese sushi, Paperhound Bookshop for reads, and Paper-Ya on Granville Island to feed my stationary vice.

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

Local Folks: Revolver Cafe Vancouver via The Artful Desperado. Photo: Tomasz Wagner

What is your most memorable travel experience?

After I finished my first year of college I went travelling for 6 weeks — 3.5 of which were spent in Greece, 2.5 which in Iran — and as you can probably imagine it was a pretty great time. I absorbed a lot at the time but would love to go back now for a second round so I can really see what’s going on, like a re-reading a book or re-viewing a film.

Any developments and/or projects you’re excited about right now re: Revolver, Archive, or otherwise?

On the coffee side of things we’ve set up accounts with some really great roasters based out of Europe that have world wide recognition and are quite rare to see on this side of the water — so we’re obviously excited to be able to offer those. We’ve also just started bringing in Field Notes in Archive and are looking to dip our toes a little deeper into ‘cafe lifestyle’ items (think stationary/pens/magazines, stuff like that.)

Thanks so much for chatting with us, George!

Photos: Tomasz Wagner