What’s Another Eleven Days?

Let’s focus on the positives from this past weekend: staying up until three in the morning three nights in a row didn’t kill me.  It is never a bad weekend when a friend from out of town visits.  If this was supposed to be a normal weekend it would be considered great.

The one and only downside to this weekend: the Yeezus show was postponed until Halloween.

Wait.  What?!?  This isn’t supposed to happen, not on the best weekend ever.  This wasn’t a part of the plan.  The plan was have a wicked weekend, chronicle it through a photo essay, and take the week to recover.  Kendrick and Kanye will have to wait another ten days.  In the meantime here is how the rest of my weekend unfolded.

Friday: “I Need More Underground Parties in my Life”

 Two weeks ago I didn’t have plans for Friday night.  It was circled as an opportunity for me to get some rest.  What occurred was the complete opposite of rest.  FunkDirty told me that they were playing a show in the basement of a restaurant on Friday.  I think I would’ve gone regardless of the special circumstances surrounding the show.  However, the nature of the show sealed the deal: they warned me that the show wasn’t technically legal.  Friday night increased my chances of not making it through the weekend by at least twenty-five percent.

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I arrived early just to kick it with FunkDirty after their sound check.  This was about as underground as you could get.  The basement might fit one hundred and fifty people at the most but at that point the room would just become a sauna.  However, since the room was so small the acoustics sounded great.  There was an echo in the room, when a note was played it’d hang in the air and blend with the next one.  This effect gave the room a trippy feel and added to the fact that I might not be able to hear by Monday.

After sound check, we decided to walk around Commercial Drive before the party began.  I wish I got a picture of this – as we were walking down the street we saw a skateboarder being filmed performing tricks down an alley way.  We stopped by and hung out for a few minutes before heading back to grab pizza.

Once we got back downstairs, the basement was full.  The DJ was spinning and it was apparent this was going to be wild night.  In the middle of the room a dance circle formed and B-Boy and B-Girl cyphers were already on full blast.

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FunkDirty took the stage and just flowed off of the crowd’s energy.  They didn’t play any set songs, instead they jammed for an hour and let the B-Boys and B-Girls do their thing.

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After they finished jamming, we were told that we’d have a short break before the next set of performers.  The music kept spinning and I’m confident there were some people who didn’t stop dancing the entire night.

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For us mere mortals of the dance floor, we headed upstairs to chat and catch our breath.  However, on a night like this with so many creative people around and all of the juices flowing there are no breaks.  As soon as we sat down upstairs we saw a circle form outside on the sidewalk.

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It was a beat box and free style circle, with people just jumping in and out of the beat, taking turns spitting.  The collective mindset of my friends and I was, “Holy shit, this night is awesome and it’s only midnight.”  The rhyming and beats continued for another five minutes until Connor Ruther shut it down.

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Once we made it back downstairs it was more dancing, more hip-hop cyphers, and the cops even showed up telling us to keep it down.  I left around 2:30 and was asleep by 3:30.  Friday was crazy and it was only the beginning.

Saturday: “I Love This City”

Sleeping in was not an option on Saturday as I had to meet my friend Hannah at the airport.  Her flight came in at 9:45, so naturally I woke up at 9:15, which gave me enough time to hop in the shower and head to the airport.  We dropped her stuff off at my apartment and headed out for the day.

When first planning her trip out, she asked me if she should just fly in on Sunday for the concert but I told her she needed to spend a day in Vancouver.

I love hosting people, whether it is a dinner party, or having people over for drinks, or entertaining a friend whose visiting.  I think the main reason for this is because it gives me more of an excuse to do and try new things which interest me.  Chances are if I find it cool, then whoever I’m with will as well.

The first thing on the list was to get food.  One of my favourite things about Vancouver is the abundance of food options.  When people visit I make it a rule to never take them to any place they could eat anywhere else.  The first food stop is Rumpus Room for brunch followed by a walk across the Cambie Bridge into Yaletown, punctuated by a walk down Granville and Robson.  We popped into Chapters and I found the HONY book by Brandon Stanton and didn’t think twice about picking it up.

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Our walk continued down to the Vancouver Convention Centre where we snapped a few pictures and just took in the views.  We eventually made our way back up to Granville for a quick snack at the Moose.

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For dinner we headed to House Guest which is never a bad time, especially, when a friend is working and gives you free shots.  Fortune Sound Club was the last stop of the night.  When we got in line there was a bunch of underage girls who were trying to get in and what happened next was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  When presented with a fake the bouncer said possibly the greatest call out I’ve ever heard in person.  He said, “How come your face doesn’t look like your face?”  I’m not sure how I’m going to incorporate this phrase into my life but it’s happening.  “How come your face doesn’t look like your face?”  How do you recover from that?  You can’t and the bouncer sent four drunk girls home packing early.  Once inside we got a few more drinks, did some prime people watching, and danced the night away.

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However, the night wasn’t over and we stopped by Bestie for some late night Berlin style street food.  After a night at Fortune there’s nothing better.

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Sunday: “Well, this Fucking Sucks.”

I’m the type of person who can run on six hours of sleep or less, it’s not something I want to always do but I can manage if I must.  However, going to see Kendrick and Kanye I want to be reasonably fresh or at least as fresh as I can get after two nights out.  I went to bed around 2:30 I woke up around 8:45.  Why?  Because this is just what my body does, I simply rolled over and went back to bed.  I woke up at 10:30 next and I actually got up and debated whether or not to make myself breakfast and go to yoga for my favourite noon class.  Lucky for me my body would not move.  I’m certain this was it’s way of saying, “Irving you could go to yoga and die or you could simply stay in your warm bed and sleep.”  Hannah also woke up around this time and we had a two second conversation which was:

“How are you feeling?”

“I’m okay right now.  You?”

“I’m alright but I’m going back to sleep.”

Three beautiful hours of sleep later.  We’re buzzing, Kanye was only six hours away.  This feeling lasted a grand total of forty-five minutes before the texts started rolling in: “Did you hear that the concert is cancelled?”  What?  We thought people were just fucking with us but a quick Google search later and well…cue panic mode.

We went from buzzed to as if someone told us a close relative died.  We couldn’t comprehend it, we actually sat in my apartment for an hour and just bitched.  We went through the five stages of grief.  In situations like these I try to stay level headed and realistic but this was something I really wanted so I was pissed.  Even though I knew I would be going to the Halloween show, I felt terrible for Hannah.  She flew in from Calgary to go see the concert.  After we complained about it we both just felt empty.  Sure it had been a great weekend but the show was supposed to be the best part.  We wondered what we would do, would I sell the extra ticket to a friend here?  Would she fly back for the Halloween show?  We just didn’t know.  So, I went to my freezer and pulled out a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, we finished it in about five minutes.

We went out to dinner at Burgoo, stuffed our faces and walked off the haze which had enveloped us.  Even though we did a bunch of things on Saturday there’s still a lot left to Vancouver.  We walked around Kits Beach, the air was just perfect.  It was crisp and refreshing but the you didn’t feel cold.  It was cloudy but not enough to dim the views from the beach.

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We felt like we were in a movie, sure it was a tragic comedy.  Two people building their expectations up just for all of it to crumble at the end, now walking aimlessly along the ocean.  It was exactly what we needed though, open air and space to not feel trapped by our own thoughts.  Typing this out now I realize that’s what I want from the cities I call home.  I want a sense of wonder and endless possibility.  A place where nights never end, the sun simply rises.

We walked all the way from Kits Beach to Granville Island and well what can I say about it that hasn’t already been said?  It’s stunning at all hours of the day.

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Afterwards we met up with a friend and went to Shine for one last night out.

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Monday: “I’m Excited to be Excited Again.”

Hannah’s flight was at 10 so we had to get up earlier than we would’ve liked but we still were at a loss at what to do about the show.  She told me that she would decide if she was coming back or not on her flight.  It didn’t take her long to make up her mind.  At 9:58 I got a text from her saying, “I decided I’m coming back for the concert.”

WHAT’S ANOTHER TEN DAYS????

So it wasn’t the perfect weekend but it was a great one and even though we didn’t do anything fancy or world changing, really we just checked out delicious restaurants and walked around the city.  It made me realize that it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing as much as the company you’re doing it with.  A delicious dinner with someone you can’t stand is a terrible meal.  A burger with someone you connect and click with is a great one.  As I said above I love hosting people so if anyone wants to come visit me in Vancouver, my door is always open and I have an extra mattress to spare.  I won’t be able to host you this Halloween though because I’ll be too busy shouting lyrics and dancing.  These next ten days can’t go by fast enough.

It’s Like I Have ESPN or Something – Nicole

I happen to know that Irving takes his Ben & Jerry’s incredibly seriously.

If he broke Ben and Jerry out on Sunday, it means that this was a dire situation. Bleak. Traumatic.

Big time.

Irving Chong (@Irving_Chong) and Nicole (@_nicoliooo) are co-creators of This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things even though it doesn’t make sense why they’re friends.

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