Posts Tagged: city guides

city guide pt 1 :: LA

My work has brought me to LA a few times in the past where we stationed ourselves more or less in the Universal area and Burbank neighbourhoods. Although, we only had a {very} short 4 days here, we came with a completely different mindset on this trip – sun + palm tress, independent shops, and coffee culture. Los Angeles, I love you!

To help you plan your next trip, here are some of the places that we visited:

Poketo :: 820 E. 3rd Street :: Pronounced poh-keh-toe, they are probably best known for their vinyl artist wallets and their recent collaboration with Target. I’ll be posting more about them soon!

La Otra Taqueria Escuela :: 7615 Beverly Blvd :: I came here for their ceiling made of wooden shoe forms and I left talking about their pork belly tacos for weeks. They were so good that we went back the next day for more. Seriously. This is a stop you don’t want to miss.

Liz’s Antique Hardware :: 453 South La Brea Avenue :: If you love vintage and reproduction hardware for your home (skeleton keys, cabinet, furniture, lighting), this is the mothership. Worth a visit whether or not you plan to purchase any of these items.

Grove + Farmers Market :: 189 The Grove Drive :: This place brings me back to my earlier visits to LA when Jess and I would come here to spot celebrities. Ha! Lots of shopping and restaurants… heard great things about the Umami Burger, but didn’t have a chance to check it out.

Reform School :: 3902 Sunset Blvd :: I first heard about Tootie and Billie from Handmade Nation and added it to my list of places to visit. Fantastic shop filled with handmade goods, stationery, clothing, and other small gift items. I’ll be posting more about them soon!

Intelligentsia Coffee: 3922 West Sunset Blvd :: Just down the street from Reform School, its one of those places that if you love coffee, you have to at least visit once. The staff were all wearing hats and looked like they could break into spoken word, but besides that, the space and iced coffee was great!

Melrose Trading Post :: 7850 Melrose Avenue :: 1 of the 3 antique markets that I hit up during our visit. Tons of vintage clothing and some housewares and furniture. Worth the $2 admission, but definitely a hit and miss depending on which stalls are open when you visit. Found one seller that divides their time between LA and Detroit with a gorgeous selection of ice cream scoops (circular, triangular, and square!) and chocolate moulds.

Guisados :: 2100 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave :: Found this place via instagram and decided to try it out. Definitely off the beaten path, but just spot the line up at the door and you know you have arrived. We ordered the sample platter each and a melon juice to share. Not exactly sure what was on the platter, but everything was tasty except for the one that burned my lips off. :|

Stay tuned for part 2!

city guide :: London (UK) Markets

image via flickr morvan_pro

With the popularity of the Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC city guides, I decided to do a round up of some London, UK markets that we frequent. We had a lot of people visit us during our stay here, so I figure that this would be a great resource for those that are planning a trip or for locals looking for a new adventure! I realize that we have only been here for almost a year and have barely scratched the surface, so this is an open list and I invite you to share your favourites!

Borough Market: This is the equivalent to the Granville Island food market in Vancouver or the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. Head to Konditor & Cook for cake (+ coffee if Monmouth‘s queues are too long!), raclette from Kappacasein and pick up some fresh fruit and veg. This was one of my favourite stops for watermelon during the summer! Avoid the groups of tourists by heading over here on Thursdays!

Brockley: A Saturday farmers market located in Lewisham with seasonal grown fruit and veggies, local meat + fish, baked goods, cheese and food stalls. Check out our last visit here complete with espresso’s from Dark Fluid Coffee and bacon sarnies!

Chatsworth Road E5: A locals market with stalls filled with handmade goods, vintage homewares, food stalls and cute local shops such as the Creperie and Cakey Muto! Check out some pictures from a past post here as well as this post by What Katie Does.

Venn Street Market: Tucked into a side street near Clapham Common, the Venn Street Market stretches a good two blocks with a full farmers market and goodies such as Ms. Cupcake. Check out Esca just around the corner or grab a seat at the Clapham Picturehouse.

image via flickr EricP2x

Columbia Road Flower Market: Need I say more? Favourite route: Head to Aldgate East tube station, walk through Brick Lane and the Sunday UpMarket (stop for a small snack – plenty of food carts to choose from or head to Beigel Bake for the cheapest bagels in town!) on your way to Columbia Road. Most stores along this stretch are open Friday to Sunday. If you have the time, check out the shops on a Friday afternoon and stop for cream tea at the Cake Hole before heading back for the Flower Market on Sunday. The street will seem like night and day. Check out my field trip here.

Maltby: Hmm.. the best way to describe it would be the locals’ Borough Market. Chalk another one up for the locals. A little off the beaten track, but worth the visit. This Monmouth is usually quieter than the one at Borough and is only open to the public on Saturday (acts as a production and training center during the week). You can see my field trip here including my favourite vendor La Grotta Ices!

image via flickr Tiki Chris

Eat.St: To be honest, I have only visited once where I enjoyed a burrito from Luardos (psst.. I was there about an hour before closing and only a few items off the menu were available, but food was 50% off). The concept of this space is that every week a rotating selection of 4-6 food carts are positioned just outside Kings Cross on the new street Kings Boulevard, N1C. Find them there Wed-Fri between 10-3pm.

Broadway Market: Saving the best for last. This is one of our favourite places that has us trekking over an hour each way to get there from South London each Saturday. Vintage stalls, old books, clothing, fruit and veg, not to mention, I could probably eat my way along the market from mushroom risotto to banh mi. Check out our field trip post here.

city guide :: portland, or (part 3)

voodoo doughnuts, image via elephants in zoos tumblr

click here for part one + part two of the city guide :: portland, or

For the final part of our Portland, OR city guide, I am covering downtown and all the little shops and restaurants that just didn’t seem to fit in any other area. As I mentioned before, this is more of a listing rather than me gushing about why I love each place. So please do visit their websites when planning your trip to see if it is for you! Have a favourite? Leave a comment below. Remember, I’m not from Portland and this list is from my memory, so if you do see an error, please let me know and I will correct it.

Little Big Burger – 122 NW 10th Avenue (see picture above)

Museum of Contemporary Craft – 724 NorthWest Davis Street (representing craft artists from across the nation working in all fields)

Powells Books – 1005 W. Burnside Street (most likely the largest bookstore I have ever been to. pretty sure they have a map in case you get lost)

Anthropologie – 1125 NW Couch Street (always worth a spin especially since it is tax free!)
image via A Tea Leaf

Crafty Wonderland Pop-Up Shop – 802 SW 10th Avenue (in case you cant wait for their Spring and Holiday show, you can now get your fix anytime!)

Also check out: Mother’s Bistro & Bar, Portland Saturday Market, Portland Japanese Gardens, Saint Honoré Boulangerie, Portland Farmers Market

North East Portland + Beyond:
Fabric Depot – 700 SE 122nd Avenue (fabric, notions, yarn, machines … oh, my!)

Roseway Theater – 7229 NE Sandy Blvd (we watched Up here many years ago, lovely theater)

Annie’s Donuts – 3449 NE 72nd Avenue (people swear by these, not a big donut fan, but R gives it two thumb up)

image via

Knittn’ Kitten – 7530 NE Glisan (a craft thrift store – again, hit and miss as it depends on what they get in, but prices are CHEAP and it is a fab place to stock up on vintage fabrics and notions – see above)

Rerun – 707 NE Fremont Street (best selection of vintage sheets for craft displays, hit and miss as it depends what they get, but worth a stop)

image via katy elliott

Also check out: Mount St. Helens, Crater Lake, Voodoo Doughnut, Palmer Wirfs, Columbia River Gorge (see above), Uwajimaya (beaverton, or), Pittock Mansion, Mt. Tabor, Skidmore Bluffs

city guide :: portland, or (part 1)

image via katy elliot

I discovered Portland, OR through the power of blogs and it was love at first sight. At one point, Robert and I were heading down there on a bi-monthly basis, so it is no surprise that people seem to look to us for places to go. Since we received such positive feedback from the Vancouver, BC City Guides (part one, two, three), we thought we would do a round up of our favourite Portland places. This is more of a listing rather than me gushing about why I love each place. So please do visit their websites when planning your trip to see if it is for you! I will be breaking the post into three sections, so let’s start off with the Mississippi + Alberta areas.

Pistils Nursery – 3811 N. Mississippi Avenue (everything you need for your garden including landscape services and chickens!) see picture above

Porch Light – 3972 N. Mississippi Avenue (well curated selection of rustic furniture and architectural salvage <- great place for display materials!)

image via crafty vegan

Flutter – 3948 N. Mississippi Avenue (an eclectic mix of ephemera, vintage clothing, jewelry, taxidermy, haberdashery, home goods and more)

The Meadow – 3731 N. Mississippi Avenue (chocolate + gourmet salts, need I say more?)

Mississippi Records – 4009 N. Mississippi Avenue (for those that love vinyl)

Lodekka – corner of N. Williams at N. Failing (a converted double decker bus filled with vintage clothing and home goods)

Tiny Meat – 3808 N. Williams #132 (visit the studio of the master of handmade wallets + other accessories!)

?Por Que No Taquiera? – 3524 N. Mississippi Avenue (tacos and margaritas – yummy!)

Flavour Spot – 2310 N. Lombard Street (this has to be one of my favourite food carts.. waffle sandwiches. That’s right. Waffle Sandwiches!)

Land – 3925 N. Mississippi Avenue (gallery upstairs, retail space downstairs – you may also recognize it from here)

La Bonita – 2839 NE Alberta Street (mexican deliciousness – see picture above)

Bolt – 2136 NE Alberta Street (sweet sewing shop packed full of fabrics, books and haberdashery)

Modern Domestic – 1408 NE Alberta Street (sewing lounge, sewing classes and a selection of handmade goods available for sale – see picture above)

McMenamins Kennedy School – 5736 NE 33rd Avenue (they own quite a few properties in Portland, so check out their website for details – the school is absolutely amazing – part hotel | part restaurant | part movie theater)

honourable mentions: The Grilled Cheese Grill, Pine State Biscuits, Townshend’s, Ink & Peat

Like any busy city, there may be a shop or cafe that is missing from the list or maybe you have a favourite place that you want to share! Please feel free to leave a comment below with your suggestions! Remember that I am not from Portland, OR, so if you spot any errors, please let me know and I will correct it.

city guide :: vancouver, bc (part 2)

photo credit: sonjaartisania

click here for part one of the city guide :: vancouver, bc

For part two of our Vancouver, British Columbia city guide, we visit the Main Street and Fraser / Kingsway part of town for a few of my favourite spots for crafty supplies and indie craft goods. Like any busy city, there may be a shop or cafe that is missing from the list. Please feel free to leave a comment below with your suggestions!

Collage Collage – 621 Kingsway

Focused towards children aged 3 to 12 years old and those young at heart, a one stop shop for supplies, books, kits, handmade goods and workshops. Check their website for special events and art installations.

Spool of Thread Sewing Lounge (above) – 101 – 649 E. 15th Avenue

One of the only places in Vancouver for modern and Japanese fabrics. Workshops and drop in sewing stations are also available.

Ruby Dog’s Art House – 623 Kingsway

Good selection of altered art and books, collage, mixed media and vintage ephemera. opening days + hours are limited, check website for details

Bird on a Wire – 2535 Main Street

Filled to the brim with handmade delights, owner, Karen is passionate about supporting local artists by carrying handmade creations within a 100km radius. You can find lots of local work from artists such as Firefly Notes, Earthgirl Aromatherapy and a cagey bee to name a few.

Dandelion Emporium – 2442 Main Street

Super sweet shop filled with handmade goods and indie craft finds.

photo credit: traceylikesyou

Regional Assembly of Text (above) – 3934 Main Street

Find lots of handmade goods by owners Rebecca and Brandy including a button making station, letter writing club and the lowercase reading room. Check out my write up on DIY Vancouver Granville Online.

Three Bags Full – 4458 Main Street

A knit shop filled to the brim with lovely yarn such as favourites from Two Sisters Stringworks formerly known as Yummy Yarn and Sweet Georgia Yarn.

Devil May Wear – 3957 Main Street

Owner and designer, Stephanie Ostler, hand makes her own clothing, lingerie and accessories on-site. Check out her wares and other local artists’ goods at the newly expanded store 2 blocks down from their original location.

Plush on Main – 4296 Main Street

Run by two sisters, Plush on Main is a studio / work room at the back and retail shop at the front. As of early this year, they carry locally made gifts from almost twenty artists mostly from the lower mainland and comprised mainly of women.

Flaming Angels – 4307 Main Street and Adhesif Clothing – 2202 Main Street

Both past Got Craft vendors, each store carries an eclectic mix of locally handmade, vintage and eco-friendly clothing, jewelry, accesories and home decor pieces.

collage collage : photo credit unknown

honourable mentions for local handmade finds + a quick bite to eat: Barefoot Contessa – 3715 Main Street (2nd location on Commercial Drive), Twigg & Hottie – 3671 Main Street, Les Faux Bourgeois – 663 E. 15th Avenue, Two of Hearts Clothing & Boutique – 3728 Main Street, Congee Noodle House – 141 E. Broadway (cash only), Rhizome Cafe – 317 E. Broadway, Mr. Lee’s General Store & Haberdashery – 109 W. Broadway, Urban Source – 3126 Main Street, Solly’s Bagels, Bakery & Deli – 189 E. 28th Avenue (it’s all about the cinnamon buns), Hawker’s Delight – 4127 Main Street, Bead Freaks – 4412 Main Street, Goldilocks – 2833 Main Street (lumpiang shanghai), coffee shops – Our Town, JJ Bean, Bean Around the World