On the auspicious day of the 146th Fête du Canada, we began our Vancouver Home Exchange Adventure. In a home exchange, you swab homes (not spouses) and we’re lucky enough to enjoy a downtown apartment overlooking False Creek in the beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada, while our exchange partners slurp maracuyá refrescos at our pool in Atenas, Costa Rica.
Only steps from our building is a stop for one of Vancouver’s many public transportation choices, the Aquabus. These little boots take you straight across False Creek to well known Granville Island, where you can gorge yourself on artistic and artisanal fair, as well as the most fabulous markets this side of France. From apples to zucchinis, it’s all there and then some. Naturally, there is a heavy emphasis on Northwest Pacific produce and products. For the first time in nearly 36 years of living on the North American continent, I saw fresh gooseberries! The offerings in fish, especially salmon, and seafood, in general, is just plain mindboggling.
After perusal browsing through the food markets, we extended our exploration to the art scene. I was especially curious about Inukshuk Gallery because we’ve long been very familiar with it’s older sister, Gallery Indigena in Stratford-on-Avon, Ontario, where we used to visit every year when we still lived in Michigan. Erla Boyer, the owner, travels extensively through the frozen North and over the years built relationships with several generations of Native carvers and painters. On the way to the Inuksuit, we stumbled across a display of the lost art of broom-making. An actual artisanal broom studio! Complete with broom-making demonstrations and wondrous displays:
If you saw my puzzle picture of a broom detail on Facebook, you already had a sneak preview of the merchandise offered in the Granville Island Broom Co.
I loved one of the guesses regarding the puzzle picture: garlic tied to a stick! It really does resemble cut garlic very strongly, I thought so, too. But there’s no garlic involved, nor is it needed to ward off supernatural beings. At the Broom Co., you’ll just find dexterous fingers and dedication to create these beautiful, functional pieces.
The handles are either chaparral manzanita, birch or eucalyptus, the brooms are made from broomcorn, a sorghum from Mexico, which is woven in a traditional Shaker style.
And that’s a reminder to return to the food market and select goodies for an al fresco dinner on our balcony. Not turkey wings, though, but salmon candy, scallops, and …