Monday, July 29, 2019

Coffee corner - Starbucks in Steveston

Starbucks in Steveston

On my earlier post, I had mentioned Steveston's love affair with coffee - and our coffee vendors. They are all eager to offer us delicious cuppa java. Latte. Americano. Or whatever highly customized caffeine fix you love.

In my travels though, one corner stands out as a coffee haven - where No.1 Road and Bayview intersect to be exact.

When it comes to premium real estate, you can't beat Starbucks ideal location. Not only does it provide a comfortable inside seating but its customer-friendly chairs and tables spill out to a spacious patio overlooking the Fraser River promenade and an unobstructed view of pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and pets on leashes.

In the winter, you can seek refuge under its  heaters with a hand-warming cup of coffee; in the summer, you can hide under its sun umbrellas with a splash of refreshing smoothie. And, of course, you can always count on Starbucks signature sweet and savoury treats.

Judging from repeat customers inside and outside its premises, you can't help but think that Starbucks is a popular go-to-place for caffeine, chats, and creature comforts.

We all have our favorites, of course, and the number of coffee shops around the village attest to the wide range of local preferences. And they all deserve to be featured on this blog.

In the meantime, let us know where you go for your caffeine fix. It will be interesting to know why you choose one over the others. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Of books and boots

If you ever walk on Moncton Street, between Bare Basics and A Monkey Tree, you will catch a glimpse of a preschool and learning centre with lots of curb appeal.

With an overhead sign stating "With Our Own Two Hands" - and displaying splatters of children's hand prints  - you know there is serious playing and learning going on inside.

Just inside the fence you can sometimes observe youngsters engaged in various activities. It's a rousing scene where sunshine, laughter, shrieks, and sparkling conversations simply explode into the air. Yes, nothing brightens one's mood like the exuberance of children at play. Just looking at them can pep you up, regardless of your age, gender, and general disposition.

A glass covered bookcase sitting outside the fence intrigues me. Are the books tucked inside for sharing with the community at large - on an honour system - or...? 

And the charming boot planters lined up next to the "library" conjure up images of plump young hands digging into dirt and patting seedlings into place.

It harks back to the days when your own ankle biters had enriched your life even as they generated endless work and sleepless nights. Ah the magic of parenthood.

You walk away feeling blessed and thankful for these bright moments. They are like gems strewn in our paths, waiting to be discovered. If only we take the time to look for - and embrace - them.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Walking with dogs

Image by stinne24 from Pixabay

Dogs are incredibly strong creatures. I found this out while accompanying a friend who owns a dog walking business. 

I agreed to take charge of a small poodle. After all, how much trouble could it be? Just a leisurely stroll on the promenade with my bestie, I thought.


Right out of the gate - literally - I was dragged onto the flagstone path. It was all I could do to keep a firm grasp on the leash that was stretched beyond taut. I bounded forward in fits and starts, half dragged on my lagging heels, but mostly just tugged along by the dog's tide of restless energy. I was nothing more than a movable anchor that created friction and an unwelcome drag to the singleminded pooch.

No wonder my friend books regular visits with her registered massage therapist - to soothe her muscles and mend her joints.

Since then, I have developed a deep respect for dog walkers, especially those with multiple clients. How do they untangle their legs from so many leashes and control canines that constantly pull away in different directions? And how do they clean up to prevent others from stepping in the mess that inevitably gets left behind?

However you manage, kudos to you all. Keep calm and carry on with your do-si-do doggie dance. 

The rest of us will just stand on the sidelines and cheer you on.

Monday, July 8, 2019

B&P Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Remember growing up with various posters promoting the universal appeal of combining cream and/or milk, sugar, and eggs?

As though it was ever necessary. 

No one, even those afflicted with lactose intolerance, could resist a tempting scoop perched on a crunchy cone.

And if you ever walk or drive past B&P ice cream in Steveston, you know this is true.

A long line of people, big and small, young and old, would snake towards the order window. Most of them judiciously use the wait time to scan the list of treats on the wall or sandwich board. The shop's offerings appear to be growing all the time. Last time I looked, B&P has branched out to bubble tea and shave ice.

But never fear, their mind-boggling selection is nicely paired with budget-friendly prices.

But the best thing about B&P ice cream is the warm and engaging staff. As they all bear a striking resemblance to one another, you can't help but conclude that it is a family owned business -which would explain their gold-star customer service standard.

My favorite is the durian ice cream on a plain waffle cone. I know, it's not for the faint of heart - with its overwhelming signature scent that seems to cling to your breath longer than it should. My husband, on the other hand, stays well away - preferring to stick with the (yawn...) more traditional flavours.

Regardless of your preferences, however, B&P is a great place to cool down, especially on those hot and sticky summer days. Yes, you have to join the long line that sometimes stretches all the way to the sidewalk, but it will be worth it.

I promise.

While you are at it - give the durian ice cream a go. Come on, you know you want to!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Richmond Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Here's a building that has reinvented itself many times over.

And yet, despite multiple transformations, it has remained relevant and central to the community it serves.

This heritage structure was, first and foremost, connected to a place of worship. My husband, a native Stevestonite, even recalled spending time there as a preschooler though he was short on details (let us know if you have similar recollections). More recently, it was home to a bicycle store where you could purchase new bicycles or get yours tuned up, fixed, and restored by expert technicians. Since then, it has been re-purposed as a thrift shop offering donated goods to budget-conscious shoppers.

But what pleases me the most about the structure is its down-to-earth welcoming exterior. The front lawn is pleasantly carpeted with green grass with islands of flowering bushes that cuddle and jostle together for space and attention. If their profusion and vibrant colours do not qualify as eye candy, I don't know what is. 

At one time, there were posted signs, in ornate cursive handwriting (remember that?) identifying the plethora of plant life on display and inviting passersby to be extra cautious lest they accidentally trample on the nodding buds and blooms.

Should your footsteps ever lead you to the corner of Chatham Street and Second Avenue, linger awhile and take in the rich history and beauty of this heritage building. Then go in, meet the cadre of red-smocked volunteers, and browse to your heart's content. You might just pick up a piece of history from someone's attic or basement!

OpenClipartVectors from Pixabay