In March of 2014, Vancouver institution Solly?s Bagelry celebrated its 20th year of serving its signature Brooklyn-style bagels. In honor of the anniversary, we spoke with the founder and current owner Leah Markovitch about how she kept true to her grandmother's traditional recipes over the course of two decades.
Solly?s Bagelry exudes a homespun charm. Markovitch describes the delis as places where people could feel comfortable kicking off their shoes and relaxing. The antique furniture, mismatched sets of chairs, and soundtracks of old jazz and Jewish songs exemplify Solly?s Bagelry's laid-back and nostalgic spirit.
What's Not To Like?
Markovitch grew up baking and cooking alongside her grandmother, who taught her to create traditional Old-Country meals with simple but flavorful ingredients. When faced with an unfamiliar dish, Markovitch would ask her grandmother, "Will I like this?", and she invariably received the same response: "What's not to like?"
Solly?s Bagelry continues to use many of Markovitch's grandmother's generations-old recipes today, making everything from challah to knishes from scratch. None of the dishes can be considered haute cuisine or upscale street foods, but they emphatically aren't meant to. Instead, Markovitch says that her grandmother's family recipes showcase the sort of flavors that can only come from rustic, traditional home cooking.
"What's not to like?" now serves as a slogan at Solly?s Bagelry.
Taking inspiration from the Jewish delis of Brooklyn, Solly?s Bagelry boils and hand-rolls more than a dozen styles of bagels, which move straight from the deck ovens to the display cases. This style of bagel is famous for its texture, which is noticeably chewier than many deli or caf? bagels. Although they might seem different at first, Markovitch recommends trying one of these signature creations "if you want to taste tradition."
Markovitch recognizes how fortunate she is to have access to butter, chocolate, and other ingredients that would have been considered luxurious delicacies for past generations of Eastern Europeans. She uses these ingredients to add richer and heartier flavors to certain creations, and she even takes a bit of artistic license by creating inventive items, such as samosa knishes and chocolate matzah. However, she is quick to point out that, even when experimenting, Solly?s Bagelry never strays too far from the original recipes, and tradition is still the baseline. Some of the items' flavors may have changed a bit, but Markovitch says, "there's not too much that my grandmother would be surprised at."
While browsing shops during her travels in New York, Australia, and Europe, Alisa's lifelong dream to own a boutique only grew stronger. Her own wish was granted when she and her mom, Kathie, opened wish.list boutique. The mom-and-daughter team stocks the shop with finds such as Deborah Lippmann and Butter London nail polish, RMS Beauty, Ilia Beauty, Jouer, LippyGirl Makeup, Hanky Panky Bridal, and La Vie Parisienne Jewelry. Alisa especially loves the Voluspa candles?"The smells are unbelievable," she says, singling out Santiago Huckleberry as her favourite aroma.
It's Alisa and Kathie's passion for their products that makes wish.list boutique a treasure trove for shoppers. They have to "fall in love" with something in order to consider it worthy of the boutique's shelves. "Anything we would want to use or feel like we need in our lives, we want in the store," Alisa says. That includes a focus on paraben-free, organic, and less-toxic items, including RMS Beauty and Jouer Makeup.
The store brings a chic vibe to Kitsilano with white paint, a damask accent wall, and butterfly motif, all lit by chandelier. To keep faces equally fresh, the staff's professional makeup artist gives complimentary makeup applications and cosmetics advice on Fridays, Saturday and Sunday. The boutique also hosts events on occasion?they threw a lipstick and wine-pairing party and Real Housewives of Vancouver star Mary Zilba helped them celebrate posh polishes with a 50 Shades of Summer party.
In addition to feminine accessories and beauty products, the shop is a popular place to pick up gifts, such as Dogeared's "Pearls of Friendship." "A lot people come in looking for a gift and then they end up buying something for themselves," Alisa says.
Alisa knows she's doing her job right when she's out at a restaurant or around town and someone asks her where she got her bag. It's even more gratifying when she hears their response: "They say, 'Oh, I love that store!'" she says.
As rock-climber, Andrew Coffey saw a growing interest in bouldering among his fellow climbers and he also noticed a lack of dedicated bouldering gyms in the city? so he decided to build one himself. He teamed up with architects and graphic designers to plot out a floor plan and contracted undulating walls of custom-designed rock that could be climbed without ropes. When he and his team finished laying the soft-mat flooring in the 10,000 square foot space, they'd finally brought The Hive to life. To supervise and lead classes, Andrew has gathered a team of climbers with extensive outdoor experience, including some who also hone their bodies for rock-climbing through gymnastics, dance, judo, and tai chi.
Inside the facility, instructors and visitors traverse overhangs, vertical angled slabs, an archway, and top-ups where they can climb up over the lip without any ropes. The walls reach up to 16 feet throughout most of the gym, with grades ranging from V0- to V10+, remaining closer to the ground and free of avalanches in a dedicated children's area. In one of the central structures, summit-reachers can glide back to earth in a tube slide.
Instructors require new visitors to take a tour and small lesson prior to climbing, and gym staffers change the challenging routes every three weeks to keep climbers from discovering hidden deposits of Skittles. They also teach in-depth techniques during short or long courses lasting up to five weeks and expand instruction to the outdoors during up to two-day programs. When not teaching visitors how to climb without ropes and evade roving packs of mountain bikes, gym staff host climbing competitions, special film screenings and parties for local climbers, where they pit their skills against each other in friendly competition.
With a stay at Rosewood Hotel Georgia, you'll be centrally located in Vancouver, steps from Pacific Centre Shopping Mall and Vancouver Art Gallery. This 5-star hotel is within close proximity of Christ Church Cathedral and Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.
Make yourself at home in one of the 156 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations and minibars. Your pillowtop bed comes with triple sheeting, down comforters, and Egyptian cotton sheets. Windows open for fresh air and city views. Wired and wireless Internet access is complimentary, while 42-inch flat-screen televisions with digital programming provide entertainment. Private bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers feature rainfall showerheads and double sinks.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages, body treatments, and facials. You can take advantage of recreational amenities such as a health club and an indoor pool. This Art Deco hotel also features a concierge desk, babysitting/childcare (surcharge), and wedding services.
Enjoy a meal at one of the hotel's dining establishments, which include 4 restaurants and a coffee shop/café. From your room, you can also access 24-hour room service. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Full breakfasts are available for a fee.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, limo/town car service, and a computer station. Planning an event in Vancouver? This hotel has 9853 square feet (915 square meters) of space consisting of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom.
With a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, you'll be centrally located in Vancouver, steps from Pacific Centre Shopping Mall and Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. This 5-star hotel is within close proximity of Vancouver Art Gallery and Christ Church Cathedral.
Make yourself at home in one of the 373 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and DVD players. Wired and wireless Internet access is complimentary, and flat-screen televisions with premium TV channels provide entertainment. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, double sinks, and makeup/shaving mirrors. Conveniences include laptop-compatible safes and desks, as well as cordless phones with voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Take advantage of recreational opportunities offered, including a health club, an outdoor pool, and an indoor pool. Additional amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access, a concierge desk, and supervised childcare/activities.
Grab a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Breakfast is available daily for a fee.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge), a 24-hour business center, and an Internet point. Planning an event in Vancouver? This hotel has 279862 square feet (26000 square meters) of space consisting of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge (available on request), and self parking is available onsite.
When does it officially become Christmastime? For Vancouverites, it's actually in late November, when the scents of mulled wine and gingerbread and the sounds of bells and trumpets fill the crisp air. It's a time when the eyes widen at the sight of little wooden huts decked out in twinkling white lights and pine branches, of a sparkling carousel pirouetting in the night. This is the Vancouver Christmas Market.
In founding this beloved wintertime utopia, Malte Kluetz brings a 700-year-old tradition from the streets of his native Hamelin, Germany, to the plaza of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. German Christmas markets are a staple of European holiday seasons, and over the past few years, the Vancouver market has become a similarly un-missable destination for locals.
Here, a forests' worth of light-spangled pine trees and wreaths crowd the plaza, joining 45 wooden huts in which craftspeople and chefs—many from Germany themselves—share their handiwork. Shoppers peruse hand-carved nutcrackers and ornaments, and at any given moment of the day or night, the music of carolers, a string trio, or a jazz band might warm chilly ears.
After a hug from the market's gingerbread mascots, children might go on a scavenger hunt, decorate candles, or head to the old-fashioned Christmas carousel, encrusted with hundreds of amber lights, to show parents just how good they would be at riding a pony if they had their own. When they're done, kids and their parents head off in search of herbed Bavarian bratwursts, pastries, bubbly German wheat beers, and inky, sweetly spiced gluhwein.
Like any good Christmas market, the Vancouver market's festivities are anchored by a massive tree. At its pinnacle sits a glowing star—a beacon signaling the arrival of the holiday season.