From the Archives - 10 Random Things About Jean Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat 1982
© James Van Der Zee
  1. Initially Basquiat wanted to be a fireman.
  2. In third grade he sent a drawing of a gun to J. Edgar Hoover (no reply).
  3. Basquiat played the synthesizer with Vincent Gallo in a band called Gray (named after the 1918 classic of human anatomy Gray's Anatomy).
  4. He was the only kid in his grade nine academic life drawing class to fail.
  5. His mother encouraged his interest in art and stressed the importance of education.
  6. In 1981 he made his first trip to Europe to exhibit a one artist show under the name SAMO.
  7. Basquiat described his subject matter as, 'royalty, heroism, and the street'.
  8. His heroes included Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Charlie Parker, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson and Billie Holiday.
  9. The sidewalks of Greenwich Village were his temporary store front as he sold painted t-shirts and postcards under the name SAMO.
  10. Helped Andy Warhol rediscover his relationship to painting after 20 years of not picking up a brush.
Untitled (The Boxer), 1982 ~ sold November 2008 $13.5 million
© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Where have all the Conversationalists gone?

Last Wednesday I was feeling good, the sun was out, I was in my favourite part of downtown and I felt inspired and alive - kind of like my good old manic days that would last for weeks. The ones where I'd start four businesses, thrift shop for 12 hrs straight and forget to eat. Am I in denial to miss that? Anyway, feeling so inspired and alive, I automatically thought of my friend Ken and our hours long vintage and fashion conversations so I headed off to shoot the shit with him down at Deluxe - then I remembered Ken was dead. So I thought, well Rod will be there, I'll go shoot the shit with him, then I remembered Deluxe was gone - closed due to a $3000 a month rent hike. Okay, no need to get down, I'll go talk design with someone at Inform. Well, the only bodies at Inform were ones glued to computer screens behind cash desks. Five bucks they're practicing the snobby sales technique identified in the UBC study, Should the Devil Sell Prada? Retail Rejection Increases Aspiring Consumers’ Desire for the Brand?

Well whatever, not yet feeling deflated I thought, 'Okay I'll go sit down and have a coffee somewhere.' Somewhere conversation was already flowing and I could at least be part of it. Uh, since when are coffee shops so quiet? Not one person was engaged in vocal conversation with anyone. Not because they were glued to a book, or writing, or staring off into space thinking, but because their heads were bent down staring into their phones. Holy crap people get with it. My public library has more conversation going on! I left without buying a coffee (or tipping someone for bending their arm beyond 85 degrees).

Highly irritated, I turned around and headed back home. On my way, a homeless man complimented me, (hoping to run into you, I'd put a little extra effort in that day). I turned around and said, 'Thanks.' He said, 'Anytime, sweetheart'. So, from now on when I want to have a conversation, face to face with someone, I can feel confident the homeless guy at Water and Cambie will participate - and I bet he has a hell of a lot more stories and opinions to share than the dipsticks glued to their screens. What's that old saying, 'All text and no talk makes Jack a dull boy'?

God, I miss hanging out and just talking.

Stacy Reynaud
image: Simone Signoret, Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, Yves Montand

Quote of the Week - Herman Hesse

 stacy reynaud
There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside of them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.

12 Best of Craigslist Vancouver May 7th

Glass and chrome table with chrome cantilever chairs - and sumptuous ruby velvet cushions
Folding Indian table aka nomadic furniture
 one here too

Bentwood antique theatre chairs
An old door - throw some wheels on the bottom and voila - a table.
and a 1971 VW van-cum-juice bar

Before and After - West Vancouver Home Demolition

1930s American Bungalow - interior images and the story here
I'd originally posted about this home on November 5th 2013

When I spoke with the contractor back in November he told me the home would be small as the woman and her two sons didn't want anything large. I'd hate to see their interpretation of large!

When She Came There The Cupboard Was Bare

You remember that guy back in 2002 that survived a week trapped in his car living off fast food condiments found in his glove box right?

This is my go to recipe when I have no food in the house. It's similar to my Leningrad Stew that I lived off when I was very, very short on money and unemployed. I remember having to stretch $10 in grocery money over a week (thankfully, it was just me). You can buy a lot of rice, beans and nearly rotten vegetables for $10.

What you need:
  1. 1 can mixed beans
  2. juice of half a lemon
  3. 3 tbsp olive oil
  4. 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  5. 1 tsp crushed garlic 
  6. salt and pepper to your liking
  7. plus any veg you may have around  - I use cucumber and celery
  8. for extra protein add one hard boiled egg and some crumbled feta
What you do:
  1. rinse beans until all the bubbly foam stuff is off
  2. combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl
  3. add beans
  4. toss until all the beans are well covered
  5. add optional veg and toss again
  6. let marinate for a few hours if you have time
  7. serve at room temperature topped with cheese, hard boiled egg, tomatoes - whatever
  8. keep some fresh sour dough bread on hand to soak up the saucy goodness left over
Serves two

Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook - my all time favourite cookbook!

Keep your pantry well stocked with various varieties of beans, vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice - you'd be surprised at how many different recipes you can come up with.

From the Archives - The West Coast Vernacular Home

stacy reynaud

Built on steep slopes in wild landscapes West Coast Vernacular - with its sloped roofs and natural wood siding - was a natural fit for our Pacific Northwest rainforest.

stacy reynaud

Not to be left just for the privilege of the cliff dwellers, the 1970s saw toned down designs making their way into suburban neighbourhoods like West Vancouver, (not to mention an awful lot where I grew up - Langley or Brookswood more specifically).

stacy reynaud

stacy reynaud

stacy reynaud

stacy reynaud

stacy reynaud

 stacy reynaud

The ultimate West Coast Vernacular home - Merrick House. Built 1974.
Currently in the draft stages of a conservation plan by the District of West Vancouver and Birmingham & Wood Architects.


The Granddaddy of West Coast Vernacular, Charles Moore's Sea Ranch - a movement referred to as Bay Area Modern.

Originally published October 19, 2012

check check one

Please come visit me on  Instagram , Facebook and  Etsy .  April 2016 - In French they say, 'Je suis fatiguĂ©'. FatiguĂ© is a ...