ask Roxanne about
vegetarian • museums • hidden bars • art galleries • viewpoints • fish & chips • ice cream shop
a bit about Roxanne
What do you do and why do you do it?
I just started a new position as a Bilingual Vacation Consultant at Rocky Mountaineer, offering train journeys in the Canadian Rockies. A very special moment in my life was when I embarked on the old-fashioned colonial-era train between Mombasa and Nairobi, in Kenya. Quite the contrast between the train experience I sell and the train experience I lived there!
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?
From age 15-17, I worked at a local poutine restaurant chain. The night shifts on the weekend were often from 7pm to 5am. I should probably mention that in Quebec, going for a poutine after a night out is the norm. I like to blame this job for my coffee drinking habits and my intolerance of inebriated men.
Were you born and raised in Vancouver? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Vancouver?
No, is anyone? I am still counting how many people I know who were born and raised here. I was born in Quebec city. I came out here 5 years ago to attend Emily Carr University and be closer to a special someone. Before officially moving in 2012, I had lived in Penticton for 3 months (about 4 hours East of Vancouver, in the Okanagan Valley) and in Victoria for 4 months (the capital of British Columbia, located on Vancouver Island).
What’s your current hood in Vancouver and what’s the best/worst thing about it?
I live at the border of Mount Pleasant and Kensington-Cedar Cottage. I know this because we recently had a provincial election. The best part might be my neighbours who are Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Polish... I get to work on my Spanish at the bus stop in the morning, but let's be real on one of the greatest advantage of multiculturalism: the food I can find around me. When it comes to the worst, I can only think of a few recent early morning walks home when I heard variations of: "Girl, are you working?". P.S. My current hood is sometimes referred to Fraserhood, Little Saigon or The Dickens.
What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?
I properly analyzed this and went to my recently saved songs on Spotify. Sounds like I enjoy indie rock, Børns (or any slightly psychedelic pop), some dark contemporary folk (many Canadians) as well as electronica. I don't hate music, it requires way too much emotional effort towards something someone else created. Wait, I do have a love-hate relationship with some latino songs.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Do You Love Me Now, The Breeders. Can't Nobody Love You, The Zombies. Deux saisons trois quarts, Louis-Jean Cormier. Skeletons, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Red Planet, Alvvays. Hurt Me, Lapsley. I Decline, Perfume Genius. Tomodachi, Milk & Bone. Wicked Game, James Vincent McMorrow. Don't Wanna Fight, Alabama Shakes. Slow It Down, The Lumineers. Rocky Too, Rococode. Black Water, Timber Timbre. No Way Out, Warpaint. You Know What I Mean, Cults. Probably some Bs&Ls too (Banks, Billie Holiday, Bon Iver, Lana Del Rey and Leon Bridges)
Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?
Hannibal, Mad Men or True Detective. I think a cinematographer who render the themes of death or mental illness as pleasing to the eye without glorifying them is what works best for me.
Name some spots in Vancouver that are good for a Tinder date.
I've never used Tinder but here are some places I enjoyed dates at: The Oakwood Canadian Bistro, Westminster Pier Park, The Sandbar on Granville Island (get a table outside!), East is East in Kits and Bob Likes Thai Food on Main. Day time options include the Farmers Market and/or Toshi Sushi in the park (never has space to sit anyway).
Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).
Paul Elam, maybe. Or did that already happen?
Who’s your hero and where in Vancouver would you take them out for a serious hang?
Magnus Nilsson seems like a cool person to spend time with. I'd like to try a restaurant I've been wanting to go to: Kissa Tanto - unless it is wrong to invite a renowned chef to eat. If so, I would take him boating.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Many are from Facebook sale groups or thrift stores. The Salvation Army in Kerrisdale tends to be a favourite. Otherwise, Simons, Dynamite, Banana Republic.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Probably Yaletown, downtown. The sort of area that grew up too fast.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
There are tons of workshops or lunch-and-learn opportunities, often free. I use Eventbrite to find them, but can rarely commit. Look up Fieldhouse programs in parks for community activations of all sort!
Where do you go in Vancouver for a casual night out?
Storm Crow Alehouse is nearby my office of the moment, too easy to be missed. The Cascade Room, The Reef, The Whip or The Wallflower nicely accommodate groups if you don't mind louder music some nights. I cannot recommend enough east-side breweries such as Main Street Brewing, Brassneck, 33 Acres, Steel Toad or Strange Fellows. CRAFT Beer Market is difficult to take casually because of the great views nearby or the size of the building, but it will impress anyone on the selection level and has decent food.
Where would you go in Vancouver to celebrate some freaking good news?
I can only wish the good news are deserving of pasta at Osteria Savio Volpe. Also, we might have to delay the celebrations so that we can get a reservation. Farmer's Apprentice or Annalena would be a good second choice.
What’s your choice of transportation in Vancouver and why?
I have a 1-zone bus pass, which is enough for the everyday. I don't particularly enjoy driving or biking. By all means, if you can borrow a bike, do it! There are also many car sharing services available here: Evo, ZipCar, Car2Go, Modo. Note that as of May 2017, Vancouver is still sans-Uber or Lyft. The Yellowcab app is a good alternative.
What are the Vancouver spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Granville Island and the Aquabus, Stanley Park and the Seawall, Lynn Canyon, Wreck Beach (pick another beach if it's too far or too nude for you), Museum of Vancouver, Grouse Mountain (make a reservation at The Observatory for free Skyride up + down the mountain, yes you'll pay for dinner. Allow time for looking at Grizzly Bear habitat up there).
What are the Vancouver spots tourists should run from screaming?
Capilano Suspension Bridge, whale watching tours, spending more than 10 minutes in front of the Gastown steam clock or attending Honda Celebrations of Light.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Vancouver. How do you spend it?
I rent a paddle board early morning and watch the city wake up from False Creek. Brunch would be at Medina Café, followed by a visit at the Contemporary Art Gallery and Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. Next is Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont downtown. Remind me to pack a few extra sandwiches for the beach then 'cause English Bay is where I am watching the sunset from. Today would be the day I treat myself to Hawksworth, tuna or sablefish. Realistically at this point, I'd have changed from a swimsuit to casual to extravagant in one day so I'd like to say I'd go out, but no. I take my bag home, enjoy people conversations on the bus.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
San Juan in Puerto Rico was a nice surprise. I love a city where getting lost is fun and Old San Juan was definitely it. Delicious fresh food and drinks, the cutest boutique hotel (La Terraza), amazing cafe that offered shelter from rain (Don Ruiz). We spent hours capturing the landscapes, beaches, fortress, colours, castillo, churches. We rode the free trolley and walked at night, or did we dance down the streets? The sun helps in making this a favourite, and if you've ever been to Zanzibar Town, you'll have a major déjà vu despite being so far.