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Truly international

Is Vancouver truly a city with international cousin? That is what I have set as my goal to find out. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet and there are no countries in the world starting with letters W and X. What about the remaining 24? I am visiting only one country per letter. Doing “Vancouver A-Z” is an attempt to discover whether Vancouver is as international as it claims to be and if those restaurants can offer a really unique experience. Whatever place I visit, I look for an authentic food and drink, to see how much it is possible to bring that authenticity to North American context.

To make it more interesting, I’ve doubled the challenge, combining gastronomic with poetic. Every country is accompanied with a poem in the same letter.

If you don’t see a poem underneath the gallery, that means that it is still “cooking.”

“photos globe” by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

X as in Xanadu

If you cannot find it in real life, search for imaginary. Inspired by Coleridge’s utopian place, Xanadu.

A visit to a Mongolian grill with imaginary X

Date: March 2020

Address: 2897 W Broadway, Vancouver

Main:
Choose your own combination of ingredients and sauces
Served with rice and/or soup.

I forgot to take photos, so “borrowing from the web”. I couldn’t find information about the copyright, so I linked to the original photos. I hope that will be ok with the photographers. Please contact me if you would like your photo taken off this site.

X-Ray

X factor: non xenophobic

W is for White Spot

Where is W?

Date: March 2020

Address: 2518 West Broadway, Vancouver

Website: https://www.whitespot.ca/

Starter:
Signature White Spot sour – Clam Chowder
Served with peanut sauce.

Main:
Crispy Cauliflower Bites – Glazed in sweet chili sauce & served with mango herb salsa over cilantro sour cream. Toasted almonds.

Chicken Pot Pie – Tender chicken in a home-style broth, with potato, carrot, onion, celery & peas baked under a flaky puff pastry. Served with The Spot’s salad.

Drink:
Caesar – vodka, Clamato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

Wondering why?

Whereabouts is W-country?
When in woe and whiny,
wake up witches and wizards
to work wonders.
Welcome whimsical, winsome
writing-worthy worldliness.

Wade the wandering waters,
withhold the waves,
walk the way, wend the wiggles, the wobbles;
worship wordsmithing,
witness the weird, the wacky, the wimp, the weak;
whisper white wishes down the well,
wait for warm wave of whistles.

Whoosh the world worries with a whip,
let the wind be a weapon
to waste them on its wings.
Wipe the wounds, wrinkle wrongdoings,
whack the weeping walls,
be a warrior of wisdom
to wrap and weave the words of waltz
in wild, weathering webs.

Whoa!

V is for Vietnamese

Anh and Chi – Vietnamese Restaurant

Anh and Chi restaurant barDate: February 2020

Address: 3388 Main Street, Vancouver

Website: https://www.anhandchi.com/

Starter:
Sài Gòn – Prawn, lettuce, bean sprouts, rice vermicelli & Thai basil.
Served with peanut sauce.

Main:
Khay Bánh Hỏi Lụi Nướng – DIY Street-Side Platter
Served with fresh lettuce, mixed herbs, pickled carrots and daikon, fine rice vermicelli, rice paper and a choice of house-made pork sausage, beef in betel leaf, grilled chicken, grilled prawn, crispy pork spring rolls, and chili fish sauce.

Drink:
Van Van Punch rum, cognac, lillet, lemongrass, pineapple, green tea, creole bitters
Cửu Long – House juiced cucumber, pineapple, lime, orgeat (almond), soda

Vocal vantage

Venture into a vibrant venue
with a vision,
vivacious virtuoso with vodka and Van-Van Punch
among a variety of visitors and VIPs.
A vacation vibe.

Variations of vignettes of victuals,
yet volumes of vegetables and vermicelli.

Like vagabonds on a voyage,
visualizing vast vistas,
vigilant for views of villages and valleys.

Voice vibrating in the void,
in the volcanic vacuum of
a vocabulary of vowels and verbs,
and vice versa.

Voting for vulnerable, for victims,
valiant, but vividly vague,
vertigo of visuals.

Vacating the venue,
valedictory vamoose!
Verdict: verified.

U is for U.K.

The Cheese Inn – U.K.-ish

Date: January 2020

Address: 4585 Dunbar St, Vancouver

Website: https://www.cheeseinn.com/

Main:
Toad in the Hole: Pork bangers baked in a Yorkshire pudding with mash potato, vegetables and Guinness gravy;
Liver and Onions: Breaded calves liver, streaky bacon and grilled onions, served with mashed potato, daily vegetables and Guinness gravy

Drink:
Newcastle Brown Ale
Strongbow Apple Cider

Un-usual UK

U – Uhg!

Ultimate UK.
Uncomfortably uncertain about uniqueness,
unanimously unable to understand
the unity of unstoppable upbeat.
Urban urge to unplug,
utterly utopian,
unpredictable and unparalleled uplifting upheaval,
unmistakably unleashed.

Unreal universe.

Taste of Love: Edible Poetry

Poetry in many shapes and forms

edible flowerA unique gift to give to a loved one, 3 in 1:

  1. a love poem
  2.  a one of a kind, handcrafted edible flower
  3. a memorable experience

Edible Flowers: The flowers are made out of wafer paper (potato starch, water and oil), with rose water and food colouring. They were available at Koko Monk (Broadway location) throughout the Hot Chocolate Festival, to February 14, 2020.

The visitors could read a verse about love by a Vancouver poet written on an edible flower. Then, use the flower to stir it into a hot chocolate, let its petals melt like their heart, and consume.

edible poetry at Koko Monk

Edible poetry at Koko Monk

showing a flower

Showing poetry on the flower petals (Photo taken by D.Z)

Poetry Reading was on February 7th at 7:00pm
Featured Poets: Sita Carboni, Rob Taylor, Eva Waldauf, Robin Susanto, Amanda Wardrop, Leanne Boschman, Paul Stacey, Mary Duffy, Bonnie Nish, Kyle Hawke, and Natasha Boskic.

Moments from the event

Taste of Love

If you are interested in having special flowers made only for you, or have other ideas, please contact me at natasha.boskic@onlywords.ca

The process of making edible flowers is explained on a separate page.

Events, Readings, Workshops, Exhibitions and Installations 2020

April 2020

Poetic Pairing with Fran Bourassa at Britannia Library

April 28, 2020 – 6:30-8:30, Gallery Room 1661 Napier Street, Vancouver, BC. Organized by Pandora’s Collective
Free

Poetry and Art

April 23, 2020 – Private reading
Free

Edible poetry flowers workshop

April 11, 2020 – 3:30-4:30, TBA

February 2020

Featured poet at Twisted Poets

February 27, 2020 – 7:00 pm, Multimodal poetry reading. Hood 29, 4470 Main St, Vancouver

Showcasing AR at Twisted Poets
Demonstrating AR at Twisted Poets

Featured poet at Poetic Justice

February 23, 2020 – 3:00-5:00 pm, at the Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia Street, New Westminster

Reading at Poetic Justice

Taste of Love: Edible Poetry

Reding at Koko Monk

Reading at Koko Monk

February 7, 2020 at 7:00pm at at Koko Monk, 2883 West Broadway
Free
Edible flowers available at Koko Monk throughout the Hot Chocolate Festival, from January 22-February 14, 2020
edible flower

Featured Poets: Sita Carboni, Rob Taylor, Eva Waldauf, Robin Susanto, Amanda Wardrop, Leanne Boschman, Paul Stacey, Mary Duffy, Bonnie Nish, Kyle Hawke, and Natasha Boskic.

January 2020

Still/ed Here: A Story of Displacement – at CinePoetry Film Festival

January 24-26, 2020 Uprooted at Reel Cinepoetry Festival Houston – presented by Mary McDonald

BOOKS AND BISCOTTI: An evening with Michael Mirolla and Bonnie Nish

January 21, 2020 – 7:00pm. The Museum Hall.  Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver
Free

Italian Cultural Centre

Reading with Michael Mirolla, Anna Foschi and Bonnie Nish at the Italian Cultural Centre (Photo taken by D.Z.)

Back to events in 2019

T is for Turkish

Saray restaurantSaray, a Turkish restaurant

Date: January 2020

Address: 6633 Hastings St, Burnaby

Website: https://sarayturkish.com/

Appetizer:
Acili Ezme (spicy puree) and Patlıcan Salatası (eggplant salad)

Main:
Patlicanli Kebap (eggplant kebab), Beef Pide and Pastirmali Pide

Drink:
Ayran

Truly traditional temptations

Table truncated to terrestrial tier
to tolerate taking time to triturate.

Thinking of turbulent times
of torture and tussle under Turks
thousands of eternities ago,
transformed into tributes to terminology,
tunes and tones,
and tasty, treacly tongue-pleasers.

Talking to the teammate about things,
time travelling,
touching on teenage turmoil and troubles,
on tomorrow’s travails.

All this while terminating tender tributes;
no take on tulumbas though, till thereafter.

Thumbs up!

S is for Serbian

Balkan House, a Serbian restaurant

Date: December 2019

Address:  7530 Edmonds Street, Burnaby

Website: http://balkanhouse.info/

Dinner:
Sausages (Ćevapčići) and Shish Kebab (Ražnići) with Greek salad, mash potato and rice

Drink:
House wine

Dessert:
Krempita

Simply Satisfying

Sitting side by side with other spectators,
slowly studying the suggestions
of Serbian specialties,
I sink into soul-searching.

Sacrifices, self-sufficiency, solitude,
all in the sounds of straightforward,
seen and unseen syllables,
swiftly switching to seminal suppositions and speculations,
saying, not saying, spying
on self-assurance, self-confidence, self-consciousness.

Straying or staying solid on self-determination?
Sizable sigh.

Sufficient supply of sustenance,
secure smooth sociable sailing
through space and seconds
in such a specific situation.

Snow smiling on the surface
while setting off.

So long!