The Week That Was Part 1: The “Ladies of Main St. Tour”

It was a Twitter message from the bowels of the Brewery Creek Liquor Store that sent me off down Main St. last Sunday: “If you ever want to feel better about your problems, looks or life in general, hang around my liquor store Sun AM.” A cry for help like that is hard to ignore, even for the Captain of the SS Californian.

Most of my recent weekend sojourns to Main St. start the same way: harassing and confounding the talented and lovely Miss Lydia DeCarllo at Scout Boutique at Main and 8th. My reason for going was to check out visit with Miss DeCarllo. Your reason for going? Checking out the Pin-Up fashions and accessories that pack the store. To this end, I suggest attending a fashion show they have coming up on Thursday, October 20, at 8pm. Come to see ME! Stay for the clothes.

Miss Lydia DeCarllo

My next stop was a new one. I’d been there before with my “crazy redhead friend” who described it as one of her “favourite stores in Vancouver.” On this particular Sunday, I was headed up to Lace Embrace to see Miss Tristan Risk, Little Miss Risk to some. I don’t know if the “Little” is because she’s certainly not the tallest person I’ve met or because, when she’s laced up, you could fit the elastic band from a grocery store stalk of celery around her waist with little or no effort. Both are equally plausible. I don’t get to talk with Miss Risk that often, which is a shame. We’re both history buffs, especially where it pertains to this wicked city of ours. Lace Embrace is about 1/2 a block east of Main at 16th. Stop by for a custom made corset or get fitted off the rack. Who doesn’t need a corset? Boring people. That’s who. Also, buy a calendar while you’re there. I forgot to, but will rectify that error on my next visit.

Little Miss Risk - Photo by David Denofreo

Okay, so a Pin-Up boutique and a corset atelier may be strange fare for some, but they’re both locally owned and operated shops. Sure, they’re not The Bay, but the only people who shop at The Bay are 12 year olds buying perfume for their mom and/or a tie for dad.

Crossing the street and heading back down Main towards my belov’d North Shore mountains, I arrive at the Brewery Creek Liquor Store. I’m here to pop in on Miss Villainy Loveless. I get a two-for-one deal. Not only is Miss Loveless manning the till with skill, precision, and attitude, but Shiloh Lindsey is also on site. I love Shiloh. There’s no two ways about it and no way to get out of it. I wouldn’t hesitate to list her among names like Cline, Cash, Jennings, and Lynn when it came to reasons why I like country music. We chat for a bit after a hug that may have been just long enough to be socially awkward. She smiled. I melted then bought a bottle of Baron Bohemian style Czech beer.

When I get to the till, Miss Loveless asks if I plan to just walk down Main drinking the beer. Yes. Yes I do. People in Vancouver tend to leave you be provided you don’t get too extreme, in which case they just plain ignore you. I actually first met Villainy Loveless as one half of the Switchblade Sisters performing at a Shiloh Lindsey show. Our conversation goes much “drier” on this day. The last time I saw her was the Vancouver Zombie Walk and she spent the whole day covered in sticky fake blood and lisping through gold grills. San Pellegrino was required. My beer having been mysteriously opened, we had a delightfully unsticky hug and I was on my way again.

Shiloh Lindsey

Miss Villainy Loveless - Photo by David Denofreo

I made my way back down Main St. fully intending to hit up The Keefer Bar for some dim sum and a cocktail. However, as I walked past the Ivanhoe, blues music poured from its doors. Inside, the jam band was setting up and real pints of beer were only $3.75. I remember singing a couple tunes with the band and that’s about all. From this point on, things get a bit sketchy. I think I stopped at the London Pub. And I think I made it to The Keefer Bar. All this I piece together from VISA slips and quasi-reliable, secondhand witness reports.

I think I also made it to The Squarerigger as well. This last one I’m assuming as I woke up with a Rigular in my guest room.

Anyhow… Main Street: Good people, good exercise, good fun.

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