A shoe icon gives us the goods on his hometown, step by step
If you’re a stylish footwear fan, you’ve likely got at least one pair of John Fluevog shoes kicking around. The Fluevog empire has shops across North America, but the flagship store – an architectural marvel of glass and brick – makes its home in Vancouver. John Fluevog is as quirky and colourful as the funky shoes he designs. Here he reveals a Vancouver that is at once hip, gritty and classy.
On dining and drinking: You can get great Asian food anywhere in the city, but there’s a particularly amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Chinatown called Phnom Penh. Their garlic chicken wings are the best in the city – crazy good. There are also sophisticated places, like Jules, a cute little French bistro in Gastown.
On live music: I frequent a spot on Alexander Street called Guilt and Company that features live impromptu bands, often made up of musicians who have never met. One of the guys who works for me plays the bass and jams with different people every night.
On shopping: I like to cruise up and down Main Street and check out all the little independent boutiques and shops – the neighbourhood has a great selection of local BC designers. In Gastown, there’s Dutil Denim just around the corner from my store, and there are a number of other good hip-hop shoe stores nearby as well. (See a video about Gastown.)
On bike riding: Vancouver is a very compact, bike-friendly city. I get around on my Pedersen – it’s a crazy-looking bike. Cruising around the seawall is fun on any day, and I also love to ride down to Granville Island Market on the weekend, and then maybe bike around the West End and finish it off with a bite at Chambar in Yaletown.
On getting away from it all: I often go for hikes on Grouse Mountain and other nearby trails. I love that you can drive for half an hour and literally get lost in the woods. People just can’t comprehend it – that there are hundreds of miles of nothing, just minutes from the city.