Our Editors’ Favourite VanMag Stories of 2018

We don't just edit 'em... we read them, too.

December 17, 2018

By Vancouver Magazine / Photo: Vancouver Magazine

People Are Buying Compass Card Wristbands? Seriously?

When our associate editor took to vanmag.com to voice his confusion about the hype surrounding Compass Card wristbands, he was just saying what we all—or a lot of us, anyway—were thinking. Aside from aiding people with disabilities, the blue and tangerine bracelets just seemed… kind of unnecessary? Although you’ve gotta hand it to—or extend your wrist toward—TransLink for making the silicone bands waterproof: a very necessary feature in Vancouver and extremely helpful in ensuring you have it on you at all times, showers and all.—Lucy Lau, style editor

Is Transcendental Meditation All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

I love a good long read, and writer Alex Gill used the format to dig deep into Transcendental Meditation in our April issue this year. It’s so interesting to hear from a skeptic—especially one who seems to be as poorly suited for meditation as me—as she goes all-in to the controversial (and pricey) self-care practice, trying to figure out first-hand if it’s worth all the buzz. She’s like our own home-grown Louis Theroux…one who comes to some surprising conclusions. —Stacey McLachlan, executive editor

What’s the Point of Point Roberts?

Our executive editor Stacey McLachlan (see above) regularly dives into figuring out the mysteries of this city in her column, City Informer, but more importantly, each edition spotlights just how damn funny she is. (As some of you may know, she’s also part of the great sketch comedy group, Nasty Women.) And this column is Stace at her best—with the oh-so-memorable line: “…to feast on illegal-in-B.C. medium-rare burgers, which, as science shows, taste delicious expressly because of the thrilling risk of contracting E. coli. (Or should I say contracting FREEDOM?!)”. —Anicka Quin, editorial director

Opinion: Dîner en Blanc is Deeply Uncool

“As a general rule, what men in their mid-40s think is cool is of little consequence.”

If you’re going to lead into a vociferous, scathing rant with a (very correct) qualifier, you better bring the noise. And boy, food editor Neal Mclennan and his clunky New Balance runners stepped up to the occasion.

Odds are you’ve already read this piece (it almost had more views than our site’s landing page), but here were some highlights:

  • “Is that really what they think people are thinking when they spy you in a pair of white dockers eating at a folding card table at Jack Poole Plaza?”
  • “I should treat the event the way I’d treat a person who enters a conversation but won’t stop mentioning how great NCIS New Orleans is. They’re harmless and clueless.”
  • “If you wanna dressup like your fave Backyardigan, knock yourself out.”

The story even led to a response post from the company that puts on the event. Some people think that critics are a sour bunch hell-bent on destroying everything that is happy and good in the world. But those people probably watch NCIS New Orleans. —Nathan Caddell, associate editor

The Greatest Steak Rub in the History of Grilling is Made in….West Van?

Wait for a sec…I appreciate I’m choosing a story I wrote, which seems just a tad self-involved. But it’s not here because it’s any sort of special piece of writing—it’s here because the follow up made me the most happy of any story this year. After the story—which extolled the virtues of what I truly believe is the best steak rub on the market today—I got a very nice email from an employee at Sebastian & Co., the master butchers who make this powdery magic. They told us that people had been storming the store to get their hands on the rub as a result of the article and that had been getting emails to ship it all over the place (New York, Las Vegas, Ottawa, etc).  They even had a call from Crate and Barrel in the U.S. (who read the article), wanting to curate a Sebastian & Co BBQ collection in all their Canadian stores for Spring 2019. And just this week I chatted with them again and they mentioned that Jimmy Pattison is putting it in his gift baskets this year, so it will be going out to the likes of Bill Clinton and Oprah this Christmas. This isn’t about our story having a huge impact—it’s the greatness of the rub that’s doing that—but when you sit in an office all day writing you frequently lean back and think, “Is anyone even reading this?” And the feedback from this small piece reaffirmed that, at least on occasion, there is. —Neal McLennan, food editor

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