May 1, 2010
YOU ARE HERE
The city's blithe contradictions are personified in the tree-lined streets of Kitsilano-along which yoga moms scoot in their SUVs and latter-day hippies pad in $500 John Varvatos loafers (purchased, naturally, at the Kits institution Gravity Pope). Still, it's not wealth but "wellness" that's most conspicuous along Fourth Avenue and West Broadway. And the accoutrements of that wellness (the carrot juice! the promenading labradoodles!) are as breezily displayed as the pain au chocolat at Thomas Haas's packed new pâtisserie. Then again, there's no reason to be anything but satsified. Buildings are kept low so there's always a sunny side to the street. Its 40,000 residents grow kale in the front yard but keep two cars at the curb. It's a world where multiple meanings of "the good life" play out simultaneously and the sky-high condo developments that bring to nearby downtown an increasingly stacked urbanity seem, still, a world away.
Holland expats Christian Maas, 38, IT director for Golden Boy Foods, and Diantha Frankort, also 38, moved to Vancouver 10 years ago and settled in Kitsilano. With two small kids in tow they went searching for something bigger than their Cornwall townhouse, but wanted to stay in the same neighbourhood
THE HOME | 2745 Trafalgar St. $1.25 million
THE REALTOR | Marty Pospischil of Dexter Associates Realty, Martyhomes.com
After a year of casual looking, the family finally got serious when they sold their townhouse last November and had yet to secure a new home to move into. December and January proved to be trying months. "There weren't a lot of homes on the market when we first started looking and we wanted a house that wasn't picture-perfect-it had to need a bit of work." In February, after three months and almost 20 visits to potential houses, they found a new home, back yard and all.
Sitting on an unusual lot size, 60 x 60, the two-and-a-half-storey house has three bedrooms and an open-plan kitchen and family room. The square lot deterred other families looking for a traditional-sized yard, but for Frankort and Maas, it was the main draw.
Their previous Kits townhouse was walking distance to Fourth Avenue and Kits Beach; now the couple looks forward to Broadway shopping and days at the Kitsilano Community Centre. "We looked into moving to Point Grey, but stayed in Kits because of the mix of people; it feels like its own little community." –Aliyah Shamsher
EPICUREAN CAFFE Sunday, 11:32 a.m. When Renata Cocco moved to Vancouver 20 years ago, she couldn't find a proper Italian café. So she made her own. Since then, brunch at the crowded but chic Epicurean has become a staple for lovers of cappuccino, cannoli, and fluffy frittatas. 1896 W. First Ave., 604-731-5370. Epicureancaffe.com