John Fluevog has come a long way since his humble beginnings in 1970 as a partner in the Vancouver shoe store, Fox and Fluevog. Today the shoe maverick has flagship stores from Gastown to New York and all points in between. His shoes have graced the feet of pop icons including Madonna and Jack White. We sat down with John to talk about what makes Vancouver special for him.
“I get asked about Vancouver a fair amount,” says Fluevog, “and I always think why not live in Vancouver if you can. The city doesn’t have a beaten down, worn out feeling like some bigger eastern city’s have. And don’t get me wrong, I love the East coast as well, but for different reasons.
As the city was not really developed until the last 20 years, the Vancouver urban planners have had more or less a clean slate. There are open view corridors placed throughout the city where you’re surprised by the mountains and sea views. It’s a great place for peaceful places right in the city. Artists often need quiet open spaces to create, and Vancouver provides those places in abundance.
Regardless of the specific location, where you live inevitably influences you. The beauty of living in a young city like Vancouver is that you don’t have to play by an old system or network. You get to make your own rules.”
- Coffee Break // Revolver Coffee. This small, independent cafe exemplifies Vancouver. It’s not overly decorated. There’s a roughness to the design. They make simple and precise coffee that hipsters love. 325 Cambie St., revolvercoffee.ca
- Best Donuts // Cartems Donuterie. It’s on the seediest block in Vancouver, but they have amazing flavors and crazy mixtures, like bourbon-bacon. 408 Carrall St., cartems.com
- Savory Sandwiches // Big Lou’s Butcher Shop. It’s almost entirely organic meats, all fresh, all local. Their roast-beef sandwiches are awesome. 269 Powell St., biglousbutchershop.com
- Tea Time // o5 Rare Tea Bar. An authentic Asian tea place; the look is very simple but exquisitely done. The finishes on the pots, the bowls, everything is very high-end. 2208 W. 4th Ave., o5tea.com
- Indie Threads // Board of Trade Co. A concept boutique featuring up-and-coming designers from around the globe. I like supporting independents and little guys, and I am really impressed with their collections. 206 Carrall St. and 227 Union St., boardoftradeco.com
- Hipster Bar // Alibi Room. It used to be dead, but they started getting all these craft beers and people started going. Now it’s packed every night with trendy 20-somethings. 157 Alexander St., alibi.ca
- Late Night Snack // Fritz. This place at the corner of Granville and Davie is great for a Poutine craving.
- Outdoor Break // Stanley Park. It’s in the city but it’s awesomely wild. Get a guide book from any bike shop and go to the North Shore Mountain. But bring a compass, you can get lost very quickly.