You can only really know a place once you have lived there. Whether it’s your favourite restaurant, a busker you stopped to listen to, or a bench you love the view from, we’re looking for people who want to share their neighbourhood with us.
We want to know your favourite things about your immediate neighbourhood. This could be anything: from something you pass every day on the way home, to something interesting you hope to see again. We’ll be choosing a different person from a different city each week to chat to us right here in our new Up My Street weekly feature.
Meet the locals – Pascal Roy and Janaki Larsen, Le Marché St. George
How would you visualise a “general store meets Vermeer painting”? Just ask Pascal Roy and Janaki Larsen, who together with Janaki’s sister Klee, have opened just such a store in Riley Park, Vancouver. Selling everything from local produce to artisan homewares, delicious food and freshly brewed coffee, Le Marché St. George is really something special. In good old-fashioned general store style, the shop is part of the couple’s house, which happens to be a Vancouver heritage building and the perfect location to host special gatherings and occasional pop up shops where you can snag even more gorgeous handmade products beautifully curated by Janaki herself. You could even live here if you are very, very lucky – Le Marché St. George sometimes rents out their rooms. We were very excited to catch up with Janaki recently – we couldn’t think of anyone better to tell us all the secrets of their neighbourhood.
Which neighbourhood (and city) do you live in?
We live in Riley Park/Kensington, Vancouver BC Canada.
What is the name of your street?
We live and work on the corner of St-George Street and East 28 Avenue.
Where do you spend most of your time?
Between our shop and adjoining home.
What is your favourite local business?
The Buddhist Supply Store. It has somehow managed to survive alongside rent hikes, hip boutiques and dollar pizza joints.
Where can you get the best local bargain?
The thrift shop at the top of the hill. They also have very inspired window displays.
Who is the most inspiring person in your neighbourhood?
Our neighbour Rita – she has come up with some of the best quotes I have ever heard. One day I was asking her about domestic duties and who does the laundry at her house. She replied, “I don’t know, I just throw it down the stairs and it gets done.”
She is tough as nails and as soft as a new leaf; she paints beautifully, has a magnificent garden and cooks the best Sicilian food for us and for the shop. There are also a number of very large families (4-5 children) that I find completely mind blowing!
Where is you favourite place to go on a sunny day?
Iona beach to collect things and stare at the horizon.
Where is your favourite place to go on a rainy day?
The real answer is ‘my bed’ but since it rains so much here that would be a bad thing! It’s a treat to go the Museum of Anthropology.
What is your favourite secret place/thing?
There is a little path that runs between 2 streets nearby. It is overgrown with beautifully scented plants – totally unexpected – you’d miss it if you didn’t know it were there. It’s kind of a neighbourhood initiation to be introduced to it. Pascal loves to go to baseball games at Nat Bailey Stadium.
Where is your favourite place to eat?
If it’s not at home, then East is East at the top of the hill. Beautiful Afghan food amongst lush carpets and amazing chai.
Where is your favourite place to drink?
In our backyard next to the chicken coop.
Is there any street art in your neighbourhood you like?
Our neighbours down the street leave a bucket of chalk out so all the kids can draw on their driveway wall. Pretty great stuff!
What is your favourite memory since you have lived on your street?
A whole lot of laughing and watching all the kids grow up together.
Photography – Janaki Larsen and Luis Valdizon via Le Marché St George
To see the incredible world of Le Marché St. George visit www.marchestgeorge.com