Posts Tagged ‘blo

19
Nov
08

City of metrosexuals

I knew when I left the pad last night I was making a mistake. But the man they call Wingy would not be denied, and so what was supposed to be just an hour-long outing turned into an all-evening affair. It started like this: the downtown location (there are three of them) of Blo, situated on the second floor of the Four Seasons Hotel, was having a “Bro Blo” promotion. Blo is an innovative styling service that specializes in a blow-dry-set, no cutting or colouring involved, thus preparing your hair for a night on the town. Wingy was already there, a big cheesy grin on his face and his Jewfro wet, when I arrived. I was introduced to Kristy (or is that Christie?) Gunn, my stylist. Following a hair wash and scalp massage, Miss Gunn blow-dried my hair while we discussed the styling racket. Blo, open just over a year, is still enjoying success, particularly among groups of women who like to stop in on their way out for the evening, but hadn’t quite caught on, even in this city of metrosexuals. (Guys are a lot different in Vancouver than Edmonton, where a lot of them are “rig-workers”–i.e., oil industry types, she said.) Maybe it was the neon-pink decor, which even hardened metros might find a little scary. Even scarier was what Wingy said to me later: “There’s no one else I could have come here and done this with.” Uhm, that’s reassuring.

Anyway, I get ahead of myself. Drinks at the Yew Restaurant next door followed, along with a chat with the Blo inner circle, owner Judy Brooks, her daughter Devon (Devin?), token dude Val Litwin. Also met Samantha, manager or Yew. She’s married now and, like everyone who has made the leap from singledom to domesticity, was happy to talk about her dating experiences when she learned I write for Lavalife. Apparently, Yew is starting a new bar menu aimed at singles who don’t want to get food stuck in their teeth, if I got the details right.

Wingy was on it, I don’t think there was one person I exchanged cards with who didn’t already have one of his. In his chatting he’d discovered another happening in town, the opening of a new Japanese restaurant. It had been ages since Wingy and I had an evening like this, and so it was that half an hour later we were shoulder to shoulder with a flood of people at Miku. I have to say, the owners went all out; a traditional Japanese blessing ceremony, taiko drumming, and a red-hot, jumping jazz trio. I could’ve done without the 7-minute promotional video depicting the imported Japanese staff disembarking from an airplane and into a waiting limo as though they were the arrival of the G-7 leaders but hey, that’s just me.

It was so packed inside (the high-ceilinged interior is all whites and blues, very modern to go along with restaurant’s fusion theme–sushi made with seared fish and French sauces) that snagging the odd morsel of food proved to be quite a challenge. However, I got to meet three of the Smart Cookies (a group of Vancouver women who have written a book about how they turned around their debt-ridden financial situations) and ran into co-worker Cheryl (or as Wingy called her, “Sharon”) and her friend Jen M. The four of us ended up at the usual spot, Bin 942, which has changed alarmingly in decor and staff since the last time Wingy and I stopped by for a bite.

The Bin was as far as “Sharon” and Jen came; they left for their respective homes and Wingy struck out on our own, heading towards the Commodore to see songwriter John Hiatt. On the way we stopped in at the Space Bar, a place neither of us had ever been. With its murals of astrological signs and white furniture, it was space-y enough I suppose, though the lack of customers gave the name an unwanted double meaning. (To be fair, it was only Tuesday night.) We struck up a conversation with the bartender, originally from Lithuania (I don’t know why I find that detail interesting) before going on our way. The Hiatt concert was perfect, in that we walked in mid-way, I heard three songs I wanted to hear, and we left. I think Wingy’s parting words were, “Are you sure you don’t want to come to that winemaker’s dinner tomorrow night?”

Considering I’m up at six in the morning writing this because I can’t sleep due to my hungover state, I think the answer to that one is… well, we’ll see.

28
Nov
07

Kid in a candy store

Giovanna A at BloMeredith and JasmineOne of Vancouver’s sexiest success stories this past year is Blo. Located amidst a row of boutiques in condo-dominated Yaletown, the “blo-dry bar” (www.blomedry.com) offers a number of blow-dry styles under 30 minutes for busy socialites and party girls on the go. Last night, the small, sleek beauty parlour hosted a party for a group called Young Executives for Success. In layman’s terms, this meant the wingman and I got to mingle with about 50 women. What were we doing there? I’m still trying to figure that out. 

Breianne and the bloggerAnyway, it was all for a good cause—Y.E.S., as it’s known, is a social net-working group that also sponsors Dress for Success, an organization that helps prepare economically disadvantaged women return to the workforce. The evening also marked the unofficial launch of Back Bar Beauty Lounge (www.backbarbeautylounge.com), a new business billing itself as the city’s only “a la carte beauty lounge.” Groups (of women, presumably) can rent out the space and order pampering packages like “The Bender” (manicures, pedicures, hair and makeup) and “The All-Nighter” (“A special cocktail of services mixed just for you and your guests”).

 

Needless to say, the idea of being the only two guys (there were three others by my count, but they all worked there) in a roomful of women fried poor Wingy’s brainpan big-time. He couldn’t stop talking about it for days prior (“Can you believe we’re going to party with 50 women?”) to the day of (“Do you really think we’re going to be the only guys partying with 50 women?”) to afterwards (“You’ll never guess what we just did—we partied with 50 women!”). The phrase “kid in a candy store” pops into mind.

 

Anyway, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fun, or that I didn’t take advantage of at least one of the services offered–including mini-manicures and makeup by staffers from neighbouring businesses Pure Nail Bar (www.purenailbar.com) and Beauty Mark (www.beautymark.ca)–by getting a “Bro blo” at the delicate hands of Breianne Z. (pictured). But it wasn’t all hair-fixing and Champagne-guzzling, no sir. Between complimenting women on their newly puffed-out locks (such as the “Bardot updo”, for instance, modeled here by Giovanna A.) and filling my flute I put on my journalistic hat long enough to learn a little more about Y.E.S. (www.yesvancouver.org) and Dress for Success from organizer Louise Weston

 

“We want to bring professional women together, to sip Champagne and get manicures and network, and help disadvantaged women,” she said. “Men get together to golf and talk business. But if women want to get their nails done and network, why shouldn’t they?”

Naturally, leaving was difficult, and it wasn’t until Breianne, Blo’s Val Litwin and other staffers and organizers started putting away the leftovers that we finally tore ourselves away. We caught the tail end of another social networking event at Metro (www.metrodining.ca), a somewhat-hard-to-find-but-worth-it downtown restaurant. There, we ran into French-restaurant chef Matthew Keebler and his leggy friend Janine (who knew resource mining software could be so hot?), and ended up at Six Acres (www.gastown.org/microsite/moons001). It was in this Gastown beer den/ bistro Wingy came through with the best line of the night. Still flapping his gums about Blo, he finally got around to asking, “So what was that event for, anyway?”




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