Posts Tagged ‘Opus Hotel


Requiem for a wingman

Another one has fallen.

It is my sad duty to report the loss of another wingman in the line of duty. Wingman # 2, or Wingy as he was affectionately known on these blogs, can now take his rightful place in the Wingman Hall of Fame alongside Wingman #1, aka Former Wingman. Many hear the call but few are chosen. These were men among men; Wingmen among Wingmen. They served with loyalty and bravery in the frontlines of the Vancouver singles scene, but ultimately could not face one more cocktail party at the Opus Hotel bar. I can’t say that I blame them.

But it’s dog-eat-dog and survival of the single-est out here in La-La-Land North, and this party boy is not giving up. Not that I have much of a choice if I’m going to keep this blog going. And so I am calling on all potential wing-folk in the Lower Mainland to send their CVs to me care of this blog. Yes, I’m also opening up the competition to women. It might be time to try something different.

The successful applicant will be well-groomed and have a good sense of humour, as he or she will be socializing with bon vivants, publicists, real estate agents and other society ilk as we journey from gallery opening to restaurant opening to indie-rock show to charity event. Be prepared to balance a plate of appetizers in one hand and a glass of wine in the other while maintaining a conversation about what other parties you’ve been to recently. Loyalty, and being available to maintain a tireless stream of jabber at at least three events per week is a must.

Benefits include invitations to many of Vancouver’s most happening events, swag, and the chance to catch a sighting of various local news anchors. As well, you are likely to meet the mate of your dreams while I stand on the sidelines, cheering you on and reaching for another glass of champagne.

On the downside, you may occasionally be called into action when you don’t really feel like coming out. Some of the people you will meet are journalists. I might start talking about comic books or my favourite bands.

In the coming weeks I’ll be posting the results of my search. I will be digging into the recesses of my virtual address book and trying various applicants out at events such as a Holt Renfrew party, a performance by New York rockers Northern State, and a tasting of New Zealand wines. So stay tuned.

In the famous last words of Wingy: “Go on without me, man. It’s your only chance. Oh, and do you need Anne Murray tickets?”  

God be with you, my friend.

(Note: all photos from the Third Annual Vancouver Burlesque Festival after-party Saturday, May 3. This is the type of thing YOU could be attending!)


One step Beyond

To call or not to call? That was the question facing both Wingy and I Friday, following the one-year-anniversary of Beyond ( the night before. A restaurant/lounge in the Century Plaza Hotel, Beyond is near but not quite in the centre of downtown, and features creative takes on the standard fish, meat and vegetarian dishes (truffle honey for the salmon, English minted peas with the pork, a tofu schnitzel). The owners certainly know how to treat their guests–bubbly on arrival, an open bar, a steady flow of hors d’oeuvres, and plenty of wine meant I’d have to be dragged out of there.  

So yes, I pretty much did shut down the place. By then Wingy had arrived following another Christmas party and set his sights on an exotic-looking fashionista, Tabitha. Her friend and protector Abby hovered around them, telling both the wingman and I that he was scaring his object of desire (apparently, she was just out of a relationship). But Wingy likes a challenge, and later said he saw the whole thing as an experiment because he was doing the exact opposite, expressing interest, of what he usually does. Meanwhile, I was also trying not to do what I usually do, which is express interest, while getting to know someone named Lucinda.  

After awhile, realizing we were practically the last ones left, we headed downtown, where we parted ways–Wingy off into the night with Tabitha and Abby, and myself and Lucinda to the retro-futuristic upscale lounge in the Opus Hotel (, a favourite haunt of visiting rock stars (I once saw Michael Stipe give a shout-out to the hotel’s staff in the middle of an REM concert). We arrived sometime around midnight, and a party for Canadian TV personality George Strombolopoulos was winding down. Lucinda and I sat with April, a local clothing-store owner who’d also been at Beyond, and her husband Herschel, a shortish, round character with a wispy goatee and wearing a pork-pie hat. He might not look like a lady-killer, said April, but Herschel does really well with women. “His last girlfriend before me looked like Bo Derek,” said April, a raven-haired, somewhat Goth-looking girl. “In fact, all his exes look like Bo Derek.” (For those of you who haven’t seen the Dudley Moore comedy 10,, Bo Derek was the ne plus ultra of cornrowed blonde Amazonian sex goddesses for a brief moment in the late ’70s.)   

When Wingy and I finally talked the next day we both asked the other’s advice—do we call? For me, the night ended with a cab ride home, a phone number and a not-quite kiss, which didn’t add up to a whole lot of encouragement. Besides which, I’m trying not to pursue. Whereas he wasn’t sure he was even interested enough to continue pursuing—it had simply been the thrill of the chase. 

August 2017
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