Saturday, September 04, 2010

Rear Window, Davie edition

I do love a good corner store.

It's one of the things that I really loved about my old neighbourhood in London - that ability to stroll to practically any corner to buy a jug of milk - and one of the things whose lack I lament most about my current neighbourhood in Car City Calgary.

When we first started staying at this hotel in the west end of Vancouver, I was immediately drawn to McIntosh's Grocery. It's a tiny but bustling store on the corner of Davie and Thurlow, run by Our Lady of the Chinese Sitcoms, whom I assume to be Mrs. McIntosh. She has a little tv behind the counter, upon which she watches her stories, a delighted smile on her face, the occasional chuckle bursting forth.

Recently her son has been spelling her off behind the counter. He's more interactive with the customers. He inevitably wears a huge smile on his face as he simultaneously chews on a mouthful of something that requires a great deal of gnawing and asks you how you are today. He, of course, is always "terrific!"

We wonder if they live in the apartment above the store. Last night, as we sat on the balcony, unwinding from the day and watching the always fascinating parking lot dramas unfold beneath us, we saw some lights come on behind the shades and watched the silhouette of someone moving about. I like to think it was Mrs. McIntosh, preparing herself a tasty treat with which to watch her sitcoms.

I wonder who was watching us, watching them?

Which neighbours do you like to spy on?


Anonymous said...

anchovies don't spy.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Anchovies obviously have a lot more integrity than zombies do, Mr Anchovy.

Allison said...

I miss the corner stores too. They'd always have signposts on the curb with the price of milk too.

I had the best corner store when I was living in England though. Friendliest people, and since I such a good patron, they'd never charge me full price. I miss the samosa's I'd used to grab for lunch there.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I love how the milk prices are always advertised, Al, even though they are all identical to every other corner store's prices.

You were able to get samosas at your corner store in England? Nice! That is a sign of a quality corner store - convenience and tastiness.

John Mutford said...

Our across the hall neighbour in Rankin Inlet was pretty interesting. An artiste, she was. For Halloween she gave neighbourhood kids chicken nuggets. When she ran out of those, she insisted on popping a green grape into their mouths and leaving their surprised maws open so that she could squirt in some canned whipped cream.

umbrellalady said...

I also miss having corner stores too. The ones in our neighbourhood were both run by very quirky individuals and it was always literally a treat to go there when we were small. We would swap empty pop bottles that we found for candy or popsicles. I don't think that happens anymore.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

HA! She was a true Hallowe'en artiste, John! I would have been watching her like a hawk. Don't you wish you could take the noteworthy neighbours with you when you move?

We used to do that at the confectionary we frequented in Regina, Kathy. It was pretty easy to find pop bottles in those pre-recycling days too, so we always had candy cash.