Arlesheim, Basel-Landschaft (BL), Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera/Switzerland

[1984 Nikon FE2 SLR 35-mm roll film camera, s/n 1816483, with Nikkor AI 50-mm f/1.8 lens, s/n 2336591, and 52-mm polarizing filter;
Kodak Ektar 125 (Kodak 5101 | Ektar 125-1) 36-exposure colour negative film]

© Copyright photograph by Stephan Alexander Scharnberg, November 1991

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Naam

When in Vancouver, when in Lotusland ... whether omnivore or vegetarian or vegan ... visit The Naam Restaurant at 2724 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, phone 604 738-7151. She is situated in the heart of the old hippy neighbourhood. West 4th came close to equalling San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury, becoming likely the second most famous hippiehood (or infamous—depending on your point of view) after the tune in, drop out capital of the Western world.

This last vestige of hippiedom, and the longest surviving vegetarian/natural foods restaurant in Vancouver, is open 24 hours, seven days a week (except Christmas). I patronize this unique establishment since I moved here from Vancouver Island, late June 1988. I do not eat there as often as in earlier years. The responsibilities and obligations of two full-time jobs and married life have curtailed this somewhat-luxury by a great deal. But ... once in a while my wife and I return for another delicious, healthy meal.

In the first few years, mostly while I lived west of there, in West Point Grey up the hill near UBC, I also enjoyed breakfasts, on a Saturday, or a Sunday before church at the Christian Community.

For many years, the eve of every payday, I would show up there shortly before midnight—after another shift at the Group Home—order a pint of beer (warmer half of year) or glass of red wine (colder half of year), place my order, then read The Georgia Straight free weekly, a novel, non-fiction, or write poems. The service is slow, sometimes very slow. This is the only restaurant I tolerate such snail-pace, lackadaisical service. Anywhere else—bye, bye, I’m out of here! Why do I put up with this? Why do the other patrons? It is part of it’s history, legend, and charm (in an odd sort of way). It’s the hippy pace of life. Cliché, perhaps, but ... Personally, in most things originating with the hippy phenomenom, I don’t care for the hippy way of life. It even turns my stomach at times (too many Sun Festivals in Duncan in the late 1960s and early 1970s; too many unreliable, wishy-washy, spineless patrons of my mother’s home-based basement business selling bulk organic foods trucked in monthly and sometimes weekly by Lifestream Foods, now Nature’s Path; too many drugged out, strung out, burned out, fucked up bohos).

Yes ... the Naam is damn good food. It’s got great ambiance, awesome selections of tunes picked by staff on shift, beer and wine, great blueberry shakes, always a choice of two soups if you desire, to-die-for sesame fries, live music most early evenings, ever-changing collections of photos and paintings by local artists—sometimes available for purchase.

No comments: