Of Hero’s Quests And Yellowed Pages: My Life In Used Bookstores

Even when I was a kid, I loved used bookstores. I loved them in part because I’ve always loved stories, and storytelling. They are integral to the human experience. But I also loved them for the quest.

As we’ve learned from Joseph Campbell by now, so many of the stories we love share the same patterns. We can even pick them out as we read them. Yet they still seem to retain their power. We can all relate to the idea of the quest. I suppose that’s because, in the end, that’s what life actually is.

Buying books and comics is a pretty straightforward exercise these days. But those interested in the quest don’t much care for the straightforward. For me, the quest is where the magic can be found. I want the objects, sure. But as a kid and even now I wanted the adventure of finding them, too. In this way it’s not just about collecting objects. It’s about the idea that there is a hero locked inside everyone and that the purpose of life is to set the hero free somehow.

All of this wasn’t something I could put into those terms when I was in elementary school, learning to ride my bike, and then becoming curious about the world around me. But I understood it, and I aspired to be a questing hero anyway. Continue reading “Of Hero’s Quests And Yellowed Pages: My Life In Used Bookstores”

The 12th Street bread store that’s so cheap – it’s practically free

McGavin's Bread Basket offers steep discounts on Dempster's bread that is close to the sell-by date.


Sandwiches are beautiful but if you’re making lunch for a larger group, the price of bread for all those sandwiches isn’t so fine!

Our family has a secret weapon in the never-ending battle against higher grocery bills: a small bread store on 12th St. in New Westminster, where you can buy discounted loaves for practically nothing. Continue reading “The 12th Street bread store that’s so cheap – it’s practically free”

12th St. Festival celebrates community spirit with music

Kids ride their bikes at the 2009 Twelfth Street Festival in New Westminster. Photo: Will Tomkinson.
Kids ride their bikes at the 2009 Twelfth Street Festival in New Westminster. Photo: Will Tomkinson.

The West End’s annual 12th Street Music Festival  is coming up on Sunday, August 1, and will feature free live music from local bands on two stages, children’s entertainment, displays by local businesses & community groups and events for kids and adults.

Bands will include:

  • Rainshadow
  • Mike Van Eyes
  • Mojo Stars
  • Maffie & Crew
  • Real Canadian Rock Band
  • Syndicate
  • Really Rod

According to festival organizers, highlights will include:

  • Kiwanis salmon BBQ
  • All Star Wrestlers (get an autograph!)
  • Wine tasting
  • Doggy wash.
  • Kidz Zone
  • Martial Arts Demonstration
  • AM 650 live radio broadcast from the street.
  • Car show
  • Dunk tank

“It’s going to be fun for everyone,” said festival coordinator John Ashdown in a media release. “We have a great line-up of entertainment, exhibits, events and a wide variety of foods.”

During the festival, 12th St. will be closed between 6th and 8th Ave., and there will be booths stretching all the way up from Stewardson to 10th Ave.

After the festival, there will be a wind-up party at the Terminal Pub at the foot of 12th St., from 4-8pm.


  • WHAT: 12th St. Festival
  • WHEN: Sunday, August 1, 2010, from 11am – 4pm
  • WHERE: 12th St. in New Westminster, between Stewardson and 10th Ave.

Volunteers needed for June 5 Twelfth St. cleanup party

New Westminster MP Peter Julian and MLA Dawn Black will be hosting the sixth annual Twelfth Street Clean-Up on Saturday, June 5. Dawn & Peter will be there with their crew, with rubber gloves on and garbage bags in hand, and they hope you’ll join them in cleaning up litter along the street.

“It is not heavy work and many hands will make the job go quickly,” wrote Dawn in an email call for participation.

The cleanup crew meets at 10am in the parking lot at 1170 8th Avenue at 12th Street (behind Community Savings Credit Union) and will go out in the neighbourhood for an hour or two. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. All equipment such as garbage bags will be provided.

A free barbeque lunch will be given to all volunteers at 12 noon back in the parking lot, courtesy of the New Westminster Firefighters Charity Fund. In addition, each participant will receive certificates of appreciation from the MLA and MP.

If you are able to help out or need further information, phone 604-775-2101.

The Pols at the Festival

Dawn Black and Peter Julian stop by the Chai by Night and TenthtotheFraser booth at the 12th Street Festival – check out the hard copy print of our second T2F newsletter Dawn’s holding!

Twelfth Street Festival gets underway

The editorial board of T2F is here on 12th street enjoying the sun, breeze, good cover tunes and great conversations here at the Chai by Night booth just up from Seventh Ave by Village Coffee.

Some pictures so far: