Guilty Pleasures…and where to find them.
By: Lola Frost
Photos: Baron S.Cameron
Everybody has secrets.
Secret desires, secret dreams, secret wishes. Some like their secrets hidden and others are more able to put them on display, counting them as guilty pleasures. I myself fall into the second category. Having no shame, I will boldly admit to liking that cheesy pop song or enjoying that silly sitcom I stream online. Having secrets should not have to suggest being shameful, in fact it can be fun. It can be the glint in your eye that people want to know about, and have to be invited in to see.
There is another kind of secret I adore. Secrets from the past that draw on nostalgia. Secret knocks, secret handshakes, and secret ingredients. They all lend themselves to a sense of belonging, a secret club you are part of once you know it . Enter the Speakeasy. Even the word evokes mystery and seduction. A speakeasy is an underground bar that was developed in the 1920′s when liquor was illegal due to prohibition. The roaring 20′s was a time of discovery and freedom; they were not going to let anything get in the way of a good time, especially rules. Like anything good in life, it finds it’s way to shine. The speakeasy was the answer – alley entrance, knock twice, ask for Maurice’s cat Chester.
In this modern age, sadly, we have little need of this charming kind of secret hideaway to share with friends. Everything is out in the open and our guilty pleasures take form in other ways. But let me tell you there is no need to hide from them. There are still places you can go that evoke a spirit of secrecy or mystery, but instead of hiding they are creating a union. One such place is Guilt & Co. It’s located underground off the cobblestone streets of Gastown and if you didn’t know it was there you would miss it, like a secret. That is all part of it’s charm. Shall we enter? Yes let’s.
Once you know about Guilt & Co, you are in the club for good. It’s on your list of special places to take guests or a date you want to impress with city secrets. It’s charming and elegant without being snooty. It’s warm and inviting with out being sleepy. You are surrounded by brick and beam, candles and glass, dark wood and mischievous eyes that dart around the room flirtatiously. The staff all dress to fit the bill – suspenders and bow ties, vintage dresses and fine shoes. They are youthful and high spirited, helpful and authentic. They not only drop you a menu of handcrafted elixirs to intoxicate and liberate, but a games menu as well. That’s right, part of hanging out in mixed pleasant company sharing your secrets, is playing. “How about a little wager to make things interesting?” You can ask your date as you stand next to a hip high game of Jenga.
Let your senses be seduced and your mind travel to a time long ago, bring company or come alone and let the atmosphere fill you with wonder. Have a light bite and a long drink of red, watch the show and maybe invite someone to your table to ask “What’s your guilty pleasure?”. I bet they share it with you.
Lola Frost ~ Vancouver’s Rock’n'Roll Flapper ~
Professional Burlesque Artist & Instructor
Studio : The Vancouver Burlesque Centre
Troupe : Sweet Soul Burlesque
Blog : Lola Frost