I was very excited about getting this pin. I first heard about these pins from someone (who shall remain nameless, as requested) who knows someone who received one as a form of a thank you. And that person passed it on to me. Pins are just falling in my lap for some reason. They seem to be finding me. I didn’t think they’d be of interest to me after the Olympics, but I could not be more wrong. This is a cool one. This pin is a photo of a neon sign for an old dive bar in Vancouver – located in the Downtown East Side = skid road = a part of town with “character” or “history” or “rummies”. It looks like the sign was installed for the bar in 1953 and stayed up until the bar shut down in 1987. I think the sign now lives in the Museum of Vancouver. I should go over there and see it. Actually, I definitely have to get over there. They are having a display about Handmade Nation over there. I gotta get to that.
But back to the Smiling Buddha – the history of that place is pretty excellent. I am very sad I missed the experience, but I didn’t get to Vancouver until 1991. Some of my friends, however, who resided in Vancouver during this time filled me in on the place. Here are some of their stories about this seedy bar:
– There were go-go dancers in cages at that bar –Cathy Mechanic
– Alcohol wasn’t served, but people brought their own, and the establishment put tablecloths on the table so you could hide your bottles under the table. – Uh. Should I put the person’s name who divulged that? Maybe not.
– Now there was a dodgy place – Suzanne C.
– I know someone who was so drunk, she fell out of her car in front of that place, casually got up and asked the bouncer who witnessed the whole thing if he’d light her cigarette. – I think that person should remain nameless as well.
But the best comment left on my facebook profile about this raunchy place? It’s this one from Fiona:
Ha ha, I got spit on by Joey Shithead in that place. No lie. That was the end of my punk rock days – no random bodily fluids, ewwww!
What a glorious place the Smiling Buddha Cabaret was! I’m so sad I missed it.
If you’re interested in some other interesting facts about this place, there’s some info in this article. And if you’d like to be a fan of the Cabaret on Facebook like I am, you can do that right here.