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Gastown Resident Kate Horsman Tells us About the 'Hood

The People's Guide is Curbed Vancouver's tour o' the nabes, lead by our most loyal readers, favorite bloggers, and other luminaries of our choosing. Have a piece to say? We'll be happy to hand over the megaphone. This time around, we welcome Gastown resident Kate Horsman, founder of the uber-chic Bullet With Butterfly Wings blog, stylist, fashion writer and designer of the irresistibly cute animal accessories line Dog & Crow. Yeah, she is busy.

Tell us something we don't know about your neighbourhood: It's shockingly peaceful for city living. Make no doubt about it, it's hardly sleepy with a list of colourful characters as residents. But it always feels such a contrast moving just a few blocks west. It's also a huge population of working artists which makes for a very creative atmosphere.

Local customs of note: Dog walks and coffees, and patio drinks. As soon as it hits 3-4 you suddenly see this energy shift and people want to socialize. Don't ask me how they do it, but it seems like cocktail hour starts pretty early over here. Crab park is doggy wonderland pretty much all day.

Hidden gems in your neighbourhood: Though it's hardly hidden after quite a lot of hype recently, Ask For Luigi's is definitely a gem in our world. Although not great for the waistline, we are there at least once a week! It's incredible. Big Lou's sandwiches are the best in the city. And I love Litchfield and Nouvelle Nouvelle for gifts and finer things.

Are your neighbours "rotten neighbour" worthy? If so, dish. If not, what makes them great? Hardly. Perhaps I'm fortunate that I live on a quiet floor. But the neighbours I do have are creative professionals that just inspire me. I live amongst artists, photographers, designers, I even woke up one morning to freshly baked bread on my doorstep! I wish that neighbour would move back!!

Inflate the bubble or burst it: What's not so swell about your "perfect" neighbourhood? It's pretty clear to the naked eye that this is a neighbourhood in flux. Daily you see the turmoil and struggle of the people on the DTES which is neither pleasant nor ok. At the same time, It is beautiful to see not only change, but acceptance of the struggle and people pitching in to help and support their neighbourhood which I think most residents do in some capacity.

The final word on your neighbourhood: It's mint. It's growing cultivated style by the minute. What is here, is quality. There's tons of pets. And even when the day gets me down and I've seen something rough I am reminded how lucky I am. And that in and of itself is a blessing.