Mitzi
Live & Work

February 17 2016

This is #MyGastown – with Mitzi Figueroa (aka @mmmitzi)

She’s a mover and shaker on the interwebs, taking an early appetite for information and media and turning it into a career in digital marketing. Meet Mitzi.

Tell me about your commitment to being ‘unapologetically optimistic about the power of the internet’.

Beyond accessibility, there were two major events that solidified my feels towards the internet. First was when I got to do a journalism internship in Washington D.C. during the 2008 Presidential elections. Connectivity and social media was incredibly important to covering the election. We see now even that photos and stories people capture can actually influence the way people voted and eventually, who was elected.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I also got the opportunity to visit North Korea two summers ago, a region where access to information is restricted and the internet is completely closed off. Both experiences really changed the way I view the potential power of information – or lack of it. I often take my connectivity for granted and have probably even abused it in the past (I mean who hasn’t spent hours aimlessly scrolling through Facebook). But at best, I think the internet and social media can connect communities, expose corruption, unite causes, create jobs (including mine), jump-start friendships, and even save lives (seriously). I try my best not to underestimate the potential that these free internet tools have to shape my future and that’s why I am 100% optimistic about the Internet (I hope you are too).

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Were you a pre-Gram photographer or did the app inspire the amazingness?

I’ve always had an interest in photography but I’ve never called myself a photographer! I’m lucky to know so many talented photographers (many whom I have met through Instagram) so I feel like the title would be a disservice to the incredible work they do. Instagram has definitely made me more disciplined and intentional about taking photos so I guess it has made me a better photo-taker after all. It has also given me a better eye thanks to the access I have to other awesome photogs and creatives.

Mitzi5I know you like coffee, where’s the best spot to get one in Gastown?

Oh man, don’t make me choose! There are so many awesome coffee shops in Gastown, it’s hard to pick just one. I’d say Birds & the Beets for their warm vibe and huge open space. Ambiance is really important to me and I absolutely love how warm and cozy it is, especially on a rainy day. They also serve Bows & Arrows which is awesome. I recommend their pork sandwich for lunch!

Have you found the perfect poached egg? (I did my research – it’s her passion project)

I’ve had some pretty good ones but I’m always on the hunt! Most of my friends now know about my obsession with poached eggs (I almost exclusively feature poached eggs on Snapchat) so I get recommendations all the time. I’d say in Vancouver, Nomad on Main Street has painstakingly perfected their poached egg. Also, Tuc Craft Kitchen on Cordova has an awesome bacon/egg combo appetizer that blows my mind.

Mitzi6You seem to move seamlessly between city streets and mountain paths. What do you take away from each of them?

I’ve never lived close to the mountains so when I moved to Vancouver from South Florida, they quite literally took my breath away every single day. I couldn’t believe how close they were and how easy it was to go on a hike any time you want. At the risk of sounding cheesy, getting outside to breath fresh air and pump my legs does wonders for my overall health. Hiking helps me relieve stress and recalibrate my mind and body. On the other side of the coin, I’m a total extrovert and thrive in cities. I’ve been lucky enough to live in some pretty big cities so I’m quick to dive head-first into the local art, coffee, and creative culture. I think city life inspires me while the outdoors/mountains relieves me.

You’ve picked a unique platform for your takeover – couches – why?

I love nothing more than to gather people together and to me, a couch represents and encourages my favorite kind of comfy hangouts. That’s why I enjoy shopping and dreaming of the perfect couch that mixes function, comfort, and aesthetic. Not to mention, a good-looking couch can anchor a home. I’m also at a stage in life where I’m emotionally ready to commit to a couch but financially unprepared to purchase the one I want. It’s fun to window shop and try out as many as I can, especially in Gastown where the furniture shopping is at a really high caliber.

Mitzi4If someone asked you what there is to see / do in Gastown, what would you tell them?

I actually get this question all the time! I’ve had lots of friends come to visit me over the last few years (there’s a hashtag for the places I take visitors: #tourdemitz), and Gastown probably makes up about 75% of the visit. Gastown has the highest concentration of all the things you could want to taste, shop, and see!

From amazing coffee (Revolver, Birds & the Beets, and Timbertrain), to inspired interior design shops (I could spend hours at Inform Interiors) to fashion (Neighbour Women and Oak+Fort), it covers all the niches. And there’s nothing better than capping the whole experience with an Old Fashioned at the Diamond or Pourhouse, what a time to be alive!  

Mitzi is running our Instagram feed @MyGastown this week. You can also find / follow her on Instagram @mmmitzi

If you’re an insider with a unique perspective on the neighbourhood, head to our Instagram feed at @MyGastown and tag your photos or send us a DM. You might hear from me!