Archive for February, 2006

Where the Orcas went

Painted Whale
This is a commissioned post (check the comments).

Remember the Orcas in the City? Ever wonder what happens to them when the project ends? Here’s one of them. More photos and complaining after the jump.
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I have the most amusing morning ritual

Every morning, my bicycle commute takes me past Columbia Skytrain station. Every morning, there are 24 and Metro paper hawkers on the sidewalk.

I now have them trained: I slow to about 10 km/h and head for the curb, they hold out some papers, and my daily sudoku needs are satisfied.

That is all; have a good March.

Sushi Man North Van

When I first moved to North Vancouver, the locals immediately started asking me if I had been to Sushi Man yet. It was a couple of months before I went, under duress of a sort with one of the locals. I say under duress because I get obstinate when something is repeatedly pushed at me – for example, I have yet to read Life of Pi, simply because too many people have told me to do so.

At any rate, I finally went to see what all the fuss was about. As it turns out, the place is pretty good. The sushi is cheap, the service is very quick, and the quality is quite good for cheap sushi. I wouldn’t call it the most amazing sushi place I have ever visited, or even my favourite in the greater Vancouver area, but I will say that it’s well worth a visit if you’re on the north shore and require something quick, easy, and cheap for dinner. I go back frequently for lunch and dinner, eat-in and take-out. I did find a bone once in my salmon sashimi, but I’ve forgiven them that.

I would have had photos of the food as well, but I was too hungry to wait long enough to take them. Another time, maybe.

Nepali Goodness in Vancouver

Smiley Abi

All photos: Matt Musselman.

This is Abi. He owns Cafe Kathmandu.

When I first met Abi last July, I asked him if I could read a magazine while I waited for my friends. As a Gemini, this would be the first time I ever made it on time; at 45 minutes early, however, I was afraid I would wear out my welcome at this new Nepali restaurant. It was ok by Abi and he made sure I had enough tea during the long wait.

Since then, Abi has become my favourite restauranteur. He recognizes me whenever I visit so it almost feels like Cheers.

But it gets better!

Bhutuwaa with chiuraa

What you see above is bhutuwaa with chiuraa. Bhutuwaa is the goaty one. “Marinated in savory spices, then pan fried,” I once ordered it hot, confident in the strength of my stomach lining. Yet Abi-hot rather exceeded acceptable levels of hot, bringing me face to face with a then unexperienced level of vicious brain-burning frenzy.

Chiuraa is rice, flattened with what I presume are mini steamrollers to a slightly crunchy texture.

Khasiko maasu

Khasiko maasu, the night’s curry choice, again featured goat. Sprinkled with cilantro leaves, the stew-like sauce came from the tarkaari, or medium-sized dish, part of the menu.

While we did order two tipan tapan (small) dishes, the singadaa – samosa-like pastries with a pink dipping sauce – looked too yummy for their own good and disappeared before the camera was remembered.

I wised up when the Llasa momo arrived and behold! –

Llasa Momo

The most wonderful dumplings on earth, with a sesame-cilantro sauce! I sincerely believe that this sauce is the thing to get people over their cilantro inhibitions, just as Worcestershire sauce is the road to anchovy love. The dumplings themselves, we wondered if the dough was homemade; none of that plastic taste you get from frozen food aisle varieties.

Now that you have a great first impression of Abi, here he is in his serious pose. Nepalis, he told us, get all formal when they take photos.

Serious Abi

Blim and Chelsea Chainsaw presents: The Freak Cinema

THURSDAY MARCH 2nd!!

At BLiM Studios, -197 East 17th Avenue (just off Main St.)

Chelsea Chainsaw presents the next installment of THEE FREAK SINEMA

Like to get sick? think you’re pretty sick? come on out, we’ll make you sick!
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Opulent self-indulgence or Claim to fame?

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(Image credit to vcbf.ca)

Thank you Channel M Cantonese news, for now I know about the first city-wide Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival this year.

Half of me wants to groan because it sounds like opulent self-indulgence but the other half remembers how delightful it was to see streets lined with blossom-laden trees until it all “snowed” at the end of the season. The latter half reminded me a few days ago to have the camera handy this year!

The dates for events are a bit ambiguous so far with a kick-off date of March 7th or 8th at Burrard Station. Two other events that caught my eye were the NHK Japan Screenings at Robson Square (read: foreign flicks) and the announcement of the city’s must-see blossoms. The latter page is as-yet a bit sparse so stay tuned to those pages for further details.

The Templeton blogs

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The Templeton, originally uploaded by JOHNNY FOTO.

The Templeton, a hip food joint on Granville, has a new blog [tem]. The blog is just starting up, but they did the smart thing and added menus to it so visitors (like you) can see what the eatery offers to be eaten.

They also sell Jones Soda ice-cream floats which are so totally awesome I don’t even want to blog about them because to blog about them would be to try to describe the divine using mere words. We don’t need any blog induced ice cream float riots in the streets of Vancouver.

They also have a Flickr account here [tfa].

Oh Gawd… the Olympics have already started

Mayor Sam Sullivan was so pleased about being on television during the closing ceremonies of the Winter Games that he’s going to be flying the Olympic flag over City Hall until the games close in 2010 [cbc]. Not to be a cynic, but why don’t we pour some more syrup over the feel good glow? It’s four years people, let’s hold off on the celebrations until we find out with there will be a 2010 Games, and if it’ll mean we’re all homeless from cost overruns.

Montreal is laughing at us right now.

Back to going to work green

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Skytrain, originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

After a month of working at Oakridge I’m back at Metrotown, which means that I’m back taking public transit, which means I’m back on the Skytrain.

I heart the Skytrain, truely I do. It’s the best way to get from point A to point B in the city. As long as both points are near a station.

A Letter

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28 February 2006

Douglas,

It was so great to catch your reading last night with Chuck Palahniuk. At the end of the night, however, you seemed a little . . . down, and we didn’t even see you leave the auditorium. We, your friends and fans, are worried that maybe you got the wrong idea.

Sure, the line of people to see Chuck was a bit longer. And I think people may have bought more of Chuck’s books at the book table. Perhaps we aimed a few more questions Chuck’s way during the discussion. And the books-made-into-movies discussion was more his territory, you have to admit.

But look at it this way:

Hardly a person who was sitting in that auditorium last night doesn’t have a bent-cover copy of Life After God sitting on a shelf at home somewhere. We’ve given countless copies of City of Glass as gifts to out of town relatives, and finally gave in and bought one for ourselves as well.

We’re even running out of books for you to sign. When the newspaper says you’re going to be at Chapters on Robson, or doing a talk somewhere, we put it on our calendar. We’re there.

And we could have brought one of our unsigned books with us, if not . . . well . . . first off we forgot to bring them, but even if we hadn’t, we gave away Hey, Nostradamus! to a best friend, saying, “You’ve got to read this — this is awesome.” Our copy of Generation X looks too tattered to be seen with in public. And we still can’t get that flaky coworker to give back Miss Wyoming.

If somehow there had been pre-release copies of JPod for sale last night, you would have been signing copies in droves. We hope your signing hand is ready for us this May. Consider that fair warning.

So, at any rate, we hope you didn’t interpret the warm first-time-visitor reception we gave Chuck as anything more than it was. And if they host a reading for you down in Portland anytime soon, and they aren’t equally as friendly, well, perhaps it’s high time we load up a bus, drive the whole lot of us down there, dress up in red and yellow clown suits, and kick some crunchy Oregonian ass.

Your friends,

The Generation whom you gave an identity . . . in the city that loves you.

(. . . and who will never look at Ronald McDonald the same way again after last night, I imagine. . . .)

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