Archive for February, 2006

Vancouver needs an Apple store

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The Apple Store, originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Apple’s having a special press event today in California, to release some new top secret products [il]. When Apple releases new stuff they tend to show up at the local Apple Store that day, or a few days later.

The closest Apple Store to us is in Seattle. Toronto has one, don’t you think it’s time Vancouver got one? Then I wouldn’t have to wait for my new toys to show up in the mail.

It’s good that days end

One of the big things i miss about not commutting from North Van home every day is the fact that i don’t get to walk down to the seabus every day in feb and october and get such fabulous views of some incredible sunsets.

but walking home from work on granville island (7 minutes instead of an hour) still provides some nice colour some days.


A message to North Vancouver Drivers…

Dear Drivers of North Vancouver,

In the interest of my safety as a pedestrian, cyclist, and fellow driver, I would request that you stop treating me as though I am completely invisible. Being run into while stopped in my car in the intersection was bad enough, but hitting me as I crossed at an actual crosswalk as a pedestrian was really, truly unnecessary. Also, it stings a little and while I am uninjured, it makes me get a bit freaked out.

Am I really that nondescript that it’s impossible to notice me? I have yet to be hit while biking to and from work daily, but I am starting to fear for my physical well-being.

In future, please try your best not to hit me.

Much Appreciated,

Jenny Lee Silver

Weekend Excursion

My husband and I generally try to do at least one interesting thing per weekend, and often we drag other people along with us. This past weekend was no exception. To pass the time on a snowy, cold, wet afternoon, we got together with some friends and took a drive to Steveston Village. We went simply because we had never been to Steveston (or, in fact, Richmond,) and thought maybe we should.

Getting there was pretty easy, we just kept driving south until we saw something called Steveston Highway, which we assumed would get us to Steveston. It was a good assumption, since that is in fact where we ended up, without any detours even.

Our observations on Richmond: it’s flat and full of strip malls. In other words, it was very reminiscent of a whole lot of southern, southwestern, and eastern Ontario.

Observations on Steveston: Nice beach, we’re coming back with our bikes to explore when it’s not snowing, and we’re going to bring kites. Who doesn’t love kites? Also, there are what appear to be fantastic patios in Steveston – the kind where you can sit back with friends and enjoy the daylight right into evening. We’re definitely going back for that.

What it comes down to, however, is that we went to Steveston for a Blenz hot chocolate on a snowy day, and it was good.

Stuff Happening in Manila

With all the hoopla over Dubai and Dublin, most Metrobloggers seem to have forgotten that there’s trouble afoot in the Philippines. It’s the fourth day since a state of national emergency was declared, after a coup against President Gloria Arroyo was nipped short of its conclusion.

While Clair Ching can talk about overpriced convenience stores one minute and then concern over the growing paranoia, others stick to the fun stuff, others report on the unpatriotism associated with rampant fastfood munching, and others attempt a very measured photojournalism before rushing to the safety of home. One Metroblogger, Peter, posted about which routes have barricades, and added an eerie photo of an almost traffic-less Manila.


Jeremy Latham has blogged [jlb] news that Ron English’s culture jamming film will be running in Vancouver from the 27th until the 2nd of March. I’m personally not familiar with English’s work, so this isn’t a recomendation, just some information.

The show will be shown at Vaneast Cinema on Commercial Drive.

Culture jamming, that’s a word I haven’t heard since the Clinton years.

More on ports

Here at Metroblogging Vancouver we’ve pointed out that some of the ports included in the P&O deal that’s seeing the United Arab Emirates’ government take over ownership of several American ports, are Vancouver ports [mbv]. The deal has caused a stir because of fears of terrorism, and because it’s a way for the US Democrats to make Bush look weak on national defense which is usually his strong area in the public’s eye.

We also reported that with the deal a Dubai Metblogger posted about how the city was posed to be the next great city of the world, like New York today or London was in its day [mbv][mbd].

Now the site has directly taken on the issue of the ports purchase [mbd], arguing that the issue really isn’t about security instead it is:

a racial and religious issue because of the misconceptions that most Americans have with the Arab World. Most Americans do not know much about Dubai & the UAE, but they know it is situated in the Persian Gulf, they know it is an Arab country and thus they feel that it is not safe.

More Excitement Gleaned from The Province

One edition of The Province and so much to learn! Following in the footsteps of other Vancouver-area bloggers who dissect local free media (I ripped my copy of The Province off a local restaurant so it counts as free), here are my wacky cullings:

Hope is the Chainsaw Carving Capital of the Entire World, though the one website calls it the Chainsaw Carving Capital of Canada and others more modestly simply use the Chainsaw Carving Capital:

It all started with a large tree in Memorial Park that was diagnosed with a bad case of root rot. While local residents anguished over the loss of the tree, Hope artist, Pete Ryan, suggested that there might be a way to gain something positive from the situation.

Thanks to Pete’s vision, the tree was cut down from a high point on the trunk so that a 12 foot stump remained behind. Pete then set to work on the stump with his chainsaws. The result was a carving of a bald eagle with a salmon in its talons.

The Province tells us that Pete Ryan “carved Michael Jordan and Pavel Bure busts for a New West sports bar and a life-sized 1937 Ford Roadster for a Langley carwash.” He also did a digestive system for a Seattle doctor. **Note: the latter was not life-sized.**

(For the history fanatics among us, check out the Hope’s timeline. Stallone fans can take the First Blood tour of Hope.)

Next up, as part of Heritage Week, some information on James Johnstone, who can research your home’s history for $500 – $2000.

While this seems extravagant, as a museum employee, I can vouch that this sort of research is not easy. Historical photos cost money, mostly for the printing and the time staff spends searching for your photo. Then there are the hours looking up information, poring through old records and wishing that people had wised up earlier and stopped handwriting every darned thing. Johnstone explains, ” This price is based on the Vancouver Historical Society’s recommended rate of $25.00 per hour for home history research services.” I wish I was getting that.

To give an example of heritage home renovations gone right, the Sunday Homes section looked at a 1916 Shaughnessy home that transformed from a “rickey rooming house” ugly duckling into, 18 months later, the Cinderella of the local market. Personally, I am too afraid of ghosts to attempt living in any house older than a current elementary school graduate, but hey, good for the rich folks who can afford this.

Then, again in the heritage vein, W.P. Kinsella brings up railway gardens in his editorial. For people who don’t have access to Edwinna von Baeyer’s Rhetoric and Roses, A History of Canadian Gardening, Kinsella summarizes their history by describing early train stations as ugly with “repulsive grey cinders” and railways as “notoriously cheap”: “Sir William Van Horne, the old robber baron himself, approved of railway gardens, for they ultimately reflected well on the railroads, were inexpensive and made money by attracting travellers.”

That has got to be the most interesting edition of The Province ever. All that’s missing is a sudoku puzzle.

Update: All this talk about chainsaw art, has elicited some reminiscing about teenhoods spent in unsavoury locales.

Red Paperclip Guy Gets Even More Famous


Originally uploaded by Kyle MacDonald.

Yep, Kyle MacDonald, our local red paperclip dude, made it into the Unwind section of The Province. Forget links, you have to be a subscriber.

Writer Peter Clough (who invites readers to submit ideas of people he should write about – us?) is a cheeky naysayer, exuding sarcastic incredulity in Kyle’s project. Readers who’ve been with the Vancouver Metblog might remember that Kyle’s 2005-2006 project is to trade his way from a paperclip to a house. He just traded a van for a recording contract. Peter thinks the house is unlikely.

To Peter, I say, houses aren’t that difficult to come by. Vancouver-area houses, nah, that’s impossible. You’re right, Kyle won’t be living close to his hometown of Belcarra, that’s for sure.

But the rest of BC? Checked out Port Hardy listings?

How about Saskatchewan? A friend bought a house near Moose Jaw for only $150. If Kyle doesn’t mind sharing his house with haunted dentures and teabag wallpaper decor, his new home’s now owner is just waiting to unload the place on him.

Parking like a drunk

I have to admit that I’m not sure if this a widespread problem or if its just the idiots on my street, or what. I’m talking about people in residential areas who angle-park across the sidewalk, with their back wheels on the street, and the front wheels on their lawn, completely blocking the sidewalk. Lest you think that parking is limited on the street, let me assure you that it’s most definitely not. It’s not even the same people that do it all the time. It’ll happen at a number of different houses on the block.

Apparently it’s gotten to the point that the city has taken to announcing that they will be writing tickets for those idiots who park like this. I like a better approach. The next car on my street that blocks the sidewalk is going to have me walking across the damn hood. And please, try and call the cops and explain what happened, and how your car was parked when it happend. I wouldn’t imagine you’d get much sympathy from them.

Is this common around the Lower Mainland, or do I just live in a city of morons?

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