Archive for August, 2006

Hippie Days

Hippies intent on getting their whole peace, love and happiness message out, I have a message for you: your marketing stinks.

I blundered into the Hippie Fest in Vancouver on Fourth Avenue on the weekend – in the heart of hippie-gentrified Kitsilano. I had no idea there was even something on until I saw more than the usual number of tie-died, bandana wearing hippies wandering towards the action. I followed the unusually focused happy bunch until I arrived in the middle of the festival – well, the middle of four blocked-off streets, anyway.

There were some classic cars of the ’60s and ’70s on display – sort of like a car show, but without the requisite models or professional wrestlers. A few vendors were selling shirts, jewelry or drinks, but there were barely enough of them to warrant blocking off the area to traffic. A big sound stage was the venue for some classic hippie musicians, but the few people on the streets seemed too embarrassed for the unfortunate performers to give them much heed.

A great day In Van

I’ve lived in a lot of different cities across a few different countries. I recently came back to Vancouver for a lot of reasons–one of which is just the sheer diversity of faces, colours, tastes, etc. For example, on a signle afternoon about two weeks ago my girlfriend, a freind from Seattle, and I hit a family-friendly gay parade, a street festival in Chinatown, an open air faire in Oppenheimer park, a tour of Japantown’s history, and finished it all off with some fireworks.

The Bridge of Death


I would suspect you could shorten your life span in some way just by driving across it. I could come up with something more definitive if I were any good at crunching numbers but it’s so easy to see the big bold writing on the wall: The Pattullo Bridge is Deadly [wiki]

The Rio on Broadway

Rio on Broadway, Snakes on a Plane queue
Snaking queue on a street
Rio Theatre on Broadway, Thu 17 Aug 2006

This photo is the queue outside the Rio Theatre on Broadway for the Thursday midnight advance screening of Snakes on a Plane.

For many who attended the event, it might have been their first time in that theater, as it was for me, despite its central and public-transit accessible location (just across the street plus a few doors down from the Broadway Skytrain station). The Rio is one of an increasingly-rare breed, the single-screen cinema.

Stepping inside feels like stepping inside an old-time theatre.

A Better Place To Work

OverviewA Better Place To Work as their url goes to say, is what Workspace strives to be. Like Jonathan in the post before mentioned the unveiling of Workspace was filled with numerous supporters and various people interested in what WorkSpace is.

From the people I had an opportunity to meet and chat with, it seemed predominately like it was all tech related independents that were interested in the concept. There were a few freelance writers and what not that were present that really enjoyed the idea of being able to share creatively in such an environment.

Opening day at the PNE!

Well, it’s the Second to the last Saturday of the Summer and we all know what that means! The Fair at the PNE! Ever since my parents and I moved into Vancouver 25 years ago, we’ve been going to “the Fair” almost every year – a tradition that I hope to continue with my own family.

A word to those who are are new to the fair…. DO NOT get off the Hastings Street exit off the Trans Canada highway, particularly on the weekends. Go through the tunnel and take the McGill St exit. You’ll save about 30 minutes of frustration duking it out with the other SUVs and minivans. If you go through McGill, you can usually sneak through the back and get good parking… easy peasy.

Workspace a sign of good times ahead

Vancouver’s technorati elite were out for a good time at the Workspace unveiling party on Friday night.

Like many of the MetroBlogging Vancouver crowd, I checked out the get together in the heart of Gastown along with web developers, communicators, photographers and other creative professionals who wanted to par-tay. Great meeting y’all!

It was a fun time, with lots of good Thai food, pleasant conversation, quickly refilling wine glasses and new acquaintances made. The space looks super cool, retaining its industrial look with some modern finishes, with a great view of the waterfront and the historical train yard.

Workspace will provide a shared work environment for independent professionals who need a place to work on projects and meet with clients but don’t need a big office space – basically, the perfect solution for all those Web 2.0 startups.

Free Friday Frenzy (some 18 Aug events)

There’s quite a few events happening this evening (Friday 18 August 2006), but with a little planning and a lot of rushing around, you could attend part of many of them. Below are just the ones I know of that are nominally free–but play nice and buy food if you’re at a restaurant, drinks if you go to a bar, pay transit fare if you’re riding, or make a donation to the organizers if such is requested.

Begin. 6:30 pm–BIFF is having a fannish show and tell night (or, if you prefer, the frog for rent creativity challenge). Skip out early; 8:00 pm–Robson Square Summertime Dance, put on by DanceSport BC. The first half hour is a professional dance lesson. Tonight’s class: the Social Foxtrot. General dancing and dance performances alternate throughout the rest of the night, with contests and giveaways near the end. Admission by donation and/or a non-perishable food item for the Food Bank. Rush off after the lesson, though, and you could make 9:09 pm, VCC-Clark Skytrain Station–Rise of the Robots! Skytrain Party, interactive public art put on by Newmindspace. It’s Robots on a Train! End the day with drop-ins to either (or both) of the Snakes on a MotherFarkin’ Fark Party (following the end of 10:20 pm SoaP show) or the unveiling of WorkSpace (21 Water Street, 8 till late; presumably it’s ok to be fashionably late). End. Or keep going. Up to you.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Blood Alley

Gastown’s Blood Alley has a bit of a bad reputation. Perhaps its the name? Perhaps its the junkies? Well other than the name there isn’t much to be worried about. Blood Alley is actually a really nice cobble-stoned alley that feels more like Old Town Montreal than downtown Vancouver, and about half way down there is a brand new joint called Salt.

Salt has a giant communal table on one side at which I’ve had a number of conversations with perfect strangers over the course of dinner. Dinner is a selection of 3 cheeses and meats, and 3 condiments, and the menu is written in chalk on the wall. Last year in Quebec City I discovered that restaurants who hand write thier menu sloppily on chalkboards make tastier food than ones who don’t. Anyway, for those who will still never venture down blood alley, here’s what it looks like:

Meetup: Tuesday at the Library Square Pub

That’s really all there is to say. It’s this Tuesday, August 22nd, at the Library Square Public House. Think of it as a pre-BarCamp meeting.

I’ll be there shortly after 8, owing to a bicycle race. Others are likely to want to show up a little earlier: RSVPs and approximate arrival times in the comments. Bring your nametags.

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