Archive for June, 2007

Elfsar Comics a nice find in Yaletown


Elfsar Collection

Originally uploaded by JNadiger.

A lot of cities lack a good comic book store. When I lived in Kelowna for example I made a weekly drive to Vernon (about an hour each way) to get my books. Vancouver is blessed with at least three top notch stores. I’ve written about Golden Age before [mbv] but recently I’ve started going to Elfsar [es] down in Yaletown and have been quite happy with the switch.

Nothing against Golden Age of course, it’s still a great store, but for someone like me who has a regular and large reading list the fact that Elfsar advertises a 20% discount on all pre-orders is great since nearly all of my comics are pre-ordered or regular monthly books. Elfsar is generally new reader friendly, and not a horror show like some stores I’ve been to with piles of junk cluttering the place, and the staff has always been friendly and helpful to me. Nobody snears and rolls their eyes if I’m buying a larger than average number of Bendis books or whatever my very non-indie reading habits might be, something I’ve come across in other cities.
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Occupied

On my way to a Microsoft networking event I attended last week (and realized shortly after the demo started that I was in WAY over my head, so I quietly slipped out. Yikes.) I stopped by a little shop in Gastown that sells cool gifts made by internet crafters called Occupied. Ms. Jenelle (that’s the name on her business card) sells items in her store from artists that I’ve seen on the web like Marilyn Patrizio and My Paper Crane.

It’s a great little store and I bought a pink reusable shopping bag shown below. Every time I’ve been to her store, she takes great care in wrapping the goods before giving them to you. I opted out of the extra wrapping, so she just tied it up with string for me:
pinkpeegsbag.jpg
I didn’t really notice before last week that there are a lot of small boutique type stores opening up in Gastown. I’ll be back to check out the others frequently.

The new Matthew Good single hits iTunes

Matthew Good’s new single “Born Losers” is now up on the iTunes music store [iT]. It’s worth checking out, come on it’s only 99 cents, though it’s not quite the radical departure he was talking about taking back when he released the best of collection In A Coma. The rest of the album, titled Hospital Music, will be out on July 31st and streaming from Good’s website from June 29th [mg].

As regular readers know I’m a big fan of the MG, so much so that even Billy Corgan’s dragging the Smashing Pumpkins out of retirement and releasing their first new single in years this week was not enough to beat “Born Losers” as my first Tuesday download from the iTunes.

The White Stripes in Vancouver

I am not a big fan of the outdoors, and not a big fan of outdoor shows. There’s nothing about watching a good show that makes me think, “This would be twice as awesome if I was standing in a puddle.” I suppose then it was a good thing that I did not put a few facts together in my head and realize that the White Stripes show at Deer Lake was going to be in the actual outside, because if I had I would probably have passed on a great show.

Now I’d still contend that seeing the White Stripes at the Commodore or a small indoors venue would have been much more awesome, but it was still a good show. The music was actually mixed incredibly well, not only for an outdoors show but for a live show period. The Jack and Meg White combination of the two person band works just as well live as it does on the albums.

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Back to the Hamilton Street Grill


Hamilton Street Grill

Originally uploaded by mag3737.

Back in January during Dine Out Vancouver I went to the Hamilton Street Grill and blogged about the experiance [mbv]. It was a generally positive review though it ended on a negative note when I called the steak that I had “bland”. The service was great, the sides were great but the main course was in my opinion less than great.

At the time the resturant’s owner Neil Wyles jumped in on the comments, and I was quite impressed that a) he was not a jerk about the review and b) he’d be interested in finding out why I did not like the meal. Most places I have a bad meal the meal is bad because nobody seems to care, and that clearly was not the case at the Hamilton Street Grill, so I was interested in trying again.

Since I now buy my comics at the resturant’s next door neighboor [es] I’ve often been downtown during lunch hour with a bag full of reading to do. Last week I decided to head into the Hamilton Street Grill for lunch. Find out what I thought below the jump.
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No Vancouver is not getting the iPhone


Steve presenta l’iPhone

Originally uploaded by alepwc.

I’ve been saying that Canada is not getting the iPhone at the same time as the US is for awhile now, despite the fact that some American tech journalists have been saying otherwise. However I know how Rogers and Fido would be gearing up for something this big and it’s been obvious this was not going to happen for months.

Since like most of the rest of populated Canada Vancouver is within spitting distance of the US boarder a few people seem to want to be heading down south to either Bellingham or Seattle to pick up their own iPhone and bring it back to Rogers. I can not be emphatic enough when I say that unless your primarily living and using an AT&T plan in the US that buying an iPhone on launch date this Friday to bring it back to Canada to use with Rogers or Fido (Vancouver’s only GSM carriers) is a very bad idea.

If you really want an iPhone and can’t wait for the Canadian launch, which yet has no date, then at least wait a month to see the specifics of how the iPhone works with and without an AT&T plan. There are suggestions that it won’t work even as an iPod without activation on the AT&T network, and Apple has said it will only be sold with a two year contract. Add to that the fact that nobody is going to know how to unlock the phone, making it useable on networks other than AT&T, for at least a few weeks and buying now and asking questions later is a risky move.

Having said that if you don’t listen to me and go buy an iPhone I’d love to hear how it is.

Tiki Bar TV: maybe the best web thing in Vancouver


Tiki Bar TV

Originally uploaded by Laughing Squid.

I feel ashamed that Metroblogging Vancouver (that’s us) has been online and blogging for well over a year and we have never once mentioned one of the great Vancouver internet things the video podcast Tiki Bar TV [wp]. Chalk it up to the fact that despite being a fan of the show since I found them on the iTunes music store not long after the video iPod hit the streets, I never realized that the show is made right here in Vancouver. In fact it was not until I heard them on the This Week In Tech Podcast that I knew all this drinking was happening right in my own city.

If you have not watched the podcast it is really good. Now I watch and listen to a lot of podcasts which are really interesting but amaturish, but Tiki Bar TV is like real TV good. Better than real TV in fact, and its one of the most enjoyable video podcasts out there on the web that’s not produced by a major entertainment company.

If you haven’t seen the show yet the format is pretty simple, though not like anything that came before it. In each five minute(ish) episode a problem is presented to the citizens of the Tiki Bar (Doctor Tiki, PhD, MD, USB / Johnny Johnny, Mixologist / Lala) to which the only cure is a complicated beverage designed by Doctor Tiki and made by Johnny Johnny. Rounding out the show is viewer mail, dancing and general zaniness. Interneters tend to drop by, the most recent being Digg’s Kevin Rose.

If any of this sounds even vaugely interesting please check the show’s website out where they’re streaming their latest episode [tbt]. It’s funny. Plus it gives me a reason to use my Apple TV, which I always enjoy.

Go Fish Vancouver

Go Fish

Vancouver’s on the sea, and yet truthfully we don’t really have many great fish n’ chips type resturants in town. We do sushi like nobody’s business, but the sort of English style batter and fries fish is sort of not our game. There’s a few decent places, but until this week my favorite fish place in B.C. was still in the interior and not Vancouver proper. That was until the girlfriend convinced me that we should head to Go Fish by Granville Island [tl].

Go Fish is pretty much a shack in a parking lot, not exactly the sort of place you’d expect some of the best fish n’ chips in the city to be served, but its location mere yards away from the docks mean that the fish is fresh as you’ll find. If you’re eating it that probably means it was caught earlier that day, which is something you can’t say about most resturants. Again it’s fried for the most part, though there are some non-fried options on the menu, but sushi this isn’t so don’t go there expecting to feed a van full of vegans. It’s seafood, really damn good seafood.

The 4 Eleven:
Go Fish
Address: False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf, 1505 West First Avenue, Vancouver
Phone: 604-730-5040

Bare Buns Run Anyone?

For those that wanted to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride event that Carol had posted about earlier in May, but were just a little shy of riding around town nude (or don’t know how to ride a bike), you still have another chance in a more secluded area.

The 11th Annual Bare Buns Run is happening down at Wreck Beach on August 12th at 11:30AM. The run is for 5 KMs and costs $25 to register which, like many runs covers the cost of a “Bare Buns Run” T-Shirt. You can grab more information from the Bare Buns Run site. (There is a tiny thumbnail with bare bodies so careful clicking at work. NSFW)

Thanks go to Keith Lim one of our previous bloggers for tipping us off about this event.

Ikea Parking

Today I decided to pick up a few things from Ikea in Richmond. There’s just something about cheap build-it-yourself furniture that really satisfies that need to accomplish something on a weekend.

Compared to the newer Coquitlam location, there’s quite a bit less parking at the Richmond location especially when no one uses the secondary lot on the far side of the building (bet you probably didn’t even realize there was another squeezed over there.)
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