Archive for August, 2007

The nicest in all the land?

goldenarches detail

Originally uploaded by Orbularity.

Is the Kerrisdale McDonalds the nicest in Vancouver? In the world? The staff seem better trained than any I’ve been in, it’s clean and the risk of being offered drugs in exchange for McNuggets is rather low. Could it be a gentle sort of magnificent that one hesitates to apply to a giant fast food chain selling unhealthy bits of fried meats?

It has the sort of advantages that small town McDonalds have, that few in Vancouver can match. It’s in a part of town that really has a negligible transient population, so you can use the bathrooms without finding someone shirtless bathing in the sink. It’s not as busy as the mall locations, such as Metrotown, so the staff actually have time to clean the restaurant, and actually have time to be trained properly.

It is, as far as McD’s go, pretty good. It’s certainly much nicer than the one that I worked at, and the staff seemed much better at their jobs than I ever was on the grill.

Burnaby Rubble

This is the second big fire on Hastings Street in Burnaby in about a year. About a year ago, a bank and the buildings next to it were destroyed by fire on Gilmore & Hastings Street.
Since Thursday, I’ve been up and down this spot about 6 times or so and the police have been there just about every time (except last night).
I haven’t found much information about this fire other than than it’s currently being investigated.

A few more pictures I took of the aftermath of this big fire are posted here.

Fake snow looks, errr… fake

Fake snow and filming on Cordova

Walking to Waterfront station today I noticed that Thurlow was closed by Cordova and it had snowed. Or rather it looked like it had snowed. Or actually it looked like some had dumped out several hundred boxes of soggy laundry detergent flakes on the ground. It was a movie shoot, and the fake snow probably looks much better on screen than it does in real life.
I’ve done a bit of net popping around to see if I could figure out what film was being shot there, but I haven’t found anything. My guess it’s either Christmas Cottage or Snow Demon, given the winter effects [vdc].
And by the way, Watchmen filming in Vancouver? Nerdgasm.

Update: Really fake snow actually looks not bad in still photography.

A little Vancouver Mc’Lovin’


Originally uploaded by Left over usa.

If you haven’t heard that the new comedy Superbad is based on the high school lives of screenwriters Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg and that those high school lives took place in Vancouver, then obviously you’ve not been reading The Province [vp]. Don’t worry I forgive you, neither have I.

Too bad it didn’t get filmed in Vancouver, but instead was shot in Glendale California and LA. That’s a nice ironic twist where Vancouver stands in for pretty much every city in the union. Having said that I should point out that while the movie is based on Vancouver lives I don’t think it’s actually set in Vancouver, but rather sort of anywhere.

Superbad opens today.

Ritz it up, Vancouver

On the walk to work this morning my husband and I passed the site where Comor Sports used to sit on Thurlow and Georgia. The location now appears to be a potential sales room for the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vancouver. I looked at him and said, “I bet it’s going back there,” and I pointed back up the street to 1133 West Georgia where they were currently jackhammering away at the old abandoned infrastructure of a building.

Flickr Photo Credit: jmv

The world-renowned Ritz-Carlton hotel brand will touch down in Vancouver by 2011.

A 127-room Ritz-Carlton hotel will occupy the first 20 floors of a new 58-storey, Arthur Erickson-designed twisting tower to be built at 1133 West Georgia…

…The Georgia Street location, between Thurlow and Bute, has been a vacant and derelict Vancouver eyesore for more than a decade. It was originally to be a private members’ club and then a strata-title office building in the 1990s, but both projects failed and it has remained a concrete shell ever since.[Vancouver Sun]

I never used to think of Vancouver as a ‘Ritzy’ city but I suppose it will fit in nicely across from the Shangri-La. Although, under the scaffolding for said 61-storey tower we usually pass about 3 people sleeping on the street, but that’s the way life goes in Vancouver… isn’t it.

Beckham’s back playing, so he should be in Vancouver

At the risk of turning this into the Vancouver Football (Soccer) Blog I should note that David Beckham is back to playing football after a long period injuried following his transfer from Real Madrid to the LA Galaxy. What’s that got to do with Vancouver you ask? Well the LA Galaxy will be playing a demonstration game, a friendly game, at BC Place on October 3rd against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

We’ve mentioned it before, as recently as yesterday, but it’s worth pointing out again. That and the fact that it seems Beckham’s returning to full health means that he’s more likely to feature in the game as opposed to being saved for regular season Galaxy games and his English national team matches. Plus if you’re like me and paying to see him play it would be nice to be seeing him at his prime.

How Toronto FC can bring the MLS to Vancouver

Oh Canada!

Originally uploaded by

With the attendance success of the newly formed Major League Soccer franchise Toronto FC, which received a very nice write up in the Guardian today [lg], the question is what does this mean for Canada’s other major soccer loving cities. With Vancouver proving during the recent Under-20 World Cup that it can transform Swangard into a major soccer centre, with temporary rafters vastly increasing the capacity beyond the standard Whitecaps seating, we should at least be on the radar for the league.

The Toronto FC has proven that the multi-cultural makeup of major Canadian cities, including Montreal and Vancouver, is such that a “minority” sport can still get the sort of support that the more established national past-times do. Sure the FC aren’t about to start outselling the Leafs, but their 20,000 seat stadium has been sold out for every game and that looks like it’s going to be the case next year too despite a fairly crap year on the field.

With the Whitecaps moving to a new modern, and larger, stadium downtown [vwc] the question is will that help the MLS decide that Vancouver is ripe for expansion? We’re already on the list [wp]. The other question is what will that mean for the Whitecaps, since it’s not likely that Vancouver can support two professional soccer teams.


Verrus, Revisited

A couple of weeks back I raved about the convenience of the Verrus automated pay-by-phone parking program [verrus]. Most of what I said I still hold to be true: it’s convenient, eliminates the need to carry a bunch of meter change around, easy to renew without going back to the meter or lot, and so on.

But regarding whether it works . . . well . . . it works great as long as the Impark employee who happens across your car actually checks the records for the right parking lot [impark].

Sunday, a pleasant late lunch at Hon’s on Keefer Street was slightly soured by the discovery of a parking ticket on the car windshield.

The ticket claimed that I had failed to display a valid receipt for a parking facility about 2 blocks away on Gore Street. Of course I didn’t display a receipt for the Gore Street facility — I wasn’t parked there.

I have no idea how many cars the enforcer ticketed before he realized the device was set to the wrong lot number, but given the slow adoption of the program, I wouldn’t be surprised if it never seemed odd that the handful of pay-by-phoners all seemed to be illegally parked.

Impark was gracious about cancelling the ticket when we called them and explained the problem, but they couldn’t refund the time and trouble the mistake caused us.

Is it enough of a problem not to use Verrus pay by phone? I don’t think so. Out of 70 or so uses, this is the first problem I’ve had, which loses out to the huge convenience of being able to renew my parking remotely, but I do wonder how often this kind of thing happens.

A Letter about Vancouver, from Greece

I’m vacationing in Greece right now, so my thoughts on Vancouver right now
are informed by the contrast between where I am and home. Let me say this:
the small island I am staying on, is, more or less, paradise. But Vancouver
isn’t all that bad.

Late to the Hot Yoga Party

For the last six months or so, a few people in my office have been telling me about how great hot yoga is. I’ve tried just regular yoga and found it okay for sure, but it didn’t seem to grab me like it seems to interest other people. I decided to try a hot yoga class just to see what it was like courtesy of my friend, Olga, who gave a “first class free” coupon to a studio in Yaletown.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect other than it was hot, sweaty, and so sweaty while doing the yoga that I could expect my clothes to be soaked. I followed the instructions on the coupon – no eating 2 hours before, be well hydrated and bring water. I decided on just bringing some workout clothes with me and to rent everything at the studio because I didn’t want to drag two wet towels, wet clothes and bottles of water home with me on the bus. The yoga place I went to rented everything – towels, mats, lockers and had bottles of water and juice for a fee.

The area where we did the yoga was a large, dry sauna area with mirrors on three walls and a rubbery floor. It was clean, clean, clean and I felt warm and comfortable right away – just resting before the class started. Once the class started, I found the exercises to be simple, but not easy in the heat and it turns out that although my body is pretty comfortable in front of a computer 10+ hours per day, it is NOT comfortable bending or stretching anymore. Yikes. The class was 90 minutes long and I lasted 70. Not bad for a first try. The instructor spoke quickly with reminders of breathing, keeping the legs tight, and on and on and was very conscientious of the class – checking in to see if her students were okay, and as I was sitting outside the hot yoga room, I noticed her peaking out the window to make sure I was not fainting in the hallway. I wasn’t. I was just happy to feel some cool air.

Overall, it was a good experience, and now that I’ve realized I could use some more stretching and bending of my body, I think I’ll try a few more classes around town as there are hot yoga studios popping up all over the place. The next one I’ll try is somewhere on Commercial Street.

If anyone is interested in going to a free hot yoga class in Yaletown, leave me a comment and I can send you “a try a free class” coupon. I’ve got two coupons.

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