Archive for November, 2007

Did you buy nothing today?


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

I didn’t think so. Ah yes in case you missed it today is Buy Nothing Day [wp], the international social movement day of protest first organized in Vancouver by artist Ted Dave and is now controlled or directed by Adbusters [wp]. Whether or not they mean to include their own brand of shoes in the purchasing boycott, I’m not sure [ab].

The mall is still crowded today, so I suppose it’s not quite working. Do people actually buy less because of the day, or do they just buy more tomorrow or the next day? There’s no statistical evidence to support its effectiveness, anyone have any anecdotal evidence?>].

Also is the fact that they have their own brand of shoes meant to be ironic? I completely missed that phase of the magazine, and it just boggles my mind. Is this irony or money making? Someone please explain it to me.

Will 2010 mark Vancouver’s decline?


I was out east last week, and being in Montreal [mbm] reminded me of something that I’ve noticed before in other cities, the fact that sometimes an event or a period of time comes to define the city in such a way that the city seems and feels locked in that time period.

Edmonton feels like it’s still in the 1908s’ when the Oilers were winning Stanley Cups and West Edmonton Mall had just opened. Montreal feels like 1976 when they had the Olympics. Winnipeg largely feels, at least if you spend your time in the downtown core as opposed to the burbs, like 1919 just before the General Strike. Part of the reason for this, especially in the cases of Edmonton and Montreal, is that lots of money was poured into Edmonton during the oil boom of the ’80s for development, and the same with Montreal to prepare for the Olympics.

Vancouver has largely been pushed forward by an economic boom, and influx of money and people from around the Pacific Rim. Bits of it, such as the Skytrain lines and the area around Science World, seem like 1986 but for the most part it’s hard to apply a specific era to the city. Still will 2010 possibly be the high water mark in the development for Vancouver and the beginning of its nadir?

There’s still time to apply for the Violet Richardson Award

If you are or know someone who does some volunteer work in the community, and is between the ages of 14 to 17 years old, I would really encourage that person to apply for the Violet Richardson Award. I’ve sent out the applications via mail to the local schools and have only had a few inquiries so far. The deadline for the applications is December 1, 2007. I belong to a local community service club called The Soroptimists International of Vancouver and we regularly give out scholarships and bursaries to students. Although the deadline in the next couple of weeks, there’s still time to fill out the application and get it in to me.

Here are more details about this award:
The Violet Richardson Award is a program conducted by the Soroptimist International of the Americas Federation. As a volunteer service organization Soroptimist believes that by acknowledging young women’s volunteer involvement now, they will grow up to be vital active members of the community. The Violet Richardson Award honors young women between the ages of 14 and 17 for volunteer action such as fighting drugs, crime and violence, cleaning up the environment and working to end discrimination and poverty.

The Violet Richardson Award program begins at the local Soroptimist club level, where the type of award varies from a certificate and recognition at a club meeting or special event to a monetary gift to the young woman and/or her charity. Club level winners then become eligible to compete at the district level and the six district level winners are honored at the annual Founder Region Conference where the Region winner is announced. The Region winner is then one of 28 Soroptimist International of the Americas finalists, one of whom will receive a $2500 contribution to her volunteer organization.

If you are interested in getting an application, please send me a message at carol dot browne at gmail dot com and I can email you an application. I’ll also give you my contact information so you can either snail mail in the completed form, fax it to me or email it over.

I’ve attended two award ceremonies since joining the Soroptimists and volunteered to be the photographer (of course!) at both awards. I have some photos here if you’re interested…

It’s holiday season, it’s open season on retail clerks

Look up, Way up…

Originally uploaded by Always_be_closing.

It’s November so it seems that everyone is in a rush to get their holiday shopping done. Or it was raining and everyone wanted to get inside. Or there was some sort of sale on at Urban Behaviour, and that explains why they needed a bouncer at the door to control the crowds.

Either way it’s mall season around Vancouver, though honestly it always feels like mall season when you work there. Last year I was clever and transfered out of Metrotown before the fall rolled around, and so I avoided the rush by working on Robson. This year I’m back at Metrotow, where every holiday season it seems like people get in more and more foul moods.

Seriously folks if you’ve never had the joy of working in a mall during Christmas there’s nothing scarier than a holiday shopper after six hours in the mall. The only thing that comes close is when I used to be an usher at a movie theatre and had to tell people they couldn’t bring their own coffee into the theatre and they uniformly reacted as though I told them that we were going to kill their first born and deflower their second.

The Stanley Park Sea Wall Re-Opens Today

It’s been almost a year since a winter storm ravaged the west side of Stanley Park, forcing road and trail closures as well as preventing access to the Sea Wall but starting today – the gates have come down and the tourists are free to roam around the entire perimeter once again.

Over the last year paths have been re-paved, re-mulched, re-routed and trees have been cleared (whether some of that was necessary or not is open for discussion). The big hold-up on the Sea Wall was to make sure that the slippery slopes were stable enough to ensure trees and rocks were no longer at risk to tumble and slide down the cliffs.

The Park Board will be holding a ceremony and hosting a few events around the park, including a tour around the seawall to show off improvements. [News1130]

I’ve kept a VERY close eye on the Park and Sea Wall over the last year, and my most recent trip (all the way around) was last weekend. It will be interesting to see the progress continue. Actually, I sincerely hope to see the progress continue as this truly is Vancouver’s “Crown Jewel”.

How’s the airport David Beckham?

Marketing legend David Beckham is in town to kick the soccerballs tomorrow. If you want more information avoid the CBC’s site which apparently is being run by the children in a sort of Bring Your Child To Work Day thing. Their video descirbed as “David Beckham talks about LA Galaxy vs. Whitecaps game in Vancouver” is in fact a video of David Beckham signing a kid’s autograph (now on eBay) and then entering a team bus while some yahoo shouts “How do you like Vancouver David?”

You know because he’s been in YVR for half an hour I’m sure his opinion of Vancouver is really well formed. Good journalism there dinkwallet. It reminds me of my failed attempt as a journalist where I’d yell questions at Ujjal Singh Dosanjh along the lines of “How do you like my mother’s cooking?” and “What time did I wake up this morning?” Needless to say I was forced into new media.

In an actual interview with the press he talked up the importance of winning the game against the White Caps and noted [cbc]:

I’ve been lucky enough in my career to play in World Cups and some of the biggest games in world football, and exhibition games are part of that. Even at Real Madrid and Manchester United you play in exhibitions games.

Meanwhile the Galaxy are now managerless although if England miss out on World Cup Qualification they might have someone familiar to Beckham on the touchline in England manager Steve McClaren [lg].

Though I’m a fan of the Whitecaps, and a seasons’ ticket holder, let’s put this game into perspective. The Whitecaps are good for their level, but the Galaxy are not looking for a tough match here, they’re looking to expand their brand and market Beckham. Their last game was against not an MLS rival team, or one of Europe’s top clubs but Hollywood FC [wp] a team with actor Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) in goal and other Hollywood as well as retired footballers like Vinnie Jones, Danny Cannon (director of I Still Know What You Did Last Summer) and British rockers like Ian Astbury. Oh and Jimmy Jean-Louis who we all know as The Hatian from Heroes.

So yes, David Beckham wants to win tomorrow because to not win would be incredibly embarrasing for a team that on paper anyway should be light years beyond the Whitecaps. Still upsets happen, and the Whitecaps’ players could eat out on the story of how they upset Beckham and the Galaxy for years if they win.

That was a good idea.

Last week we took a visiting family member to see the Vancouver Giants play. Now that was a good idea. I’m afraid with all the frenzy of Canucks playing these days, I had kind of forgotten about the guys playing in the WHL. After going the game last week, I know my husband and I will be going back again. It’s exciting hockey for one thing – the players are hungry and chomping at the bit to play. The price is RIGHT for sure – $18 per person to sit 3 rows back from the ice? Crazy. Also, the team is camera friendly. I called ahead to make sure my camera was okay to take to the game and with seats that close to the ice, I had ample opportunity to take some great action shots of the players. We even got a free gift when we entered the Coliseum – a Western Conference Champion Banner.

After such a good experience, I felt I can’t NOT support the Giants. I’m a big fan now.

Emergency Rule in Pakistan


Originally uploaded by drmvrbr2000.

I go to bed complaining about the giant floodlight that Hollywood installed outside my bedroom window, and I wake up reminded that there are bigger problems than what we get riled about here in the western world. In Pakistan the media has been shut down by President Pervez Musharraf and 11 judges on their Supreme Court have been confined to the Supreme Court building over the potential verdict in their decision over Musharraf’s election vicotry in October [bbc].

Since Metroblogging is a world wide network of blogs there are bloggers we know affected by this. Some important Metroblogging posts to check out if you’re following this story and want a local on the ground perspective come from Metroblogging Karachi [mbk], Metroblogging Lahore [mbl] and Metroblogging Islamabad [mbi].

Currently the only media sources in Pakistan seem to be the BBC and Al-Jazeera English. Internet connectivity still seems to be working. What Metroblogging will be doing is if the bloggers at our sites in those cities do not feel safe in posting material under their own names to their own MB city sites, they hopefully will be able to forward information to Metroblogging proper. Any such reports will be posted [mb].

From the thread by Sean Bonner on

“We are all safe here in Karachi. All news channels are blocked & so [are] all news sites like Local calls are also blocked. I have heard from relatives abroad that it is being reported that traffic in karachi is bleak & Martial Law has been enforced. I want to clarify that there is nothing like that. Yes the traffic is a bit less but only because the president is to address the nation anytime. Also there is no Martial Law announced yet!”

I’m currently talking with a few of our bloggers via IM and things seem calm though they are confirming the news/phone block however the net it still up and running so far. More soon.

We’ll do out best here to keep you updated as things happen. Also we’re all hoping our fellow Metrobloggers, and everyone else, are okay.

Lumiere & Feenies are no longer Rob Feenie Restaurants

In 2006, I took my wife to Lumiere and blogged about it here on Metroblogging. [MB, MB and MB]I was really impressed with the quality of the food and how the food artists took the care and time to make something so beautiful and so tasty (well, except for the cow’s tongue). When I checked out the news today in the Vancouver sun, it turns out that Rob Feenie had essentially been “constructively dismissed” as executive chef at both Lumiere and Feenies since August. Today, he has terminated his partnership with Sidhoo, citing breach of contract due to his loss of position as executive chef.

Going to Lumiere for our anniversary was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had with my wife – after all, the thrill of going to a restaurant run by the famous Iron Chef Rob Feenie was well…. cool. Now that he is gone, I think that the two restaurants will have to compete solely on the food, rather than Rob Feenie’s name. It remains to be seen whether Dale MacKay, the new executive chef, will continue the tradition of fine food, artistic quality and impeccable service that my wife and I received while we were there.

I expect that Rob Feenie will get another chance to start a new restaurant here soon. He is a mainstay in the Vancouver food industry here and helped put Vancouver on the map as one of North America’s capitals of cuisine. Good luck to him!

Fuck off Hollywood


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

There’s nothing like trying to sleep with an epic level light source stationed right outside of your bedroom. It’s sort of like living in the north during those months where there’s no night.

All I can say is whatever they’re filming and keeping me up with had better be good and not something lame like Stargate SG1: The College Years or whatever other thing they’re generally filming. Whatever it is they’ve got a lot of American style police cars and an ambulance.

It doesn’t matter. I guess I’m not sleeping.

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