It’s a tradition that’s 88 years in the making. On January 1st thousands of brave souls across the Lower Mainland will flock to English Bay to take a dunk in the chilly Pacific Ocean for Vancouver’s Polar Bear Swim.
…the swim takes place at 2:30pm on the first day of each new year. Costumes and the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race are the highlights of this event.
To be a club member you must register before the swim. Registration takes place in front of the English Bay Bathhouse from 12:30pm – 2:30pm each New Year’s Day. You may also register by clipping out the coupon in the Province Newspaper and presenting it at the registration desk the day of the swim. [Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club]
Did you know there was a woman who participated in the swim for 77 years?
January 1, 1928: 16-year-old Ivy Granstrom made her first entry into the chilly waters of English Bay in the Polar Bear Swim. Ms. Granstrom, blind from birth, will go on to appear at 77 consecutive Polar Bear events. [Vancouver History]
Last year 1,601 people braved the rain and 8 degree temperatures to make the plunge – that’s 8 degrees celcius for the air AND in the water (which is 46F). I have yet to muster up the courage to attempt this but I think 2008 may be the year. Good luck everyone!!
Here at Metroblogging Vancouver we often touch on what’s shooting around town [mbv], but we’re haphazard at it at best. Basically if filming some how keeps us awake at night [mbv] or spreads fake snow all over the street [mbv] we don’t really have much to say about it.
Thankfully there is The Hollywood North Insider [hni] which is probably the most complete account of all that’s being filmed in this the great stunt double for America that we call Vancouver. From movie reviews of locally filmed flicks to their amazingly cool filming location map, the site is a first stop for anyone wondering whose craft services table is sitting outside their apartment.
We never thought 2007 will say its final goodbyes on this note. On and off, I & many other bloggers shared our thoughts on the suicide bombings and massive killings. The prominent figures were never hurt and commoners lost their precious lives to such attacks. Today was an altogether different case though. We liked her or not, that’s an altogether different rant, Benazir Bhutto was a prominent and influential lady. The two times PM of pakistan is no more. Seems like legacy of Kennedy family has shown its face in Pakistan. May Allah bless her and the many others who have lost their precious lives.
Metroblogging Karachi [mbk]:
It is without doubt that an entire nation actually sheds a tear on the death of Benazir Bhutto, she was a hero to many, and rival to others, but the bottom line is that she was a brave leader of our nation and her struggles for democracy will not go unremembered. May Her Soul Rest in Peace.
Metroblogging Lahore [mbl]:
On the evening of 27th December 2007, Ms Benazir Bhutto died due to injuries sustained in a suicide bomb attack on her life. I feel like repeating this to actually believe it. I feel that almost everything within the Pakistani political makeup will change. There is already incident reports of people ransacking offices of political officials, of protestors burning vehicles and the subsequent sense of fear that things will turn for the worse. I, unfortunately, also feel that the same unjust rule, the same all-consuming lust for power, the same indifference that seems to be root cause of everything evil and the same ‘wheeling and dealing’ associated with the politicians of today will continue unabated.
As Vancouver and its suburbs grow outwards the wildlife that used to live in the forests of British Columbia start to get sucked into the city.
Having lived on the outskirts of Kelowna for years (in the area known as the Wildlife Interface) I got used to seeing wildlife as I waited for the school bus. It made sense in Kelowna though, I was about a three minute drive from a giant forest (before God burnt it down). In the middle of Vancouver though it’s still a bit shocking to see wild animals roaming around.
By my girlfriend’s place near Main Street there’s been a coyote for the last few months. Last night we saw it roaming around, and tried to do some safari-esque animal photography. It didn’t work out that well.
As Metro-Vancouver expands (the city not this website) we will be seeing more animals trying to find a way to live in urban and suburban settings where they don’t belong.
Though I figure everyone is going to be tired of being wished a Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas or Good Chrismukkah by this point in the season, I’d like to add one last log onto the virtual fire and ensure that I pass along the well wishes of everyone at Metroblogging Vancouver.
Granted I should be finishing wrapping gifts, but I just wanted to let you know that we really appreciate all those who make us a semi-regular read, or might have thrown us into their RSS feeds. We’re really proud of the community that we’ve been able to build here and it’s all thanks to you readers.
So please, take care of yourselves even while you’re having fun.
Yesterday I had a phone stolen from me at work. During the holidays theft goes up quite a bit and we’re constantly being reminded that each and every customer is a possible master thief waiting to pounce. That’s sort of overstating it, but yesterday I was tricked by a sticky fingered slight of hand artist. Either that or I’m just thick.
The short of the long of it is that the customer’s debit card would not swipe and when he went to go to a nearby cash machine he palmed the phone without me noticing and took off. Seeing the video it was clear that a) I need to lose weight and b) he was planning on taking the phone when he walked in. The odd thing was his identification he used for the credit check seemed real, and so if anyone knows an Aldwin Plan either he’s got one of my store’s phones and is a dirty thief, or someone has swiped his driver’s licence and BC ID card and is stealing phones under his name.
Lydia and I were downtown looking for a place to grab lunch, and Lydia suggested Kaplan’s Star Deli [gm]. I’ve been a lover of Montreal smoked meat sandwiches since a trip to Schwartz’s back east, so I’ve always been on the lookout for a good one in Vancouver.
Kaplan’s smoked meat sandwich is leaner than Swartz’s, which means its not quite as flavorful, but also probably not as likely to result in instant heart attack. It’s definitely a good sandwich and their latkes are quite good too. Lydia loved her reuben, and now wants to try their matzo soup. It’s perhaps a little pricey for an everyday lunch place, but for a once in awhile treat between meetings.
The restaurant itself is modern, clean and comfortable.
Do I do anything except go to events around town and go shopping? Apparently not. I go to the events to take pictures, really. Anyway, here is one Christmas-related event and one Winter Solstice event.
Canada Place is all decked out in colourful trees sponsored by various companies around town. Not only is it pretty to look at, but you can see a few local employers who may be interesting to work for and…see…research of the local market! It could help you in the future. And since I’m nothing if not a one trick pony, I have photos on flickr and here’s a giant nutcracker head:
This Friday, the Secret Lantern Society is putting on a Winter Solstice Lantern Festival in Chinatown. I think I’ll meet up with people at Science World and walk over that way. I’ve never been into the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Gardens, so this seems like a good time to go. It will probably be pretty crowded, but interesting for sure. An added bonus for the Winter Solstice Walk? My favourite store for tiki stuff – Funhauser will be open late for the festival. Please note, no one asked me to promote any of this stuff, I just like it all. I promise.