Archive for January, 2008

Fatal shootings are now only news worthy when Keanu Reeves is involved

Gotham Restaurant – 1933

Originally uploaded by Bob_2006.

I suppose it’s a comment on life in big cities across North America that the recent shooting at Gotham got little attention outside of the lower mainland. Gang related shootings have been all too common, and Vancouver has grown to be a bit of a hot bed of that in recent years. So much so that we got a Sopranos like CBC drama about it awhile back [mbv]. It’s not limited to Vancouver, across British Columbia there’s the Hell’s Angels that also deal in violence. We’ve pretty much come to accept the fact that people get murdered fairly regularly.

In fact it seems that the most interesting thing about the Gotham shooting is that Keanu Reeves was in the restaurant at the time [gm].

As a little bit of meta-blogging here I’d like to point out that I was just about to name the movie that Reeves is in town filming [vp], as if that’s a more important fact than two people were shot dead. To be honest I probably would not even be blogging about this had a Hollywood star not been involved.

That’s wrong and disgusting isn’t it?

Apple Store @ Pacific Centre: the hiring has begun

Pacific Centre

Originally uploaded by SqueakyMarmot.

If you’ve been waiting by the phone, or the email, for a reply about your job application you submitted to the Apple Store opening in Pacific Centre that you sent in after reading about the imminent opening here [mbv], then keep your fingers crossed because the first wave of people are being contacted via email for telephone interviews.

Sadly that first wave, at least I hope it’s just the first wave, does not include me. Apparently I’m completely unemployable. You lucky sods who did get a call back can feel free to comment about the experience in the comments. For this one time feel free to use fake names or no names at all, we can let it slide in exchange for some juicy inside gossip.

Heck maybe we can get Apple to sue us like Think Secret and I won’t need a job, I’ll just take my out of court settlement and buy myself an island.

Edit: I’d like to point out for those of you who seem to believe I’m some sort of billionaire who mines gold doubloons off the posts of the bloggers here, that since I don’t actually own Metroblogging Vancouver I wouldn’t be the one getting any out of court settlement.

It’s casual racism day

OMG it's bright out!

If anyone is wanting an objective lesson in how to trash a reputation as a progressive advocate for change then they’d do well to head over to Beyond Robson where Sean Orr is putting on a class. Since starting BR has morphed from a site where people who were cooler than you talked about bands that you weren’t cool enough to have heard of to a strong voice in support of the homeless in Vancouver and the Downtown East Side Community as a whole. It’s always so easy to just ignore the problem, but having Sean Orr bang on about it nearly every day makes that harder to do and that’s a good thing.

Of course the quick and easy way to completely trash that reputation is with casual racism. While bemoaning the death of indie publication Tooth and Dagger, Sean started on a rant about all that was wrong and un-cool about Vancouver. Chief among what makes Vancouver an un-cool place to live was ESL students. Take that in for a moment, the second thing listed in a anti-Vancouver rant is people who do not speak English. Not our idiot mayor, who didn’t even make the list, but people for whom English is a second language.

Dine Out Vancouver 2008: Bistro Pastis

Bistro Pastis

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Every Year Tourism Vancouver puts on Dine Out Vancouver [tv] which provides an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to try some of Vancouver’s best restaurants at a reasonable price. The event runs from January 16th through to February 3rd. On Saturday night my girlfriend Lydia and I went to Bistro Pastis.

Bistro Pastis
2153 W 4th
Tel 604-731-5020

I’ve always had trouble reviewing restaurants, because so much of how a restaurant is enjoyed is beyond the quality and taste of the food. If I’m reviewing a movie I try to look past the fact that I had to wait in line to get into the threatre and I can not blame the fact that an annoying couple is explaining the plot of the movie to each other in the row behind me on the director. Is it fair then that it is hard to stay incredibly positive about a restaurant when part of the experience is less than stellar?

We went to Bistro Pastis last year [mbv] and it was one of those places we decided that we needed to go again this year. The only drawback last year was the wait for a table, which saw us standing on West 4th for about twenty minutes. At the time I didn’t mention it in my review because I figured it was a one off, and the food was so good. This year again we were again left waiting for our seats for around twenty-five minutes. I realize that Dine Out is a busy time, but clearly if it’s happening every year something needs to be done. Either they need to take less reservations, space them apart better or just get the table service to go a bit quicker.

Actually probably not the last one, because once we did sit down everything came quick quickly. Having examined the menu online we already knew what we were going to order, and we were soon eating some very fine French cuisine. Lydia has a much better review than I could do so go read that here [mm]. I would recomend anything on the Dine Out menu, though I would also suggest that ordering a side of the fries is well worth the addition onto the fixed menu price.

Test The Nation: Trivia


As mentioned previously by Ryan, tonight airing on CBC will be “Test The Nation: Trivia” at 8pm.

Why should you tune in? Well it’s basically a trivia competition amidst a few teams of which two of our very own Metrobloggers: Rebecca and Ryan are part of!

They’re part of the Bloggers Team. The other teams comprise of chefs, celebrity-look-alikes, cab drivers, backpackers and flight crews.

Dine Out Vancouver 2008: Aurora Bistro

Aurora Bistro
2420 Main St.
Vancouver, BC.
V5T 3E2

Aurora Bistro [dov] was one of the resturants I went to during last year’s Dine Out Vancouver [mbv] and having enjoyed it so much my girlfriend Lydia and I made sure that we added it to the list of must visit places for this year. If you’re a foodie and want a full review of the meal then check out Lydia’s bite-by-bite coverage of our meal over at Meal Max where she’s trying to win money [mm].

Aurora Bistro

Like last year I had the cornish game hen, which probably says as much about me being predictable than it does about the quality of the meal. Still it was excellent once again, though ten dollars more expensive with the rise of the Dine Out Vancouver fare from $25 to $35. The accompanying potato gnocchi was very good as well as was the soup that I had to start. If you’re not worried about spending a little extra money get the suggested wines to go along with each course, the ice wine in particular was qutie a nice addition.

Aurora Bistro was nice to return to, and frankly I’m surprised I never made time to go there during the rest of the year. The meal was filling and even at $35 the Dine Out Vancouver price is well worth a visit.


What the?

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

I believe this ad if for a Chinese New Year thing at the QE Theatre on Feb 9th, but beyond that I can’t really make much out. It might not even be for Chinese New Year, it might be for some sort of elaborate puppet show or perhaps to watch a young boy sing and then get eaten by an aligator.

My favorite part of the poster is the bit in the background where a UFO is using a tractor beam to steal an elephant. Or possibly the octopus hiding in the bush, as they are known to do.

I don’t want anyone to explain this to me, or translate it, because frankly it’s a special kind of beautiful the way it is.

Concert going Seattle

When I lived in Kelowna, Vancouver was a frequent destination for concerts. With the bigger venues, and the larger population we get far more shows than anywhere else in western Canada and along with Toronto and Montreal we are often one of the only Canadian cities on the larger artists’ international tours. Heck we launched the Spice Girls’ comeback [mbv]. Since living in Vancouver though I find myself heading down south to Seattle for concerts. A lot of which are shows by Canadian bands.

On their last tour I saw U2 at GM Place, but before that I saw their Seattle shows. I’ve seen Canadian acts like The Arcade Fire there, and Vancouver groups like The New Pornographers who I first saw opening for Belle and Sebastian at the Paramount Theater. For a lot of Vancouverites the city to our south is a natural extension of our entertainment experience. With the dollars at par it’s never been more true that Seattle is a concert destination for a lot of us. I’m sure for example that the upcoming Magnetic Fields shows will have a lot of Canadians at it, since they aren’t coming north of the border on our side of the prairies.

At the risk of becoming Metroblogging Seattle [mbs], I thought I’d take this chance to mention one show that I did get tickets for down in America and that’s Matthew Good’s show at the Tractor Tavren [mg] on March the 7th. His Vancouver show last year sold out quickly, and I wasn’t able to get a ticket, but there’s still some on Ticketmaster for Seattle. By all accounts Good’s acoustic shows are great, and he’s a local Vancouver artist whose been a mainstay of the local music scene for years. If you’ve been wanting to see him, do like so many other Vancouverites do and get a ticket.

Tubing Mount Seymour


I used to live a five minute drive from a massive park, which then managed to burn down [ck], but even then it was a great place to ride a toboggan. In an attempt to capture that rural past time of hurtling down a hill at high speeds, the girlfriend and I looked up sledding opportunities in the Vancouver area. Both Mount Seymour [ms] and Cypress Mountain [cm] offer tube rides. The Cypress website made it look more appealing, but they had a notice that their tow lift was not operating yesterday, so we settled on Mount Seymour.

The drive up to Mt. Seymour is short enough as long as you don’t hit Lions’ Gate Bridge traffic. It was a bit surprising as the snow piles up the further up the hill we got, living downtown I had begun to forget that more than six inches of snow can exist in one place.

The area set aside for tubing is divided into four tubing lanes, and one lane for the tow rope back up the hill. Unlike sledding in the wild the snow is not the fresh powder of so many ski hill promo shots, but rather hard packed ice. That’s good if all you’re looking for is speed, but not so good if you’re trying to walk around in boots that are not exactly designed for traction on compacted snow. Yes, if like me you wear impractical city boots then walking down to the starting gates can be an issue.

Metroblogging Vancouver is sexy with RSS

NetNewsWire 3 beta

Originally uploaded by Jon Hicks.

So you’ve picked up Netnewswire for free [ng] and you’re wondering what to read with your new fab piece of free software. Well Metroblogging Vancouver have had RSS feeds for a long time now, but since I myself am taking advantage of the free RSS reader I figure it’s worth mentioning them again.

We have:

– Full posts [mbv]
– Full posts with no comments [mbv]
– Full posts from all of Metroblogging’s city sites [mb]

If you have a favorite author we break it down into individual RSS feeds for each blogger, just to give you full control over what gets sent to your RSS inbox.

We have:
– Carol Browne’s posts [mbv]
– Tim’s posts [mbv]
– Rebecca Bollwitt’s posts [mbv]
– Ryan Cousineau’s posts [mbv]
– Maktaaq’s posts [mbv]
– Matt’s posts [mbv]
– Jeffery Simpson’s posts [mbv]

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