Archive for the ‘Around Town’ Category

Vancouver, in high-def and time-lapse, equals beauty.

I wish, I WISH, I could embed video into Metblog posts, but lacking that ability, please go here

The Innerlife Project has released their first, and hopefully not their last, video piece, blending HD time-lapse video of Vancouver and a dreamy ambient soundtrack into a love letter to the city. When people ask me why I moved to Vancouver, I’ll have to remember to send this to them.

Indie I Do post-event report

Senses and Style was at the previously mentioned Indie I Do and reported on it, complete with some great pictures. If you weren’t able to make it, or if you were and want to share with others, check out their post!

Duthie books to shutter after 53 years

I remember way back when, after first moving to Vancouver, buying books meant one of two things; Granville Books or the Duthie Books at Hornby and Robson. I also remember when the big chains showed up, Amazon.com went online, and Duthie started closing up stores.

Then an equilibrium was found. Duthie ruled Kits at their 4th Street location for a long time, but that’s coming to an end. Citing being unable to compete price-wise and the beginning shift away from hardcopy to digital readers, the 4th street location will soon shut its doors forever.

We are closing now while we can do so in an orderly fashion and not under any pressure from banks or suppliers. Duthies went through a radical restructuring 10 years ago and frankly, we do not want to go through that again.

Our last annual sale starts Thursday January 28 with 40% off everything and further reductions in the following weeks. Please use your gift certificates before the end of February.

Anybody wishing to shop for old times sake (and to ensure a few books don’t end up being sold by weight to a discount book store), should make a note and check out the annual sale.

[VIA Miss 604]

Red Bull gives you wings – you bring the skates

Untitled-1Have you seen that short, very minimal commercial with a bunch of hockey players racing down a track in Quebec City? That’s Crashed Ice, a Red Bull sponsored extreme sport. (Update: between the time I wrote this and it being posted, Red Bull started running a new commercial, which is louder and explicit. Just pretend I mentioned whichever one you have actually seen.)

I kind of like the idea – I think a lot of Canadians could get into it. It’s fast, there are spills and chills, and while most of us have left our elite puck-handling days behind us, somewhere deep down inside a lot of us probably believe we could participate in a sport that rewards simple durability on skates. Heck, you even get to wear full hockey gear!

But how does an average Joe or Jane get to become an extreme sportsman/sportswoman like that?

Why, you try out.

Up until January 24th (11:59 pm EST) you can enter in a lottery draw to participate in one of 11 qualifying events across Canada, with winners going on to compete in Quebec City in March. And just in case, some entrants will win a trip to Quebec just to watch – so, worse comes to worse, you get a trip out of it I guess.

If you want a taste, you can always tune into the live webcast of the Crashed Ice finals in Munich, tomorrow. Or have a look at this video from last year’s championship.

Indie I Do – Vancouver’s 2nd annual alternative wedding show

indie_banner_webVancouver, at least to a larger degree than most cities in Canada, isn’t a traditional wedding kind of town. And by traditional, I mean, the consumerized* “traditional”. Tuxes and white gowns and cake and flowers, etc. Not that these aren’t fine options, but this is a town where a lot of people already have an alternate take on traditional; traditional Chinese weddings, traditional Hindu weddings, etc. Let’s put it this way – the last wedding I went to was at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens, the bride wore white, then switched to red after for pictures, and the groom wore a kilt. It’s a mash-up kind of town.

And that’s before you get to the couples that wouldn’t be caught dead in a tux and gown, and are looking for something different.

So, one might say it’s long overdue that someone put on an alternative wedding show – enter, Indie I Do.

Brides and grooms who have a hard time finding the perfect item for their wedding will breathe a sigh of relief when they attend the second annual Indie I Do wedding event, being held at the Heritage Hall on Saturday, January 23, 2010.

Catering to a diverse crowd, Indie I Do promises something for everyone – be it an off beat theme wedding, same sex do, or simply a traditional couple looking to add a touch of their own unique personalities into their event.

Join the Indie I Do revolution! Buy your tickets now and don’t forget to join us on facebook.

See you at the show!

[VIA Senses and Styles]

*I made a word!

More on Transit adjustments

Remember how I said my brain turned to mush after all the fare weirdness we’ll see during the Olympics and I couldn’t sort through all the bus route changes and how to get to Whistler options, etc? Well, Miss 604 did the heavy lifting for us already – awesome! Admittedly, with a lot of help from travelsmart2010.ca;

Last night John was looking over street closures during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and trying to figure out his new public transit route to work. I would imagine many who work in or around downtown Vancouver are also going through this phase of planning their commute (if they haven’t taken two weeks holiday during this time).

Here are some transportation options you’ll need to consider over the next two months, according to TravelSmart2010.ca.

[VIA Miss 604]

Vancouver blogger seeks like-minded Four Square users

header_boy
Besides Twitter, I have become mildly interested in using Four Square – rather, I am using it now, occasionally, but I don’t feel like I’m using it to its full capacity. Too few friends in the service, it seems masturbatory. Too many, and it might become a hum of noise, with less signal. But seeing as I’m still in the no-signal phase, I figure, I might as well try and find some more people to hook up with and digitally stalk.*

Anyone?

For those who have no idea what Four Square is, think of it like Twitter, with maps. Using your mobile phone, you can quickly “check-in” at any location you’re at. Friends that you follow appear as they check-in with the service. And continuing the Twitter likening, the service can “tweet” your check-in, complete with an address. DarrenBarefoot.com has a nice piece on it.

The service likes to promote this as a way for people to see what you’re doing and go meet up with you, but I think it’s more like a way to find our more about your town. Someone’s having a good meal at a restaurant you’d never hear of? Add it to your to-do list. Done! And it’s way more intuitive than dumping your phone’s GPS coordinates into a tweet. Someone has some good information about a location, some handy tip? They can add that for you to find as well.

Some businesses are even using the site as a way to reach out to customers, as they can use the service to tell people about their business, and add in little incentives (ie “Tell them Bob sent you and get free cheesy bread!”)

So far the service is growing, which is good, as it means more feedback about your town. Or even better, as I discovered in my holiday trip back East, it means more feedback from towns your are visiting! A quick snap-shot of your alien surroundings!

It’s possible another service will replace this one, but the current trends tends towards services linking together, rather than trying to be everything to everyone (as mentioned, Four Square already links to Twitter. It also links you to a Facebook account. In fact, you do not have to sign up to yet another website, instead you can just use your Facebook account.) For now, Four Square appears to be stable and growing.

*Digitally Stalking in this case does not mean ferreting out details about another’s life online. It’s more like;

“Lee’s at Colour Your World.”
“And?”
(shrug)

All from the comfort o your couch! The future is here!

Some January culinary ideas. A person’s gotta eat, right?

The gang at Sense and Styles has some excellent suggestions for yummy things to do this month. Here are the short versions;

The titular Long Table

The titular Long Table

The Irish Heather’s Long Table Series

Running every evening between January 11th and  February 11th, come sit at one big long table with a few dozen other food-minded people at the Irish Heather. Depending on what night you come, there is a different excellent meal, complete with a matched drink, for a mere $15 (plus tax and tip.) For example;

Monday, 11th of January, House Made Beef Meat Balls, Tomato Sauce served with Hand Made Spaghetti, w/ 5oz – Glass of Sandhill Syrah.M $15 plus tax & service

Click here for each day’s offering!

“Just Like Dinner at Nona’s House”

Similar to The Irish Heather, but exclusive to three Tuesday nights only – January 12th, 19th, and 26th – enjoy a hearty plate of food paired with R&B beer for $19. Plus, be there at 6 for the wine bar!

The Main Event – East Meets West

Technically Main isn’t where East Van meets West Van, but that’s the kind of thing that gets me punched in the arm. And pedantry aside, this is an awesome event. Running from January 18th to 24th, a number of Main street restaurants will be offering three-course tasting menus for set prices of $25, $35 and $45. And a portion of those sales will go to The Greater Vancouver Food Bank. So, it will be one of the rare times you can eat AND help others do the same.

I’m particularly looking forward to this, as it is an excellent excuse to try more of the restaurants in my neighbourhood. Click here for a list of participating restaurants.

Eee up to Senses and Styles – I will be keeping an eye on them and you should too!

Countdown to the Olympics: Transit adjustments

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With the Olympics about to begin, the city – including those who saw the international games as a boon as well as those that originally expressed concerns – is starting to ask, “What effect, exactly, will the games have on the day-to-day living in the city?”

Well for starters, transit is gonna get weird – I don’t mean that in a negative way, but rather meaning it’s going to get shaken up, both good and bad. As in, there will be, they figure, a lot more transit users. This means potentially longer, frustrating waits for people who just want to get to work or school. The plan is to add more buses. This means potentially longer, frustrating waits for people who just want to get to work or school… in their cars.

And then there are transit fees – already, if you’re trying to use the Canada line out of the airport, the ticket price has gone up $5. Meaning, you pay the regular zone fare for the train (YVR is in a zone with Richmond, meaning travel into Vancouver or Richmond is two zones = $3.75) and then an additional $5 AddFare on top. $8.75 a person to get from the airport to their hotel or homes.

A cab from YVR to downtown Vancouver is approx. $35 (TaxiWiz puts it at $26 including 15% tip – this is because TaxiWiz is drunk… or measures linear distances only and cannot account for per minute charges while you wait at a light or two or ten.) Cabs can hold 4 people, so unless you’re traveling alone, the train might not be the best option.

It should be pointed out that this AddFare is for what TransLink calls CashFares. Meaning, any fare purchase right at the terminal – if you have a monthly pass, away you go. Mind you, as a visitor, if you’re staying in Vancouver, do you need a two-zone pass? And if you only have the one zone pass, then you’re paying the extra zone AddFare. This is around the point my head starts to bubble.

And there’s more!

TranLink is offering collector FareCards, which are on sale at all FareDealer locations now. The passes aren’t strictly speaking, monthly passes, but rather Olympic passes, covering exactly the period of time the Olympics and Paralympics are happening – February 8th to March 21st. Here are the prices on those cards;

1-Zone $110
2-Zone $149
3-Zone $204
Concession $63

And here is what it costs for a single month (consisting of +/- 30 days)

1-Zone $73
2-Zone $99
3-Zone $136
Concession $42

Looks like a deal, right! Yes! For people who will only be here for the Olympics!

Townies are out of luck, as the Olympic passes do not cover the first week of February or the last week of March, meaning you either pay for two regular passes, as you normally would (ie $146 for one zone), or pay for the Olympic FareCard ($110), plus two books of  FareSaver tickets (20 tickets for ten work days = $38), for a total of $148. God help you if you need to make multiple trips in a single day and two tickets will not be enough.

At this point I stopped trying to factor in things like the West Coast Express, buses to Whistler, HandyDart. All in all, the events will mean business as usual for Vancouver commuters, at best, and more likely than not it will mean exactly the kinds of hassles people hoped would not happen.

What’s got you worried about Olympic traffic and transit? How are you planning to weather the WorldParty?

Pixar looking for first hires for Vancouver studio

There has been talk for awhile now that Pixar was looking to open a studio here in town. It’s not a bad idea at all, given the high concentration of local tech and art talent. And it’s looking like those burbles are turning into action, as Pixar has apparently begun looking for some of their first hires – so far, these listings are through third-party job sites, and haven’t yet been confirmed or reflected by Pixar’s own job site, but Pixar watchers are saying it’s all for reals.

The first job listings for Pixar’s future studio in Vancouver, British Columbia have appeared on the web (here and here) at two independent websites (they’re not yet posted on the careers page at Pixar.com).

The positions Pixar is seeking to fill are Manager of Information Systems, Production Manager, and Layout Artist. The Production Manager will report to the general manager of the Vancouver studio and their producer in Emeryille.

Each of the listings term the satellite studio Pixar Canada, a “wholly-owned subsidiary of Pixar Animation Studios”. As we’ve known since the project was announced, “the Vancouver studio will produce short-form animation focusing on legacy Pixar characters from films such as Toy Story and Cars”.

A well-placed source confirms that the new campus will be up and running “sometime in 2010”.

[VIA Pixar Blog and Facebook (thx Roger)]

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