Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Yaletown block party worth checking out


It’s hard living in Vancouver and not having an issue with Yaletown.  We’ve blogged about some of the great stuff there like Goldfish, The Hamilton Street Grill, Phat and Elfsar Comics, but parking is a bitch and at night the area turns into the sort of meat market that few people would feel beautiful enough feel as if they fit into.

Again though there’s still some great stuff, including a whole host of cool bakeries, coffee shops and of course the best comic book store in the city in Elfsar.  (Full disclosure of vested interests I work on a very part time basis at Elfsar.  They however are not paying me for the mention, and I was a regular customer for a year before being hired).  If you’ve not really checked Yaletown recently they’re having the latest in a series of summer block parties tomorrow (Friday August 8th) and the next day (Saturday August 9th) [ytbia].

The Yaletown Business Improvement Association’s website hasn’t yet really gone into detail about what’s going on, not having updated their site since June apparently, but a number of the store, banks and resturants will be having special sales.  I had to go from a Facebook posting from Elfsar for any information on what other business were doing and that’s below the jump.


Requiem for a used sporting goods store

First, let me preface this story by saying that the Vancouver Sports Junkies is still open. But unlike the now-closed Port Moody store, I can’t easily walk there.

we will miss some of you

For my part, I remember that Sports Junkies had great, highly random sporting-goods deals. I especially loved their selection of bike junk, but their Boxing Day sales, in a world of overhyped sales, were the only ones I consistently attended, because if you wanted bike stuff, it was never going to cost any less. Over the years I bought bikes, frames, lights, tires…probably about 3 bikes worth of parts one transaction at a time.

Alas, the proprietor has moved out of town, and the owner of the Vancouver store doesn’t want to take on a new partner. So as of August 1st, and after one more blowout sale, they’re gone.

That’s probably not enough news to post here; I’m really posting it just for the photo of their closing-out sign.

Theme of the Week – Shoes


Gastown was a zoo at the end of my work day, so I decided that today was theme post day.

Heavenly Shoes, the bringer of your life is John Fluevog. I love many of your delights, and the next time I have $250 just laying around doing nothing… well, you know.

Theme for Week 2: July 20 – July 26 – Breakfast

Square watermelons: for when you have too much money

Square watermelons at Urban Fare

So you’re thinking that not only are you not eating enough fruit these days, you’re not spending enough on fruit either.  Well have no fear thanks to Japanese fruit growing methods you can now spend $99 on a watermelon.  Even better knews, you can make a house out of them because they’re stackable and square.

Surely Wikipedia can explain this [wp]:

In Japan, farmers of the Zentsuji region found a way to grow cubic watermelons, by growing the fruits in glass boxes and letting them naturally assume the shape of the receptacle. The square shape is designed to make the melons easier to stack and store, but the square watermelons are often more than double the price of normal ones. Pyramid shaped watermelons have also been developed.

These were spotted at Urban Fare in Coal Harbour, making me feel uneasy about doing my grocery shopping there.  I guess I should probably start comparison shopping, maybe $24 for a box of Corn Flakes isn’t the Item of the Week deal I thought it was.

The Vancouver Five: iPhone 3G

Apple 3G iPhone in Hong Kong, originally uploaded by Lawrence Wii.

Five reasons to fear the coming of the iPhone 3G:

  1. Your iPhone is totally going to be lame now, loser.
  2. Watching There Will Be Blood and driving may actually prove to be more dangerous than cell phone talking and driving.
  3. Ted Rogers will soon have enough money to finish his doomsday device which he is calling, as per his usual naming methodology, Rogers Destrocto Beam.
  4. Canada gets the “Jesus Phone” that means America now gets Jesus. The end times are near.
  5. While trying to play the new Maroon 5 song you accidentally call your mother on her birthday. A three hour conversation filled with guilt and accusations results, teaching you never to try to listen to Maroon 5 again.
  6. Bonus: You actually listen to Maroon 5.

The iPhone in Canada: an FAQ

Broken iPhoneOriginally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson

I’ve blogged here about the iPhone before, so with the big announcement earlier today I figured an updating on what’s going on might be in order. So after the jump is all that we know about the iPhone, as of today. I’ll give you a few credentials before the jump and two disclaimers.

I’ve covered the cellular industry as a tech writer for the past several years for publications like, The Kelowna Daily Courier and eVent! magazine. I’ve owned an Apple computer since the Apple IIe, and have an unlocked iPhone from the US which I’ve managed to break twice (see picture above). I am currently employed by a Rogers Wireless dealer, so that while I do not work directly for Rogers I am not fully neutral either. I also own shares in Apple, but not enough that I’m going to totally lie to you so that I can retire to my own personal island.

And now the iPhone. (more…)

Vancouver’s nano sized Apple Store

Vancouver Apple Store - Opening Day

We’ve been following the rumours and development for years now, but finally Vancouver’s first Apple Store is open in Pacific Centre Mall.  The long lines died off once the 1,000 free t-shirts were gone, but it’s been packed with customers since with a ton of cross-over with the new H&M next door.

I skipped out on the opening since I was to tired from R.E.M. and the late show of Indiana Jonesthe night before to go, but I swung by a little after 6 and it as still full of shoppers.  It’s a small store, similar in size to mall stores in Phoenix and Toronto, and is not quite the accessory mecca that I had hoped that it would be.  Maybe I’m just cynical from being in Apple Stores in other cities or maybe I’m still disappointed I never got a second interview [jks] or that Apple had tried to hire two of my references instead of me [mbv], but it’s sort of underwhelming.

Oh I’m going to be spending way too much money there, though I’ll probably continue to get my computers via the online site if only for customizing options, but it’s just not as much of a must-go-to store as other Apple Stores.  Anytime I’m in Seattle you’ll find me in the University Village Apple Store, and if I’m in a city with an Apple Store I’ll go out of my way to go there.

Meanwhile the Vancouver one has only been open for two days and I’m already taking it for granted.

When shit happens to your cellular

Broken iPhone

The thing with the big cellular companies is that once you’ve signed your contract and gotten your cheap/free phone it’s going to be a wait until you get another deal on the phone again. Between the getting of a phone and the end of a contract shit can happen and repairing phones is not cheap, especially if you’re like the fairly large portion of Vancouver whose got a grey market phone brought in from Asia or America that none of the local carriers will repair.

Some local repair places have stepped in to fill the need for a more flexible repair centre. Working with one of the big carriers I’ve regularly directed people to local shops for non-warranty repairs. When I managed to break my iPhone screen I went to the Bill Tan (contact information after the jump) who had a reputation for being both good and not too expensive.

Any other recomendations for local phone repair shops in the lower mainland.


Free Comic Book Day in Vancouver this Saturday

More Free Comics than Table space…lol!, originally uploaded by ELFSAR COMICS.

We’re poised on the edge of summer movie blockbuster season it’s clear that once again some of the biggest movies of the year are going to be based off of comic books. Iron Man, The Dark Knight and other all began as drawings on a page sold from comic book racks and newsstands. While a movie based on a popular novel will boost sales of the novel, comic books rarely experiance the same post-Hollywood bump. Attracting new readers is vital to the industry, which was why the major publishers got together and created Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) [fcbd].

It’s a yearly event and this year FCBD falls on Saturday May 3rd.  That’s this Saturday.  There is no need to buy anything, you will not be called at home at all hours of the night by Stan Lee trying to up-sell you into a Spider-Man subscription and best of all these are some really good books specifically designed to be new reader friendly.

Some stores go through a lot of trouble to make FCBD a really fun event, and worth coming in for. Elfsar in Yaletown especially seems to go out of their way every year to make things interesting. The full list of comic book stores in Vancouver that are participating is after the jump.


Mow down air pollution

CAF’s Megan Bennett and Environment Minister Barry Penner 3, originally uploaded by DBarefoot.

Tip from Darren Barefoot [db]:

If you’re looking for a few ways to be a little extra environmentally friendly this year one place to start is by taking a look at what’s in your garage. No not your car, that’s obvious, but your lawn mower. That’s right, if your lawn mower is an old gas powered model it can be doing a fair bit of polluting every time you trim your grass.

If you think it might be time to be getting a new mower, then this is a good time to trade it in since The Clean Air Foundation [caf] is running a trade-in program called Mow Down which is offering a $100 instant rebate if you bring in your old gas powered pollution machine to Home Depot and buy a “new push-reel, electric, rechargeable or low-emission alternative mower or trimmer.”

The program was launched with a photo-op staring Barry Penner, Provincial Minister for the
Environment on April 17th and is going on until the 27th.

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