Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

The Alibi Room

I’ve been in Vancouver for 5 years now, and when I first moved here, I found myself constantly yearning for a couple of decent pubs. A place where I didn’t have to scream at a friend sitting three feet away to converse with them. (I’m looking at you, Donnelly Group uber-“pubs.”)

The Alibi Room is a diamond in the rough. Decorated in hardwood and brick, you’re offered a handwritten photocopied menu (sealed in laminate). Though they offer an interesting array of food, it’s their rotating beer menu that keeps this place hop-ping. With an emphasis on local, they also offer a nightly cask selection. These guys have gained a lot of momentum with designers and programmers.

If you’re headed down in the next couple weeks, try Phillip’s Chocolate Porter. It makes a quick joke of beers claiming chocolate “notes” or “bouquets.” You can also find these guys on Twitter.

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

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)]

MLS, seasons tickets and an underwear model

Martin Nash gets ready to kick

If you missed it yesterday Major League Soccer is coming to Vancouver in 2011 [mbv], and you can reserve your right to be the first in line for seasons tickets starting tomorrow at the official site of Vancouver’s embryo of an MLS team [vm11].  Meanwhile the Seattle Sounders, who last year played in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) first division with the Whitecaps, played their first game in the MLS having made the jump to the big leagues this year.

They beat the New York Red Bulls, though I haven’t been able to figure out whether or not former Arsenal winger and Calvin Klein underwear model Freddie Ljungberg played for them [av].  He’s been nursing an injury, and basically has spent the last few years of his career in various states of injury.  Arsenal fans will remember him fondly, especially for this great goal in the FA Cup against Chelsea [yt].  Here’s another video of it and this one includes Ray Parlour’s goal [yt] and some nice shots of Tony Adams being Tony Adams and thus awesome.

Hmm… sorry wrong blog for that sort of thing.

The MLS is coming to Vancouver

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC

After years of rumours [mbv] it seems like Vancouver is going to get an Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.  Granted it’s at a slightly low point for the MLS, after the David Beckham experiment which was meant to prove that soccer in America was on its way to becoming as much of a force as it is in Europe has failed.  Beckham’s decided he prefers playing in the semi-retirement league that is Series A in Italy and is paying out of his own pocket to stay there.

 Meanwhile what this means for the Whitecaps we’re not sure.  The ownership group of the new team is largely the same as that of the Whitecaps with owner Greg Kerfoot heading the group that paid the $35 million dollar fee for an MLS franchise, but it seems like it’s not a sure thing that the new team will be called the Whitecaps and there’s clearly not enough soccer support to keep the two teams going in Vancouver. 

The new team will play in BC Place as opposed to Swangard, because if you can’t sell out Swangard you’re might as well go big and not sell out  BC Place.

The example of Toronto FC [mbv] shows that a Canadian city can support professional soccer, but the population and demographics are a lot different in Toronto than they are Vancouver.  The success of the new MLS team is hardly a sure thing, on or off the pitch.

Of course now this also means that there’s no way that we’ll ever get any sort of media accreditation for the Whitecaps.  While the team is great at calling me back to renew my season tickets, they’ve never once returned an email or a call about press accreditation for covering the Whitecaps games.  Any of the photos for the posts on the team I’ve taken have been with a camera that I’ve learned how to smuggle into games.

As a former (damn economy) season ticket owner I hope the new team succeeds.  I do think Vancouver hast the potential to support another major league sports franchise in town, and this will certainly be less of a fiasco than the Grizzlies were, and I am very eager for some higher level soccer to be played in town.  Even if there will be no David Beckham.  Even if I have to assemble my camera in a washroom stall so that I can cover the games.

Metroblogging Vancouver is looking for you

If you’ve been noticing that there’s only two regular authors on Metroblogging Vancouver these days it’s not just that your medication needs adjusting it’s that we’re getting a little short staffed. It’s not just cutbacks to help the site weather the bad economy, we’re not actually paid to write here, but rather that some of our great writers have moved on leaving us just with one great writer and me.

So if you’re a regular reader of Metroblogging Vancouver, or someone whose looking to make a splash in the local blog scene, then we’re looking at you and for you. We’re looking at you through your monitor right now, so don’t do anything weird or alarming.

What we’re peering out at the world for is for additional authors, the brave women and men who are willing and able to write about Vancouver three or more times a week. Whether you want to write about the great sandwich shop you found, or that political issue that’s been bugging you we’re offering you a platform and an audience.

So if you’re interested in writing for Metroblogging Vancouver then email me at jefferysimpson at mac dot com and let me know. Once you’ve passed our very official tests, which consists of giving me your email address and promising not to just use us to advertise your porn site, you’ll be an official Metroblogging Vancouver author.

Act now, don’t delay and remember this offer is not valid in the Province of Quebec or in conjunction with any other sale, offer or coupon.

Vancouver’s Monopoly on the iPhone

Monopoly - Vancouver

If you remember back during the summer much was made of Hasbro’s new Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition game opening up voting for cities to become properties on the board.  Though it sort of loses the original intent of Monopoly, since you clearly can’t own an entire city (someone needs to check the continuity of the Monopoly-verse), it got the game a lot of publicity for a few weeks as citizens of numerous cities tried to get their home town on the board.

Vancouver got on along with Montreal [mbm] and Toronto [mbt][cbc], with Montreal landing the coveted role as the Boardwalk property.  Don’t take too much away from that, Belgrade is a higher priced property than Vancouver and well they’re still getting over being the centre of NATO bombing during the Kosovo War.  Well, maybe they do deserve it more than we do.  The point is we did beat out Toronto.

The new iPhone version of Monopoly is based on the Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition and has our city included and once again we’re better than Toronto.

BC Police Pulling Tasers

So the various municipal police forces in BC will be pulling tasers from service to make sure they’re outputting the correct voltage.  However this only applies to any tasers they have acquired prior to 2006.

About time right?!

You’d think they do something like this after the question of whether a suspect died as a result of being tasered?

Well at least this is is headed in a better direction.  Testing has shown that the voltage occasionally exceeds the specs.  In addition to police, this includes corrections officers, sherriff’s services, and transit officials.

More details over at CTV

First Vancouver gets an Apple Store and now a… erm Newton Conference?


Story via Macbreak Weekly [twt].

As with everything there are different levels of nerds.  On one hand you have the people who line up twenty minutes early so that they can get into an early showing of the latest comic book inspired movie like Iron Man; they’re the daytripping nerds.  Maybe they’ve named their dog after Albert Eienstein or made a Back To The Future reference in a blog post, they’re kind of dorky but you don’t need to be afraid of them.

Then there’s the people who not only continue to use a ten year old handheld computing platform, but self-maintain their devices and hold conferences for them.  That’s right, ten years ago Apple stopped selling the Newton and apart from a now confusing joke on The Simpsons about handwriting recognition software, there’s not a lot of evidence that it was ever around.

You know apart from the Alpha Geeks who cling to it because… well I suppose because it’s either that or buy somthing new.  And no, I doubt anyone is saving money by keeping their Newton at this point.  If anything running a Newton is probably more expensive than buying a newer PDA, and certainly attending a conference about it is not a cost saving maneuver.

That’s right next July Vancouver plays host to the WWNC: 2009, the Word Wide Newton Conference [wwnc] and they’re looking for speakers.  So if you’ve been Montgomery Scotting a Newton so that it stayed active, you’ve got a chance to meet your own kind, trade stories and run web serves together. 

Whatever it is you Alpha Nerds do.

The noise outside my window means Harper’s in town


Prime Minister Harper is in town doing the campaign thing.  I didn’t realize this until I tried to go home after work and found a man holding a very large sign that linked Harper with big oil.  I went up to my apartment and within three minutes someone had set off a very loud alarm across the street which continued on for about forty minutes, stopping only so that the same sound system could play “Amazing Grace”.

The protesters unfurled a banner, wore a polar bear costume and generally… well protested.  What they were on about, apart from the environment is good and Harper is bad, I’m not sure.  The news networks leapt all over them, so I’m sure their manifesto will be broadcast this evening just before the NHL pre-season scores.

Remind me to tell my Stephen Harper story later this week, the one where I had to interview him while drunk.  I was drunk, he presumably was sober.

Pictures of the protest, taken from my balcony, can be found here [fkr].  Please respect the Creative Commons do-dad if you want to use them.

Vancouver online in 2001


to celebrate their ten year birthday Google has put their oldest available search index online. Now for a limited time you can search their database that was active in 2001 [g01] as well as my hilariously ugly Matthew Good Band fansite and various student paper stuff [g01]. What will you find if you do? Well for starters you’ll find one of my first blogs [g01] as well as the fact that that other Jeffrey Simpson (a senior writer at The Globe and Mail) had a slightly larger web presence than I did, even though I kind of figure that he had no idea what the internet was at that point.

Give the search a try, and see what comes up. In 2001 for example there was no iPod. What a backwards age that must have been.

Vancouver comes up with not one of the very popular blogs that dot our digital landscape now, at least not on the first page. Who does show up? Well the Vancouver Grizzlies [g01]. The closest thing to the social networking sort of sites that we all laud now [mbv] is a now defunct page for the local chapter of IndyMedia.

These days you can’t throw a rock into the air without hitting someone trying to sell their SEO (search engine optimization) skills or a blogger fretting about Page Rank. 2001 seems so quaint and unspoiled, like an episode of Road to Avonlea.

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