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Do You Love Any Dead People? · I think most of us do, so if you’re in Vancouver around Hallowe’en, you should go visit A Night For All Souls. Even if everyone you love is still alive, you should go anyhow because it’s full of extreme ethereal dark-hued beauty ...
 
Urbanity · Cities are our rule now, anything else the exception. I’m biking most workdays, on concrete over the ocean into the stone heart of a small big city, getting ten dozen channels of nonstop urban input and every day I wonder where we’re all going. The future is distributed unevenly and cities concentrate the unevenness ...
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Christmas Decorations · I hope that lots of you are having an excellent Christmas; I am. Here’s an illustrated card featuring Vancouver Christmas visuals ...
 
Cranes · What happened was, Shane & Ally asked us to a rooftop barbecue with views in every direction. Most of them featured cranes, and I don’t mean birds. And it would be unfair to omit the moon ...
 
The Only Sane Transit Vote · Vancouver is having a Transportation & Transit Referendum this spring: Yes or No on a 0.5% local sales-tax hike to pay for transit infrastructure, mostly public-transit train lines. The only sane vote is Yes; here’s why ...
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Vancouver Election · It happens Saturday, November 15th, 2014. Here’s how I’m voting ...
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Vancouver Photowalk · October 11th was World Photowalk Day. I attended the Vancouver edition, which was in a place I’d never go looking for pictures; but I got some anyhow ...
 
Festival Firetruck · There was a party in the local park; food-stands, music, a movie. We picnicked there with family and friends. And a firetruck came! ...
 
Chinese Garden, Right Side Up · Earlier, in Chinese Garden Reflections I ran some pictures of greenery reflected in the ponds of Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Here are are more photos, unreflected ...
 
Spring on the Main · Which is to say on Vancouver’s Main Street, never actually been Main as such and isn’t as cool as it thinks, but it’s my ’hood and full of life, and when the sun interrupts the long grey Pacific Northwest off-season, you can feel it in the sidewalks and the buildings that are too old and shitty to gentrify, and even the hipster beards have better curl and loft ...
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Vancouveriana · Two pairs of pictures that could only have been taken right here in my hometown ...
 
Choose the Right Fish · We had informal Saturday brunch with families of kids in our second-grader’s class in Old Chinatown at The Emerald, once a dim-sum joint, now a hipster supper club. The old-Chinatowners are aging out and some of the people moving in look Chinese because hey, this is Vancouver, but they’re younger and single-er and probably don’t speak much 廣州話. Whatever it’s becoming will probably be interesting, but not the same ...
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Parading · The nations that matter are those that export culture; China is one of those. Particularly this time of year and around the Pacific Rim; because it’s Chinese New Year. On Sunday, I marched in the big Vancouver parade ...
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N5-cam I: Low Light · I hear that pocket cams are over because phonecams have eaten that space; so let’s see if my Nexus 5 can convince me one way or another ...
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Bike Fixers · Implicit in the Maker movement is a Fixer movement, and that’s what Our Community Bikes is. They’re right round the corner from us, and my 14-year goes there to patch up his commuter vehicle ...
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Fresh From the Graveyard · What happened was, I visited Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery, my 7-year-old daughter in tow. It was wet and grey. She was bored so I gave her a camera ...
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At the Market · Granville Island market I mean, a nice place in Vancouver, particularly on a sunny Sunday in October, Canadian-Thanksgiving weekend ...
 
Main Street Photo Fun · In which I take some ordinary street shots and overprocess them for fun ...
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City of Trees and Cranes · Vancouver I mean, of course. We’re big on trees, and growing, so it’s hard to take a picture without one or the other ...
 
Civilization · I’m writing this in the library at Renfrew Park Community Centre, waiting while my son’s at a martial-arts class. Just walking in here, I got all choked up ...
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Polyglot · Or in full, the Vancouver Polyglot {un} Conference. I saw it coming, thought it looked cool and that I’d go, then I got copied on an internal conversation where someone suggested we should sponsor it. D’oh, good idea, why didn’t I think of it? So we are. So I’ll not only go, I’ll suggest an unconference session on my current Identity obsessions. It’s a cool location and they look like cool people; come on down!
 
Voices of Northern Women · Last month I had the immense pleasure of attending Northern Voice 2012. This is the eighth year of Vancouver’s own little blogging-and-social-media conference, distinguished by a resolute refusal to consider the business (or any other non-personal) dimensions of the thing. It got me thinking about gender issues, so here are thoughts on those. With pictures ...
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Port Mann · Greater Vancouver’s geography includes inlets of the vast Pacific and the delta of the mighty Fraser; thus a lot of bridges. The Port Mann is one of the biggest and it’s getting a bigger replacement; I have pictures ...
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Otaku with Vintage Marbles · It was a Saturday afternoon with child-care duties and nothing planned; the Straight’s event listings turned up a “Pop Culture Collectibles Fair and Computer Swap Meet” said to include toys and comic books, so I grabbed a nearby kid and took off ...
 
Opening Day · I’ve written before about our Little League’s opening day, but this is probably the last time; my 12-year-old son is graduating and my daughter shows no interest ...
 
Nocturnes · Three darkish photos taken on a Vancouver Sunday evening ...
 
Purple Place · Not just any place, but BC Place, our local football stadium, which got a welcome refresh last year and is lit up in colors that change from night to night; it’s nestled among buildings and there are very few (any?) places where you can see the whole thing. But after dark, you keep getting surprised by bits of it from here and there around town ...
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Illuminate Yaletown · This is an event, a new idea I believe, an after-dark thing in an old now-fashionable brick-warehouse neighborhood. We went down to check it out, and before we got to the actual illuminations, ran across a hat shop party. [Update: The band was Maria in the Shower.] ...
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Street · Over on Google+, there are a lot of photographers. I mean, really a lot. And not just nerd-with-an-OK-camera dabblers like me; we’re talking pros, big-name pros some of them. Organized in circles, of course; go have a look ...
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Photos of Wata of Boris · I can’t remember how I first heard Boris, but I fell in love right away. They’re from Japan and play very loud, very deep, very beautiful music; some of it on Tuesday evening in Vancouver, and I was there ...
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Post Sunset · Part of the public pier by the Jericho Sailing Centre, one of the nicest things about warm Vancouver evenings ...
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Hula Hoops and Shoelaces · Well, those seem at the center of her show ...
 
MOA Portraits · That stands for Museum of Anthropology and I’ve been before. I took pictures of a bunch of faces ...
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The Drive by Night · In Vancouver, “the Drive” means Commercial Drive; Hey look, a street with its own Web site! We took some visiting relatives out for gelati on a recent quiet Monday evening, and I brought the camera along ...
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Good Afternoon · We often use the Internet as a vehicle for bitching and complaining, and I suppose that’s OK. But sometimes things go well, and we should talk about that too. With a hairdresser anecdote and pasta-sauce recipe ...
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Opening Day! · I mean our son’s little league, Vancouver’s own Little Mountain Baseball, Canada’s oldest Little League and, with 600+ players up through the age of 12, quite the going concern. The Little Mountain in question is a pretty big hill in the middle of Vancouver whose name constitutes part of my neighborhood’s ...
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100mm of the Day: Election! · The new lens may have “MACRO” in its name but it’s good fun out on the street too. Oh, and we’re having an election! So let’s wrap some Canadian politics around the picture ...
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Stadium Sun · This is BC Place, where the Canadian Football team plays and the really big concerts happen. It’s never been very nice under the vast dingy inflated roof, and the concert sound is reliably putrid. So they’re making the roof retractable, and I went by while the sun was setting behind the project ...
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The Drive at Dusk · In Vancouver, “the Drive” means Commercial Drive. [Note: That Wikipedia entry needs some editorial attention and pictures.] On impulse, and because it was sunny, we went over there for gelato after dinner and I took my camera ...
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The Main, Transpacifically · I can honestly say “I liked Main Street before it was hip”; but only because we happened to buy a house 2½ blocks away in 1996 and were introduced to its motley charms back then ...
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Fish and Baubles · Lauren was having eleven knitting friends over Sunday so I took the 4½-year-old girl out for an outing. She and I both like trains and boats, so we took the Canada Line to the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay, where there’s a nice little public market with things for kids to do ...
 
Impure Geometry · The boy had a soccer game today down at Andy Livingston turf which is right up against Vancouver’s infamous Downtown Eastside; I ended up in a parking lot down an alley that seemed to have just an unreasonable amount of geometry wherever I looked ...
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SAD Therapy · Maybe this is a lousy autumn, or maybe my tolerance for light starvation is ebbing as I age, but I seem to be working up an early case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, inflicting dark moods on my loved ones in a rhythm that echoes that of the storms and rain ...
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A—1 Cycle · I was walking down Main Street and there was a gentleman repainting on a ladder.
 
Three Pictures of Illuminares · For many years, Vancouver’s Public Dreams Society has presented Illuminares, a summer-evening festival built around a lantern procession. Typically held outside, around Trout Lake, it’s a nicely-hippie-flavored explosion of fire and noise and energy. This year, because Trout Lake park is under construction, they held it inside and it was still fun, if not quite as much. I got some pictures which are sort of pretty and represent a new frontier I think in my current low-light-photography obsession ...
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Unfinished, With Clouds · What happened was, we went to a party at Shane and Ally’s place on East First Ave at a mixed residential-commercial development with a common rooftop garden. We barbecued up there, sharing the space amicably with a couple of other parties. The view was compelling and the clouds were interesting ...
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Tree Shopping · Our pear tree died, a victim of old age, root pathology, and a high wind. Herewith consequences bureaucratic and photographic ...
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Those Olympics · It started a couple weeks early for me with a gentle welcoming invocation by an elder of the Musqueam Nation. It’s done, finally. What happens on the morning after? Maybe we can all wear less red ...
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Pacific Spirit · That’s the name of a pretty nice park on Vancouver’s University Endowment Lands, which sort-of belong to UBC but can’t for the moment be covered with condo towers, which is a Good Thing. Observing in the Saturday morning forecast the heavy rain I now hear on Sunday evening as I write this, I determined that force-marching the urchins into the Pacific Spirit woods would be a good idea. Plus, I brought my camera ...
 
Oddball Beet Salad · Last weekend, friends were about and we went to the market and I made lurid bicoloured salad for the ballgame and it was all good. With pictures and a recipe ...
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Vision Hackers · It worries me that, as a resident of Vancouver off-and-on since 1983, I am engaged so much on the Internet and so little in my home-town. My local outings have been limited to music, children’s sports, and dining out with friends. I’m attempting to become more local and have thus recently become a member of two organizations: the Vancouver Hack Space (Motto: Down with Betamax! ) and Vision Vancouver. They aren’t like each other at all ...
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Not Driving · Recently, I’ve been taking public transit around town more and more. The advent of the Canada Line is one reason, and another is that since I’ve been carrying the Android-flavored Internet in my pocket, travel time isn’t necessarily downtime. Plus, as I steer thousands of pounds of steel and glass and so on around town, the proportion of my mind that’s thinking about carbon-loading keeps increasing unnervingly ...
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That Market · I mean Granville Island market of course. If you live in the main part of Vancouver, it’s hard to avoid, particularly on a rainy weekend ...
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21mm Fight Dance · I had two ten-year-old boys with me; they said “Fight dancing!” Really it was Capoeira, somewhere between a martial art and dance form, invented by African slaves in Brazil. There are a couple of stories but let’s start with the picture ...
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Take the Train to Tokyo · Being an illustrated mini-travelogue on taking the new Canada Line train to Vancouver airport. Almost certainly of interest only to people who might do such a thing ...
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Hector and the Gulls · We were walking along Jericho Beach around suppertime of a recent weekend when the clouds and light performed a summer-afternoon dance for us. I was shooting in every direction and present for your entertainment one marine vessel and two feathered scavengers; nothing you can’t see there every day ...
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Night Out on The Main · Vancouver’s Main Street has enough places to eat and drink that a person like me with a wife and family and job will totally never get to all of them. But the other night we got to Zakkushi and Sweet Revenge, in good company. With pix ...
 
Junepix 11: Minor League · On the last day of June we went to a Vancouver Canadians minor-league game, with fireworks. I seem to document such an expedition once a year, which is unsurprising as it’s a treat for the eyes ...
 
Junepix 10: Green and Red · This is brick building with green trim; a garment factory I suspect ...
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Junepix 1: Car-Free · I was editing some pictures (which I organize per-month) and realized that there were a ton in the June folder that I’d been meaning to run, and now it’s not June. So let’s populate the first few days of July with some of ’em. First, musical faces of Car-Free Vancouver Day ...
 
“Hello World” for Open Data · Recently, Vancouver’s City Council passed an “Open Data, Open Source” motion. I was too busy at the time to pay much attention, which I’ve regretted. Now I’ve started poking around a bit, and turned up an interesting person and an outstanding example ...
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Justice · Here’s a little news story of direct interest only to people in Vancouver, but it’s pleasant and uplifting; made me smile and might please others too. And it gives me a chance to gloat a little bit ...
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Dark-Morning Market Lights · On a lousy spring weekend day, which this was one of, you can do way worse than going to the Granville Island Market ...
 
Sunday at the Seaside · If you’re fortunate enough to live in a city by the sea, you should bloody well go visit it sometimes. This last weekend I was on single-Dad duty, so Sunday morning I ignored the lowering sky and general dampness, bundled the protesting urchins into the van, and took them to the beach ...
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$1,000,000,000 Theatre · While, like many, I’m ambivalent about the Olympics, I lean to the positive side, and was moderately happy when Vancouver scored the 2010 Winter Games. Since then, the infrastructure preparations have ripped the shit out of our city, the financial arrangements have gone sideways, and I failed to get any of the tickets I signed up for ...
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Snow Bitching · Vancouver’s weather has been sufficiently bad this winter to have made the national news a few times, and if you follow any local online voices, you may be growing tired of our whining about the weather. Well, I’m going to publish a few pictures of the carnage anyhow ...
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Vote Matt in New West · This is not of the remotest interest to anyone who doesn’t live in New Westminster, a small city near Vancouver that doesn’t think of itself as a suburb ...
 
That Parade · Of the Lost Souls I mean. It was so much fun it shouldn’t be legal. This post is here so I can post a funny picture of myself and meditate, once again, on the profusion of digital recordings of, well, everything ...
 
Join the Parade · I mean Parade of the Lost Souls, which happens next Saturday October 25th on Commercial Drive here in Vancouver. I’ve paraded before; once again I’ll be part of Russell Shumsky’s West-African drum ensemble, layin’ down the dance beats. Assuming the weather co-operates, it’s a blast; come on out and boogie.
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Container Cranes · On a recent weekend we took the Seabus over to Lonsdale Quay. The Seabus is both romantic and reliable, a rare enough combination in this world. On the way back, I took a photo of the big container-handling cranes ...
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Canteen Mitra · It’s on Main Street near 14th Ave. They make a damn fine chicken Shawarma ...
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Car-Free · Its full name is Car-Free Vancouver Day and it happened last Sunday. We hadn’t been planning to go but stumbled in more or less accidentally and it was good fun. It gave me an excuse to take pictures of people; something I’m too shy to do except in a crowd ...
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Not Much · Two photos of not much in particular, but with explanations ...
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Propeller · Being a picture of one, with some other things ...
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April 18, 2008 · I had a little slack in the schedule heading for the airport, so when I left work, I stopped on to photograph a marsh ...
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Upcoming Gig: BCnet · Hey, two conferences in my home-town in one month, April 22-23. The full name is Lighting the Path: Connections for the Future but everyone just says “BCnet”. I’ll be wearing my Sun hat for this one, and hoping to see some of the hometown folk.
 
Upcoming Gig: Open Web · Right here in town, as the name suggests: Open Web Vancouver 2008, April 14-15. This is put on by the Vancouver PHP Users Association; it’s great to see the Web religions opening up to each other like this.
 
Granville Island · In single-Dad mode on this brilliant Sunday morning, I decided to pack the urchins up after breakfast and take them down to Granville Island. It’s one of Vancouver’s nicest things and too often we abandon it to the tourists (In fact, on this occasion I helped a posse of Germans figure out the parking-ticket machine). Well, and I had a new camera burning a hole in my pocket ...
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Launch Party Vancouver Jan. 25 · There’ll be geeks, VCs, hangers-on, and good times, all at the Launch Party Vancouver 3 this Friday at the notorious Lamplighter. And there really is going to be a launch: Sun’s Startup Essentials will be doing its Canadian launch. That’s a program that’s easy to understand. Be less than four years old. Have less than 150 employees. Get cheap hardware. I’ve got a gig in Austin that day and even though I free up in the morning, will have trouble getting home for the party. Pfui.
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Sin and a Tiger · Whenever I walk around, I have the little Canon in my pocket. Since I’m shooting JPG and have a 2G card in there, it holds a more or less infinite number of pictures, and I have to remind myself to unload ’em every couple of weeks to see what’s there. Often I’m surprised ...
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Uncommon Light · Three photos on bright December days; not common in Vancouver, so this is a quality of light you don’t often see ...
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Mountain Chimney · A picture of snow-covered mountains from our bedroom window ...
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Across False Creek · This is just to celebrate being able to run Lightroom again; a photo looking south across Vancouver’s False Creek at night, from Bill and Trish’s place ...
 
Northern Voice 2008 · In Vancouver, Feb. 22-23, the Northern Voice “personal blogging and social media” conference. Lauren has more details. My favorite little blogger conclave.
 
BlackBox in Vancouver · Hey, I’m helping out the local Sun marketing people; thus this note for geeks here in Vancouver. We’re doing a world tour with the BlackBox and it’s coming here Nov. 20th (scroll down). If you visit, yes, you will be marketed at, but I’ve been in one of these puppies and it’s a seriously funky piece of gear and hey, it’s free. I’ll try to drop by.
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Urban Sunset · There haven’t been enough pictures here lately ...
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Seasons Change · Vancouver has all four. Less intense perhaps than other parts of Canada where the snow extends into April and spring is life after death; here it’s life after boredom. It’s a fashionable town, our changes are mostly what we wear ...
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Summer’s End · It wasn’t that great; there was some good weather but not enough, and much of that while we were off in Berlin or Saskatchewan. But there were compensations, family things ...
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Bragging · Well, The Economist has published a study of the livability of cities. That pointer is actually to the summary, not the actual report, which will cost you $200. Anyhow, in the #1 position is Vancouver, and in #2 is Melbourne, which I’m starting to think of as my second home.
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Tab Sweep — The World · This time we have journalism, civic politics, and a rare ongoing side-trip into, well, sex ...
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AFS × 3 · I believe it’s been a couple of years since I’ve inflicted a Vancouver sunset on ongoing readers, so here are three. What happened was, Eve Maler and her husband were here; we had dinner together and went for walk in the dusk west from Kitsilano beach. I was itching for a chance to work out the new wide-angle lens, and the mountains and the ocean are just the ticket ...
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Going, Going, Gone · In Toronto’s Globe and Mail, a William Gibson elegy (probably to vanish behind the paywall), lamenting cities’ crushing their history and our memories without even noticing. Right here in Vancouver we’re seeing it happen in real time, in months not decades. The Canada Line project is digging a seven-storey-deep ditch down the middle of what once was a thriving commercial street that runs more or less up and down the city’s prime meridian. While we crack bitter jokes about speciation setting in among the rodents either side of the Big Ditch, and mutually-incomprehensible dialects among the humans, the merchants aren’t laughing at all. Read The Village a Train Ate in The Tyee (an excellent publication). That’s my village, and we’ve been regulars at the restaurant in the picture; Simon has cleaned up more than one bowl of miso soup spilled by our kids. The locals say nobody told us what we were letting ourselves in for, and that’s true, but it seems irrelevant now. So sad.
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Home Town(s) Rule! · The BBC reports that the Economist Intelligence Unit reports that the two best places in the world to live are Vancouver and Melbourne. The accompanying picture, featuring former Prime Minister Paul Martin, who’s from Québec, with a dorky-looking Mountie, is pretty lame. But still, thereby hangs a tale ...
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Rain · Our winter is now sufficiently bad to be a national news story. It’s rained 19 of the last 23 days, and there’s a heavy-downpour warning over at Environment Canada. To make things more interesting, the snowpack on the mountains is melting, so the rivers are rising. The scenario that nobody wants to think about is when you get a monster rainstorm at the same time as a really big snowpack runoff crest and then that coincides with a big high tide. There are some parts of Vancouver you really wouldn’t want to be in were that to happen. But we don’t live in one and anyhow, Spring has be almost here... right?
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Travel Pix · I broke down and got a Canon A710 IS and, like the reviewers say, it doesn’t weigh much, it didn’t cost much, it has a great big zoom and seems to take OK pictures. There’s nothing very inspiring about it and I would probably have been willing to pay twice as much for something with RAW and more interesting glass and so on, but apparently the camera biz has walked away from the high-end compact ...
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Characters in Grey · The grey is the sky, all we’ve had for some weeks, and the characters are a closed shop’s sign becoming a palimpsest ...
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Winter Streetlights · It’s been an incredibly nasty winter so far, but this last week has been cold/bright, what Vancouver gives you when it’s not grey/mild ...
 
Café · My local, in fact, where, if I added up all the cash spent on coffees in the course of a year, I’d probably be shocked. Which is probably why there are so many of them ...
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Damage · The tree doctor came by this morning and gave us the bad news; the wounds were fatal. So the plum tree, the one Maryam said grew the best plums she’d ever eaten, pictured here and here, will be firewood early next year ...
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The Colours of Snow · We’ve had a lot of snow and and a long freeze to keep it on the ground. All those shades of white and grey pulled the camera out of my pocket as much as any summer day’s flowers, this year ...
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Brutal · That bad weather I wrote about a couple weeks ago is still bad, the baby and I are both sick; things could be lots worse but complaining is a sacred human right. With pictures ...
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Bad Weather · You don’t really expect much from the weather up here in the November Pacific Northwest, but boy, it’s been brutal. We’re way past the average rainfall for the month and we’ll probably set a record; enough Wednesday to dump landslides into the reservoirs and now we’re all drinking boiled water. Trees down in the wind, and a four-story steel-frame building under construction. Nobody hurt on that one—it was at night—but you gotta feel sorry for the guys who showed up to work on the site in the morning. I took a picture outside my office ...
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Lost Souls, Documented · On Saturday night I marched in the Parade of the Lost Souls. It was a thrilling evening; I came home exhausted, sore, and happy. It was also extremely well-documented. [Update: Another write-up.] ...
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Join the Parade · The Parade of the Lost Souls, that is, this Saturday Oct. 28th. I’ve known about this event for years and wanted to go, but something always got in the way. This year, I have to go, because I’m one of the performers. If you’re in Vancouver, drop by and check it out.
 
Pilings · On the weekend, we visited Steveston, a touristy little waterfront town in the south suburbs. It’s got some mildly-interesting shopping and a lot of good food. Some of the restaurants are elegant, but we prefer Pajo’s; fish & chips on a floating dock at the west end of town. Good fish & chips are not that easy to find. The waterfront was formerly industrial (fish-canning mostly) and is becoming recreational/residential. But there are a lot of old wooden pilings left in in the water ...
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Portobello West Colours · What happened was, I was listening to the podcast from CBC radio 3 and there was this great track from something called Lola Dutronic (@ MySpace); I emailed the distributor and all the record stores they sent me to were sold out, but he said they’d have a stand at Vancouver’s new-ish Portobello West market, so I dropped by and they were sold out there too, but I totally recommend the market. There were some deeply cool clothes and other oddments; I bought some candles and just avoided a couple of shirts. And also captured some serious colour with the camera ...
 
White Rock Dock · Central Vancouver is about 50km north of the U.S. border. Down at the border, on the seaside, is the town of White Rock, which has a beach extending right to the edge of America, a traditional pier, and a whole lot of restaurants. I’ve been living here mostly for over twenty years and never visited it, so we did, and I took some pictures off the pier. There actually is a White Rock; I have no pictures of that, but I do have an international-boundary shot ...
 
Spring Pix · Three pictures around Vancouver; one of a fresh green springtime tree, two of rotten old buildings being torn down ...
 
Botanical Garden: Textures · We visited the UBC Botanical Garden today because we had a visitor in town—more on that anon—and I got, among other things, two interesting texture shots ...
 
Football, Beans, Sunshine, Sex · What happened was, we had some friends over for the Sunday football games, and the day turned out very pleasantly in a bunch of ways; herewith an illustrated narrative ...
 
A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee · A latte actually, at Brazza, on Lonsdale Road, in North Vancouver. Pictured, with a funny coffee story ...
 
Old Chinatown · This morning took us down to old Chinatown on a shopping mission. We don’t live that far away but it’d been a while; I’d forgotten its cheerful grubby intensity, and you can get some bargains. With a Cantonese-food lament ...
 
Vancouver Blogs · This notion of regional blogging is starting to get traction; right here in Vancouver, which is a pretty wired place, we now have three different pretenders to the “Vancouver City Blog” throne: Urban Vancouver, The Vancouverite, and Metroblogging Vancouver, the latter part of the Metroblogging empire. I’ve subscribed because, you know, I live here; maybe this will make me a bit hipper and cooler, because they’re always talking about events that I’m not clued-in enough to know about; if we start going to a few, that would be a good sign. A good thing happened already: one of the above linked to static photography, a very nice and thoughtful local photoblog, check it out.
 
Vancouver Politics — Good · We’re having an election here in Vancouver on Nov. 19th. We have four parties in contention: the NPA, generally regarded as representing the interests of the West-siders who live in big houses, and sympathetic to the provincial government as long as it’s right-wing, which it currently is. Then there’s COPE, usually seen as a bunch of old-fashioned Lefties, the Greens, and a new thingie called Vision Vancouver. There are two candidates for mayor, the NPA’s Sam Sullivan and Jim Green from Vision. What happened was, we had a pretty good mayor called Larry Campbell, who ran on the COPE ticket but was never very comfy with its leftward fringes. He retired and COPE split, spinning off Vision; and Jim Green, who was kind of Larry’s sidekick, is running on that ticket. It’s unclear whether Vision is anything more than a one-time platform for Green; but COPE and Vision and the Greens are co-operating, somewhat. This is kind of a cheery election; both Sullivan and Green look like pretty plausible candidates for mayor, and they’re being reasonably civilized about it; their attacks on each other seem pretty well fact-based. I think we’ll do OK, whoever wins.
 
Novemberlight · We’ve had brutal fall weather, repeated heavy rain & wind warnings, have had to shovel rather than rake the fallen leaves. But today that slanting winter sun came out and tempted the photographer’s eye. Very Vancouver. [Update: the next morning, it’s pouring and grey. So if I snarl at you in an email or over the phone or whatever, it’s early-onset Seasonal Affective Disorder at work.] ...
 
Extreme Low Tide · A couple of weekends back, we took a walk on the beach when the tide was way, way out and the sun clear and slanting ...
 
Don’t Feed the Bears · Just some pretty pictures, that’s all folks, nothing here to think about, move right along. Including, along with the title shot, one AFS, one AFSF, and a plum in a dishrack ...
 
Crane on Hastings · I took this weeks ago and liked the geometry, but the picture was still a little on the boring side. So I abandoned photointegrity and jammed the PhotoShop controls all the way over. Which, among other things, covers up the collateral damage from the War on Drugs ...
 
Summer Things · Early summer has been so undistinguishedly grey that I was considering declaring a unilateral case of SAD in July, but finally we’re seeing some real light and feeling some real warmth. Herewith some pictures of the summer things that people do ...
 
Harmless Family Fun · First, you have three glasses of wine with dinner. Then, you look at some pictures that are kind of interesting but not really up to scratch. Then, you go berserk with PhotoShop ...
 
Arms Reach · A friend had an opening in a gallery out in Deep Cove and it was my birthday, so we drove out and went looking for dinner after. At the gallery, the jazz trio (combined age well over 200) played old-fashioned clarinet tunes, so weirdly slow that the flavor was more Twin Peaks than Benny Goodman. Down at the end of the road the Arms Reach Bistro overlooks the cove, and I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind the trip. With two high-pressure jobs in the family we eat out once or twice most weeks: Japanese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, Indian, uh, can you spot a pattern? Very Vancouver, but we realized that it had been a long time since we’d dined out à la round-eye. The carpaccio appetizer was very good and my chicken penne with aioli was maybe the best dish I’ve eaten this year. The room was nice, the view beautiful, they had a very fine local Pale Ale on tap, and the bill was reasonable. The jazz trio (combined age maybe 75) covered Freddy Freeloader with real grace, stretching it out and even playing gently outside; what a nice evening.
 
FSS: Chinese New Year · Friday Slide Scan #7 is from whenever Chinese New Year was in 1984, in Vancouver’s Old Chinatown. It is egregiously PhotoShopped ...
 
Worst March Ever · I’ve been living here intermittently since 1983 and I haven’t seen a springtime like it. Sad ...
 
Melliodendron · What happened was, an unexpected email from Quentin Cronk led us to a feast of flowers, which may spill slightly onto the Net. This gig comes with fringe benefits, you betcha. While over-long, this fragment has a picture of a very beautiful flower that almost nobody’s ever seen ...
 
Geometries On Main · My “Home Office” isn’t actually at home, it’s over a store near 21st and Main in Vancouver. Main Street is interesting; at heart still pretty grungy and low-rent, it’s trying to gentrify. It’s hard to tell, looking forward, whether it’ll retain its essential grubbiness or vanish under a wave of mall stores and Starbucks. For the moment, it’s visually fetching ...
 
FSS: Japanese Garden Bridge · Friday Slide Scan #2 is from the late Eighties; a reflected bridge in Vancouver’s Nitobe Memorial Garden ...
 
Michael Klassen · This gentleman has just launched a kind-of-Vancouverish kind-of-Canadian kind-of-pop-cultural online presence, which looks pretty good so far; a little more weight on the top left corner of the blogosphere can’t hurt.
 
Wintry · Last week, we had one of our rare Vancouver snowstorms. But the stuff’s still on the ground ...
 
Vancouver Winterbeach · Weekends here at 49°N latitude in the short-day months, if the sun shows you really need to get out into it. We favour the beach, in particular the Point Grey Foreshore, which is nicely rough and scrambly and uncrowded. Herewith some winterbeach pictures ...
 
Floatplane! · A day trip today, Vancouver to Victoria and back; some might not find it self-evident that Victoria is on Vancouver island but Vancouver isn’t. There are a bunch of ways to get there; herewith a little photo-essay on the best ...
 
The Last Warm Weekend · The forecast says rain setting in tomorrow then a few days of mixed grey; which in Vancouver, this time of year, could stretch for weeks. So let’s share some sunny-weekend eye candy ...
 
Late Summer · Vancouver’s summer was good but ended, more or less, August 10th, so when on this last weekend the Sun manifested, we felt recompensed a little. Herewith some illustrated words on flowers that end in -ia, learning about the world, Jericho, harvesting and fishing ...
 
Vancouver Candid · The recent Startup Candid piece reflected the lovably-scruffy ethos of a company just getting off the ground. But it’s not always like that, and I have the pictures to prove it ...
 
Hometown Winterlight · This one’s pretty well content-free, just some Vancouver pix, and yes, one of ’em definitely has a flavor of “put it on a postcard to attract the tourists.” That’s OK, we get tons every year (a million just to do the cruise-ship thing) and generally like our visitors ...
 
The Tiger and the Skateboard Punk · So I said to the oriental guy, the one with the cruel mustache and spiked hair, “Get me a tiger.” His eyes widened: “A Tiger?” But then “OK.” Outside, the skateboard careened downhill, death and the law waiting ...
 
Seaweedshadow · Just more beach pix, but I used the number-one technique of professional photographers and one or two of ’em are surprising ...
 
Serious Rain · Last week, we almost set a couple of different records for rainfall, and there was serious flooding not too far from the city. Real Pacific rain isn’t like a Midwestern bucketing or a tropical monsoon; days-long waterdrumming, never violent but never stopping. On the second day of this, the local paper distinguished itself with the headline “Drought Officially Over” (they weren’t being ironic, we really did have a drought) ...
 
Decent Week · We ended a very nice week very nicely at the beach, you don’t really expect to enjoy balmy temperatures in crystal sunshine late into September up here, so the beach was busy as the citizens drank it in. I took a million pictures while I thought about good things that happened this week, many of which are the usual “Vancouver nestled in the mountains in the slanting sun” thing, but I didn’t put any of those in here. Question: what do the children of urban fisherpeople do? ...
 
Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown · We moved Antarctica from funky fashionable Yaletown to smack in the middle of Vancouver’s downtown core. We got more space, better space, escaped our bubble-era lease, saved big bucks, so the move was a no-brainer. The downtown experience is way different; among other things we have front-row seats at a hot flashpoint in the coffee culture wars. Plus, I finally got a picture that shows how Vancouver really looks ...
 
Water Squatters · Quoting Gibson: ... an eight-hour blackout that ended on a concrete ledge two meters above midnight. False Creek water. City lights, that same grey bowl of sky smaller now, illuminated by neon and mercury-vapor arcs. And it was snowing, big flakes but not many, and when they touched black water they were gone, no trace at all. Herewith some pictures of that same water and a Gibsonian kind of thing happening there ...
 
Big, Small, and More · Today’s weather went grey but stayed warm and we decided on a Sunday-afternoon outing to the beach, where a touch of soft rain only sweetened the waves’ welcome. This was balm to the eyes and after a bit the soul. Which was in order; it’s been a stressful weekend on the professional front and the sturm und drang seems to have momentum, so perhaps I can share a bit of that balm with the world via a tiny photo-essay. (Plus a practical undiscovered-Vancouver hint.) ...
 
Show Biz Kids · On Thursday a strangely surreal evening; the kid had his first-ever public performance; a thousand people came, terabytes were burnt, and the evening progressed through sushi to Stephen King in the twilight, and now I can't get this Steely Dan tune out of my head ...
 
Alleys and Lanes and Their People · Here in the Western part of Canada, the blocks in residential neighbourhoods are laid out with a lane between each two streets. From whence notes on words’ semantic spread, and on those losing the fight against their cities ...
 
I, Robot · So I'm on the plane for many hours, Orlando to Vancouver, middle seat in economy class (didn't travel much last year, lost all my special status), hot, cramped, hungry. Hooray, we're here! As you walk out of the customs hall at Vancouver airport, there's this place where all the drivers stand holding up little signs saying Mr. Jones, Ms. Chang, and so on. Today one of them said I, Robot. Follow-up: Roomba, and you too can be a cinéaste ...
 
A Perfect Spring Afternoon · A golden afternoon here, some of it captured photographically by defeating the wiles of my camera-nemesis. The first in the collection below is, I claim, the single canonical, definitive picture of Spring in Canada. A couple of 'em are well worth the click to enlarge ...
 
Drive 46 · “Forty-six days it's been raining.” said Shannon when she came to work this morning; that sunny day was just a teaser I guess. Let's assume that whoever wrote this was right about that promise in the last verse. But the car is dry inside and the music is on ...
 
On Drugs · Vancouver, where I live, has one of the world's worst street-drugs problems. I visited Zürich several times during the famous “Needle Park” days, and grew up in Lebanon, where much of the rural economy was hashish-fueled, and went to university in the Seventies (and we all know about that decade), and now here I am in Vancouver, famous not only for that street scene but for exporting mega-quantities of “BC Bud” to our southern neighbor. Drugs seem to have been following me around. You might want to read this even if you're not from Vancouver, because we just might be the future, and you could be dealing with it in your own town pretty soon ...
 
What the Rain Leaves Behind · It's been raining really a tremendous amount recently, if we didn't like it we wouldn't live here, right? A couple of after-the-rain photos ...
 
Rain · Warning to the rest of the continent: the Pacific Northwest, following what seems like seven consecutive weeks of rain, will shortly be dissolving and sliding beneath the briny waves of the ocean ...
 
Towerhang Raintinsel Elevatorsaint · Walking from one meeting to another through Yaletown, a nice part of Vancouver, the city kept throwing these weird rainsoaked scenes at me, or maybe it's just that I'm semilucid in the grip of a severe cold and suffering from a virally altered state of consciousness ...
 
February Commute, with Sunset · My commute route is via a bridge that I once cycled over in a snowstorm. This afternoon on the way home the sun was setting.
 
February Beach Walk · Vancouver has a nice stretch of undeveloped beach called the Point Grey Foreshore, went for a midwinter excursion down there. This is the reason that people want to live here ...
 
YVR Geometry · Was killing time in YVR (Vancouver's airport, regularly selected by travel magazines as the world's best, don't know if I'd go that far but it's OK), getting my shoes shined in fact, and I noticed the graceful geometries hovering under the ceiling ...
 
Bicycling Over the Ocean in a Snowstorm · I am fortunate in that I am able to bicycle to work. Vancouver's weather, while often rainy, rarely gets in the way of a reasonably determined cyclist ...
 
Buddhist Hardware · Buddhist Hardware I was in Home Depot, which is an intense kind of place. People look at the shelves intensely, they talk to each other intensely, and they talk to the orange aprons really intensely, with direct eye contact ...
 
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