Saturday, 28 January 2012

Hydro Lines And Back Lanes: Goodbye Wooden Frames

BC Hydro is taking on the ambitious task of removing 350  old wooden H frames and elevated transformers from downtown lanes and installing electrical services underground. This 5 year project with a projected cost of $350 million will change the face of Vancouver's downtown alleys. A few will be left standing in Chinatown and Gastown to preserve ambience for filming in these areas.  The rest will slowly begin to disappear as work begins.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Relief: Rum Runners Of The Past

Tucked away and retired under The Granville Street Bridge is the boat Relief.  Built and launched in 1929, this boat has definitely seen more exciting days.  It's first owner, Merrill Sollows, used her as a rum runner, transporting illegal alcohol from Nova Scotia, Canada to the US.  Prohibition was in full force and penalties were high for selling and transporting alcohol, yet it was also very profitable.  In the 1920's alcohol was seen as the main source of societal problems including poverty, disease and crime.  The belief was that if you banned alcohol, then all of these problems would go away.  Story has it that after a strong machine gun warning by the US Coast Guard, the captain decided that fishing might be a safer way to earn a living.
Relief spent most of the remainder of her sea days fishing off the west coast from Cape Fairweather, Alaska down to Crescent City, California.  She now rests under The Granville Street Bridge.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Granville Island: A Joe Average Moment

Every time I see a Joe Average work of art I can't help but smile.  Often referred to as the Andy Warhol of Vancouver, his bright, cheerful,  cartoon like images  have been visible on the streets of Vancouver for many years.
Diagnosed with HIV at age 27, Joe Average made a commitment to spend the rest of his life committed to art.  As a result, we in Vancouver have benefited from this commitment.  Along with having his work displayed in public spaces, he also donates work to numerous charities including Art For Life, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival and A Loving Spoonful.  It is not uncommon to see someone wearing a Joe Average tshirt promoting a local fund raiser or to walk by an art store and have one of his images brighten it's window.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Even In The City......

Even with all the hustle and bustle of our large city there is time for serenity.  This buddha was sitting outside a healing center near Commercial Drive.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

HMV Closes, Power Block Renovations Granville Street

HMV on Burrard Street closed it's doors yesterday for the last time.  Rumors are flying as to who will rent out the space with over 50,000 square feet covering 3 floors.

More retail space will come available once renovations/demolition is completed at Granville and Robson Street.  The Power Block Art Deco facade at 817-819 Granville Street has heritage status and therefore will be retained.  The remainder of the building did not get off as lucky and will be demolished.  The building next to it, at the corner of Robson and Granville also does not have heritage status and is slated for demolition.  A five storey building has been proposed for this site with two floors of retail space and three of office space.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Looking For A Hotel Room?

Clean, quiet rooms close to downtown Vancouver with an added bonus of free cable and coin laundry!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Hydro Lines And All

I've seen a ton of running shoes hanging from hydro lines but boots are a first. Not quite sure how these got there.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Japadog: Street Dogs With Flavor

Looking for a hotdog with a twist, don’t miss out on Vancouver’s Japanese hotdog known locally as Japadog.  Started in 2005 by Noriki Tamura, the one cart venue has expanded to several food carts  in the downtown core and the opening of a restaurant on Robson Street just a couple of blocks  east of Granville.  Where else in Vancouver  or even the rest of Canada can you experience a hotdog with wasabi mayo, miso, teriyaki or even seaweed.  Our local outdoor eatery became an international hit during the 2010 Olympics with people from around the world asking where these local carts were located.  It is not uncommon to see long lineups as people wait to order their unique dogs. If you’re not into hotdogs then head down to the restaurant where you can try out items such as okonomi, a grilled pancake with pork, cabbage and bonito flakes or korokke a deep fried mash potato and cabbage croquette. I always tread lightly on the bonito flakes.  And now you can also check them out in New York as Japadog has gone global with their first opening outside of Vancouver.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Less Than 2 Weeks Left The Audain Collection Vancouver Art Gallery

Don't miss out on Vancouver Art Gallery's show Shore, Forest And Beyond: Art from the Audain Collection.  This exhibition of 170 pieces is impressive and comes from the private collection of Michael Audain and his wife, Yoshiko Karasawa. It showcases not only British Columbia artists including First Nations, E. J. Hughes and  Emily Carr but also a number of works by Canadian Modernists,  including Lawren Harris and B.C. Binning.  Another focus of the exhibition is Mexican Modernism with works by Diego Rivera,Rufino Tamayo, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siquieros. This show ends January 29 and is definitely worth seeing.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Snow Day In Vancouver

It's another snow day in Vancouver.  I came across this little snowman on my daily outing. Unfortunately he looks like he's had a bit of a rough go of it.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sons Of Granville: Street Busking Canada Line

Definitely worth checking this band out: Sons Of Granville performing outside
The Canada Line.  Check them out on Facebook for more info on performances.



What's In The Pot???

Monday, 9 January 2012

We're Smiling For Now! A-maze-ing Laughter Yue Minjun

Yes, we're smiling at least for the moment.  Yue Minjun's iconic scupltures A-maze-ing Laughter nestled in Morton Park, just off of English Bay have had their stay extended at least until the end of August, 2012.  Part of the free Public Art Exhibition Biennale, these sculptures were to be dismantled and auctioned off by the end of 2011.  However with a price tag of $5 million dollars they appeared to be a hard sell in these tough economic times.  Even if you could afford the price tag, where would you put them.  Not exactly backyard material.  According to a recent press release, the artist has agreed to lower the selling price to $1.5 million on the condition that these sculptures stay on public display. Maybe someone should start a penny drive. They are amazing.

Friday, 6 January 2012

HMV Up To 80% Off Closing Sale Robson & Burrard

HMV's flagship store located at the corner of Robson and Burrard is closing this month.  With 3 floors and over 50,000 square feet most items including CD's and DVD's have been heavily discounted. Formerly the home of the Vancouver Public Library and more recently Virgin Megastore, it will be interesting to see who snaps up this prime location in the heart of downtown Vancouver.


Where Have All The Tires Gone! Vancouver Lanes

    Have an extra car tire and not sure how to get rid of it. Used to be you could just toss them in the trash.  Not anymore. The city of Vancouver lists tires as Prohibited Waste and you must either take a trip out to the landfill in Delta or drop them off at your local tire shop. We do not recommend that you dispose of them in beat up old cars in city laneways.