Sunday, July 31, 2011

Antipathy to 'vulgar' gay behaviour the reason for pride parade

A very good article by Peter McKnight in the Sun yesterday in response to Professor Purewal commenting that the parade should be banned.

Antipathy to 'vulgar' gay behaviour the reason for pride parade

Purewall later revised his comments to say the explicit sexuality of the parade should be banned not the parade itself.

Q&A: Why Professor Shinder Purewal is against explicit sexuality at Pride Parades | Posted | National Post

Personally, I'm not very interested in watching men in underwear engaging in sexually explicit behaviour on a parade float, drag queens, etc. so won't be attending. However, I don't think this parade needs to be inclusive and something you could take children to like Purewall believes.

I do believe the gay parades in various cities do give an important message that these places are "gay friendly". But I do wait for the day when this message becomes irrelevant and gays gain complete acceptance by all. Then, I think such parades will become passe just as "women libbers" burning their bras and going topless in the 60's has just become a curiosity we've moved beyond.

Celebration of Light: China's night

Quite a spectacular show and seemed to be a peaceful family event from our vantage point. According to the Vancouver Sun the crowds got noisier as the sun set and they poured out 500 containers of liquor. Not really much noise or activity around our area after it broke up and not a scrap of garbage to be seen this morning.

These kids were having fun doing their break dancing moves.

Fireworks taken from my iphone on our balcony.

Most condo and apartments had security laid on...ours had three people patrolling front and back.

Gardens in the area are protected by steel fences so you sort of feel like you're in a cage...

Crowds gathering and having fun playing games and eating.

Earlier in the afternoon loads of extra garbage cans were delivered as well as recycling areas which were manned by volunteers to make sure the right stuff went in the right places.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Great day with old friends...

We met up with Donna and Neil today and all went out to the Crescent Beach area to have lunch in a pub with Linda and Cec and then back to their place to sit in the sun, imbibe, and do them a favour by finishing off the ice-cream cake leftovers from their daughter's's a tough life. Cec does these great paintings and I loved the one of his grand daughter...too bad there's a reflection because it's just super.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Only Sea Foods Restaurant

I just loved this sign as a kid and it's great that it has been restored the restaurant will open again!

Hastings Street once rivalled Granville as downtown Vancouver's commercial hub.

Thousands of people arrived by streetcar, interurban and ferry to shop at Woodward's and the numerous small businesses on Hastings, which also had a thriving theatre district.

But the street always had a rough side, thanks to its numerous cheap hotels and beer parlours. As downtown suffered in the 1960s and '70s, Hastings started to slide, and bottomed out after Woodward's closed in 1993. Virtually all the small businesses that once flourished on the street have closed.

Today, the neighbourhood seems to be getting worse and better at the same time.

Demolition crews in the 100block East Hastings are taking down a pair of civic landmarks -the Pantages Theatre and the Blue Eagle Cafe. There are no approved plans for the site, so it will probably be an empty lot for several years.

But the reopening of Save-on-Meats at 43 West Hastings, the opening of London Drugs and Choices in the Woodward's complex and the restoration of heritage buildings such as the Pennsylvania Hotel and the Flack Block have brought some life, and hope, back to the troubled street.

The next old business to be resurrected looks to be The Only seafood restaurant.

The Only was a Hastings Street fixture from 1917 to 2009, when it closed amid allegations of drug trafficking by its last operators.

The non-profit PHS (Portland Hotel Society) leased The Only name from the original owners, Tyke and Peter Thodos, who took the name back when the last operators had their business licence revoked.

Pattison Sign Group has restored The Only's classic neon sign, a sea horse leaping above whitecapped waves, and the PHS has leased the restaurant's former premises at 20 West Hastings.

"Basically we want to get The Only open and do it as part of a job training thing for [Downtown Eastside] residents," explains Mark Townsend of the PHS. "It's more like a training thing/social enterprise."

The Only's old menu will be resurrected, and the restaurant expanded into an old storefront next door. The PHS also hopes to reopen a 6,000-sq.-ft. second-floor space that used to house the Logger's Social Club.

The building needs a lot of work before it can reopen. Asbestos in the walls and ceilings on the second floor must be removed, and the electrical and plumbing are in dire need of repair.

"It's a mess," says Townsend.

"The basement was full of water that we had to pump out, [and] all the electrical is basically shot. It looked like Frankenstein, when they pulled those levers. Basically it's [suffered from] years and years and years of neglect, which is unfortunate."

Townsend hopes to have The Only open in six to eight months.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gabriola House

I didn't realize this house on Davie Street that was a location of the Marcaroni Grill until a few years ago (now unfortunately not being used for anything) was called "Gabriola House" because the sandstone on the exterior was quarried on Gabriola Island where my family had a summer home. In fact, they called it "Sandstone".

Some more info I picked up from the Internet:

Gabriola - 1900

1523 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC.

The most famous West End Mansion, still standing and "probably the most lavish private home ever constructed in B.C." was 'Gabriola', on the corner of Davie and Nicola. Gabriola was built in 1900 for Benjamin Tingley Rogers, a sugar refiner from New York City. Rogers came to Vancouver at age 24, and in 1892 opened the 'B.C Sugar Refinery,' quickly becoming one of Vancouver's most important businessmen, known by all as the 'Sugar King'. The mansion for the Rogers family was designed by Samuel Maclure, a well known residential architect at the time and was built from sandstone brought from Gabriola Island - hence its original name. The mansion was sold in 1918 after Benjamin died and his widow moved into Shannon, a new mansion in Shaughnessy, the now fashionable area for the rich. Gabriola was then converted into apartments with over 50 suites, eventually turning into a series of restaurants.

This building was built in the Queen Anne style.

Most of the shore area on Gabriola Island was sandstone like the following photo shows. At high tide it was great to go swimming because the sandstone had absorbed all this heat and it warmed the water up very nicely.

Monday, July 25, 2011

By the numbers...and letters...

Last night Richard mentioned the commercial part of Boeing does a trillion dollars worth of business a year and the military half that. Then, of course, we're hearing a lot about the US National Debt which is now more than 14 trillion. We talked about how it really is hard to imagine those kinds of numbers. Of course, wouldn't you know it, there are some things on the Internet that do help to visualize those large amounts.

What does one TRILLION dollars look like?

I was also (as is Richard) rather fascinated by all the acronyms Boeing SME and FOD among many many examples. I found this site pretty interesting and especially these figures on their home page:

865, 330 acronyms and abbreviations
421,806,948 searches
10, 516 visitors online now

Military Boeing Acronyms and Military Boeing Abbreviations

And another acronym I was introduced to today in the newspaper was DTES...Downtown Eastside in a context of a plan to end homelessness by 2021. A worthy goal and I truly hope it comes true.

Sunshine and warmth!

We did get lots of sunshine yesterday and it was even balmy into the evening. We took advantage of the day to have lunch on our balcony. Jim got a lamb sharama from Denman and we shared it...loads of food for two and very yummy.

We went for an ocean swim just across from us and it was really quite warm and great to sit in the sun. Richard came for dinner bearing gifts from his recent roadtrip to Seattle and his Arizona trip a while back. He gave us this great redwood cheese board and some wonderful artisan cheeses he found in Seattle and the mesh bag from the Grand Canyon will be perfect for carrying our swimming gear since the sand will fall out!

Thank you, Richard!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Provence Marinaside

Don recommended this restaurant a while ago and I kind of forgot about it probably because I had it pegged to go to in the sunshine which hasn't been all that plentiful. It's terrific and on the seawall at the bottom of Davie and it is like going to Provence for a brief time. The fish soup with rouille and gruyere is just like in France, the lamb merquez sausage panini was wonderful (good thing we shared it...huge portion for $13) and the white Kronenburg beer also super. And being outside in the sunshine!

I'm not a tremendous fan of Yaletown but I love this restaurant and this part of Yaletown on the seawall. And we walked to it after parking in our resident's only parking on Thurlow. We walked to Yaletown Friday as well to visit the Roundhouse....more on that in another post.

Provence Marinaside

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Michelle Obama heads to reality TV – CNN Political Ticker - Blogs

It seems the genre of Reality TV is already into good causes and social justice issues...who knew? But then, I watch almost no TV.

Michelle Obama heads to reality TV – CNN Political Ticker - Blogs

This, from Wikipedia on Reality TV:
Reality television frequently portrays a modified and highly influenced form of reality, utilizing sensationalism to attract audience viewers and so to generate advertising revenue profits. Participants are often placed in exotic locations or abnormal situations,[1] and are sometimes coached to act in specific scripted ways by off-screen "story editors" or "segment television producers", with the portrayal of events and speech manipulated and contrived to create an illusion of reality through and other post-production editing techniques.

Save on Meats not just another faux-retro diner - The Globe and Mail

Kate (See Kate read See Kate write See Kate run) sent me this from the Globe and Mail. Great to see all the press this diner is getting and apparently there is a reality show in the works called "Gastown Revival". I've never watched a reality show before so this might become the first!

gastownrevival.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Save on Meats not just another faux-retro diner - The Globe and Mail

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy 80th Birthday YVR!

I think YVR is the best looking airport in the world and even though I come home to it usually shagged and fagged I am always given a lift by all the wonderful artworks, design, and the wall of water in the foreign arrivals! And now to think that instead of being dead tired waiting around for a couple of hours for the flight to Victoria, I'm home in 20 minutes to my view of English Bay and my wonderful freighters.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The neon pig flies again

I'm really glad someone is trying to revitalize this site. Going downtown shopping at Woodward's and the Army and Navy was a big deal as a teenager. It's so sad to see this area as the infamous "Downtown Eastside". It was always a bit marginal and on the edge of "Skidrow" but we felt safe down there. Good on this fellow for trying to do something especially providing a professional kitchen for people to make and sell products. I really wish him well.

There was an article today in the Sun and it seems the restaurant is doing great serving up good reasonable food.

Retro diner serves up cutting-edge cool

The neon pig flies again

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I think newspaper people will like this... be fair

It was actually a beautiful sunny afternoon and evening yesterday and even some glimpses of sun today. Yesterday, we took advantage of the sun to go over to Granville Island again by our little's definitely becoming habitual! Somehow, you feel like you are instantly on holiday when you step on that little ferry and start across the water then greeted by the smells of the market and the music of buskers and all the happy people enjoying themselves. We went to the Sandbar again to have their 10 buck moules-frites and pint of Granville Island beer...this time I had the Thai curry...excellent! Arriving back to the "mainland" we enjoyed watching the dogs enjoying their leash free area.

Yet another grey day....the "Omega Block" affect


*It resembles the Greek letter Omega and is best analyzed at 500-mbs are adjacent pressure surfaces. The basic pattern of the Omega block is show below:

Air over the Southwest U.S. in forced to the north into Canada and then back south into the Southeast U.S. by the huge high-pressure ridge in the center of the country. The region under the omega block experiences dry weather and light wind for an extended period of time while rain and clouds are common in association with the two troughs on either side of the omega block. Omega blocks make forecasting easier since you can pinpoint areas that will be dominated by dry or rainy weather for several days. The right side of the omega block will have below normal temperatures while the region to the left will have above normal temperatures in this case.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Light Lifting"

"Light Lifting" by Alexander MacLeod

These are pretty good straight forward honest stories about ordinary people and I enjoyed them. I guess my only concern is that they were so much like his father's stories in style and subject matter...well, not the coal miners and fishermen of the stories in "Island" by Alistair MacLeod but kind of the same idea. Reading the stories in "Island" brought me to tears. The ones by his son didn't have quite the same impact.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Another "cruise"

Houseboats on Granville Island.

View of the bocce courts from the bar at the Italian Cultural Centre.

We took the little ferry to Granville Island last night to meet with Donna and Neil to see the Closer Walk with Patsy Cline show at the Arts Club. They've renovated the theatre since we've been there...wonderfully comfortable seats and a great view from the upper level bar and lobby. It's just great to get to Granville Island this way although Donna said the traffic wasn't too bad and she found out that parking is free after 7pm when the market closes. Good to know...Vancouverites are always on the lookout for free parking.

Then, for a rainy day program today we went to the Italian Cultural impressive facility and grounds and some interesting events. We'll probably take some in and perhaps even join. The restaurants weren't open for Sat lunch so to assuage Jim's disappointment not getting an Italian meal I suggested Las Margaritas which was wonderful and cosy in the rain. A super place in the sun and the rain and we both love the food there. I always get the lunch special which includes this wonderful tortilla soup and Jim gets his shredded beef enchilada with his rice and refried beans.

Along with Vancouver...another one of my favourite things...the print newspaper

Thanks to Adrian Chamberlain for posting this on Facebook and Tim Chamerlain for commenting.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vancouver Art Gallery

We went to the Vancouver Art Gallery today to see the surrealist exhibition...pretty impressive collection of materials including the Dali "Lobster Telephone". Some surrealists collected our First Nations art and felt it had some of the same qualities they were trying to capture and some of the items from collections of these surrealist artists were included. You can certainly see the link when they are exhibited side by side.

Vancouver Art Gallery

Now, what was really great about going to the Art Gallery is we parked on Bute and Barclay in our residents only parking for free and walked to the Art Gallery. It took about 10 minutes. It's just great to have this free parking and it's always a pleasant walk downtown as you have all the downtown stuff and then all these wonderful parts of streets they've made pedestrian only which are usually tree-lined, one had a neat fountain, and have some heritage houses along with the apartments and condos.

There are so many people living in the heart of the city that have these quiet oases as neighbourhoods. And then there are all the wonderful parks and facilities, beaches, etc.

Vancouver has a plan to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. One goal is everyone living in the city will be no more than a 5 minute walk to a green space and loads of other neat things. Way to go, Vancouver!

Talk Green Vancouver | City of Vancouver

Very cool water fountain.

Pedestrians only in the heart of the city.

One of the lovely heritages houses that have been preserved.

I loved the "unattended children" sign on this foodcart.

This seems like a fun job...being paid to make mudpies.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A painting my mom did

Oil on board
9 x 12

I was really pleased my cousin, Bonnie, gave me this painting my mother did. I have the first painting she ever did but no others. My mother took up painting quite late in life when they were retired on Gabriola Island. This looks like the view in front of their home. I like the impressionistic style and the way she did the sandstone She just called it "Gabriola".

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cheapest birthday dinner ever...

Jim was tired today since he taught a class on his birthday and also had swarms of students in his office hour so we decided to go to Granville Island...parked for free in our resident's parking by the Aquatic Centre and took the False Creek Ferry to Granville Island. Great to do it this way since parking and traffic are horrific otherwise. So, a "cruise" for his birthday and then the Sandbar bar where we got a seat overlooking the water and had their "Mussel Mania", 10 bucks for a pint of Granville Island Honey Lager, two dozen mussels a la provencale with loads of chorizo saucage and great broth, and frites with dijon ( they do in France). Richard put us on to this great deal...merci, Richard!

A red letter day

Not only is it Jim's birthday, he also received his British passport today. It was supposed to take 6-8 weeks and it took 14 weeks. Of course, the courier tried to deliver it last week when we were in Victoria for a few days. All's well that ends well.

Perhaps Jim will snag some gig in some interesting place in the European Union...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Good bye to Uncle Roy

We attended my uncle's service today and it was great to see family and chat. I loved these sweaters that my cousin's grandsons are wearing. One was my Uncle Roy's sweater and one was my Uncle John's sweater. They were both well known lacrosse players and my cousin, John, who was a photographer for the Province recounted today that he often got the way smoothed for a photo by mentioning their names. Lacrosse used to be very big in Vancouver. Well, it was a sport that didn't need much equipment in those days, not even helmets. My Uncle John was one of the first to wear a helmet because his employer at the time told him if he came in with another beaten up face he would be fired!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

And now starring.....Binky!

Whirlwind weekend in Victoria

It was a pretty busy weekend in Victoria but it was great to see so many people and I even got in a couple of swims at the Grand Pacific!

Monique took us out to Uplands Friday night and we all had a super time topped off by inviting ourselves to Susan and Chris's asking for a good single malt which we were treated to...might be the last time they leave their back door open on a Friday night when we're in town.

We saw John and Fern on Saturday and it was great to catch up. They brought over a bottle of Proscecco which I'm sure we won't have any trouble finding an occasion to celebrate.

We dropped over to Ian's on the way to the ferry and Binky appeared from the bushes. I got a little movie of her too but having some problems uploading at the come...

What a gorgeous girl!

I always get a kick out of Ian's M&M collection.

Friday, July 08, 2011

In Victoria for a few days

Jim's birthday booty.

My birthday booty...the mugs have a Paris theme...perfect.

We began our time in Victoria having s great meal at the Cactus Club with Derek and Mary Wed night then out to celebrate my birthday (July 7) and Elaine's (July 8) at the Marinina. Excellent meal as well and we always enjoy the view.

The Curlings spoiled us as usual with birthday gifts...Jim opened his even though he is younger than me until July 13. Can't wait to get a meal prepared by him from the Sopranos cookbook....!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Our first swim in the ocean today!

We got into the ocean today and it wasn't really that cold...perhaps 18 or 19 C. It was a beautiful balmy evening and we went for a walk as the sun was just about finished setting.

For Uncle Roy

My Uncle Roy passed away June 22. He was my mother's brother and the last of my mother's siblings. I have always had tremendous admiration for my grandmother who immigrated from Sweden as a young woman and raised her four children pretty much on her own. They went through tough times but all became fine citizens.

Stanley Park and English Bay provided wonderful free recreation for the family and as I look out on the slide at English Bay from my window I think of them having a blast going down it and all the fun our families had at picnics and Stanley Park.

CAVALLIN, Roy Fred It is with saddened hearts the family announces the passing of Roy - ""Rocky"", Fritzy (September 16, 1919 - June 22, 2011). Roy was predeceased by his beloved Isabell, brother John, sisters Florence and Elsie. He is survived by son Tim and sister-in-law Phyllis Brown, seven nieces and a nephew. Roy was a well known trainer for the B.C. Lions, was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame and a huge supporter and worker for the Special Olympics which Isabell helped to start. A celebration of Roy will be held on Tuesday, July 12, at Ocean View Funeral Home Chapel (Burnaby) at 1:00 p.m. No flowers by request. Donations could be made to the charity of your choice.

I enjoyed reading this account of my uncle's lacrosse days:

Central Desktop

Monday, July 04, 2011

Is summer here?

It did feel like summer yesterday. We went out to the University Golf Course driving range to hit some balls then split a halibut burger...the halibut was breaded with panko and had smoked salmon in the middle...very yummy. Then to Second Beach pool to swim and enjoy the sun. Richard came over and we headed to the Yaletown Keg for their lobster fest. A perfect ending!

Richard actually went into the ocean for a dip yesterday...looks like he beat us this year...

Sunday, July 03, 2011

See Kate read See Kate write See Kate run

Thanks, Kate, for reminding me to be grateful on Canada Day. Gee, I think I just complained about the weather...!

See Kate read See Kate write See Kate run

Penny Candy

I can't remember when I last saw penny candy for sale being sold as such. I've seen these items by the bag. Strawberries and bananas were a real treat but I usually bought 15 jaw breakers for my nickel since that lasted a long time.