Saturday, July 31, 2010

Funky Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes on display at the Granville Island Farmers' Market, held every Thursday all summer long.

Post title from this song by the band of the same name, Funky Tomatoes.

Celebration of Light - VII*

Part of the finale to the Celebration of Light fireworks

Last one, I promise. This photo, and all the Celebration of Light posts that came before it, were taken on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. The country competing that evening was Mexico. They made a valiant effort, but in my opinion, Spain, who competed the previous Saturday, has it sewn up. Their display was quite magical. Tonight, July 31, is China's turn. Alas, I will be away and won't get a chance to see it.

*This post is the last in a series about the internation fireworks competition called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light - VI*

More fireworks from the Celebration of Light

*This post is part of a series detailing the international fireworks competition called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light - V*

The Celebration of Light fireworks from the roof of the building I live in.

*This post is part of a series detailing the Celebration of Light international fireworks competition.

Celebration of Light - IV*

The crowd on the beach at English Bay about an hour and a half before the show begins.
After this it got too dark to take any more photos of the crowd. There were live concerts near the beach, streets were closed, and people started to head to the roof to enjoy a glass of wine on a perfect warm Vancouver summer evening before the fireworks began.

This post is part of a series about the fireworks competition called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light - The Third*

The beach crowd grows at English Bay, about three hours before the show begins.

*This post is part of a series about the annual fireworks competition hosted at English Bay called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light - Redux*

The beach at English Bay, about four hours before the show begins.

*Part of a series of posts about the annual fireworks competition in Vancouver called the Celebration of Light.

Celebration of Light

I want to catch up with all the missing posts from July before the end of the month, so I'm going to cheat, and post several, all on the same topic, in one day. Shhh. Don't tell anyone.

The Celebration of Light is an annual international fireworks competition that takes place above the waters of English Bay. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the event. There are usually three or four countries competing, on two consecutive Wednesdays and Saturdays at the end of July. The fireworks displays, set off from a barge in the bay, are choreographed to music and last 30 full minutes each night. It's a huge celebration for the city. About 300,000 people crowd onto the shores surrounding English Bay to watch it every evening of the competition. It just happens that I have a view of the beach at English Bay from one of my apartment windows, and a view of the fireworks barge from the roof of my building. The photos over the next several posts should give you an idea about the size of the event.

The beach at English Bay, about seven hours before the show begins.

Post title from this song by Marina Ray.

Critical Mass

The last Friday of every month in downtown Vancouver means Critical Mass - a sometimes militant, often vocal, usually unruly mass bicycling demonstration through the streets. Woe to the car driver trying to get home during rush hour; Critical Mass usually snarls up traffic for hours, often closing the Lions Gate Bridge entirely for an hour or more. As much as I'm a cyclist myself, and advocate for more bicycle lanes and better vehicle driver awareness, I'm not personally a fan of their methods. To me it seems counter-productive - I just can't figure out how cycling through the streets without regard for the rules of the road, blocking traffic, and angering vehicle drivers is going to make anyone more enthusiastic about cyclists. Perhaps I'm just not very clever.

Caught this snap with my iPhone at the beginning of about a thousand cyclists barreling down Beach Avenue early this evening, fresh from their triumph at closing one of only two accesses to the North Shore in the midst of Friday rush hour at the beginning of a long weekend. I must be mindful as I go about my business next week, that vehicle drivers may be tempted to run me down if they think I was a part of the demonstration.

Post title from this song by Brian Sanhaji.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Another shot from the deck of the Lazee Gal. Not the most perfectly framed picture I've ever taken, but a boat bobbing on the water doesn't give you the most steady tripod to work with! In the picture: foreground is a Harbour Air sea plane taxiing for takeoff, middle is The Vancouver Convention Centre (including, on the right, Line of Work). The unusual light standards surround Jack Poole Plaza and you can just see the top of the permanently installed Olympic Cauldron peeking out. On the left is Douglas Coupland's Digital Orca installation. In the background is the Marine Building, one of Vancouver's most elegant highrises and a rare example of Art Deco architecture.

Post title from this song by Lush Life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stainless Steel

Another Biennale piece, this stainless steel sculpture, "Borbora" by Vladas Vildziunas of Lithuania sits across the street from the main train station, in Thornton Park. I've managed, without really planning to, to take photos of ten of the Biennale's thirty-one current installations. Twenty-one to go!

Post title from this song by Emily Weedon and Delta.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Under the Bridge (Sous le pont)

Recently I was invited to join a short cruise aboard the Lazee Gal, an early 50's wooden yacht built by Thorton Grenfell (a locally renowned mid-century naval architect) and owned by a succession of prominent Vancouver families. It was a lovely evening, and while aboard I took the opportunity to get some photos from angles I wouldn't normally be able to see - like this one of the underside of the Lions Gate Bridge, mid-span.

Post title from this song by Benoit Charest from the Triplets of Belleville.


Woke up a few mornings ago to find this graffiti in my quiet residential neighbourhood on a few of the streets. It says "BC CSIS corrupt". I have no idea why it's been written in bright orange paint in the middle of the street. CSIS stands for Canadian Security Intelligence Service - basically our national spy agency. About two months ago there was quite a stir about the Canadian government being infiltrated by spies, but whether this graffiti is connected to that, and why it would only appear in the last week is a mystery to me.

Post title from this song by Depeche Mode.

Spanning Time

Another of the mosaics installed by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. I keep meaning to look up their locations and go photograph them and instead I just kind of stumble on them randomly as I'm going about my business in the downtown core. Fortunately I've had my camera with me most of the time. This one's called Spanning Time and is a stylized view of the Lions Gate Bridge. It's near the corner of Georgia Street and Howe Street, just steps away from where I took this photo.

Post title from this song by Parade of Sinners.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Clock Tower

The clock tower of the historic Sinclair Centre at the foot of Granville Street downtown. From their website:

"The [Post Office] building is easily identifiable by the 43m (141 ft) clock tower. The historic atrium clock was built in 1909 by John Smith & Sons and is the largest clock movement in Western Canada. The four, 12-foot diameter clocks were restored in 1986."
Post title from this song by AudioBody.

The Words Don't Fit the Picture

This large installation outside the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, called, obviously enough, "The Words Don't Fit the Picture" is by Ron Terada. It's a part of the city's Olympic public art project, like this piece on the opposite side of the main library building. It's meant to be evocative of Vancouver's neon sign history.

Post title from this Willie Nelson song.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Manhole (redux)

Another decorative manhole cover, also on Robson Street. COV at the bottom right is for, of course, City of Vancouver.

Post title from this song by Freddy King.

This post is the second of two posts for today. I'll be posting twice a day until I'm caught up from the days that were missed.

Brush With Life

This interesting piece of public art is located off the seawall near David Lam Park, not far from this photo. The floats at water level cause the angle of the top part to change with the tides, as well as rotate back and forth with winds, currents, and boat wakes. Sensors on the piece transmit information to It's called Brush With Illumination, and is by Buster Simpson.

A couple of boats from the small ferries that serve False Creek can be seen in the background.

Post title from this song by Litterbug.

This is one of two posts I'll be publishing today, in order to catch up from the several days I missed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lost Hiker

A few days ago I decided to tackle the Grouse Grind (previously mentioned here) for the first time since 2007. About a hundred yards up the trail from the entrance is this sign, basically telling you that the owners of Grouse Mountain will take no responsibility whatsoever for any potentially dangerous choices you might make or mayhem you decide to perpetrate as you ascend. I took it fairly easy, and completed the hike up in 1 hour 22 minutes. The fastest people do it in just over half an hour. That's not me!

Post title from this song by Liz Durett.

Time Stand Still

A combination of circumstances has put this blog on the back burner for the last several days: a broken camera lens (I weep), a flurry of new business activity (I celebrate), and the general busy-ness of summer.

But I'm back! And I'll be posting two photos a day until I'm caught up. Here's the first of today's:

This morning I read that the 2010 Olympic countdown clock, situated on the Georgia Street plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery since February of 2007 was going to be split up and moved. I've had it on my mental list of things to take a picture of for months, so I hopped on my bike and did so. Rather than try to get a shot of the whole thing in a plaza filled with summer tourists, I got up close and pointed my lens at just the LED numbers, which have stayed at zero since the Olympics began. Reflected on the shiny surface of the clock's face is the Hotel Vancouver, which was opened in 1939. I like the image of one of downtown Vancouver's older buildings superimposed on a clock showing that time has run out.

Post title from this song by iconic Canadian band, Rush.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Newspaper

A sampling of the proliferation of newspaper boxes on the street corners of my neighbourhood. From left to right: The National Post, which purports to be a national newspaper but is very Toronto-centric; The Vancouver Sun, which is the local business newspaper; The Province, owned by the same media company as the Sun but much more tabloid in nature, and then the two free commuter dailies, 24 hours and Metro, which in my very biased opinion are excellent for wrapping fish.

Post title from this Citizen Cope song.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Skateboarding Music

During the Olympics, one of the best things about being downtown was that many of the major streets were closed to vehicle traffic. The celebratory atmosphere was electric; even if you didn't get to go to any official Olympic events, the party was in the street and just wandering around people watching was good fun in and of itself. Because it was such a success, the City of Vancouver has decided to close Granville St and make it pedestrian only during the weekends all summer. Last weekend was the first of these closures, and I wandered down to have a look. Caught this photo of a skateboarding competition that was taking place in front of the Vogue Theatre.

Post title from Anti-Flag.


This building near the corner of Hastings and Burrard is really that bronze-ish colour. I just loved the reflection of the clouds on the glass in this picture.

Post title from the classic Joni Mitchell album.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Another mosaic, this one at the northwest corner of Burrard Street and Dunsmuir Street, in the heart of downtown's business district. This one's called Sea of Opportunity. It's a part of this series.

Post title from this song by You Say Party! We Say Die!

The Blob

Another Vancouver Biennale piece. Made of stainless steel and located at the corner of Georgia Street and Granville Street, it's called Artificial Rock #143, by Zhan Wang of China. I like the way, in this shot, it looks like an amorphous mass oozing through the city, like The Blob.

By this point you may have guessed that science fiction books and films figured prominently in my growing-up years.

Post title from this song by The Five Blobs.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Every now and then I come across this Nissan Figaro parked in my neighbourhood. I was out last week looking for reflection photos for the last City Daily Photo Theme Day, and took this quick snap. In the end I went with a different photo for my theme day post, but I still really like this one.

Post title from this remix of the opera classic by ANT1.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer's Cauldron

If you do a search on flickr for the Vancouver Olympic Cauldron, there are many, many images by photographers more talented than I am. Although I missed getting a shot of it lit up, this is what it looked like when I sat perched on the edge of the reflecting pool, almost directly underneath it a couple of days ago, and pointed my iPhone straight up on a sunny day with high scattered cloud in the sky.

Post title from this song by XTC.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I stopped by Jack Poole Plaza a couple of days ago to get a picture of the Olympic Cauldron now that construction of the reflecting pool is complete and it's no longer behind fencing - I missed getting a shot of it lit since it was extinguished by the time shipboard fireworks viewing was over on Canada Day. Instead I stumbled across this relatively recently installed piece by Vancouver author and artist Douglas Coupland, called Digital Orca.

Post title from this song by Wintersleep.

First Nation

There's a bit of controversy brewing about Stanley Park at the moment. A First Nations elder recently suggested that the name be changed to Xwayxway to honour the First Nations history of the park land. Although there is no formal proposal to rename the park before city, provincial, or federal government, politicians are stumbling over themselves to agree or disagree with the idea. I wonder what Lord Stanley himself would think. Here he is, pictured above, on a pedestal inscribed with the words:



Lord Stanley
October 1889

I took this photo near the entrance to the park back in April, thinking of using it for the City Daily Photo theme day on May 1st. Today seemed an appropriate day to post it instead.

Post title from this song by Atikamihk.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Frigate Autumn

Yesterday I had the good fortune to be invited aboard the HMCS Vancouver, a frigate in the Canadian Navy, which was docked at the north end of Canada Place as part of the celebration of Canada's Navy's 100th birthday. As my husband joked, "Wow, the Canadian Navy, almost an old as a Japanese person!"

HMCS Vancouver is usually based out of CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island, home of Canada's Pacific Fleet, but has been visiting her namesake city for a few days now. As yesterday, July 1st, was Canada Day, a national holiday celebrating the formation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 (before that we were a collection of separate British and French colonies), a number of civilians were invited aboard the Vancouver to view the Canada Day fireworks, set off from a barge just off Canada Place. I didn't really take photos of the fireworks - the photos never quite live up to the real event - but here's the ship just before I went aboard.

Post title from this song by Zhanna Klimova.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


The City Daily Photo theme for today is reflections. I took this one at Marinaside Quay in Yaletown a few days ago. The yacht is the Hotei, owned by a charter company in Vancouver.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants