Monday, May 31, 2010


Nothing special here, just an Italian deli - except that it's smack dab in the middle of Chinatown on Main Street. To get in you have to ring a bell. An older gentlemen comes to the door, looks you over, and if you pass muster, lets you in to a dimly lit but well provisioned shop of Italian olive oils, pastas and other dry goods, meats, and cheese. I picked up an immense chunk of pecorino for about $8 the last time I was there. I paid cash.

Post title from this song by Homme Beige.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green

I have not a clue what either of these varieties of vegetable actually are. Took this photo at a vegetable stall in Chinatown a while ago - I just liked all the green.

Post title of course from this song by the inimitable Kermit the Frog.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Calling All Angels

It's a gloomy day out there today, and Memorial Day in the US. (Not in Canada, we honour our war dead on Remembrance Day in November.) A moody black and white photo seems in order. I snapped this the other day with the trusty iPhone/Hipstamatic combination. It's a statue outside the old Canadian Pacific Railway train station on Cordova Street, now a local public transit hub. The plaque beneath the statue reads:

To commemorate those in the service of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company who, at the call of King and Country, left all that was dear to them, endured hardship, faced danger and finally passed out of sight of men by the path of duty and self sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that their names be not forgotten.
1914-1918   1939-1945

Post title from this song by Jane Siberry and kd lang.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Expo '86

A shot looking east from the middle of Cambie Bridge. In the foreground are some remnants of False Creek's industrial past. Mid-ground is the new Millenium Water and Hinge Park, which served as the Athlete's Village during the 2010 Winter Olympics, and in the background is the round buckyball of Science World, originally built to house the Expo Centre at Expo '86.

Post title from this song by Death Cab for Cutie.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Something about the lighting fixtures in and around Harbour Green Park in Coal Harbour reminds me of the film Metropolis. It's the "future meets 1920's" look, I think, combined with the fact that they're surrounded by such sleek glass towers.

Post title from this song by Kraftwerk.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Passport Radio

The other day I needed to renew my passport, so headed to the Passport Canada office in Sinclair Centre downtown. Walking to the entrance with my new "photo a day" set of eyes, I noticed some detail on the outside of the building I've walked blindly past countless times.

Post title from this song by Broken Social Scene.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bring on the Dancing Horses

Yesterday was a holiday in Canada: Victoria Day, where we celebrate the legendary British Queen's birthday. I've never attended, or for that matter even heard of, official Victoria Day ceremonies or events; for most of us it's merely the first long weekend of summery weather. It rained most of the weekend here in Vancouver except for yesterday afternoon. I took the break in the weather as a sign that I should walk to English Bay and take in some beach time. It seems a couple of officers and their steeds from the Vancouver Police Mounted Squad based in nearby Stanley Park did the same!

Post title from this song by Echo & the Bunnymen.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Market of the Night

Yesterday early evening I stopped by the Chinatown Night Market to wander through the stalls of trinkets, knockoffs, and delicious street food of the meat-on-a-stick variety. Vancouver has two Chinese night markets during the summer months - this one in Chinatown proper on Keefer Street and another in the suburb of Richmond. Clutter in my home being in no short supply, I go strictly for the food. Green onion cakes and sui mai are must-haves!

In the background loom the distinctive concrete and glass residential towers of Yaletown.

Post title from this song by the Great Bloomers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


This photo is not, strictly speaking, in Vancouver. Yesterday while I was in Richmond I wandered from the Brighouse Canada Line Station (the end of the line) to Minoru Park. I'd never been there before - although I've worked in odd places all over Metro Vancouver on film sets in a previous career, Richmond is usually avoided for filming because the proximity to the airport and all the airplanes flying overhead are a real nightmare for the sound guys. So Richmond is more or less unknown to me.

Minoru Park was the location of the O Zone during the 2010 Olympics. Once a horse racing venue and airstrip, it's now home to a variety of athletic and cultural facilities. Here is an at-ground-level detail shot of the 400m long running track, built on the original horse racing track.

Post title from this song by Miss V.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Metro

Today I rode the Canada Line from downtown Vancouver out to Richmond (a suburb directly south of Vancouver proper) and back, just for fun.

Because I'm a geek like that.

On the way home I was able to sit in the very front seat. Because Canada Line trains are automated and have no driver, that seat looks out the front windshield. As we were stopped at the Oakridge/41st Ave Station northbound, I aimed my iPhone at the front window and took this shot of the tunnel in front of us. The way it's lit almost makes it look like some kind of wormhole from a science fiction television show. I also love the ghost-like reflections of my fellow passengers along the left edge of the shot. Maybe I'll stop taking my good camera with me - some of my favourite photos are ones I took with my phone!

Title post from this Berlin song.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nighthawks at the Diner

Today I had lunch at a little diner called Frenchie's on Dunsmuir Street, across the street from the church in this picture. If you're looking for something quintessentially Canadian (although not at all West Coast) I do recommend their poutine, tourtiere, and Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches. I neglected to bring my good camera with me, so my iPhone and Hipstamatic came to my rescue again. Today starts a long weekend in Canada; we celebrate Victoria Day in honour of, of course, Queen Victoria. I have nothing special planned, just a lazy weekend - except of course some wandering around and taking photos!

Post title from this album by Tom Waits.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mushroom Therapy

Yesterday I stumbled across this charming set of tile mosaic mushrooms at the corner of Bute Street and Barclay Street in the West End neighbourhood. Titled "The Four Elements", the name of the piece and the artist's web address was worked into a corner of the concrete. Like so many things on this blog, I had no idea it was there until I was cycling past on my daily ride to find photos to post, despite the fact that it's in my own neighbourhood.

Post title from this song by Mark Otten.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Line of Work

Another shot of Coal Harbour and the "green roof" of the Vancouver Convention Centre. This graceful wood and metal installation by Jill Anholt is called Line of Work, a tribute to the workers that build British Columbia.

In the background you can see a float plane about to take off from the nearby seaplane base.

Post title from this song by QGMR.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stripped Back Hinge

A couple of days ago I jumped on my bike and cycled along the seawall to South East False Creek, to the site of the Olympic Athlete's Village, (which real estate developers have renamed Millenium Water). The buildings and site have recently been turned over to the City of Vancouver from the Olympic 2010 Committee. The day before there had been an open house (the individual units are being sold as condos at market rates) that had drawn protesters, angry that original plans for affordable and social housing weren't being adhered to by the city. The day I was there was quiet; all was locked up. Just to the west of the Athlete's Village buildings is a little park I'd never seen before: Hinge Park. The landscaping is all man-made, and one of its purposes is to filter rain water from the street drains and create a small wetland area for local bird life. It also has a children's play area, which includes a fountain. The fountain's water flow can be controlled by weirs the children can move. The day I was there kids were grabbing handfuls of rocks and pebbles and building dams across the fountain's metal waterways (which you can see in the foreground of this picture). In the background, on the other side of False Creek, are the residential highrises of Yaletown and Vancouver's downtown core.

Post title from this song by Scorn.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Skin of Time

Another Vancouver Biennale piece, this one's a sculpture by Choi Tae Hoon of Korea called Skin of Time. It's nestled into a little green space that's part of Harbour Green park, but above the seawall at street level and closer to the downtown core at the foot of Bute Street. I haven't photographed it before because it apparently includes an LED display after dark, and I wanted to see that. This morning as I cycled past, I liked the way the mid-morning sun was hitting it and decided to duck under the barricade, crouch down in the grass and point my lens up at it. It reminds me a little of this photo.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Let the Drummer Kick

Came across these remarkable young men a couple of days ago while cycling past the Bath House at English Bay. I was up on the street level, heard the live music, and couldn't resist hopping off my bike, walking down to the beach, and stopping to listen to them for a few minutes. I didn't get the name of the group, which pains me, as they are phenomenal musicians. In addition to the marimbas they're playing in the foreground here, there were also a half dozen other percussion instruments, including congas, a djembe, and other small drums I'm not hip enough to recognize. They were playing West African and Cuban beats, and were gathering quite a crowd. Their musicianship was outstanding; periodically they would all switch places and play each instrument in turn, without ever losing the rhythm, interrupting the song, or changing the amazing energy they were putting out into the warm Friday afternoon.

I hope I get to see them again - then I can update this page with their name/links to their work. If anyone knows who they are, please let me know in the comments. This kind of talent should be recognized!

Thanks to Harriet, I now know that this group is called Kutapira. All hail the twitter hive mind!

Post title from this song by Citizen Cope.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Island in the Sun

This picture is essentially the reverse angle of this shot, (although taken a couple of weeks apart) complete with a False Creek Ferries boat making its way across False Creek. I stopped mid-span on the eastbound bicycle lane of the Burrard Street Bridge and pointed my lens at Granville Island, the Granville Street Bridge, and in the background the neighbourhood of False Creek South.

Post title from this Weezer song.

Friday, May 14, 2010


At Sunset Beach West on English Bay, at the foot of Broughton Street in the West End, nestled in unobtrusively among the trees and landscaping, is a 20 metre long steel and concrete memorial to those who have died of AIDS. It's adjacent to the seawall, not far from where I took this photo and this photo. I've bicycled past it dozens of times. Today I noticed these flowers lovingly placed by someone's name, and I had to stop and photograph them.

The structure is made up of 20 steel panels joined together, with names of individuals who lost their lives to AIDS cut into the metal. Across the top of the panels are the following words from the poem To W.P. by George Santayana:

With you a part of me hath passed away;
For in the peopled forest of my mind
A tree made leafless by this wintry wind
Shall never don again its green array.
Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,
Have something of their friendliness resigned;
Another, if I would, I could not find,
And I am grown much older in a day.
But yet I treasure in my memory
Your gift of charity, your mellow ease,
And the dear honour of your amity;
For these once mine, my life is rich with these.
And I scarce know which part may greater be,--
What I keep of you, or you rob of me.

 The last panel has on its bottom left, a quote from Dr. Peter, a well-known Vancouver physician and AIDS activist who himself succumbed to the disease in 1992. It says simply, "But the energy that is me will not be lost."

Post title from this song by Explosions in the Sky.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Washing the Windows of My Mind

I never stopped to wonder how the maintenance crews of glass buildings in Vancouver keep all those windows clean - until a few days ago. As I was walking near the Vancouver Convention Centre, I saw this crane on the sidewalk. There's something so futuristic science-fictionish about the way it's perched there, spider-like. I wouldn't want to get in its way in an apocalyptic "Rise of the Machines" type scenario!

The older building in behind all the modern glass is the Hotel Vancouver, one of the grande dames of the downtown core.

Post title from this song by Dana Wilson.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


For a few days in the last week, the HMCS Oriole was docked near the sea wall in Coal Harbour, and the upper deck was accessible to the public, so I hopped on board and took a few photos. According to the crew member I spoke with, the Oriole was built as a pleasure yacht in 1921 for a wealthy Ontario liquor trader, eventually landed in the hands of the Canadian Navy, and was commissioned in 1952. She's normally based in CFB Esquimalt, on Vancouver Island (the home port of the Canadian Navy Pacific Fleet) and was in Vancouver for a few days participating in day sails to benefit a couple of charities. Rather than try and get a photo of the whole ship, (difficult to do as it's a 31 metre long vessel that was crowded with people) I chose to point my lens at the deck for some detail instead.

Post title from this song by Bet On.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't Pay the Ferryman

Yesterday late afternoon I had to head through West Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay to pick someone up at the BC Ferries terminal. It was a gorgeous spring day looking out at Howe Sound: the water was perfectly calm, and the Bowen Island ferry was just pulling away from the dock as I arrived.

Post title from this song by Chris de Burgh.

Monday, May 10, 2010


This weekend I was lucky enough to attend Northern Voice, a Vancouver-based blogging and social media conference held at the Life Sciences Centre at the University of British Columbia. The keynote addresses that started each day were in an atrium of the building, a spectacular space filled with natural light. It was a gorgeous weekend in Vancouver - would've been a shame to be cooped up in dark rooms somewhere!

Post title from this song by Robbie & Sly.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Know Where to Run

Today, in addition to being Mother's Day in Canada, is also this year the date for the annual Sun Run in Vancouver. It's a 10k race starting and finishing in downtown Vancouver, and the route runs within a couple hundred metres of my apartment. Over 55 000 people of all ages and ability levels took part in it last year. Final numbers for this year's race aren't available yet - as I type thousands of people are still running through my neighbourhood. I actually ran in it years ago; I came in 19 999th out of about 40 000 runners. (So now you know I am decidedly average!) As soon as I finished the 10 km, my knees said, "Never again!" Now I content myself with lying on the grass near the race's edge and taking photos. This morning I planted myself under a parking sign, figuring people would be avoiding running into the sign, and thus, me!

Title post from this song by Orbital.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Life by the Drop

Just around the corner from yesterday's shot is this public art work, called "The Drop". Created by Inges Idee, a group of four artists from Germany and Sweden. As I biked along the seawall and came around the corner, suddenly there it was, 20 metres high, bright blue, and elegant in its simplicity. It was unveiled last September, yet somehow I knew nothing about it - again I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I'm learning about my own neighbourhood and the city at large just by setting out each day to find photos for this blog!

Title post from this Stevie Ray Vaughan song.

Friday, May 7, 2010


In which I continue to document the ever-expanding network of cycling routes in Vancouver. As the weather gets nicer, I'm spending even more time on my bicycle. So it pleases me immensely that Vancouver City Council yesterday voted unanimously to allocate budget and resources to improving and expanding Vancouver's existing 400 km of cycling lanes and paths. I took this picture on a newer section of the seawall. On the right is the new Vancouver Convention Centre building, which opened last year. Straight ahead is the Vancouver Convention Centre's older building, the iconic five sails, which was built to serve as Canada's Pavilion during the 1986 Vancouver World's Fair, and has been used since, and continues to be used as a convention centre in the heart of downtown.

Title post from this song by The Watchmen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ready For Takeoff

Float planes take off from and land in Coal Harbour every few minutes from sunrise to sunset every day. Pictured is the sea plane base; there are at least a couple of  small airlines that cater to people wanting to fly from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria, or other cities on Vancouver Island. I took the photo standing on a walkway built into the "living roof" of the new Vancouver Convention Centre. Behind the seaplane base is the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Stanley Park, and in the distance, the homes of West Vancouver steadily marching up the slopes of the North Shore mountains.

Post title from this song by Christoph Spendel Group featuring Annie Whitehead.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

King & Queen

Another Biennale piece. This one's along the seawall in Harbour Green Park. It's called The King and Queen, and is by Romanian-born Canadian artist Sorel Etrog. On the placard accompanying the installation is: "In this work the artist makes manifest the complex relationship between man and machinery and the conflict between individual agency in craft and industrialized mass manufacturing in the modern world."

It doesn't say anything at all about the statues being covered in muddy footprints.

In the background is the Westin Bayshore Hotel, Stanley Park, and Coal Harbour Marina.

For photos that show the entire piece, click here.

Post title from this song by Mary J. Blige featuring John Legend.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Is there a city anywhere in the former British Empire that doesn't have some sort of monument to Queen Victoria? This one's near the entrance to Stanley Park. When I was out looking for statues a few days ago to post to May's City Daily Photo theme day I stumbled across it. It's just off Stanley Park Drive - the vehicle road that roughly speaking follows the perimeter of the park. Because I'm normally on the bike or pedestrian path, I've never noticed it before.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Take Me To The Riot

A couple of days ago, I posted a little bit about the Woodwards Building and its "W" sign that's been an iconic part of the Gastown skyline for decades. Not long after posting that photo, I went down to check out the Woodwards redevelopment for myself, and maybe take some photos of artwork at that location by renowned Vancouver-based artist Stan Douglas. The public atrium of one of the buildings has, as one of its windows, a huge photographic recreation of riots that occurred in the neighbourhood between hippies and police in August of 1971. The piece is large: 13 metres wide by 8 metres high, and I struggled to take a photo that did it justice. So instead I stood almost directly under it, pointed my camera up and got a shot of the reflection of the new multimillion dollar residential tower across the courtyard, that replaced the old Woodwards department store building.

For a photo of, and article about, the creation of the artwork, click here.

Post title from this Stars song.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Quick post today - more Lion's Gate Bridge, on the southbound bike path mid-span. It's a pretty vertiginous ride, so instead of looking down, I looked waayyy up! Taken with my iPhone using the Hipstamatic app.

Post title, of course, from this Simon & Garfunkel song.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hockey Sweater

It took six games in a best-of-seven series, but the Vancouver Canucks managed to defeat the LA Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I had originally planned to post a statue of Lord Stanley (after whom both the Cup and the Park are named) himself here today, but today is the first game of the Canucks' matchup in the second round - they'll be playing the Chicago Blackhawks this afternoon at 5pm Pacific Time, in Chicago. I told you Vancouver was a hockey-mad city, right? Someone (probably a municipal authority, but I prefer to imagine it's some eccentric millionaire) has bedecked one of the giant lions that guard either side of the entrance to the Lions Gate Bridge in a Canucks hockey jersey of his very own. The lion on the other side of the bridge entrance has a mockup of the Stanley Cup placed in front of him. Go Canucks Go!

This post is part of the City Daily Photo Theme Day. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Post title from this song by Dala.