Monday, November 30, 2009

There is much to be said for being a good cook. It can be comforting in times like these.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

O.K., fans of A&P, why did I take this photograph? Those of you who are not fans of A&P (and, for that matter, wonder what the hell "A&P" is) can, nevertheless, ask the same question, if you like. My answer, of course, will differ depending on audience.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I think I've mentioned this once or twice already, but - it's been very rainy around here. For a very long time. Friday, the sun came out just to torment us all, then disappeared again.

Went to see "An Education" today. Go see it. Everyone in it is brilliant. O.K., that's just cheap hyperbole, isn't it? Let's just say they were very, very good.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh, to have something pithy to say. However...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Just another part of the downtown east side that's not quite what it used to be.

And meanwhile, Vancouver becomes just a little more like Tehran.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's always nice to have some relevant bit of news or commentary to go with my photos. Lucky for me, I spend far too much time reading a variety of on-line sources. I just finished reading this brief interview with Mary Ellen Mark. A poisoned chapati?!? The key point, however, is her closing "Top Tip".

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Well, if you've got to have a derelict building, you might as well make it interesting, right?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ah, closed. Bars over the window. Boarded up. Boy, I know that feeling.

Meanwhile, on the "It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy" front, there's this heartening bit of news from the New York Times. The sooner this guy finds himself on the receiving end of a soup kitchen ladle, the better.

And, on the "Could Music Get Any Better?" front, there's this answer, also from the New York Times.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Evidently, it's tougher being green than we all thought.

Meanwhile, I did see "The Bad Lieutenant" today, and it was good. Totally weird, but good. Nothing like a couple of iguanas doing Elvis tunes in the middle of a cop stake-out to liven up a story. Go see it. You'll like it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How long, oh, lord! How long?

If nothing else, this weather is killing my ability to get out and get new photographs. Maybe I'm being too cautious, but there's something about taking an electronic camera out in the rain that unnerves me.

And it's dark. All day. Dark. 4:00 P.M. feels like midnight. Oh, well. Off to the movies tomorrow to see "Bad Lieutenant". Hard to predict this one. Nicolas Cage is great...sometimes. Werner Herzog is great...sometimes. They're both, um, well, a tad unpredictable? Still, it beats being out in the rain.
The usual daily photo will show up later, but, in the meantime, there's this.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ah, the end of another week. I'm not sure what this photograph has to do with that, but...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Something we're not seeing a lot of around Vancouver these days. No, not the cab - they're everywhere. The sun. I'm thinking of buying a wet suit for my rides to work.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I think I mentioned a couple of days back that it was raining, here in Vancouver. Well, it's still raining. And it's windy. Very.

And, this morning, on my ride to work, hail. It was an educational experience, mind you. I found out that hail hurts. Bicycle helmets, for the non-cyclists in the audience, have ventilation holes in them. When riding through hail, these serve to give the impression that one is riding along with a small monkey, equipped with a staple gun, on one's head. I can hardly wait for tomorrow's ride.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Of course, the big question is, "How many?".

Monday, November 16, 2009

The rain and wind continued today, so I took the bus to work. Lillian rode her bike. Show-off!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Whew - I'm beat. Headed out on my bicycle at around 11:30 this morning in the pouring rain. Met up with my friend, Lillian-the-Librarian, just after noon, still in the pouring rain. Oh, and it was cold, too. We rode off through Chinatown, and Gastown (a.k.a. "Low Rent Tourist Trap"), and on along the seawall to Stanley Park. In the rain - did I already mention that? And that it was cold? Really cold?

We rode through the forest for a while (O.K., it's beautiful in the rain - it's a rain forest, for heaven's sake!), then along the seawall, under the Lions' Gate Bridge, enjoying the foggy/cloudy views of the harbour. But, Lillian was hungry (Not me. Oh, heck no. But, out of sheer politeness, I admitted that I might be able to choke something down). And, as luck would have it, we were very close to the Stanley Park Teahouse. Now, if you click the link, the few photos there might suggest to you that they'd be a tad less than welcoming to a couple of people resembling drowned rats, wearing full-on bike rain gear (i.e. heavy on the Gore-tex, pack cloth, and rubber; light on the sports jackets, creased pants, etc.), but you'd be wrong. This is a classy joint. They actually believe they're there to take care of you, to make you feel welcome (and they did, big-time), and to fill you up with good food and drink. The hostess smiled, asked us how our ride had been, and would we like her to hang our jackets and helmets in their coat room. Our jackets and helmets were, as you might guess from my whining and sniveling about the rain, soaking wet. She was dressed in "classy restaurant hostess" finery, but took our wet things without a qualm, hung them up, then showed us to a table by a window with a fine view of the harbour.

The waiter was a very nice guy, endlessly patient with our dithering (Well, lack of focus, actually. We were too busy blathering to remember we had some choices to make.) We ate really good food, drank really nice wine, had some warming coffee (Irish coffee for me, Spanish coffee for Lillian, made with espresso instead of regular coffee) that was also really good, paid up and hit the road, warmer, fuller, and very happy. Even if we were going back into the rain and cold with many miles yet to go.

That's what I call a swell Sunday.

(By the way, I realize this sounds a bit like an ad for the Teahouse, but it's not. They were just really nice people, the food was really good, and I really enjoyed myself.)

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

You know winter has come to Vancouver when this can be considered a reasonable facsimile of a ray of sunshine.

You also know that you're a Vancouver native when, despite a weather forecast that would have dismayed Noah, you're planning to go for a bike ride around town tomorrow. Or is it simply the anticipation of charming company on said ride that gets you out there?

The latter, folks. Definitely the latter.

I guess I'm just full of mysteries these days. At least, as far as posting clear messages here goes. This is kind of a "2 out of 3 ain't bad" photo, which, funnily enough, can apply to people, too.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This pretty much sums up the state of fall - it's fallen. The trees are, for the most part, bare now. And (oh, woe!), apparently snow is on the way. Oh, boy.

Meanwhile, a very nice restaurant, "Zocalo", owned by a very hard-working woman, with an equally hard-working staff, burned to the ground this morning. Tanya worked her butt off to get the place up and running, it was a 24-hour-a-day job that she sank the past 2 years of her life into. Poof. Gone. Along with the jobs of all of her staff. Not a happy day.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A wee ray of sunshine (or, at least, something of a similar colour) - just what's needed these days, here on the Wet Coast.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Darn. I was going to post a bit about the "Tehranizing" of Vancouver, but, well, this shot's too pretty for that. Maybe tomorrow. Of course, you can still read the original news story, right?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Zippin' down the highway. Something that we might not be able to do for much longer. As someone who grew up during the fifties and sixties, that's a depressing thought. Not that I even own a car, but there really was something great about being able to get into one and just take off.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ah, four lanes of traffic whipping past, 4 metres ( 13 feet, -ish) from your front door. Does life get any better?

Well, what else are you going to do while riding a bus on a rainy day? Of course! Set the camera to "Macro" and focus on the condensation on the window.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Outside the Ovaltine Cafe. He's cool. He's hip. He's, well, let's face it, wondering what the hell I'm doing taking this picture.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I usually post my pictures on two blogs - this one, and one on Wordpress. On the latter blog I just post the picture with some sort of title. That's the one I put up first. Given this story, once again, that posting is, again, prescient. The title was, "It's Everywhere". One of the sad things about a country obsessed with guns and death? It is.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It starts here, and ends up here.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Mark Hobson ("The Landscapist") asked a few days ago on his blog, "Why do you take the photographs you take?". Hell of a good question, to which I really don't have an answer. Other than Sir Edmund Hillary's, of course.

The thought that occurred to me, though, was that this is a question that "real" photographers (at least, the ones I consider "real") must get asked (even if silently) all the time. "Why are you taking a picture of that?" Have a look at Lee Friedlander's work, or Joel Meyerowitz's (at least, early on), or Robert Frank's, or Elliot Erwitt's, or Stephen Shore's, or William Eggleston's - can't you just hear some passerby asking, "What are you doing? Why are you taking a picture of that?"


Monday, November 02, 2009

Under a bridge, a shining beacon. (Yes, I'm being ironic.)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Haven't been down along E. Hastings in a while, so maybe I'm wrong, but, things seem to have changed. Big time. There was nobody there. A once-lively (I can't use "thriving", given that no one down there has more than a nickel to his/her name) community seems to have vanished. There was almost no one there. Places that were once populated were empty. What happens to people with no home when even their "no home" is taken away from them?

And, now, this important up-date! Of course, that little ray of sunshine has to be tempered with this. As incredible as it may seem to our totally out of touch provincial government, some of these folks really do prefer the street to life in the shelters. Why? Because they're regularly robbed in the shelters, for one thing. Note, too, that the province gets to define "extreme weather" any way they like. I'm betting there's going to be some very extreme weather hitting Vancouver this February. That that's when the Olympic Circus comes to town for real, bringing millions of tourist dollars, would be merely coincidental.