TEA & TWO SLICES | On Melting Medals & Forcing The Last Low Income Tenants Out

February 24, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Last low-income tenants at Olympic Village are being “forced out”. Maybe we can melt down all our Sochi medals and turn them in for scrap so we can pay their bills. Or you know, maybe we can come up with a fucking national housing plan like a real country.

Or, how about a basic income?

Related: Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games. We built this city on boosterism.

Government Should Never Come Between Beer and a Hockey Fan. Wait, what? The rest of Canada was allowed to drink during the game? Never has there been a more grievous example of Western Alienation™.

Satire of the day: Harper Worried ‘Pussy Riots’ Could Break Out Across Canada. Perhaps we will have to import Temporary Foreign Cossacks.

Rex Murphy’s pro-oil sands speech prompts CBC to review journalistic rules. The CBC has journalistic rules? OK, but how does that explain Kevin O’Leary?

Meanwhile Derrick O’Keefe laments:

Don’t mean to harp (yes I do) but one week later and there still hasn’t been a single editorial or op-ed in a major media outlet against the $10 billion+ Canada-Saudi military hardware deal. (Hey, it’s only the largest manufacturing export agreement in Canadian history).

How provincial: ‘Populist’ plan to protect rural seat numbers is risky on several fronts. Balkanize BC!

Just don’t call it East Village: Hastings-Sunrise basks in the area’s rebirth. “Bohème’s location and neighbourhood mimic the early days of Yaletown: the next hip, affordable place to live within minutes of the downtown core.” Barf.

The Gill-o-tine falls for Burger285: No-name food truck burger sizzles against the competition. Following the success of my Hamburger 2.85 Yelp creation, I now give you Jack’s Place.

Maybe I should apply for this: Fresh Slice looking for Social Media Person.

Bonus: Black Strathcona.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Helping Alcoholics & Pot Smokers Scaring Noobs On The Drive

February 21, 2014 

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by Sean OrrAffordable rents shrinking by the year in Downtown Eastside: report. Gentrification is real, but it can be mitigated. As I’ve said time and time again (and as this article says), “The basic welfare rate is $610 per month — a figure that hasn’t changed in 10 years”. And that tragedy, to me, makes the following statement moot: “Research shows gentrification displaces people to other communities where they don’t have the services they depend on”. Also, it’s pretty disingenuous to say that the DTES doesn’t have the services “they” depend on.

On the flip-side: Smokers causing tension at 6th and Commercial. This is interesting to me because Black Smokers have been said to be the origins of life itself. OK, sorry. That was bad, so here’s Shawnee Hummel‘s take:

Hi, I’m a bigot and walking past you makes me feel unsafe. Y’know, ’cause you’ve never done anything to me or anyone that I know and from what I understand you’ve formed a bit of a community around these parts. I don’t think that’s cool. I think it’s threatening. I recently moved here and when I walked by the coffee shop on the way to view my future (overpriced) dwelling I figured you’d all be gone by the time I moved in. But fuck, you’re still there. Well, I won’t accept it”.

Navel gazing: How Vancouver Invented Itself. Maybe we did too good of a job. Mentioned: Greenpeace, view corridors, bike lanes, and a lack of freeways. Not mentioned: the cost of living.

Which leads to the Tweet of the Day from the inimitable Charles Demers:

Related: In World’s Best-Run Economy, House Prices Keep Falling — Because That’s What House Prices Are Supposed To Do.

Meanwhile, in Abbotsfail: Abbotsford Says No To Homeless Housing. Chalk one up for the Mennomafia.

West End clinic applies to become North America’s second legal supervised injection facility. Keep in mind that it already exists. They just want to make it legal.

Crafty: Downtown Eastside program offers mix of home brew and helping hand. “Alcohol-making co-op part of harm reduction strategy for severe drinkers”. I want to make some joke along the lines of “Oh, cool can I participate?” but that would be totally dumb and insensitive.

Bonus: That awkward moment when your shirt is supposed to say “Canada” in the photo but says something really suggestive instead.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Jumping From A Gondola And Breaking Out The Pitchforks

February 17, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | So simple, even a caveman could do it: Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson seeks more housing cash from budget. Whoa, whoa, whoa! You can do that? As a mayor? You just have to ask? Why the fuck haven’t you done this, Gregor?

Too close for comfort: Evictions across the street from City Hall. An unfortunate irony: “Burke, a six-year resident of the building, moved into the building after health-related issues caused him to leave his work as a crane operator for the construction of the Olympic Village”. Wouldn’t it be nice if they just gave him an unoccupied suite in the place he helped to build?

Or maybe it’s time to break out the pitchforks: Angry Residents Wave Pitchforks, Torches In Protest Of Mayor’s Crackdown On Homelessness.

Maybe EXIT could have an about-to-be demolished SRO as one of their themes: Room escape game opens in Richmond, B.C. It’s hard enough to leave my own house!

It’s all fun and games: Sniper Stadium: Police Turn BC Place into a Gun Range. “A week before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, officers from the Vancouver Police Department and other agencies took over BC Place stadium to improve their sniper skills”. That makes this photo still highly relevant.

Whistler Peak 2 Peak BASE jump leads to woman’s arrest. Whatever happened to doing stupid things just for the thrill of it? Now you have to post it online for validation?

The constant need to reinvent ourselves: It’s time to re-imagine and renew Granville Island. And you know what that means! More CONDOS!

Save it: Luongo weighs in on transit referendum . You gotta pay the Troll Toll.

Need for speed: Camaro misses pedestrians on downtown Vancouver sidewalk. I like how the headline insinuates that the driver almost got them, as though it wasn’t terrifying enough to have a 312 horsepower American powerplant bearing down on you.

Hey Chernen, nobody gives a hootsuite! Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson sued by political rival. Yeah, that doesn’t come across as petty partisanship at all.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Crack Pipes And Jobs Being The Best Way To Fight Poverty

February 12, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Will the real Christy Clark please stand up: Christy Clark imposter makes Family Day anti-poverty ‘announcement’. When I originally saw this I was like, “too little, too late, you populist twit”. Boy, was I ever red-faced! But then I read her spokesman’s reaction, “A job has always been the best way to fight poverty”, and I couldn’t tell if that too was satire and I was led into a wormhole of deception and lies from which I was unable to escape. I sat huddled and shivering in the pale-blue glow of my laptop while this song played, repeating to myself “A job has always been the best way to fight poverty.”

Rent increase for low-income Chinatown seniors could set “terrifying precedent”, says Pivot lawyer. “A job has always been the best way to fight poverty.”

Cities say Stephen Harper government getting ‘cold feet’ on fighting poverty. “A job has always been the best way to fight poverty.”

Flaherty cites terrorism when asked why CRA is auditing environmental charities. An audit has always been the best way to fight terrorism.

Security officials defend snooping on wireless information at airport. “Government lawyers have told them this kind of surveillance is legally sound – and not the same as illegally wiretapping phone calls or steaming open letters”. So what the government is basically saying is this: if you use WiFi at an airport, “you were asking for it”.

Canada’s first crack pipe vending machines come to Vancouver. Do not read the comments, Sean. Never read the comments!

Which brings us to the Tweet of the Day:

“You guys do high rises very nicely. But you are sort of drunk on high rises. You don’t need towers everywhere”. Well, that backfired.

Ignore the awful title: Dude, Where are my Toll-Paying Cars? “6,000 fewer cars per day using Port Mann Bridge since tolls. 20-per-cent shortfall in revenue anticipated”. Well, that backfired, too.

OMG, paint chips! Build a new bridge now! Pattullo Bridge crumbling in places. “Guard rails rattle, bridge deck trembles as large trucks cross”. Have you people never even been on a bridge before?

Another independent bookseller falls: Oscar’s Art Books announces it’s closing. Way to go Vancouver. Just fold your arms and stand at the back. #fyastb

Bonus: The Real People Of Vancouver Episode 1: Ken Foster.

Photo credit: Norman Fox

TEA & TWO SLICES: On Unchill Dudes And Trying To Manufacture The Race For Mayor

February 6, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Ramping it up: “Dude Chilling Park” sign approved by Vancouver Park Board. “People worked very hard to clean up the area and this sign sends the wrong signal”, says Steven Bohus of RAMP, the Residents Association of Mount Pleasant. It does? Do you mean that the signal it sends is don’t be chill but be uptight assholes instead? “There are far more important things to worry about in Mt. Pleasant”, Bohus adds. Then why are you worrying about it?

Meanwhile, Bob Mackin has his own suggestions: Signs of the times in Vancouver. Taxes Rising Park? Yeah, OK. Thanks, Dad.

Perpetuating the narrative that most of the city is irate: Robertson has early edge in Vancouver’s one-candidate mayor’s race. Shhhhhh! Here’s a picture of Trevor Linden.

Splitsville: Former COPE executives forming new party to challenge Vision Vancouver. Anyone care for an ice cold glass of Diet COPE?

Let’s go Site C-ing: British Columbia’s ‘other’ multi-billion dollar energy projects. In other words, let’s just clusterfuck the population with energy projects and at least one will eventually get through.

Right in the Rocks-y: Man on Granville Street sidewalk offers money to kick others in the groin. You call that a shocking video? Why am I not shocked at all?

Also not shocked: Cat café coming to Vancouver in fall 2014. The person’s name is Furbacher? FURBACHER!!!

Uncle Fatty: Marijuana and pizza marry their flavours at restaurant Mega ill. The pun section of my brain is lighting up right now. Lighting up! I didn’t even mean to do that one!

Speaking of puns, check out this amazing Twitter conversation.

So we got a cat cafe, some pot pizza, and now… The Vana Sutra. Ugh. I feel like I’m trapped inside a bad Douglas Coupland novel.

And finally, Vancouver’s best new restaurant: Hamburger 2.85.

Photo credit: Norman Fox

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Scandal Evasion Tactics & Cops Shutting The Liquor Stores

February 3, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Our scary-eyed Premier is now a meme generator.

What’s that? Another scandal? Quick, get our henchman to attack the NDP! David Eby: Champion of the poor, or anti-cop showboater? “At six-foot-seven, crusading and controversial MLA David Eby — a potential NDP leadership candidate — is a tough guy to miss in a crowd”. What does how tall he is have to do with anything? Heightist. “He had one agenda — criticizing our officers at every opportunity”. Yeah, that’s called being a good citizen, not being anti-cop.

Quick! Pass those liquor recommendations! You Can Soon Buy Alcohol With Your Groceries In B.C. This is a highly hypothetical question, but let’s say the Canucks make it to the Stanley Cup finals again. Are the VPD going to close all the liquor stores again?

Quick! Take on Gregor: Todd Stone: Why we need a TransLink referendum. “The issue of transportation in Metro Vancouver is very topical, and that’s a good thing”. Thanks, Martha Stewart.

The tedium is the message: Why the Government of Canada is so boring and useless on Twitter. Because that’s how Canadian politicians are in real life?

Well, not all of them of course: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in town. I know you may be sick of this clown, but just watch this video. Someone give Ian Currie his own TV show!

Time for Genesis to Exodus: Private security regulation concerns. Two weeks training? And yet an employee at McDonalds needs 500 hours on a training wage…

‘RoboCop’ Lays Waste To Vancouver Convention Centre. Sort of like what the Vancouver Convention Centre did to our pocketbooks, am I right? In other news, who says pocketbooks these days?

Vancouver’s own: Metal band Skinny Puppy send US government invoice after finding out their music was ‘used as torture device in Guantanamo Bay’. Aside: I’m proud to say I wore my brother’s Skinny Puppy shirt in elementary school.

Perhaps “You wore a Skinny Puppy Shirt in Grade 6″ could be added to this list: 34 Signs You Grew Up In Vancouver In The ’80s. They also forgot Super Socco.

Vancouver Kickstarter campaign comes under fire. Yikes! That’s gotta put some holes in your public image. Looks like they have some patching up to do.

Speaking of bad publicity: Black bear accidentally mulched by oil and gas company. These oil and gas companies are really bruin up trouble for themselves…

And I’m out of puns, so in case you missed it: For all the cooks grinding out Dine Out in Van right now.

Photo credit: Norman Fox

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Hating Cyclists And Bus Drivers Who Aren’t Good Human Beings

January 31, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Dziekanski 2.0? Mexican woman who died after CBSA arrest hung herself rather than be deported. No one is illegal. Rally today.

Taking a page out of the Ken Dobell playbook: Chuck Strahl oversaw government spies while registered as an Enbridge lobbyist. It’s weird. I saw this on Vancouver Observer and I totally ignored it. It must be how they write their headlines.

And if that doesn’t get you outraged: B.C. government conned parents and students. “It’s a tale of a government secretly wanting to provoke a strike that year for political reasons”. It’s enough to bring down an entire government! Ok, but only if that government was somewhere other than British Columbia.

Ramping it up in The Province: Bus driver’s refusal to lower ramp for elderly woman with walker draws complaint. “From there, both Hummel and the woman with the walker were left at the side of the road in the gritty Hastings and Carrall Street area of East Vancouver” (why does this paper jump at every chance to reinforce the stereotype that the DTES is dangerous?).

Property boom in Vancouver’s east side yields calls to rein in speculation. And who said gentrification isn’t happening? Oh wait, I did. Damn. “It could be a new demand for light industrial in the city. Or it could be speculation”. So now we’re speculating about speculating? Related: This Is the Williamsburg of Your City: A Map of Hip America.

Don’t take away our weird little downtown dome! 25 storey office building proposed for 601 West Hastings. The reverse bedroom-ification of our downtown core?

Fantasy Gardens: Vancouver Airport releases drawings of luxury outlet mall. Yeah, that’s going to look great in the rain. “Vancouver’s Sea Island is an emerging aerotropolis”. Now you know why we paid for all those Canada Line stations in the middle of nowhere.

Blogra reads comments so you don’t have to: Wow, you really hate cyclists in Vancouver. Meanwhile, The Vancouver Sun does its best to stoke the hatred by corroborating the driver’s story, and not the cyclist’s: “Allegedly the cyclist reached in to the driver’s car and grabbed some personal belongings”. This was after the driver assaulted Edward and uttered threats. Nothing was stolen. “The cyclist then rode away, he said, and the driver pursued, got out of his car and began a physical altercation with the cyclist in an attempt to get his property back”. Nope. The bike was unrideable because the driver had forced Edward off the road. Not only is this irresponsible journalism, it also suggests that if you want to beat someone up, just say that you think the person might have stolen something from you.

Oh, and there is no war on cars: British Columbia’s Traffic Delusion. In fact, they are disproportionately rewarded with infrastructure.

This is going to piss off a lot of Vancouverites. Detoxification is just a popular myth, experts say. I love that the guy they talked to for this story is named Troll.

Bonus: Eating Out Goes Back to High School in “That’s My Man” Video.

Photo credit: Norman Fox

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Cyclist Beatdowns And DTES “Factions” Turning On Eachother

January 28, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Drastic actions: Your crappy car can become a down payment on a new Vancouver condo. “Got a beater car worth at least $5,400″? Nope. Nobody does. If it’s worth 5,400 it ain’t a beater. “Cars are a terrible asset”. As opposed to condos which can only ever keep appreciating, right?

Divide and conquer: Conflict among DTES factions bursts into the open. Factions? What is this, Lebanon? The warring tribes of Skid Row have descended into bitter, sectarian chaos! Of course the reality is much less sexy. The new DTES Neighbourhood Council has failed to hold an Annual General Meeting. That is all.

The wrong greens: Company behind rooftop lettuce farm on downtown Vancouver parkade goes bankrupt. Or, in other words, you don’t win friends with salads.

Edward versus Goliath: Cyclist and driver square off in Vancouver streets. If I was that driver I’d put my car in storage for a couple of months. Bike locks are great for smashing windows. Just sayin’.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan compares BC to living in a banana republic. Come to think of it, it really does feel like I’m living in a multinational luxury clothing retailer and surrounded by salespeople working on commission.

Welcome to the New Brunswick castle that costs less than an East Van bungalow. Yeah, okay we get it: Vancouver is expensive. You can stop with these comparisons now forever.

Vancouver skyline to gain seven new office towers. I don’t have anything funny to say about this other than maybe Mark Renzoni should change his name to Mark Rezone-y. Is that funny? I can’t tell anymore on account of all the pain medication.

Man climbs atop Library Square’s “Words Don’t Fit The Picture” sign to light flare. Don’t bother clicking the link. It’s exactly what the headline says it is and nothing more.

A local Yelp user rates all the SkyTrain stations.

Bonus time lapse video: Celebrities Nightclub Renovation.

Photo credit: Norman Fox

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Alcoholic Freezie Arrests And Burning Down Our Skateparks

January 23, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Vancouver Election Has Bigger Issues Than Bike Lanes. “I felt compelled to see these protestors in person. A younger, more angsty self would have wanted to mock and troll them…but I’m older and more chill now, and really I just wanted to see if they were real”. You’re a better man than I, Greg Andrews. Oh, and by the way, they’re real and they’re spectacular. “This city isn’t short of meaningful political issues: housing affordability, homelessness/addiction, job creation, living wages, cultural venue closures, and pedestrian traffic safety. But apparently we’re short for meaningful issues that the NPA wants to touch. Could the real municipal opposition party please stand up?” But not COPE, they care about those issues too much, am I right?

Jimmy McMillan, eat your heart out: In Vancouver, the rent is still too damn high. “Stunning landscapes and insufferable paddle-boarding inhabitants”. Can I get that on a T-shirt please? (make sure it’s sustainable organic cotton). “Antrim’s second suggestion involves installing a landlord licensing office”. Better yet, maybe we could institute a Yelp-like online rating system! “I just wasn’t a big fan of the ambiance and I’m pretty sure the manager was being racist behind my back.”

This week in Vancouver Facadism: Our Post-Truth Culture and Greenwash. “The Eye is not ‘sustainable’ in any ecological sense of the word; it is an energy sink”. Is that like the solar powered street lights that are only found at the airport? Vancouver is like that scene in Fresh Prince of Bel Air where Will finds out that his girlfriend is not what she appears to be.

I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold pyrite: The Top 10 Stupid Arguments in Neil Young Debate. Even I’m guilty of a few of those! “Not because I’m pro-oilsands. Not because I’m anti-oilsands. Nope, I found the op-ed pages infuriating to read because, above all else, I am anti-stupid arguments”.

Pride and Politics: Vancouver mayor asked to apologize. Is Robertson playing the gay card? Maybe we should ask Sarah Palin, she seems to be an expert on inappropriate cards at the moment.

Accidentally hilarious tweet of the day from Deana Smith:

Um, Deana…you know that you sound like a Teabagger boycotting coffee from Kenya because that’s where you think Obama is from, right?

One more thing we can blame on China: Pollution from China harming air quality on West Coast. (“Quick, grab a photo of Vancouver in the fog!” – how I imagine the scene at the Vancouver Sun when they were preparing to run this story.) “Some of it is coming back to bite us [...] through our consumption.” Whoever thought global corporate capitalism would turn out to be an economic ouroboros? Oh, right. It was everyone, since forever.

Job opening: Vancouver woman charged with selling alcoholic ‘freezies’ at Wreck Beach. Suspicious timing! Methinks Wildebeest is trying to corner the market with their fancy schmancy new slurpee machine. Narcs!

Bummer of the week: Arsonists Start Fire at Leeside Skatepark In Vancouver.

Craigslist of the week: Hand Blown Glass Cowboy Hat. Only in Walnut Grove.

Bonus: Free Torts.

DIG IT | Peeling Back The Layers Of Boozy Bootlegger History At Gastown’s Peckinpah

January 23, 2014 

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by Stevie Wilson | Every once in a while Vancouverites are treated to excellent historical restorations. During the process, it is through the old bones of architecture – even though only temporarily exposed –  that we’re given glimpses of our city’s past. One great example is the Byrnes Block, which sits on the southwest corner of Maple Tree Square where Water Street meets Carrall Street in Gastown. The main building (and the later addition next door) was originally known as The Alhambra Hotel (in the photo series above, you can see how the rows of chimneys recall the days when each suite in the hotel offered private fireplaces). It was built in 1886 out of the ashes of the Great Fire as one of the city’s first fire-proof buildings. The original architect was Elmer Fisher, who was commissioned by George Byrnes, a wealthy Australian industrialist.

The site is perhaps the famous for housing the location of “Gassy Jack” Deighton’s first saloon, but the Victorian Italianate address was also home to The New Frisco Hotel, clothing store Jelly Beans for Jeans (1970), and Bootlegger Jeans (yes, that Bootlegger). There are even rumours of a Baskin-Robbins’ residency, though the truth of that I could not discern with any authority.

The location had already fallen into desperate disrepair by the 1950′s, so the latter half of the 20th century did not see its best years, which explains the Bootlegger Jeans tenancy. It wasn’t until 2009 that a massive renovation (overseen by the Heatherbrae Group) saw the structure, façade, and fenestrations restored to their former (and current) glory.

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As Scout editor Andrew Morrison pointed out when Peckinpah was moving into the corner space in 2010 (see gallery above), plenty of historic gems could still be found inside the walls, including wallpapered Georgia Straight pages and antique bottles. Owners Ryan Murfitt and Tyson Reimer decided to keep most of it, so the next time find yourself in the restaurant munching on BBQ and sipping on bourbon, take a peek downstairs and dig one of Gastown’s most delicious historical time capsules.

MORE VANCOUVER HISTORY

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Stevie Wilson is a historian masquerading as a writer. After serving as an editor for the UBC History Journal, she branched out with a cryptic agenda: to encourage the people of Vancouver to take notice of their local history and heritage with Scout columns that aim to reveal to readers the many fascinating things that they might walk past every day without noticing.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Broken Hands And Jaywalking In The Drug Ravaged War Zone

January 21, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Caveat: some of these links might be a little dated because I’m typing with a wound. For some reason I punched a ceiling while performing with my band Needs and I broke my hand. I guess I’m no longer Working For the Weekend (and no I didn’t do it so I would miss washing dishes for the entirety of Dine Out).

I didn’t want to talk about Neil Young bashing the Canadian oil industry mainly because everyone is, but also because he’s old and irrelevant. My answer of “I agree, but I don’t care what he says” is the least popular vote in an Edmonton Journal poll that finds 72% of respondents saying “I agree with him, it makes me like him more”. Nevertheless, it’s fun to see the industry apologists rallying en masse against such a cult figure: Neil Young’s tune is insulting. Deborah Yedlin of the Calgary Herald claims people like Neil Young should be held to the same scrutiny as oil companies, then cites a bunch of statistics from…oil companies.

Speaking of facepalms statistics, or in this case, a lack of them, Police report controversial DTES jaywalking enforcement at all-time low. Yeah, based on ticketing stats from 2008, and only 2008.

I get so emotional, baby: Rex Murphy: The callousness of protest on display in Vancouver (with a happy ending). Only Rex Murphy could make me want to completely reverse my opinion and instantly grab a papier-mâché pickle and stand outside of Pidgin. It’s not this black and white, Rex. Even the owner of Pidgin knows this. Hero? Come on, he’s just a business man. Demonizing the protesters only gives them credibility. Sure, some of these protesters have poor decorum, but they are the manifestation of decades of frustration and mistrust between those with power and those who are marginalized by that power. “I truly believe that the act of protest has, in many contexts, become something of a moral disease”. Why would you bring morality into it when simple pragmatism would suffice? The protesters say the same thing, they have the moral high ground. In the long run, cooler heads always prevail.

Listen, Paul Dewar! Ariel Sharon was a war criminal. Meanwhile, Stephen Harper “received a very warm welcome in Jerusalem today”. Canadian Cynic retorts, “Not surprised … years of ass-kissing pandering will have that effect”. Satirical news site The Beaverton takes it even further: Israeli Prime Minister Stephen Harper returns after long visit in Canada.

Yellow journalism? Is the Komagata Maru pisser related to a cop, judge, or politician?. He’s not getting charged? You’re taking the piss, right?

Mmm, sandwiches. I like mine with truffles and foie: Life and debt in B.C.: Sandwich generation finds that extravagant habits don’t add up. This is pretty much the exact sentiment as the Baby Boomer Dad meme. Alternatively, New Fraser Institute report touts benefits of no longer being alive. Bwah hah, “Atlas Croaked”. Brilliant.

What It Would Be Like If We Treated Poor People Like Celebs. Clever, but I’m not sure our coverage of poverty is all that different. How many times have you heard the DTES melodramatically referred to as a “war zone” or “ravaged by drugs” in the mainstream press?

Even the pope doesn’t believe in trickle down economics: Kevin O’Leary says 3.5 billion people living in poverty is fantastic news. In other news, Hunger Games is now reality: “May the odds be ever in your favour”.

Let them eat…moose? 1,200 folks in the DTES served organic moose hotdogs, duck chilli, and venison stew by Canuck David Booth. Now that is a power forward.

Mals: Bad Boss Award To Bon’s Off Broadway Diner.

Bonus: Beautiful Color Photographs of Vancouver, Canada in the 1970′s.

FIELD TRIP #599 | Cycling Past The Oreo Cows To Wolf Some Steveston Fish & Chips

January 17, 2014 

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by Rebecca Slaven | The ride to Steveston is an animal lover’s paradise. Dog owners bring their pups to play on the trail, turtles and birds repose along the water, and if you’re lucky, the Oreo cows, more formally known as Belted Galloways, will be out and about grazing at their leisure, with all set against a lush backdrop of marsh-filled plains.

There are two routes from central Vancouver: the Cypress Bikeway and Cambie Street. My preference is the Cypress Bikeway, which takes you through the picturesque tree-lined streets of Shaughnessy up until the Arthur Laing Bridge. Cambie leads you to the Canada Line Crossing.

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In both routes, signage could be much better both just before and after the crossing to Richmond. I always take a wrong road or miss a turn somewhere in this area so make sure to have this City of Richmond map bookmarked. It has nice close-ups on the areas of confusion (#1 and #2). Pro tip: when in doubt, lag behind other cyclists and follow their route until you get your bearings.

The main objective is to get onto River Road, where a pedestrian/cyclist path begins and eventually joins with the West Dyke Trail, which leads you directly to Steveston. Don’t expect to gain much speed on the pedestrian-filled gravel paths. You can choose to bike on the lower pavement on River Road but you’ll miss out on some of the scenery.

Stops & Eats | If it’s a nice day out, get some grub from Pajo’s Fish & Chips at Garry Point Park and watch the kites fly by the ocean. As hungry as I always am after the ride, a small order is almost too big for me so I imagine the large portion is more than enough for two people. On a day when Pajo’s was closed, I was reluctant to go to (or enjoy) a place called the Hog Shack, but my impertinence was shown up by an undeniably amazing brisket sandwich.

After eating, take in some history by touring the Gulf of Georgia Cannery ($7.80 admission) and/or the Britannia Shipyards (free). Staff and volunteers at both locations have a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experiences that they delight in sharing with visitors. Enjoy the ride home!

MORE FIELD TRIPS

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Bio-PicRebecca Slaven is a librarian, writer, and cyclist. Her subject specialities include law, beauty, and croquet. Her format specialty is the how-to guide. She mostly rides her bike to work but has cycled as far as San Francisco. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Beavers Against Resource Extraction And Legal Prostitution

January 13, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Coal derails climate; climate derails coal: CN Rail says beavers, rain to blame for Burnaby derailment. Even Canada’s national symbol is against coal shipments! “It’s not something that happens a lot, but it was certainly the cause of yesterday’s derailment”. Heavy rain doesn’t happen a lot on the west coast. Heavy rain doesn’t happen a lot on the west coast. Say it with me. Heavy rain doesn’t happen a lot on the west coast.

Don’t worry! Mitigation makes probability of oil spill very low, according to risk analysis done for Kinder Morgan. “The estimates are based on historical accident and spill figures, and include future ship traffic projections”. To paraphrase, ‘since there was only one spill in 1989 and none for the 125 years before that, the next one isn’t due for about a hundred years’. Genius.

But without oil and gas we’d be short on schools, hospitals, and other social programs = not true: Canada, the failed petrostate? “The oil and gas share of total taxes paid fell from 9.4% in 2006 to 4.2% in 2011″. A myth perpetuated by blowhards like Kevin O’Leary: Watch economic genius Kevin O’Leary utterly embarrass himself on CNBC. “All he needed to do was trot out some Soviet Gulag references and shout loudly, and a victory for capitalism would be assured”. But just what does economic growth really mean? Think of this simple analogy next time a politician talks about “economic growth”.

We didn’t have to wait long: Opinion: NDP must support economic growth and equality. “In much of the postwar western world this vision was broadly accepted across the political spectrum, fuelling the greatest period of upward mobility, opportunity and economic security in history. In recent decades, and for a number of reasons, the NDP and other social democratic parties have retreated from this economic leadership”. Someone get the neo-liberals in the NDP a time machine! Perhaps what they need is – oh, I don’t know – a jobs plan. “Every school and hospital in the province owes something to resource extraction”. Yeah, about 4%, as I mentioned above. Doesn’t anyone notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Maybe the NDP should hire the guy from Rolling Stone.

High tide swallows Sunset Beach. And not one mention of rising sea-levels.

Big Sex in the Georgia Straight: Brothels for everyone! A new year, a new business opportunity? “Will sex workers be treated as any other business owners, or as a specialized, regulated profession? Will they qualify for a Costco card?” Ignoring that really awesome piece of cynicism for a moment, I doubt that the Supreme Court striking down laws is going to mean the instant commercialization of sex workers. I imagine it will be more like a policy of containment, much in line with the social experiment that begat the DTES. More harm reduction, less McBrothel.

Students suspended for sending ‘mean tweets’ to school board. Jeez. Whatever happened to putting acid in your math teacher’s coffee? Or, you know, good old witchcraft?

How is this not an advertisement? Silver Star managers abandon boardroom for 30 cm fresh powder. Gnar, bra.

Defining bad taste: local artist helps explain why Vancouver’s Main Street Poodle is so horrid. “But high culture is what enables us to climb out of the cave of moment-to-moment existence; it’s what gives us insight into what it means to be human”. So then, by extension, mocking people’s assumptions on what that actually entails is not anti-human, or even base, but rather an even greater insight into what it means to be human. And I’m not just saying that because the author wouldn’t hang that picture of me above his bed.

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