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

HEADS UP | Winner Winner & Ken Tsui To Host Pop-Up Valentine Supper At “Archive”

February 4, 2014 

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The local masters of the edible pop-up are up to something sweet. From the inbox: “As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, Winner Winner and Ken Tsui are teaming up to celebrate this day of romantic splendour with “Seafood is for Lovers”, an intimate dinner of seven courses from the sea. In the spirit of Valentines Day, “Seafood is for Lovers” is a menu of classics intended to be shared with a date. It’s during the wintry months when the bounty of the oceans are at their tastiest and we find warmth cuddling side-by-side with a partner. Winner Winner and Ken Tsui are transforming one of Vancouver’s most celebrated daytime coffee shops, Revolver’s Archive, into an underground pop-up dining experience where lovebirds can cozy up to a beautiful Valentine’s Day dinner that celebrates the supremely tasty treasures from the sea.” Get all the details after the jump… Read more

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.

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.

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.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Dissing BC And Doubting Global Warming In The Cold Snap

January 8, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Social media standards: Calgary councillor stands by ‘global warming alarmist’ tweet. This person is also holding an inquest into why his drink got colder when he added ice to it. When you add cold air to hot air, it doesn’t just turn into warm air. It goes apeshit. See, um, hurricanes, tornadoes, and every thunderstorm ever. But no, it must be a hoax. Because it’s cold. Today. Where I live. Jon Stewart knows what I’m talking about (pro-tip, if HuffPo won’t let you watch the above video, get Hola).

Police won’t recommend charges against protesters who joined PM on stage. Great, but let’s talk about Mr Harper’s comment for a tick: “It wouldn’t be BC without it.” Now if that isn’t the most smug example of Western alienation ever, I don’t know what is. To reduce a global struggle for climate justice to ‘Oh BC, there they go again, caring about stuff again’ while Tories torch and dump centuries of priceless, irreplaceable environmental archives should be roundly panned by the media, but instead they frame it as some wacky security breach and get right back to advertising used cars.

Abbotsford Heat’s financial losing streak cost taxpayers $1.66 million last season. Let me get this straight. Abbotsford will house a hockey team but not the homeless? I see.

Vermin infest Vancouver courthouse. Queue obligatory snitch jokes here.

Man injured as shots ring out during crowded Cactus Club lunch rush. Well, this shooting has totally ruined the Cactus Club for me. No wait, it was the Cactus Club. Sorry.

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design: “More people than ever got exactly what they thought they wanted… [but] too many rich societies have used their wealth in ways that exacerbate urban problems rather than solve them.”

Rest in Print. Color Magazine, 2003 – 2013 | Another year, one more nail in Vancouver’s culture coffin. Farewell.

Aw, bonus: Tea & Two Canucks Cookies.

TEA & TWO SLICES | Narcissists Blogging Their Beatings In The Best Place On Earth

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by Sean Orr | Oh, dear. According to this stupendous (no other word for it) blog post, the editor of the Gastown Gazette blog was incarcerated on New Year’s Eve for allegedly resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer during a domestic dispute investigation. He compares his situation to some of the worst crimes against humanity in modern history: “This, was probably the lowest moment of my life. It was my Abu Ghraib moment” [...] “I received one cup of water after asking an officer if they were running a modern-day concentration camp.” And then, in a mind-blowing display of paranoid narcissism – and without a hint of irony – he wonders who called in the hit on him. “Who might have originated this stupid and cowardly act? Was it the Carnegie-CCAP gang?” Yeah, bro. That’s right. Vancouver’s rag-tag team of anti-poverty activists are just totally in cahoots with the police. Both the blogger and his wife have denied that there was a domestic incident. Welcome to the new/old Gastown.

Meanwhile, 30 homeless deaths in 4 months in Victoria.

Out East, Nova Scotia RCMP to get drones. And just as I was about to ask why Nova Scotia was so lucky. “RCMP in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland and Labrador all use the devices.” To borrow a line from Derrick O’Keefe, “I guess I missed the big public debate about this”.

The Vancouver Sun actually prints something interesting: Mixed neighbourhoods not always a good idea. “Research finds that higher-income newcomers often use their political know-how and influence to fight against services for the poor, or to target the activities of marginalized people in public space”. Yes, but is this happening in the DTES? Are these higher-income “newcomers” even allowed to promote services for the poor, lest they be called hypocrites or yuppie do-gooders? It’s hard to forget the furor against Save on Meats’ sandwich token program. Or is the reality on the street much more “muddy”? To what extent should happiness be mediated?

To wit, Killing Joy in the Best Place on Earth: “New websites, media ventures, and community groups began to emerge that championed the city in terms that were, to say the least, effusive. One such website, which began as a more or less standard arts and culture blog, even incorporated itself as a non-profit organization with an explicit mandate to report only good news about the city. In incredibly short order, happiness-talk had become the Ur language through which the city made sense of itself. It saturated discussions of work, civic participation, and community building alike. It was as if bottomless enthusiasm had been tacitly drafted into the conditions of municipal citizenship.” Vancouver was awesome before Vancouver Is Awesome told us that Vancouver was awesome, but it was also sometimes not so awesome, and that’s ok, too.

Speaking of community engagement: Citizen polling website contract awarded without tender. Top comment: “Talk Vancouver is a vacuous exercise in data mining for re-election purposes, even without the disgraceful failure of tendering for public contracts”.

Raging hyperbole trains coming to a website near you: Exploding oil trains: Coming to a Vancouver neighbourhood near you? Ah, if only Yaletown still had all those train tracks…

False Creek’s Urban Experiment Seeks a Second Act. I’ve always just sort of ignored that entire part of Vancouver. “Proposals to “densify” several areas of the city boiled over this year into neighbourhood rebellions and even tense picket lines. Yet overlooked in the sparring are 6,000 Vancouverites quietly living a “densified” life in a community created decades ago.” Cool!

Reminds me a bit of San Fran: The rise of the white, middle-class anti-gentrifiers.

Salon: Yoga, spinning and a murder: My strange months at Lululemon.

Bonus: Bitcoin-Powered Airport Invasion Party!

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Doge Quotes And Brothels Destined For Kits Beach Bike Path

January 2, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Goodbye 2013, The Year We Broke The Internet.

This is not a glitch in the system. It is the system. Readers are gullible, the media is feckless, garbage is circulated around, and everyone goes to bed happy and fed… We the media have betrayed your trust, and the general public has taken our self-sanctioned lowering of standards as tacit permission to lower their own.

Or, never heard of media concentration? Guess why? Media concentration. To wit: Conan Shows Us That Main Stream Media Is Scripted. It’s OK, you can admit it.

Because it’s just that black and white: Is the Downtown Eastside getting better/worse? Maybe the question should be, “Are all the underlying factors that created the DTES still at play?” Because yes they are.

Although…Supreme Court strikes down Canada’s anti-prostitution laws. The NIMBYs are going to lose their shit when a brothel opens off Kits Beach.

Related: Exploration of Indigenous Lands and Exploitation of Indigenous Bodies.

The Best Most Expensive Place on Earth: MSP premiums and other taxes heading up in 2013. And BC Hydro. And BC Ferries. And house prices. Woah! Or is it, Whoa?

Top Canadian CEOs earn average worker’s annual salary by lunchtime today. Or, in my case, 5 minutes after midnight.

Isaac Asimov Predicts in 1964 What the World Will Look Like Today — in 2014. “Mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014.”

Something Offal: 2013: The Scam Reviewed. “Given the distended fecal sacks of our holy bovines, retching is not uncommon”. I feel your pain, bro.

So it turns out that doge – aka the Meme of the Year and The Person of the Year - didn’t give one of the best quotes out of Vancouver this year: I get a life no trouble. All the people no fight, all the friendship, how good, how excellent. Sounds like doge but isn’t doge? Much truth. Very real. So honest.

‘Homeless’ man pays next month’s rent for strangers. I am going to try and help every homeless man I see from now on, but I’m also going to get really mad when they don’t whip out their chequebooks.

Author 1, phisher 0: Vancouver novelist Steven Galloway claims ultimate troll on Facebook scammer. This could also be a tweet from Modern Seinfeld.

Bonus: Vancouver Releases of 2013.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Pub Crawling With Your Children & Sweet Tweets From A Mall

December 19, 2013 

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by Sean Orr | Affordable Housing: Some Parts Just Aren’t City Hall’s Job. Although a far cry from Sam Sullivan’s condescending use of pennies to illustrate Vancouver’s portion of taxes (and thus absolving the City of responsibility), Kevin Harding‘s point that “Depriving (landlords) of income is unfair. Depriving someone of affordable housing isn’t, apparently” is pretty on point.

Related: Why the rent is so damn high.

Development battles dominated 2013 headlines in Vancouver. Weird, that was also the case in 1893, 1924, 1950-1967, 1986, 1993-1998 and 2006-2010. What an amazing coincidence! Also, what’s a “development battle”? It’s just NIMBYism, through and through.

Best to throw in some “cultural amenities” to sweeten the pot: Vancouver council approves over-height Burrard Gateway tower. How many gateways do we really need?

This is surprising but also totally not surprising: Joint Review Panel recommends approving the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. Well, son of a bitumen! I guess now we get to see what the environment movement is really made of.

I expect a whole lot more violence fun! How far must we go to protect the environment? Hmm, I’m not sure, but I do know that someone needs to develop an app like this Drake’s for the guy on the left in this photo.

Give the plebes what they want: Pubs eager for the walls to come down as liquor law changes proposed. Clark’s newest new slogan: Families (In Pubs) First.

Best new twitter: Kingsgate Mall.

Not getting it: Walmart sells Occupy Wall Street print.

I didn’t know where to fit this, so I’ll just put it here: Born in the Burbs – Stephen Harper explained.

And finally, here is Rob Ford dancing to One Love during a council meeting. Merry Christmas!

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Secret Tunnels And Defending The Honour Of Granville St.

December 16, 2013 

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by Sean Orr | New front runner for #douchebagoftheyear: Federal minister says child poverty not Ottawa’s problem. “Is that always the government’s job, to be there to serve people their breakfast?” Actually. yes. “Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so”. Prompting the tweet of the day c/o Charles Demers:

But suddenly a new contender emerges! Lucic rips hometown Vancouver after bar fight. “I have no reason left to try and defend my city, and the people of my city”. I would have probably come to the same conclusion if my entire sample population consisted solely of asshole jocks who go to The Roxy. C’mon, Lucic…even Gandhi would get into an ‘altercation’ on the Granville Strip.

What a load of manure: Abbotsford: Homeless Camp Under Siege. Sigh, if only the teachings of Jesus Christ had reached the tiny enclave of Abbotsford…

Put down: Original Response to The Province’s Interview on “Pickup Artists”. Sorry Tony, I know you wanted Scout to review your book. This is as close as it will get.

Why are the economy and the environment mutually exclsuive? ‘Eco-scaremongers’ will kill the economy. Using outdated tropes such as “Third World”, Mr. Tupper laments the loss of jobs in the coal sector (despite their use of temporary foreign workers) saying it would devastate the economy. But of course – and just in case anyone forgot – Gary was one of the folks who led the charge to defeat TransLink’s proposed vehicle levy a few years ago. Since Translink is now bankrupt, I’m not sure we should take his advice…

Green Party interim leader Adam Olsen’s goals include building bridges between aboriginals and non-aboriginals. “It’s economic madness,” Weaver said. “We are pinning all our hopes on one desperate dream. There’s no backup plan. It’s LNG or nothing. “Forget about counting your chickens before they’re hatched. That’s counting them before the rooster has even entered the hen house.”

The not-so-free-market: The War on BC’s Small Pot Farmer. Or, the case against legalization. See Vice’s BC Bud documentary.

Finding Hard Value in Real Estate – An analysis of Vancouver and Detroit. “No other item in your investment portfolio is as full of speculation, cultural zeitgeist, and outright sentimentalism as real estate”.

Canada Post’s secret tunnel faces end of the line. Forget the thousands of posties that are losing their jobs. This is the real tragedy.

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