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Tag: Winter Olympics

Yay Vancouver!

by Dan
Travel + Vancouver / March 01, 2010

Gold, Bitches! Photography by kp werker

Woo-hoo! 14 Gold medals and a sweet win against the US in OT! Congratulations to all our athletes: You did us proud!

Yay Canada! Yay Vancouver!

Thanks again to everyone to contributed to our 5 Things Vancouver posts during the Winter Olympics. They were all fantastic and it was great to get tips from people who really know and love the city. 

Just in case you missed any of the entries here's a complete list of the 30+ contributors:

Thanks all, and if anyone still needs some advice on where to go in Vancouver, please check out Lonely Planet's Vancouver Encounter and City Guide, and Chronicle Books City Walks: Vancouver.

And don't forget to write down all your new discoveries in a Moleskine Vancouver City Notebook!

Photograph courtesy of 5 Things Vancouver contributor KP Werker


5 Things Vancouver: Jill Amery

by Dan
Kids + Travel + Vancouver / February 25, 2010

Jill Amery is the Editor of UrbanMommies an online magazine with a focus on the stylish side of pregnancy and parenting.

Based in Vancouver, Jill is constantly searching for parenting tips, fun children’s activities and kid’s travel stories.

What is the single best thing about living in Vancouver?
Skiing and sailing on the same day.

Who is your favourite Vancouver author?
Aislinn Hunter

What’s your favourite restaurant for a romantic dinner?
Boneta

What is the best thing to do with kids in Vancouver?
Can’t choose just one – skating at Robson Square, play area at the aquarium, Wreck Beach – the sand’s gradual entry into the ocean is perfect for kids.

What is your favourite Vancouver hangout?
The patio at the Art Gallery in summer.

What’s the most common misconception visitors have about Vancouver?

Tie: A) We never dress up. B) It rains all the time.

Thanks Jill!


5 Things Vancouver: Crystal Allen

by Crystal
Kids + Travel + Vancouver / February 24, 2010

Crystal Allen has been in the book industry for 11 years and has been a publicist at Raincoast Books for 3 years. She specializes in Children's Books and Travel Books. In her spare time she is mom to Isabella, wife to Rob (who also works at Raincoast) and designs children's clothing for her own online store Lilikoi Lane. She moved from Bellingham, Washington to Vancouver when she was 19 years old and  classifies herself as a truly West Coast Girl. "The West Coast is my home... I can't imagine living anywhere else!"
 
What neighbourhood do you live in? In my 11 years in Vancouver I have lived all over the place. My first apartment was above the Chapters on the corner of Robson and Howe. A great way to be introduced to the city as a 19 year old girl. I've also lived in The Commercial Drive Area, The Westend, Yaletown, Burnaby and now we live in the Queensborough Area of New Westminster. It is a great neighbourhood for families. We have a waterpark and community center 3 blocks west of us, a plot at our local community garden 5 blocks east of us, beautiful views of the North Shore Mountains and Mt. Baker... AND the Olympic Torch went right past our house! The exchange of the flame was literally right in front of our deck. It was such an incredible, intimate, community celebration. Just us and approximately 150 of our neighbors. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget!
 
Where’s your favourite spot to eat on a budget? Whenever my sister comes up to visit from Washington we always hit Legendary Noodles on Main Street. Not because it is budget friendly (though it is) but because it is just so darn good! I credit finding this restaraunt to Bob Blumer and his show Glutton for Punishment. I had probably walked past the restaurant a dozen times and never noticed it but Bob did an episode on the art of pulling noodles that I happened to catch. A week later I was dining at the small family run restaurant.  There can't be more than 10 or so tables in the place. They have a glass wall so you can see back into the teeny-tiny kitchen and watch them turn a ball of dough into hundreds of noodles with a few tugs and flips. They make it looks so easy but after watching Glutton for Punishment I'm very aware that it is anything but. They also do handshaved noodles... Oh it's just so good. Now I have to go again. Good thing my sister is coming up in March! They have a few locations but I've only been to the one on Main Street.
 
What is your favourite building in Vancouver? Hands down my favourite building in Vancouver is the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library at the east end of Robson Street. I had a great view of it from my living room window in my first apartment. Inspired by Roman Architecture it is a must see. So many people stop their walk on Robson once they reach Chapters and Sears... DON'T!!! Continue a few blocks further east, enjoy a coffee on the front steps, people watch and take in this beautiful building. Check out the Wikipedia Entry on VPL for photos and history.
 
Where’s the best place for coffee? Skip the coffee and go for tea! Check out David's Tea on 4th Avenue at Yew. David's Tea is a small chain of tea shops started in Montreal in 2008 by the then 27 year old David Segal. In the two years that followed 1 store bloomed to 9 with more on the way. Blends like Coco Chai Rooibos, Singapore Sting, Love Tea #7 and Forever Nuts keep me (and others) coming back for more. I'm in there often enough that my favourite Tea Gal Maegan knows me by name and we're now friends on Facebook (ask for her if you make the trip in.) There teas are so original with ingredients like chocolate chips, candied pineapple, shredded coconut and beetroot... this is not your grandma's tea. And if you can't make the trip to 4th ave you can always order online!
 
What is the best thing to do with kids in Vancouver? There are so many great things to do in Vancouver but one of my favourites has to be Granville Island. We used to make the trip up in the summer from Washington to visit when I was a kid and now I love taking Isabella there. It is the Canadian version of Pike Place Market but (in my humble opinion) even better. I could go on and on and on about all the terrific things to do there as an adult (strolling the Public Market for fresh cheese, pasta, produce, meats and flowers, visiting the artists community, having a leisurely lunch overlooking the water at Bridges or Sandbar...) but with kids I would say my favorite things to do are:
 

-Visit the Kids Market

-Stroll the Public Market and grab a pint of raspberries in the produce section and a Montreal Smoked Meat Bagel at Siegel's Bagels

  • -Head outside and eat your lunch on one of the benches overlooking the water and be entertained by buskers and interesting visitors from all over the world

-Chase the pigeons for awhile... Like Bella did in this picture.

-Hop on the Aquabus and take in the gorgeous views of False Creek and English Bay

-Then when they are all tuckered out and snoozing in their strollers head over to the Net Loft and browse the great titles at Blackberry Books

 
Enjoy Vancouver! It really doesn't rain here all the time. I feel so blessed to live in such an incredible city! Can you tell that I'm passionate about my city by the length of this blog post? smile

5 Things Vancouver: James Sherrett

by Dan
Travel + Vancouver / February 23, 2010

james-sherrett-adhackIn former lives, James Sherrett played hockey, guided fishermen, and wrote the novel Up in Ontario.

A foodist and a Flickrist, he is the founder of the creative community AdHack whose mission is to make better advertising.

If you want to go fishing, skiing, or hunting crabs waist-deep in the Pacific: James can probably hook you up.
 

What’s your favourite book about Vancouver?
The Pornographer's Poem by Michael Turner

Where’s your favourite spot to eat on a budget?
The Social butcher shop in gastown. Incredible sandwiches and home-made potato chips.

What’s your favourite restaurant for a romantic dinner?
Bishop's on 4th is the best restaurant experience in the city. Local food and west-coast cuisine was pioneered by proprietor John Bishop.

Where’s a good spot for Wi-Fi downtown?
Pretty much every coffee shop worth visiting (read: not Starbucks) has free wifi. Sometimes you just have to ask your barista. 

Why should people live in Vancouver and not just visit?
They shouldn't. Real estate prices are already too high. I'm not inviting any more demand into the market.

Bonus: 
Best Popcorn: The Dunbar Theatre on Dunbar at W. 29th.


5 Things Vancouver: Craig Riggs

by Dan
Travel + Vancouver / February 23, 2010

Craig arrived in Vancouver in 1998 to go to graduate school and stayed on for an extra 12 years. He lives in Ottawa now but counts Vancouver, and BC more broadly, as one of his homes.

He is a partner in the consulting firm Turner-Riggs Workspace and is seriously thinking about getting cable TV in time for the Olympics.

 

 

 

What is the single best thing about living in Vancouver?
The air. Beautiful, fresh air full of water and woods. Before I even lived in Vancouver, I used to clear Customs there all the time on my way back from trips overseas. I remember going outside the airport between flights and just breathing it in.

What’s the one place everyone should visit?
Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. You clamber down the trail from the parking lot and out on to this amazing shore of rocks and small cliffs. The rocks are for picnics and wine and naps and the cliffs are for jumping off for the between-nap swimming.

Where do you look for books in Vancouver?
Mostly Kidsbooks these days. Kidsbooks is easily one of the best bookstores in Vancouver—in fact, it might even be the best children’s bookstore in Canada.

What’s your favourite book about Vancouver?
LD: Mayor Louis Taylor and the Rise of Vancouver by Dan Francis. Louis Taylor is the longest-serving mayor in Vancouver’s history and his story reveals some of the essential characteristics of the city: an endearing wackiness and the promise of reinvention. Dan is a friend and is one of our most original and most accomplished writers of Canadian history.

Where’s the best place for coffee?
Joe’s Cappuccino on Commercial Drive. The coffee is great and it comes capped with towering clouds of foam. But you only partly go there for the coffee. On sunny days the regulars sit on rickety chairs along the mural-marked wall outside to sip coffee and watch the world go by. On rainy days, you can hang out inside—also on rickety chairs—and watch soccer games on the satellite TV. Mostly, you people watch.

Thanks Craig!


5 Things Vancouver: Monique Trottier

by Dan
Travel + Vancouver / February 17, 2010

Monique is Trapped in a SnowglobeMonique Trottier is the owner of Boxcar Marketing, an internet marketing company. In a former life, she was our internet marketing manager here at Raincoast Books, spearheading our online marketing campaigns, including promotion of Harry Potter and the creation of the first Canadian-publisher podcast and blog.

Her thoughts on marketing and technology can be followed on Twitter @somisguided or on her blogs at Boxcar and So Misguided.

What neighbourhood do you live in?
I live in Kitsilano. Walking distance to House of Switzerland on Granville Island. Vectorial Vancouver is within sight. And we are within easy access of the LiveCity downtown venues, Athlete's Village and BC Place.

San Francisco Cherry Blossom

What is the single best thing about living in Vancouver?
The best thing about living in Vancouver is letting everyone else think that it rains here all the time and is a really miserable place to live. (Did I mention the cherry blossoms are out? Horrible for the allergies. You'd hate it here.)
 

False Creek

Where do you look for books in Vancouver?
I used to look for books at Duthie Books, which has recently closed, so my next default is Blackberry Books on Granville Island.

 

 

Stormy Sunset & Fireworks

What's your favourite free thing to do in Vancouver?
My favourite free thing to do in Vancouver is visiting the festivals and markets. Places like Portobello West and the Richmond Night Market, the Hippie Daze in Kitsilano, the Celebration of Lights fireworks show in the summer. Basically, if you read the Georgia Straight, you'll get a list of free events. Walk around, people watch, check things out: that's what I like to do.

Russian House

Where do you plan to watch the Olympics?
I plan to watch the Olympics from Russia House, which is in Science World, just up the street from my office, at my local pub in Kits 'The Sunset Grill' and basically, anywhere with cable TV, the internet or on my little tv set with rabbit ears.
 

Thanks Monique! 


5 Things Vancouver: Sean Cranbury

by Dan
Travel + Vancouver / February 17, 2010

Sean Cranbury is the host of Books on the Radio and organizer of the W2 Real Vancouver Writers' Series, the Advent Book Blog and BookCamp Vancouver among other things.

Sean has been in the book trade since '89 as a bookseller, managing editor and industry consultant. He is currently on Faculty at the Simon Fraser Summer Publishing Immersion Program.

Sean works as a social media marketing consultant for non-profits in the health care and arts sectors. 

 


What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in the commercial Drive neighborhood in east Vancouver. It's this city's most culturally diverse neighborhood and boasts innumerable cafes, delis, vegetable markets, international restaurants, music venues, anarchists and head shops. It's classic. There's a park near my house with world class bacci courts where old timers from the Portuguese and Italian set battle for bragging rights. It's a neighborhood that Jane Jacobs would be proud of. In fact, the street shuts down for a few weekends during the summer to promote community spirit and often honours her. There's an amazing Lantern Festival at Trout Lake every summer not far from my house and something called the Parade of Lost Souls in the fall where ghouls walk the streets. It's a neighborhood of artists, musicians and writers. I wouldn't live anywhere else.

How long have you lived in Vancouver?
10 years now. Moved from Southern Ontario in '99—though I spent a few years out here in the mid-90's studying at Simon Fraser University and working at Duthie Books.

What is the single best thing about living in Vancouver?
I am typing this while sitting on my front porch in mid-February. I am wearing a t-shirt, the sky is clear and blue and the sun is practically blinding.  My neighbor is digging his garden in his front yard and some weird lady is talking to him about a 'problem' she has because she's apparently got too many tickets to the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. One of my other neighbors walks her cat around the block on a leash.

We have resplendent sunlight in the middle of February, mountains, ocean, incredible artists, writers, creative and/or insane people everywhere.

I love this vitality. Throw in a liberal dose of that mercurial West Coast State of Mind and I'm signed, sealed and delivered.

Where do you plan to watch the Olympics?
It is a known fact that my front door will be open and troupes of friends will be dropping by with refreshments and meat for grilling on the BBQ during that time.

It remains to be seen how inviting the downtown areas of Vancouver will be for spectating events via video screens or whatever.

But during that mythical Canada vs Russia gold medal mens hockey game I'll be sitting in my packed living room with my friends cheering.

What’s the most common misconception visitors have about Vancouver?

That everyone's stoned all the time. Nobody's stoned all the time... we're just stoned some of the time. Usually during business hours or in the early evenings. Or the mid-late afternoons. Or the late-mid mornings.  But never at dusk. We would never do that.

Thanks Sean!


5 Things Vancouver: Monica Lippingwell

by Dan
Travel + Vancouver / February 16, 2010

monica-lippingwellThe second of today's 5 Things Vancouver segments is from Raincoast reader Monica Lippingwell, who has been enthusiastically tweeting and re-tweeting about the series on Twitter.

Monica is a recent graduate with a master’s degree in counselling psychology. Sadly, she's currently unemployed, but is volunteering with children and people with life-threatening illnesses.

Because of the current economic environment she's trying to decide whether to return to school or start her own business. 

She says, "I am a life-long journaller (currently trying out a new iPhone journalling app…), I love books and I love Vancouver!"

You can find Monica on Twitter @monicamaple.

How long have you lived in Vancouver?
I am Vancouver born and raised. When I meet new people the inevitable response is, “I’ve never met anyone from here. People in Vancouver are usually from somewhere else.” I grew up in the South Vancouver neighbourhood of Marpole and loved it.

Where do you look for books in Vancouver?
Characters Books on Granville at W 68th Ave. I think the correct term is “gently used” books and they have everything. They are organized, knowledgeable, and have a steady turnover so it’s easy to find new titles, as well as old. Cozy coffee shop, too.

What is the single best thing about living in Vancouver?
Smiles. The first thing I notice when I return home from whatever trip I’ve been on is that people are smiling. They are smiling at me and they are smiling at each other. It’s something we do here and it tells me that I am home.

oranges-monica-lippingwell


Where’s the best place for coffee?
My friends and I call it “the pie place” but I think it’s called A la Mode. It’s a pie shop at Granville Island and they have a wonderful latte served in a glass mug. It’s delicious coffee and the mug is great for keeping you warm outside.

What’s your favourite free thing to do in Vancouver?
Granville Island. It’s always the first place I take out of town guests. Food displays, window shopping, activities for kids, artists, houseboats; it has everything. It’s also one of my relaxation spots. I look for harbour seals in the waters of False Creek; watch the rowers, the kayakers, the diving Cormorants, and the wandering people. Whatever the weather you can find me on a bench by the Market.

Thanks Monica!

(photo courtesy of Monica)


5 Things Vancouver: Thomas Wong

by Dan
Food & Drink + Travel + Vancouver / February 16, 2010

thomas-wong-sunday-bestThom Wong can be found ruminating on menswear at The Sunday Best (you can find The Sunday Best guide to Vancouver here). He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

What’s the one place everyone should visit?
There's a park at the corner of Cambie and West Hastings called Victory Square. Standing there is a cenotaph raised to remember the astounding number of British Columbians who have fought and died for Canada. Once a staging ground for labour riots, demonstrations, and general civic interaction, it sits largely forgotten bordering the poorest area in Canada. Chances are, Olympics organizers are hoping you never go there. Go.

Where do you look for books in Vancouver?
This is a particularly timely question since Duthie, a venerable family-run bookstore since 1957, is closing its last store here. I prefer used bookstores to new, since you're more likely to find an interesting read. Pulpfiction is my favourite, but for sheer madly stacked volumes of books you have to go to MacLeod's.

Where’s your favourite spot to eat on a budget?
If we lived in a truly merit based society Truong Giang (392 East Hastings Street), a tidy Vietnamese sandwich shop, would be more popular than Subway. As it is, I'm glad I found it. Perfect banh mi, starting at $3. Also try the large flat noodles.

What’s your favourite bar?
Six Acres by a country mile. Nestled behind the Gassy Jack statue in Gastown, Six Acres is only lacking in an actual bar you can sidle up to. Other than that it's a mixture of great beer, music, and food. (More of a a place to drink than a bar I suppose.)

Where’s the best place for coffee?
It's tempting just to write "anywhere but Starbucks" but it's true. Yes, Vancouver has eleventy billion of them. No, you should not get your coffee there. Instead, find a Caffe Artigiano for better coffee and much better service. But if you're really wanting a true, Vancouver coffee experience, head to Commercial Drive and find Joe's Cafe. The word "characters" was created to describe the people at Joe's.

Thanks Thom!


5 Things Vancouver: Kim Werker

by Dan
Travel + Vancouver / February 15, 2010

kim-werker-tofinoKim Werker is an astigmatic expat blogger, writer, speaker, brainstormer and author of crochet books who's currently working to open source the law at LexPublica.

You can find her at her blog and on Twitter.

 

 

 

What neighbourhood do you live in?
I live in Dunbar, on Vancouver's West Side. Dunbar's southwest of Downtown, and pretty far west, at that. Although it's a fairly affluent residential (read: painfully quiet!) neighbourhood, it used to be a working class 'hood and some of my neighbours bought their houses fifty years ago for practically nothing compared to today's insane housing prices. They talk of the Dunbar gang, and everything. I live very close to Pacific Spirit Park, which is a big forest within the municipality of Vancouver. It has miles and miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding (there are stables in the city, too). On the rare summer day when it's stiflingly hot, I avoid the overcrowded beaches and take the dog for walks in the shaded forest.

number-nine-bus-kp-werker
 

How long have you lived in Vancouver?
I moved to Vancouver in the spring of 2002, so I've lived here nearly eight years.

Where do you look for books in Vancouver?

My favourite bookstore in town is Pulp Fiction. They carry a huge selection of used books, but also new titles, which makes it really easy for me to give them my business. Also, everyone who works there is extremely friendly, and they *know* books, you know? Especially genre.

What’s the most common misconception visitors have about Vancouver?
That it's all scenery. We live in a breathtakingly beautiful city and it's easy to focus on that and to see little else. But people *live* here, and not all of them live well or comfortably or even safely.

What is your favourite building in Vancouver?
This week, I'll say it's the Flack Block at W. Hastings and Cambie, which is where our office is. It's a heritage building that was recently fully renovated and LEED certified. The interior is gorgeous, and we have huge windows that look out over a fascinating intersection.

Thanks Kim!

[photo from Kim Werker's Flickr]


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