A Wasted Morning in Paris

Our second day in Paris started early in the morning. I woke up to the dawn and peered out the window to the city limits. It was the golden hour for which I am seldom awake.

We lingered in bed for longer until a more regular hour approached. It was a Saturday morning out in Paris. So I assume things were a little slower than the usual lundi à vendredi pace.

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Paris – Airbnb apartment

We booked an Airbnb apartment for our week in Paris. It was smack dab in the middle of the 18th Arrondissement. “The 18th” includes such famous sites as Montmartre, Moulin Rouge, and the Sacre-Coeur Basilica. Our apartment was found near the crossroads of Rue Ordener and Boulevard Ornano. The Metro station is Marcadet-Poissoniers on Lines 4 and 12.

18e Arr

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Enter Paris – Charles de Gaulle Airport

Over a month ago, I had the great pleasure of travelling to Paris for the first time. It was a big milestone for my wife and I. I wanted to travel somewhere I always wanted to go. I had been in Europe on a band tour when I was a teenager. So I had always wanted to go back. Paris was a great place to reacquaint myself with Europe.

We flew Air Transat direct from Vancouver to Paris. It’s cheaper than a direct flight on Air France. It’s also way better than taking two flights via Toronto or Montreal with Air Canada. Air Transat may be a charter airline, but it never felt like it. The seats were comfortable and the service pleasant. The only “charter” feel about the flight was arriving at Charles de Gaulle’s Terminal 3. CDG’s Terminal 3 is specifically for discount and charter airlines. The plane stops on the tarmac and you have to take a shuttle bus into the actual terminal building. Apart from that, nothing about the flight felt “charter.”

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October 2015 – Compass Card and Zone-free Bus Rides

credit: TransLink

Last Thursday, TransLink announced a big move ahead in the Compass Card and new zone-free bus rides for October. Here’s what the Buzzer Blog has to say:

By late October, Compass Cards will be available to the general public to buy for use on all transit services — just in time for monthly pass holders to load November’s month pass on their Compass Card!

After this date, Compass Cards will be available from CVMs, by mail, online, phone request and in person at the Compass retailer network or Compass walk-in centres.

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A Long 11-week Federal Election Campaign – Good or Bad?

I’m not entirely sure I like the idea of a long 11-week federal election campaign. Voting day is this year is October 19, 2015. If memory serves me correctly, this is the first federal election under the fixed-election date era. Prime Minister Stephen Harper just asked the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament on Sunday, August 2; thus, triggering the election campaign preceding the fixed election date.

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2014 TransLink Bus Performance Review – Top Performers vs Bottom Performers

Another transit policy wonk post here. In an earlier post, I looked at a bar graph talking about the Cost per Boarded Passenger by Sub-Region. It helped to illustrate which sub-regions were the most and least cost-efficient. Here’s another handy graphic from the 2014 TransLink Bus Performance Review [PDF] showing what makes for cost-efficient bus routes.

Key Performing Indicators - bus routes

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Powell Street Festival 2015

Matsuri is the Japanese word for festival. Summer is the season for matsuri in Japan. It’s also this past long weekend that the 39th Annual Powell Street Festival was held down in Japantown. I missed last year’s edition that was kept out of the usual Oppenheimer Park location by a tent city. This year, the festival was back into full gear in the park.

Here’s a few photos from this year’s Powell Street Festival.


festival vendors

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