New video – Vancouver’s Roman Colosseum – Library Square

Come along with me to Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch (aka. Library Square). Let’s explore this iconic Vancouver landmark complete with rooftop garden, special exhibitions, Roman columns, and more. The extra bit that didn’t make it to the video (thanks to poor audio) is that I spent a lot of time at Library Square in my university days. I had a study group on the … Continue reading New video – Vancouver’s Roman Colosseum – Library Square

Starchitect lands in Canada – Bjarke Ingels

Some of you may know about Vancouver House going up along Howe Street at Pacific Boulevard and right up against the Howe Street onramp for the Granville Street Bridge. It is Danish starchitect, Bjarke Ingels‘, huge stamp on the Vancouver skyline.


The giant tower will contort it’s frame over part of the bridge in architectural yoga pose in the sky. It’s an impressive looking building in the computer renditions. It may be just as promising when it is finished.

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Hong Kong’s Stanley

If there ever was a nice tourist trap, I think Stanley in Hong Kong would count. This tiny little area on the hilly south side of Hong Kong Island is a magnet for tourists and locals alike. The famed Stanley Market attracts travellers looking for the quintessential Hong Kong souvenir. The waterfront attracts locals looking to enjoy some southern exposure on a sunny January afternoon. Expats love to travel here for a feel of something back home they might miss. This is Stanley.

stanley market on google maps


Over a half dozen trips to Hong Kong and I hadn’t been back to Stanley since 1988 when I was just wee pre-teen lad. My only memory of Stanley was getting this cheap little fuzzy caterpillar toy that would move around almost magically via strings attached to my hands. It was a long windy bus ride on the upper deck. Riding along all the tight turns along the rocky edge of Hong Kong Island is an experience on its own.

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Hong Kong’s Yuen Long

Chinese calligraphy in Ching Shu Hin house in Yuen Long

Yuen Long is a large district in the northwest section of the territory. It was one of the largest town centres in the New Territories outside of the urban core of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. I had been meaning to visit this part of Hong Kong on many occasions. I actually got there this time with my sister, parents, and mother-in-law in tow.

First off, you should know about the special day pass for the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun areas of Hong Kong. This pass is not very well advertised on the MTR website. There are only two stations from which you can buy such passes – Nam Cheong and Mei Foo. The pass allows for unlimited travel on the West Rail, the Yuen Long/Tuen Mun LRT, and MTR-run buses in the area.

Tuen Mun – Nam Cheong Day Pass

This was also the first time I ever rode the West Rail. This line was the last of all the Hong Kong rail lines for me to travel upon. I could finally check it off my list.

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Flickr Crush – CoolbieRe

I’ve been on Flickr since 2006.  As my regular blog followers know, I love photography.  I wish I had better equipment and a better eye.  Both of which can be improved.  One requires money.  The other requires just a lot of practice.  A better eye also comes about from immersing oneself in gorgeous photography. I wanted to share my latest Flickr crush with everyone. CoolbieRe … Continue reading Flickr Crush – CoolbieRe

Layers of Human Experience

I have heard the term “layers of human experience” used a few times recently. I’ve actually heard it mostly from Gordon Price. He talked about it on his talk at Creative Mornings in July. He also used it during the recent Viaducts Heritage Walk put on by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. Gordon mentioned that when a building or structure has been around long enough that … Continue reading Layers of Human Experience

Quebec City – Across the River in Lévis

After an icy ferry ride across the St. Lawrence River, we ended up in the City of Lévis.  It’s a small town built upon a ridge overlooking the St. Lawrence on the southeast shore of the river. If you arriving in Lévis by ferry, as we did, then you will need to take one of two sets of stairs up to the main town above. … Continue reading Quebec City – Across the River in Lévis

Chinatown Walking Tour – East along Pender

Continuing our Chinatown Historic Tour put on by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, we headed back east along Pender Street.  We walked under the Millennium Gate that marks the entry into Chinatown from Downtown.  Almost every Chinatown in North America has a similar gate.  We just didn’t get ours until the turn of the millennium. We walked past our starting point at Pender and Carrall towards … Continue reading Chinatown Walking Tour – East along Pender

Chinatown Walking Tour – Pender and Carral to Shanghai Alley

Back in June, I went on another walking tour put on by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and lead by none other than Maurice Guibord.  These tours are always so much fun. We met up at the corner of Pender and Carrall.  We started looking at the building on the northwest corner of the intersection. Maurice pointed out that the building had two different facades.  One … Continue reading Chinatown Walking Tour – Pender and Carral to Shanghai Alley

Walking Boston – MIT

After WardMaps, an adventure in desperately seeking restrooms, and an hour at a Starbucks in Central Square, I started to make my way to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  I was determined to walk the campuses of Harvard and MIT in one day.  They are two of the top universities in the entire world. On my way to MIT, I actually bumped into one … Continue reading Walking Boston – MIT