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Kitsilano Snowments

A February afternoon of rare snowfall, albeit wet, mixed snow-rain, in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood.

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I found this full episode of Buying Asia on YouTube talking about the Hong Kong real estate market from an expatriate’s view. It may be a 2 year old video now, but I think it’s a good look at Hong Kong’s crazy real estate market.  Hong Kong is often touted as one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. In central Hong Kong, prices are easily USD$2000 per square foot. Then there’s the USD$4 million fishing village homes.  Pretty astronomical.

However, the show doesn’t really cover the neighbourhoods where most of Hong Kongers live.  The show focuses on areas where ex-pats might want to buy/invest.  However, even cheaper neighbourhoods could run HKD $3-4 million for a typical 400-500 square foot flat.  That’s about USD $350k-500k.  That’s still not cheap, but it certainly makes Vancouver look like a bargain. 🙂

One of my coworkers knew I have an interest in photography. She had heard about a giant mobile camera truck using “wet plate” method to creating photos. She said there was a talk taking place on Friday.  That definitely piqued my interest and I looked it up.

I found out about Ian Ruhter and his Silver and Light project. The project has landed in Vancouver for April and he is giving a live demo photoshoot (which is already sold out).  He will also be available for different events until April 15 (Schedule of Events can be found here).  Ian has come to Vancouver looking for people and stories to shoot with his camera truck.

The video introduces us to his truck and his work.  It looks really impressive.

Scion commercial in Vancouver

I think I have way too much video and YouTube on my mind lately…

More of Vancouver has been featured in a recent Scion commercial.  I saw this one on the tele the other day.  It shows Granville Street in its new “great white way” look with all the bright white light standards lining the sides.  It also features the car being driven over a bridge (supposedly the Burrard Street Bridge) with the Central Broadway District’s skyline in the background.

It seems like Toyota, who also own the Lexus and Scion brands, decided to shoot a few of their recent 2012 commercials in the Rainy City.

Melbourne Metro PSA – aka Dumb Ways to Die

It looks like this video has been making its viral rounds around the Internet. I’ve already seen it on one of my friend’s Facebook feed and on Jarrett Walker’s Human Transit blog. As I link into the YouTube video, it’s already hit over 23 million views at this point in time. It’s not as hot as Gangnam Style, but still catchy and it hopes to save lives.

Vancouver’s Dunsmuir and Granville Streets in Lexus commercial

Here’s something else I came across on streetfilms.org.  It’s a Lexus commercial, but it’s filmed in Vancouver at the intersection of Granville and Dunsmuir Streets.  It’s complete with the separated bike lane in the commercial.  Even though, as Streetfilms points out, there are cars travelling down the bike lane in the commercial.  There’s even one point where a car is going in the wrong direction down the bike lane.

I guess Lexus chose to showcase their new hybrid vehicle in a city like Vancouver that is aiming to be one of the “greenest” cities in the world.  It’s just fun to see my hometown in a TV commercial.

Expo 86 Videos – reposted

Expo 86 videos. Oh the heady days of the summer of 86. We’re still not the great city of transport we wanted to be. http://ow.ly/e8J3J

These are videos that I found in my Tyee news feed.

The first video is of the original Mark I SkyTrain racing through the eastern end of the Expo 86 grounds.  There are also clips of the temporary gondola and monorail that were set up on the world exposition grounds.

The second video is a photo slideshow of Expo 86 in all it’s 1980’s glory. It still looks cool after all these years.  Of course, it’s all different along the north shore of False Creek now.

0506HK – Documentary Film

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0506HK by Quentin Lee

This link was provided courtesy of one of my friends.  He actually encouraged me to see this film when it was screened at a film festival in town last year.  He really enjoyed it.  He has roots in Hong Kong and so the film definitely resonated with him.  My roots are Hong Kong, as well, but much looser.

0506HK tracks Quentin as he does this self-documentary on whether he should move back to Hong Kong or not.  He meets up with many friends, who mainly also happen to be filmmakers and artists, to discuss their impressions of being an artist in Hong Kong and how they find the environment.  There’s a huge discussion of roots and belonging, of culture and politics.  Quentin wades through all his friends’ advice and answers to arrive at his own conclusion.

I think the film really resonates for those from Hong Kong or those who have some sort of connection to the territory.  I think in this modern age of mass global immigration, there is a lot of intercultral mixing at many different levels.  It’s a huge continuum of those who are culturally homogenous to those who are culturally diverse.  The film definitely examines different people along different points of this continuum.

I really appreciate that Quentin Lee has graciously posted the entire film on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.  I don’t always get to go out to film fests to see these kind of films.  Also, it can very difficult to find these movies to rent or purchase because of their “obscure” nature.

Here’s the trailer from film.  To see all the different parts of the film, go to 0506HK.com.  Then if you really like it, I encourage you to purchase the DVD when it becomes available.

Unexpected Endorsement by Globe & Mail

Globe & Mail, October 10, 2008

I didn’t expect to be writing this many political posts, but I guess it’s the season for it since I’m reading a lot about the election.

I’m very surprised that a major media outlet is publishing an endorsement for one of the prime minister candidates.  Maybe because I’m not a big fan of Harper, that this takes me aback a little more.  However, is it a practice of the media to endorse somebody.  I was really surprised.

However, the Globe endorsement does sort of explain why CTV decided to air Mr. Dion’s interview flub in Halifax.  The Globe and Mail and CTV are all part of the Bell Globemedia family.  Most pre-recorded television interviews cut out mistakes by their own staff.  I don’t think it’s “journalistic responsibility” as much as it is “editorial opinion” in airing Dion’s mistakes.  It also brings to question whether convergence of different media under one umbrella will serve the public well and serve us poorly.

Where the Hell is Matt? makes the mainstream

Some of you may have seen the video of the man dancing in different places in the world.  If you haven’t you should join the phenomenon.  If you have, then have you bought a pack of Stride gum yet?

All joking aside, I do kind of admire what Matt Harding has done.  He’s travelled to some pretty neat places and created 3 pretty neat videos of his travels and his awful dance.  Mind you, it’s exactly that bad dance that allows you to pick him out of a crowd.  Talk about intercultural interaction, though.  Dance as a universal language and a universal joy.  That’s awesome.  I know I’m saying that Matt dances poorly, but I’m sure I’d be a lot worse.

Just today, his video has been talked about in the mainstream media.  There was an article about him in the Vancouver Sun and I came across a second one in The Tyee.  However, his videos have been online for quite a while.  I wonder how the media got wind of this anyway?

Here’s his YouTube posting of the video.  However, I recommend you go to Vimeo and watch a higher quality stream in HD.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.