March 29th was a rainy afternoon which I had free. I took the bus to the end of Robson by Denman. I walked back the rest of the way and recorded some these of clips to share. It was just cloudy originally, but then the rain started to come down by the end of this video. I ended up ducking into a Starbucks and waited for the rain to let up after. Today’s West End Robson Street has always been home to neighbourhood shops. However, it is increasingly becoming a magnet for relatively affordable ethnic food. With all the English language colleges downtown, there is an increasing international student population in the Downtown core. Most of these Internationals are Koreans and Japanese. Thus, you will notice a huge representation of Korean and Japanese restaurants dotted along this stretch of Robson. No complaints here. I love all the food that this student population has induced here along Robson. Favourites in this part of town include Jang Mo Jib, Shantouka Hokkaido Ramen, Hapa Izakaya, Sura Korean, and Beijing Restaurant (it’s actually a Korean restaurant bearing a Chinese name). There’s also Kintaro Ramen, Zakkushi, and Kingyo which are all on Denman, but are very close to Robson Street. Rebuild the parking lot and put up foodie paradise!
I had some time a couple of Sundays ago to go downtown for some filming. The cherry blossoms had just started to bloom just outside Burrard Station.
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. 🙂
Here’s a video of an “invisible” bike helmet. I won’t describe it much more; otherwise, I’ll give away the ending of the video.
You can also read about the invention on Yahoo!
I really enjoyed this hour long video of Gordon Price talking about how constraints breed creativity. The Lower Mainland itself has constraints that frame the creativity of an urban landscape within a sea of green. This sea of green is bordered by water to the west, the US border to the south and the mountains to the north and east.
Some of my favourite takeaway points:
- Counts of traffic going in and out of Vancouver’s downtown core have returned to 1965 levels!! Vancouver may have already reached Peak Car status and has descended the other side of the peak.
- The now-approved Point Grey Road closure is actually more than just another bike route/greenway. It is the one of the final pieces of infrastrucutre in the grand Seaside Greenway. What’s the Seaside Greenway? The Seaside Greenway currently runs from Coal Harbour all the way around Stanley Park, along the north shore of False Creek, past Science World, through the Olympic Village, onto Granville Island and then finally Kitsilano Beach. Between Kits Beach and Jericho Beach there is a gap. The new Point Grey Road closure will bridge that gap and connect Spanish Banks to Coal Harbour with one ribbon of walking and biking pathway.
- The Stanley Park Seawall would never be built in today’s Vancouver. Would Vancouverites approve of the city laying down tons of concrete on pristine, natural waterfront? Think about it.
- The TransLink referendum is going to be a once-in-a-generation event for transit. If a “No to transit funding” vote passes, then transit will come to a stand still for the next ten years and fall behind what is needed. If a “Yes to transit funding” vote passes, then we have the opportunity of a generation to transform the way Metro Vancouver moves.
- So why does transit need a referendum, but millions and billions of dollars put into road/bridge/tunnel infrastructure don’t? Why is roadway infrastructure a given in the province’s eyes, but transit infrastructure is not a given?
- The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) that aims to protect farmland across the province may be at risk. Recent wording of “belt-tightening” and looking for “efficiencies” has included the ALR in its sites. Will we sacrifice our farmland and food security for economic development?
- Contrary to popular belief, there are politicians in the region, especially at the municipal level, who are willing to vote for the right thing. Even if that vote may jeopardize them at the next election. They will vote for projects that are for the good of the city in the long term despite vocal neighbourhood opposition.
Watch the video. I think the hour is well worth it. You can even multitask while doing something else and keep it in the background to listen to if you like.
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.
I’ve been away from blogging longer than I thought. I was out of town for a weekend and will have photos to follow 🙂
However, in the meantime, I’d like to share this video that I stumbled upon through Yuri Artibise of Yurbanism.com fame. It’s to promote the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market that runs from May 17 to September 8th this year. I always end up in one of the Richmond night markets, but I haven’t done the Chinatown one. Maybe I will swing by this year. Chinatown has just changed so much in the past few years. There’s much more going on in Chinatown than before.