Archive for Vancouver

We’re Number 1!!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 6, 2010 by davegerry

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=trophy&iid=5102881″ src=”4/f/1/b/Group_of_people_a534.jpg?adImageId=9968109&imageId=5102881″ width=”366″ height=”467″ /]

I rolled over in bed this morning, groped for the radio and was treated to the voice of the B.C. Premier once again rah-rahing about the Olympics. He gets a weekly Saturday rant on the province’s biggest radio station and this is about the 32nd straight address in which he’s been jostling his pom-poms about the Games. It’s a helluva way to wake up!

Also this week, one of those lovely, weighty lifestyle supplements slopped out of the morning paper and the headline, which we’ve all seen a thousand times, was trumpeting Vancouver as ‘ The World’s Most Livable City ‘.

This constant self-congratulatory mantra combined with years worth of Winter Olympic hype is leaving a lot of us feeling like Dr. Peter Venkman in the movie Ghostbusters. It’s icky. It’s sticky. I often feel like I’ve just been slimed.

Pride in one’s one’s home turf is good, please don’t misunderstand. But Vancouver is so quick to pat itself on the back every time some poll puts it at or near the top of any half-assed list that the lustre of the moment is lost. The title of ‘World Class City ‘ must, by now, be on the municipal crest. I hear it constantly. It is inescapable. Do world class cities have to run around always declaring themselves as world class cities? Where’s the class in that? The whole thing always strikes me as more than a little desperate.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=diving+board&iid=5437620″ src=”9/8/4/9/Man_on_diving_ec08.jpg?adImageId=9969169&imageId=5437620″ width=”234″ height=”305″ /]We’re like that needy kid at the end of the diving board screaming at his parents, ‘Look at me, look at me!’

Remember the old tv tabloid show A Current Affair? Back in the mid-1990’s A Current Affair, for some inexplicable reason, included Vancouver in a series it was running on America’s Sinning-est Cities. They talked about the city’s drug culture, the crime rate and the liberal prostitution laws. And, boy, did Canadians respond! They flooded the show with complaints..to the point that A Current Affair was forced to come back to Vancouver and back pedal big time. Canadians don’t mind being singled out for the good stuff, but don’t lump us in with all that nasty, gritty urban angst from south of the border.

But getting back to the ‘Livable’ supplement.

The pictures chosen to accompany the article on our wonderfulness were telling. One of them shows a small flotilla of boats anchored in False Creek (lovely shot..I’m a sucker for anything with boats) This is the same spot that the city has been relentlessly trying to clear of so-called aquatic ‘squatters’ for years. Must be an old photo.

There’s also the iconic view of the Lions Gate Bridge..looking towards the North Shore mountains. There are 14 cars on the bridge, I counted them. There are never only 14 cars on the Lions Gate Bridge! It must have taken two guys in orange vests and a thousand traffic cones at either end to achieve this effect.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=vancouver&iid=5293528″ src=”6/2/4/3/High_rise_apartment_c789.jpg?adImageId=9968922&imageId=5293528″ width=”234″ height=”321″ /]   A third photo is staring up at a sky full of West End condominiums. It’s a gulag of over-priced, green-glassed similarity.

The library

With very few exceptions (the downtown Library being one) the residential architecture in Vancouver’s urban core is breathtakingly boring.

But it ain’t cheap. It’s the World’s Most Livable City if only you could afford to live here. And don’t give me that argument that it’s a lot more reasonable than Rome or London or New York. My kids don’t live in Rome or London or New York. They’re going to have to make a go of it here.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=inukshuk&iid=7805064″ src=”3/c/8/5/Feature_d441.jpg?adImageId=9968997&imageId=7805064″ width=”234″ height=”151″ /]A final photo shows a snow covered inukshuk…a symbol of the Olympic Winter Games. The inukshuk , or , more correctly spelled inuksuk, has nothing whatsoever to do with Vancouver or even British Columbia. The inuksuk is an important representation for the Inuit people of the Arctic. There was a lot of debate over the conscription of it for the commercial purposes of the Games. Personally, I was pulling for the image of the white Kermode bear from the central coast of British Columbia.

I wish Vancouver would simply take a few deep breaths and settle into the comfort of its own skin. It is a terrific place, especially when the sun shines. Trust me, all the folks who are about visit will discover this for themselves. You don’t have to beat them over the head with it. Those of us who live here are going to need liniment if we keep up this shameless barrage of back slapping.

Breakfast Blogavision

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 18, 2009 by davegerry

 

Dave and Simi

Dave and Simi

 

Or, if you prefer……

 

 

Simi and Dave

Simi and Dave

 

I had a bite of breakfast this morning with my terrific friend and fellow broadcaster Simi Sara. For those of you not aware, the two of us co-hosted a morning television show in Vancouver for three years.

Then..we didn’t. Please see my earlier post entitled ‘The Devil on Your Shoulder‘ for more engrossing detail.

Simi and I correspond at least once a week and you should know that when we manage a face to face encounter the personal electricity is still palpable.

Simi: How’s your egg?

Dave: Not bad. Yours?

Simi: Good. I like the way it gushes from the middle of the bagel.

Dave: Mmmmph.

Folks, you simply cannot fake that kind of chemistry.

(photo courtesy People Magazine)

 

A speck in the Ocean

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 16, 2009 by davegerry

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”         -Mark Twain

sailboat

I have been in love with boats since I was old enough to throw up in one. What is this siren call? I wish I knew. The photo above is of my last sailboat taken from a helicopter over the Strait of Georgia, one of the most gorgeous sailing grounds on planet earth. I am never happier than when afloat in a boat. It truly satisfies my soul.

This is a melancholy time of year for boaters because, though there are still some fine sailing days ahead (many would say, the best), the end of the season is just around the corner. They claim you can go boating year round on the West Coast of Canada and while this is technically true you need an iron will,  and at least three layers of the best thermal underwear to see it through.

I currently find myself between boats. Understand, I’m not boatless. I’m between boats. There’s a big difference. I’ve always thought I could live on a boat..the right boat. A lot of people harbour the same dream, but unless you are prepared to put just about everything you own into landlocked storage or jettison all of your personal inventory, it’s not a practical plan.

I don’t want to get all Shirley MacLaine-ish on you here but the lure of the water is so personally strong, so deep in my bones, that there’s a good chance I may have once been either a Labrador retriever or an officer in Nelson’s navy.

There are depictions of boats and seascapes everywhere in my home. I am obsessed with 18th and 19th century naval warfare. I have all twenty of Patrick O’Brian’s extraordinary novels which have been thumbed through at least three times and there are a couple of dvd versions of Master and Commander upon my shelf. Upstairs, in a bedroom vacated by one of my kids, is an unfinished frigate called the HMS Unicorn.

I started it four years ago. They used to build real frigates in less time.

 

frigate 002

The unfinished frigate

It’s pretty clear that I’m a certifiable aqua loon.

I have travelled to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and have filmed in boatyards from New Zealand to Newfoundland. A visit to the holy grail, the great flagship HMS Victory in Portsmouth,  teeters at the top of my bucket list.

And all of this because I must have some extra salinity in the veins. There is another boat in my future as sure as summer turns to fall. In the meantime I’ll just sit back, sip a little coffee from my Trafalgar mug and chant the oceanic mantra.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Huzzah!

Huzzah!

It Sure Looks Like the Best Place on Earth

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 13, 2009 by davegerry

This is just one of the gorgeous moments captured by West Coast Canadian photographer Bob Herger in a brilliant new book about to be officially released by Ken Budd’s Summerwild Productions.

Ken, who wrote most of the accompanying script for Bob’s images, has already produced, published or written more than two dozen books featuring some of British Columbia’s greatest scenic eye candy.

Vancouver: Living the Moment also includes the writing of such city personalities as Vicki Gabereau, Rick Hansen, Jack Hodgins, Squire Barnes, Bill Good, Gloria Macarenko…and Dave Gerry.

You can check out  Living the Moment at the link below on my blogroll or keep an eye out on the shelves of bookstores everywhere.

Dave