Image: Spring Canopy

January 29, 2023


100 Years Ago Today in Grandview #2

January 29, 2023

It was a big day for Grandview — January 29th, 1923 — as the Grandview Theatre debuted its brand-new $15,000 orchestral organ. It was, they said, “the last word in organs.” You got all this, plus a Jackie Coogan feature, for just 30 cents!


Night Music: I’m A Man

January 28, 2023

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Image: Blintzes

January 27, 2023


Night Music: Pale Blue Eyes

January 26, 2023


Image: Palm Beach Special #2

January 25, 2023


Night Music: Every Time We Say Goodbye

January 24, 2023


100 Years Ago Today in Grandview #1

January 24, 2023

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One hundred years ago today, on 24th January 1923, it was announced that the School Board had purchased the block between Lakewood & Templeton, and E. Georgia and Barnard (now Adanac), for the sum of $10,500, a price that was considered “exceptionally low”. This would eventually become Templeton School.


Spies: A Cold War Memory

January 24, 2023

When I was eleven years old I lived in Ruislip Gardens which is a tiny suburb of Ruislip which, in turn, is a small suburb hanging on to the western edge of London.  I had a newspaper route which I took care of seven days a week starting at six each morning.

In London in those days we had a dozen or more daily newspapers and each subscriber to our delivery service could receive any permutation of papers. Most houses took two papers, and some many more. Sorting the right papers into the the right order in the right bags was a vital part of each morning’s routine at the shop.

By Christmas 1960, I was one of the senior delivery boys and had thus inherited a long route that covered the main road from Ruislip Gardens to Ruislip and included several side streets along the way. It took almost two hours and I sure earned my breakfast every day. On school days, it was split between two boys.

One of the side streets to which I delivered newspapers every day was Cranley Drive. And at 45 Cranley Drive lived a Canadian couple, Helen and Peter Kroger. I know I delivered papers to them but I don’t recall them at all, not even from the Christmas tip. However, in January 1961, the Krogers were arrested, and I do remember the street being closed off one cold morning by police cars and constables. It was revealed over the next few months that the Krogers were really Russian spies Morris and Lona Cohen, and that their basement on Cranley Drive included a sophisticated radio communications setup with Moscow.

It seemed exciting to a young kid in those dangerous days of Atom spies, the Third Man, Checkpoint Charlie. And I have kept my fascination with moles and sleeper cells ever since.


Image: Bacon

January 23, 2023


Poem: Mayfly

January 23, 2023

 

the autobiography of a mayfly

would be as short as a page

and as dense as perfect memory

 

the madness of dashing hither and yon

across the summer’s blue distance

to seek the one mate of perfect desire

 

the need to avoid the bloodletting wars

of birds and trout at cool water’s edge

to arrive in one piece at the perfect location

 

the keenness of invention, of new hieroglyphics,

to tempt her away from the maddening crowds

to sing her, to win her with this perfect dance

 

the sense of fulfillment, slowly drifting to earth

with all power spent, all duty completed

to remember, to listen to the end of this perfect life

 

 


Night Music: Vincent

January 22, 2023


Image: Vesuvius Sunrise

January 21, 2023


Night Music: Talking About A Revolution

January 20, 2023

Learning From The Best

January 19, 2023

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Scot Hein was one of the most respected planners at Vancouver City Hall. For the last few years, he has been using his skills to train other planners. He has now announced a new short course that will be of value to neighbourhood activists and all those interested in dealing with the City’s zoning and planning departments. As Scot describes it:

“Essentially I will be sharing my best tools, methods, case studies/precedents and engagement practices for all stakeholders towards positive shared results. We’ll also practice how to start a productive design oriented conversation in the neighbourhood.”

It is a four-week course in April and May that includes a walking tour of Kitsilano. Full details are here: https://www.sfu.ca/continuing-studies/courses/city/introduction-to-neighbourhood-design.html


Image: Stairway In Maui

January 19, 2023


Night Music: Blue Bayou

January 18, 2023


Image: Glass & Brick

January 17, 2023


Beyond Manifest Destiny

January 17, 2023

On this date in 1893, American business interests overthrew the monarchy of Queen Liliukalani, established their own elitist junta, and demanded that the US annex Hawaii, which (surprise, surprise) they did.

After the completion of the militarist-imperialist-racist campaign known as Manifest Destiny — which had stolen most of North America and exterminated the native populations in an officially sanctioned program of genocide and ethnic cleansing — the takeover of Hawaii was one of the first warnings that the US was moving towards a hegemonic control of the globe.

Most of the western world at that time was focused on the growing military strength of Germany and Japan.  They may have been wiser in the long run to have looked over their shoulder.


Night Music: Canon in D

January 16, 2023