Pink Pearl

February 24, 2008

I have to give a plug here to the always wonderful Pink Pearl on Hastings at Glen. It never fails to produce something new for dim sum while maintaining the quality of our favourite standbys. The Pearl seats 700 and is full for dim sum every weekend, with lineups if you get there after about 11.

We enjoyed time there this morning with three friends and each of them ordered something we might not ordinarily eat, as we did for them in return. The result was a great eating experience — one of many we have enjoyed at the Pearl. The new things for me today were a curried squid, a vegetarian dumpling, and a deeply baked tapioca pudding. These plus the ha gao, fried squid, su mai, hot and sour soup, vegetarian bean curd, and a few other items I don’t recall just filled us right up.

A great start to a Sunday.

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Mosaic Of Leaves

February 24, 2008

Mosaic

So that we do not forget the beauties of Fall as we take mind of the glories of the spring about to envelop us.

Click the picture for a better version of the image.


Clematis As Taskmaster

February 24, 2008

ClematisWe have a clematis that we adore. It comes to life every spring growing like a weed, thrives every summer with gorgeous pastel purple and pink flowers, gets cut back to nothing in the winter, and then comes to life again each spring.

A week or so ago we noticed that the plant, cut back almost literally to nothing, was sprouting. Taking no chances, I put a tomato cage into place. And not a moment too soon! A week or ten days later — by today — the plant has grown at least 10 inches, and half a dozen branches rest restlessly against the middle ring of the cage.

The growth spurt seems to have come early this year. Pretty soon we will have to decide which wall and window we will let it climb; and once that starts, we will have to strip the winter covering from the windows. But it is only the end of February — we will get some strong winds in the next month and I’d like to keep the coverings up until then. But the precocious clematis might well force our hands.


No Country For Old Men

February 24, 2008

No CountryThe joys of the Vancouver East moviehouse have been written about before, and we enjoyed them again last night when we went to see the very fine “No Country For Old Men“.

I confess I have not read a single work by Cormac McCarthy, but I know now that I must. I’ll make him my summer reading project. “No Country” is a complex and often mystical story of people and place. It is deeply embedded in the here and now (of 1980 West Texas, at least) but is at the same time off-center in its fantastical storytelling. It is a marvelous middle, with no beginning (the drug deal gone bad happens before the story starts) and no end (no loose strings are neatly tied). McCarthy gave the brilliant Coen Brothers all the material they needed to build another cinematic masterpiece, and they didn’t fail.

I am sure that a half-generation of film scholars have picked through the Coen Brothers filmography and deconstructed their methods, but I haven’t read any of them either. The mystery of how a Coen Brothers movie is better than someone else’s movie is still a mystery to me. But it doesn’t matter when the end result — the result of just sitting and watching — is so satisfying. However, one aspect of their movie making does stand out even to me, and that is the brilliance of their casting. I doubt that Tommy Lee Jones has ever been more perfect for a role; and Javier Bardem is a marvelous slab against which the waves of the story crash. And, as always with them, the secondary and minor roles are cast with an equally perfect eye.

To my regret, “No Country” is the only one of the Best Film nominees we have seen this year. Any one of the others would have to be sublime to defeat “No Country” though.