The Thing I Like Most About Twitter …

August 30, 2011

… is the fact that I know, for a certainty, that no-one on the planet sees the same Twitter as me. Not a single one. It’s like snowflakes and fingerprints: no two instances are the same.

The Twitter that I see is a timeline created by the sum of the decisions I have made to follow and/or unfollow and/or re-follow certain tweeters over the entire time I have been on the service, say a couple of years; plus the decisions taken by an unknowable  number of those I follow to re-tweet an unknowable number of my and other people’s tweets. That’s the whole sum of it — and it cannot be repeated.

Sui generis, my timeline is unique.

That’s what I like most about Twitter.

“Water’s Edge”

August 30, 2011

“Water’s Edge” (2008), acrylics, plastic shoe, on canvas, 18” x 36”

Great Day For A Heritage Walk

August 27, 2011

It was beautiful weather in Vancouver today; perfect weather for a walk around Grandview east of Commercial courtesy of Vancouver Heritage with the always-fascinating Michael Kluckner.

There were perhaps 40 or 45 of us in the group, and Kluckner led us from Victoria Drive and Pender up and around to Lakewood and then down to Charles and Salsbury.  On the way, Michael discussed how Grandview’s failure to comply with the standard Vancouver grid back in the 1880s, 1890s and 1900s has created distinctive and unique lots and streets — half-lots, extended lots, streets without lanes — throughout this part of the neighbourhood.

He also noted that the rampant and unregulated capitalism of Grandview — so unlike the covenanted CPR lots of Shaughnessy and the regulation streets of Kitsilano — has given us a wide variety of house types.  Moreover, this lack of regulation worked in favour of workers and middle-class houses (of which there are many) as well as the mansions of the rich (several of which still exist, though usually in a different form or usage).

One of my favourite houses on the tour is this one with the very unusual upstairs balcony which I think is on Ferndale.

We were also lucky to have the cooperation of James Evans who is working to preserve and restore the Jeff’s house on the south-east corner of Charles and Salsbury.  James was happy to allow the whole crowd of us into the building to see the interior.

A long walk in the sun, but worth every step!

Grandview Sniveller

August 26, 2011

Just last night I discovered the existence of the “Grandview Sniveller” published by Kevin Potvin (formerly of Magpie Magazines and “Republic of East Vancouver“). I wish I had seen earlier editions.

This is a truly local four-page newspaper available only in print and is only distributed inside the area bounded by Powell, Commercial, Kingsway and Clark. As they proudly proclaim they are “not online” there are “no comments, no forums, no links.”

It’s great to see Kevin back in print, and I’ll be looking for future editions.

Wave 2

August 26, 2011

Wave 2

Update On The Shelly Sign

August 24, 2011

A little while ago, I reported on the finding of the Shelly Baking Products sign on the side of the old Victoria Drive Grocery that is being converted to a pizza restaurant plus apartments.

The good news is that the new owners have agreed to preserve the sign. The less than good news is that they are reported to be removing it from its place on the lane wall and intend to display it inside the restaurant.  That is a shame for several reasons.

  • First and most importantly, I hope we can all agree that heritage is best left in situ.  The sign inside the building is not the same thing as the sign where it belongs;
  • Second, as local historian Bruce Macdonald has pointed out, the sign doesn’t look very good close up; it is hard to read and has the natural gaps of the boarding on which it was painted.  It needs a certain distance to be properly appreciated. Macdonald has suggested that a high resolution photograph would be a far better alternative for interior use;
  • Third, the sign has already proven a draw to bring folks to the building (as the owner agreed on a recent CBC interview) and moving it inside removes that “tourist” value.

The following sequence of photographs taken by Penny Street of the Grandview Woodlands Heritage group shows the changes to the sign over the last couple of weeks.  The top two images, taken on August 11th and 15th show the sign being revealed. The lower two, taken on August 18th and 23rd show it gradually disappearing once again.

The assumption, now, is that the owners want to put a window into the lane wall and the sign is in the way.  Given their progress on the site, this sign in its original spot is already toast.  That’s a great shame but perhaps we can learn from this to better protect similar artifacts that may be found in the future.

RIP Ashford and Lieber

August 23, 2011

It has become a sad week for the music industry with the deaths of Nick Ashford (of Ashford & Simpson) and Jerry Lieber (of Lieber & Stoller).

Between them these guys helped create a lot of the music that was my youth, everything from “Hound Dog” and “Stand By Me” to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “You’re All I Need To Get By.”

Sad to see them go. They’ll be long missed.