Busy Days Ahead

May 30, 2013

The next few weeks are jam-packed with stuff to do in and about Grandview:

  • Saturday 1st June:  Community Plan Open House, WISE Hall, noon-4pm
  • Sunday 2nd June: Heritage Tour, 1517 Kitchener, 10am-5pm
  • Sunday 2nd June: East Feast Art Funding Event, Britannia, 2pm-4pm
  • Monday 3rd june:  GWAC Public Meeting, LRC, Napier Street, 7pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 4th June: Community Plan Open House, Tangent Cafe, 5pm-9pm
  • Thursday 6th June:  Community Plan Open House, Princeton, 5pm-9pm
  • Friday 7th-Sunday 9th June: In The House Festival, various places & times
  • Sunday 9th June:  Italian Day on the Drive, noon-8pm
  • Tuesday 11th June: Public Hearings on the RSC, City Hall
  • Sunday 16th June:  CarFree Day on the Drive, noon to 7pm
  • Sunday 16th June: Private Gardens Tour, 10am-4pm. Tickets: Britannia
  • Sunday 23rd June: Shelly’s Sign Street Party, Victoria & William, 1pm-4pm

I’m sure I’m missing a lot of other worthy events in the neighbourhood, but this seems quite enough.

Wave 2

May 30, 2013


“All Over The Map”

May 29, 2013

This month’s book has been a collection of essays by Michael Sorkin from 2001 to 2010 brought together in All Over The Map: Writings on Buildings and Cities (Verso, NY 2011).  Most of these pieces appeared first in the “Architectural Record,” and they cover urbanism in general, along with sequences of chronological essays on subjects such as the design of the Ground Zero site, and the land use issues associated with the failed 2012 Olympics bid.

These are highly New York-centric stories, in general, seen by an active participant in the New York architecture business, but Sorkin manages to capture the broader issues that expand beyond his chosen specific examples.  Very useful, real time experience.  Highly recommended.

Award Winners!

May 28, 2013

Last night’s event — the one without many neck ties — was the City of Vancouver 2013 Heritage Awards gala.  My pals and I won a great award, about which we are pleased and proud.

What we’d really like that award to achieve is to encourage every other neighbourhood in Vancouver to form their own Heritage Groups, groups that will track down information, educate their own local residents, and improve the life of Vancouver by letting us all access the stories that are found.

Glad Not To Be In The Neck Tie Business

May 27, 2013

tieThis evening I attended an Awards bash in the City, the details of which I’ll write about later.  But the thing that caught my eye was the fact that almost none of the men wore ties.

I know that just twenty or thirty years ago, attending a similar event, every man would have been wearing a collar and tie.  Not now.  Many of these were senior architects and developers and historians and City staff, but only a very small percentage had neck wear.

This kind of casualness seems to be standard now, at least here in Vancouver.  Good thing, too, as I couldn’t find a tie to wear and so just skipped it.

Thank goodness I didn’t inherit a tie shop!


May 26, 2013


Streamers“, May 2009, TIFF, 60″x40”

News Addiction Anonymous

May 26, 2013

The always useful No Tech Magazine led me to Rolf Dobelli’s “Avoid News” essay in which he declares that the instant overwhelming availability of news leads to terrible evils for the mind and the body of the ordinary human being.

He proves to my satisfaction that the regime of news misleads us systematically, is irrelevant, limits understanding, is toxic to the body‘s limbic system, increases cognitive errors, and inhibits thinking.  It also changes the brain, is expensive and manipulative, makes us passive and decreases creativity.  He ends by describing a regime of news abstinence in which the body is gradually cleansed of the news disease.

I believe it all.  He’s nailed it.  I urge everyone to read it.  But I still can’t live it.

My name is Jak and I am a news junkie. I used to abuse news through every source, but now I’m mainlining it via Twitter and the radio.  TV is still useful for non-news material, but I don’t get any news from it any more.  The revolution is being tweeted. CNN and Fox are irrelevant, replaced by individuals using instant alerts with links to dozens of stories and broadcasts and background, expanding outward as far as the market will handle.

I accept Dobelli’s conclusions about the addiction’s negative effects. And I will stop.

But not  just yet.  Please.