America, America

August 25, 2014

America eh

Cafe Shibuya, Or Farewell to Adeline’s

August 24, 2014

The other day we decided to have a late lunch at Cafe Shibuya on Commercial.  Regular readers will recall that Cafe Shibuya used to be Adeline’s which had become my favourite coffe/breakfast/meeting haunt (especially as it is just around the corner from where we live).  For the last year or so, the owners of Adeline’s had talked about turning it into a Japanese/Korean place, and that is now what they have done.  I really like the people involved, which makes this review all the more difficult to write.

In Vancouver when you think of a Japanese restaurant, the mind automatically envisions sushi and sashimi.  From my memory of the menu, you can get both at Shibuya, but their speciality seems to be Japanese and Korean barbecued dishes. When we went, we both chose Korean dishes that we were familiar with — jaepche and bulgoki — and, frankly, neither were that good.  The pickles were great, the service was pleasant, and the price wasn’t bad; but the main food was mediocre at best. The ever-loving said she was dyspeptic for a day and a half afterwards.

Now, we have only tried two dishes from the menu and maybe they are the worst things they do but, let’s be honest, first impressions count when there is so much competition (on the Drive, let alone the entire city) for our limited restaurant dollars.  I hope that others find it better and more to their taste (because I really do like the folks behind the Cafe) but I think they have lost us as customers.

And the biggest shame for me is that I have also lost a great breakfast meeting place!

Time and Stuff

August 20, 2014

I haven’t been writing much — as you can see.  I have been concentrating on reading, making notes, prepping a future essay on the conflation of literacy, monotheism, and democracy, and how they ganged up to eliminate the rights and powers of women.  That’s for later, but I am having trouble keeping my focus on other issues because that material is both fascinating and disturbing. I have developed a list of posts that I have been thinking about, but haven’t gotten to the point of writing yet.  This week maybe.

I have taken the time to attend a meeting of the Our Community, Our Plan (OCOP) group on Monday, and to meet with the fascinating Wendy Sarkissian this morning.

OCOP is surviving well as a group of activists, the meetings are exciting and forward moving, and we now know each other well enough that we get real action initiated quite quickly.  I suspect the City may be surprised about some of the things we have planned. It is also a useful teaching/learning forum about planning, development, media management, and municipal politics.  Everyone learns something at these gatherings — every Tuesday 7:00pm at Britannia Info Centre.

Sharing coffee and conversation with Australian planner Wendy Sarkissian was a real pleasure this morning.  She is here for a few months this fall to teach at Langara and UBC.  The joy is that she is happy to help us in Grandview and her decades of experience can only be valuable.  I am looking forward to seeing how best we can fit her into the group.

Happy Birthday Canuck!

August 18, 2014

Twenty-eight years ago today — more than a generation ago — I was proclaimed a Canadian citizen; it was one of the two or three best days of my life.

Thank you Canada.  I appreciate every moment of it.

Good Morning Vancouver!

August 17, 2014


Two Strikes And I’m Still In

August 14, 2014

Since writing my last post on Serial Detectives I have known and loved, I have to add a new nane:  Robert Galbraith, author of two novels featuring the hard-boiled London-based private detective Cormoran Strike.  The first novel in the series was “The Cuckoo’s Calling” and the second, published earlier this summer, is “Silkworm“.

Robert Galbraith is a nom-de-plume of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series and “A Casual Vacancy.”

I really enjoyed “The Cuckoo’s Calling“. I enjoyed the characters (major and minor) and the style and the easy knowledge of London.  And I was satisfied with the result — the bad guy got his just desserts.  I enjoyed “Silkworm“, too, but was left less satisfied. Perhaps I was expecting something more, or something else.

It is not possible, so far as I can tell, to simply read a Galbraith mystery and try to figure out the clues that are being left.  Strike keeps too much to himself and, in both books, he finally reveals his theory and plan to his assistant (when he needs specific help) in such a way as to not tell us, the reader.  Fair enough, now I know.

In the future, I will simply sit back and enjoy the fine writing when new volumes arrive.


August 14, 2014