Image: Yellow Red Blue GreenJuly 31, 2017
Poem: Complaints DeskJuly 31, 2017
and fumed loud.
And as she
of my place
in the human
race — given
must be replete
with morons and
her otherwise neat
with sailors’ slang
and potty talk,
and ended with
“Fair dinkum, gal,”
smiling the smile
nothing. I sighed
that would send
Night Music: Sunday Kind of LoveJuly 30, 2017
Review: Bao Down On the DriveJuly 29, 2017
Today I went for lunch at Boa Down which has been open a couple of months now.
Bao Down has been described to me as a Filipino-fusion taco joint, and that seems fair enough. The place is bright and cheery, with — today at least — loud NSFW hip-hop blasting out. It is dressed like a beachfront cabin, the attractive tables made from irregularly cut wood. With the front window open, the place is perfect for people watching but, if that bores you, they have two large screen TVs.
The menu essentially consists of a number of baos and tacos, each with a more or less exotic filling. I tried the Between Two Worlds bao (braised pork belly, hoisin, pickled daikon and carrot) and the Huli Huli taco (island style chicken breast, pickled papaya, crispy garlic, and radish). They come with a range of homemade hot sauces. The boas and tacos themselves take some chewing. Service was welcomingly minimal and the price — the two dishes plus an oversized portion of Kennebec fries — was about $17.
The food was more than OK and there was the occasional bloom of unusual taste that woke up my palette. But, for me at least, I can’t see this becoming a regular habit.
Image: CurvesJuly 29, 2017
Night Music: Wish You Were HereJuly 28, 2017
Early Evening On The DriveJuly 27, 2017
Turks has been doling out it own unique weirdness for many years now and I don’t stop in there enough. I spent about an hour there late this afternoon and they really do have the best patio on the Drive. In location it is matched by Havana and Fet’s, but at Turks you need only spend $2.60 for a coffee to enjoy the Drive’s street cabaret and the always fascinating happenings at Grandview Park.
I found a seat in the doorway to the patio, half in and half out of the shade. There I sat and watched and listened and sipped my very good coffee.
This evening, the warm sunshine has brought out to the Park perhaps two dozen street people, travellers, and their acquaintances. There are plenty enough low concrete walls for everyone to sit in the shade; and they talk and smoke dope, play music, dance, dispute, debate, and generally have a fine old time. Passers-by can look down on them, if they must, but these folks keep our Park lively and interesting and are a community we need to embrace. They have no effect on either the children’s playground or the Bike Polo court, both of which remain busy and active.
The “vehicle” types on the street in this hour included cars, buses, small trucks, skateboards, mobility scooters, Vespas, motorcycles and, of course, a lot of bikes.
The range of humanity walking in the sidewalk was even more diverse. I bet that in that hour every colour and shade from across the globe was represented in the passers-by; tall and short, adolescent and elderly, of every gender. I caught snatches of 8 or 9 different languages — 10 if you include broad American accents. Dogs of every description also made their appearances, some, it appeared, walking about on their own, while others were delivered by car and handed from one carer to another.
And in the distance, through the trees, the highrises of downtown could be discerned. And I sat with my cooling coffee glad to be here on the Drive and not there in a forest of concrete.
Image: TipiJuly 27, 2017
Night Music: Ne Me Quitte PasJuly 26, 2017
What We Have LostJuly 25, 2017
Today’s image, Duck Intersection, reminded me that that image, along with Heron and Peaceful Morning, were all shot on the Fraser on wetlands along the river; and these specific natural habitats were wiped out when the River Rock Casino and marina were built.
I know which I think is superior, and it sure ain’t the casino!
Image: Duck IntersectionJuly 25, 2017
Night Music: A Change Is Gonna ComeJuly 24, 2017
Breakfast Today #5July 24, 2017
Poem: Beach At The End Of The WorldJuly 24, 2017
The bus ride finished a mile from the shore
leaving a trek through the muddy clay
of rain-spattered early spring,
the swarming midges of late July,
or the leafy carpet of middle fall,
to the beach at the end of the world.
Sitting on a sea-driven log,
a carcass of the far northern woods,
my lover and I cleared our throats with lemonade,
quietly removed the stings of another week,
and populated our thoughts with waves of dreams
far removed from the drab of every day.
Image: City Paints ItselfJuly 23, 2017
Iron ManJuly 23, 2017
I got up early this morning to watch the Women’s World Cup Cricket Final. I thought that while I was up I might as well work my way through a large pile of shirts that needed to be ironed. By the time I had the pile down to a manageable level, this is how I felt:
Update: England scored a wonderful win in a very close-fought contest. It was a great advertisement for women’s’ cricket.
The Oldest House In GrandviewJuly 22, 2017
This afternoon, along with many of my friends, I went to the Grandview Heritage Group’s plaque unveiling at 1350 Graveley Street. There was rain in the air, but thankfully it held off,
It was a delight to spend time with heritage lovers, and the Calogero family were generous in their hospitality, their expresso, and their wonderful biscotti. And it was an especial delight to recognise and celebrate the oldest survivng house in our neighbourhood.
Night Music: With A Little HelpJuly 22, 2017
Densifying GrandviewJuly 21, 2017
A couple of weeks ago I wrote my position on increasing density in Grandview. One of the suggestions I made was:
“Lot owners currently with SFH or duplexes should be allowed and encouraged (by a reduction in the City’s expensive development procedures) to have three housing units on each lot. This would generally be two suites in the main house and a laneway or similar building.”
I am glad to report that a similar suggestion is part of a new proposal before City Council:
“The report also suggests changes for Mount Pleasant and Grandview-Woodland areas (RT zones) that would increase housing options on 4,800 properties. The suggested changes include: increasing the number of homes permitted on a 33-foot lot; allowing laneway homes to be built for rent or sale; and permitting owners of large lots to build four-plexes.”
My own preference would be for these laneway houses to remain as rentals rather than sold as strata. This would boost that kind of vitally needed stock and provide a steady income to the lot owner rather than a one-time windfall with a house that few could afford to buy.
Apart from the zoning changes proposed, we would see a great deal more movement in this area if the cost of building a laneway house could be made more reasonable. My understanding is that city permits and certain city regulations add many tens of thousands to the cost of building and add months to each project. These need to be trimmed to the least requirements.
In addition, we need to get creative about what we use as “laneway houses”. For one example, manufactured houses of all kinds can be bought and erected far less expensively than traditional brick and mortar. Another example, suggested by local engineer Eric Philips, would be to take some of the well-built heritage cottages we have on large lots and physically move them to a laneway site elsewhere; this would provide a far-less-expensive laneway house and provide an empty lot for new construction.
Whatever new zoning is approved, the regulations and bureaucracy must allow wide latitude for creative thinking.