December 31, 2017
Yesterday I received an email from a local resident. She had found me after googling my earlier comments on the new bike-friendly traffic arrangement at Victoria Drive and Adanac Street.
Victoria Drive looking south from just north of Adanac Street which crosses east to west.
My correspondent’s email described an accident she had had at this median:
“My car was ripped apart by the median on Thursday night – dark, raining – I was looking straight at it and didn’t see the curb jutting out. I live in the neighbourhood and have driven by before. I went back today to take pictures. What I think happened was the curb jutting out is so sharp that it immediately shredded my front left tire down to the rim so that the rim broke and caused damage to other parts connecting the axle as I drove by.”
She went on to say that her regular auto shop thought a similar accident had occurred at the same median. Another resident, a near neighbour of the first, told her she had had to swerve more than once when approaching that intersection.
Being neither a car owner nor a bike rider I have no dog in this fight over functional priority. However, I can attest to the dislike of the new arrangement by taxis and Handy Dart drivers, many of whom, coming from the south, now have to perform a four block loop to park near my house.
I have also heard from driver friends of mine: “road is not wide enough”, “never designed for this stupid hazard”, “poorly lit”, and “hard to see,” are the typical comments.
I guess this looked good on the maps to the bikeophiles at City Hall; but evidence on the ground seems to suggest this needs a more detailed look. How often are these decisions reviewed to see whether practice met theory?
December 30, 2017
A fine memory from my childhood — Wagon Wheels! I couldn’t find marshmallow fluff (or similar) so went with packaged marshmallows that I cut up. Worked out pretty good!
December 30, 2017
Overheard today on Commercial Drive:
“I can’t keep up with all these coffee bars and so I don’t go to any of them.”
December 30, 2017
Many people will know that several of the most popular “Chinese” dishes served in North American restaurants are in fact American inventions based more or less on Chinese ingredients and techniques. Fewer, perhaps, will know that the same can be said about “Indian” food, with British taste as the instigator.
I learned more than I ever knew before about the origins and development of curry from this wonderful article from NPR.
Growing up in London in the 1950s and 1960s, eating Indian was just becoming a big deal for young experimental palates. They came into fashion a year or so after Chinese had become popular. When I moved to Manchester around 1970 I was wonderfully surprised to discover curried chips as an option in the fish & chip shops.
Whenever I travelled back to the UK since the 1980s, I always knew there would be a decent “curry house” somewhere close to where I was visiting, no matter what part of the country. They were more common in smaller towns and villages than a pub with decent food.
A surprising (to me) tid-bit:
“More than 80 percent of of curry house owners in the UK can trace their roots back to Sylhet, a city in the east of what is now Bangladesh, [Lizzie] Collingham explains in [her book] Curry. Sylhet’s waterways were key to trade during the Raj, hundreds of Sylhetis ended up working on British steamships. “They often had the horrible jobs of working in the engine rooms,” Collingham says. “So quite a lot of them tended to jump ship. They had a tough time finding work in England, and many of them ended up in restaurant kitchens. “Some of these immigrants saved up enough money to then open their own restaurants.”
Group dynamics is a fascinating thing: That percentage of British curry makers from a single Bangladeshi city reminds me that a majority of the Chinese who settled in Vancouver in the 20th century came from a very limited geographic area in China, or so I believe, and a large majority of nail estheticians (manicurists) in western North America are, or were trained by, Vietnamese boat people from California refugee camps. No connection meant other than seeing very specific groups of people fanning out to conquer odd bits of the world.