B. is certain that I have "Map Dyslexia" as I can't figure out where I am going without the sun as a directional reference. Or known landmarks to guide me. Thank goodness for partnerships.
She's a map savant and a guide book researcher. The perfect city guide....
On Friday it rained most of the day. On Sunday it snowed! We didn't care. After Texas's long, hot Summer of drought we found the chilly, damp weather exhilarating and refreshing. We logged about five miles a day of walking which burned enough calories to compensate for the occasional donut or croissant. We explored the northern seawall in the rain before heading to a wonderful little restaurant called, The Greenhorn Café. We both had the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. Delicious. And the casual atmosphere reminded us of the old Austin, hippy restaurant start-ups of yesteryear. Just that the Greenhorn had better food.
It was a lovely day on Saturday and B. was excited about renting bikes and making the big loop around Stanley Park. We had walked in the park a few days earlier to see the aquarium --- which was delightful --- but all of our friends insisted that the seawall hike and bike trail around the park would be a high point of the vacation. It was. Around every curve was another beautiful vista. It's almost tragic that I am not more of a landscape photography enthusiast but there it is. I hadn't been on a bike in a couple of years. It's true what they say; you never forget how to ride one. B. rode expertly. We both wore helmets out of an abundance of caution --- and it is a city ordinance to do so.
On one side of the park, as we came around a dramatic curve, we were hit in the face by freezing cold wind. And some water spray. It was fun and exhilarating.
Every once in a while I'd ask for a stop so I could try my hand at photographing the scenery. I think with practice I might be able to get the hang of it. The S5 and the 40mm were a nice pair for this. They are both small and travel well when biking.
It's good to get out and start walking early. The light can be very soft and interesting at the same time. We walked down from our hotel to Canada Center which is attached to a giant and glorious hotel. This convention center area is also where the giant cruise ships dock. The views along the walkways are wonderful and at this time of the year almost completely abandoned by tourists.
I love the idea of the pontoon planes. The reality of it, not so much. I've flown in too many small planes to maintain any attraction. They are the one sort of conveyance that triggers my own motion sickness....
Being from Austin my first questions as I walk along this public walkway are: Where's the graffiti? Where is the trash? Where are the panhandlers? The cigarette butts? Once I cycled through that mental exercise I was ready to document this urban scene. One and a half stops of negative exposure compensation, f5.6. WB = Cloudy icon.
And, of course, any time you like a scene it seems a good idea to turn around and get the 180° angle. To see if that works too.
As one walks through the downtown area in Vancouver there are small parks and green spaces that pop up which I find calming and a nod to compassionate city stewardship. This small park, with a stairway down to the seawall, was gorgeous in the soft light just after sunrise.
Snowflake mannequin. Nice bokeh from the 40mm....
Luggage shop on Robson.
I love finding replica statues of ancient Greek statuary styles. They are so incongruous when used as vehicles for advertising. This one was in front of a Saatchi Jewelry store. I tried a different angle or look every time I walked by.
On the mezzanine level of our hotel there is a discotheque that is currently closed for some maintenance to its swimming pool. Yes, there is a swimming pool right in the middle of the large nightclub space and it is surrounded by casual couch seating. I can only imagine that when the facility is open at night beautiful young people frolic bikini-clad in the pool while men in shark skin suits faux casually watch them in a predatory way while quaffing very expensive drinks. And, on an upper level some James Bond Movie Villain sits surrounded by his bodyguards, drinking pricey Champagne and dreaming of world conquest. Thankfully, it was closed for maintenance. The world is safe for now.....
We strolled in the rain just before the snow arrived on Sunday. We found ourselves in Yaletown surrounded by trendy restaurants just coming to life and the mid-morning of a cold, gray Sunday. Groggy couples drifted toward their favorite venues in search of morning cocktails and comfortable food. The one thing I saw that tickled my optical nerves was this combination of colors sitting quietly in the mist.
Just another window rabbit. Again. I like window displays. They speak volumes.
Looking across from Granville Island to downtown. A sunny Saturday afternoon.
I like the small ferry boats. Water taxis? The trip across takes minutes but the
act of traveling across water is always fun. Well, almost always fun.
Just off Robson St., a few blocks from our hotel, we found a zany shop called, Dank Mart. They specialize in finding the most kitsch and bizarre products from regional markets around the world and sell them as either novelties or, scary version, personal favorites of their target customers. Interesting to see how regional junk food can be. Not shown, but a conceptual favorite, were the "Lady Gaga" Oreos. And I almost bought a box of the "Magic Fruity Pebbles" just to see what might be magic about them...
While out walking around we also stopped in and browsed at a number of different stores which don't have similar, corresponding types in Austin. My kid buys a lot of stuff from a store/website called Uniqlo. It's a Japanese store that sells clothes and clothing accessories. A lot of their sizing runs small and thin. This fits Mr. B. because he is shorter and wiry.
I've ordered a few things from https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/ and been happy with the products. In Vancouver we found a different store filled with Japanese clothing and housewares, stationary, etc. called Muji. I found a pair of water resistant shoes there that I really like. They were cheap and fit in my suitcase so I bought them. I liked this image of the bag on the bed back in the hotel. Big floor-to-ceiling windows make just about anything look good...
Yeah. Version #7.
Earlier in the week. On a day with a pleasant, persistent drizzle, we walked over to Stanley Park to visit the aquarium. It was smallish but sweet and incredibly well run. I loved the harbor seals and the otters but my photo skills failed to serve me well during their appearances. I did strike a bit of success with the jelly fish. They move slowly. I'm guessing I have 50 variations of "slow motion" jelly fish dancing. I recommend the aquarium and enjoyed the looks of awe and discovery from the small children around us.
To cap this post off:
Lumix S5 = good
40mm f1.4 = really nice and compact. Sharp
Kirk's skill with seal photography = minimal
Seawall = a lovely place to walk and breathe
Muji = lots of fun, small, inexpensive stuff that you think, in the moment, you'd love to have.
Vancouver = an obvious hit with we Texans. We'll be back soon.
From a photo point of view I didn't get much done on this trip. what I did shoot I liked and I also liked just walking along under umbrellas with my best friend savoring the experience and living in the moments.
Our favorite restaurants? Tableau. Next to the Loden Hotel on Alberni.
Sushi? Hello Nori
Coffee? 49th Parallel. Georgia and Thurlow
Breakfast? Abode, on Robson.
Casual lunch? Greenhorn Café
quick drop ins for coffee, pastries, a brief rest: Breka, all over the city
Overrated? Easily.....the Market at Granville Island.