Postcards from my home town

Posted on April 21st, 2007 in Life by andrija

A high school friend of mine has started photography as a hobby when digital cameras started appearing – I guess it’s been 7 years or so. He has become so good that he got commissioned to make some calendars for our home town. A few days ago he sent me links to some postcards that were produced using his photos. I’ve been impressed with his progress – we got our first digital cameras around the same time and were into snapping shots but he made it into art, while me…
Palic postcard

Internet deprivation

Posted on April 15th, 2007 in Life by andrija

I lost my internet connection last Monday around 11pm. Since then I was only able to use it at work, or on dialup. So it’s not like I was totally unconnected, but it was pretty distracting as I had genuine need to check emails (due to active EBay auctions), new laptop I got for my dad that needs software updates, and various little things of daily life. I don’t think it would be easy for me to go back to dialup permanently – I rely on high speed connection too much.

Vancouver’s Cherry Blossoms, Part 1

Posted on April 1st, 2007 in Vancouver by andrija

While I reported running into a fair bit of cherry blossom near False Creek at the end of March, my first “official” event for this year was on April 1. I went to Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s Trolley Tour that Sunday with Steven. It was my treat, though I only found the price by the time event already started – 27 per person! Ouch!

Despite forecasts, the weather was not all that nice. It was cold and cloudy and it even rained a little bit on occasion.

It was still an enjoyable 2 hours as the trolley took us from Sun Yat-Sen gardens through various Vancouver neighbourhoods. They claim they’ll take you to parts of the city you probably don’t know about, and to a certain extent that’s true though it was surprising which those parts turned out to be. First we went through nearby Slocan – where I’d really not go normally as it’s in the core of Vancouver Eastside. Then we went past the Ice Cream Factory and the japanese food store I was familiar with. The real treat cherry blossom wise was the Gravely Street, at the corner of Windermere. There is an the entire block there with old, huge Yoshino trees which were in full bloom at the time. This is also a well-known attraction as there were always people there whenever I’d happen to pass by during the blossom season (it’s also advertised on the festival’s website but I assume people really know about it from before anyhow).

The other highlight of the tour were not so much cherries as the actual neighbourhood – west side, to be precise. We went to a few areas I’ve never been and I was astounded at the view; we were on the side of a hill, somewhere above Kitsilano, in the area of “rich people” houses. It looked nothing like the Vancouver I know. Which made me happy because the thing I like about Vancouver the most is the huge variety of neighbourhoods – many of which look like they’re in a completely different city as the terrain is different, architecture is different, layout is different, even nationality of people is often different. Anyhow, I was reminded how good some of these houses looked – I haven’t been much in the area in a long time – but I was mostly impressed by the “outlook” nature of the area.
Other than at Gravely street, we haven’t actually seen any particularly impressive display of cherries. We have however seen some beautiful magnolia blossoms; magnolias are new darlings of city planners and from what I’ve seen, give it a few years and many streets will look amazing. I am partial to pink ones over white ones, however those have just started to be planted in numbers.

We also saw some plums though most of them were done with bloom by this time. I like plums because even though they are arguably not as pretty as cherries when in bloom, their flowers are very fragrant and it’s a beautiful fragrance. They definitely have the edge over mostly smell-less cherries (at least the Yoshinos).

Gravely in bloom Perrenial Burrard Station BloomBlossoms in KitsilanoGravely and our ride