First picnic of the year

Hummus, pita chips, baby carrots, and pasta salads from Safeway’s deli. Nothing gastronomically remarkable, but the air was warm and the light beautiful. I think I might count this as my unofficial start of summer. Definitely a moment to appreciate Vancouver.

Spanish Banks sunset

Spanish Banks sunset

Favourite things on my way downtown (Part 1)

I often walk (and cycle) the Adanac bikeway on my way to my garden plots or downtown. These are some of the things that delight me along the way.

I’ve recently discovered that whoever lives in one of the houses on Adanac (at least I assume that’s who’s responsible) has been creating little tableaus in sidewalk planters. Fun.

Figures in planter

They change from time to time. I love this one with the deer.

Deer tableau

Raawr! Grizzly, maybe? Reminds me of Rewilding Vancouver, which you should go see before it ends in September 2014.

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I’ll be making a point of checking in at this house from now on to see what the latest is. I hope passersby continue to leave these scenes intact.

And then there’s my favourite East Van graffiti. I did an honours B.A. in history, so that’s part of the reason it appeals. I also like to think that whoever made these meant to prompt thinking about the many layers and aspects of history and herstory that created the landscape we traverse when we pass through this rapidly changing part of East Van. Geological, First Nations, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, labour, land use, and more…lots to ponder.

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History-blue

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The bikeway has amenities, too. This recent addition provided by a newly opened craft brewery (speaking of neighbourhood change).

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More to come in Part 2.

Post-semester reading

Ah, the end of the semester….freedom to toss all the books out the window, or to delve into the ones you’ve been dying to read but had to slot behind assigned reading lists. And these days, most of my academic reading is in the form of pdf or online journal articles anyway, so not that many actual books involved. Here’s an armful I took home from the library this week – left a few behind to spare my arms and back.

Books from Belzberg

Books from Belzberg

Methodologies in Housing Research, in particular, seems like it could be very useful for my thesis preparation and research.  I’m really looking forward to Manhattan for Rent by Elizabeth Blackmar, whom I remember and admire from researching the history of Central Park for my history undergrad honours paper. Blackmar co-wrote The Park and the People, one of my favourite urban history books, with Roy Rosenzweig.