Why Does Rain Smell So Good

January 24th, 2015 @ 9:15am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

In Vancouver we have at least a dozen ways to say it’s raining out, from light drizzle tapering to showers, to downpours and deluges. The rain also has many sounds. There’s the splash of vehicle crossing an intersection, a persistent single drop beating down on a window ledge, and the popcorn dance of water beads hitting the top of an umbrella. What about the scent of the rain? The first time a dusty summer sidewalk sizzles under a much needed sprinkling, or when the park has been soaked for two weeks straight and the scent of cedar slips down onto the mulch path from each evergreen limb.

Rain fell the night before
Photo credit: Eric Flexyourhead on Flickr

Why Does Rain Smell So Good?

A study published in the journal Nature Communications was recently shared by Mashable says that the rain smells so good because when raindrops land on certain porous surfaces, they can trap tiny air bubbles containing small particles, which then shoot upward, into the air.

These aerosols are likely responsible for carrying aromatic elements, along with bacteria and viruses stored in the soil.

Aerosols are small liquid droplets or solid particles that are suspended in a gas, and it is these particles that are responsible for the smell of rain after a light to moderate shower on a warm day, a smell that is known to scientists as “petrichor”.

The study also says that one complicating factor, which helps explain why heavy rainfall is not as associated with the smell of rain, is that although raindrops can generate aerosols, successive raindrops can actually eliminate them from the air by colliding with them like a missile.

Big Grey world, small orange leaf
Photo credit: Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic on Flickr

The rain to me is an umbrella fort on the patio as a child, walking to school and waiting for the bottom cuffs of my pants to dry out before lunch time, cringing when someone walks under an awning with their golf umbrella open, relying on nothing but Gore-Tex to keep me dry, camping in June — it always rains when we camp in June — and countless walks in the park with my husband. The rain might seem to ruin a vacation, festival, or concert but it’s the reason Vancouver is so spectacularly green throughout the year. Things could be much worse really, at least it’s not a Polar Vortex for instance — I say as I type this from my in-laws’ home in Iowa. For me, the smell of the rain is quite simply the smell of home.

The East Van Cross

January 23rd, 2015 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Developed from a graffiti symbol that has circulated for several decades, the Monument for East Vancouver sculpture (known also as the East Van Cross) was created by Ken Lum as an expression of hope and defiance. Installed in 2010 at the corner of Clark and East 6th Avenue, Lum once told the Vancouver Sun that he recalled seeing the phrase while growing up on the eastside. He also talked to someone almost 80 who recalls seeing it as far back as the 1940s and 1950s.

The East Van Cross

Church of East Vancouver
Photo credit: Paul Krueger on Flickr

East Van Cross East Van Cross East Van Cross ~ portrait East Van Shining Bright East Van
Photo credit: Karen Lee Colangelo & Jeff DeWeerd & Roxanne Sukhan & Hendl & Dennis Tsang on Flickr

East Van Cross
Photo credit: Dennis Tsang on Flickr

East Van
Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

The East Van Cross has its own following and whether you’re just settling into the neighbourhood or your family has deep roots in the community, everyone has an opinion of what the sculpture means to them. One Yelp user even says: “Brooklyn has their bridge — East Van has our cross.”

the controversial "East Van" sculpture 1
Photo credit: waferboard on Flickr

double monument East Van Cross
Photo credit: Tyler Wilson & Amanda on Flickr

East Van East Van
Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

Sarah Milroy said in the Globe and Mail: Drive by [Ken Lum’s] cross at night and the letters reassemble themselves in the mind in a fleeting double take: Is it East Van or Evangelist that we see glowing against the night sky? “I liked that people might experience that momentary misrecognition,” Lum says. It’s complex, like the city itself. “People say Vancouver is such a beautiful place, and obviously that’s true. But I have always thought Vancouver is very complicated. There’s a lot of layers to it.”

East Vancouver Cross Sign
Photo credit: kris krüg on Flickr

IMG_3175-10
Photo credit: Leah Gregg on Flickr

Last year designer Susan Fiedler conceived a fundraising initiative called the East Van Cross Project to benefit Pivot Legal Society. Inspired by this meaningful piece of public art, Fiedler was the first individual to be granted a license from the City of Vancouver to reproduce the iconic East Van Cross in the form of jewelry, beginning with two sterling silver pendants. You can follow the East Van Cross Project on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

eastvancross

Previous Vancouver Icons posts: Robert Burns Statue in Stanley Park, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Flack Block, The Drop, Prospect Point Lighthouse, Engagement, Ovaltine Cafe, The English Bay Slide, Freezing Water #7, Cleveland Dam, Heritage Hall, School of Theology Building at UBC, Gate to the Northwest Passage, St Paul’s Hospital, Capilano Lake, Stawamus Chief, Nine O’Clock Gun, Malkin Bowl, Search, Vancouver Rowing Club, Echoes, Point Atkinson Lighthouse, English Bay Inukshuk, Hollow Tree, Hotel Europe, Lions Gate Bridge Lions, LightShed, Granville Bridge, 217.5 Arc x 13′, Canoe Bridge, Vancouver Block, Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

January 23rd, 2015 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This week it was confirmed that Vancouver is the second least affordable city in the world — but at least we’re not a No Fun City! The Robson Square ice rink is still open for free skating, we have a boat show and motorcycle show, the PuSh Festival, winter farmers market, and more all happening this weekend.

Gastown Steam Clock
The return of the Gastown steam clock. Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Events that run for longer than three days in a row are highlighted in green below.

Friday, January 23, 2015
Sponsored by Miss604: Friday Late Night Movies at the Rio Theatre
Cupcakes and Canvas
Alicia Tobin’s Come Draw With Me
Vancouver Canadians + Blue Jays Hot Stove Luncheon
The Motorcycle Show
Vancouver Turkish Film Festival
Pacific Theatre Presents: Underneath the Lintel
Vancouver Boat Show
Dine Out Vancouver: Festival Events and Dining Specials
Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival: Various Locations
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

Saturday, January 24, 2015
Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey
TEDxBCIT
Vancouver Shogi Club (Japanese Chess)
Winter Cask Festival at Central City Brewing
Broadway and Opera Take Centre Stage in Surrey
The HTML500 – Canada’s Largest Learn to Code Event
Dine Out: Vancouver Foodster Presents Main Street Brunch Crawl
Dine Out: Craft Distillery Tour
CANADIAN QUINTESSENCE The Conductors’ Concert
SFU Dance Marathon in support of BC Children’s Hospital
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Family Literacy Weekend at Science World
Pacific Theatre Presents: Underneath the Lintel
The Motorcycle Show
Vancouver Turkish Film Festival
Vancouver Boat Show
Dine Out Vancouver: Festival Events and Dining Specials
Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival: Various Locations
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

Sunday, January 25, 2015
Dine Out: Vancouver Foodster Presents Downtown Brunch Crawl
Re-Purposeful: A Repurposed Fashion Show
Discovery Day at the Vancouver Convention Centre
Aussie Day at AnzaClub
Fresh Pasta & Gnocchi Making Classes
A Staged Reading of HOMECOMING, by Kamila Sediego
Family Literacy Weekend at Science World
The Motorcycle Show
Vancouver Turkish Film Festival
Vancouver Boat Show
Dine Out Vancouver: Festival Events and Dining Specials
Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival: Various Locations
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

View the full monthly event list to plan ahead at any time. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for frequent updates about local events and community happenings.

San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve

January 22nd, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

John and I recently had the opportunity to get away, thanks to Rogers Communications, and the Palm Desert was calling our name. Resort spas, cocktails, brunch, and shopping were all on our list of things to enjoy but at the very top was a nature walk (or two). The first was Joshua Tree and the second was to the Coachella Valley Preserve and the Thousand Palms Oasis.

San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve

San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve

Staying at the Westin Mission Hills Resort, it only took 12 minutes to drive over to the Coachella Valley Preserve, which I found on a list of nature walks in Palm Springs.

Surrounded by dry, rocky valley peaks and pale desert sand, this pocket of wetland was a true desert oasis with lush, towering palms and Desert Pupfish swimming in the Salton Sea tributary fed by underground springs.

From the USGS: “The Coachella Valley Preserve is located on the trace of the San Andreas Fault between the towns of Palm Springs and Indio, California. The main groves of the preserve are called the Thousand Palms Oasis. A visitor center is located in the Paul Wilhelm Grove along Thousand Palms Canyon Road. Springs rising along the Mission Canyon Fault and Banning Fault (parallel strands of the San Andreas Fault System) are the water source for Desert Fan Palms (Washingtonia filifera) (Howard, 1994).

The preserve began with the purchase of 1,920 acres of the proposed site by the California Nature Conservancy. It was expanded with the support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The preserve now encompasses 17,000 acres, protecting three separate desert dune fields and six palm forests (over 1,500 palms). It is part of a 20,000 acres dedicated to protect the habitat of the Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard and other species. The preserve covers a large portion of the Indio Hills in the valley west of Joshua Tree National Park (Coachella Valley Preserve, 2009).”

We pulled up and parked, passing a park map and donation box along a sandy path before reaching a small visitor centre filled with pioneer artifacts and old photographs. We set out along the McCallum Trail boardwalk first, ducking under palm branches then following another loose sand path to the visitor centre.

San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve

San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve

We looped back around as we both wanted to get above the oasis, having previously spotted some hikers on a ridge as we drove in.

San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve

Curious about the geology of the West Coast, particularly when it comes to earthquakes, we both wanted to pinpoint the location of the San Andreas Fault. This continental transform fault extends roughly 810 miles (1,300 km) through California and forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate.

We found a winding path on a mound that rose above the oasis on the south end of the park and made our way up to where we could spot the highway on which we drove in, surrounding mountains, and a lovely early sunset.

San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve

San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve

I called up an interactive Google Map of the San Andreas Fault on my phone and our blue location beacon overlapped with the red line of the fault. We were standing directly along the fault line.

sanandreasfault

Living in Vancouver I’m constantly in awe of our coastal rainforests, islands and ocean shores and it was so interesting to explore a totally different and unique geographic and geological area. The walk along the McCallum Trail was about 30 minutes there and back with a mix of boardwalks and soft paths in the desert gravel.

The hike up the mound, where we stood atop the lookout, was very steep but there were small children who managed to get up and down right before us. Always check the weather when hiking in Palm Springs (it could be scorching or very breezy in the winter) and bring water with you all the time.

San Andreas Fault at Coachella Valley Preserve

On the way out we also dropped a few bills in the donation box as there was no park fee and we felt we definitely got a lot of value out of this true oasis.

Disclosure: cmp.ly/3

Views expressed in this post are my own. I would like to thank Rogers Communications for organizing the trip to use Roam Like Home. With Roam Like Home, Rogers customers can use their Share Everything plans (data and unlimited talk and text) in the U.S. for just $5/day.

Robert Burns Statue in Stanley Park

January 21st, 2015 @ 11:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Upon entering Stanley Park, either by turning east off Georgia Street from Vancouver or from the Coal Harbour Seawall, the first statue you will come across is that of Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns. Looking down at the Vancouver Rowing Club and out over the city, this was the very first statue ever installed in the City of Vancouver back in 1928.

A photo posted by Rebecca Bollwitt (@miss604) on

Robert Burns Statue in Stanley Park

According to the Vancouver Archives: “In February 1924, inspired by a recently published critical analysis of Burns’ work, the Vancouver Burns Fellowship was formed to encourage the study of Burns’ life and works and the singing of his songs. The group also hoped to erect a statue of Burns in Stanley Park.”

burnsstatue
Archives# CVA 1184-2705. Photographer: Jack Lindsay.

“The unveiling ceremony was August 25, 1928 and was followed by dinner at the Aztec Room of the Hotel Georgia. The Honourable Ramsay MacDonald, ex-Prime Minister of Britain, arrived by train that day with his three daughters. It has been reported that a large crowd welcomed him in spite of his arrival time of 7:30am. He was, coincidentally, in Canada on vacation and agreed to unveil the monument.”

Robert Burns -1
Photo credit: pkdon50 on Flickr

The inscription on the monument’s front plaque reads:
1759-1796. Robert Burns’s sincere desire or friendship and brotherhood among all peoples is clearly shown in his many poems and songs. His poetry and letters, both serious and humorous are worthy of study by those who value liberty and freedom.

On the side plaque is an excerpt from To a Mountain Daisy (1786):
On turning one down with his plough
Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow’r,
thou’s met me in an evil hour;….
to spare thee now is past my pow’r
thou bonie gem.

Cutting A Figure
Photo credit: Mark Faviell on Flickr

This memorial was rededicated on the 200th anniversary of the bard’s death by the Burns Club of Vancouver on July 21st, 1996.

Robert Burns Monument
Photo credit: Jerry Meaden on Flickr

Robbert Burns Day (January 25th) is widely celebrated and in Vancouver several organizations, businesses and groups keep the tradition alive by hosting a supper, as the Centre for Scottish Studies will do on Friday, January 23, 2015. One of the most unique events in honour of The Bard is Gung Haggis Fat Choy (February 8th) which blends the Chinese New Year with a Burns Supper.

Previous Vancouver Icons posts: Vancouver Maritime Museum, Flack Block, The Drop, Prospect Point Lighthouse, Engagement, Ovaltine Cafe, The English Bay Slide, Freezing Water #7, Cleveland Dam, Heritage Hall, School of Theology Building at UBC, Gate to the Northwest Passage, St Paul’s Hospital, Capilano Lake, Stawamus Chief, Nine O’Clock Gun, Malkin Bowl, Search, Vancouver Rowing Club, Echoes, Point Atkinson Lighthouse, English Bay Inukshuk, Hollow Tree, Hotel Europe, Lions Gate Bridge Lions, LightShed, Granville Bridge, 217.5 Arc x 13′, Canoe Bridge, Vancouver Block, Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.

RunGo Dash for Dogs

January 21st, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The RunGo app, a running app with turn-by-turn instructions for popular running routes in cities like Vancouver, London, New York, and Seattle, is hosting the Dash for Dogs in February. This is a guided 10km, 5km or 2km run or walk through Stanley Park with 100% of proceeds going to BC & Alberta Guide Dogs.

guidedogs
Photo via the BC & Alberta Guide Dogs on Facebook

RunGo Dash for Dogs

Where Stanley Park trails, starting and ending at Brockton Point
When Saturday, February 21, 2015
Registration Register online for the 2km Walk (optional donation); 5km Run (minimum $20 donation); or 10km Run (minimum $20 donation).

This is a fun, non-competitive race so start times are anytime between 9:00am and 11:00am. There will be no route markers as participants will be encouraged to use the RunGo app to make their way around the course. Participants are asked to please leave their dogs at home as there will be guide dogs working.

Download the RunGo app for Android or Apple devices.

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs makes a profound difference to blind/ visually impaired people by partnering them with a certified guide dog at no cost. These guide dogs provide tangible and immediate help; making a significant difference in their partner’s safety, independence, sense of well being and belonging.

Win Tickets to the Vancouver Motorcycle Show

January 21st, 2015 @ 9:40am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver Motorcycle Show rolls into Abbotsford’s Tradex from January 23rd until January 25th, highlighting the motorcycling industry’s loudest engines, coolest exhibitions and latest trends, along with death-defying riders to watch and terrific contests to enter.

Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition 20

Vancouver Motorcycle Show Highlights

Deeley Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire™ Experience Tour, an exhibition of the very first Harley-Davidson with an electric engine. This exhibit offers Harley fans a chance to test ride this one-of-a-kind bike as well as an opportunity to check out their Jumpstart™ Demo riding simulator for one weekend only.

Back by popular demand is SHE Rides Night, celebrating women who ride and those who want to take up the sport. Between 5:00pm and 8:30pm on Friday, January 23rd, admission for all female attendees is half price, and women (18+) are encouraged to enter the ladies-only draw, where one lucky rider will take home a brand new 2015 Kawasaki EX300, courtesy of Canadian Kawasaki and your local Kawasaki dealers. In addition to the contest, all Show attendees that night will have a chance to meet Valerie Thompson – America’s Queen of Speed and 5-time motorcycle land speed record holder, presented by BMW Motorrad Canada.

For young visitors, the Show is bringing back the always-popular Yamaha Riding Academy for Kids, a fun and interactive course designed for children aged 6-12, who will learn how to ride a Yamaha TTR or PW in a safe and monitored off-road environment.

The always thrilling, fan-favourite Team Empire, are also returning to this year’s Show, presented by Parts Canada. Nick “Apex” Brocha and Ernie “Edub” Vigil are professional motorcycle freestyler stunt riders, constantly pulling off daring feats that push the limits of what a person can do on two wheels.

On four wheels, Bill Hitchon will be doing equally daring ATV stunts all weekend. In addition, the Canadian Pacific Trials Association will be performing at the Show, where riders will manoeuvre through a specially designed obstacle course, all without touching their feet to the ground. Take a break from the Show floor, grab some fresh air, and be captivated by the talent of each of these riders in their Shows running three times a day.

The Vancouver Motorcycle Show’s grand prize is a 2015 Triumph Bonneville Newchurch Commemorative Special Edition motorcycle. This is a unique bike as less than thirty will be made available in Canada.

Hours are 10:00am to 9:00pm on Friday, 10:00am to 8:00pm on Saturday, and 10:00am to 5:00pm on Sunday.

Admission is $14 for adults (15 and over), $10 for seniors (65 and over), $10 juniors (ages 6 to 14), and free for children (5 and under, with paid adult). Family passes (2 adults and 2 juniors) are $38 and on Ladies Night, women pay 1/2 price admission after 5:00pm.

Win Tickets to the Vancouver Motorcycle Show

If you would like to check out the Vancouver Motorcycle Show I have a 4-pack of tickets to give away, here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to #bikeshowYVR from @TheBikeShows + @Miss604 http://ow.ly/HIPQY

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 9:00pm on Thursday, January 22, 2015.

Update The winner is Shawna!

Vancouver Photos of the Week: January 20, 2015

January 20th, 2015 @ 2:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’ve been away in Iowa visiting my in-laws for the last week so I’ve missed out on some gloriously sunny winter days and will most likely return with the rain at the end of the month. Regardless of my own locale or time zone, I enjoyed looking through the Miss604 Flickr Pool and #Photos604 on Instagram to put together this week’s collection of images.

Vancouver Photos of the Week

The Granville Strip
Photo credit: John Allison on Flickr

99
Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

False Creek
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Tug & Barge Flights Of Fancy
Photo credit: John Allison & Philip Tong on Flickr

Richmond Steveston Fisherman's Wharf at Sunset
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Faces of Giants
Photo credit: John Allison on Flickr

A photo posted by terrydee (@terrydee) on

Morning Fog
Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

2015 01 Jan 14 IR Coffee Run 01a 3s hh 2015 01 Jan 16 Cirrus Clouds 04a 3s hh
Photo credit: Doug Farmer & Doug Farmer on Flickr

Vancouver Fog
Photo credit: Stijn on Flickr

A photo posted by Jim (@misterjimw) on

2015 01 Jan 15 Epic Sunrise 01a 5s tr cool slow mo
Photo credit: Doug Farmer on Flickr

グランビルアイランド 夜景 016-5
Photo credit: masumis on Flickr

Sandy Blues ~ Vancouver, BC
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

Vancouver Downtown at night
Photo credit: Pavel Boiko on Flickr

Neon Knights ~ Vancouver, BC
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool or with the tag #Photos604 on Instagram. View all photo collections here.