Car Free Vancouver Day 2009

June 1st, 2009 @ 12:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Sunday June 14th is Car Free Day in Vancouver Day with festivals and street parties happening in four neigbourhoods.

Photo credit: Rob__ on Flickr

The festival came out of the original 2005 car-free day on Commerical Drive, which lead to two events in 2006, another in 2007, and in 2008 we had the first city-wide event with several neighbourhoods going car-free.

The first annual Car-Free Vancouver Day, on Sunday June 15, 2008 ushered in the next phase in this bold experiment that had been gradually happening in Vancouver for many years. It took the car-free meme to the whole city, and represented the next level in our evolution toward healthy communities, authentic cultural celebrations, and car-free streets. On that day, FOUR communities presented their own Car-Free Festivals: Kitsilano, West End, Main Street, and Commercial Drive. Each Festival was envisioned and organized by the local core organizers, and each had a unique flavour.

Major sites this year include Kitsilano, Main Street, West End, and Commercial Drive. If you’d like to be a volunteer, performer, or vendor, you can contact your local organizing body through the website. They’re currently in need of volunteers to man barricades so contact the organization if you’re available to help out.

Photo credit: midnightglory on Flickr

Each neighbourhood has its own feel so you’ll be able to join a knitting circle and roller disco on Commercial Drive, enjoy tunes from the music stages on Main, pop into the spoken-word tent in the West End, and visit a collection of block parties in Kitsilano.

You can download your own Block Party Toolkit if you’d like to host on in your nighbourhood. Whichever location you visit on June 14th, please remember to walk, cycle, or take transit.

Update: City Council has just approved car free Sundays in four Vancouver neighbourhoods this summer, as a part of “Summer Space”. On several Sundays this season Collingwood, Mount Pleasant, Gastown, and Commercial Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic. [CBC]

Another San Francisco Photowalk

June 1st, 2009 @ 9:20am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We had some more time to explore San Francisco this afternoon and our post diner breakfast walk turned into a 6-hour trek across town and back with John, Dale, and Duane.

San Francisco - Streetcar

San Francisco - Googling

San Francisco - Sea lions

San Francisco - Sea lions

San Francisco - Pier

San Francisco - No parking

San Francisco - Have you seen this sea lion?

San Francisco

San Francisco - Josephine

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco - Alcatraz

San Francisco - Alcatraz

San Francisco - Golden Gate

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco - Octavia

San Francisco

San Francisco - Lombardi


San Francisco

Related posts: WordCamp Day Blog, San Francisco Photowalk. View my entire set on Flickr and John’s got some great pics as well.

Be Part of the Plan, TransLink's Liveability Forum

May 31st, 2009 @ 6:48pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Be part of the plan with TransLink on June 1st as they coordinate what will be the first of a series of public consultations throughout the month. Monday’s “Greater Vancouver’s Livability Forum” takes place at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel from 8:00am until 3:30pm and you can register online.


Developing a 30-year plan called Transport 2040, they would like to get as much public input and engagement as possible so 9 community consultation workshops will follow to discuss everything from bridges and bikeways to transit. Locations include Vancouver, Walnut Grove, Fleetwood, White Rock, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam and Richmond. You can register online for the event in your community.

TransLink has also started a website for these discussions over at Be Part of the Plan or you can get updates on Twitter @bepartoftheplan.

Great Pedalheads Treasure Hunt at Jericho Beach

May 30th, 2009 @ 7:26pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Even though I’m down in San Francisco the emails about events around Vancouver have still been pouring in so here’s a quick heads up for a fun activity happening tomorrow.

kids bikes
Photo credit: Adrie Mooi on Flickr /

Bring the family to Jericho Beach on Sunday May 31st for the Great PedalheadsTM Treasure Hunt. It’s a free event that kicks off around 10:00am and will run til about 1:00pm, involving you, your bike, and a scavenger hunt around the park. It’s open to all ages and will take about an hour (to go from station to station) and there will be prizes available for everyone.

This fun-filled afternoon is to celebrate the beginning of June, which is Bike Month. The Pedalheads organization (through Atlantis Programs) helps children get active and lead a healthy lifestyle by providing swimming and cycling camps.

I believe you can still register for tomorrow’s treasure hunt by emailing info [at] atlantisprograms [dot] com or you can call (604) 874-6464 for more information. You should be able to find the group near the duck pond and once you’re done you can enjoy a super sunny afternoon at the beach.

WordCamp San Francisco: Scott Porad on User-Generated Content

May 30th, 2009 @ 4:29pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

One of the afternoon presenters at WordCamp San Francisco is Scott Porad of Pet Holdings, otherwise known as the LOLcat franchise whose sites get millions of visitors each day.

WordCamp SF

The focus of his talk is the network of sites that they run which all have the following in common: They’re all humor/entertainment-centric, they’re all hosted on, and they’re all based on user-generated and user-driven content.

WordCamp San Francisco: Matt Cutts of Google

May 30th, 2009 @ 10:34am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

My first session of the day is with Matt Cutts from Google whose presentation will be “Straight from Google: What You Need to Know”.

PageRank secret sauce

Matt says that the number one request he receives or hears is “I want to do better in Google”. He says that WordPress already takes care of 80-90% of your SEO and offers up a few plugins that will help you fight spam and up your SEO. “The beauty of WordPress is that you don’t need to do a lot of stuff.”

WordCamp San Francisco Day Blog

May 30th, 2009 @ 9:31am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We’re at the Mission Bay Conference Centre in San Francisco for WordCamp which is a conference and all-out love-fest for WordPress (the platform on which this site runs and on which I’ve based my entire business. I’ve decided I won’t possibly be able to cover everything I’d like to in a timely fashion today so instead of liveblogging sessions I’ll be doing a day blog throughout the day today.

Matt @ WordCamp

Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic (the company behind / WordPress) announced that today’s hashtag on Twitter is simply #WordCamp since we’re the only WordCamp happening right now. He began WordPress 6 years ago (when he was 19) and we’ll be having an anniversary party for the platform later tonight.


I’m currently doing a tour at the Genius Bar, which is a help desk for all things WordPress. I’ll be here til 10am with Lloyd Budd (of Automattic) and then Duane, John Biehler, Dale, and John will also have shifts.

Update: I already ran into Mark from Weblog Tools Collection (an amazing WordPress resource online) and look forward to meeting many more cool people.


A fellow Vancouverite

Update: I’m heading over to live blog Matt Cutts’ talk but will keep this post open to collect all of my thoughts throughout the day.

Update: The BBQ lunch was great and we’re gearing up for Matt Mullenweg’s Q&A session.

WordCamp SF

WordCamp SF T-Shirts (Ladies)

WordCamp SF

Vancouver Crew


Follow my Twitter updates throughout the day:


His and hers

Update: I sat in on Scott Porad’s talk as well as one from Cali Lewis. I’m shutting down the Twitter feed now for the rest of the day.

Update: We headed out to the WordPress anniversary party at Automattic’s headquarters where I met some great people including Tara “missrogue” Hunt and Cali Lewis.





Automattic office

Branded popcorn

Brave New Code

Matt addressing the crowd

Tara Hunt  (@MissRogue)

Cali Lewis (@CaliLewis)

Matt (@photomatt)

Caution: Duane

Automattic were fantastic hosts, providing free beer/wine, crepes made before your eyes, fresh popcorn, and a delectable selection of desserts (including the WordPress cupcakes). Duane wanted the “Canadians” to represent shut things down so it was a late night but very fun-filled.

San Francisco Photowalk

May 29th, 2009 @ 5:09pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This afternoon John and I met up with John Biehler (who is also in town for tomorrow’s WordCamp) and we took a stroll.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr



Bay Bridge

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco


Pier 7




We went from the waterfront up through Chinatown and back down through Union Square. It was really fun to explore a city with such a unique landscape, cultural diversity, distinct architecture and rich history.








San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest outside of Asia and the oldest in North America, established in the 1850s. Vancouver boasts the second largest Chinatown, after San Francisco.