The Straight's Annual Best of Vancouver

September 20th, 2007 @ 12:16pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The annual issue of the Georgia Straight, “Best of Vancouver”, is now available in stores street corner boxes. This free weekly newspaper takes a poll every year where readers can voice their choices for the best spots in town for any kind of activity or lack thereof. I have yet to get a print copy to see if there’s a side column about blogs but I’m reading the online results right now.

Here are a couple of the ‘winners’.

City Life:

  • Bus Route with the Happiest Riders: #22 MacDonald
  • Vancouverite Closest to Hell: Sam Sullivan (Mayor)
  • The Year’s Dumbest Political Move: Allowing the Civic Strike
  • Local Hero: Rick Hansen
  • Best Place to go When it’s Raining: Home
  • Media/Arts/Culture:

  • Best Afternoon DJ: Buzz Bishop (congrats, man!)
  • Best Cable Show: Urban Rush
  • Local TV Sportscaster: Squire Barnes
  • Best Local Band (signed): The New Pornographers (tie) Nickelback (oh dear…)
  • Best Local Band (unsigned): The Art of Dying
  • Style:

  • Best Bridal Shop: Bryan’s Bridal (that’s where I got my dress)
  • Best Women’s Clothing Store: Aritzia
  • Best Salon: Pure Nail Bar
  • Best Bikini Wax: Linda’s Urban Day Spa
  • Wedding Registry: The Bay (that’s where we were registered… that little zapping gun is fun)
  • Travel:

  • Best Weekend Getaway: Whistler
  • Best Romantic Getaway: Tofino
  • Best Local Hotel for Out of Town Guests: Sylvia Hotel (tie) Opus Hotel (both on my Hotels list)
  • Best Local Attraction for Out of Town Guests: Granville Island
  • Mind/Body/Soul:

  • Best Gym for Weight Training: Fitness World (Men & Women’s Winner)
  • Alternative Workout: Grouse Grind (tie) Yoga
  • Best Medical Clinic: Care Point
  • and many more things yoga/pilates related…
  • Sports and Recreation:

  • Best Athletic Footwear Store: Running Room
  • Best Ice Skate Shop: Cyclone Taylor Sports
  • Best Skateboard Shop: PD’s Hot Shop
  • Local Hockey Hero: Trevor Linden
  • Lifestyle:

  • Best Place to get a Mortgage: Vancity (which was also voted Best Employer, Best Place to get an RRSP and most Environmentally Conscious)
  • Best Tattoo and Body Piercing: Sacred Heart Tattoo and Body Piercing (I think that’s where Corinna goes for her ink)
  • Shopping Centre: Metropolis at Metrotown
  • Music Store: HMV (Chain) and Zulu (Indie)
  • Food and Drink:

  • Best Place to get Meat: The Keg
  • Best Place for Veggies: The Naam
  • Cheap Eats: Hon’s
  • Most Kid-Friendly: White Spot
  • Best Patio: Bridges (on Granville Island)
  • Best BC Beer: Granvile Island Brewing (also Best Local Microbrewery)
  • These are just a few of the results, pick up a copy of the Georgia Straight for more results or check it out online.

    Update: Just picked up my copy and there are columns about things that don’t fit into the actual award categories. Such as: Best Way to Get Rid of Styrofoam Peanuts is by going to Vancouver Reuses, and The Most Flagrant Waste of Precious Urban Space goes to the concrete park on the corner of Mainland and Nelson in Yaletown. Also included is the Best Place to Eat Before a Canucks Game, which is Costco mmm warehouse hot dogs. Unfortunately Best Canucks Talk does not include a mention of The Crazy Canucks Podcast BUT the Best Reason to Get up in the Morning goes to Gastown’s own Workspace and the Vancouver Graffiti Flickr Group also won for Best Graffiti Gallery.

    Stanley Park Restorations and the PR Machine

    September 20th, 2007 @ 10:33am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I’ve been watching the progress of Stanley Park since the ‘great storm’ of December 2006. From walking through the ravaged park the following day while video podcasting, to updating readers of progress [December][January][March][April][September]. The developments have been slow-moving and somewhat upsetting.

    Stanley Park is Tiny part of the Sea Wall that’s STILL not repaired more than half a year later.

    Matt recently flew over the park and got an aerial view which was just as disturbing. Earlier this week, I saw a glimmer of hope while reading a few articles last week.

    It’s been a slow six months of painstaking tree-by-tree removal, but Stanley Park is finally ready for some new trees. After months of clearing the debris left by last December’s vicious windstorms, the park will be ready for tree-planting in 10 days — although it’s likely crews will wait until the rain starts. [The Province, Sept. 13, 2007]

    Fantastic. I continued my morning reads and found that CKNW was even more optimistic about the new trees going into the park.

    A massive tree planting effort will be getting underway within a week at Stanley Park to replace the approximately 10-thousand trees which were knocked-down by last December’s wicked windstorm. Some 19-thousand saplings from local nurseries will be planted by volunteers. [CKNW, Sept 17, 2007]

    Curious about the planting efforts, I looked around online and found a link to “volunteer” on the Stanley Park website. This then lead me to the Stanley Park Ecological Society where I inquired about being a tree planter, finding homes for the 19-thousand saplings mentioned above. I received an email back from the society stating that the CKNW article was wrong and there are no concrete plans right now to do any planting.

    Stanley Park is

    It’s pretty heartbreaking. I’m not blaming the Ecological society at all, it just seems like the media is trying to paint a much prettier and progressive picture of the park’s restoration efforts (and getting my hopes up in the process). Over at the Eco Society’s site they actually are making headway, according to their News Blog.

    We have UBC researchers in the park that are trapping beetles to see what species are living here and what species may be arriving as our fallen trees begin to decay and send off appetizing odors. There are consultants exploring the park to locate our previously known archaeological sites and to confirm their status after the storm. They are also looking for new archaeological sites that may have been exposed by falling trees and their upturned rootwards.

    To avoid being mislead by local mainstream media reports, stay tuned to the Stanley Park Ecological Society’s site. They post about news and their upcoming events, the next one will be their monthly “Ivy Busters” walk. I think they’re going to be my most trusted source for park restoration efforts going forward.

    Yes, the Civic Strike in Vancouver is a Big Deal

    September 19th, 2007 @ 10:42am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    We saw a skunk sifting through garbage in the back alley the other day, I think they are doing shift work while the raccoons sleeping, it struck me as sorta strange. When the strike first started (remember way back when? even during the fireworks?) people were like “oh you can’t even tell!” At this point, you can tell, and you can smell, and you probably have a fruit fly whizzing around you right now that you’re trying to smack, but just can’t because damn those things are fast.

    Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr from his Garbage Strike 2007 set

    Thanks to the growing piles of garbage, pest-control experts say mice and rat calls are up 50%, and the fruit-fly population has more than doubled! [News1130]

    Jeffrey made a post on Metblogs about fruit flies and people left comments about how to build a better fly trap. Even at the Canucks game Monday night there were fruit flies and I don’t think they were there to see the Stanley Cup champions play.

    John and I have been pretty good about reducing our garbage, but at least we take it downstairs for collection. I swear there’s some people in our building who are collecting their waste on the balcony because when we open the windows the bug problem gets worse. Yes, there still is garbage collection by private companies although wait times at transfer stations now have their schedules tightened.

    The civic strike is the second longest in Vancouver’s history. A strike in 1981 lasted for 90 days. Vancouver’s outside workers walked off the job on July 20, halting residential garbage pickup. The inside workers joined the strike on July 23. The city’s library staff went on strike the same week, closing 22 library branches. [CBC]

    But listen to me, talking about fruit flies and how annoying they must be meanwhile those less fortunate have been living with this problem in their face since July. If you don’t think it’s a huge problem that Vancouver city workers have been on strike since earlier this summer – take a look at some of the pics I’m peppering throughout this post.

    Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr from his Garbage Strike 2007 set

    There’s talk this morning of a proposed plan to remove dumpsters altogether as well, while increasing pickups of bagged garbage.

    It can be hard to imagine walking through allies downtown and not seeing dumpsters filled with garbage, old mattresses and whatever else. But this new initiative would mean the end to that, and be replaced by a three times daily garbage bag pick up [News1130]

    More exhaust from big trucks coming by several times daily but hey, at least there will be more parking in Yaletown because garbage is just ‘icky’.

    “Yaletown, in particular, was quite excited about this because, of course, in Yaletown the lanes are very small, and there are so many different haulers that there were, you know, a dumpster for every car.” [CKNW]

    Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr from his Garbage Strike 2007 set

    Whatever resolution comes from mediated talks with civic workers, it can’t come soon enough. Honestly, our city is getting pretty grimey and again (seems like I’m saying this a lot lately) for such a ‘world class’ tourist-destination of a town, we sure are sweeping a lot under the rug.

    It's Cookie Time

    September 18th, 2007 @ 10:49pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    When Tony was in town this summer he and Keira got to talking about chocolate chips. I’m not sure what kind of wagers were placed but the discussion lead to Tony mailing Keira 4 packs of unmarked chips. A test of sorts? A cookie baking challenge? Chocolate connoisseurs’ competition? Whatever the reason, Keira planned to bake every last one of those chips into a cookie and invited me along for the ride. We still don’t know what brands they were but I can honestly say I’m so tired of eating and sampling cookies at this point, even the thought of the Keebler Elves makes me queasy.

    Keira has a detailed post up and comments on how we ranked each anonymous chip (labeled A, B, C or D).

    Chocolate chip “D” was the loser, but with its odd flavour, Becky and I were convinced that Tony may have doused it in an illegal substance. Okay, maybe not, but “D” was weird. Chocolate chip “A” won a special award for Biggest Overall Improvement. [Keira-Anne]

    Since my recent all-photo post with Keira was so warmly welcomed, I shall do the same for our Cookie Pusher night.


    She kept doing that then sticking it back in the dough, geez!

    On Air Love from 95 Crave

    September 18th, 2007 @ 5:01pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    When Buzz wants to hear about hockey and beer I’m super glad he thinks of me. This afternoon on 95 Crave, a local Vancouver radio station, Buzz gave me a call to talk about the ‘sippy cup beer‘ at GM Place this season. Here’s a little snippet from his Ustream – yes, he also Ustreams his shifts (3-7pm at 95.3 on your FM dial)

    John scooped the full interview audio and he’ll include it in an upcoming episode of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. If you haven’t already, head over to Buzz’s BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage donation page and sponsor him in his ride this coming weekend.

    The Crazy Canucks Podcast Episode #40

    September 18th, 2007 @ 1:15pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The puck has dropped! Welcome to the pre-season and welcome back to The Crazy Canucks podcast. We tried to stay alive over the summer and are ramping up within the coming weeks so watch out!

    Hockey is back! Well, we’re almost there, but the puck is dropping in pre-season action all around the NHL, and September 17, 2007 is when it started for the Canucks.

    This episode ended up being a mix of content, mostly due to technical difficulties in the recording process. Everyone gathers online to discuss more of the jersey debate, but this is probably the last we’ll really hammer this topic. Then Dave and John hang out for a brief chit chat before the first game against Anaheim, and Rebecca ends this episode with a report on going to the game. [The Crazy Canucks – Episode #40]

    Head over to the website to listen, for all the details about the podcast, show notes for this episode and to subscribe as this season is sure to be a good’er.

    In case you forgot over the summer or are new to The Crazy Canucks here’s a bit of background information:

    The Crazy Canucks is a roundtable podcast that focuses on our favorite NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks. We are a group of bloggers, podcasters and hockey enthusiasts from all over British Columbia, who, through the magic of Skype, come together once a week to cheer and rag on our beloved team.

    Like you, we are Canucks fans first and foremost. We speak as Canucks fans; we feel as Canucks fans; we bleed Canucks blue like Canucks fans. Our passion goes beyond what other media outlets do. Our passion comes from being Canucks fans and this podcast is a product of that. [About - The Crazy Canucks]

    The Crazy Canucks podcasters are Alanah (from Canucks and Beyond), JJ (from the Canucks Hockey Blog), Dave (from the Canucks Outsider Podcast), John (from the RadioZoom podcast), and yours truly of Miss604.

    Canucks Photo Post

    September 17th, 2007 @ 10:54pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Because sometimes a good night out just deserves to be seen in Flickr photo form. Keira landed us some tickets for tonight’s game so we made sure to celebrate the Canucks‘ return to the ice in this, their first pre-season game vs Anaheim.

    puck bunnies

    Sponsor Buzz in the Tour of Courage

    September 17th, 2007 @ 10:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    John and I are prepping for the Run for the Cure on September 30th but local blogger, columnist and radio personality Buzz Bishop will be hopping in his bike alongside Lance Armstrong next weekend for the BC Cancer Foundation’s Tour of Courage.

    tour-of-courage.pngVancouver cyclists are hitting the pedals with Lance Armstrong this weekend in support of the BC Cancer Foundation. I want to raise over $1000 in less than 7 days and be one of the ones riding alongside Lance this weekend.

    The money raised will support leading-edge research into improving diagnosis and treatment of cancer at the BC Cancer Agency, throughout British Columbia.

    I have been a fan of Lance’s for many years. I wear yellow. I wear the bracelet. I try to live strong.

    Really, all I really want is to be on a bike beside him and have him tap me on the ass and say “No Gifts!”

    It will be a dream come true.

    That, and curing cancer. It has devastated my family, just like it has yours. Lance beat it. He’s a hard ass and an inspiration as I try to live a healthy life and do more for others.

    Bring it. Just a few bucks. Click the button, and BRING IT! [BuzzBishop]

    To sponsor his ride you can visit his online donation page and support this excellent cause.