First Photowalk of 2011 in Iowa

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011 — 3:30pm PST
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This afternoon I grabbed my new Nikon D90 and we bundled up for our third annual ‘first photowalk‘ of the year in Anytown, USA – otherwise known as my husband’s hometown in Iowa.

Iowa for New Years 2011

The sun peeked out and began to melt piles of snow that quickly re-froze as solid puddles, causing my less-than-adequate soles to slip and skid. We walked by houses with frosted tire swings, porches laden with piles of firewood, and flags waving proudly on the front lawn.

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Next we strolled past main street’s salons, boutiques, and hardware stores before making our way to the park down by the river.

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The pond was solid, covered in snowmobile tracks and footprints, and we crunched along buried paths trying to chase the sunset’s light.

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While I have much to get used to using a DLSR camera, I have hit the ground running and look forward to trying out my new toy on the streets and beach-side strolls of Vancouver upon our return.

Vancouver History: January 1

Saturday, January 1st, 2011 — 1:18pm PST
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As Vancouverites awake after a night of confetti-filled celebration, 2011 is perhaps welcomed with a dip in English Bay, a pound of the snooze button, or that first venti-sized coffer of the year. Although most are looking ahead, I decided to look back and see how our city rang in the New Year throughout the last century.

January 1, 1911
Hastings Townsite, the residents of which had voted to be annexed by Vancouver, became part of the city. Today’s Glen Drive was the Western edge of the townsite.

January 1, 1920
Peter Pantages started the Polar Bear Swim Club.

January 1, 1922
Motorists in BC began to drive on the right-hand side of the road. The rule took effect at 2:00am and no accidents were reported.

January 1, 1929
Point Grey and South Vancouver amalgamated with the City of Vancouver.

January 1, 1934
There was a riot in Chinatown caused by racial tensions.

January 1, 1943
As a result of World War II rationing, the sale of whipping cream was forbidden in BC.

January 1, 1977
The British Columbia Ferry Corporation (“BC Ferries”) was established as a provincial Crown Corporation, successor to the British Columbia Ferry Authority.

January 1, 1978
The Polar Bear Swim celebrates its largest attendance to date as 1,000 people take to the brisk waters of English Bay. 20,000 spectators watched from the shore.

A new Polar Bear Swim record was reached January 1, 2011 as 2,246 participants took the plunge.

All references have been researched through

Favourite Vancouver Photographers of 2010

Friday, December 31st, 2010 — 11:22am PST
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While I only managed to do 25 weekly photo posts over the last year, profiling pictures added to the Miss604 Flickr Group, there was no shortage of snapshots of Vancouver throughout 2010. I personally took over 3,000 photos (608 of which were during the Olympic and Paralympics) and enjoyed watching unique, candid, and breathtaking images pour in on Flickr, Twitter, and blog posts. I thought it only appropriate to feature some of my favourite photographers in my last recap post of 2010.

Although I’ve never met PiscesDreamer (Philip) and don’t even know his last name, I realized that I probably featured more images of his in my weekly photo posts than any other. They range from serene sunsets to bleak streetcapes and always tell a story.

Susan Gittins
I don’t know how she does it but Susan Gittins manages to be everywhere and anywhere. She manages to snag timely images of ccurrences around Metro Vancouver and her raw ‘woman on the street’ photos during the Olympic games offered alternate perspectives of our city’s global event.

Clayton Perry
Clayton Perry has HDR (high dynamic range) photography down to a science. Colours pop with vivid detail as he captures everything from street scenes to natural landscapes across the region.

John Bollwitt
I may be totally bias on this one but since he’s the lead photographer for, my husband John Bollwitt definitely deserves a mention. When he accompanies me to concerts or on travel media trips, my coverage immediately jumps to a whole new level. His camera skills have been honed and sharpened, and I’m lucky to have him as a partner both personally and professionally.

John Biehler
John Biehler is one of my dearest friends and I have to agree with others when they say, 2010 was the “Year of Biehler”. He took time off from work during the Olympics (yes, photography isn’t his full-time gig) and uploaded over 30,000 photos to Flickr. He was on the mountain, rink-side, and above the city by zipline taking videos, producing time-lapses and panoramas.

Kris Krüg
While I’ve known Kris Krüg since 2006, he went above and beyond in 2010 covering everything from the Olympics to the Gulf Oil Spill. His rock and roll style is often imitated and rarely duplicated as his piercing images are always one-of-a-kind.

Honorable mentions go to Nordica Photography for their amazing wedding and engagement shots and Bob Lai Photography for his stunning portraits. I was fortunate enough to work with both this past year and their professionalism and dedication to their craft shines through each .jpg they upload.

You may also browse photos I have marked as favourites on Flickr and please feel free to add your own images to the Miss604 Flickr Group in 2011.

Favourite Travel Experiences of 2010

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 — 11:35am PST
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While we stayed very close to home for a few weeks in February 2010, I spent even more time on the road. From snowshoeing to swimming in the Caribbean, the following are some of my Top Travel Experiences of 2010.

January 2010
Destination: Iowa
Highlights: Ringing in 2010 with John’s family
Iowa Photowalk

Destination: Sun Peaks Resort
Highlights: The Okanagan Winter Wine Festival
Winter Wine Festival @ Sun Peaks Resort

February 2010
Destination: Prince George
Highlights: The outdoor ice oval, dog sledding, the 2010 Olympic torch relay, and snowshoeing in the Ancient Forest
Outdoor Ice Oval

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Epic New Year’s Eve at V in Yaletown

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 — 1:33pm PST
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Along with other bars, clubs, and family-friendly establishments, V Lounge in Yaletown is hosting an Epic New Year’s Eve party to round out and salute a big year in Vancouver.

Merry Christmas!!!
Photo credit: Toni Blay on Flickr

Where V Lounge in Yaletown (1095 Mainland, upstairs)
When December 31st, 2010 doors open at 8:30pm
Tickets $75 available online

Admission includes hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast at midnight, food stations (including sushi and cupcake bars), a photobooth, and VIP booths.

If you would like to attend this event, I have two tickets available (for one contest winner and their guest). Here’s how you can enter to win this $150 prize:

  • Leave a comment on this post with a New Years resolution (1 entry)
  • Via the Miss604 Facebook Page (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • RT to enter to win tix to #EpicNYE @ThePlacetoV from @Miss604

    I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 2:00pm on December 30th, 2010. Must be 19 years of age or older to enter. Please enjoy responsibly and plan a safe trip home. The SkyTrain will be also FREE and operational all night.

    Update The winner is Lindsay who resolves to do more camping this year – congratulations!

    Favourite Vancouver Food Experiences of 2010

    Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 — 12:14pm PST
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    It was a big year in the Vancouver foodie scene with the introduction of street food vendors, Fair Trade Town status, and even the city’s first cupcake competition. In 2010 I was fortunate to dine at many of the region’s finest establishments, judge a cocktail competition or three, and recap experiences from across the province.

    The Teahouse in Stanley Park
    Visited: January 2010
    Highlights: The cozy atmosphere and decor

    Glowbal Grill
    Visited: April 2010
    Highlights: Large portions, delicious halibut, and unbelievable stuffed baked potato
    Glowbal Grill - Dine Out Vancouver

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