Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Coastal B.C.’ Category

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Robson Street entrance/exit of the Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

When it was first opened in May of 1995, the appearance of the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch left some of us rather bewildered. I say that because its design was quite different from anything we had seen before in our young and modern city. “Is the architect emulating the design of the Roman Colosseum?” we wondered. (“Colosseum” is the Roman spelling.) But now, twenty-three years later, most of us have grown to appreciate this unique and welcoming building, which is conveniently located in the centre of downtown Vancouver.

Bounded by Georgia, Robson, Homer and Hamilton Streets, the VPL covers an entire city block.

https://www.vpl.ca/location/central-library

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Georgia Street entrance/exit, Vancouver Public Library

Architect Moshe Safdie and DA Architects won the bid to build the library after the City held a design competition, with their design being the most popular choice. The resulting “Library Square” includes the Federal Office Tower and retail and service facilities, along with the nine story library.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_Public_Library

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Library Square with Office Tower, and one of the ubiquitous Vancouver cranes

No matter where one goes in Metro Vancouver, cranes dot the skyline! Construction is ongoing. The following photo shows the proposed design of the building going up across the street from the VPL:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now that is some design!! Merrick Architecture/Westbank Projects Corporation.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a book-lover, and libraries are like a second home to me. One of my earliest memories is of my mom reading Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, aloud to me at bedtime. Mom loved literature, and wrote beautiful lyric nature poems, some of which were published in our local newspapers.

For me, even the imposing Central Branch of the VPL is welcoming, and offers much more than “just books”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Promenade/Enclosed Concourse of Library Square

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Light is such an important factor in architectural design…(so many skylights to clean!).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Remember these? Yes, it’s an old-fashioned phone booth, for our convenience, in Library Square!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leaving Library Square and its soaring skylights, we’re back out into the reality of Robson Street with its hustle and bustle, traffic, cafes, and shops. Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This little Iris is an inspiration to me. Every spring, the flowers bravely re-appear, with absolutely no help or special care from anyone! For a small, unassuming plant, it has many names: Iris unguicularis, Iris stylosa, Algerian iris, Algerian winter iris, Winter iris.

Our Algerian iris grows from a gravel bed which is situated in a most challenging spot, nestled in amongst strong bamboo roots. It never fails to surprise me when, usually one day in March, I spot its beautiful flowers coming into bloom. This year, it first bloomed during a light snowfall back in late February, and is still blooming in early April. Never fazed, it is a little gem, and serves as a yearly reminder that spring will soon arrive!

For those of you who like plant details, here are the main points about Algerian iris:

Evergreen, rhizomatous, beardless iris.

H. to 8 in. (20cm)   S. indefinite   Almost stemless, flowers 2-3 in. (5-8cm) across

Flowers appear from late autumn to early spring. Prefers a sheltered site against a south or west-facing wall. (But ours is out in the open, except for those protective bamboo roots!)

 

Read Full Post »

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bowen Island Ferry

Day Trip to Bowen Island, “The Happy Isle”…

Sometimes I need a short “getaway” from the city, so last summer I did just that, and travelled by bus and ferry to “The Happy Isle”, Bowen Island.

The perfect place to go for a day trip away from Vancouver, Bowen Island is three nautical miles from West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay, and sits in Howe Sound at the entrance to the Strait of Georgia, now called the Salish Sea.

Before the arrival of European settlers, the people of the Squamish First Nation summered on Xwlil’xhwm, (now known as Bowen Island), harvesting its abundant seafood, and perhaps its native plants as well.

Back in the early 1890’s, “Mainlanders” began to sail over to “The Happy Isle” via the Union Steamship Company’s vessels. My parents both spent time there in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, most likely enjoying picnics and the scheduled dances in the Union Steamship Dance Hall.

For my short stay on beautiful Bowen, I simply walked around Snug Cove, where the ferry docks, over to the Lagoon, and up the hill a little way, stopping to take these photos along the way. A few steps from the ferry landing, I paid a brief visit to the Summer Market, and enjoyed chatting with the folks selling handmade jewellery, home-grown produce, pottery, and all sorts of other items. (Bowen is a friendly place!)

As I’m always ready for a good meal, my next stop was at Doc Morgan’s restaurant and pub, where I had my usual veggie burger and a cup of tea. Wonderful atmosphere and good food! The crowds were seated on the outdoor deck, but I opted to sit indoors, surrounded by vintage furniture and old memorabilia from days gone by.

Walking on up the hill of Bowen Trunk Road, I stopped in to see the historical Orchard Cottages, built in the early 1900’s for vacationers. There are gnarled old apple trees in what used to be the orchard. Hopefully these still habitable old cottages will be saved, and Bowen Islanders will agree that it is wise to save some historical buildings, especially in their beautiful, original setting.

There are quaint little shops to venture into, hidden lanes to explore, and a wonderful, “countrified” atmosphere on Bowen Island. It’s a delight to visit “The Happy Isle”!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Small is beautiful.

-E.F. Schumacher

Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, here in Vancouver B.C., there was a brief burst of “Thin Houses” being built.

The lots which these thin houses were built on are usually 16.5 feet wide, and approximately 120 feet deep, but the depth can vary. They were created when wider lots, usually about 50 feet in width, were divided up, leaving the existing house on a 33 foot lot, and making room for the new, skinnier house to be added in.

The beauty of these houses lies in their simplicity. They are on a private lot, but with lower taxes, lower maintenance because of smaller size, and lower heating costs, among other advantages. There is room for a small garden, front and back. It’s like living in a townhouse or condo, minus the strata council!

Here in Vancouver land is at a premium, due in part to the city’s location, tucked in snugly beside the towering Coast Mountains and crisscrossed by waterways and bridges. It’s a popular place to live, and has become one of the most expensive cities in North America, making living here almost impossible for many people. So building “infill housing”, such as the thin houses, was a good idea, creating higher density in established neighbourhoods. But therein lay the problem! Thin houses were not universally popular, and building them went out of fashion soon after the trend had begun.

There are probably around fifty or fewer of these thin houses in Vancouver, scattered in amongst the “regular” homes. I’m always pleasantly surprised to come across thin houses on drives and walks in the city, and I’m including photos of six of them.

As far as densifying the city goes these days, “Laneway Houses” are now being built city-wide, and are a practical and attractive addition to our city. Not without their detractors, laneway houses nevertheless are enabling more people to share in living in this beautiful place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read Full Post »

Coast Salish Canoe

First Nations Canoe

I took the following photos in late June, 2013 while visiting the Convention Centre, plazas and promenades along Vancouver’s waterfront at the foot of Burrard St. There are so many wonderful sights to enjoy right here in our own home town!

Sea Bus Terminal

Sea Bus Terminal

Sea Bus Terminal

Tourist Streetcar

Tourist Streetcar

Canada Place

Canada Place

Cruise Ship docked at Canada Place

Cruise Ship docked at Canada Place

Hometown Tourists

Hometown Tourists

Early 20th Century dock workers on the Vancouver  waterfront, including Chilean, Hawaiian and Coast Salish men.

Early 20th Century dock workers on the Vancouver waterfront, including Chilean, Hawaiian and Coast Salish men.

First Nation, First Union plaque, describing previous photo.

First Nation, First Union plaque, describing previous photo.

Salmon sculptures in Vancouver Convention Centre.

Salmon sculptures in Vancouver Convention Centre.

Coast Salish cedar canoe.

First Nations cedar canoe.

Today’s Quotations:

Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.

-Jane Austen

There’s no place like home!

-Dorothy, in “The Wizard of Oz”.

Read Full Post »

The Marine Building

The Marine Building

Located at 355 Burrard St. in downtown Vancouver, the Marine Building was designed by McCarter, Nairne and Partners in the late 1920’s. An elegant old “skyscraper”, its distinctive “Art Deco” styling depicts maritime themes as well as B.C.’s nautical flora and fauna.

As a child, I thought the creamy-coloured Art Deco details resembled icing on a cake, when viewed from a distance. Opened in October, 1930, this was the tallest building in Vancouver until 1939.

I am so thankful that the beautiful Marine Building remains standing in the downtown core. Being a young city, Vancouver does not have the historical old structures that European cities do. Many of our older buildings, which dated back just over half a century or even less, have been demolished already. With the constant threat of a major earthquake in this region, city planners are advocating replacing existing old buildings with quake-proof modern ones. Consequently, downtown Vancouver lacks character, to my eye, and is becoming a city of mainly tall and angular steel, glass and concrete structures.

Did you know that the term “Art Deco” stems from “Art Decoratif”? It was a 1930’s style of conventionalized geometric forms and decorations using plastic, aluminum, steel and other modern materials. (This I found in the Funk & Wagnalls Canadian School Dictionary.)

Recently we spent a day being tourists in our own hometown, visiting the Marine Building among other places. The photograph at the top of this writeup is from glasssteelandstone.com. All of the following photos were taken by me and my family.

Front doorway, Marine Building

Front doorway, Marine Building

Heritage Building

Heritage Building

Stained glass window at front of building

Stained glass window at front of building

Elevator door in main lobby

Elevator door in main lobby

Beautiful inside elevator, too!

Beautiful inside elevator, too!

Decor on lobby wall

Decor on lobby wall

Tile depicting old sailing ship

Tile depicting old sailing ship

Light in lobby

Light in lobby

Zodiac inlay on lobby floor

Zodiac inlay on lobby floor

The long view, lobby

The long view, lobby

Outdoor sculpture of Bald Eagle and prey, an angry-looking fish!       (Salmon, perhaps?)

Outdoor sculpture of Bald Eagle and prey, an angry-looking fish! (Salmon, perhaps?)

If you enjoyed seeing this blog post, please consider passing on the blog address to your friends. Thanks!

https://joiedusoleil.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

Today’s Quotation:

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination encircles the world.

-Albert Einstein

These photos were taken in April, 2013, along the Main Mall of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

First incorporated by the Provincial Legislature in 1890. First day of lectures was September 30, 1915. Lectures began at the new Point Grey campus (pictured) on September 22, 1925.

Canada flag on Main Mall, UBC, looking north towards Coast Mountains and Bowen Island in Howe Sound.

Canada flag on Main Mall, UBC, looking north towards Coast Mountains and Bowen Island in Howe Sound.

Rose Garden, UBC

Rose Garden, UBC

Old UBC Library

Old UBC Library

Chemistry Building, UBC

Chemistry Building, UBC

Construction everywhere at UBC, and all around Metro Vancouver!

Construction everywhere at UBC, and all around Metro Vancouver!

Recycler and his daily load of cans. Undoubtedly he can't afford to attend UBC.

Recycler and his daily load of cans. Undoubtedly he can’t afford to attend UBC.

Old Rhododendron bush, and UBC Biological Sciences building behind.

Old Rhododendron bush, and UBC Biological Sciences building behind.

Male Rufous Hummingbird and Ribes sanguineum (Native Currant Bush) in bloom. Hummers love red flowers.

Male Rufous Hummingbird and Ribes sanguineum (Native Currant Bush) in bloom. Hummers love red flowers.

Female Rufous Hummingbird, UBC

Female Rufous Hummingbird, UBC

Nesting pair of Rufous Hummingbirds, beside UBC Main Mall. They love the native plants!

Nesting pair of Rufous Hummingbirds, beside UBC Main Mall. They love the native plants!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Earth laughs in flowers

Garden and Flower Photography

The INFJ PhD

Valuing quiet and solitude in academe.

alan frost photography

fine art photography in monochrome

Kristah Price

A Creative Journey

The Frustrated Gardener

The life and loves of a time-poor plantsman

Frogend dweller's Blog

Damp and in the middle of nowhere

Wolves in London

Making stuff and pootling in the garden

The Wildlife Gardener

"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction." - Rachel Carson

Positive Potential Medicine

Just another WordPress.com site

View from Over the Hill

Thoughts from an opinionated old lady

CINEMATTIRE

Costumes from Movies

Pacific Land Girls

'40s Ways for Greener Days

ROMAN VIKING

On things literary, philosophical, musical, artistic...