I don’t like to talk about politics, but sometimes a topic is too infuriating to pass by without saying anything. If you still don’t know from the title of this article what I’m talking about, just read the “Why should you be upset?” column on the Say No To HST in BC Website to find out what has me and many other people clenching our fists in anger.

On a positive note, this unfortunate move by Gordon Campbell and his Liberals has brought the masses together in unprecedented ways. As of this writing, over 108,000 people have signed up on the NO BC HST Facebook Group in less than a month! Power to the people… :)

Former BC premier Bill Vander Zalm had this to say about the proposed HST’s negative impact. As mentioned in that commentary, a non-partisan rally is planned on Saturday, September 19, at noon, at the Vancouver Art Gallery Canada Place.  Come and voice your discontent peacefully along with the thousands of other people that are expected to take part in this event that is sure to shake the Liberal government’s foundation.


Broadway SkyTrain
Broadway/City Hall Station

The Canada Line is here, ahead of schedule and under budget. :D

I’m looking forward to being able to go to Richmond in 25 minutes — either at the airport or at Richmond Centre –, but this inaugural day was painful…  It took us close to an hour and a half to finally board the train at the Yaletown/Roundhouse station (and there were worse stations: I heard a police officer say that people at the Waterfront Station had to wait up to 4 hours before boarding). But that day was special and some measures had to be taken to ensure that everybody had a chance to experience the new SkyTrain line (otherwise, people coming from Waterfront would fill up the train immediately and people at subsequent stations would not have a chance to try it out). I expect the first few days of operation to be quite busy, but things should settle down once people who just want to try it out have had their kicks.

Sears Line-up for Vancouver/City-Centre SkyTrain
Long lineups were part of the scenery near the  downtown stations of the new Canada Line

The new train cars have more room than the older models — which is great for the luggage you’ll be carrying to and from the airport –, cell phone coverage works even underground and as you wait for your train, the electronic display lets you know when the next three are coming.

Some improvements could be made in the looks department, though. Coming from Montreal where each metro station has its own personality and style, Vancouver’s underground stations strike me as quite bland. Gray is the dominant color, just like a typical Vancouver sky and works of art in whatever form are nowhere to be found (did I miss them?).

Direction Richmond
Richmond, here we come!

All in all, the new Canada Line is a great asset to the Greater Vancouver Area and I have a feeling I’ll go to Richmond more often now that there’s a quick and easy way to get there. :)

Zombie Walk 2009

Zombie Walk #1
The many faces of the 2009 Vancouver Zombie Walk

A friendly mob of zombies flashed upon Robson St. today as hundreds — if not thousands — of people dressed up for the occasion. It was my first time witnessing the Zombie Walk and I thought it was entertaining.  Only a few costumes were especially gory — like the bottom right picture you see above — with most being “playfully” scary (in my adult opinion anyway).

Not having read much about that walk beforehand, I was expecting only a small group of people to roam Vancouver’s busiest street, but I was surprised as a steady stream of zombies invaded Robson St. for about 10-15 minutes.  Even after the main group was through, we had to dodge many more of them on the sidewalk.

I’m looking forward to the next one (as a photographer :) ).

Zombie Walk #2
More faces from the Vancouver Zombie Walk

Red Eye
Two red eyes, albeit slightly different from each other :s

Frankenstein's Mom?
Frankenstein’s mom? :)

A Wink Before the Kill
See you next year! ;)

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Smiles at the 2009 Vancouver Pride Parade

Colorful bikers started the show

Colorful Hairdo
Many drag queens strutted their stuff; this one had a colorful — and seemingly heavy — hairdo

Silver Body Painting
Lots of body painting on display also and one of many water guns at the parade — cover that camera! :p

Trojan Men
Many people wanted to politely jump into the parade for a quick picture with the “stars” of the day


Saturday, August 1st was China’s turn to wow the crowd at the HSBC Celebration of Light.  Here is a short photographic summary of the evening…

Sea Of People
It’s 8:15pm and a sea of people has already formed along the shores of First Beach at English Bay

Almost Showtime
Just before showtime, at 10pm

Fireworks #2
Let the fireworks begin!

Fireworks #1
Ooooooh… Aaaaaah…

Rushing Home
Multiply the Critical Mass bike ride “population” by 100 and you get the pedestrian version,
returning from the fireworks


Traffic Jam
Critical jam

The new Burrard Bridge bike lane has been generating  a lot of buzz — for and against it — since its trial period of at least 3 months started this past July 13th.   According to the media, tension between drivers and cyclists has been escalating since then. As a result, this particular Critical Mass bike ride attracted more attention than usual (there is a Critical Mass bike ride every last Friday of each month, starting around 6PM from the Vancouver Art Gallery in Downtown Vancouver).

Burrard Bridge Passing
Critical crossing

I didn’t join the group of CM’ers for this ride, but I caught them as they were crossing Burrard Bridge — as did a couple of media vans parked on the North side of the bridge. Last year, stopping on bridges seemed to be a common occurence, but thankfully, this was not the case yesterday (I can’t say how the other bridge crossings went, though).

Riding the Rythm
Critical fun

As was the case last year, the originality some of the cyclists showed was fun to watch. But as was the case last year also, drivers going in the opposite direction had a much easier time honking and cheering the CM’ers than the ones trailing behind, bumper to bumper.

Critical Leftovers
Critical leftovers

For the short portion I saw, I thought this “edition” of the Critical Mass bike ride was quite civilized and respectful.  With all the unpredictability that comes with it, let’s see how next month’s ride goes…