Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

Granville Signs

Strange to see the Movieland sign on Granville Street's booze-fuelled "entertainment district" -- especially when there are no longer any "shooting" games inside. Fantasy Factory doesn't really have a sign anymore, only this in the window:

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bastille Day

Yesterday was Bastille Day. Vancouver celebrated at the Yaletown Roundhouse. But the blue in the bunting above -- not the blue I think of when I think of France's flag. More like the blue below: two tablecloths over a wheeled whiteboard, the kind used in seminars and retreats, wherever "blue sky" sessions are sold.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

VAG Openings

Cheryl L'Hirondelle shared with us two songs to open Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin's how do you carry the land? exhibition at the VAG last night. Before starting, Cheryl responded to exhibition title by repeating it, then replying, "With language -- that's how."

After the performances I saw Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill and asked if she and Cheryl are related. "All the L'Hirondelles are related to each other," she told me.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Mattie Gunterman

The VAG's Dialogue with Emily Carr is an on-going program that has the paintings of Carr (1871-1945) displayed with another artist or artists, living or dead. The current "pairing" of Carr and Mattie Gunterman (1872-1945) is my introduction to the photographic adventures (adventures in photography?) of this Wisconsin-born, Kootenay-based artist.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A small room behind a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

Tomorrow is a travel day, so I am gathering a few things for my trip. On the radio, a phone-in show focused on Greyhound's cancellation of routes west of Sudbury, save the route that links Seattle and Vancouver.

It is rare to see more than a couple of hitch-hikers on my drives between Vernon and Vancouver. I will keep that in mind on my drive west tomorrow.

Monday, July 9, 2018


The architects of this year's subsistence garden have forsaken rows for hugelkultur, a horticultural system based on raised beds of rotting wood.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Picturing Mirror Image Texts

A mid-morning drive down Westside Road to Kelowna. Olivia Whetung's exhibition of framed beadwork/loomwork "reflections" at Alternator, a visit to Milkcrate Records, with its U-shaped sofa system before its paisley-carpeted stage, then a stop at Lake Country Art Gallery for Here > Over There.

A work by Hanss:

Followed by another -- this one bigger:

Saturday, July 7, 2018


UK-born architect Peter Cardew (b.1939) spent a year in Stuttgart, Germany, as part of his schooling. This was in the early 1960s, when he was barely in his twenties. In 1966 Peter came to Vancouver, where he took a job with Rhone and Iredale (he led the 1978 Crown Life Plaza project above), before going out on his own in 1980.

Stuttgart-born Fred Herzog (b.1930) left Germany in the early 1950s. He was well-established in Vancouver by the time Peter arrived, working as a medical photographer when not roaming the city taking pictures like this one at Nelson and Howe:

Fred loathed the rebuilding of Stuttgart along modern lines, preferring instead the vernacular city of Vancouver, with its Spanish Colonial, Edwardian and Deco architectures, its bouquets of neon and its burgeoning diversity:

Like many of us, Fred carries his own eccentric mix of modern and "traditional" sensibilities. One thing that both he and Peter despair is Vancouver's reduction of downtown Granville Street in the early 1970s to a "Mall", which Fred has likened to "something you might see in [Communist] East Germany."

Friday, July 6, 2018

East Vancouver

Late-May, 2016. Maybe 20th Avenue, the block east of Main Street. Maybe walking to Paul's studio, or to Organic Acres across the street from him, where I might bump into Rodney on his way to Exile, a music store on Main Street, where sometimes an autoharp sits in the window.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Peter Cardew Architects

Before driving to the Okanagan last Saturday I visited architect Peter Cardew's Railway Street studio to meet with him about his Reigning Champ store design(s) for a piece I am writing for Canadian Architect. The focus of my recent visit to Los Angeles was the R.C. store on South La Brea, which marked the debut of Peter's ceiling-tracked hanging shelves. The model to the right of Peter's in-progress mannequin model (above) is a hanging shelf. Below, a picture of the shelves themselves.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A small room behind a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

Time to re-paint.

Same colour.

A couple months ago I was told of a retailer who could match any chip of pant to its catalogue number. Curious to see such a machine, I took in my chip, gave it to the salesperson, and he said he would be right back.

"Can I watch?" I asked.

The salesperson looked uncomfortable. "Well, sure, I guess."

Into the back we went.

At a small desk beside the rear exit sat a young woman. She was playing computer solitaire. To her left was a steaming bowl of Lipton's Chicken Noodle Soup. The salesperson handed her the chip; she took it, glanced at it, handed it back. "f4f3ef."

"Same sheen?" the salesperson asked. "Eggshell?"

Monday, July 2, 2018


Malcolm Island, June 2016.

Memories of a sunset.

I was staying at the hotel above the bar beside the ferry terminal. Part of my research into rural art spaces, residencies... BC Ferries representatives had come for the day (and night) to look around. They had chosen to promote Sointula in its literature.

Do you get sunsets like this every night? one of them asked the proprietor.

Oh yes, said the proprietor. Every night the sun sets.

Sunday, July 1, 2018


The creek is a good two feet lower than it was in May, when the cottonwoods were shifting and the bridge was threatened. Always unsettling to think back on how close things come.

On the bright side, I am happy to see that the mallow I pulled has not grown back, and that there is less of it than I thought when I left. Although it all looks like the same patch, I remember areas where it came out easily and more stubborn areas where it grows through tightly-packed rocks.

Eleven days before another trip to Vancouver. Hopefully this time I can leave with seeds in the ground and a sprinkler watching over them.