What You Can’t Do In Vancouver B.C.


What can’t you do in Vancouver B.C.? Off the top of my head in no particular order, a list of Vancouver facts to ponder –

1 – Buy a detached home anywhere in the city for under a million dollars. This 2 bedroom, 1 bath bungalow built in 1946 is listed at $1,189,000.

2 – Purchase a cat, dog or rabbit from pet stores. Last week city council voted unanimously in favor of the ban, citing a means to curb unscrupulous puppy mills. ( Unrelated, but while on the subject of animals – since 2011 Vancouver households can keep up to 4 backyard chickens, but no roosters, turkeys, ducks or geese. And absolutely no backyard slaughtering or sale of manure. )

Experts say when animals are sold in retail stores it can be difficult to assess the breeding conditions.

3 – Smoke a cigarette in city parks or at the beach.

4 – Exercise as a group in city parks without a permit. No impromptu outdoor yoga, Tai Chi, swing dancing or cross fit without prior approval.

In Vancouver's Dude Chilling Park — also known as Guelph Park, in Mount Pleasant — a yoga group has held daily by-donation classes for several years, as shown in this aerial drone photograph showing them practicing.

5 – Purchase alcohol for off-site consumption after 11 pm, or buy liquor at a grocery store.

6 – Be in possession of or offer fireworks for sale other than between October 24 and November 1. Anyone wanting to purchase fireworks must produce a permit obtained after passing an online safety quiz.

7 – Rely on public transportation to make your way home from the bar. Train service shuts down between roughly 1:30 and 5 am. Clubs on Granville Street in the downtown entertainment district serve patrons until 3 am, an hour later than 2 am shutters mandated establishments outside the district. Not that it makes a difference, either way public transit is limited to several woefully inadequate bus routes.

8 – Remove any tree measuring 20 cm circumference at 1.4 meters above ground without a permit. Application for removable must be approved by an arborist, verified by utility companies as a risk or fall into a strident category of other considerations. Fines are steep and justice swift, Vancouver takes trees seriously.

9 – Wood burning fireplaces are banned in new home construction. Additionally, all new construction must be wheelchair accessible and electric car charging station equipped.

 

RIP House Widow


On a trip to the laundry room several years ago I discovered a black widow spider. As the only family member licensed to dispatch spiders, her demise was automatic and swift. My husband protected us from snakes, spiders were my responsibility. A practical, unspoken arrangement acted upon without hesitation, quelling arachnid hysteria never bothered me. If a snake ever hissed in the house my husband would do the same. I forgave the one and only house snake in our 35 years, the garter snake he and the kids brought home in a bucket, the one they named Mrs. Slithers when she gave birth to 11 babies the following day, but that’s another story.

Soon after finding laundry room widow, many more disturbed domestic harmony. Upstairs, downstairs, bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms – black widows were becoming a problem. Some had to be executed, but only as a last resort when catch and release failed. Along the way a peculiar affinity developed for well mannered widows. Rogue spiders couldn’t be allowed to roam at will, homesteaders were another matter.

For a while “No, of course I don’t want a black widow bite”, “Yes, I’ll do something about basement widow” sandbagged rising dismay. Relax! Spiders are my job, the situation is under control!

My son broke the news. “You were sleeping…” “We saw an egg sack…” “Sprayed it with Raid…” “Got the vacuum out…” I heard myself say, you killed my spider? Then wished I could take it back because it sounded so crazy. “We can get you a pet spider” he offered with genuine sympathy. “It’s ok, I don’t want a pet spider” was spoken, “I liked that spider” wasn’t.

I couldn’t explain without sounding unbalanced, wouldn’t expect them to understand mild obsession with observing the same spider for almost 2 years. Their spiders are my snakes, I get it. RIP basement widow.

 

Glow In The Dark Toonie


Never let it be said Canadian currency isn’t colourful. Now one of our coins glows in the dark. In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, the Canadian mint has issued 3 million glowing Canada 150 toonies. The two dollar coin, selected from a national Canada 150 contest was designed by brothers Timothy and Stephen Hsia of Richmond B.C. Dubbed Dance of the Spirits, northern lights promise to glow in your pocket.

Haven’t seen one yet, but when I do you’ll be the first to know if a coin can actually glow in dark corners.

Vancouver Faces, Dark Spaces


Two distinct photographic galleries shot by my husband. Vancouver faces, followed by dark spaces –

Dark spaces –

Explore more at – https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/

Several weeks ago Literary Orphans, a Chicago based indie art/literary site asked permission to use his work as “featured artist” of the month. Several friends thought I wrote his introduction ( which I didn’t, but it echoes my sentiments to the letter )

“Thomas H’s photographs are deliberate and intentional. Each image opens up into a fantastic story of it’s own, painting a scene–a setting for a story to take place in. It makes you question and wonder and ponder the thought behind the lens. It’s impossible to view Thomas H’s work and not to take in the beauty of these vivid settings; be it a the serenity of a lush forest, or the personality of a painting balancing preposterously on a bench. Many of Thomas H’s photos portray instances and moments that immediately make you look for more–a man sneaking a drag from a cigarette outside on a bench, a station wagon on the side of the road with an open door. These photographs capture the sense of someone roaming the world they inhabit, finding the magic that others overlook.”

Link to Literary Orphans below –

http://www.literaryorphans.org/playdb/featured-artist-thomas-h/