Category Archives: vancouver weather

Fall in Vancouver

This time, somewhat higher resolution.


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Spring photos.

In case you’ve had enough of long posts about research funding.

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Events of note

My post about socialism has been enjoying vastly increased exposure in the last few days, courtesy of Roger Ebert:

I actually grew up in Poland and not the USSR, but I’m not going to complain. In any case, between this and that thought-provoking discussion on education, I’m working on a follow-up post. With a 2-week reading break coming up, it might even get finished reasonably soon.

But as fascinating as my Internet adventures might be, you may be more interested in the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Did I say winter?

It’s the warmest one we’ve had since I moved here 10 years ago. Needless to say, the warm temperatures are causing concerns. The large mountain in the photo below is Cypress Mountain, the freestyle skiing and snowboarding venue. We’re told that the snow is being trucked in from afar and that efforts are being made to keep it from melting.

The City of Vancouver offers a warm welcome to all visitors. Traffic is being rerouted, with lane closures along the main thoroughfares and street closures downtown and around the Olympic venues. A more positive development has been the miraculous completion of various construction projects around town that I had thought would never end.

Those of us less interested in sports have the Cultural Olympiad to console us. I saw Robert Lepage’s The Blue Dragon the other day and recommend it very highly: a thoughtful and well developed meditation on the convergence of, and friction between, Western and Eastern cultures. I loved it.

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Jazz at Van Dusen

I’ve mentioned the Van Dusen botanical garden here before, but never as an arts venue. Well, there’s got to be a first time.

Tonight was the last concert in the “Jazz in Bloom” series. The stage was set up on a lawn in the garden, with the audience sprawled before it on various blankets and portable chairs. I’m not used to thinking of a jazz concert as a family outing, but there it was, all kinds of families with small children, many unpacking picnic dinners on their blankets. At least I didn’t see any attempts to start a barbecue.

It all ended up working very nicely. I was in no particularly good mood when I came in; it didn’t help that I had to move soon after the first set started because a child sitting right behind me just wouldn’t be quiet. Still, you can’t complain much when the garden looks so gorgeous in the evening light and there’s live music to top it off. Before the end of the first set my new neighbours invited me to join their picnic and we spent a good part of the evening enjoying the food and conversation. (In the extremely unlikely case they’re reading this – thanks again!)

The first act was the Cory Weeds Quartet. They play solid traditional jazz and have put out a couple of albums with titles like “Everything’s Coming Up Weeds.” But the real standout was the second band, Zapato Negro. Here they are in a clip from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

That’s what they do: hot Cuban and Latin rhythms, funky and clever. They shine both in their original compositions and in their arrangements of standards, including a Latin jazz rendition of a Kurt Weill piece. Yes, Kurt Weill. That’s what they said, anyway. I would have never guessed.

(Math and math-related blogging will resume in a couple of weeks – but not just yet.)

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The colours of spring

This blog is tired of being cranky and needs to think more positive thoughts.

Such as these.



All photos were taken at the Van Dusen Botanical Garden, the perfect place to go on a sunny April weekend. I’ve had a membership there for several years now and I still haven’t seen it all.

There’s much more under the cut.

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Vancouver in February

A few more under the cut.

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After the snowstorm




In other news: shame on you, Mr. Harper.

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Because it’s summer, at last…

… it’s time for some summer music.

This band is called Nouvelle Vague. What they do is cover versions of 1980s new wave songs, bossanova-style. The first time I heard them was on a trip to Europe two years ago. I arrived at my destination late in the afternoon, cranky and tired, after 3 plane flights and over 20 hours of travel. The time difference between there and Vancouver was 9 hours. I hardly got any sleep that night and was wide awake again by 6:30 am. That’s when I heard this song on the radio. Quite unbelievably, it put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

It’s my favourite Nouvelle Vague song, by far. The lead singer here is Gerald Toto, who also records solo and with various other groups. For an encore, here’s Gerald Toto again, this time in French:

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Back in Vancouver for a few days


Yeah, that’s why.

More under the cut if you’re interested.

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Mr. Blue Sky

Because it’s been raining for too long.

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