Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Visual Inspiration: And finally, Victoria.

We spent our last couple of days in Canada in Victoria, B.C.

First, we toured Butchart Gardens.  This is the hedge wall that confronts you in the parking lot.  No, that's not growing on a wall or anything--it's growing on itself.  Yes, that's a 15-foot-high hedge. I told you this area was a rain forest.

The entry complex.  It included a cafe/restaurant what was very reasonably priced and very good.  A solid lunch fortified us to go a-lookin' at plants for two hours.

The Star Garden near the Rose Garden.

A path in the Japanese Garden.  I could have sat in the Japanese Garden all day.

More Japanese Garden awesomeness.

OMG a wee black ferret/stoat looking thing in the plants!  SQUEEEEE!!!

The next day, we attempted to see some whales on a small open-boat trip, but we just saw porpoises.

And seals.  A lot of seals.  Seals are dog mermaids, did you know that?

Fan Tan Alley, the narrowest legal street in Canada in Victoria, which has Canada's oldest Chinatown.

The Empress Hotel at night.

The old theater near Chinatown.  We took a ghost tour around the harbor and into Chinatown, ending here.  The owner of the theater fell on hard times and eventually hung himself in the theater, so supposedly people see a dark figure swinging in the shadows when the lights are off, but of course the figure disappears when the lights turn on.  It's a neat building to look at in the daytime, too, as you can tell that the buildings that once flanked it are now long gone.

Quit fooling around, y'all.  This is serious coffee.

The view from the ferry that took us from Victoria, B.C. to Port Angeles, WA, U.S.A.  We flew out of Seattle back to Denver, which was way cheaper that flying out of Victoria or Vancouver.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Visual Inspiration: Vancouver, eh?

We got off the train in Vancouver and spent a couple of days doodling around the city.

Gastown district of Vancouver.  Amazing little shops and restaurants. If I had to move to Vancouver, I'd insist on living here, even if I had to work three jobs to afford a 200 s.f. loft.

Along one of the main streets of Vancouver.  Great modern architecture and glass towers, which in some ways is similar to Toronto.

Yeah, y'know, we grow trees on top of our buildings cuz we're pretty much in a rain forest type environment.

Waterfront in Vancouver.  Damn, now that's a skyline.

Moshe Safdie's Vancouver Public Library.

A bit blurry, but Lexus was shooting a commercial in Gastown one night while we were there.  Reckon I'll keep my eyes peeled for this around Xmas.

Neon sign exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver. The buzzing in this room was almost deafening.

Ladies and gentlemen, the actual Riot Act.  You have been read it.  Now go.

Inside Safdie's library. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Visual Inspiration: On the train

After a few days in Toronto, we took a train trip across Canada to Vancouver.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, under construction in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The original St. Joseph's Cathedral in Winnipeg.  It burned in the 1960s and was rebuilt on a site just behind this original shell, which is left standing and makes a marvelous public space.

The Cathedral had a graveyard for me to play in--yay!  This headstone was about 6 or 7 feet tall.  I held my camera above my head to get this shot.

Portage La Prairie was one of the stops along the rail line.  I think that's French for "Small Town with Few People."

Abandoned warehouse at one of the stops.  We were allowed to get out and walk around a bit while some folks got on and off the train.

This was the "new" train station in that small town.  Love the corner window detail.

This was the old train station in that town.  A lot of these towns looked like any minute now I was going to see Eddie Albert shinnying up a telephone pole to make a phone call.

Ah, the beginning of the Canadian Rockies....

More Canadian Rockies, on our way to Jasper, Alberta, where many passengers switched trains to go to Banff.

A WiFi-free cafe, where people actually might have to talk to each other--novel idea.

A street scene in Jasper.  It felt a lot like being in Estes Park, CO.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Visual Inspiration: Fancy Buildings in Toronto

The Bata Shoe Museum.  Yes, a museum full of shoes.  Yes, we went--it was compact but cool.  They had a Roger Vivier exhibit going on, with Serge Gainsbourg's music playing the background.  Talk about surreal.

Liebskind's addition to the Royal Ontario Museum.

There's a lot of construction in Toronto right now.  Canada didn't suffer as much as the U.S. in the recession, but that means that housing prices are a lot higher there than they are here.

The CN Tower.  You can pay $35 to go to the top, or you can buy an entree in the CN Tower's restaurant and see the view and exhibits included in the price of your lunch or dinner.  Lunch with a glass of wine at the CN will run you about  $45 or $50, but the food is fantastic and the view can't be beat.

Park near one of the marinas on Lake Ontario.

Flatiron-shaped building near the coast of Toronto (the city borders Lake Ontario).

Under the bridge of a small urban park at night.  I think this water was coming off of a cooling tower, but I couldn't quite tell.

Toronto's equivalent of Times Square.

Loft buildings on West Queen Street.  I saw some wonderful shops, but alas, very few queens.

Interior of Liebskind's museum addition.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Aw, thanks, y'all!

Thanks for all the kind wishes, y'all.  I just got back into town to see all the mad props from  my awesome tens of readers.  I'll catch you up more on the goings on at DA and how St. Ermahgerd is going later on this week--right now, I've got to get through my emails from being gone for a week.  Yeesh....