The Moon arose after the sunset in red in full, and through an eclipse.
– Orion T
By the Paramount theater in downtown Seattle, later night.
It’s quiet for a Friday.
– Orion T
Last weekend, I decided to take a trip north past the Washington U.S. border, and visit Vancouver, British Columbia (and Canada) for the first time. The reason being, to satisfy my long-time curiosity on what that big city is like. I have heard much from passing travelers through the PNW on that city beyond the border.
By much, I only heard it was. Much on the high rises, nightlife, booze, hockey cheering, food variety, expensive living and real estate. But having visited Vancouver, I have to say it was all so much more than such simple opinions.
Vancouver is a grand city, that went beyond my expectations. The central area is not enough to explore on a mere weekend. So, I took my time and savored select things and spent time with some friends for a lunch and dinner. For the remainder time, I kept to myself and walked around.
By the end, I can not close or sum up on how wonderful I think the Vancouver central area is. This must be done through repeat visits, and excessive time spent. But for now, I share my pictures and notes below of select moments in my first (of many) Vancouver visit to come.
The first large notable structures I noticed while walking towards downtown.. The Science World Center. If I had the time, I would have went inside and checked this out, as I like big science center things. Also, the big stadium in the back looks fantastic under the bright blue sky. Science and sports, so far so good.
I noticed many fantastic creative works of art spread about around the long walking paths along the False Creek inlet. On my next visit, I will focus on some particular works and uncover some detailed info on them.
Enter the city, after a long walk around and across a bridge. Sorry for the lopsided picture. I was too over-excited and forgot to change the lens and settings.
My first destination was Granville street, and lunch with an old friend. It’s a great row for shopping and browsing through random shops, as I went through many.
An awesome favorite place I went, the Rock Shop. It’s a fantastic store for various old and new pop-culture related apparel and novelty items. I bought an awesome Hulk (classic Marvel look) cup from there.
Inside The Factory, on Granville. A small little bar where each food item on the menu is $4.95 (Canadian dollar). I noticed other places with a similar structure. I really liked that idea, and wish more places would try that. As for this place, I liked the service and the food (had a quesadilla plate with dipping sauces).
The front display of Golden Age Collectibles on Granville street, a highly recommended comic book and collectible store for those into that.
Later on, I relaxed at the Vancouver Central Library Branch, while giving my phone a much needed charge. Love the architecture here..
I was quite thrilled to find the Movieland Video Arcade on Granville street. It seemed refashioned after an adult X-rated spot. What seemed odd, was the place being still for 18 years or older. All I really noticed was this selection of game machines, many of which i enjoyed when I was a kid hanging out at old video arcades.
The Holy Rosary Cathedral. It’s an awesome building, where I think a wedding reception took place at the time of my passing by.
The Harbour Centre Building is the closest Vancouver has to Seattle’s Space Needle. It looks grand from afar. From up close, not so much. I think I am too used to seeing the Seattle one.
Here is a place for all book lovers to visit in central Vancouver, Macleod’s Books. This is an amazing used bookstore, where much buried treasure is likely under the overflow stacks throughout. I took out some interesting reference books and paperbacks. I have much to say and share on this store, which I will save for a future posting.
At the end of the day before dinner with another friend, at Crab Park..
Later in the night, I tried some poutine; a popular dish to Canadian folk containing fries, cheese curds, and gravy. It was good.
One last picture, before some boozing with a new friend I met earlier.
Overall, a great trip and not nearly as expensive as I thought (considering the exchange rate between the US and Canadian dollar). The weather started sunny, ended run on my departure the next day. Next time, I plan to explore the city and surrounding areas much more, as I live about four hours driving distance away.
– Orion T
Earlier today by the Seattle Space Needle, a cluster of motorbikes stopped by.
I had no idea of their arrival, as I wanted to simply cross the street. Suddenly..countless Kawasakis, Susukis, and other colorful sportbikes covered the way and stopped at the red light. Quick cheers were exchanged, tourists gawked, and I got a few pics. Engines revved up, giving off much smoke and loud noise. After a few minutes, the light for them turned green.
Then, all were gone.
– Orion T
Broken down, leaving memories behind.
These ruins are what’s left of the old Greyhound Central Bus Terminal in Downtown Seattle. The terminal first opened in 1928, and underwent many renovations and changes since. Here are some pictures. Click here, for some history and pictures of the former station.
In its place will be a new fancy hotel, towering as Seattle’s highest for those rich folk seeking a temporary stay in the Downtown. Meanwhile, the Greyhound bus service has a new location for Seattle, in the south SoDo region close to the Century location. New memories will build from both, bringing more layers to the ever-changing history of this great city.
– Orion T
Coming home after a long pointless walk, I noticed a large circular phenomenon in the sky..
I think it’s an ice halo. I hear these occasionally happen around here in the Pacific Northwest, then dissipate quickly. I wasted no time, and took this shot with my tablet thing. I tried to get to the waterfront for a better, more open shot. But soon, it was gone (about 15 min later).
Here’s a bit more from Wikipedia on ice halos, because Im not going to pretend I really know this stuff..
“Among the most well known halos is the 22° halo, often just called “halo”, which appears as a large ring around the Sun or Moon with a radius of about 22° (roughly the width of an outstretched hand at arm’s length). The ice crystals that cause the 22° halo are oriented semi-randomly in the atmosphere, in contrast to the horizontal orientation required for some other halos such as sun dogs and light pillars. As a result of the optical properties of the ice crystals involved, no light is reflected towards the inside of the ring, leaving the sky noticeably darker than the sky around it, and giving it the impression of a “hole in the sky”. The 22° halo is not to be confused with the corona, which is a different optical phenomenon caused by water droplets rather than ice crystals, and which has the appearance of a multicolored disk rather than a ring.”
– Orion T
Last weekend, I played around at the PAX Prime convention..
There, a gathering of gamer geeks mingled with developers, creators and producers of digital interactive and physical tabletop games. The PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) Prime show remains the main one of its kind since 2004, as the event now branched more shows throughout the US and Australia. Still, the PAX Prime show remains popular here in downtown Seattle.
I took many pictures and notes of the three (out of four) days spent there. I have them featured on another site (strangerworlds.com) of which I contribute occasional entries on indie geek-culture. Here are some pictures below, with different notes. If you are further interested and would like more of my PAX coverage, click here for Part 1, and here for Part 2.
Typical activity on the showroom floor. Just imagine loud booming sounds and the occasional gameplay mic commentary.
Typical board game fun spread around the show. There is much to appreciate over a fully-developed game after a lengthy long to set-up.
The largest and strangest of displays…promoting Magic:the Gathering, a game more addictive than crack (not that I tried and compared crack..I’m just assuming based on my long past MTG obsession).
Über had a cool gimmick, where you may catch a ride in post-apocalyptic vehicles promoting the upcoming Mad Max game.
Perhaps the most infamous of promotions at this PAX, for the hilariously adult card game, Cards Against Humanity. Stand in line for a lengthy time for exclusive cards placed inside terrible tasting Popsicles. And for a set, you must get all three.
The walkway through an empty hall to get to that truck and kind-of hidden parts of the show. Worthwhile for the Exploding Kittens game signed by the creators, sold within.
Classy gals got game!
A giant Pikachu balloon reminds us that Pokemon will never die
One of many colorful booths pimping out the expensive tech for rich nerds out there.
One of many big screens for those who enjoy watching games in big screens..
Got medical insurance?
Vault Boy from the Fallout game franchise gave this show a thumbs up!
So close, yet far away in distant lands..
After an hour wait, me finally trying out the Oculus VR system for my first time. That was a very interesting experience, for my love of science fiction and where this may take us humans decades from now..and that’s not just in playing fancy video games..
That’s all for here. I will likely be back for next year, and looking forward until then.