Last May, Rebecca and I finally made it over to Lighthouse Park on a cool, muggy day. It’s another one of those things that’s been on the list of places to visit after a few boat cruises by it and staring at it from the shore across the way from it.
The park is really pretty, but bring your hiking shoes for sure. As steep and narrow as some of the trails get, I still can’t figure out how, or yet alone why, some people got baby strollers over this terrain.
I’d barely recommend taking a stroller through Stanley Park, but it’s just the idea that some folks leave their front door not thinking about the fact that they are about to go to a park which sits at the base of a mountain.
Might this not seem like an unlikely place you’d want to bring a stroller?
I often enjoy riding shotgun while Rebecca drives. It gives me the opportunity to experiment with taking photos from the car, which usually doesn’t always turn out the best. Sometimes it’s blurry, the windows might be dirty, another passing vehicle can ruin the shot, and so on.
Rolling down Pacific Street with the sun setting off in the distance, this is a testament of not knowing how something will turn out until you try.
And I feel like this really is what summer in Vancouver is all about.
While many people will say that it rains a lot in this part of the world and they couldn’t live here because of that reason, you have to smile and nod. On those days that it’s not, this city is a vastly different experience. I don’t mind saving my energy to convince them otherwise.
The radio day job always gets me into places around Vancouver that I would probably not wander through if it weren’t for the opportunities that keep coming up, and Empire Field is no exception.
TEAM Radio is the official broadcaster of the BC Lions, so during our initial test setup for the first home game back in June, I brought my camera along to hopefully snap some photos of the field before the public got to wander in for a peek. What I didn’t anticipate was that while the first event to be held at this temporary stadium was just days away, workers were all over the place, still getting ready.
While BC Place[wiki] gets a new roof downtown, Empire Field[wiki] has been built on the former site of Empire Stadium[wiki], which used to be the home of the BC Lions Canadian Football League team prior to moving into the dome in the early 80’s.
The crazy aspect to this stadium is that it’s completely temporary, but I find that hard to tell at times.
Aside from the field turf and the four sets of lights at each corner of the stadium, all of this will be gone by the summer of 2011. The BC Lions get one full season to call this place temporarily home, and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC will start their inaugural MLS season on the same field.
In all actuality, I’m not an overly huge football fan. I like to watch it, but I don’t actively seek it out. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the sport by any means. I’ve certainly let the CFL grow on me, even though punting the ball on 3rd down continues to throw me off from time to time.
What can I say? I grew up in small town America where Friday nights belong to high school football, Saturday’s are for college ball(Go Hawks!), and Sunday was NFL. Four downs(CFL has three), the flags are yellow(CFL flags are orange), and the only time you can score a single point is kicking the ball through the uprights after a touchdown(I’m still confused by all the various ways you can score a single point in the CFL, but oh well).
It’s really tough to comprehend that this stadium will only exist for barely over a year. With the mountains as a gorgeous backdrop and the close proximity of the fans to the field, this isn’t just a great place to watch football or soccer. I could see this being a great outdoor concert venue as well.
Whatever happens to this place in the future, it’s a little rewarding to be involved in a tiny piece of Vancouver’s history. Just like people talk about Expo ’86 or when the Olympics were here, I can say I was there, running around the field, ducking into the double-wide trailers that make up the locker rooms, and hauled plenty of equipment up and down stairs to make the radio side of things happen.
Interestingly enough, my photos have made the rounds on a handful of sites promoting the environmental sustainability aspect of the stadium, most noticeably the recycled tires that makes up the field turf.
Inhabitat used my photos to highlight the use of “22,000 recycled tires, amounting to 346,000 pounds of crumb rubber,” in the field turf that makes up the playing surface of Empire Field. While that’s pretty cool in itself, the playing field can actually be altered in terms of response by either vacuuming up those tiny bits of rubber or adding more to change the amount of bounce you get from the field.
They found my photos on Flickr and published them in a post with proper attribution. That’s social networking done right.
I was contacted directly about using my photos in this post, and that request was in English. As you can tell by the title of this post, all of this site is in Italian. Ecopnues is an Italian website that focuses on the use of recycled tires, taking a cue from the previous post I’ve already highlighted.
What fascinates me is the theme of sustainability being immensely popular around the world. Empire Field certainly has its critics, but in the bigger picture, the long term benefits to the communities around this area is viewed positively by many.
Empire Field is a limited time experience and well worth it. If you go and are the adventurous type, get some seats in the end zones. Space was so limited in the construction of this stadium that they couldn’t put nets up to prevent balls from going into the stands.
How’s that for a souvenir? Well, that is if you’re willing to work for it.
Honestly, sometimes this city makes it easy to take beautiful photos of it. But in this case, this shot is more of an accident because I was only demonstrating the extra trigger I have on the battery grip for my Nikon D90. I held it to the side and just pushed the button.
Some photos, at least for me and are to my personal liking, are pure luck. Other times, it might be random. When you hit the sweet spot between the two, it’s immensely rewarding.
I literally had my camera in my right hand but at hip level when I looked down this alley as I walked past and decided to hit the trigger for kicks and giggles. For the first time in a long time, I actually hit a decent perspective of a downtown alleyway in Vancouver, give or take what some locals might consider “typical”.
Spotted this on my way home the other day. Richmond, B.C. has a seasonal night market for a while now, so this is a neat addition for Vancouver. A lot of people that I’ve discussed this with say that Chinatown is back on the map as an up and coming area in the city. Locals might debate that, but it’s always a fun place to visit, if not just for some spicy pork buns.
I wandered down to the cauldron after work the other day to snap some pictures of the flame while it burns for the remainder of the 2010 Paralympics. I’m ashamed at my lack of coverage of this portion of the games, but there is simply not enough time to get out to everything that I’d like to with the day job taking up much of my weekdays.
True North Media House, on the other hand, has been going strong this entire time. There has been a great representation of social media generated content during the Paralympics, probably giving more timely and accesible coverage to these events than what the official broadcast rights holders are producing.
At least what I know is that if I want to know how the sledge hockey games are going, all I have to do is tune into Twitter for score updates. Shortly after that, you can expect to see photos on Flickr with the tnmh tag.
That being said, seeing the flame burning in the light of the setting sun, I thought I’d go back through all of my own pictures and highlight some of my favorite shots. Continue reading “Vancouver 2010: Rewind”
It already seems like the last day of the Olympics were months ago, and it barely seems like the greatest hockey game that I have ever seen yet alone been in such close proximity to. This was probably one of the single, biggest days in this country’s history, and I was in the midst of it all.
And truth be told, I took the photo of this sign the day before this day. It really should have been a sign of what was about to come.
Many people probably know about how the USA had a hockey game with Canada for the gold medal. If not, read this.
What many people in the U.S. probably don’t understand is that this game isn’t a matter of bragging rights. While that can and most likely will happen, it goes beyond that. This game was the cherry on top of the Canadian pride that has come out of hiding and been embraced like I’ve never seen before.
If you’ve noticed a media badge hanging around my neck in various photos during the games, the BC International Media Centre is what one of those things allows me access to. This is where the non-accredited media hang out because we can’t get the officially recognized Olympics accreditation that is controlled by VANOC.
As lacking as that might sound in terms of media access, the BCIMC was a remarkable place to work out of. Aside from the responsibilities I’ve had with the radio stations, I’m also able to plug in my laptop, process photos, and upload a lot of content on their wickedly fast internet pipe.
It is really hard to imagine what Vancouver is going to be like when everything is said and done. Canadians are so proud to be who they are, and I really hope everyone in this country maintains that sense of pride in some sort of way. In my lifetime, it’s only been times of crisis or war that I’ve seen a country come together the same way these Olympics has. It’s simply amazing. Continue reading “Vancouver 2010: Day 14 – Pin traders and our wedding anniversary”