Monday, July 16, 2012

Our World Tuesday: Week 47

First, a huge "thank you" to those who expressed opinions about a "Together" picture for my photo-club entry.  It came down to these two photos, but in the end, the ducks won.  
A comment by Jean  gave me the idea of cropping the duck shot to take out the blurred green area on the left.  Thank you, Jean!  I think it looks much better now, and although you chose the busker shot, I feel you will be pleased with this result.  I admit to wishing I could submit both, but am happy to go with a majority rules decision.
On Tuesday, it was fun to get this close-up of one of the Bald Eagle chicks at Vanier Park.
This camouflaged female Redwing Blackbird was near Granville Island.
On Wednesday, Black Jack and I walked over the Granville Bridge.  I've been hearing a distinct raven call for over a year, but this was my first opportunity to get a photo of the bird.  It was sitting on some scaffolding over a building far enough from the bridge that even with my big lens, this fuzzy shot had to be greatly cropped.
At least I can now reassure myself that I wasn't imagining a raven's existence (and most likely, a raven family) somewhere by the bridge.  Although the bird was huge, it seemed to be scruffy, and I'm wondering if it may be a juvenile.
On Thursday, we walked by Rogers Arena, and though we have gone by that spot hundreds of times, it was the first time that I noticed this sculpture of Roger Neilson.  I shot the photo from across a wide street and between passing cars, but another cropping job revealed Neilson's identity.  When I googled his name, I was struck by the ups and downs in his career and life.  He was head coach for seven different NHL teams, and for 2 games in Ottawa (solely for the purpose of bringing his total to 1000 games coached).  He was fired, suspended, and rehired several times and generally seemed to be involved in many turbulent situations.  He finally died after a lengthy fight with Cancer.  I wonder about the decision to erect a statue of him.  Who selects the people and what are the criteria for these choices?  I can see that Mr. Neilson was a very colourful personality who contributed a lot to the sport of hockey.  On the other hand, he took advantage of loopholes in the rules to win some games, and it took the hockey league a bit of time to catch on to his strategy and to change the regulations.  Although he was not officially breaking any rules, I do wonder about the true qualities of sportsmanship.  Perhaps, his colourful personality made that okay.  Perhaps, in these days of zero tolerance for playing outside the box, someone like Neilson is a loss to the entertainment world.  What do you think? 
Later, as I walked up Hamilton Street, I noticed what I thought was a new mural on the wall of the CBC building.  Google again helped me out and I learned that the mural was put up in June, and represents a 1957 television drama called, "A Room at the Roxy." I love this photograph, taken by CBC staff photographer, Alvin Armstrong.  It does trigger more curiosity, though.  Do the same people who approve statues also approve murals?  
That evening, a flower leaning on a tree by False Creek seemed particularly lovely.
On Friday, Bill, Black Jack and I headed to Gastown to see some buskers.  The sculpture is of Gassy Jack, a colourful Vancouver character.  
Behind Gassy Jack is a famous boot store called The Ok Boot Corral.  As famous as it is, I have never been in it, but apparently, it is the place to buy top quality western-style boots.  Above the store appear to be apartments, and on that hot day, with the noise of the crowds and buskers, I imagined the room where the man was looking out to be stifling.  I hope he is a person who enjoys a bustling atmosphere.
That corner plays host to well-off tourists, poor and destitute homeless, and just about every segment of society in between.  I stood for a few moments and took in the atmosphere.  
One could people-watch there for a very long time..
and never become bored.
It was the final weekend of the international busker festival, and I was especially interested to see Basketball Jones.  You can see a video of him juggling 5 basketballs at this link.
Unlike some of the other buskers, Basketball Jones is not a hugely outgoing personality.  His skills make up for that, and I found him to be most entertaining.
He had a dry and rather quiet sense of humour that I really enjoyed a lot.
He chose two adults and one young boy as audience volunteers.  As you can see, the young boy was thrilled to be selected. 
Basketball Jones told him that if he could hold those balls for five minutes, he would earn $5.  I could see that the boy was determined to keep up his part of the act.
Meanwhile, Basketball Jones was busy getting on his very tall unicycle.  
"No photos please. Not at this angle!"
Now, the boy (who had done a great job of holding the balls) had to throw them one by one up to Basketball Jones.  Again, a great job!
The joke, after all that work, was to collect his $5.  I think that boy has a future in entertainment.  He seemed to know the $5 was not in doubt, but he gestured, 
jumped up and down, 
and did a great job of making the audience laugh before Basketball Jones finally threw him his payment.
Now, Basketball Jones was ready to play ball.  His plan was to throw his three balls..  
into a large hoop held by the two adult volunteers.  Here, two balls have made it to their target and the third is on its way.  Perfect shots!  Excellent show!  
Bill and I enjoyed some excellent food at a cafe around the corner before returning to see this next act by the LOL brothers from Quebec.  They were amazing!  You can see a video of them if you check out this link.
Their energy was unbelievable!  They didn't just show their skills, but they moved around..
 the circle of people at breakneck speed while doing so.     
Some of their tricks looked..
quite dangerous.
The hoop was my favourite trick.  (You can see it at the above link.)
Look ma, no feet!
and, upside down too!
I know, too many pictures, but I loved this act!
Bill says he is going to buy me a hoop :)
Okay, last one of the hoop.
Getting ready for the final..
handstand.  Thanks, LOL!  You sure gave us a show to remember!
We saw one more group before calling it an evening.  This one was a musical trio called Sons of Granville.
singable melodies,
lively beat (check out the drummer's unique equipment),
and more passion!
The guitarist danced as he played some very complex runs.  Not so easy! 
It seemed to me that the violinist held nothing back.  I think he must be completely exhausted after a set.
Black Jack found this handsome guy standing on a street corner and so our busker evening ended with a very enjoyable walk and lots of sky shots (to be posted on Friday).
On Saturday, we caught the last performance of a festival called "Dancing on the Edge."  
Karissa Barry (photo below by Dave Dutton) danced with partner, Alex Tam.  They used the deck and courtyard behind Firehall Theatre for a work choreographed by Karissa and titled "3 places..."   Not only was this FREE (!) but they let us bring Black Jack as well.  It was an innovative and fascinating performance and I felt very fortunate to have seen Karissa and Alex.  I will be watching for future performances from each of them.
Photo by Dave Dutton
We walked around the Firehall Theatre before the performance and I took pictures of the beautiful pebble mosaic in the sidewalk.  You can read about that mosaic here.
We found two murals..
that we had never seen before, 
and a skull and windmill in someone's window. 
We walked down to the waterfront, where I marvelled at the show-up-everywhere-in-the-city cranes.
I find it hard to resist sidewalk art, and Vancouver has a great selection to keep me happy.
On Sunday afternoon, we went looking for one busker at Canada Place, and although we didn't find him, we came across this very funny fellow in a tutu.  Well, he wasn't in a tutu at first.  Actually, he was wrapped in chains.  His name is Joel and his combination of magic, comedy and contortion made him quite a hit.   
Two cruise ships were in dock, and it was fun to dream a bit, although Bill does not rave about his only trip on one.
Some maintenance work was being done on the windows.
but this forklift was the most interesting for Bill.  It stretched out such a long way! 
I zoomed in to get a better look at the controls and operators.
For some reason, as we walked home later, I became obsessed with the traffic lights for cyclists.
Don't you think they're neat?
I love Vancouver's bike lanes and really appreciate the effort that has been made to make this a bike-friendly city.
Last one.
Bill noticed this dream catcher hanging on a hedge in front of my apartment building.  He helped to display it for my camera. (Thanks, Bill!)
Later that evening, 
I took some flowers shots near David Lam Park..
before calling it a day.
Thank you for taking time to look at the pictures and share in the events of a very good week.  For more happenings around the world, don't forget to check out Our World Tuesday.  


  1. Wow! it's amazing what one can see on an evening's walk. I went out tonight around my neighbourhood in the 'burbs and captured a lot of shots of flowers and a few garden gates. They'll probably end up on my blog for ABC Wednesday at some time or other. I loved all your photos and the buskers. I had no idea all that went on downtown. I guess I've been a suburbanite for so long I never think about what goes on there. I just go downtown to shop sometimes at the Bay. I must venture further in one of these days.

  2. What a vivid and animated view of your world, Carol! All the buskers look so full of talent and zest for perfecting their skills. The photos of the man performing in the large ring blew me away. There were so many interesting dynamics going on there with one of the biggest hula hoops I’ve ever seen! Also, like those cute bike lights. So helpful to the many cyclists in the Vancouver area. :)

  3. Amazing collection of photos. Love the cute ducks and all the street performers. Wonderful city street scenes, thanks for sharing. Have a great day.

  4. Brilliant set of images but the ducks is fabulous shot. I love that image.


  5. Love the busker series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  6. Amazing collection of images from your world! I love your street photos!

  7. A nice set of images from an extremely energetic city.

  8. Wow Carol, I don't know if I could sleep after a day like this one! You have quite a talent to capture these things!!

  9. The buskers festival has such a diverse range of entertainers, amazing. Glad the ducks won out, they were my favortes.

  10. Hi there - this is such a good post. Some of the things that these circus skill / busker types manage to pull off are eye popping!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia