Topic “North Vancouver”

A Tour of the ROKS Yang Man Choon and Hwa Cheon

Yan Man Choon Bow ShotIt feels like lightning has struck twice in the same place. By same place I mean the Burrard Drydock Pier in North Vancouver, and by lightning I mean a visit by a foreign Navy from a different continent. Last weekend the Republic of Korea ships (ROKS) Yang Man Choon and Hwa Cheon visited North Vancouver and were open to public for four days. They're on a combined good will and training tour, visiting all the nations that fought on their side in the Korean war.

The ROKS Yang Man Choon, DDH 973, is a Korean built DDH-I (Gwanggaetodaewang) class destroyer. The ROKS Hwa Cheon, AOE 59, is a combat support and supply ship. The two ships were rafted together side-by-side, making it easy to miss the Hwa Cheon. The configuration made it easy to traverse from one ship to the other and the tour they laid out took advantage of this.

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North Vancouver Canada Day Costume Party 2010 (aka Parade)

Last year I wrote about North Vancouver Canada Day Parade, this year I marched in it! A collection of Metro Vancouver science fiction/fantasy fans once again marched in the parade, and when Spacepug offered me the use of a BSG Viper mechanic costume I decided to join them. Unfortunately, my "freshly" charged camera batteries weren't, so I don't have pictures of my own this year.

SciFi/Fantasy Fans at North Vancouver Canada Day Parade

Science Fiction/Fantasy Fans Group Shot
North Vancouver Canada Day Parade 2010

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A Tour of the RNZNS Te Kaha

RNZNS Te Kaha at Burrard Pier North VancouverThis week North Vancouver was face-to-face with Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa. Well, one of her frigates and a supply ship. The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) ships Te Kaha and Endeavour stopped over in North Vancouver after participating in the Royal Canadian Navy International Fleet Review held in Victoria, it was part of the Canadian Navy's centennial celebration. By the time I heard about the North Vancouver visit Endeavour had left, but I hadn't missed the one day Te Kaha would be open to the public. I managed to carve out some time to drop by and quickly take it in.

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North Vancouver Walking Trails

North Vancouver Guide to Great Walks and TrailsSo a number of weeks ago my friend Spacepug and I had just completed a writing session. We regularly meet at a local cafe to spur our writing on. On our way out of the cafe we encountered an overly enthusiastic-friendly-attractive-summer-student-athletic type from the local Recreation Commision handing out pamphlets. I almost turned it down, instinctual reaction, but fortunately I took a closer look before walking away. It turned out to be a guide, and much to my surprise, it looked useful!

The North Vancouver Guide to Great Walks & Trails is a collection of 20 walks in the City and the District of North Vancouver. The walks are set in a mix of urban green space, municipal parks, and GVRD parks, and divided into easy, moderate, and advanced categories. I recognize many of the trails as well known North Shore favourites. Some of urban walks look iffy, but I'll reserve final judgment till I've tried them first hand. Overall it looks like a good selection.

Thus, a summer project is born. By the end of the summer I will walk all of the trails in the guide and blog about them. It's clear from the structure of the guide this was the Rec Commission's plan, and I've fallen for it. So has Spacepug. Sometimes government plans fronted by attractive people are worth falling for.

Failure to Think Fast Enough in the First Degree

Yesterday morning I had a particularly bad case of post waking cognitive latency, which was partially cured when I opened my living room curtains and saw this:

Crime Scene Unit Van

In a classic race between the tortoise and the snail, two thoughts exploded off the starter blocks of my mind like a word spoken through a long yawn: 1) Crime scene investigation, wonder what happened? 2) Something isn't right here?

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North Vancouver Canada Day Parade 2009

Vancouver Sci-Fi FansIt's been a long time since I've watched a parade. A bunch of friends, under the banner of Vancouver Science Fiction Fans, donned costumes and entered this year's North Vancouver Canada Day parade. There's a lot of common membership among the different groups, so coming together for something like this is a natural. I believe it's the 3rd year the groups have done it. Since I wasn't motivated enough to make a costume of my own I thought it was past time to show up and cheer them on.

The Stargate fans made an actual Stargate! Very cool. Among the characters escorting the Stargate were Princess Leah, some Battlestar Galactica crew, Men in Black featuring Grga as Zed, and Rorschach (from Watchmen). North Vancouver's very own Spacepug, marching in the oh-so-glamorous orange BSG crew coveralls, inhaled some nasty paint fumes making a nice parade banner. Well done, everyone!

I couldn't believe how big the parade was, clocking in around 2 1/2 hours. I might be biased, but based on creativity and effort the Sci-Fi fans had one of the better entries. There were some local businesses that simply stuck a sign on a vehicle and drove. Boring. Other businesses were more innovative, like the North Shore News who sponsored cheerleaders, er, a spirit squad, and a few who used vintage or novelty cars.

My favourite entry — because of the great band memories it brought back — was the Freddy Fuddpucker marching band. They were having a ball, and the dude leading them could spin and toss his floor-mop baton like no one's business. I wanted to grab my trombone and join them! I also liked the floats with high energy music. Kudos to Mayors Richard Walton and Darrell Mussatto for riding bicycles in the parade while the Federal politicos used cars (though I'm told MP Andrew Saxton was actually walking behind his car). The other great costume of the day was the dude dressed up as Gene Simmon's Demon from KISS.

Here's the pictures I shot of the parade. Clicking on a thumbnail will bring up a full size picture.

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Moja Coffee

Moja Coffee LogoEven with Vancouver's thriving coffee culture it isn't always easy finding great coffee. A place serving coffee is never too far away, but quality isn't a given. This problem seems doubly bad with coffee beans. In my experience, buying beans from a coffee shop where I've enjoyed the coffee is no guarantee that the same coffee will taste as good at home. And if you live in North Vancouver, the places recommended by the coffee gurus mean some form of commute ... until now.

Enter Moja Coffee — We of the North Shore no longer have to cross Burrard Inlet for great coffee or great coffee beans!

Moja Coffee

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"Interesting" Ad Next to Athletics Store

Sometimes on my walks I'm very inward focused, other times I'm taking in what's around me. It was on one of these latter style walks I noticed the advertisement next to this athletics store:

Interesting ad next to athletics store

Is it just me, or does a sports medicine advertisement for knees and feet next to a store selling running shoes and holding running clinics seem on par with stomach pump ads at a restaurant? Inquiring minds wonder how much new business this brings in!

Farewell Inn Cogneato

It's the end of an era in North Vancouver's Upper Lonsdale area, and a very sad day for me personally. Inn Cogneato, one of my all-time favourite restaurants on the North Shore, has closed.

Inn Cogneato

Inn Cogneato Goodbye NoteI was a customer from the time it first opened and spent many a lazy Saturday or Sunday brunch enjoying good food and reading the current Wired Magazine. The menu was a kind of Iranian/North American fusion. Standard North American stuff with slight ingredient changes. They had the best bread! I think it was an Iranian flat bread (I've always called it "skate board" bread, if you've ever seen it you'll know why) made to rise.

As time went on the restaurant expanded, taking over the space next door. Wired Magazine was bought by Conde Nast and lost its soul so I moved on to other reading. I'm not sure if David was married before he opened Inn Cogneato but he certainly started his family while running it. When his son and daughter were born a prouder father you haven't seen. And along the way his wife, Salima, became involved with the "front of the house". You'd often see the kids playing in the back. In other words, it was a true neighbourhood restaurant where the owners and customers knew each other.

If Inn Cogneato had a problem, it was the portion sizes were large! Although I loved the place, I simply couldn't eat there as often as I liked if I wanted to fit into my pants! As it happened, I didn't make it in during their last few weeks and was caught completely by surprise that first week in August when I did head over for a BLT and discovered the note on the door saying farewell.

Best wishes David and Salima on your life post-Inn Cogneato. And thank you for all the wonderful food you served. You'll be missed.

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