Hello 2016 – it started out with color and with black and white!
After some baileys and coffee and hot chocolate and deep conversations about meaning of life — no mainly just trying to understand the methods of the fairer sex, we had gone out for a walk with my friend Nick through downtown snapping photos of people and sights.
The city was muted, by the time the sun had set the polar bear swimmers (the annual event where people run into the ocean at english bay) were tired and heading home, couples walked in the fog which was starting to seep into the waterfront parts of the city.
Cab drivers were out, not sitting inside their cars, but they were out standing by their vehicles and spoke in quiet tones – almost in awe at the silence which was now enveloping the city.
Here are some of the photos from the first photo walk through the cold and moist streets of Vancouver (no there was no snow this year in the city) .
Perhaps this deserves to have its own gallery.. we will see!
This summer I had gone down to Silicon Valley (silicone or silicon?) and had a fantastic time including a trip down through SF and the ocean front areas. On the way back we had stopped in at the Windfarms just east of SF and took some shots. From fishing in the ocean, to pelicans, and horses to massive wind farms here are some of the photos from that trip.
What is the future of retail, with discounters, online stores and mega chains?
The thought around this blog came from visiting an open mall near the massive IKEA in Richmond BC (recently upgraded from a normal sized a 130,000 square feet location) – across Bridgeport road is the other “mall” which contains Staples, Home Depot and the once proud flagship of technology sales Future Shop.
Now the once busy store stands empty, signs on the front doors advising the location is closed until further notice and there are other stores to serve you. There were once large proud red letters spelling FUTURESHOP above the entrance, these have been removed, but almost as a scoff at its demise – behind the letters the paint remains, weathered by years but not faded out and in stark contrast to once red, now in blue spelling FUTURESHOP.
If you are not a Canadian you don’t know, but its not Futureshop which is there now the long going merger of Futureshop and Best Buy (a US electronics retailer) has concluded with Best Buy buying out all of the Futureshop locations, shutting some down, re-branding others.
But lets rewind back to 1982, the year of some amazing events – including the establishment of the first Futureshop, which later grew to be a prominent Canadian electronics retail chain.
By 1990 it had grown to be the largest retailer of electronics, consumer electronics and computers in Canada. With its peak in 2013, Futureshop had 139 stores across all of the great white north.
Although, there were 139 Futureshop stores in 2013 Best Buy was already in the northern realm of Canada – having quietly bought Futureshop in 2001 and at that time started opening its own Best Buy stores – as this was occurring you could see an eventual merger coming. Especially after 2003/04 when Best Buy and Futureshop nearly mirrored prices and stock, as well as the only different in the advertisement flyers were the logo, colors, and fonts.
One would stay, and it was going to be the bigger name. Best Buy.
This indeed happened in March 2015, with all of the Futureshop stores shuttered and closed overnight, some to remain so forever others to be re-opened as re-branded Best Buy Stores.
Is this something to cry or be upset about, its business and Best Buy just like Futureshop has to survive against Amazons and online retailers of the internet.
What is the Future of retail? Sun has set on Futureshop but I hope retail adjusts and survives and shows that somethings are just not worth buying online. People think these days about killer apps, customer service is the killer app of sales and business, I hope that its not something forgotten and lost and replaced with tapping buttons on your phone and then writing angry reviews that what you had bought was too big, too small, wrong material or completely wrong – when you can just go and see and feel it in a real store and ask questions.
But is it that convenient?
ILLUMINATED? Well on Fire more like it.
Wanted to share this picture and the story #Vancouver BC, and the Lions Gate Bridge (in the background) is in a haze. Smoke from forest fires burning around British Columbia filled the coastal areas. Heroes, the firefighters, volunteers and tree fellers, are fighting the blazes around the province (and world wide) protecting and saving lives, homes, and keeping us safe – this has been one of the driest seasons on record and thus far over 800 fires have sprung up around the province.
More information on being fire safe can be found on the BC Wildfire service: http://bcwildfire.ca/index.htm
The shot was done with my #Nikkor #18-200VR my trusty #D300s on a tripod at ISO 500. I grabbed my mobile phone and tried to stand as still as possible.
Here are a few more shots from that night
Downtown Vancouver, while everyone was happily getting ready to watch Game of Thrones there was a shoot happening. Cobalt Crew and thats all that I could find out, no one would say what the shoot was about. It was on Pender and Thurlow with lots of CA Police and News.
I got two shots off before the staff sternly warned me off. Looks like a zombie apocalypse Fear the Walking Dead.
Couple of Pics Here:
See more here.
Ran into the VPD Traffic Enforcement Unit down on Denman and Georgia this Saturday in Vancouver … with the motorcycles lined up and shining in the weekend sun I was able to snap some photos.
The great battle of mid day sun and its shadows vs … well a camera. 🙂
Here are some of those. With logo and without.
During a bike ride last night, while the city of Vancouver was watching the Canucks in their face off with the Calgary rivals I had witnessed an outright dangerous moment in the life of the Seawall which surrounds Stanley Park. The composition of the hill side between Lions Gate and Siwash Rock is composed of a sheer plantless stone like wall.
What first looked like a vertical crack in the 70 foot hillside a few days ago broke off in a single flat sheet and came crashing down on the seawall below. No one was injured. It landed covering a portion of the bike path.
The Parks Board rangers have also been monitoring this area for failure – and in advance ,around the potential fail point cones were em-placed.
While I stood there taking pictures with my pocket camera and filming two Park Rangers (D and A) arrived. Two vehicles, cones and basic clean up equipment, the Vancouver Parks Board Staff were here to address and cordon off the fault area. As well as to clean things up.
Well done Parks Board Rangers, now the only thing which remains is review of the hillside and decide what to do with the giant trees looming right above the failed piece of the seawall hillside.
Hastings and Seymour corner has the Grant Thornton Place which features a dome-covered open-air plaza at the northwest corner of Hastings and Seymour streets. Which has a very neat acoustic property which allows this musician who I snapped with a 50mm on my D300s while he was jamming. A single speaker on a strap with a battery and his guitar and the dome is filled with sound.