Random Saturday

these images are a few of the things that grabbed my attention yesterday Advertisements

At the movies – German Style

It’s a Friday afternoon when the urge to see something on a screen bigger than the smallish TV we have strikes. Lets say it’s … oh, 16:00 or thereabouts. This urge does not strike too often thank goodness, given the admission prices at most movie theaters and really good films/movies are few and far between. So I generally avoid the rubbish.

I check local theaters on-line and find something worth the price of admission, a French flick that I initially mistake as something German.

Paulette, French Film

Paulette, French Film

Ok, honest mistake I insist, even if the name Paulette does not have that Teutonic ‘Klang’ at all. Instead of reasonable start times that I am used to from the North American movie entertainment palaces, I find myself struggling with the odd menu offerings where this film is shown then but not later, or that one later and not earlier. And I find it a bit constricting in terms of an impromptu movie binge.

The constraints don’t stop there. Oh no, it gets better. In fact it is very organized this movie viewing thing. You see you just can’t just buy a ticket for a certain show and simply wander past the ticket taker and into the theater and pick whatever seat suits your fancy at the moment. No, you must choose a seat via screen at the time of ticket purchase. Meaning that you buy your specific seat. Perhaps that is so because most theaters around here are fit into existing buildings instead of the mega entertainment mecca’s that consume valuable acreage in or around most fair sized towns and cities elsewhere. It’s more discreet here. You can even pre order/reserve seats online or via phone if you so choose.

Ok, so we (I didn’t go alone) bought our tickets and selected our seats from the available slots onscreen and settled in for the pre-show. The place was nearly empty, not bad for a 200 seat room. Most of those taken were behind us and I was enjoying the leg and elbow room when to my right I spied a group of four studiously comparing the fine text on their tickets to seat row numbering and then narrowing in on the row we were seated in. “Come on” I thought … “this can’t be”. It was. They edged their collective way past us and much to my surprised dismay they sat down in the seats right next to my left elbow. “Damned” was my next thought.  Row upon empty row before us, and more empty seats further along this row. I had to smile because somehow that sense of German efficiency had calculated that someone would choose exactly those seats; and not be swayed to move a few seats over so as to give some ‘personal space’, even after it became apparent that no other movie gowers would occupy any other of the empty seats. I even chuckled, cause the guy who got to sit next to me never even once tried to rest his right elbow on the arm rest between us; I having laid claim to it by rights of having sat down first. Weirdness indeed.

The movie was worth the experience and we laughed at all the right places. Well enjoyed indeed. Check it out if you get a chance.

iphoneographythis© 2011©myronunrau

Canadiana 105

I have a favorite ‘park’. Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC (Canada) It is a pretty cool park as city parks go. Every city has a park, well most of them do. They come in all shapes and most sizes from mini to huge.

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Looking towards Stanley Park from Coal Harbor, Vancouver BC, with North Vancouver in background.

I fell in love with it as a young boy the first time I visited it, I thought it a most splendid place to build a house one day. That was before I knew that Stanley Park in the heart of Vancouver (maybe it is the heart of Vancovuer) was in fact a park, no building houses allowed; not even tree houses.

The 1,001 acres/404.9 hectares that make up this urban park is almost entirely surrounded by sea water and boasts a few ponds, a large lagoon and a swimming pool right next the ocean. It’s all pretty lush what with all the rain that pours down on these parts of the wet coast.

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Stanley Park and the Lions Gate bridge seen from Brockton Point Lighthouse

The place is criss crossed with 200kms (give or take a few) of trails and roads and not a few secret trails only the homeless know much about. Some people guess that it contains half a million trees and the whole thing is encompassed by the sea wall, a paved 8.8 kilometres (5.5 mi) path that is used by approx. 2.5 million pedestrians and cyclists year round. Throw in a hand full of die hard roller bladders for good measure.

A busy traffic artery known as the Stanley Park Causeway, bisects the park and connects the downtown core to the north shore and North Vancouver municipality via the Lions Gate suspension bridge .

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Lions Gate Bridge and Float Plane

Officially declared open and appointed the purpose as a park 124 years ago in 1888 by some guy called David Oppenheimer, it was named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada who had this to say when he actually saw the park – “I name thee, Stanley Park”. He was seen to throw his arms heavenward in an attempt to embrace the place while dedicating it to the use and enjoyment of peoples of all colors, creeds, and customs, for all time. Generous guy.

The park area is traditional territory of several different indigenous aboriginal tribes. Historically, the  Squamish had built a number of villages on the western and northern area, and in the southern area, the Musqueam used the area for collecting resources.

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Siwash (Slah-kay-ulsh) Rock, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

The popular landmark is “Slah-kay-ulsh” which means he is standing up. In their oral history, a man was transformed into this rock for his unselfishness by the three Transformer brothers

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Lifeguard rowboat and swimmer on Third Beach in Stanley Park, Vancouver

The park also has a few sandy beaches along its shore line and swimming is a popular warm weather option to those brave enough to brave the frigid pacific waters.

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Canada Geese in Pacific Ocean water

Wildlife in this park includes geese like those pictured above that poop everywhere, great blue herons, seagulls, bald eagles,  a burgeoning raccoon population, coyotes, skunks, possibly beavers, feral rabbits (decedent from house pets) and a thriving and at times inquisitive population of grey squirrels whose ancestry can be traced back to eight pairs from New Yorks Central Park.

iphoneographythis© 2011©myronunrau

Third Beach, Stanley Park, Vancouver BC, Canada

The park at one time housed a zoo and is home to the Vancouver Aquarium. Established in 1956, the aquarium is the largest in Canada and houses a wide collection of marine life including dolphins, belugas,sea lions, harbour seals and sea otters.

In December 2006 a fierce winter storm tore through the park with winds gusting up to 115km p/h and laid waste to an area near Prospect Point.  Approx. 60% of the western side of the park was damaged; and it is believed that 3,000 trees were negatively affected.

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Vancouver View from a Beach

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Vancouver, BC, Canada from Spanish Banks

A beautiful spring weather day on the left and usually wet coast of Canada.

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Freighters at anchor in English Bay, Vancouver, BC. The north shore mountains visible under spring cloud cover.

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View from Röteln Castle

looking towards the forested hillside