assignment: describe british columbia

British Columbia
British Columbia is a large Canadian province with varied topography. Rivers and mountains tattoo the surface of the region, providing for a diverse collection of wildlife and natural species. Most communities are concentrated along the lower coast, littering the US and Albertan borders, connected by highways and names as varied as their inhabitants (cities from Hope to Invermere).

Lake Ohara at Dusk, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

British Columbia is beautiful.

BC stadium 2008

BC: spooning with

the océan pacifique and

the united states of us.

(a haiku).

Notes from the SFU “On Broadway…” Design + Transportation Lecture

Broadway (the part near Cambie) has a lack of pedestrian features. There are no spaces to linger, the street is almost too large to cross, the cafés do not have street furniture… But West of Arbutus there are roughly 10,000 less cars and a much more pedestrian centered experience. Interesting…

Broadway goes across the entire length of the city, and despite adapting a pseudo-name, continues into Burnaby. It has, at times, an absence of street trees.

What makes a great street? Is it the buildings? The amount of Traffic?

How long is a street?

How wide is it? How large is the space between doorways?

Strøget Copenhagen, Denmark: there is a street which accommodates 16 people per meter, per minute.

The best streets are comfortable : )

Is there wind? Is there shade when it’s hot? Is there sun when it’s cool? Buildings and trees control these factors.

There are certain qualities that engage the eyes. Is the street nice to look at?

“I THINK PEDESTRAINS SHOULD HAVE REIN OVER ALL STREETS IN URBAN AREAS.” – Elizabeth Macdonald (and I couldn’t agree there)

Every road has a priority, be it cars, bikes, transit, or pedestrians.

Things to check out: NYC: Pavement to Parks Movement.

There is a proposal to add parking lanes and a centered pedestrian median to Broadway.

Elizabeth Macdonald: Professor of Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley.

Allan Jacobs: former Director of City Planning for San Francisco and author of Great Streets.

Where’s Waldo FLASHMOB

This Sunday I want to my second flashmob of the year. WHERE’S WALDO! It felt really good to be back doing silly things in public, especially since I missed the impromptu singing on public transit recently!

We went to a book store and entertained the workers who were SUPER CONFUSED! And just being there in general was pretty funny. In the food court I heard some boys saying “I just saw another one! There are so many!”. Made. My. Day.

I was emo waldo haha! “He’s missing, and it makes me feel so blue”. Overall it was really funny and interesting to be part of. My lack of red kind of reminded me when I played the Emo Kid in High School Musical back in grade 11. Good times. It was too bad we never found Waldo, but then I feel like searching for him is half the fun. Do you ever really, truly find Waldo? And if so… what’s next?

Check out these awesome photos of the event!

Reasons I Love Public Transit

Snowed-in bus

via kevinharding2

  1. You get to meet cool people.
  2. It is an opportunity for missed connections.
  3. When the bus is full and I have to stand I like to pretend I am surfing… or riding a magic carpet.
  4. When riding the 145 Bus down Burnaby Mountain I like to sit in the very back centre seat and pretend I am riding a horse.
  5. Some people smell really good.
  6. You get to overhear the funniest and most delightful conversations.
  7. You can run into people you know.
  8. You get to see the lower-mainland and the city from above via the Skytrain.
  9. You can stare at the good-looking strangers.
  10. You can use your time in transit to enjoy a good book, album or conversation via text message.
  11. It is an opportunity for adventure : D

Thank You World… and a bike ride!

The other day I recorded this while I was riding my bike home. Basically I am really happy and content with life right now. I’m so grateful for this wonderful planet! And i’m so lucky that I get to sit in my backyard blogging looking up at this:

Think of how many branches this tree has, and leaves… such abundance. And still it grows! Mind blowing.

Summer Camp

This past week was my first week working at SFU Summer Camps! It was so much fun and I learned so much from it! It was a little crazy (okay REALLY crazy) but definitely worth it. We did so much in such a a short time. The kids made computer games, 3D characters, commercials, a green screen music video (okay so my co-worker Lanz did most of the work on that one haha), and super hero identities (with costumes!). We had four guest speakers, three of which I had a hand in setting up. It was so nice to have so many interesting people I know come to be a part of camp, but more on that later.

I had to deal with a bunch of behaviour issues that I wasn’t really prepared for. It really enforced my view of rule #1: treat other as you want to be treated. In our leader guidebook it lists “withholding kindness” as a form of abuse which I found a bit funny but also true. I learned that conflict resolution has tree parts: saying sorry, actually feeling sorry and then acceptance and forgiveness from the offended party. All three are really important.

On Friday the AMAZING SuperForest Jackson of superforest.org came in to give a talk for the kids via Skype. From Hawaii to British Columbia, how amazing! I was SO EXCITED and I think it went very well. I had a ton of technical issues so Jackson was never able to see us in BC but he could hear us and answered a bunch of the kids questions. It was a big learning experience (on the technical and logistical side) but I think the kids liked it and the other leaders were very impressed. At the beginning he introduced himself and what he is doing at Zero One in Hawaii.

This is the last 17 minutes of SuperForest Jackson’s talk.

I’m so grateful for this wonderful job. My co-workers, the volunteer and all the kids were awesome and I’m so lucky to have such an interesting opportunity.

Love,

Jenni

The Grand BC Adventure Part V (Finale)

When I woke up on our final morning in Grand Forks I sat at the kitchen table in the basement where my Dad and I were staying. For quite some time I sat there silently, listening to the sounds which wafted down from the floor above. I think it would be a cool film, to witness a life unfolding only through sound. The highs and lows of an average morning. The dog running on the hardwood floor. The kids arguing. Parents going to work. The television. The shower. The skink runs.

Wow, I’m such a creeper.

Before we left I got to take a walk around town. I really wanted to visit the Charity Thrift Store. My Dad says it is the cheapest in BC. I expected to find old fabrics and history from the past 50 years but it is closed on Monday (which I suppose is the history and tradition I was seeking). The trip was very enjoyable and I learned so much but it was very different than I expected. I learned so much about my Dad and I’m glad I got to spend some time with him.

Things are not always as we expect, but expectations are made to be broken.

The Grand BC Adventure Part IV

Before we left Glade I made Steve and Randy take me to their backyard to see their massive compost operation and their backyard garden setup.

Steve compared making compost to baking a cake. His strategy is to put a layer of hay, a layer of grass clipping or leaves or yard waste and a layer of food waste (if I recall correctly). The hay helps to create heat which helps the food waste to break down. He also recommended peeing on your compost. Pee has nitrogen which speeds decomposition and helps to create heat. They keep a thermometer in the compost to see if it is getting hot enough.

They have several bins going and once the compost is done they move it around into a bin for compost which is ready to go into the garden. They also showed me some of their growing techniques.

These tomato plants grow upwards on the strings which guide them.

I love Steve and Randy, they are beautiful people living a beautiful life.

On the drive back a lightening storm started. It was so amazing to be surrounded by the awesome power of nature. We passed two mountain deer (slightly different than the “city deer” in Grand Forks hehe).

The Grand BC Adventure Part III

The next day of our trip I thought I was sleeping in but I actual woke up feeling pretty rested at 9:30. After lunch we set out to visit my Dad’s friends Steve and Randy. They live in Glade, which is about 90 minutes away from Grand Forks. We had to take a ferry over to get to it. They were so welcoming and very accommodating. When we first got there we didn’t see them and they didn’t answer the door so we walked around back and I saw this view…

SO AMAZING! I was like wow, I never want to leave! For dinner we made a salad with stuff from the backyard that I got to help pick, so amazing! We got to talking about this nearby town Nelson that has lots of vegan cafes and whatnot. Randy showed me this book about Nelson and it had this beautiful poem in it.

My Symphony

To live content with small means.

To seek elegance rather than luxury,

and refinement rather than fashion.

To be worthy not respectable,

and wealthy not rich.

To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,

act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,

and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,

do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.

In a word, to let the spiritual,

unbidden and unconscious,

grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.

– by William Ellery Channing

For dinner everyone else (Steve, Randy, their neighbor who stopped by and my Dad) had some fancy glazed salmon but I had grilled pepper/green onion (MMMM) with dal and the salad I helped make. After we ate they took us to the local waterfall. The waterfall is where they get their drinking water from in Glade (it is non-chlorinated and non-fluorinated. I miss it already)

It was so nice to walk and be surrounded by nature. They were asking me about the music I listen to and I told them about Jason Mraz. He’s reaching even remote parts of the world now! hehe.

They were also telling me about how they met my Dad and how they tried to start this community called “Harmony Farmstead Co-operative”. Basically several families bought a piece of land and were going to live on it but then they had disagreements and it fell apart. It reminded me a bit of what SuperForest Jackson is trying to do right now at Zero One, but I think Zero One will be a major success!