I’ve been visiting my son, A, in Vancouver this week. Lovely temps. While Tucson’s high today is 106° with 15% humidity, Vancouver’s is 70° with 60% humidity, making the air soft. A few times this week we got precipitation, but it was more like mist, very cooling, than rain. And many days overcast, rather nice for a change.
A. had to work half a day Tuesday (he manages a molecular epigenetics lab at the University of British Columbia), so I stopped for photos of the new UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building. Designed by Saucier + Perrotte / HCMA (Hughes Condon Marler Architects), the project received a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence. A couple of my photos here. (The third one is a downshot through one of the three atriums.)
We watched a bit of the 27th annual Canadian Ultimate Frisbee Championships at UBC’s Thunderbird Park. (UBC is hosting over 1500 athletes from across Canada for the events.)
These events will not only determine the Canadian Champion at both Junior and Senior levels; the top 3 teams in the Open, Women’s, Mixed and Masters divisions, along with the winner of the Masters Women’s division, will win the opportunity to travel to the 2014 World Ultimate Club Championships in Lecco, Italy to represent Canada on the world stage.
Walking everywhere. My son has no car, rides his bike, walks, takes public transportation, and the lab a block from his apartment has a shuttle (free to him) to his lab at UBC. His theory is that the Mediterranean diet is not what keeps Mediterranean people fit, but all the walking they do, particularly up stairs and steep hills. Here a photo from the Net of Greece, the island of Santorini (wow, would I like to go there), and from google maps, one of the streets we took to get to False Creek. Notice the tread on the sidewalk.
Wednesday evening we had a marvelous dinner with excellent presentation, but pricey, at The Dockside Restaurant6, dining outside on the waterfront of False Creek. It started to mist. Waiters and waitresses started putting up large umbrellas, and ours asked if we wanted one. No, we were enjoying the cool. She said What Vancouverites! By the time we’d finished the meal, the mist had turned to a light rain so we finished our drinks inside, in the bar.
Then we saw Elizabeth Rex by Timothy Findley, a Canadian novelist and playwright. (I had gotten tickets online for Bard on the Beach, the summer program of plays in tents on the “beach”, which A. claims does not have to be sand, just next to water, contrary to dictionary definitions.)
“I require distraction,” declares Queen Elizabeth I, when she suddenly appears in a barn where Shakespeare and his acting company are lodged overnight. She’s quite serious: a former lover of hers, Robert Devereux,the Earl of Essex, is jailed in the Tower of London for treason and will die by her order at dawn.1
The play was great, but I really loved the bear.
Thursday we spent half a day making blackberry jam from the blackberries we’d picked on the University grounds on Tuesday and by the beach on Wednesday. The bummer is that I can’t take agricultural products into the US, so no jam for me.
But… a friend of my son’s has recently had twins; brought them back from the hospital two weeks ago. A. made fresh lasagne noodles (having gotten my mom’s pasta making kit when she died) for a vegetarian lasagne, and bread for garlic bread. We took that over with a jar of the jam to serve over ice cream for desert. I spent much of the time holding one twin or the other, depending on who was awake. My son commented later that I was pretty good with kids. I would hope so. With two of my own and three grandkids, I’ve had a bit of practice.
Friday night we saw a creative version of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.
This dark comedy of hypocrisy, sexual repression and the true nature of justice is backed by the boisterous horns of New Orleans circa 1900, a tribute to the time and birthplace of jazz.
Shakespeare’s verse with Cajun accents! Plus some very good jazz – the trumpet player was terrific and the honky-tonk piano player too. And some original bawdy songs that got a lot of laughs. Here are a few excerpts:
This guy doing the sand sculpture, Delayne Corbett, does stone sculpture and sand and snow and ice sculptures around the world! Imagine going to Japan to do an ice sculpture.2
This woman, Mehndi Nomadic, was painting with henna3.
The International Institute of Hand Analysis was founded by Richard Unger in 1985 to expand the role of hand analysis in the world.5
Live music, people dancing, hot dogs, beer, lemonade for the kids (there were lots of toddlers), a jumping castle, a small trampoline, a woman in a wheelchair with a cute little dog, panhandling (apparently a home for the homeless has recently opened up a few blocks), and the art booths surrounding a rug of fake lawn in the middle of the street. Met some of A’s friends, re-met others and parents, brother, uncle, you get the idea.
An enjoyable week with my son.