Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Montreal vs. Vancouver vs. Oslo

Here's a hilarious comparison between life in Montreal, Vancouver, and Oslo. I can vouch for his accuracy of Montreal and Vancouver, and though I've never been to Oslo, I can't imagine it's that far off.

Radiohead does Vancouver

Back in August of 2003, REM and Radiohead headlined one show each at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium on consecutive nights.

REM had played the first night with Wilco and the Dandy Warhols opening. REM had just completed recording an album in Vancouver at the time, so they had a particular fondness for the city. Michael Stipe would dedicate each song out to different neighbourhoods. "And this goes out to the people of the Opus Hotel. This song goes out to North Vancouver. This song goes out to Burnaby. This song is for that newly wed couple I met earlier tonight." And they'd go right into Nightswimming. And so on. But what really surprised the audience was when Thom Yorke hopped on stage during REM's encore and to share vocals on It's The End of the World As We Know It.

The following night Stephen Malkmus and the Jigs opened for Radiohead. Radiohead had just released Hail To The Thief, and everyone was in such a frenzy for the band, the entire show had this intense energy. But it wasn't just the band, it was the atmosphere as well. Thunderbird Stadium on a clear, warm, August night can't be beat. Here we were - a venue in the trees with a pink sunset. And as if on cue, a flock of Canada geese flew over the stage right behind Radiohead, much to the audience's delight. All the while Mars - the closest it would be to Earth in our lifetime - shone as a beautiful red beacon in the sky. And to cap it off, Michael Stipe joined the band on stage during Radiohead's encore to share vocals on Karma Police. So you can imagine, it was one of those epically magical moments.

So while I didn't find any Youtube video of the magic Radiohead and REM shows, I did find this, which I actually find more entertaining! It's Radiohead doing Vancouver as your typical tourists - visiting English Bay, taking the gondola up to Grouse, lounging in the Museum of Anthropology, etc. It may not be magical, but I find it amusing (in a music geek kind of way).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What's the weather like in Vancouver right now?

I know I must seem completely obsessive about weather, but it's a Canadian trait I can't seem to shake. And when you work on the phone with Americans each day and they hear you're from Canada, it's almost always the first thing they ask about. "Oh, wow, Canada! What's the weather like there right now? By the way, I've been to Niagara Falls. What a great country you have there. Clean cities. Friendly people."

But when people discover you're in Vancouver - whether they're American, Canadian, or otherwise - if they know anything about the city at all, all they know is that it always rains in Vancouver.

Evidently, this is not always the case.

But as we move further into the year away from March, the rainfall plummets and we get (surprise, surprise), days, if not weeks of sunshine from May until October. I know "weeks of sunshine" must sound funny for people in sunny climates, but so many people actually believe that "it always rains in Vancouver" when this is not the case at all.

We've been having a hot spell in Vancouver with almost humid-like conditions. We've been having weeks of sunshine that they're starting to implement fire bans in the parks as to prevent forest fires. If this situation continues, we're surely going to be in for an early drought season.

So for those wondering "what's the weather going to be like in Vancouver?" evidently, the day to day weather patterns truly vary, so there's no real way to know. Advanced weather forecasts aren't to be trusted. Best guesses are all that we can offer.

Saying that, a quick Google search for "Vancouver weather" brings you the current temperature with the week's forecast, and it's usually accurate. Of course, a visit to Environment Canada is even better.

But if you really want to know what the weather is *right now* real time, I always like to recommend KatKam.

And for those who truly believe it always rains in Vancouver, from a sweltering, sunny, hot and almost-humid Vancouver, I say "nyah nyah". ;)

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Before I start dancing around and singing songs by The Cure, what a few weeks we've been having! Temperatures have been in the mid-high 20's Celsius (70's to 80's Fahrenheit) for the past few weeks now making the cold and dreary winter a distant memory. Summer is indeed upon Vancouver. Californians need not feel homesick. Rest assured, I have not forgotten about my blog, I've just been outside soaking it all in.

More updates to follow!