Tag Archives: Snapshots

Barcelona Travel Tips for tokers and foodies

Some amigos are Barcelona-bound and since i’ve been to this fine city, i’ve assembled a few travel tips and resources for them. Ergo:

Stuff to See:
Picasso’s museum – a wide-ranging collection from youth paintings to pottery to blue period classics by the local boy made good housed in a classic manor house

Antonin Gaudi’s architecture – especially Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia – this master is less known in the west but will blow your mind with melting buildings and a bewildering rethinking of space and material

Goudi's Sagrada Familia Goudy's Parc Guell in Barcelona

Las Ramblas – this is *the* main strolling drag of the city, put on big sunglasses and stop a dozen times for a glass of wine here, tapas there, rent a chair to gaze a little while, take your time – every one else is …

Make sure to:

Eat lots of Gelato – better for ya then ice cream so eat more! a variety of flavors makes hard to choose especially when each is laden with fresh fruit

Tip the posers – along Las Ramblas you’ll see are elaborately-costumed street performers striking poses for tips – throw in your coin and get a brief performance and a chance for a photo

Mmmm ham – it seems in every cafe you’ll see ham aging, tied from ceilings – this marbled meat is served impossibly thin and tasty and makes a great picnic – This guy agrees

Tapas – the aforementioned ham along with hundreds of other small tasty snacks are the norm for eating – be sure to stop along the way for one or many of these small appetizer plates most are displayed in counter case for easy ordering

La Boqueria Market – this meandering indoor market displays the finest the region has to offer from fresh seafood to whole piglets – load up with bread, cheese, meat, olives and Mediterranean fruit for a vast movable feast

I haven’t even mentioned the street musicians in cobbled courtyards, the happening late night vibe, the cable car over the harbour, the fabulous beaches, Columbus statue, clubs and pubs galore, huge steaming paella feasts …

More Tourist Resources:
Dopefiend’s trip to Barcelona – Dopecast #81

Doepfiend in BarcelonaHe says: “In a special Dopecast partially live from the scenic surroundings of the Port Vell in Beautiful Barcelona, the Web’s Favourite Cannabis Commentator tells what makes Barcelona an ideal stoner location and re-lives some favourite memories of the city while smoking some very tasty Moroccan pollen.”

Bonus: Uncle Weed’s podcast with the Dopefiend and Max Freakout  – Choogle On #38

Tourcaster – Getting To Know BarcelonaGetting to Know Barcelona feed

National Geographic Walks of a Lifetime (.mp3)

“Take a ramble with Traveler on tree-lined Las Ramblas, a thoroughfare in Barcelona that actually incorporates five streets and comprises one of Europeâs most electric pedestrian foot fairs. Some say it’s the most famous street in Spain. For our money, it’s one of the world’s greatest promenades–with no intersections and no motor vehicles. Our walk can take you several hours–or all day–depending on how much you decide to sample the city’s world-class art, street performers, and tapas bars. And if you venture the route at night, well, you’ll probably see the sunrise before you get home.”

Rick Steves’ Travel in Europe podcast on Spanish travel and culture

You probably already know that the flamenco, Sunday evening bullfights, tapas, and sangria are some of the flavors of Spain. Now, as part of the European Union, Spain is a re-energized democracy that might also provide us examples for coping with the threats of terrorism.
Also, we’ll learn how the Spanish tradition of taking a midday nap — the siesta — has been helping Spaniards beat stress for centuries…and how its days may be numbered in modern, urban culture. Julio Astor of the Spanish Tourism Board joins Rick to explain the role of “the siesta.”

Thanks to my Mom on Flickr for Barcelona photos
Here’s an interesting Barcelona tag on Flickr in case you want fancier photos

Baseball, Birthdays, Fireworks, Transit, Grateful Dead, Creative Commons and Geek Fests

Dan resting on Ice Throne

Twas my brother Funboy’s birthday as well as Jerry Garcia‘s birthday, so i took a half-dayer to go see a Vancouver Canadians game at the tuned-up Nat Bailey stadium (and saw the curling rink under construction nearby).

jerry garcia stuff

The ballclub didn’t answer my request for free tix (since i am big shot sports podcaster and all) but the $8/ea. didn’t kill me. Beers $6 – choice of Granville Island Pale or Lager (Pale is better methinks).

The baseball game vs. Everett Aqua Sox featured sloppy defense, a grand slam, many runs, a big comeback and a loss to the homers in extra innings. The park is much improved with art, paint and moved in fences. The treed backdrop is a classic. The blogging Bollwits (Miss 604 and AudiHertz) were there too working on tans/burns while waiting for hockey season to start.

Miss 604 talked tenderly of their relations 99% of Champions over at Duane’r the drinkin’ codr’s blog (featuring crazy hyper-real HDR photos) and discourse on appropriate use under CC – Creative Commons, Flickr and You.

I’ll see them all at the upcoming Vancouver BAR Camp – which has something to do with drinking but not much to do about a bar per se. Unconference geekfest is what it is. Bring your own idea and $20 if you want a shirt (i don’t). I have a big idea i had best get writing about. – the Urban Vancouver TV Show – i have a smaller idea too … a “let’s write Wikipedia entries for one another’s companies/personalbrand” kinda powwow – signup! to participate in some documentary activity – while carefully avoiding conflict of interest.

Also coming up is Gnomedex (though my upcoming agenda is nothing like Krugger’s madcamp geek tour with Scales the international man of mysterious skills. Whenever i think of Gnomedex, (I’ll try not to tear up here, sniff, sniff) I think about the outstanding people i meet there (followed by the fine food and great partying), notably my amigos from Bryght who are *always* ready to brew up some activity no matter the topic as long as it touches on how tech effects the human social condition.

Though Gnomedex is gratefully not on Canada Day this year, there will be a strong Canadian vibe with Darren Barefoot and Derek K Miller making contributions. Bowen Island’s Boris always has something to say the boris wishes to speak + ace technologist Roland (who did an interview with Len Edgerly that is worth a listen) who was such a mighty force for citizen media goodness during the Canucks playoff run.

I am also eager to hear Rand Fishkin – an SEO wiz from Seattle – I follow that kinda search stuff somewhat for my day-job.

Another Bryght guy Richard Eriksson is posting up a nice variety of topics i care about (and his subtle sense of humor cuts through the cutesy-asian decor ;-)): podcasting, bc transit and asking people to do stuff for ya.

I commented on his recent list of podcasts he listens to (thankfully including the Canucks Outsider (hosted by Bryght) but seems I haven’t enticed him to subscribe to the Choogle on or Postcards from Gravelly Beach feeds yet (acquired taste i suppose).

Anyhow, I commented about Cory Doctorow (who i go on and on about him in The Totalitarian Urge on Now Public from his spiel at SFU) (he also spoke at Gnomedex 05)’s podcast, Craphound podcast. In particular Cory’s recent lecture at UC Irvine talk on copyright and trade policy episode is brilliant commentary – so good i listened twice while rolling on tranist. Decent audio quality too (many audience recordings are well intentioned but hardly listenable) – maybe Cory could bring an M-Audio Microtrack and a decent mic and non-bootleg his own lectures for the Craphound podcast?

cory doctorow at sfu vancouver Anyhow, here’s what i had to say about Cory on Richard’s Podcasts, In Various States of ‘Listened-to’ and ‘Unlistened-to’ (easier just to paste cause i am at work yo!):

I would add a hearty recommendation for Cory Doctorow’s Craphound podcast. His feed includes a weekly show with him catching up on his exploits and then reading from his or someone else’s book – currently Bruce Sterling’s critical tome “The Hacker Crackdown” plus bakes in his various interviews at colleges, universities, radioshows, writer groups, etc. He is wicked smart on a wide variety of topics from global economics to quantum physics.

If there is a Cory Doctorow fan club, i wouldn’t join it, i’d make my own using the creative commons fan club license and then give away memberships (which do not require providing names or other identifying info) and then send the non-records to space in a Buckley’s cold medicine powered time capsule.

Of course Cory talks much about Copyright/Creative commons and how to bridge that into a business model (again some KK talks about with his fashion photography). One underused example (which i brought up on Roland’s Dogma Radio a while ago) of community driven, non-fascist, conscious capitalism business model in the creative space is the aforementioned Grateful Dead. They were successful both artistically and financially to say the least.

They ran their own label (with varying degrees of success), promoted on tours and produced dozens of spin-offs with different bands (JGB, Ratdog, Mystery Box, Phil and Friends …) before and after Jerry’s demise. Most importantly, they allowed fans to record shows resulting in a comprehensive musical record of their long, strange trip. The tapes could be traded but not sold. The anti-Metallica.

jerry and lads (and barn)

Use of band photos got a bit more dubious as did non-licensed t-shirts, … at some venues, security thugs would take offense and seize merchandise for sale (or hassle the people using the “donation” excuse) but this wasn’t necessarily the view of the band, instead overzealous promoters etc. but that’s a different story …

Grateful Dead was the first Internet search i did when i got online in Guam. Jerry had just died and at the impromptu candlelight vigil, i met some guys who had all the low-down on how and where, why etc. … this info was hard to source in a distant rock … turned out they worked for the largest Micronesian newspaper and had the Internet. Whoa dude. The Internet.

bob and dave at starsand private beach club, guam, circa 1995 The local Guam ISP offered a “learn how to Internet” class and after learning about Trumpet Winsock and Gopher, I loaded up Dead.net over the 14.4kbps modems thousands away from any servers or backbone … then the power went out (brown tree snakes often curl up and gnaw at the lines resulting in a dead snake and spontaneous bar-b-ques to use up thawing meats).

Anyhow, I am now Uncle Weed at the all-new, wicked shiny and deluxe drupal-ized Dead.net.

Lots to do here: mark shows you attended for starters and explore the careful documentation of each setlist over a mighty history. Roll yer own account and hook up with people you actually have something in common with – collect photos of shows you were at, share ones you got, stoke out your show collection and indulge in reminiscing about veggie burritos, buses fulla hippie chicks and scarfing Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout and oranges after a 3-1/2 hours show in some state you’ve never been before (mentally and physically). Highest ratings indeed.

Grteful Dead at Shoreline Aug 16 1991
(Dead lot in Shoreline Amphitheatre – August 16, 1991 – think that’s my Earthship in the center)
Photo by

Finally, I started in on a lengthy spiel about local transit (i wanna love transit, i really do) inspired in part by the dialogue around Dave Olsen’s Tyee series about Free Transit and Darren Barefoot’s gutcheck reply and partly because my inefficient commute from North Van to the Cambie and Broadway conflagration.Rolling Transit Museum

In the meantime, here is a couple of comments i left at Paying for ‘Free’ Transit which will suffice – for the time being at least.

Part One:

The “other Dave Olson” here chiming in with another example of free transit.

Indeed my (almost doppleganger) Dave Olsen was wise to look outside the country for positive examples of transit in action which can be found in the oddest of places.

While free transit (and quality transit in general) is oft looked at as a leftie-liberal utopian dream and conservative are wont to roll eyes and think of transit as the transport of the destitute and lazy, the “most conservative” city in America (that I’ve found anyhow) rolls the free buses and manages to do it clean and happily. Really.

Logan, Utah – where the hair is big and the trucks are bigger – is a university town (Utah State has 20K+ students) with only 2 bars (both closed on Sundays), a gleaming Mormon temple, a row of box stores, malls and fast food that even Surrey would envy, almost no crime and a massive police force (i know first hand ;-)).

There is little/no ecological bent whatsoever – the kids still rev engines and cruise Main on Saturday night and recycling means eating leftover casserole. Yet these hard-sells bought into free transit and – from the parents to the drinkers – love it. Go there and ask.

Part Two

While I think free transit is a hard sell here, I would settle for a few improvements like clean buses (both exhaust and interior), customer-friendly drivers (I am talking to you on the 15!), and schedules posted at each stop (shelter would be nice too, it does rain here Virginia).

A little tinkering with technology would go a long way for the rider’s experience too – i.e. a website with some semblance of usability and SMS “next bus” service (some SFU students are doing this I believe). Realtime announcements at stops (like in London) would be nice too but I won’t hold my breath.

As for price, a roll back of fares which make it more affordable to ride than drive for starters. Say a loonie a ride. Now, if I wanna take the wife and boy downtown and back, I can roll transit for about $20 or drive for $3 of gas + pay to park and still come out ahead (I do roll transit anyhow despite being packed shoulder to shoulder with wet strangers whilst bounding across Lion’s Gate).

Also, as a monthly pass buyer, I do not understand the erstwhile availability limits (imagine my audacity trying to get a pass on July 2nd! Took 4 stops to find one) and the “discounted” faresavers are a joke too.

Finally (rant almost done – more on my blog) enough testing and thinking about it already – Get some new buses! We are often riding the same decaying sleds as we did in the 1980s when Vancouver was deemed North America’s best transit system. Well it ain’t now.

For the record, i grew up in Whalley (well before Skytrain) and the 316/312 was my escape pod from a crappy Jr. Secondary school to my beloved downtown. I ride transit 2-3 hours a day now and visited the rolling transit museum (geeky I know). I also own a car which i use for roadtrip – and the traditional bi-annual trip to Ikea of course.

I’ve traveled to 20+ countries and ride public conveyance most everywhere I go from Guam to Japan to Amsterdam and beyond. Translink needs help fast in order cease ghettoizing the humble and noble transit rider who should be celebrated not passed-by (like i was this morning while heading to the instersection of chaos of Cambie and Broadway … but that’s another rant, one about rider safety!).

This weekend will involve a visit to the Powell Street Festival celebrating Japanese Canadian culture plus the fireworks finale on Saturday which we’ll watch from the semi-secret spot. The Province has a (rare) good article about Vancouver’s Top Ten hikes, swims, paddles, skateparks etc. which is worth keeping handy in your ‘stuff to do’ stash.

This weekend is also Pride weekend in Vancouver so don’t be surprised at all the buttless chaps (not to be confused with the world naked bike ride last week). BTW, we cannabis legalization advocates could learn a lot about “coming out” from the queerfolk.

Finally, finally … a few shots from a quick trip to Dundarave to watch China’s go at the fireworks – the sightlines were as great for photos this time but China’s show was top notch as you’d likely expect.

Chinese Fireworks in Vancouver from Dundarave Chinese Fireworks in Vancouver from Dundarave Chinese Fireworks in Vancouver from Dundarave Chinese Fireworks in Vancouver from Dundarave

Canadian Fireworks in Vancouver

Night 2 of the 2007 Celebration of Light – this time Canada was a go and we viewed from the beach in Dundarave, a village area in West Vancouver on the North Shore.

Here are a few highlights with a full set on Flickr – Canada Fireworks in Vancouver.

Canadian Fireworks from Dundarave

Canadian Fireworks from Dundarave

Canadian Fireworks from Dundarave

Canadian Fireworks from Dundarave

Valleywagged and … Wondering uhhh … why?

scoble speaks, chris' dad with mic

Blogged with Flock

While it is nice that the somewhat-snarky, semi-self-indulgent, gossip-machine Valleywag has picked up on my treasure trove of *high* quality content (art before commerce yo!), I am not sure why they picked this rather substandard pic of the noted blogger Robert Scoble to run with their article on Scoble’s habits (slow news day?).

I know that every conference Scobes is at (at least the ones i make it to) is laden with these “shooters” (think photodudes like Krug, Scales, Beale, Leung) with their fancy lenses and technical prowess, all creeping in for the killer shot with one elbow cocked up sniping the shot – and their collections are probably more flattering and fascinating.

My shot … This one is pure coincidence as he was standing behind me. Shit, even I have better Scoble pics including this softie – and i am even curious how it floated onto vWag’s radar since it wasn’t even tagged.

Anyhow, Scoble at Gnomedex with Chris Pirillo’s pa holding the mic (he looks like the Dad in CBC’s Corner Gas BTW) is my grand entrance to the tech gossip rag world, watch out Silly-conners.

Silent Scoble can’t stop twittering

ed’s shed with spare planks…

ed’s shed with spare planks

Greetings from Pe Ell, WA, Population 667.

Here hanging out with Hemp Ed, brewing up the Hemp Lobby blog and enjoying the sauna.

Daily, i Ride the 15 Cambie

Here’s a photo of a photo of the Cambie bus on its first day of toil – the Inner Fairview route is a bit different now and the buses newer but worn.  Cambie Bus

I saw this on the rolling transit museum which included a video with narrative of riding the trolleys and buses in the 40s-50s around Vancouver and the inter-urban lines out to the ‘burbs (there is a movement to resurrect these lines).

I enjoyed the notion of someone taking the time to film their bus rides and preserve them for viewing now.  Makes me think i am not so crazy for filming Seabus voyages.

I also enjoyed the narrative comments about how the operators worked hard to improve seats and lighting to make the ride more pleasant – what an idea!  Encourage transit riding by making it comfy and clean.

Declared the finest fireworks picture ever!

Chinese Fireworks in VancouverThe esteemed Unabonger has declared this as his favorite fireworks picture of all time. While there is no contest occuring, i must say, i am really pleased with how they turned out.

I have dozens upon dozens from this night of the Celebration of Fire competition alone (China) and only posted maybe 6-8 so as to not flood my photostream but i’ll likley make something out of the whole collection. Plus still two more nights to shoot with Czech Republic and Mexico competing for the prize(?).

Anyhow, I ran them through a slideshow last night and really dug the dimension of the colours and and, when in full size, seeing the subtitles of the smoke of the water (dada dada dudada) and the details on the barge. Check out the whole set including the walk to English Bay and the sights and folks around.

on the way to chinese fireworks by Uncleweed