This is from the rainy predawn hours of a winter day at Science World in Vancouver. It's one of the more iconic buildings in the downtown core and at this hour seemed to me like something out of Blade Runner. Actually is wasn't that early, only about 7:30 but the sun only shines for about four minutes in winter. That's not true, but it feels like it.
I think that Canadians are a productive lot. With so much time to spend indoors they channel their energies into solving all kinds of problems. I think in general that's true of countries with long dark winters. On the other hand, in places where it's always warm, people seem less inclined to spend all that time indoors. Of course this is just a generalization and more than likely I'm wrong. There are a lot of productive people in India and it has a warm climate. Anyway...
Actually, this building is known as Telus Science World. Telus is one of the big phone companies in Canada. If you live in Canada or visit there, you will at once recognize Telus advertisements. They use all kinds of little furry cute exotic animals on posters and billboards. As an animal lover I like the ads and when I'm on a subway I spend a lot of time looking at them. I guess that means they work.
Here I'm standing on a hill at Emerson Point which is a preserve not far from home. The funny thing about it is this is the highest point around. Can you imagine living in a place where the ground rises no higher than a palm tree? Having grown up in California I can say it takes some getting used to. For one, I find it a little disorienting when I don't have a mountain range for bearing. The only thing I have is the direction of the sun, but that only works when it's low in the sky. When I get turned around I always repeat in my head, "The sun rises in the East". I'm a modern day Daniel Boone.
These hills along the coast are referred to as dunes. They don't look like dunes because they is typically only one by it self and covered with plants. Also, to me they seem to be made of dirt, nonetheless they are referred to by the park rangers as dunes. Perhaps they have a high concentration of sand.
So unless I stand on a dune, I don't have a strong idea of what the land looks like. That probably adds to my challenges with orientation, but I'm getting better at it. I can always use the compass app on my iPhone, not to mention Google Maps. So as long as I have cell converge I'm good.
Here I'm facing south looking at a taxicab on Thurlow Street in Vancouver. This is where there are a lot of the towers of the financial district. It's a section of town near the Marriott where I stay, you can see it to the right. For some reason this exact spot is a popular film location, it seems every time I come here a crew has setup shop with equipment trailers and catering vans; especially so on the weekends. I'm pretty sure I've seen this spot in a car ad back in Florida; kind of cool, reminds me of LA in that regard.
All of the taxis in Vancouver are small hybrids like this red Prius. That's an economical way to go however it might look a little strange if you're coming from New York City. Also, the colors of the cabs are a mixture of different primary colors, so it takes a little more concentration as opposed to just scanning for a yellow car.
Are taxicabs a thing of the past? With Uber I wonder if cabs are going the way of the dinosaur. Vancouver seems to still have a lot and I've never tried using Uber here. Most large cities have regulations with respect to who can drop-off and pick-up at an airport so taxis will probably never go away for good. For me it's more convenient to just wave down a cab, less guesswork involved, especially if I'm in a busy area. But outside of the central core of a city, Uber is the only way to go.