Vancouver - condominium balconies in a courtyard

I wasn't very happy with the previous sketch at the baseball game. It was done very quickly while standing in a crowd of people.  For this one, I had more time.

This courtyard is similar to many others that you find in those areas that are close to downtown Vancouver, not quite in the core of the city.  Many condos in Kitsilano and Fairview, for example, are not very high, just two to four storeys. They maintain a close-knit feel that is similar to some European designs.

Little League Championship Game

My son and I joined a big crowd to watch a team from British Columbia take on Quebec in the Canadian Little League Championship baseball game at Chris Zuehlke Memorial Park in North Vancouver.  It was a beautiful day and many people turned out. The field was completely surrounded by spectators, who not only filled the stands but also lined the outfield fence, where we were standing.  I wonder how the players (11-13 years) felt about all this attention. (The game was also televised.)

British Columbia was represented by a team from Langley and won handily, 11-0. Langley is the seventh straight team from BC to represent Canada at the Little League World Series.

Big leaf in Hawaii

I don't know what kind of tropical plant this is, but I was fascinated with the size of the leaves. This one was about five feet long and intricately undulated, with little oval holes here and there.

Trees at the entrance to Fort DeRussy, Hawaii

Big trees of all kinds mark one of the entrances to the Fort DeRussy Military Reservation in the Waikiki area of Hawaii. The fort now consists mainly of the Hawaii Army Museum, open green space and access to the beach.  The fort was built during the Civil War era. While it housed a shore battery for defensive purposes, it was later used mainly as a site for R&R (rest and recreation) for service personnel during the Second World War and the Vietnam War.

For more info, see Fort DeRussy Military Reservation or Fort DeRussy on Hawaii web

City plants in the tropics

We recently spent a few days on holiday in Honolulu.  Like all cities in warm climates, broad leafy plants are everywhere.

Another skyline view

Looking out the bedroom window, this is part of the Vancouver skyline I see. Mainly apartment buildings, condos and the downtown office towers.

Siwash Rock, Stanley Park

Siwash Rock is one of the more interesting sites along the trail that encircles Stanley Park. It was created by volcanic activity millions of years ago, when magma was forced upwards. Over time, the surrounding rock weathered away leaving this unique stack. Many stop to marvel at the tree growing at the top of the rock in what is a most unlikely spot for such a plant to take root. The Kitsilano peninsula is in the background.

There is something special about the air down by the water. When you walk or ride your bike along the seawall and make the turn under the Lions Gate bridge heading west, if you are fortunate enough to do so with the incoming tide and a breeze on your face, then you get the full aroma of good clean ocean air with salt and mussels and seaweed in the wind.

Canada Place on a summer weekend

Cruise ships at the dock at Canada Place in Vancouver. During the summer months, ships depart from here for trips north to Alaska. In the background on the left is Princess Cruises' Coral Princess, with the distinctive logo on the funnel of a woman's hair blowing in the wind. On the right is the Holland America Line ship, Zuiderdam. The large sail structures on the pier are decorative elements that distinguish this Vancouver welcome centre and harbour attraction.

De Havilland Twin Otter seaplane

West Coast Air offers many regional flights out of Vancouver's Coal Harbour. The company's largest plane is the deHavilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter. These distinguished seaplanes fly year-round to various destinations on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Related posts:

Aircraft at the airport
The dashing Dash-8
Bombardier Q400 at the Toronto Island airport
Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis

Vancouver view

Vancouver's north shore mountains loom over the city, as seen from 6th Avenue near the Cambie bridge

San Francisco Bay Area

During a recent visit to San Francisco, we spent some time in the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street and the Embarcadero. It's a busy spot, with eateries and artisan food shops tempting commuters who pass through the building to go to the ferry docks. The San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge presents an interesting backdrop through the big windows.

This was a quick sketch that could have included a lot more detail but I ran out of time.

I wrote some impressions of San Francisco in a related post here.


This interesting statue is located in the park in front of Vancouver City Hall. "Lovers" is by sculptor Gerhard Jughum (1932-1977). Two naked figures face each other. While the statue is exposed from this vantage point, a lot of people haven't seen it, as it is found on a hill and behind a hedge.

Another statue in the same park is erected to Captain George Vancouver, mentioned in an earlier post here.

Vancouver skyline

As winter returns, so does the snow on the nearby mountains. This is the view from Cambie Street near City Hall looking north.

Airport totem

This is a detail of one of the faces on the totem pole located inside Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Entitled "Celebrating Flight," the 12 metre-high (40 ft) carving is the work of celebrated Northwest Coast Native artist Don Yeomans. There are numerous works of art in the airport. This one is located in the link area between the domestic and international terminals.

I had a few minutes to myself at the airport the other day and drew this while parents watched their children playing around the base of the pole.

Waiting on the sidewalk

Two Asian men sitting on the sidewalk at a coffee shop on Robson Street, at the corner with Homer. The men with the briefcase were waiting for someone to arrive. The young woman was with them and paced up and down. They had an extra chair, but she didn't want to sit down. The imagination runs...

For more posts on Robson Street, see this post , of the square, or this one, of the public library.

499 Drake Street, Vancouver

Every time I go by this condo in the Yaletown area, I stop to look at how intricately this narrow entrance was conceived and developed. It's an odd mix of European-inspired design, with lots of stairs and plants and strange gargoyles resting on columns. Known as "Grace," the rest of the building consists of tall residential towers. It's a unique building. Residents use fingerprint scanners to gain access to the main doors and elevators.

More info:

End of the line

This historic streetcar seems to have reached the end of the line. The European-built tram is part of the collection of the Vancouver Downtown Historic Railway, a heritage line that runs between Granville Island and the Olympic Village station. This particular streetcar is sitting near the intersection of Ash Street and West 6th Avenue and looking rather forlorn behind the chain link fence and the grass growing at its base.

The Vancouver Downtown Historic Railway did not operate during the Olympics to make way for the special Bombardier train that ran during the Games. The railway web site says the line is scheduled to reopen this year, but so far the grass keeps growing and nothing else seems to be happening.

Vancouver skyline

A view of downtown, looking westward from Clark and First Ave.

Marriott hotel outside Las Vegas

On the west side of Las Vegas, a short distance from Red Rock Canyon, this hotel is an oasis from the lights and traffic of downtown. We recently stayed for a few days while on a short vacation and thoroughly enjoyed the stay. The Spanish-style architecture and palm trees in this desert climate are perfect.

I sketched this from our balcony on the third floor as we were packing up on our last morning.

Vancouver's shrubbery

Many of Vancouver's sidewalks are green pathways around pruned hedges, trees and all kinds of large shrubs. Sitting in a temperate rain forest zone, the city is a lush, green garden most of the year.

This was drawn at the corner of Cambie and West 29th, just south of Queen Elizabeth Park, looking north towards downtown. I liked the tunnel effect of the shrubs near the bus stop bench.