Even though it isn’t officially Winter, the rain, early darkness and damp chill definitely arrived in the Pacific Northwest. Nevertheless, there are ways of dealing with the (not entirely expected) inclement weather. I’ve often written about Vancouver’s dual personality, and fortunately, there is plenty of the ‘city of the mind’ these days:
Two weeks ago, Bill Moggeridge, the founder of IDEO (one of the world’s foremost Industrial Design companies), and the designer of one of the first laptop computers gave a public talk, at the Emily Carr Institute because he is joining the school’s Design Department as an Honorary Professor. His talk was mostly material from his recent book, Designing Interactions which is available, chapter by chapter, on the web site. Nevertheless, I enjoyed his talk, which was to an absolutely packed hall (about 80% ECI Students, who were fun to watch as well — quite a few of them obsessively scribbling and sketching or playing with their Macbooks as we waited for him to begin). The only downside to the evening was missing the Blogger Meetup, which was going on at the same time. Sometimes there are too many of these winter events to cram into too few days and nights.
Today, we got a little break from the gloom, and Pam and I took part in another Winter event, the Eastside Culture Crawl. For about 3 days, artists and craftspeople in the neighborhoods of East Vancouver all open their studios (and homes), so that the rest of us go can visit and talk, admire sometimes buy art, pottery, furniture and fashions. It was a beautiful day, and we wandered around, taking photos of some of the art and the neighborhood, which was almost glowing in the sun.
Another way of coping with the Winter gloom is food (of course). But rather than just the usual comfort food, we capped the day with one of my favourite yearly indulgences, Cassoulet. The Oyama Sausage Company on Granville Island has an annual Cassoulet festival, and you have to get your order in early. We topped ours off with Toulouse Duck Sausages and some herbed Duck Confit. Some good red wine and a salad, and we were good to go. Oh, and not to mention, for dessert, a little ‘Juliet’ Goat (Camembert style) from Salt Spring Island (the other food festival at Granville Island this weekend was for Cheese).
And then there are the evening events: Next week is another DemoCamp, one of the recent spate of entrepreneurial coming-out parties for local startups and techies. I’m glad that I got into it, as I was unable to get into next week’s Third Tuesday, the local monthly get-together for online marketing, public relations and social networks. As I said, too many events, too few days and nights.
But it sure beats getting bummed by the weather!