Like many Vancouverites, last night I watched one of the most painful and edge-of-your seat hockey games in years. Backs against the wall, the Vancouver Canucks, the last Canadian team left in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, managed to once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (something I tweeted a couple of days ago re. the game that brought them to the brink). To quote Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight:
The only question left for the Canucks is who won’t be returning to the squad next year. After the signing of Mats Sundin earlier this year, there were high hopes that this would be the year that Vancouver would finally win its first Stanley Cup. But once again, the fans’ hopes have been crushed.
Some things never change.
This morning, on the radio, I heard many saying ‘Wait till next year!’. Well, Hope does spring eternal, but the Blackhawks (among other teams the Canucks played against this year) were notable for the number of young players in their 20s just beginning to come into their prime. Unless Vancouver can get some rising stars of their own, as Buzz Bishop pointed out on Twitter, the window is closing or perhaps even closed on it being their year in 2010. I felt particularly bad for Roberto Luongo, who after a very strong season, picked last night to have an off game. For someone with the reputation of being perhaps the best goalie in the NHL, letting 7 goals through is just not a way any goalie wants to end a season. In fact, the game felt more like Basketball (a sport I’m not very fond of) because of the see-saw of scoring for either side.
I remember these feelings, that of every other year or so, the home team getting close but ultimately losing, from the 1980s and 90s in Boston for the Red Sox. Anxious to blame it on anything but the players, Bostonians attributed it to ‘The Curse of the Bambino’, but in the end, it was just a matter of time. So my advice to Vancouver fans might be: Just hang in there for another 20 years or so, and your time will come.
The Kat Kam, Stuck?
Speaking of windows closing, is our virtual window on False Creek also closing? For about 13 years, there has been a camera pointed West Southwest on the Burrard Bridge and the view beyond it of English Bay from the offices of Telemark Systems in the West End of Vancouver, posting the live image on the website: The Kat Kam. Before I moved here, I used the Kat Kam as a way of acclimatizing myself to the weather and general look of this city, like a new aquarium fish looking out of it’s plastic baggie into the new aquarium it was about to enter. It turns out that ‘Kat’, the person who ran the webcam left Telemark Systems at the end of last month to pursue a career in Culinary Arts. While I’m thrilled that she is starting out a new chapter in her career and life, I wonder if perhaps this might spell the end of the view of False Creek on my desktop. Fortunately, there are now several other cameras on Vancouver on the web, although this was perhaps the best known and certainly the oldest continuous view (not to mention, it was a pretty one, especially later in the day). I suspect that several people planned their commute based on the traffic on the bridge, and I enjoyed seeing the Sun Run runners as they were caught by the Kat Kam. So, here’s the last view we got, 15 minutes past 9 PM, May 11, 2009. Let’s hope that’s not the image of False Creek I’ll get from my windowless home office:
I’m hoping the view gets ‘unstuck’ soon, but until then, there are other cams:
- The Westend Cam
- Views from the new Shangri-La tower (the new, highest building in downtown Vancouver).
- Looking northwest at Downtown from Kitsilano, a Java-based Vancam.ca (I don’t like Java in my browser, but it is faster than your usual refresh of a couple of minutes)
- The Westin Bayshore’s camera, which also operates at night.
- My second favourite view from downtown, which looks at the Seabus as it comes and goes towards North Vancouver from Vancouver.com.
- A rather gritty view eastward of the cranes that load and unload the container ships and trains from the Port of Vancouver
- Finally, there is a little of False Creek showing, but mainly there’s a view looking South and East at Science World, BC Place and GM Place, also from Vancouver.com.
Gee, maybe this office really is a room with many windows. Too bad I don’t get a breeze from any of them.
Update: Well, after about a 16–20 hour break, the Kat Kam started updating again. Hopefully it will keep going for a while yet to come.