Here we have one of the South Granville Business Improvement Association’s concierges—they try to make sure your stay on the shopping strip is a pleasant one.

He’s modelling one of the SGBIA’s courtesy umbrellas.

In the event of an unexpected shower, shoppers may borrow one of these blue brollies from any South Granville retailer (subject to availability) and return it to any other retailer on the strip—handy!

Twenty-five years ago today--on August 31, 1989--Meat Loaf played 86 Street Music Hall, so I went. Here's my Straight review, published in the September 8-15 issue under the headline "The Bat Out of Hell returns for another bite".


While parents of 560,000 students in strike-bound B.C. public schools will be grumbling on Tuesday, another set of parents will be celebrating.

That's because more than 75,000 students will be back in independent schools across B.C.

This includes St. George's, which is where some of the province's super-elite send their kids.

On Tuesday (September 2), St. George's will be hold a barbecue to welcome back the students. Normally this wouldn't be newsworthy except for on that day, kids will likely be shut out of public schools across the province.

I'm not going to identify any of the kids who attend this school because that's not fair when they didn't ask to find themselves in the middle of any controversy.

Thank goodness that’s almost over for another year.

The autumn rains may be just in time. I’m not sure we could have gone another month watering the sidewalks and the roads and our lawns.

There’s only so much water in our reservoirs; something surely had to give, and soon.

Obviously that would’ve been the lawns and then the roads. Watering the grass, after all, is a case of Vancouverites going that extra distance to indulge their love of nature.

But not if it comes at the expense of our sidewalks—which must—MUST—be watered!

Why? Because we always have. That's why!

There's one more opportunity on Monday (September 1) to check out the free Taiwanfest celebrations on Granville Street.

In the 600 to 800 blocks, you can take in noodle and rice dishes as well as traditional Chinese medicine, musical performances, travel information, and a whole lot more.

On the north lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery, there are children's games and other activities.

Meanwhile inside Pacific Centre, you can catch a glimpse of the Pili puppets, who've achieved great fame in Asia thanks to a popular movie and TV show.

Cosplay characters of the puppets have shown up at the Metropolitan Hotel and at Holt Renfrew.

Below, you can see some snapshots I took while I was downtown this weekend.

The whooshing sound I heard as I woke up this morning was surely the sound of autumn revving its motor.

Down cane the rain—like stair rods, I think people used to say.

Torrential rain can be fun so I was up like a shot. It only takes me about 10 minutes to get up, pack up and be on my way from my sleeping spot.

I paused at the mouth of the parkade—I always take a deep breath before I go swimming.

And I took the time to admire the one hapless resident from the area who obviously thought he could get himself some easy money collecting returnable beverage containers. Hhow hard can it be?)

Above is a photo taken on August 26 at Millbrook, New York, at the Hitchcock Estate that was loaned to Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert in 1964 and 1965. 

The evening here in Vancouver has been so pleasant and so ominous looking.

I  really wanted a photo of the crescent moon, sharp against the deepening azure blue sky. But the dark clouds slowly closed in like velvet curtains—I finally had to give up the chase after 10 blocks and two storeys.

Instead I stopped for a bite at McDonald’s.

But I hadn’t quite given up on my quest for an evening photograph.

After locking up my bike and trailer I took photos of the intersection of West Broadway and South Granville, looking west toward the clock tower that dominates the southwest corner.

The meat is on the grill and large crowds are in the street in the 200 block of Carrall Street for the Gastown BBQ and Chili Festival.

The event continues today until 7 p.m. and resumes on Sunday (August 31) from noon to 7 p.m. in the same location, culminating in a performance by ambitious local prog rockers Bend Sinister on the outdoor stage.

"Considering we had a little bit of rain this morning, I think the turnout has been absolutely fantastic," festival organizer Eddie Emerman told the Straight. "It just shows the resilience of the Vancouverites."

It's been a wonderful week for fans of blues-rockin' Strat masters Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan.