Monday, February 15, 2010

My Olympics - Day 2: Silver!

Day Two of the Olympics was exciting with Jennifer Heil's silver medal in the women's moguls. Yeah Jen! Go Canada Go!!! This is a pic of Jen from the 2006 Turin Olympics, where she took gold.
Picture source: Wikipedia Commons

An interesting thing I discovered about Jen is that she is the Ambassador for Birks, Canada's historial jeweller. She even has a line of silver jewellry designed in her honour (how fitting!). Read all about it from this tweet from Jen on Twitter. Birks has a special place in the hearts of Vancouverites with the famous Birk's Clock, pictured below. I remember my mom telling me that when she was a young woman, she and her friends would say "meet you at the clock". If my memory serves me well, I believe the Birks clock was also frequently seen in pictures from the era, as the street photographers would often set up there. The clock was recently restored and reinstalled at Hastings and Granville, just in time for the games - here's the story.

Picture source: Wikipedia Commons

So, the rest of my day two of the Olympics. I decided to walk over the Cambie Street bridge to get a view of the Athlete's Village. As I walked along Broadway, I was struck by the enthusiasm by with so many of Vancouver's retailers are getting into the Olympic spirit with their store windows. Whether it's a simple flag or a truly creative display, it's nice to see the involvement. This one caught my eye and I snapped a pic (forgot to capture the name of the store, will do that at some point and come back and update this):
The bigger retailers are, of course, totally in the spirit and, although their displays are generally predictably grander or flashy, it still adds colour and energy to our city. The kind of stuff that makes me proud to be a Canadian. So, I was expecting to see a few biggies as I went on my walk. And, there it was, a huuuge flag was in my direct view as I headed down Cambie.
Now here's another company getting in the Olympic spirit. If the picture looks funny, it's actually not a blended Italian and Canadian flag... it's two huge flags flying back to back. I'm guessing the developer is Italian. Love the "I'm cheering both" spirit!
As I was crossing the bridge, I was passed by a crew of about a dozen cops cycling to their posts downtown ;-)
I did get a bit of a look at the entrance to the Olympic Village, but it was really just the car entry point. I want to come back another day when it's brighter and clearer to get more pics... but cool to see nonetheless.
Stopped by the 2010 ticket booth down near BC Place and discovered that everyone needs to stand in line to get their tickets. Heh.
If you are looking for the ticket booth, look for this tall gizmo that changes colours:
It was wiiiiiidny out!
LOVED these lights that a Yaletown resident had hung up to welcome all our visitors!
I found myself walking by the Bell Ice Cube on Beatty Street, and as I was cold and a little wet, and the line seemed short, I thought I'd go in.
This is what it looked like inside. Oh, and it's not a place to go if you want to .get warmed up. They call it an ice cube for a reason. They actually refrigerate it and all the staff were thick white coats. It does add to the atmosphere, and it was nicer than being out in the rain, but expect a chill. In temperature only. The people were plenty warm.
There are interactive displays on Canadian athletes, and plenty of big screen TVs that you can plug your free Bell headphones into if you want to hear the play by play. They are also cool to play under if you are one of the little people crowd ;-)
The biggest bonus of all, was a free performance by Naturally Seven. If you've never heard of them, do yourself a favour and do a little search on YouTube. AWESOME stuff. These seven hip geniouses make their music with their voices.... fab, fab, fab!

Naturally Seven performed around 7 or 7:30pm and said they will be there for the length of the Olympics. It's worth arriving early and hanging around to catch them. They did a decent set of 5 or 6 songs. And it was SO COOL (pun intended) to be standing about 4 feet away. It was after their performance that Jenn Heil won her silver medal, and I watched it live at the Ice Cube. It was my first experience of being with a crowd when a Canadian won a medal live - and it was a great experience. One that I hope to have more of!


Karin said...

I did a little blog, sans photos on spending Valentines Day, Chinese New Years and Olympic celebrations downtown on Sunday. I loved your pictures and commentary, it really does make Vancouver seem like a different place.
"Vancouver during the Olympics
Sunday, February 14th-it is Valentines Day, Chinese New Years and the 2010 Olympics are on in Vancouver/Richmond/Whistler.

Just walking around the streets downtown is an event, there are so many people from all over the world and everyone is in a great mood. Of course, today was good because the sun was out all day-some of those line ups are not so much fun in the rain.

A very nice man that was selling flowers as a fund raiser for people with mental health issues gave me an orchid today for Chinese New Years. We did miss the parade as it started pretty early this morning and was much shorter than normal due to the road closures. I hope it was still a great event for everyone that did make it.

We went to the Vancouver Art Gallery to see the Da Vinci exhibit-he truly was a genius. Then up to the 4th Floor of the VAG for the Interactive Venue in the BC Pavilion-this was so much fun, I felt like a kid in there. If you are in Vancouver during the Olympics, don't miss this free admission event. The line up today (Sunday)was about 40 minutes and it went quickly as there were lots of people to talk to during the wait.

After that, on to the CTV site, while B pin traded, I watched the speed skating on the outdoor broadcasting site. The people in the street were applauding our athletes wildly!

As we wended our way through the crowds on Robson (really, really slow going) we watched several people above on the Zip line. Each time someone zipped over the crowd cheered. We noted several very brave parents trying to maneuver strollers through the massive, jam packed crowds, that in itself should be awarded Olympic gold.

Off to the Lennox Pub at Granville and Robson for lunch. They have decent pub food and the service is excellent. Even on a day like today when they were jam packed with loudly cheering fans the staff were calm, friendly and thoughtful. If you are downtown and feel like food this is a great place to drop into.

Outside (Robson at Granville) a street performer was just setting up so we stopped to watch-I did not catch her name but she was very funny and drew a massive crowd. We had a lot of laughs during that show.

On to the Four Host Nations House-we missed the movie today but will return to see it another day. The shop has some nice items for sale and the staff are very friendly and willing to chat, so a good pavilion to visit.

Off to Alberta House, well we decided not to get into another line up for today so this one will wait for another day. As we walked past Irish House, the line ups were long and loud. The door was open and you could see it was packed in there. A very popular venue for those who like their beer and lots of sound.

On past CBS which had a few hand outs but as they are not sponsors their items are not Olympic related. Then past the Bell cube-another long line up to get in so we passed. Time to walk back over the bridge to home and a Valentine dinner-Bill is cooking and cleaning up-does it get any better than that?

Anonymous said...

COOL you heard the NATURALY SEVEN guys
~ did U see the yellow clad bicycle cop givin you the eye?
~ BIRKS clock... YEAH !!
wAITIN for next entry!
Cheers~ PK

Anonymous said...

Mom thinks the Bell Ice Cube and Naturally Seven looked cool (did they have CDs ? She's glad you weren't too cold and she loved your Olympic doodle! JK xox