Vancouver report

I drove up to Vancouver, BC on Sunday, spurred mostly by the jazz festival.

I saw a concert each night:

Sunday – the Monterey Quartet (Dave Holland-bass, Chris Potter-sax, Gonzalo Rubalcaba-piano, Eric Harland-drums) with Vancouver-based October Trio & Brad Turner opening.

Monday – an eccentric German quintet led by Alexander Schiffenbach, playing “Monk’s Casino” – various arrangements of Monk tunes.

Tuesday – the Kenny Werner Quintet with Randy Brecker-trumpet, David Sanchez-sax, Chris Colley on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums, with Fred Hirsch Trio opening.  Kenny Werner encored with a solo piano performance of a Joni Mitchell tune “I Had a King” (he said she was his favorite musician of any genre).

Wednesday – Chicago-based band The Sea and Cake (jazz=not so much, but a pretty solid show).

The picture above was from Tuesday, when I climbed the Grouse Grind, a trail that goes straight up the nearby ski mountain.  Good views of the city from up top, and I got to see a grizzly bear up there as well (in a fenced area!).

On Monday I visited the Vancouver Art Gallery, where they had a few interesting shows up: a large selection of Andreas Gursky photos, and in a twist most of them were printed at no more than about 14 inches wide, rather than the large-scale versions he usually shows; also photos from Los Angeles by Anthony Hernandez.

I also made it to a cool museum show about bicycling in Vancouver, called Velo City.  They had some nice profiles of various cyclists from the area, with graphics showing their main routes, ranging from BMX racers to daily commuters.  They also had a great video showing some bike trails built in North Vancouver on the slopes, with bare wood ramps flowing over the mounds and gullies, and a few spots taking the trail on top of fallen trees.  Not quite as much biking activity there as here, but I did see that they plan to take one car lane on Burrard Bridge for a bike lane very soon.  Also on bicycles, found a good free magazine based there called Momentum (The Magazine for Self Propelled People!).

Vancouver is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, with events around the area (skiing up at Whistler/Blackcombe), and then July 1 was Canada Day, so lots of patriotic pride up north!

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