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Holy hosiery Batman!

A new look for the Caped Crusader seen August 19th in the 500 block of West Broadway.

A pasteup stencil graffiti, which pokes fun at Batman by depicting the grim comic book character in fishnet stockings and high heels, has appeared on the east side of the abandoned storefront at 555 West Broadway Avenue.

The amusing and irreverent juxtaposition—by East Vancouver artist M. W. Bowen—is a parody of a well-known (by Batman fans at least) splash panel from Frank Miller’s 1986 graphic novel: The Dark Knight Returns Book Two: The Dark Knight Triumphant. Read more…

katydids seem to be real shutterbugs

A little green katydid perched on my elbow at 7:30 a.m. this morning.

Saturday morning (August 19) I was half-dozing in my parkade sleeping spot and out of the corner of one sleepy eye I thought I saw, perching lightly on my right elbow. a little, lime green, drumming katydid. I opened both eyes to get a good look and yes–I did! I did see a katydid! Read more…

A warm welcome for the return of clouds

Now that’s more like it. Vancouver skies at 7:30 a.m.

The singular brownish-grey haze of woodsmoke that hung over Vancouver for nearly two weeks has been gone for five days now and the atypically naked blue skies that resulted have only lasted four days. Today (August 18) our usual cloud cover finally returned and not a moment too soon.

Summer is ending and the overnight low is beginning it’s long autumnal slide towards the freezer-in-the-basement that is winter. Read more…

Looking forward to the PNE, the rain and an end to a record wildfire season

Small painting from the alleys showing a conifer forest against a red sky.

The smokey haze over Vancouver the last two weeks may be gone—washed away by overnight rain between August the 12th and 13th—but this week I came across  another reminder of the wildfires burning in British Columbia’s Central Interior.

On Tuesday (August 15), in a Fairview back alley, I found a small, abandoned painting depicting, in thick strokes, a forest of conifer trees set against an ominous red sky.

There aren’t any flames visible in the red sky—only two doughty little clouds—so I can’t claim that the painter of this oil-on-canvas-board was trying to illustrate a wildfire.

All I can speak to is what I see, which is an impasto sky painted red by the glow from a wall of flame advancing on even more of our trees! Read more…

Some of the racism separating Americans in Trump’s USA

This morning (August 16th) I was angered to read on Twitter how a group of African-Americans attending a retreat in Michigan, USA, found themselves suddenly segregated from white patrons in the retreat’s dining area by what looked like a hastily-erected wall of cubicle dividers:

“These white people really put a wall up to separate us cause they were “uncomfortable”. It’s 2017 and we still gotta deal with this smh.”

The August 13th Tweet, which included photos of the impromptu barrier seemed to be one more glimpse into the Pandora’s Box of bigotry and racism that Donald Trump’s election as U.S. President has opened up south of the border.

Twitter user Landon, the author of the Tweet, explained that he was part of a nonprofit group called Greening of Detroit that mentors urban youth. His group had paid $25,000 to take a group of kids camping for the weekend at the Kettunen Center, a lakefront retreat located in northern Michigan.

“I work with a nonprofit and we went on a camping trip and we’ve had to deal with these racist white people the whole weekend for no reason,” Landon explained to one of the many commenters to his shocking Tweet. Read more…

Reign of flies—a poem for the back alleys

Open the lid of a dumpster and inside,
A cloud of flies disturbed into flight,
Make the “pit-pat” sound of rain,
As they collide with paper and plastic and metal.
But there are no clouds and there is no rain,
To wash away the heat and haze and stink.