Tuesday, 31 March 2009

From favelas to Van-velas

Favelas. Oh yes, the favelas.

For the uninitiated – these are the slums, the skid rows, the dodgy ‘hoods of Brazil. Many people will be familiar with them from Brazil’s most famous movie, Cidade de Deus – or City of God. Perhaps some hardcore cinephiles will also recognize favelas in 2007’s Tropa de Elite, or Elite Force – somewhat of a flip-side version of City of God, in that it approaches the favelas from the cops’ point of view. Both are high-octane films that will make you feel like you’ve had too much coffee.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Everything old is new again

In the library on Saturday, I was struck by an odd sight - this one. A student, probably from China, hunkered over her studies in the ultra-modern downtown Vancouver library, while through the large window, on the side of the building across the expanse, sits a photo of the old library, complete with ladder and buzzing flourescent lights.
I had to look at this scene for a moment before realizing what it was: it was the old, juxtaposed with the new. Quite striking.

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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Coffee conundrums

Yesterday morning – a fair, drizzly Monday morning in Vancouver – I woke up and realized there was no coffee left in the house. None of the caffeinated kind, anyway.

On a normal day, I’d panic, pull on my jeans and head straight to the neighbourhood JJ Beans for a half-pound of fine espresso.

After all, my espresso machine is hungry, daily, and consumes quite a bit.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Twin towers of recession and global warming

It’s been somewhat of a bizarre week.
I write this with hungover head – a battalion of mojitos marched its way into my exposed brain and wracked joyful fury on my sensitive head overnight, and left me shuddering in its wake.
And now, I look at things in retrospect, namely two things: global warming, of which I have written already in my last post on Dec. 1, 2007 (bring on thy criticisms – I know I haven’t been a regular writer as of late), and the economic recession.
These twin towers of current events are more powerful than the fall of the twin towers on 9-11 will ever be.