#ParkingWars and A Tale of Two Races: My week in pictures and video.

Parking in Vancouver is the pits.

You roll up on a street, hoping you can find a spot, only to have to circle the block and settle for a spot that’s *relatively* close to your destination. Thankfully, I have commercial plates on my news truck and–believe me–sometimes it really gets me out of a jam…

…and sometimes, it gets me into one. Such was the case on Wednesday morning, when I decided to park in a downtown commercial parking zone:


I don’t know why someone would park THAT CLOSE. It’s just ridiculous.

There wasn’t much room between my truck and the van in front, so I was really hooped. With the help of two passing strangers I got out of this mess, but it got me thinking about #ParkingWars and some of the crazy things drivers do, all in the name of a convenient parking spot. We can do better, folks.

FOLK FEST FRIDAY 

In every one of the Canadian cities I’ve lived in, the Folk Festival always has a loyal following. The music lovers who reminisce about the days of vinyl and when music was really, you know, music–not the stuff kids listen to today.

I didn’t get the chance to take in the Vancouver Folk Festival this weekend, but I did cover opening day on Friday. The story was about the challenges the festival has faced and how they’ve managed to weather the storms

…but my colleagues told me my best opportunity for video would be the (so-called) Birkenstock 500. Apparently, when the gates open on the festival there’s a mini-stampede of devoted festival goers who race to the main stage, all of them eager to claim a coveted front row seat.

That wasn’t the case this year, though. The team at the gate told me they wanted to avoid the mini-stampede this year, so they decided to let folks in one at a time. Unfortunately, the electronic ticketing system decided to grind to a halt right as the clock struck 1:00pm.

The Birkenstock 500? More like The Birkenstock Walk.


After about 20 minutes or so, the ticketing system decided to cooperate and they were able to get these eager festival goers streaming in at a faster pace. For the most part, they were all pretty zen about having to wait in line–only one man lost his cool (which was immediately frowned upon by many in line).

THE RED BULL 400

This was probably the most fun, interesting and visual story of the week.

In what is truly a race unlike any other I’ve seen, 400 uber-fit men and women set out to climb–as fast as they can–to the top of the Whistler ski jump. This is what it looks like from down below:

I cannot imagine how grueling this must have been on their bodies. They dug their hands and feet into the parched grass. I’m convinced the only things propelling these competitors forward was sheer will and a thirst for glory–is there anything better than getting to the top with a record-setting qualifying time?

The fastest time of the day? 3:53.

I can do a few things in 3 minutes and 53 seconds. Among them:

  • Walk to Starbucks
  • Make breakfast
  • Eat breakfast (after all, it IS only oatmeal)

That’s about it. (NB: climbing to the top of a ski jump isn’t on the list).

The race’s co-director joked that, next year, there might be a media climb. I wonder how many of my colleagues would be willing to huff and puff up that hill…Red Bull 400

Outlet mall madness, baby birds and feisty frogs: This week, in pictures (and videos!)

I take a lot of pictures.

More often than not, I send them to my producer, who uses them to build graphics for the News Hour (the images that appear behind or over the anchor’s shoulder when they’re introducing my story). Some of these pictures also end up on social media–Twitter or Instagram.

However, some images never see the light of day…UNTIL NOW! (cue triumphant music).

At the end of my work week (which runs Wednesday to Sunday), I’m going to try and post the images and videos that never make it to air, but give you a sense of what happened that day. Let me know what you think…or, if there’s something more ‘behind-the-scenes’ that you’d like to see.

THURSDAY: OUTLET MALL MADNESS!

Hand to heart, when my Assignment Editor told me I’d be covering the opening of Metro Vancouver’s newest outlet, I told him this wasn’t a story. Seriously–a mall opening!? In my mind this hardly seemed like a big deal.

I was so wrong. So, so wrong.

The event began like any other: with a ribbon cutting.


At first, this is how I thought my story would open–with some wild sound from this. In the end, the video I shot of the ribbon cutting never saw the light of day. Moments after the ribbon was cut, shoppers crowded around the nearby Coach store, some of them pushing to get to the front of the line. I shared a shorter version of this video on Twitter. Here’s the full version:


It was like Black Friday in the middle of July. What’s more–the traffic jams commuters were dealing with because of everyone trying to get to the mall was unreal. Travellers were having trouble getting to the nearby airport–one flight was delayed! Needless to say, this became one of the top stories of the day.

SATURDAY: LNG PROTEST NEAR SQUAMISH

A small group of protesters organized a demonstration against a proposed LNG plant. The biggest difference for me with this story was, for the first time, the protest wasn’t on land.


A flotilla was organized in Howe Sound. Using horns, they made as much noise as they could to express their feelings about the proposed project.


Saturday was also the first time I tried Periscope. For those not familiar with the app, it’s used for live streaming. You can, essentially, broadcast from anywhere. I’ll be trying it more in the days and weeks to come, depending on my assignment. I think it could be a great tool for breaking news and developing story coverage.

SUNDAY: BABY BIRDS AND FIESTY FROGS

Over the last several weeks, it seems all anyone can talk about in BC has been the scorching heat and devastating wildfires. It’s unbelievable to think that, right now, there are nearly 200 fires buring in the province. Unreal.

On Sunday, I made my way to a wildlife sanctuary: Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta.


In recent weeks, they’d been receiving baby Hawks and owls forced out of their homes by smoke and fire. Not surprisingly, when I tweeted a picture.

I also came across this little guy while filming:

frog1

At first, he seemed cool with me taking his picture…but then he was all like:

frog2

Frogs. So fickle.