Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Island Fever

As you head into Granville Island down the main drag (the street directly under the Granville Bridge span--Anderson St.) you'll spot an info booth where the road splits. They have up-to-date maps for February, so you'll know where all these houses are, as well as free Olympic Squwatchi, (or whatever that anime-like creature is called) stickers are being given out free.

Even if the houses lack a certain je ne sais croix, you're on Granville Island meaning there's plenty to see, eat and drink elsewhere.

Go Speed Racer Go!

Located in Bridges Restaurant. "The Mighty House of Switzerland at Bridges on Granville Island" was a colossal bore. It's just Bridges Restaurant with TV screens. They had some Swiss dude making cheese out front. I went there specifically to watch the downhill because I thought there'd be a huge buzz and plenty of cowbells in action. Zip. Nada. Dick Butkus!
Ended up watching the downhill on a TV set up on the outside of Bridges that had the Swiss broadcast feed (on Bridges 2F is a Swiss TV broadcast booth). The TV was just a standard flat screen that was angled in such a way it seemed to pick up the glare off the water and sky perfectly. Less than ideal. That and, if that area ever gets packed, people at the back better watch out as there's no guardrail stopping you from falling in False Creek.
Upcoming highlights:
Feb. 19 -- free Ricola (no, I'm not kidding) all day long
Feb. 21 -- 2-4 pm, free cheese samples
Feb. 27 -- Lindor Day (for the Lindt chocoholics)

Free lobster here

Located in the Arts Club Theatre. There are actually two locations across from each other. The smaller one to the west has some a sort of combination hokey storytelling and standup humor mixed with fiddle-dee-dee music extravaganza. The show has a very special title that the greatest advertising and marketing minds of the region say encapsulates the simple, yet rich, cultural heritage that is the Maritimes: "Come On In! Songs & Stories of Atlantic Canada." I thought "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" did that quite well already. Judging by the people walking out of the show when I was there, I think the "Atlanticonians" may have missed their target audience by about five decades.
In the actual Arts Club Theatre is a stage for a bunch of live acts (of which probably the only half-decent band playing anywhere in Vancouver over these Olympic Games, Sloan, played there last night). The security guard I talked to said lineups begin at around 7 pm for 10:30 pm concerts. There're also free food tastings which, if that's your thing, you'll have to also line up for. Given the public market is two steps away and with cash you can get just as fresh fish virtually immediately, weigh your options on that.

Have some coffee, shoot some hoops

Located in the False Creek Community Centre. There's now a French cafe with plenty of TV screens on the 1F gym floor of the centre. At noon on Tuesday they had no more tea or hot chocolate. Due to it being noon and a little early to start imbibing and my "Big Love" beliefs that do not allow my taste buds to savor the joys of coffee (although I can apparently marry as many Jeanne Tripplehorns as I like--go figure) I opted for l'eau de mineral. Nice enough space, good service, excellent desserts and the TVs more than make up for the bizarre tea shortage. There's also a stage for accordion bands (one assumes...either that or Supertramp cover bands being Quebecois and all) that will play nightly.
Another part of the centre is the ubiquitous "pamphlet-a-go-go come visit Chicoutimi or Shawinigan" sales pitch that all these houses seem to think is the way to promote business and tourism.

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