Interurban car 1207

A look back at the interurbans

Even though the Downtown Historic Railway is out-of-service, you can still experience the heritage interurbans online. Browse through pictures and brush-up on the routes these versatile rail cars took on their journeys through the Lower Mainland.

Anime Conventions

What is an anime convention?

Curious about what goes on at an anime convention? Ever wondered why people wear costumes to these events? Where can I find one that’s nearest to me? It’s my first time, what do I need to bring? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the all about anime conventions and the convention checklist articles.

Welcome to Vancouver

A quick look at Vancouver

Perhaps you know the story behind Vancouver’s founding. How about the salty snack that ran for the mayor’s office? Or the only time that one of the city’s early hockey teams won the Stanley Cup? Read all about them and more in the Quick Facts of Vancouver.


Spanish Governor’s Palace

Frederick Linsmeyer • October 20, 2014 • Travel
Main courtyard of the Spanish Governor's Palace.

Main courtyard of the Spanish Governor’s Palace.

Tucked away behind San Antonio City Hall is the Spanish Governor’s Palace. While this single-storey white adobe building hardly invokes the idea of a palace, it may have felt that way when Texas was still part of the Spanish Empire.

Finding it, for me at least, was a little confusing as I thought the location was named the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar (the “palace” was part of the presidio, which was a much larger fort). After wandering around the San Fernando Cathedral, we were able to get directions to the actual site. Later on, I discovered that the Spanish Governor’s Palace is listed on the directional signs throughout the downtown.

The name Spanish Governor’s Palace is a misnomer as no-one who held the title of governor ever resided in the structure; instead housing the captains of the presidio. Famed Texan historian and preservationist Adina De Zavala came up with the name during her quest to save the house.

Plates and jars adorn the table in the late 1700's dining room.

Plates and jars adorn the table in the late 1700’s dining room.

Built in early 1700s, the Spanish Governor’s Palace is all that remains of the fort. Constructed of adobe bricks and timber, the building has expanded to ten rooms over the centuries as it changed ownership. Each room is furnished with replica and antique fixtures to emulate what life was like back in the 18th century. Behind the house is a massive enclosed courtyard filled with lush plants and trees to offer relief from the intense Texas heat. Over the course of time, the house has served as a residence, pawn shop, grocery store, school, saloon, tire store and clothing store before being purchased by the city for transformation into a museum.

When we visited, the palace was relatively quite and we took our time admiring the history, architecture and courtyard garden. It was neat going back in time and learning a bit about San Antonio’s Spanish colonial history. Photos of the Spanish Governor’s Palace from my tour can be viewed on Gallery.

The Spanish Governor’s Palace is located at 105 Plaza De Armas, San Antonio, Texas, west of City Hall on West Commerce Street. Admission to the museum is $5.00 USD.

Naruto manga series to end this year

Frederick Linsmeyer • October 12, 2014 • Manga

On October 6th, 2014, Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto has revealed that the manga series has five weeks to go before it concludes this November in the 50th issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Back in 2012, Kishimoto had announced that the manga was nearing its climax.

In anticipation of the end of the manga, the official Japanese Naruto web site has a clock counting down the days to November 10th, 2014.

Naruto was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump back in 1999 and has 70 published tankobon (individual volumes) in Japan. The 71st and final is scheduled for November 4th, 2014.

Sources: Anime News Network, Crunchyroll, Shonen Jump

Apple Festival returns October 2014

Frederick Linsmeyer • September 24, 2014 • Food and Drink
Salish apples

Salish apples

Apple lovers, mark your calendars! The crisp fruit is the star of the Apple Festival which takes over the UBC Botanical Garden Saturday the weekend of October 18th – 19th, 2014.

Not only will you find classics, like Fuji, Grimes Golden and Granny Smith, but new names like Ambrosia and Salish. In addition to individual apples, tree cultivars will also be available for purchase so you can grow some at home. Of course, other apple related treats will be available for purchase — juices, ciders, pastries, and so much more. There will also be an Apple Tasting Tent to sample a variety of cultivars. It’s an apple-lover’s paradise!

The Apple Festival runs from 11:00 am PDT to 4:00 pm PDT on Saturday and Sunday, and admission is $4 (cash only) and free for children under 12. Parking is not available at the UBC Botanical Gardens, but further in the UBC campus with shuttle buses running between the gardens and parkades. For more information, visit the UBC Botanical Garden web site.

Blue Exorcist volume 12

Frederick Linsmeyer • September 14, 2014 • Manga
Blue Exorcist volume 12

Blue Exorcist volume 12

With the festival at the True Cross Academy in full swing, another party is about to start. Searching for Izumo Kamiki, Rin Okumura and his friends uncover a story of betrayal and tragedy about Izumo. This information pits the Knights of the True Cross against the Illuminati in an all out battle.

Volume 12 of the Blue Exorcist manga will be available for purchase on November 4th, 2014.

Naruto volume 67

Frederick Linsmeyer • September 14, 2014 • Manga
Naruto volume 67

Naruto volume 67

In an effort to stay one step ahead of the shinobi troops, Obito reveals himself as the container of the Ten-Tailed Beast. Harnessing the power of the Sage of Six Paths, Obito’s quest for unquenchable strength has now made him terrifying.

With the help of the resurrected fourth hokage, Naruto might be able overcome the frightening new creature. Will the father-son teamwork be enough to stop Obito’s advance?

Volume 67 of Naruto will be available for purchase on October 7th, 2014.

Fraser Valley Food Show returns for 2014

Frederick Linsmeyer • August 31, 2014 • Food and Drink
Fraser Valley Food Show

Inside the Tradex at the Fraser Valley Food Show

The seventh annual Fraser Valley Food Show is just around the corner. Head on down to the Tradex in Abbotsford from October 3rd to 5th, 2014, to enjoy everything about food and drink — from where it’s grown, prepared and finally, to your table.

There’s plenty to see and taste at the Fraser Valley Food Show. Returning for the third year is the Great Canadian Sausage Making Competition where professional sausage makers showcase their best work for awards. Watch some of the best chefs in the province demonstrate on the Celebrity Cooking Stage. Sample different cheeses at the Dairy Farmers of Canada Cheese Seminars. Explore some of the dishes from local restaurants in Bite of the Valley. And, for the adults, pair your visit with a drink from wide selection in the Wine, Beer & Spirits Tasting Pavilion.

Of course, there’s all sorts of vendors displaying their creations, services and products. Everything from food processors to health and wellness items, and even treats for your furry companions.

Tickets for this year’s Fraser Valley Food Show can be purchased in advance online for $7 (or $5 for children) or in person at Tradex. Remember to bring your appetite!

Anime Revolution 2014

Frederick Linsmeyer • August 29, 2014 • Conventions
Anime Revolution overtakes the main hallway at Canada Place

Anime Revolution overtakes the main hallway at Canada Place

You might have thought it was Halloween this past weekend with throngs of people dressed up in costumes. Since it’s not the end of October, it has to be a convention. Anime Revolution (or AniRevo) turned Canada Place into a three-day event, from Friday, August 22nd to Sunday, August 24th, celebrating all things anime and manga. A collection of photos from Anime Revolution are available on Gallery.
Read the rest of this article…

Link and other Nintendo characters to appear in Mario Kart 8

Frederick Linsmeyer • August 26, 2014 • Gaming
Link speeds along in Mario Kart 8

Link speeds along in Mario Kart 8.

A little bit of Hyrule has made its way into Mario Kart 8. Nintendo has announced two new content packs for the latest release of its popular racing series on the Wii U, one of which will include Link as a playable character.

In addition to Link, the first content pack will include Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach, with the second pack will contain the Villager and Isabelle from Animal Crossing and Dry Bowser. Each pack comes with four vehicles and eight courses — some of which are favourites from previous versions of Mario Kart and new maps from the Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing series.

Both packs are priced at $7.99 USD each, or $11.99 USD for the two-pack bundle, with advance purchase beginning August 27th, 2014. The first pack, the one with Link, will be available for download in November 2014, while the second pack is scheduled for May 2015. Purchasers of either the individual pack or bundle will receive eight new colours for Yoshi and Shy Guy immediately.

Source: Nintendo

Anime Revolution 2014 photos

Frederick Linsmeyer • August 24, 2014 • In Pictures

Three days goes by quickly when you’re having fun. Costumes overtook Canada Place this past weekend for Anime Revolution (or AniRevo) to celebrate Japanese animation and comics. As Canada Place is multipurpose (with a cruise ship terminal and tourist attractions), out of town visitors got quite the surprise seeing everyone dressed as their favourite characters. Photos from the three-day event are available on Gallery.

Princess Hilda from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds The Flame Alchemist, Roy Mustang Misa Amane and Rem
Seras Victoria means business with that gun. Fairy Tail photo shoot with Erza Scarlet and Laxus Dreyar The water-loving boys of the Iwatobi Swim Club.


Canadian dates for Naruto movie announced

Frederick Linsmeyer • August 16, 2014 • Anime, Videos

Last month, the American dates and locations for the English dub of Road to Ninja – Naruto the Movie were made public, with no mention of Canada. Fear not Canadians, Eleven Arts has just posted a schedule of the theatre locations across Canada that will be showing the film on two dates: September 7th and 11th, 2014.

Select Cineplex locations will be screening Road to Ninja – Naruto the Movie in major markets only once on the two days.

Read the rest of this article…

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