Tag Archives: Vancouver

Challenge Accepted

This week, instead of writing to you from the comforts of my dimly lit dorm room, I’m coming to you from the confines of my childhood bedroom, only about 5.5 hours away with the Georgia Straight being the only thing separating us. Amidst this unique time, I’ve found that over the past week being adaptable is not only a huge part of our lives (yours and mine included) generally speaking, but equally huge part of being creative. To come full circle here, I need to jump through a few hoops and bounds so bare with me as I swear that I have a term worthy ending for you. 

I’m currently enrolled in an upper division Communications course that focuses primarily on sound engineering, putting a critical lens on the history and relevance of podcasts in particular. When I first read the syllabus in January- which seems like a lifetime ago, I was well aware that I’d be handing in a 5-10 minute podcast as my term project worthy of a heavty 30% contribution to my final grade in the course. 

About four weeks ago, my prof David decided (on the fly) that conducting an interview within our podcast was no longer optional, but mandatory. Given the time frame, this was prior to the University shutting down as the severity of COVID-19 ramped up. Within a week of his firm decision, five out of the thirty five of us attended our last in-person lecture and since then, all of us have been now working online to complete the course. Nearly two weeks ago now, David sent us an email to see how we were all doing on our projects. Upon opening the email, I assumed that he would be extremely lenient with our “mandatory interview” or even axxex it, but he didn’t. Instead, he wrote and I quote, “we need to be imaginative about how we respond to our situation.” With the world going into toilet paper bankruptcy, I thought that David would have  been without-a-doubt more understanding of our situation. In hindsight he was, I just couldn’t see it yet.

All during this time period, I planned on staying at the SFU campus until my scheduled move out date (April 26th), and then moving to my grandparents house for the rest of the summer. However, like many things in life, that didn’t go to plan or even remotely so.

I found myself arguing back and forth with my parents on where I’d be staying and for how long, each phone call ending without an exchange of goodbyes, but with the sound of the call being cut in one of my ears. Ideally, this virus and other viral pandemics in the past have been an occurrence that I and many others have been lucky enough to have not yet experienced in their lifetime. I’m completely guilty of underestimating this virus. Like many others, I can’t comprehend what it means for the future, not just my future or your future, but the future of the human race. It sounds extreme when I type it out, but since COVID-19 is unlike any other past pandemic, nobody is really sure what tomorrow will bring. In my mind, it was easier to think about tomorrow being a better day, but with each tomorrow things actually haven’t been getting any better. Due to its increasing severity, my parents made the final decision to bring me home to Vancouver Island. 

At the end of that phone call, my heart started rapidly beating as I saw the life I built for myself flash before my eyes. All I could think was, “How am I going to create from there?” As all of my photographers, videographers, hair and makeup artists, stylists, connections, networks, and brand deals are located in the city, I felt like I was nothing without them. Going back to the island felt like I was being exiled…banished…annexed from everything that I had built within the last year. BUT, at the same time I was having my little meltdown (trust me, I realize how ridiculous I was being), the ENTIRE population was experiencing the exact same feelings as I was. 

As my mom and I drove down the mountain onto Hastings Street- which is my most well known street thanks to the R5, I had a crystal clear view of the city. Since I was a little kid, Vancouver has always held a special place in my heart. I visited lots as my grandparents live there, always having so many things to see and do whenever I wanted, it was so unlike living in a small town. Although it’s true about what they say, “the grass is always greener on the other side,” but it was undeniable that the city offered more opportunities than that of a small town. To this day, my eyes still widen in awe as I’m greeted by the city as it’s always been a place where I’ve dreamt of living. In that moment my heart started to tremble as I realized that living in Vancouver was the one thing I had never once taken for granted, and I believe that’s why leaving hurt so unbelievably bad. We drove and drove and drove as the signs passed us, it was as if every first memory I ever experienced at those places started flashing through my mind one by one. It really put things into perspective for me as to how much I’ve come to grow and love the life that I’ve built for myself out here. My heart started pounding a little less, and it made the hurt go away. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t a goodbye forever but merely a heartfelt, “see you when I see you.”

As my journey continued back to the westend of the coastline, I checked my phone notifications. I had about 15+ missed messages from my CMNS 357 group chat about our individual podcasts- the three of them were debating whether or not they should complete the final assignment. One of them said that they were willing to nix the assignment completely taking an overall pass with 60% (due to our circumstances, this was approved by SFU as a “P” grade) as we no longer had access to a professional sonic studio, the other one was saying that we should complete our podcast for David (as he’s our homie and has been extremely good to all of us), and the last one admitted that they were too lazy to even bother with the assignment.

As I read the incoming messages I realized that my theory about the island being the reason why I lose my creative touch was just about as backwards as my classmates debating our final assignment. After that, I stopped asking myself, “why…”

“Why didn’t David excuse the interview from our term project?”

“Why did COVID-19 have to banish me back to Vancouver Island and ruin my creative streak?”

…and I started asking myself what. 

Specifically, what I was going to do, not only to produce a term-worthy podcast (with an interview) but to remind myself and my classmates that we as individuals were the only thing we needed to be creative.

In the very first lecture for this class, David said, “the podcast is one of the oldest acoustic artefacts to date, and yet still remains, and continues to grow in popularity.” He encouraged us to think outside of the box and told us that this virus was an even greater reason to go above and beyond, to show him that not only could we use the software, but we could use it in a way that told a story- a human like experience. And this is exactly the state of mind I have when I create, limits don’t exist, COVID-19 can’t and won’t stop me from being creative. Yes, It can take me out of Vancouver, it can take me away from the skyscrapers and the urban landscape, and it can take me away from my photographers, videographers, hair and makeup artists, stylists, connections, networks, and brand deals, but what it can’t do is take me away from being creative. I mean unless I actually am unfortunate enough to catch the virus… but for the purposes of this story, the only thing that can stop me from being creative is myself. 

And then the aching stopped, and I realized how happy I was to be home, with my family, and most importantly in a safe space rather than being cooped up in my dorm room for the next however long.

Creating content out of the island is something I haven’t done before (at the level I’m currently producing content at now), but I’m willing to accept the challenge. As a creative you need to be adaptable, and since my brand is myself, it shouldn’t be too hard bringing that with me unless I stop myself.

I picked up my phone and began hastily typing back to classmates. I’m glad that I could not only get them to reconsider their assignment for David (he really is a homie), but more importantly, for themselves. We don’t need access to sonic studios to create term worthy podcasts, and I don’t need Vancouver to keep creating. Instead we need to focus on telling meaningful stories that encapsulate human-like experiences that relate with our listeners, which believe me can be done with all but the very devices we hold so dear. I hold every ability to create within the palm of my hand, and so do you. 

So what’s stopping you?

Small Town Living with Uptown Dreams

As the days go by, I’m finding myself in a love-hate relationship with this self-isolation thing. On one hand, a part of me is frustrated that I’m being cooped up inside, forced to sit and relax and the other part of me is stoked that I finally get some time to catch up on the hundred and one things I’ve been putting off. I’m torn.

Prior to the world being taken over by COVID-19, I used to meet up with local photographers and creatives on a weekly basis, all while taking a full academic schedule, making time to hang out with my friends, making sure I went to the gym everyday and forcing myself to get a reasonable amount of sleep every night. I have to hand it to myself, for the first time I was actually balancing my life pretty well (the best I ever had), but now I worry that with all this free time on my hands I might not be as productive as I used to be. I’m a very scheduled person, I need tasks and directions to fully function because without those I find that I have no purpose. However, I’ve decided to look at this situation as optimistically as I possibly can.

A part of me is actually really excited to take some time off to teach myself the things that I never had time to do like, learning how to play the ukulele again or the piano, I want to get back into working on flair (practice of bartenders entertaining guests), but I also want to continue expanding my brand in the ways I never could. Primarily speaking, I want to direct my focus from Instagram and bring it towards building an audience on TikTok as well as YouTube. I also want to reach out to local brands based both in Tofino and Vancouver in order to collaborate with them in the near future. And lastly, I have massive plans for my blog! Since this has been a space that I originally built for school, I am actually quite interested in moulding it into my own little space as I’ve found some free time. Generally speaking, I’m thinking I want to redesign it entirely, keeping the same colour palette but adding more to the menu, like an advice column and content not just relating to modelling, photography and videography but rather to beauty, health and aesthetics. 

I really want to take this time to reflect on all that I’ve done but at the same time continuing to stay positive and optimistic towards the future. Ideally, I’m really trying to focus on building a true fan base and increasing my viewership based on what I stand for rather than just what I create. My main goal is to start building a community of like-minded people who not only come to see what I create, but get inspired to create themselves. 

Although I’m incredibly heartbroken that I’m no longer living in Vancouver for the time being, I’ve realized that the city didn’t give me all the tools I needed to create, I already had all the tools I needed to create, I just needed to figure that out for myself. 

Even though it’s back to small town living for me, I promise you that I’m never going to forget my uptown dreams. 

Not a Goodbye, but a See You Later

Recently, there has been a whole lot of controversy surrounding the topic of going outdoors and meeting up with friends as we’ve all been encouraged to socially distance ourselves. Up until this week, I’ve been shooting up to three times a week with different local photographers, however I’ve decided to switch up my fast paced lifestyle and start slowing it down. At first, I didn’t see much of an issue with shooting as I’m not in close contact with my photographers, but with the vast amount of time I spend on transit going to and from shoots, I decided to rethink my weekly shooting routine.

Since SFU got shut down on March Friday 13th (quite ironic if you’re the superstitious type), all of my creative projects have come to a screeching halt. As I’ve been focusing primarily on photo shoots in the past few weeks, I’ve decided that I will also be self-isolating and reverting back to working on videos as that’s something I’m able to do from the confines of my dorm room. 

I walked into my last shoot on March 19th, on the SFU Burnaby campus (one of my favourite places to shoot!). I was shooting at golden hour with Nicolas Scott (@nicolasscott_), a photographer whom I’ve worked with on numerous occasions for his clothing line, Call the Girls Co, as well as our most recent Calvin Klein studio session. We kept our distance and shot as we normally would, but as we walked around the AQ pond, I felt a sense of emptiness wash over myself. The place was absolutely dead, so much so that you could hear the drop of a pin. Although it was my last scheduled shoot, without seeing other people around me, it really made me feel as if I shouldn’t be outside, or if I was doing something wrong even though Nic and I were far more than 2 meters apart at all times.

We wrapped up just after the sun had set on the top floor of the visitors parade. We said our goodbyes and I walked off into the milky sunset making my way back to Shell House. Although I was completely bummed out to be putting a stop to my modelling career, I tried to look at the positives of all of this- that I would be able to really start growing my brand and putting more work into marketing and management as well as producing YouTube and Tik Tok videos. Walking off into the beautiful blending of colours in the sky reminded me that now was the time to think outside of the box and really take this time to reflect and think about alternative methods to create. 

This is not the end, rather it’s the beginning of a new form of creativity. I can’t wait to show you what I come up with!

Sources of Happiness

Snow in Cantonese: 雪 [syut3]

It was the last day of Blackcomb and PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola yesterday, so my family friend took us to the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola which I was two minutes late and missed it last time.

Some people dressed up as bunnies or unicorns jumpsuits, some children even added bunnies’ ears to their helmet to celebrate Easter. I managed to take a lot of photos of people smiling which makes me happy too. It’s heartwarming to see so many smiley faces that I don’t get to see so often in Hong Kong.

  • Showing her daughter how wonderful the nature is

Check out the other photos I took at Whistler here!

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Marine Wildlife at Stanley Park

Sea lion in Cantonese: 海[hoi2] 獅[si1]

Stanley Park is the place I would always want to go whenever the sun comes out. It’s my third time visiting Stanley Park since my arrival in December (fourth time in total because I paid a visit a few years ago). The first time I came for the sea wall, the second time I came for the cherry blossoms and the third time I came to show my father around.

It’s a sunny day and 420, I cannot think of other places to visit when downtown is filled with the smell of weed. Originally I wanted to show my father the cherry blossoms in Stanley Park so he can take photos, unfortunately, most of them have wilted already. I guessed the best time to visit was two weeks ago when all the flowers were in full bloom.

It was a bit disappointing not seeing the cherry blossoms in full bloom, so we just casually walked around the park and enjoyed the sunshine. While my father was taking photos of two ducks on the sea, I spotted a black smooth surface floating above the water and quickly dived again. We waited for several minutes and it appeared again. I immediately took some photos. Guess what is it?

It’s a sea lion!!!!!!

I have never seen a wild one before, I hope we’ll get to see more of them during our trip to Tofino in 4 days time! Let the travel marathon begin!

Click here for more photos taken today!

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Cherry Blossom!

Cherry blossoms in Cantonese: 櫻[jing1] 花[faa1]

It has been raining all week except for Wednesday, so I went to Stanley Park to look for cherry blossoms! It wasn’t as pretty as I thought it’d be because when I see the photos on Instagram, they look very pink, but when I see them in real life, it is much whiter than what I saw on Instagram (looks like people have photoshopped too much!)

I was a bit disappointed, to be honest, so instead of taking pictures of the cherry blossoms, I took pictures of people who are taking photos of the cherry blossoms. At first, I noticed a lady who was sitting under the tree smiling. I took a photo of her. She later started walking around and I noticed that I accidentally took quite a lot of pictures of her, so I thought it’d be polite to send her the photos. It was my first time to walk to a stranger and tell her I secretly took pictures of her. Imagine if someone walks to you and says things like this… Luckily, she was very friendly and was happy that I took photos for her! She has never been a model and has people take photos for her because she never knows how to pose, which I have the same struggle. So I kept chatting with her while I press the shutter in order to capture her most natural look.

I am so happy that she likes my photos and I can make her feel special and confident! Maybe I should do that more often when I secretly took photos of strangers, that could be one way of making friends. Who knows?

More photos that I took on Weds here!

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A Night To Remember & More: The Great Gatsby!

After a year of hard work, my sorority comes together for a night of celebrations: our annual formal!

This year the theme was “The Great Gatsby” and was planned by my two beautiful sisters, Caterina and Henna! They put in so much hard work and everything looked so beautiful. The gold wine bottles with the feathers were perfection!

I was very excited for this years formal because last years, which was my first one, was so beautiful. I do not remember most of it… for reasons… but I looked great, the food was great, and the venue/decorations were stunning. That’s all that matters! I do remember getting on a yellow bus after the dinner portion… it was a moment.

A side story to go along with this formal themed post is I LITERALLY have the worst luck with formals. Ever since grade 11 it has just been quite the journey. That’s a story to tell another day, perhaps on a podcast, but let’s focus on the positive! Shout out to my bae, Natasha, for always pulling through and being the best date I could ever dream of!

I found this beautiful silver dress on prettylittlething.com and after a lot of money and alterations later, it was ready to be worn. I was personally inspired by Lady Gaga’s 2019 Grammy’s dress and Lauren Burnham’s limo exit dress on season 22 of The Bachelor.

Since I spent so much on my dress, I had to be boujee on a budget. I wore my high school graduation heels and my friend Lauren’s elegant and sparkly earrings. All that was needed for a sparkling look! As you can tell, I love sparkly things.

After months of preparation, shopping with my other sisters, sharing each others looks, and gathering advice, the night finally arrived…

Our formal was held at the Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Centre in their ballroom. My sisters and I decided to stay in a hotel room so then we can get ready and be prepared for anything that may happen in the night. I personally live very far, so this was my best option.

My sister, Ryley, and I decided to decorate our hotel room as much as we could before we got ready. We blew up balloons and I even brought a disco light for the nighttime. We really wanted to make the most of it as we expected a lot of people were going to use our room as the “pre-game” room.

After frantically getting ready and me still being indecisive about what I need to wear, we finally arrived down to the ballroom (in a very slow and crowded elevator).

The ballroom had dim lighting which was hard for pictures but really set the tone of the night. The black and gold accents on the seating chart, the round tables with the black table cloth and gold wine bottle with the feather, and everyone looking divine, it was a magical night.

My fellow sister, Caterina, sure came through with the country slow tunes until my date, Natasha, grabbed the aux.

flex

I won two awards (Most Improved Academics and Helping Hand) and received a shoutout for my hard work as our Guardian this semester. Caterina and Henna played a slideshow of everything we have done this past year and it was the cutest!

I have to admit, I did not take many photos solely based on: my dress being annoying to walk in, I am lazy, and other people took the photos whom I do not remember so I barely have any on my phone. But the ones I do have are truly iconic!

The dinner portion included a buffet with many options and we were all truly blessed.

After the night ended, we all quickly got changed and ran to The Pint to make guest list.

The jams were playing, the drinks were flowing, we busted it down, and there were so many people I met that I could not keep up. It was super fun. Especially stopping at McDonalds on the way home.

After finally returning home at 2 A.M., it was time to settle down and truly reminisce on the night.

This past year in my sorority has been super special to me. I got a position, a little, made some amazing memories, made so many new sisters, grew closer to sisters, and will be entering the next year as the new Vice President (following the steps of my grand-big and big!). I cannot wait for what this new year holds.

I can truly say that being in a sorority has made me the happiest I have been in a while. My sisters have been there for me through so many transitions in my life, especially these past few months. I am so sad to be saying goodbye to some of them this year, but know that we will stay connected for life. I mean, 7 of us have matching tattoos, so we on that next level love!

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Hot Chocolate Connections

Musette Caffè

found Connections

We all have those friends we promise to see more frequently, but somehow years still pass before you can finally sit face-to-face for a good conversation. Despite this, every time you do, it feels as though no time has gone by at all. I’m guilty of letting too much time go by between conversations and meet ups, so when my good friend Holly reached out to me, I was more than happy to take the time and make the effort to see her. She suggested we check out the Hot Chocolate Festival happening in Vancouver, BC between January and February.

Bicycle-Themed Cafe

Musette Caffè was one of the cafe’s participating in the local hot chocolate festival. I had never been to this cyclist-themed cafe before, but it was nice to see an establishment that welcomes the sweaty athlete. As a runner, I used to feel a little awkward walking into cute cafe’s in my sweaty gym clothes, I felt as though I didn’t fit in. While I’ve come to embrace the running shoes and messy hair combo, I still appreciate a business that accommodates the active west coast lifestyle.

Perfect Location

Musette not only offers delicious treats and beverages, but also fuel like electrolytes and gels. Nestled between the mountains and the oceans, Vancouver is the perfect city for anyone with an active lifestyle. Musette Caffè is well positioned, just on the north side of the Burrard Street Bridge, a popular bridge for cyclists and commuters alike.

Hot Chocolate

Fabian Caramella at Musette Caffè

Both Holly and I have quite a sweet tooth, so I was curious to taste this bicycle-themed cafe’s take on a hot chocolate.

We both ordered the Fabian Caramella, Musette’s milk chocolate and caramel hot cocoa. The beverage itself was gentle, not too sweet, and still flavourful; but it was the side of hazelnut buttercrunch that really sold it to both of us.

“All are welcome, from the coffee connoisseur to the serious cyclist”

Musette Caffè

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Take your bike (or rent one) and cruise around false creek, Granville Island, and finally over Burrard Street Bridge and stop by Musette Caffè for a well-deserved snack!


Mini Assignment – Remix

With VFW fast approaching, I thought it only made sense to create my own vision of the VFW poster by remixing a few images together. One of the most special things to me in the poster would be the Vancouver skyline that I photoshopped in. I wanted to make sure the poster not only represents fashion, but also Vancouver as a city. Hope you guys enjoy it.

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Essay #2

       Self-branding and online identities have become a common topic in everyday conversations in recent years, especially with the omnipresence of popular social media sites like Instagram. Despite this topic even being a common theme over the course of my Communications degree, I had never honestly considered the benefits that I myself could have by constructing a strong online brand in this digital age. “Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others” (Schawbel, 2009). Publishing 101 served as a strong pedagogical narrative by which I learned not only about the changes in the world of publishing, but also about the ways in which we can now publish ourselves, and the benefits (or even downfalls, when done incorrectly) that may arise from these online publications. Throughout the course of this essay, I will first address the ways in which this course has shifted the way in which I think about publishing, and further, how these new ways of publishing have worked their way into my online presence over the course of this semester. Following this, I intend to specifically address my online self and publication, not only referencing my blog but also my social media platforms. Lastly, I acknowledge my goals going forward, including what I aim to take with me beyond the confines of this course.

       It would be erroneous to claim that I hadn’t considered online works to count as publishing prior to the start of this semester. Of course, tangible books are the obvious thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “publishing,” but it goes far beyond that. Having said this, I didn’t the extent of which publishing expanded to. Publishing is not only online works and articles as well as tangible books; it is further embodied by anything that gets put out to the public, including social media posts and – of course – blogs. “Publishing” is has many definitions, but has come to be best defined as “the dissemination of literature, music, or information—the activity of making information available to the general public” (Wikipedia). While Wikipedia is generally not the best source for correct information, other acclaimed dictionaries are still stuck in the ways of defining publishing as being limited to formal publications that are for sale, which we have come to know is simply not the case.

       As mentioned above, publishing encompasses any online works that we “publish” or make available to the public, including any blog posts or social media posts. As Alive Marwick states, “the logic of marketing and advertising embedded in social software has infiltrated the ways in which we relate to ourselves and to others,” and that we “[use] social media as a neoliberal technology of subjectivity that produces social status as the ultimate commodity” (Marwick, 2013). In other words, we live in a world where we have technologies at our fingertips that allow us to market ourselves, our products, and how we ultimately wish others to view us. Throughout the course, we learned of how wide the span of publishing is now, and how we can use these new technologies tour advantage. Though I am nowhere near the status of being a “micro-celebrity” or Instagram celebrity (nor do I aim to be), I can now recognize that our online presence can be extremely useful one way or another. Even if you’re not trying to become famous in one way or another, marketing yourself as a brand online can be a valiant tool in this digital age.

       With regards to both my social media presence as well as my blog, I found the focus throughout the semester on the importance of identifying an audience and a brand to be largely advantageous. In the early weeks of the semester, I decided my blog was going to be a foodie blog which what chronicle my adventures to various restaurants around Metro Vancouver and write about my experiences. Identifying my audience, I learned, was one of the first major steps I had to take. In a process post I wrote, I identified my intended target audience to be foodies in the Vancouver area. I added that I don’t necessarily imagine there to be a specific age demographic, but likely people out of high school, perhaps young adults in general. This is mainly because high school students may not be interested in food blogs, cooking, and so forth, and may not have the means to go to far-out restaurants. In “Publics and Counterpublics” (2002), Michael Warner addresses that if you are reading his essay, “you are part of its public.” Warner goes on to say that there is a difference between thepublic and apublic (Warner, 2002). Warner describes the public as a ‘totality’: an all-inclusive description of the general amount of people, whereas a public is more specific, like an audience. Therefore, the people frequenting my blog would be a specific public or audience, likely visiting to check out restaurants they may be interested in.

       It is important to recognize your audience and public in order to market it to those specific people and thus further your success and your clout. “Any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment. Environments are not passive wrappings but active processes” (Campbell, 2009); each platform or domain may have a different audience and environment, and must me marketed as such. How I market and design my online self and presence on my Instagram page differs in the way in which I design my blog, as I have identified different audiences for the two. My personal Instagram features more artistic photos of self-exploitation, encompassing the best parts of my ‘self.’ Conversely, my blog markets itself to my (assumingly) foodie audience, and thus my posts tempt to embody food, Vancouver culture, and often an attempted humor. Furthermore, more online publications look to provide a service to their audience in one way or another. Ensuring that the basic service functions of one’s website or publication is an important element to consider because your audience will likely not return if they aren’t able to find what they are looking for. As I briefly touched on in the previous paragraph, my blog seeks to satisfy the service of reviewing restaurants (as well as local food and beverage in general) in the Greater Vancouver area.

       Through an immense and tedious 10-week-long trial and error process, I finally settled on a simplistic layout, removing the (apparently) tacky carousel-style photos on my home page. Gone with this was all of the numerous background images I tested out that just didn’t work. I created a logo that I felt embodied my blog in a clean and crisp way, keeping in mind the design elements that our guest speaker Mauve Pagé taught us at the start of the semester. I attempted to link colours together by bringing the gold found in the logo into other elements of the pages, such as titles and links. Travis Gertz had an interesting take on design elements and layout as well in his work, “Design Machines: How to survive in the digital apocalypse” (2015). Gertz’s main argument is based on the premise that all websites have started to look the same in an attempt to “look sexy” and appeal to the masses, but by appealing to the masses many actually become lost among the massesof other sites (2015). Unfortunately, I found it difficult to break free of most of the stereotypical constraints of which Gertz spoke about due to the confines of this course, being both the short timeframe as well as the resources made available to us. Nevertheless, these are useful pieces of information to consider when we inevitably use online mediums in our future professional lives.

            In summation, these four months have shaped the way in which I view publishing. Although I understood publishing to go beyond physical books, I didn’t understand the broad span that the term encompassed. Not only is it books and online articles, but also virtually anything that disseminates products and information to the general public. This includes social media presence as well as forum posts and, of course, blogging. Through the combination of the creation of my food blog with various guest speakers, tutorials, and online readings over the last 12 weeks, I have learned that identifying an audience and marketing yourself is a useful tool at any level of this digital world be live in. Despite my blog not gaining a large enough following to truly be able to use applications like Google Analytics or AdSense to my advantage, I can now realize these as important tools that help to compliment ones persona and identify important information. Going forward, I can confidently say that although I may not become a blogger, I have gained important and useful tools to brand myself, whatever that ‘self’ may be.

 

Bibliography

Campbell, W. G. (2009). A Personal Cyber Infrastructure. New Horizons, 44(5), p. 58-59

Gertz, Travis. (2015). “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” Louder Than 10.Retrieved on 12 April 2018 from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Marwick, A. (2013). Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age. Canadian Journal of Communication, 40(1), p. 143-146.

Schawbel, D. (2009). Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand. Mashable. Retrieved on 10 April 2018 from: https://mashable.com/2009/02/05/personal-branding-101/#ge_SBxPsZEq4

Warner, M. (2002). Knowledge and Public Works, 88(4), p. 413-425.

RAMEN #1: The Ramen Butcher

The Ramen Butcher is one of the best ramen places in Vancouver! 

Located in Chinatown, and a short walk away from the Main Street – Science World station. It’s a very small shop, with cute decor. Might be difficult to get a table, especially during peak times, or if you have a big group. But a great place to bring a date! 

   

This was my second time going to Butchers (what my friends and I call the restaurant), and both times we have splurged and ordered more than we should. Last time I had the Shoyu Ramen. It was a light broth, quite oily but that’s normal, great if you don’t want anything too rich. I also got the truffle gyoza, which has gotta be the most flavorful explosion ever. It’s basically gyozas with cheese and a truffle aioli on top. It’s so incredibly delicious, it feels almost guilty to eat.

 

This time, I coincidentally went during happy hour, so of course I had to order off the happy hour menu. My boyfriend got the Aburi Chashu and green basil Ramen. The Aburi Chashu was very disappointing. It’s a tiny bowl of little pieces of Chashu, that are a bit chewy and bland. Chashu should be a fatty piece of marinated pork that is seared, but it seemed to lack that fat and flavor. The green basil Ramen, is a combination of the Tonkotsu broth along with basil paste and Parmesan cheese. It’s almost like a pasta, since it’s so creamy and cheesy.

For myself, I ordered the cheese gyoza and the Ramen flight off the happy hour menu and added a chicken Karaage don to make it a combo. The cheese gyoza is a level down from the truffle gyoza, but still really good. For the Ramen flight, you get half a bowl of their classic Tonkotsu Ramen and then you get to choose either red and spicy, green basil, black garlic or orange miso for the other half. I actually really like garlic flavored things, so of course I wanted to try the black garlic flavor. It has a roasted garlic kind of taste, and I liked how it wasn’t overbearing, since black garlic a strong flavor. The black garlic went really well with the super creamy broth. The chicken Karaage don is some fried chicken on top of a bowl of rice. The chicken wasn’t crunchy but it tasted really good with the mayonaise and lemon juice on top. The rice is just plain Japanese short grain rice, so I added the Ramen broth, and IT WAS BOMB. Soup and rice go hand in hand. I was so incredibly full that I couldn’t finish the classic Ramen bowl, so I got to enjoy it later that night. I can’t get over how creamy the soup is.

On average I spend $20 at Butchers, but that’s because I order way more than I can eat. One bowl is enough to fill me up, and that would me about $11.50, or $10 during happy hour. They even give you an extra bowl of noodles for free, since the there will always be leftover broth. This place is WORTH it.

Til’ next food adventure,
keep munchin’!

Not For You – Jerome Taylor

notforyouclothing

 

NOT FOR YOU  is a high-end men’s streetwear clothing brand which is inspired by love, music, and real events. All the clothing is made specifically in Wellington, New Zealand and each piece is significant. 

Jerome’s Vision

When Jerome created  this collection, he wanted to represent homelessness and the complexity of poverty. This particular piece was styled to represent the true meaning behind homelessness and what individuals in these situations find themselves facing. If you take a closer look at this piece, you can recognize a story being told. To begin with, when analyzing the front of the jacket, the words ROUGH NIGHT are displayed. This is because all it takes is one rough night to end up finding yourself in a difficult situation, in this case, battling for survival.  The story progresses with time; you can envision ones life spiraling down into losing their homes, their cars, and their families, all until you become completely invisible to the world.  This is represented on the back of this piece when it demands the following: “LOOK AT ME.” 

 

Fortunately,  this week I had the opportunity to walk for Jerome Taylor @ Vancouver Fashion Week Season 18.  My experience, beginning with meeting Jerome, to wearing his clothes on the runway was incredible.

 

 

When I first tried on my outfit for the show, I remembered feeling empowered and notorious. I personally love wearing layers with my everyday outfits, but what Jerome did with his collection was unique. Each individual layer had it’s own meaning, and as a collective, it illustrated homelessness and personality.

Walking down that runway wearing that outfit, I felt untouchable. Before our show we had a rehearsal and Jerome explained to us what his vision was when creating this collection. He said, “I want you guys to feel like your absolute best when walking down the runway. I don’t want you feeling dead, but rather you feel like the best version of yourself.” While rehearsing, I didn’t feel like a model, I felt as if I was a king in my own world;  I didn’t  give a fuck about what anyone thought of me. 

Contact Information
Jerome Taylor
Not For You Clothing
Facebook
Instagram

 

 

Throwback yarn bomb

This a yarn bomb I did in 2017. I made two finger cozies for this good sir, and sat across the street, watching for people’s reactions. Many people stopped and pointed it out to their friends. One family even took a photo in front of it. But most people just walked right by, oblivious. This is why your yarn bombs should use bright colours! 🌈

On Top of The World

This weekend, my boyfriend and I decided to have a “staycation”. We ended up spending most of the weekend sleeping or watching TV, but we also got a chance to see the movie Love, Simon and go to the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Although I have been back in Vancouver for about 8 months now, I haven’t had the chance to go do a lot of the tourist activities. But since my boyfriend works at a tourist attraction, he was able to get us into the Sea to Sky Gondola for free.

The trip was nothing short of magical. We got lucky, as it was gorgeous and sunny on our trip up north. I had not been on the Sea to Sky highway in about 10 years, so it was extremely special for me. The view was breathtaking. The ride up the mountain was also absolutely gorgeous. It felt almost as though I was flying.

When we got to the top, we made sure to take lots of pictures. Unfortunately, I woke up that day with a shoulder injury, so I am wearing a sling in the pictures. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying myself. I can’t explain how special it was to experience something so beautiful with someone I love. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

 

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Minami | Japanese Restaurant

Today, I wanted to introduce one of my favorite Japanese restaurant in town, Minami. They are very famous for their oshi sushi – also they are a sister company with Miku (another beautiful restaurant located at Waterfront, downtown). Minami is located in Yaletown, which is full of famous and delicious restaurant. I love Yaletown because […]

Muslim teen and transit hero discuss SkyTrain safety with Vancouver Mayor

On December 15th, Noor Fadel and Jake Taylor visited city hall to meet with Mayor Robertson to speak about effective ways to increase protection on public transportation.

Noor and Jake retold their story. Noor explained that the attacker approached her with an aggressive tone, loudly threatening and cursing at her. The verbal attacks soon escalated into physical assault.

Upon witnessing the attacker strike Noor, Jake disclosed that he sprang into action fending off the attacker with a shove along with a strong warning to “get the F out of here.”

Only one citizen protected Noor despite the train containing several passengers who passively observed the event unfold.

Noor and Jake stated that none of the passengers present have come forward as witnesses yet. After hearing their story Mayor Robertson suggested the formation of an awareness campaign.

Noor and Jake agreed on the importance of education about preventing assaults by taking action. They stressed the need for protecting the victim in several ways.

The two explained that passengers should take advantage of SkyTrain safety methods by pressing the yellow strip, or pushing the speaker button to speak to security.

They recommended on lookers call the police and film the incident to provide evidence. The pair then proposed installing CCTV’s in the trains to quell the voices that claim an incident as false because of insufficient evidence.

Mayor Robertson proposed the idea of the pair creating a documentary about the incident to shed light on preventing a bystander effect. Noor and Jake responded positively to the suggestion stating that speaking out about their story may better inform the public to take a stand together and help keep the community safe.

Click on the audio link below to listen to an interview with Noor Fadel:

Richmond, British Columbia


It’s winter and ’tis the season for hotpot! Honestly, to me, hotpot is all seasons, yes even in the summer~ (please remember there is air conditioners). The other day my sister and I went to a newly opened hotpot place in Richmond called: DolarShop. I believe is a chain store from China.

*Please note: there is a huge line wait and it is not AYCE (all you can eat) hotpot*

The benefit of this hotpot place is that you order your own soup base so it eliminates the difficulty of everyone sharing one pot (such as food allergies or people not eating certain things). They have many soup bases and I order the tomato one. *Also to note* that there is an additional $2.99 for condiments and fresh fruit which would be the sauce section, little appetizers like kimchi and peanuts, and they were serving watermelon at the time. It is unlimited.

Overall, the food was delicious (I don’t know how hotpot can go wrong unless their food was not fresh). Service was good but be prepared to be spoken in Chinese as long as you look Asian/Chinese. The down side was definitely the wait time. I would suggest going in earlier to put your name down as they take your phone number down. When it is almost your time to be seated they will give you a call. The design of DolarShop is very clean, modern, and bright which makes me feel more comfortable eating there because I can see what I’m eating.

DOLARSHOP
ADDRESS: 720-5300 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC V6X 2C7
PHONE: 604-370-7077
WEBSITE: http://www.dolarshop.com/en/Global.htm

Family Day In Vancouver

Spending time with family is important. Unfortunately I don’t always get to spend the amount of time I want to with them. Especially when they live 4 hours away. I know that isn’t a crazy amount, but it still slows the amount we get to see each other.

When my family visited us we decided to spend some time in the city exploring what Vancouver has to offer. there are lots of great sights around, but that wasn’t my main focus.

I love capturing moments and people. Pictures of buildings and landscapes are cool, but I prefer taking photos of humans because they remind me of moments more. We could all take a picture of the olympic torch (of course I took one too) and they are all the same. Sure they are creative in their own ways and are from different angles, but the personality of the torch remains. When I take pictures of humans I get to capture so much more than the way they look that day.

I love documenting moments and having them forever. It is very dad of me, but I just think it is so cool when someone can dive into their archives and pull out images or videos from milestones or significant times in their life. Casey Neistat does a really great job of this when he makes videos and that is where I got my inspiration from.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed seeing a few pictures from our time in Vancouver and getting to hear me ramble about why I take the pictures I do.

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

Vancouver, British Columbia

Summer 2017, back in Vancouver, I had the pleasure of spending my belated birthday dinner with my friends at Botanist. The restaurant took over the location where ORU used to be, at Fairmont Pacific Rim. When you first enter the restaurant it’s very nature-like. The colour scheme used is very soft, gentle, and natural. The cocktail drinks were delicious and most importantly free bread with whipped butter. The bread was delicious and they refilled it!

For appetizers, we ordered the scallops and the octopus. The scallops were delicious, cooked perfectly and the sauce matched nicely. However, the charred octopus was a little disappointing, a little difficult to chew and the sauce did not work for us.

The mains were excellent, we ordered different items and we all loved it. I ordered the roasted rib-eye, medium rare, it was cooked beautifully and so tender. This restaurant is a little on the pricey end but the food is definitely worth it. A good treat… once in a while.

BOTANIST
ADDRESS: 1038 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B9
PHONE: 604-695-5500
WEBSITE: https://www.botanistrestaurant.com/menu/