View From My Apartment
9th floor and the buildings in front are height restricted
I'm definitely a bit of a view geek. I picked my previous (rental) apartment not because it was currently undergoing leaking condo renos or because that part of Vancouver was "up and coming" or even because I had friends that live near by, I picked my apartment because it had a view that punched above the rent. When I bought a condo, view figured large.
I came back from my trip to Hong Kong
, New Zealand
a day before Christmas. It took me a few days to get my bearings. I started taking photos off the deck at sunrise and because it was the darkest of winter, I really didn't have to get up that early.
Vancouver being significantly North of the tropic of Cancer, the time of the year makes a significant difference in where the sun is in the sky. A North facing apartment may be quite dim during the winter but sun drenched in the summer as the northernly sun comes higher off the horizon and moves up the sky.
With the amount of rain we get, you would think we would have nothing but overcast weather. Surprisingly, much of the cloud cover is actually patchy and when there is water in the atmosphere (most of the time) it's quite easy to get sun beams or god rays.
English Bay is effectively a large canyon - there are mountains to the north, a ridge to the south and it just so happens that much of the canyon is buried under the ocean. This large box helps add drama and scale to weather. Lightning is very rare here (maybe two small storms a year), but selective patches of rain (and rainbows) are quite common. If you are lucky enough to catch it, you can often see different parts of the valley experiencing different weather, all at the same time.
You sometimes wonder what is happening at home when you sit in a rainstorm at the office - the variable weather changes quickly and is quite different in different parts of the city.
What surprises me is how rainbows change locations in the city. I was surprised to see a rainbow spanning the whole downtown peninsula, when other rainbows ended half way down Yaletown.
For a few weeks after new years, Vancouver generally experiences fog. Often the fog is a thick blanket, but sometimes the sun manages to poke thorough.
As the sun moves from winter solstice to equinox to summer solstice, it moves from setting over UBC to the ocean to the sunshine coast mountains. Depending on where the sun sets, Vancouver gets lit up in different ways with different colours. Given the massive array of windows in Vancouver, you often get to see the sun setting from multiple angles.
As the sun crawls north for a few weeks when the sun transitions from the South to the north, the light of sunset comes straight through my apartment. As the sun reaches it's furthest North, it start setting behind the coast mountains so you lose the direct light of the sun as it hits the horizon.
All of this geography makes for beautiful variety of sunsets. If you are lucky the sun still shines on clouds when it isn't directly visible from behind the mountain giving a beautiful sky canvas.
Sometimes the canvas holds soft colours and soft details. Sometimes it's sharp and full of contrast.
And as the sun goes down, the city lights get brighter.
And then it is time for night.
For the first time in years, there are fireworks downtown for Canada day. Generally the fireworks in Vancouver are launched from English Bay or near science world, but for Canada day, they are generally launched nearest Canada Place (go figure). This year, there are two sites - one at Canada place and another at Ambleside in West Vancouver. Being lazy (and the weather predicted rain) I stayed home had a little party and took pictures off the deck:
Being on the other side of the city, you can't see the lower fireworks. That said, the view of the city with fireworks is quite nice.
The more common fireworks at the Celebration of Light in English Bay.
The Celebration of Light fireworks happen 4 nights in two weeks in the summer. It's one of those things you feel bad if you happen to be out of town for, but now that I own an apartment with a bit of a view, I seem to have no shortage of guests willing to come over. I suspect it will be a while before I go to another location to see the fireworks.
Thankfully, it's not fireworks season all year round (the parties would kill me!). In the winter it gets dark pretty early - sadly not dark enough to see stars, but dark enough that you can see the Christmas lights on someone elses deck a few km away. One day I figured there is probably one hundred thousand light bulbs that make the view possible.
My neighborhood has some late night to 24 hour features. The sushi place across the street is open until midnight - even on holiday weekends (handy for after long hikes in the summer). There is a Tim Hortons and Wendy's open until 2am (never been). There is a 24 hour coffee shop across the corner from my house, along with the usual 7-11 and Dennys for your 24 hour cravings. It may be 5:22 am, but the city is still moving:
I find that city glow lighting up the sunrise clouds orange pretty eerie. Light pollution - what can you do?
Tags: Vancouver(22), city(20), panorama(10), sunset(9), fireworks(8), orange sky(4)
I really like your photos, excellent work.
Saturday, December 12th, 2009 at 13:05:45
Very nice photos of Vancouver - even better than many I see on the post cards, etc. in the shops. You should consider several avenues of how to sell these. And thanks for sharing these online. Happy Holidays.
Thursday, December 17th, 2009 at 22:05:58
Nice work you really have a passion for capturing images. Thanks for sharing all your shots and travels with us. Happy New Year.
Saturday, December 26th, 2009 at 11:52:38
Beautiful photographs! You could sell these!
Sunday, January 10th, 2010 at 01:05:10
great scenery. great photography!
you picked your condo right. everyone should envy.
try sell your photos to tourism vancouver!
Friday, January 15th, 2010 at 03:52:16
Last Modified Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 at 21:18:03 Edit
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