Quickie Post - “Doggie Watch” I was rushing between video shoots, but just had to snap a few photos of this Starsky and Hutch duo. They were hanging out in the US Departure Terminal in YVR (Vancouver International Airport). Mr. Shaggy Boom-Bastic (real name “Binky”) was a little shy at first, until I brought the camera out. His dad is an avid photographer and has been snapping his picutre since he was a pup. It was a quick meet and greet and I had to run. Binky and his dad were off to Mexico, where they kick-back for a few months each winter.
Quickie Post - “Halloween in Burkeville” I’ve visited Burkeville nearly a dozen times since I arrived at YVR. Surprisingly enough, the 700 person community (just steps away from the airport) has some of the best parks and playgrounds I’ve ever seen. The streets are named after aviation words (like Boeing), the houses look like their from “Leave It To Beaver” and the people actually smile and say hi. It’s a pretty nice community. Another thing I’ve noticed is that when you talk with the locals, one of the first things they say is, “Have you been here for Halloween?” After hearing this for the fifth of sixth time I thought to myself, I’ve got to experience this “Burkeville Halloween” and find out what all the hype is about. Remember Charlie Barstow, the six year old ‘beat-boxer’ from Sea Island Elementary? He’s the same young gentleman that has captured the hearts of the thousands of Live@YVR fans. Well, Candice and I threw on some costumes (I borrowed mine from the Fairmont) and we walked over to the Barstow residence for a little Halloween celebration. While Russ Barstow took Charlie out for some trick-or-treat action, Sue (Charlie’s mom) welcomed us with a huge pot of Butter Chicken, cupcakes and wine. The Barstow’s are obviously the entertaining type, as they had a constant flow of smiling neighbors coming and going through their doors all night. It was around 7:00pm and rumors begin to spread that the annual fireworks might be canceled due to wind. But sure enough, the wind calmed down and the streets were soon flooded as the entire neighborhood flocked to the park. Russ Barstow was kind enough to make sure that both Candice and I had ‘special' coffees for walk (we had to keep warm some how). It was a clear night, not a cloud in the sky. The park was lit with a soft yellow hue as the light from food vendor trailers scattered across heads in the crowd. A few warning blasts were deployed and soon the fireworks underway. Hanging out with Charlie’s family was totally awesome. Both Russ and Sue were very welcoming, and Charlie even shared a bit of his Halloween loot with me. Experiencing the old-fashion Burkeville Halloween tradition was something I’ll never forget. I think I can speak for Candice when I say, we’ll see you guys next year! *NEW* BURKEVILLE FIREWORKS (Oct 31st): Watch Video: http://vimeo.com/31474114 *NEW* YVR’s HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST (Oct 31st): Watch Video: http://vimeo.com/31475860 *OLD* BURKEVILLE HAUNTED HOUSE (Oct 25th): Watch Video: http://vimeo.com/31011205
Quickie Post - Happy Halloween @ YVR I can’t believe it. I just wrote an entire post, pressed an unknown button with my pinky and now it’s gone. I’d like to give a quick shout out to YVR’s Retail Team, and all the amazing pumpkin carving & costume contestants. I was completely shocked by some of the entries! Very creative. It was also an honor to emcee the event. This has been easily the best Halloween ever. My girlfriend just arrived and I’m in a bit of a crunch because we’re late for a little Halloween celebration in Burkeville (which is a small community here on Sea Island). I took some amazing footage of the Halloween Pumpkin Carving & Costume Contest and will be sharing it with you shortly. For now, this short post and pics will have to do. Happy Halloween everyone!
Quickie Vid - “Plane Incident @ YVR” A small commuter plane crashed just short of the South Runway at YVR yesterday. No specific details have been released on what may have caused the crash. The plane, a twin engine Beechcraft King Air 100, had just left YVR on a routine trip to Kelowna, BC. Fifteen minutes into the flight it turned back due to mechanical issues. The plane turned around about 15 minutes into the flight. On its approach, the aircraft banked sharply left and crashed 900 metres short of the runway on Richmond’s Russ Baker Way, hitting a lamp post and a car, said a witness. Dozens of heroic bi-standards rushed to help pull people from the burning wreck. Within minutes multiple Emergency Response teams were on site to extinguish the flames and rush the pilots and passengers to the hospital. I have posted this video on Facebook and invite any friends, family or fans to share their feelings and memories: www.facebook.com/liveatyvr. My heart goes out to the aviation community as well as everyone involved. For more information on this please visit: www.yvr.ca (or) the following media channels: GLOBAL BC: http://bit.ly/ruPXhR CBC ONLINE: http://bit.ly/tcqet7
Day 69 - “Burkeville Horror” Sounds scary hey? I don’t know what’s scarier, the name ‘Burkeville’ or the word ‘horror’. Together they create the perfect bone chilling movie title. Most of the Live@YVR followers have a pretty good knowledge of Burkeville, as I’ve covered the community in a number of episodes. For those who don’t know, Burkeville was built in the 1940’s to house the workers of YVR’s Boeing plant. The best part of Burkeville is that it hasn’t changed since the Boeing plant was closed more than 30 years ago. It’s like Pleasantville, but with a ghostly twist. Every year the community of Burkeville hosts a Halloween Celebration, but out of all the ghostly houses one house stands apart from the rest. For the last 30 years Tim has been reviving the dead and scaring kids with his Haunted House Mansion. The Haunted House opens Oct 23rd, 2011 and runs until Oct 31st, doors open from 6pm - 9pm. I toured Burkeville during my 2nd week on Live@YVR job (that was back in August), and Tim had already lined his front lawn with skulls and coffins. It’s now two months later and his house looks even more scary. I can’t wait to visit on Halloween night! Hope to see you there.
Quickie Post - “Jun Bug” I heard rumors of a guy that works 16 hours a day, five days a week and still manages to put smiles on the faces of thousands of airport passengers and workers. I wandered over to the Starbucks in the Domestic Terminal looking for the famed Jun. The counter was bustling and a long line-up poured outside the retail space. At the forefront of it all was a man taking orders, flipping cups and greeting people by name. This had to be Jun. Jun moved to Canada from the Philippines in the early 1990’s. Since then he’s started a family and secured two jobs. For the last 10 years, every morning has been the same for Jun. He arrives at Starbucks at 3am, preps for the morning and then works the entire morning rush. He then leaves for his second job at 1pm, where he works as a UPS package sorter. Despite his endurance, the most fascinating quality about Jun is his personality. He remembers the names and coinciding drinks for thousands of YVR workers; and he serves each drink with a genuine smile and signature laugh. Christmas is coming up. I would encourage the individuals that told me countless times how great Jun is to pool some money together and buy him a Gift Certificate to the Keg. His favorite food is steak. WATCH THE INTERVIEW WITH JUN: http://vimeo.com/30956450
Quickie Post - “Cathay Pacific Lounge” I spent the entire day yesterday transferring and editing videos. I was pretty happy because I had managed to get a tremendous amount done.. but I was suffering from extreme cabin fever and needed to get out of my room. So I grabbed my security pass, threw on a Hawaiian shirt and went for a walk. One of the CATSA Security Screeners asked if I had been to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge (International Terminal). “A new place I had yet to discover, I’ll go check it out!” They were closed. But just as I was about to walk away I noticed a sign that read, Cathay Pacific - First & Business Class, Elevator to 4th floor. I reached the fourth floor, exited the elevator and just as I was about to turn left I nearly jumped out of my skin! There was this massive 6’5 ft. ‘Cathay dressed’ Asian woman standing at the end of the empty hallway. With lightening speed I thought, “that can’t be right, a 6’5 Asian woman, I’m outta here!” and I jumped back into the elevator. I poked my head around the corner for a second look. It was just a cardboard cut-out. (Great way to welcome customers). I walked into the Lounge and was instantly transported to 2030. The floor was extremely polished, and the balance between white space and wood panel created the perfect “modern-vintage” atmosphere. I felt like a 1960’s jet-setter, but in the future. Luckily the lady behind the counter wasn’t 6’5 Asian woman. She was average size, and very nice. She had actually heard about LIVE@YVR and welcomed me right in. Their scheduled flight was still a few hours away, so the lounge was really quiet. But I wasn’t to concerned about the sound, I was more focused on the food and pouring a nice strong drink. I spent the next two hours in the lounge, people watching, snacking and reading magazine. I would have to rate Cathay’s Lounge pretty high. British Airway’s Lounge was nice.. but their selection on British style foods was no comparison to Cathay’s Asian appetizers. Unfortunately, like most lounges you need to be traveling first or business class, otherwise you’re S.O.L. However, if you are looking for a nice lounge to relax in and are not flying first or business, check out the Plaza Premium Lounges. There is a Plaza Premium Lounge in every terminal at YVR.
Quickie Vid - “YVR Lovers” The Green Coat Volunteer Program is the pride and joy of YVR. Over 300 volunteers strong, the Green Coat’s assist passengers with directions, flight information and even life advice. There are dozens of Green Coats on shift at any given moment, just look for the “?” sign and you’ll most likely find one, maybe two. If you’re lucky you may even find Bob and Lucille.
Quickie Post - “Locked Up” A few days ago I took a tour through the depths of YVR’s domestic terminal, which was actually built back in the early 60’s. We stumbled across the old Sheriff’s cell, which is now abandoned and used as a storage area. Although it was dark and kinda freaky looking, I wanted in! Surprisingly, my escort (Lorne Stewart, Terminal Duty Officer) unlocked the huge metal entrance door and let me in! After the initial door, a long hallway brought me to the cell-hold and Sheriff’s quarters (800 sq ft in total). It looked as if the Sheriff had just left. Everything was in such good condition. Thick iron cages with slots beside the doors for food or cuff release. The toilets and sinks were missing, but markings and initials were still engraved in the glossy enamel paint. I’ve asked a number of people if anyone famous had been locked up in there, but no one seems to know. According to airport YVR Operations, the methods of transporting criminals have changed since the jet-setting 60’s. High-risk criminals are transported privately, from private hangers, while other criminals are escorted from cell to plane (with no need to hold them). Despite these enhanced methods of transport, there is an undisclosed holding cell in YVR, but its location will forever remain a mystery (even from me, Live@YVR). WATCH THE VIDEO TOUR HERE: http://vimeo.com/30777936
Doggie Watch - “Meelo & Me” Meelo didn’t like me. I think his owners were a bit weirded out as well, that was until I told them that the point of my 80 day challenge is celebrate YVR’s 80th anniversary. It’s not unusual though. When I tell people I’m living in the airport for 80 days their eyes widen and they give a puzzled head tilt, kinda like what dogs do when they’re confused. Meelo’s owners were at YVR to see their father off to Taiwan, where he runs a physicians practice. Although the family lives in Vancouver, the father remains in Taiwan because his certification isn’t recognized in Canada. He travels between Canada and Taiwan three or four times a year to visit his family. I can imagine how tough that would be to be away from your family for that long. I never got any of their names, but there was a daughter (who was very funny), a son (his head was leaning directly on the food court table, fast asleep) and the mom (who is holding Meelo back from attacking me). I guess Meelo is the man of the house when the father’s away, so he was a little aggressive. It’s all good though. I totally understand where Meelo is coming from. He has a responsibility to protect the family (even though it’s kind of hard to take him seriously when he’s wearing a knitted Christmas sweater). It was nice hanging out with Meelo and his family in the YVR foodcourt (1am). All the best to you guys!