Irony, thy name is Vivian Luk, rookie reporter

3 06 2010

I’ve never met Archie Rollo, legendary copy editor at the Vancouver Sun, who passed away on Monday.

I hope he forgives me though, for the unpardonable spelling error that I made in his obituary (click HERE to read it), which was published in Wednesday’s paper.

“Archie always acted like we’re on this great enterprise to perfect the English language together,” said Bula, who was once gently reminded by the small, wiry editor that the name of India’s pre-eminent political and spiritual leader, Mohandas Ghandi, was spelled with a G, not a C. “I always felt like, thank God, my story will be saved from myself by him.”

Actually, as I was told by the five hate e-mails waiting for me in my inbox this morning, the great leader’s name is spelled G-A-N-D-H-I One rookie reporter and three copy editors completely missed it. Oops.

Archie is probably cringing and  rolling over in his grave right now by the irony of it all.


Ain’t no mountain high enough

28 05 2010

Mount Everest, Nepal

Rob Hill from Nanaimo, B.C. became the first Canadian man with Crohn’s disease to summit the tallest mountains in all seven continents.

Rob reached the south summit of Everest on May 25. His journey was part of the No Guts Know Glory campaign, an initiative to raise awareness about inflammatory bowel diseases, and to inspire those who suffer from them to reach for the stars.

I had the honour of speaking to him this morning over a satelite phone. Read my story HERE

Green is the new blue

27 05 2010

Wedding cake by Sweet Naturally Bakery, North Vancouver

Being a last-minute bridesmaid for my lovely cousin and her husband last year (may they live happily ever after) opened my eyes to the glamourous world of bridezillas.

Engagement ring. Check. Wedding invitations. Check. Bridal shower. Check. Flying relatives over.  Check. Wedding and bridesmaid dresses, photos, bachelorette party, wine and more wine . Check check check.

A huge load of waste. Check.

Don’t get me wrong, I think weddings are absolutely beautiful. But I don’t think many people  realize how big an impact a fantasy wedding can have on the environment–or on your wallet, come to that. I only recently found out (apparently, I’ve been living under a rock. Har har) that an engagement ring  costs, at the least, $10 000, or 2-3 months’ paycheque.

Seriously. Even if you don’t care about the sake of our planet, wouldn’t you rather put that money into, say, your mortgage, so you can have a roof over your head rather than a shiny rock on your finger or a dress that you will never wear (nor, quite frankly,  fit into) again?

Thankfully, I am not the only one who feels that way. It appears that green weddings are becoming increasingly popular, and there are plenty of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint on your big day. 

Check out how you can plan an extravagant yet eco-friendly wedding HERE.

Top 15 Must-Sees on Granville Island

21 05 2010
Spectacular scenery, delectable food, exquisite artwork and an abundance of recreational activity are just a few things that make Granville Island a magical place for locals and tourists. This summer, add “Check out Granville Island” on your to-do list and make sure you hit up all 15 must-sees. 
1.Street performances

Granville Island is home to nearly 150 buskers. Let musicians, magicians and mimes mesmerize you inside the public market or out by the water. Keep an eye out for Piper McKenzie, who juggles knives, fire torches and even kittens while balancing on a pole.

2.Osake Artisan Sake Maker

Rather than popping a bottle of bubbly at your next party, try a bottle of sparkling sake from the only premium sake winery in Canada. Sake maker Masa Shiroki also offers tours and tastings for a small fee.

3.New-Small & Sterling Glass Studio Gallery

Experience the wonder of hot glass and blow your very own glass flower at New-Small & Sterling, Designer David New-Small gives glassblowing demos inside the chromatic studio everyday

4. Aquabus

There is no funner way to explore downtown than putting along False Creek in a little rainbow-coloured boat. This iconic vessel departs every 15 minutes and  takes you from Granville Island to Yaletown.

5.Tart Boutique

Discover your sensual side at this new addition to the island. The lush, velvet couches, silky drapes and soft lamps will transport you to the courtesan quarters of 18th-century Europe. While sexy lingerie and toys are offered, you can also find simple shirts, ties, dresses and jewelry. Try their organic shaving creams, exotic massage oils and perfumes. Or, kick back with one of their books, and learn anything from how to prepare a romantic dinner for two to how to be more eco-friendly between the sheets.

6.Alartes Silks

Pick up a one-of-a-kind hand-painted silk scarf, shawl or tie from Alarte Silks. Owner Izabela Sauer pleats the gossamer silks with an ancient Japanese technique called Shibori, and paints them in vibrant reds, oranges, blues and purples.

7.The Tarot Room

Get your fortune told by Ma Nithya Sudevi, a young mystic whom Harry Brar, a local, describes as “mindblowing.” There were no black cats or crystal balls in sight, but Brar left the studio spooked by Sudevi’s foresight.

8.Cooking with B.C’s best

Come to the market after hours and learn to cook a multi-course meal with some of B.C’s top chefs. You get to keep the recipes and wow guests at your next dinner party.

9. Theatre and Art

Check out the plays, musicals and art exhibits featured this summer. Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story will have you dancing out of the theatre, while Laura Vanderline’s whimsical exhibit in B.C. Ceramics Gallery will whisk you away to the Mad Hatter’s tea party–in Africa.

10.Water park

Slip on your bathing suit, slather on some sunscreen, grab a towel, load up a picnic basket and hit up the largest free water park in North America. Who said slides, sprinklers and pipes are just for kids?

11. Water and recreational sports

Work up an appetite before lunch. Kayaking, sailing, fishing, biking, blading, running, and walking are just a few of the recreational activities you can partake here.

12. Go Fish

The best fish and chips in town is worth the 45-minute wait. This humble fish shack by the water fries up fresh cod, salmon and halibut in Granville Island beer batter. Served piping hot with Pacific Rim coleslaw and hand-cut fries in a dim sum steamer, and eaten in front of a million-dollar view of False Creek, this dish is a perfect indulgence after a day of shopping, cycling or walking.

13. Go Nuts

Luv N Nuts offers more than twenty kinds of sweet and savoury nuts inside the market. Butter rum pecans, ginger almonds, and firecracker cashews are amongst the most popular. Their friendly staff are more than happy to let you sample all twenty, even if you don’t intend to buy any.

14. Fire up your tastebuds

South China Seas showcases more than 50 types of hot sauces from Asia, South America and the Middle East on their Wall of Fire.If you’re feeling gutsy, pick up a bottle of Jolokia Ghost Pepper Sauce from Costa Rica. Selling for $50 a bottle, the hot sauce is sealed in a wooden box with a warning: one drop at a time.

15. Granville Island Brewery

No trip to Granville Island would be complete without a tour of their renowned brewery. Top it off with four free samples, or their summer exclusives: a tart raspberry beer or a spicy ginger beer. Tours are offered three times daily.

Taste of Asia

21 05 2010

The Summer Night Market at Richmond starts up again TONIGHT at 12631 Vulcan Way.

Read all about it HERE and don’t forget to come hungry.

I just had to represent.

Crazy Granny Scam Artists

21 05 2010

 61-year-old Maggie Dunbar is no stranger to injuries. She’s had her pelvis and ribs broken, her lungs punctured, and her spleen ruptured from a car accident many years ago. Now she’s adding one more to the list: broken feet.

Dunbar broke both her feet after three strangers forced their way into her home on Monday. After breaking free from one man who had punched her and pinned her down, she ran to the balcony and lunged 20 feet down.


Why are there so many nutty people out there who think that reporters will just pick up on your ridiculous story, and write it up without, say, checking with the police first? 

This time, it was a tough 61-year-old woman who claimed that earlier this week, three people had forced their way into her and her room mate’s apartment, demanding that they give up all their valuable. Despite weighing only 100 pounds each, and the fact that one woman supposedly had severe scoliosis while the other had suffered said injuries, both put up a valiant fight. “Maggie” (no way of knowing if that’s her real name) decided it was safer to leap off the balcony than to stay in the apartment while they plundered. The burglars took off with $5000–but not without macing her room mate first. The poor women had been saving that money to buy themselves a car.

Now, will a kindhearted, good Samaritan please have mercy on these two poor souls, and…donate some money? Offer them your car? Please?

When technology fails you

17 05 2010

As I’m sure most of my fellow journalists can attest, we all have those days when you walk into the newsroom in the morning happy as a clam. Maybe you slept 10 hours, your hangover decided not to show up, you had an awesome breakfast, and your coffee-making skills were exceptionally good. As you turn on your computer, sipping on your coffee, you think, maybe today I’ll get to write that story. You know. The story.

Until your editor saunters over, and tells you,  you need to get to that deps at x-time. You check your watch and realize you only have enough time to yell fuck (either out loud or in your head) before you need to jet out the door.

I got lucky today. I had enough time to actually Google AND ask a fellow intern how to get to said location. Curiously, they told me contesting things. Now who do I trust? I have no reason to doubt my well-intentioned co-worker, who has a remarkable sense of style and kicks my ass in reporting (which is obviously cause-and-effect). But Google map can’t be wrong, can it?

Alas, I put too much faith in that search engine, whom I always thought was my friend. I ended up 20 blocks farther away. So I ran.

And missed the press briefing, which lasted all of five minutes, entirely.

Moral of the story: technology can be deceiving. And run faster next time.