August Long Weekend was coming up and I didn’t have plans. The firstest of first world problems, this was.
Spontaneous if nothing else, I booked flights to Vancouver, about 75 minutes west of my home base by air. Such impromptu weekend excursions benefit naturally from road trips, so I called the nice people at Nissan and they offered me a 2013 370Z with spangly LEDs. I took it.
From Vancouver’s English Bay, it would be about an hour of walking and Skytraining just to get to the car, waiting for me in a residential car port in the southeast corner of Greater Vancouver. I was up early that Sunday morning for no particular reason, other than perhaps the coily old hydabed on the 22nd floor of our hotel. Every hotel in the city was booked solid so I couldn’t really complain. It was Pride Week in Vancouver and today was the Parade.
As I walked through the still-tranquil streets towards the Skytrain, I smiled politely at the uniformed officers blocking off roads along the parade route. The big coastal sun shot rays of warmth between the forest of skyscrapers as I ducked into the Burrard Street Station. Leaving the West End, the train floated past glass-clad condos of decreasing size.
I’d been to Vancouver maybe a dozen times before, but I’d never explored it widely. When the most beautiful markets, restaurants, parks, and real estate are all centrally located and within walking distance, why bother? Because adventure! From three storeys up on the train, the badminton training centres, schools, and industrial-looking malls of Vancouver’s edges were like unplugged, uncut bonus tracks hidden 20 minutes past the end of your favourite high school CD. Kinda raw, but integral to the story.
Ten stops later, eyes wide with a new appreciation for the host city of the 2010 Olympic Games, I hopped off the train. Walking down to ground level, I listened to the quiet suburb as it woke up. Some people were gardening, others jogging in colourful groups, other yet standing on the curb waiting for a ride to what could have only been Church.
I followed my directions for about 800m and voila! There, under an open-air awning, was the mysteriously coloured Nissan that I’d reserved for the weekend. It wasn’t quite brown, but probably not purple either. All I could say for certain was that it was sparkly and all mine. I unlocked it, remarked at the plethora of interior upgrades since my 350Z, and set off towards I knew not what.
Since we were down for maintenance on Monday, we’re bringing you a special Friday edition post. Enjoy!
It doesn’t matter who you blame, it’s all the same in the end.
With the successful launch of the world’s first mass-produced all-electric car – and reigning World Car of the Year – tucked under CEO Carlos Ghosn’s Levantine belt, Nissan’s very first semi-electric foray into motoring should be a straight-forward application of now-familiar technology.
It’s simply overwhelming. There’s too much. How can one person possible stay on top of it all the awesome car videos??
Relax. It’s ok. Just close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath. We’ve done the work for you so pop some corn, grab a beer, and enjoy the eight must-see videos for this week. Don’t have the time right now? No worries, you’ve got all week. Bookmark it and come back when you’re ready to bask in the glory of the automobile. Enjoy!
1. Sebastian Thrun on Google’s Driverless Car:
He’s passionate, he’s persuasive, and he’s showing us a glimpse of the future. As long as there are still closed race tracks, count us in!
Faster, hairier, and louder cars are after the jump!
I’m really not a foodie. I can’t emphasize that enough. Foodies blog, tweet, and yammer on ad nauseum about everything they’ve ever eaten as if it were their last meal before getting the chair. I don’t even like food that much. I tolerate food. I get that it’s tasty and all that, but there seems to be more landmines than jackpots out there. I’m not talking about food poisoning but rather nutritional value. I guess what I’m saying is that I value my health more than I value tastiness. This opinion very much places me with the salmon swimming upstream against the relentless onslaught of marketing messages, societal pressures, and social acceptability. Being a foodie is cool. Being an un-foodie flat-out isn’t.
A particular genus of catsharks, a specific type of chain used in jewelry, and the central character in Pierre Beaumarchais’ The Barber of Seville have scarcely little in common. Just one word, really. It’s a word with an undeniable lightness, even playfulness, and acknowledged musical connotation. It’s a word that demands to be sung rather than spoken, with a smattering of vibrato if at all possible. It’s a word that paints pictures of Tuscan sunsets slipping into the horizon’s warm embrace.
Motor racing is one of the most technologically advanced, visually arresting, exciting sporting spectacles in the world. Highly competitive race series around the globe are a potent sensory assault combining the heady smell of hot tarmac and petrol, the sleek, intricately designed, vividly liveried vehicles, and perhaps most importantly, that piercing, high-pitched whine of high-revving engines.
For many, the noise of motorsport is the primary appeal. I’ll always remember going to my first Formula One Grand Prix, the cars could be heard several seconds before they barreled past in a cacophony of millions of explosions occurring simultaneously inside the 3 litre engine. As they passed by and changed gear I could feel it in my chest, consolidating the emotional, passionate connection I felt with the sport, the cars, and the gloriously deafening noise.