About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Piece of Paris at Granville Island

Josie and I had a great afternoon today at Granville Island. (Do check out this link because there are fabulous photos, much better than I could ever take.) Anyway, Granville Island is a small island and shopping district located in an area called False Creek directly across from the downtown core of Vancouver. It used to be an industrial manufacturing area, but is now a major tourist destination offering a public market, a marina, a hotel, the Emily Carr Institue of Art and Design, various theaters and shopping areas surrounding the last industrial outpost - a cement plant. There's also ferry service from the island to downtown Vancouver across Burrard Inlet.


We had a wonderful lunch at Monk's Oyster Bar. I chose the shrimp and spinach salad while Josie chose crab cakes and salad. Since we'd been so good choosing a low-cal main course, we splurged on dessert - Josie with creme caramel and moi with cheesecake! We took a stroll on the patio afterwards to admire the scenery before continuing on to the other end of Granville Island.

Granville Island hosts a variety of buskers and you can see them everywhere playing all sorts of musical instruments. Today, we stopped to listen to a First Native gentleman playing a variety of pan flutes. It was hauntingly beautiful music and Josie even checked out the price of his cds. We didn't buy any, though, because it was early in our exploration of the island.

Later, we saw a busker setting up near the Ferry Wharf and when we realised he was singing in French, we rushed to listen to him. His name is Joshua Minsky and I must say he was very easy on the eyes as well as the ears. We stayed quite a while, applauding politely when he'd finish a song. As some of you may remember, I used to teach FSL (French as a Second Language) and my ears prick up when I hear French, especially in song.

Josh began to study guitar at the age of 8 and after finishing college in 1980 he moved back to New York and began performing in clubs and restaurants, singing and accompanying himself on the guitar. In 1984 he moved to Europe, where beginning in Amsterdam and then moving to Paris in '85 he made his living by playing in various venues, based mainly in Paris but moving also between Nice, London, Zurich and Stockholm. In 1996 Joshua moved back to Vancouver. After a four year break from music he began playing and singing at Granville Island's Daily Outdoor Concert Series, where he can still be found.

He was so charming and delightful, we each purchased one of his cds. Josie bought Souvenir de Paris and I bought his latest one entitled Au Cafe Mazet. Rumour has it this cafe is where Jim Morrison of The Doors had his last drink before his rather untimely death and so Le Mazet has kept the reputation of being a drinkers bar. On the weekends it's very lively and caters to ex-pats, but I believe it's now closed for refurbishment. Josh wrote three songs on this latest cd and as I type this, I'm listening to the first one entitled "L'Ete" (the summer) as he accompanies himself on guitar. He has an intensely haunting voice when he sings slow ballads like "La Vie En Rose" but he also sings some fun and upbeat songs like "Le Soleil a Rendez-vous avec la Lune" (the sun has a rendezvous with the moon).

If you'd like to actually listen to Josh singing, check out this youtube video. It was shot by someone who was visiting Granville Island in Dec '06 and checking out the mussels. But you'll at least get a taste of why Josie and I enjoyed our few minutes listening to several songs by Josh while admiring the view towards the Burrard Street Bridge that links residential Vancouver to the downtown core.
When visitors come, we'll take them to Granville Island and go for lunch at Bridges Restaurant which is right on the wharf. We'll sit on the patio with their trademark yellow umbrellas and watch all the yachts go by as we sip margaritas and dine on fresh seafood. Yummy!
Hope you enjoyed the latest installment of Josie and Leslie's Excellent Adventures. For a look at a couple of last year's J&L's EA, click here (spring on the West Vancouver seawall or here (Ladner Village Market).
Y'all come back, hear! :D

18 comments:

Josie said...

Leslie, we'll have to go back in the summer, and walk along the seawall from Monk's to Granville Island. And it is definitely one of the places Geewits will have to see when she comes to Vancouver.

P.S. I love my new earrings. They're perfect, perfect, perfect!

geewits said...

Sheeesh! Will June 1st ever get here!???! Okay. 8 more weeks and I will be there. Must. See. Granville Island.

Casdok said...

Certainly did enjoy it! Thank you.

jmb said...

Josh is indeed delightful isn't he? I have bought his CD's for my daughter who teaches French in the US.
I used to think he was French for he was always singing Edith Piaf songs and I always called him Le Chanteur françaisuntil I started to talk to him and found he was from NYC. I have photos of him on my blog and I submitted his photo to a Belgium photo site for their Musique en FĂȘte theme and sent him a copy via email.

Granville Island is always enjoyable to visit.

sally in norfolk said...

sounds like you had a great time :-)

Ruth D~ said...

What a fun day! Nothing like a good friend in a good place. Toss in some good music and voila! Perfection.

Love the baby pix. Soooooo cute. And your sky watch pix are gorgeous.

Russell said...

Sounds like you and Josie had a lot of fun! Glad to hear it!!

I noticed both of you talked quite a bit about the French singer... Well, why not?! You only live once and you might as well enjoy it!

I have a feeling we will be hearing more about this man in the future...! We shall, as they say, stay tuned for future developments...!

I have tried at different times to learn French myself but, well, I struggle enough with English! Oh well...

Country Girl said...

Leslie, I love when you and Josie have your excellent adventures and you post about them. Thanks for the info on Josh. I'm going to look for him. I mean his CD's! And I love French. We have a gorgeous gentleman from the Ivory Coast who teaches French at our school. I only had 4 years of it in high school a hundred years ago and he's always impressed with my retention. (of about 30 words). When he wants me to make announcements on the intercom, he gives me the instructions in French. Sometimes I make them wrong but it's always good for a laugh. Have a wonderful day.

Smalltown RN said...

Leslie you look gorgeous!!! What a wonderful time the two of you had...I was just over at Josie's blog...gosh you two do get around....seems the two of you got kinda of freindly with dear Josh!!!!

Susie said...

Looks like it was a wonderful outing and even more special when spent with a good friend!

Liz said...

I just looked at Monk's menu: my mouth is watering!

And who is that attractive slim woman on the quayside?!

Daryl E said...

Your photos are great! And it was fun reading both your and Josie's recaps of the day...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Sounds like a fun day! I will check out the video now.

leslie said...

Yes Josie we'll go back but we don't have to wait that long. I want to get some seafood and kebobs like you did along with some vegies.

Geewits: patience! anticipation is better than going home afterwards.

jmb: it seems that Josh has been around Granville Island for some time now. He's VERY good - both at singing and flirting. ;D

Sally and Ruth: yes we sure did have a good time, although I was happy to get home to my little house in the 'burbs.

Russell: I tutor kids in French so I think I could teach you enough to get by in France.

Kate: our "excellent adventures" are becoming legendary! lol

Mary Ann: if ONLY we could become even friendlier! lol

Susie: good times really are better when shared with a good friend.

Liz: the seafood here is to die for! Let me know when you're coming and we'll go out for dinner.

daryl: it's fun to read two different perspectives of the same good time, isn't it?

Welsh: the video isn't great, but it gives you an idea of his voice. Although I don't think it quite measure up to Patrizio! *drool*

Cedar said...

I like reading your blog, but every time I come over here I see the little meme drinking all that water and I have to go to the bathroom. I am thinking she is over hydrated.

nancygrayce said...

What a great day! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. I'm sure my son is bi-polar. He's been self-medicating for years with drugs. My mind is a little paralized right now because I think he may actually go to prison. I cannot get my mind around this. But I cling to Jesus and yes, I'll be praying for your daughter too! I know exactly what you mean by just wanting them to have normalcy in their lives. I've wanted that most of his life. Again, thanks!

leslie said...

Hey, cedar! I'll be changing her soon! lol

Anonymous said...

Coincidently, I'm sitting in front of my PC listening to Josh while I Google for the written lyrics. Came across your blog and the resonances started twanging.
My wife and I visit Vancouver (nearly) annually and always manage to spend time at Granville Island. The first time was on a day's stop-over going back to UK from Maui. We'd spent two weeks immersed in the jingoistic coverage of the first days of the Iraq War II and when JM sang Dylan's "With God on Our Side" I, a sober, fat & fiftyish bloke sat and blubbed.
This year, despite his set being shortened by an operative with a water-jet cleaner, he charmed us all over again and I bought his new cd. Anyone who already has "Souvenir de Paris" might baulk at "La Mauvaise Reputation" as some of the tracks are common. However the treatment and line-up are different and well worth adding to your collection. Pop down and get a copy Josie; you may get a free flirtation thrown in as well.