Sapperton Day(s)

I had a great Sapperton Day(s), again this year.

This has become my favourite one-day festival in the City, not the least because it is the only festival with guaranteed Penny Farthing appearances.

As usual, there were lots of kids activities, lots of Food Truck options, a kick-ass Pancake breakfast with Real Maple syrup and free-range pork sausages, numerous community and volunteer groups, a few giveaways, random entertainment, and the music was loud and really well defended:

I did a tour of Cap’s “Bicycle Museum”. I’ve been going to Cap’s since I bought a Diamond Back Arrival from them in 1987, but I have never seen their remarkable collection of bikes, some dating back to before the Penny-Farthing era. It is amazing, as a bike geek, to see how the same simple engineering problems were solved in so many different ways, based on the best technology of the day. It is well worth the $2 admission to walk through that collection. Maybe we can get them museum space at the new MUCF?

Sapperton Day(s) also gives you a chance to see some of the new businesses in Sapperton. Last year’s big surprise was the great pulled pork at the Graze Market/The Ranch BBQ, this year it was the Pad Thai at the new Thai restaurant just up the Street, named (if I remember correctly) Thai New West.

For the second year in a row, the Sushi Restaurant right across the street from my booth remained closed for Sapperton Day(s); a strange business decision to make when 10,000 people would be walking by the front of the restaurant that day…

I spent most of the day at the NWEP booth, talking transportation with people from across the City, and across the region. I noticed a difference at this event compared to the dozens of previous events where the NWEP went to talk policy stuff: almost universal agreement.

Previously, we have been out helping the City promote the Clean Green bins, or collecting ideas for the Master Transportation Plan, or promoting backyard composting, we are introducing people to the ideas for the first time. This means you have to try to keep their attention while trying to get enough info across that they will care to learn more before wandering next door for lemonade.

And the Lemonade at the Sapperton Day(s) was great. It was a lemonade kind of day.

This time, where the main topic was the Pattullo Bridge (note it was our main topic, the TransLink Booth at Sapperton Day(s) was paradoxically bereft of any information on the Pattullo expansion plans…), it seemed most people in New Westminster knew something was going on and just wanted to know more. They were engaged in the topic before we even started talking. The first question I asked people as they wandered by was “what do you think about the Pattullo Bridge”, and the conversation flowed easily from there.

The most common question I got from New Westminster residents is “what can we do about it?”

That’s not to say everybody had the same opinion. There were a few people who had better ideas to spend more money (on tunnels, cable cars, jetpacks) to “solve our traffic problems once and forever”, but most recognized that more lanes into New West means more cars in to New West means more traffic to deal with. Oh, there was also a long, circular and soul-crushing discussion with our local Libertarian Torch-bearer who kept saying that “you people rely on violent coercion to tell people how to live”, without explaining how voting was an act of violence or who, exactly, “you people” were.

But no-one was without an opinion on it, and that is the good thing. All we need to do is channel all of those opinions into the upcoming TransLink Open Houses, on June 23. It hadn’t been announced by Sapperton Day(s), but our main advise to people was to keep your eye on the local media and on the TransLink website, and show up at the next Public consultation.

Thanks especially go to HUB for lending us the tent: we thought it might be rainy but in the end it just reduced sunburn. We also gave away a tonne of pocket-sized folding bike maps for New Westminster and neighbouring communities, and promoted the upcoming HUB Streetwise safe cycling course in New West on the 16th.

I suppose it will appeal to folks like James Crosty and Ted Eddy, who wouldn’t be caught dead at the Pier Park Grand Opening.

4 comments on “Sapperton Day(s)

  1. Hey Patrick, finally had time to take a look at your blog and was surprised to read a line on there. Knowing your penchant for accuracy and detail, I thought I would reply to your closing line in your ‘Sapperton Day’ posting; ‘James Crosty and Ted Eddy, who wouldn’t be caught dead at the Pier Park Grand Opening.’

    The one-sentence paragraph was surprising given you know both of these men personally from the past election. You know that both would have willingly accepted your call to find out if they were going, and if not, why to the Pier Park opening. In fact, I am sure they would have given you quotes had you asked. So, in respect to your reader I would like to offer the following facts as to their absence from this event.

    James was in a plane somewhere over Saskatchewan during the opening of the Park, returning from nearly two months in Ontario dealing with serious family issues. He arrived in Vancouver at 5pm that day, well past the celebration of the most over-budget, not-on-time project ever taken on by this City. No doubt, the Civic Centre will top the Park for this elite recognition – but I deviate. How do I know this, I was sitting in the seat beside him the entire time. As for Mr. Eddy, his affliction with COPD often prevents him from attending functions (such as the Park open) that require him to walk long distances, especially in the cold and pouring rain.

    Perhaps it was your attempt at humour, but to me your use of ‘caught dead’ implied that both men stayed away on purpose, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Any one, who actually has taken the time to know James, knows that if there was ANY way for him to have attended the opening he would have been there – if not for any other reason than to remind people of the tremendous financial cost associated with it.

    Patrick, for clarity I would like to reiterate Crosty’s published position as defined during his mayoral campaign. James has always been in support of Park/Green Space development and favours acquiring waterfront land for the Citizens of New West…but not at any cost.

    In fact, he was quite impressed by the Pier Park during his Sunday walk there, but still remains less-than-impressed with the questionable acquisition, management and cost over-runs to do so. No matter how you look at it, taxpayers paid $35 million dollars, and counting, for half a park.

    Personally, I think you would have to be completely and utterly incompetent not to be able to build half a Pier Park if you had 35 million plus dollars to spend!

    So, for my first time visiting your blogspot, I was very impressed with the extensive content and dedication you put into it Patrick, but not so impressed with your inaccurate depiction of two people who have worked hard to make this City accountable and the reasons for their absence from this event.

    Hopefully you will consider your words and their implication more carefully in future.

    Paul R. Thompson

    So that anyone reading this is completely clear on who I am, and my relation to these two men and the City, I offer the following:
    Business Owner:New West
    Property Owner & Tax payer: New West
    Business Partner of James Crosty
    Partner for 34 years to James Crosty
    Director of Marketing: Crosty Campaign for Mayor
    Friend of Ted Eddy
    And I have NOT received any form of payment from any part of the City or received any favours, rewards or positions from same

  2. Wow, longest response to a one-liner ever.

    Hi Paul. It was a short attempt at humour, nothing else. I wondered who in New West would attend a different event at the same time as the Pier Park Opening, and the two people who came to mind were Ted and James, the most vocal opponents. No grand conspiracy or attempt to besmirch these two fine gentleman, a fun poke at the politics of the Park. Heck, I could have used Chris “Toxic Blob” Bell, which in hindsight would have been funnier, as he was one of the first people I saw there on Saturday! We shared a laugh at the event.

    Paul, since you offered me advice (to consider my words more carefully), allow me to return the favour: if you are going to get involved in politics, grow a thicker skin and learn to take a joke. He who laughs at himself, lasts.

    Otherwise, you are really not going to like the picture I posted on September 14, 2011.

  3. Ok sept 14 photo is actually really funny Patrick – very in fact – as was your comment about Chris and sharing a laugh. Thanks for the reply back.

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