Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Geek's Walking Tour of Downtown Victoria


Rather than just charging over to Vancouver Island to see Chris Hadfield perform and then heading back again on the same day, Karli and I decided that it would be fun to have some time to wander around Victoria on the Saturday - neither one of us had the opportunity to do any sightseeing there for several years.

 The man himself.  You know, sooner or later people are going to have to start using a different picture of Chris Hadfield, although, to be fair, it is the first image that pops up if you Google™ him.  Maybe a wider selection of media shots on your web site, Commander?

I'm constantly amazed by the degree to which geek culture has insinuated itself into everyday life.  In addition to the usual offerings of brightly coloured cooking utensils and semi-inspirational wall plaques, home decor store Paboom surprisingly features Minion Green Lantern and Totoro pillows, along with Star Wars tourist posters for local attractions. I feel that Minion tchotchkes have become fairly common, but isn't Totoro a bit obscure for the general public?

We also paid a visit to Munro's Books, the excellent independent bookstore which is centrally located in Victoria's downtown core.  As always, their selection did not disappoint, and I walked away with about eighty bucks worth of reading material: a paperback collection of short fiction by Terry Pratchett - A Blink of the Screen, a long overdue copy of Pulitzer-prize winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (based mainly on the title, to be honest) and an extravagant hardcover copy of collected Ursula K. Le Guin non-fiction, Words Are My Matter, which is nominated for a Hugo Award this year.

"Essential" gear - this is actually from the Friday night, and I'm a bit sorry that we didn't get back to Dragon Impact when they were open in order to find out if you could actually buy some kind of standardized package for dealing with the walking dead.  Based on the quantity of sharpened metal on display in the shop windows, I doubt that the package would include anything really practical, like a good pair of running shoes.

Speaking of which, isn't it a bit ironic to use a famous hobbit surname for a shoe store?  (Because, after all, hobbits never wear shoes.) *

However, the star of the day has to be the Little Shop of Strange, located near the entrance to Market Square at Street.  If you're looking for a weird but wonderful (not to say strange) selection of music, local art, and taxidermy, this is your spot - where else could you buy a reasonably priced and beautifully made actual Plague Rat?


- Sid

* Purists will cite the Stoors, one of the three breeds of hobbits, who wore boots in muddy weather.

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