Beyond the Rhetoric


Saloniki Greek Taverna, Commercial Drive

March 27th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Saloniki Greek Taverna

For some reason or another, a good number of restaurants in the Metro Vancouver area have decided to combine Greek and Italian cuisine. This has has been going on for as long as I can remember. It’s not uncommon to find spanakopita and dolmades on the same menu as lasagna and pizza. That’s not the case with Saloniki Greek Taverna in the heart of Commercial Drive, because it is indeed a Greek taverna through and through.

Saloniki occupies the same location where Bouzyos once stood and, aside from the name change, it doesn’t seem like they’ve done too much in terms of changing the decor or switching up the approach to classic Greek cuisine. Seeing how Bouzyos was one of my favorite restaurants for some time, I hoped that Saloniki would hold up to the same standard. Our experience ended up being a little bit of a mixed bag.

Click to continue reading »

The Baby Diaper Shootout Comparison Video

March 26th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

The Baby Diaper Shootout Comparison Video

Some of the choices that you make as a new parent can be pretty exciting, like picking a name for the new bundle of joy. Other choices may not necessarily be quite as exciting, but you can just as easily get overwhelmed by the options available. To many non-parents, a baby’s diaper is just a diaper and they’re all fundamentally the same. To parents and caretakers who have had to deal with blowouts and skin irritations, choosing the right diaper could be remarkably important.

Click to continue reading »

What’s Up Wednesdays: Just Smile

March 25th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: Just Smile

Life can be hard. Life can be frustrating. Life can be exhausting. And that’s why we need to start this week’s speedlink with a simple lesson from educator Damien Riley. Rather than focusing on the things that upset us, he’s listing off the many things that make him smile. Happiness can come from the humblest of places, like enjoying a good cup of coffee, hearing from a good friend on Facebook, and getting recognized for writing a blog post.

Click to continue reading »

My Current Life in Numbers

March 24th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

My Current Life in Numbers

Even though I find myself in a career that decidedly leans more towards the “arts and creativity” end of the spectrum, numbers have always played a very important role in my life. I have a habit of wanting to quantify just about everything. There’s a certain comfort in knowing that you can ascribe specific numbers to specific things. They provide clarity in a world filled with ambiguities.

And perhaps that’s why I was drawn to this post by Amber Strocel yesterday. She decided to summarize so many aspects of her life — her “obsession” with poetry, her quest to become a math teacher, her love of tea — in a numerical fashion. So, I thought I’d take a similar look at my life too, summarizing some of my journey with some numbers of my own.

Click to continue reading »

On Elon Musk and the Global Village

March 23rd, 2015 by Michael Kwan


Visit some of the more remote tribes in places like the African plains or the rainforests of the Amazon and you’ll discover an entirely different concept of ownership. Unspoiled and uncorrupted by the slings and arrows of the modern world, the people in these societies aren’t necessarily driven by material possession. This isn’t my home. That’s not his goat. They all belong to everyone in the village, for mutual benefit and for the common good.

Click to continue reading »

Sunday Snippet: Momofuku’s David Chang

March 22nd, 2015 by Michael Kwan

NYC Chef David Chang Reveals His Food Philosophy

“I was quite cocky, but having been hailed as this great young golfer, I couldn’t even make the high school golf team once I got there. I had a big dose of humble pie then, and ever since, I’ve always known that there is always someone out there better than you, more talented. Always.”

Some people chase fame. Other people are driven by fortune. And then there are folk who are drawn to power, prestige or accolade. When you receive any one of these things, you also receive a momentary boost in your confidence and in your sense of self-worth. You may be tempted to place yourself up on a pedestal. You might feel like you are better than everyone else. And it is at that time that you lose sight of everything.

Click to continue reading »

Quick Bites: Kazu Japanese and Osaka Sushi

March 20th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Kazu Japanese Restaurant

Go to many of the Japanese restaurants in and around the Vancouver area and you can expect to be greeted by some sort of gimmick. The so-called “specialty” rolls have quickly become the norm. It has become increasingly difficult to find a place that simply sticks to the basics and does them well. And that’s how I came to be interested in Kazu Japanese Restaurant along Hastings Street in Burnaby.

Click to continue reading »

These Zombie Eyes

March 19th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Pancake Bunny

The birds are singing. The blossoms are blooming. And I feel like I want to rip my eyeballs straight out of their sockets. While I don’t normally suffer from seasonal allergies, this week has been positively torturous. My eyes are infuriatingly itchy, to the point where they actually start to hurt.

Given these circumstances, in lieu of a regular blog post today, I present you with a bunny. With a pancake on its head. Hopefully regular blogging will re-commence tomorrow. Wish me luck!