The Olympic scene makes it possible to establish new friendships while renewing contact with Games buddies of past Olympiads. During these first few days and nights in Vancouver, it's been fun to meet some new characters and connect with old friends.
On the work front, Paul -- my colleague/office-mate from 2006 client B.C. Canada Place (several dozen of us P.R. types shared one little room in the Province of British Columbia's little log cabin in the piazza) and Beijing roommate/partner-in-crime -- has been a great host while leading Edelman 2010's range of client projects. It's been tremendous fun to learn more about several Canadian colleagues, and everyone has been very welcoming and collaborative for the newbie from the South (they haven't yet seen the giant Stars & Stripes flag about to go up in my office).
One of the other B.C. Canada Place office-mates, Brian, was host for a fun night at Robson Square last Thursday, and I appreciate the new B.C. Province pins from the occasion (also looking forward to visiting the B.C. hospitality areas open in the Vancouver Art Gallery come Games time).
Around town, this week afforded me some time to check out The Bay (disclosure: a client) and the Coca-Cola Pin Trading Centre within its walls (anything Coke feels like back home in Atlanta). In the pin trading scene, some of "the regulars" trading there include some friendly members of the Pacific Pin Club, which will host a pin "Pre-Games Extravaganza" event this Saturday (thank you, several members, for the invitation!).
Thanks are also due to Alex, the B.C. university student (see photo -- she's wearing a red jacket made of a cotton:recycled Coke bottle blend) majoring in performing arts (think "Glee") who, as a recent new hire for Coca-Cola pin hospitality duties, hooked me up with a free pin (when you visit the Pin Center, be sure to bring a pin to get a pin at their worldwide pin map shown in photos with this post) and a table for trading one weekend afternoon.
The pin centre also offers visitors a daily free drawing (as shown in photo) as well as the option to hold up a real Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch for photos (eventually they will also snap photos and place them onto custom pins -- sounds like chocolate and peanut butter perfect combo to me).
As a few fellow collectors asked questions about my blog, they went out of their way to be sure I met Andrea, creator of the outstanding 2010vanfan.ca blog (so far, she is the only fellow Olympic blogger in town with a custom-designed blog Olympic media pin similar to mine). I'm only starting to read her excellent blog posts, and find the interactive map of Olympic venues to be of great interest (a must read/must view for anyone heading to Vancouver).
My old friend and former ACOG colleague, Nippy, arrived today, and we reconnected for the first time since scaling the Great Wall in China. Welcome to Vancouver!
This coming week will be busy-busy at the office, so time to explore may become scarce. Glad to make new connections and renew contact with familiar friends around town.