Monday, February 22, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics: Sunset to Moonrise

I took a walk through part of down-town Vancouver, Canada during the Olympic Games festivities. This is some of what I saw of local life:

I saw that I hung my hat on a lost oil pump made art. Energy from yesteryear now immortalised in an abandoned parking lot. A faded hat, a barren gas pump, a dying day.

I saw the sun going down on a funeral chapel, casting a dark shadow in the deep-cut stone.
The former Central Business district of the city is now a mile-long stretch of derelict buildings and storefronts for marijuana sellers, pawnbrokers, convenience stores selling crack pipes under the counter, and an endless variety of "social agencies" for mental patients and drug addicts and those who just gave up and decided to live downtown in the midst of the mess of it all. Former office buildings that became skidroad hotels finally became abandoned, high hopes and grandiosity regal in name only.
No point to complain. The game goes on, and some win and some lose and most sit back and watch.
During this Olympic season in the city some have made themselves into political statements, pitching tents in empty lots in the former business district; and some have made statements about those statements.
Some are upset that the former Woodwards building, a famous landmark in the city, was "gentrified," claiming that such is a reflection of the distortion of capitalism in the city on "the poor." I think it's kind of pretty, myself.
But some see it as distortion. What do I know? I'm a tourist here.
I just try to get along.
If the sticker on the abandoned wicket window says "Do Not Smoke ANYTHING Here," I just cast my gaze upward and pay no attention to what's happening in front of my eyes. It's my life, and D is for Dag.
America is beating Canada at hockey. Life goes on, and tomorrow things might change. I figure much of the game depends on how I want to see things. It's in our own hands, I think so.
A day dies, a night begins; the sun sets and out comes the moon. Life goes on, a game for the living. I kind of like it. This is often enough a good city to like it in.
So, till next time, good-night to you, dear reader, for now, from Vancouver, Canada.


truepeers said...

Good photos; where on earth is that D for our Dag? it's like an alternate universe where the Masonic `G' has gone AWOL.

Dag said...

It's on the archway at the yellow stone building across from the cenotaph at Cambie St. I'll look into it and come back with some details later. Very attractive building with a spiral staircase inside,from what I can see from the street.

zazie said...

What a nice choice of pictures ! I am going to download them.
The games are nearly over ; what shall I remember ?
First, the gorgeous mountains and landscapes ; that was a pleasure for me, though I have never been keen on watching sports on TV...
Second, and more important I think, the recurrent comment in TVreports of the "extrordinary" kindness to the visitors of the "man in the street" in Vancouver ; it is a bit sad that French tourists should consider kindness as something out of the ordinary....
I tried to spot the three of you wearing those caps and sweaters you mentioned in a former post. Nothing doing unfortunately.

Dag said...

Peers, the fancy stone work is at the Dominion bldg.

Zazie, I'm pleased that you like the photos. We're not in any of them but we are certainly available for you to meet in person!