Friday, March 18, 2016

More change and More of the Same - Vancouver City

Vancouver Airport Showcase of Art
British Columbia is a beautiful place to visit. The mountain view  and the clement weather makes it a place for many to visit and live.  I lived there 10 years ago and it was pleasing as any place can be I guess. My experience was on a whole good. This week I had to opportunity to go visit. I even visited my old work place, different but the same.

NVIT Burnaby
I walked around downtown - Gastown - Olympic Village - Commercial Dr. - Granville Island - Tinsil Town - Old China Town -  East Hastings - Whistler Ski Town - Metro Town/Crystal City and of course the Airport.

The old work place is now the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology the Burnaby campus; used to be called Institute of Indigenous Government. Things change and things stay the same.

I went to purchase a hoodie sweater for the kids. We stopped at some little old shop not too far off Main street, the Bus depot and China Town. An old Asian lady watching the store. Purchased 3 sweaters which same price and cheaper at Gas Town - always negotiate purchase price before you pay.

East side Market
East side
East Side 
The culture of the East Hasting is lively, close knit, sad, hurt thriving surviving painful kind generous violent and poor. They have a market area where they bring wares to sell. They are very protective of each other. I took a picture of the vendors and was told no pictures of the market.
East Side
Chinese Herbs
 The East Side bumps about against Gas Town and China Town.

You can see the difference in Gas Town and East Side by just how the sidewalks look. Clean new concrete on the West Side and literally across the street a different place.

China Town is changing as well a number of new buildings - condos have replaced the old character buildings. Still there are the shops with Chinese food outlets to buy fresh and frozen fish or go into a Pharmacy with Glass filled bottles of herbs-medicines.
It is cool to see different aspects of different cultures. It is also sad to see the poverty and addiction in the area. Congregating all along the East Hastings Street.   When the Olympics came to town there was some investment in the area. I may not be sure but it just moved the poverty a little bit and not too much. Not sure if Pidgen Park is still a focal point anymore for the area people.
Artist East Side Co-op

Saw an artist co-op across from the park. A few ladies allowed me to take their picture and to look at the wares of the store. Nice friendly people.

Gas town steam clock 
The Gas Town is very busy and very clean. Many tourists from the Cruise Ship industry frequent the area. The area is filled with tourist shops for T-shirts, hoodies and of course the Beautiful West Coast Indigenous Art.

Granville Island is a place for shops and Theatre. Public markets for fish fruit vegetables and all sorts of artists.  Of course I couldn't go to Granville without stopping in to view the art work. High end and high end prices. The tourists love this place.  Many different food vendors in the market place. We joined a very nice Vancouver couple at their table. Originally from France Virginie and Stephan had many a good thing to say about Vancouver.  We were glad to meet them there.
Stephan & Virginie

Pictures really don't do justice to Vancouver area.

If you do go to Vancouver walking is part of the culture. You can get around by the Sky Train or buses to just about anywhere in the city.

Vancouver is a trigger city for me. Trigger in that it brings many many memories. The old work place and the colleagues I no longer have. Some of them have been fortunate to move with the NVIT while many were not so fortunate. I regret not being part of the institution. I was pretty happy there. I learned that I was not a bad instructor and had some good fun. It is also a trigger of course because I spent some of my boy's last days with him in Vancouver. I didn't get to go to walk around some of the streets - Robson Granville, Davie Street. Davie was a fun lively place to walk around. Lot of little food vendors and generally friendly neighbourhood. Granville was the tourist street. Some food establishment and entertainment venues, local pubs. We used to live downtown and it was fun to have this outside your door. My boy is gone so it is a bit much to walk around the area and change happens; new shops new venues new apartments but the feel stays the same.

I stayed with a friend of mine. He is a security conscious fellow and is wary of Big Money Big Government and other entities.

Me I have no clue what he is talking about half the time so I give him the Russian treatment; yah yah - or in our case the Chief Treatment; yeah yeah. Let him know I am listening, but that's as far as it goes.

My friend is one of those people that "escaped" from foreign soil and a system different from ours. He is skilled at many things; an Electronics Engineer, MBA, and a Karate fanatic. I think I could take him.

The trip was quick fun and interesting. When you listen to someone who has an informed world knowledge it reminds you of how narrow a Canadian vision could be.

In any case. Vancouver is a nice place. If it wasn't so nice you wouldn't have so many people going there from all over the world. We went to Whistler and met Australians working in a hat shop. I think its a marketing ploy for companies to get people with different accents working. People seem to be drawn to the different. In Winnipeg Malls there are this hallway kiosks which sell nail products; cute boys and girls with accents are the sales people. The lure of different.

Different but the same.

I think poverty is the same all over Canada. Same with prosperity. Different but the same.

Granville entrance
City Culture
20 bucks

Moving out

Union of BC Chiefs own a great office or building in Yale Town. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip's office

Main street area
Niece Cassandra
Commercial Drive

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