Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

downtown eastside, Vancouver

And now, the Vancouver a world away from the mountain and water views, and the sparkling towers of Yaletown. . .

This has been Skid Row as long as I can remember, the area clustered at Main and Hastings, sandwiched between Gastown and Chinatown. The buildings are reminiscent of the grand past of the region, before downtown drifted west, and the area hasn’t recovered. The statistics are shocking enough: Canada’s poorest postal code, a virtual drug mart at Main and Hastings, a 30 % HIV infection rate, dilapidated residential hotels, and a threatening feel to the area. All of this with the siren view of the snowcapped North Shore mountains. . .

But there remains a certain poetry and nostalgia to the place, with the beautiful brick structures and the vintage neon signs still gracing the neighborhood, mixed in with the Dickensian drama of everyday life.

 

Hastings St., once grand

Hastings St., once grand

 

The Ovaltine Cafe, cheap grub, and nifty neon, since 1943

The Ovaltine Cafe, cheap grub, and nifty neon, since 1943

 

The notorious Cobalt Motor Hotel, just south of the viaduct

The notorious Cobalt Motor Hotel, just south of the viaduct

 

Lone survivor on Main St.

Lone survivor on Main St.

vancouver, april 2009

Lucky me, I caught one of my favorite destinations in a good, sunny mood.

For now, just a few pics of the nice side of Vancouver, of which there are very many. There’s an unsavory side, but that’s reserved for a later post.  The highlights included a weekday afternoon bike ride through Stanley Park, across the Lions Gate Bridge, along English Bay and False Creek, sushi at Tojo’s (my once a year splurge), and plenty of beautiful views. Didn’t make it to Whistler, didn’t do the snowboard shopping I said that I would do, but I took care of lots of other business, haircut, dentist, stuff like that. And I ate fabulously, the city has the most authentic Asian food outside of Asia for a reasonable price.  And hey, no rain until the night before I left, with warm, almost summer-like weather.

 

Hotel room view in the evening

Hotel room view in the evening

 

And a million dollar view at 7 AM

And a million dollar view at 7 AM

 

Seoul food

Seoul food

In bloom along English Bay

In bloom along English Bay

Skyline from Coal Harbour

Skyline from Coal Harbour

 

Lions' Gate Bridge with an ugly repainting job

Lions' Gate Bridge with an ugly repainting job

Beach dude, Stanley Park

Beach dude, Stanley Park

still alive. . .

Yes, I’m still alive, I should be sitting on an airplane headed back to Germany. But with a tight connection in Dulles, and the possibility of missing the last flight back to Germany, and being stuck in the god-awful suburbs of Northern Virginia, I’m still in Tennessee.

So more on a rather interesting trip shortly, after everything settles down.

Needless to say, I will probably stay put in Krank-furt over the weekend.