Vancouver in black and white

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The other day I said I'd post my black-and-white film photos (taken with my new/old Nikon FE) from the May Vancouver photowalk when they were ready. Here they are:

May photowalk B&W - blocks May photowalk B&W - spacers May photowalk B&W - Granville Bridge May photowalk B&W - Fan Sea May photowalk B&W - cormorant silhouettes May photowalk B&W - cormorant catches crab
May photowalk B&W - hungry cormorants May photowalk B&W - masts May photowalk B&W - Monk's lamps May photowalk B&W - don't wake the gulls May photowalk B&W - MV Britannia May photowalk B&W - Aquabus
May photowalk B&W - habitat island closed May photowalk B&W - stone house May photowalk B&W - spiky art May photowalk B&W - shed May photowalk B&W - we'll cross that bridge May photowalk B&W - Jon
May photowalk B&W - slab May photowalk B&W - towers May photowalk B&W - contemplative Rio

I'd also like to re-post something I wrote as a comment on another blog, since it seems appropriate. Kimli recalled her experience loving Vancouver even more after having lived away from B.C. for several years.

I was born and raised here, and so were my mom, my wife, and my kids. But you don't need to move away to know how lucky we've got it. I traveled a fair bit when I was younger, and saw all sorts of places, from Moscow and (then) Leningrad to London, Rome and Florence and Milan, New York and Chicago and Denver and San Diego, Melbourne and Honolulu, Toronto and Ottawa and Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary. And (as a traveling musician) most of the B.C. Interior and Vancouver Island.

I could probably manage living in San Diego or Melbourne. Maybe Portland or Seattle, because they share similar climates and topography. But they're still not Vancouver. We've lived on the north side of the Metrotown hill in Burnaby most of my life, and we're way too used to the unbelievable view from our front window. But every once in awhile, there's a big snowfall followed by a sunny morning, and we get this (and that's just part of what we can see):

First big snows on the Lions

My jaw still drops when that happens—merely from the what-it-looks like part. Sure, we're not as culturally vibrant as Austin or London or Montreal; not as hopping as Tokyo or NYC; not has historic as Berlin or Quebec City or New Orleans or Buenos Aires; not as architecturally interesting as Prague or Paris; still a bit prissy about when and where you can drink and party. Sure we haven't sorted out our problems with poverty and addiction and such.

But we're shiny and new and polyglot, and you can buy cheap great sushi everywhere, and eagles fly by my window and I can walk 20 minutes from my house and see a real live wild beaver lodge, and my kids like going to both the Aquarium and the Pride Parade, and I have good friends and all my family here.

When you visit a tourism website or see a brochure, or when the Olympics coverage features sweeping helicopter beauty shots of the city and mountains, you can say, "Wow. Yeah, it really is like that a lot of the time."

I wouldn't move if I had any choice, and if I had to, I'd want to come back as soon as it was feasible. That's my black and white. Sorry, rest of the world.

4 Comments

A few days ago, when I came back from California, I noticed that Vancouver seems too new (sparkling downtown glass towers) and too self satisfied.

I noticed the same self satisfied smugness in myself when I lived there for seven years. Particularly I noticed it, in hindsight, when travelling to other cities and when showing off for visitors.

It wasn’t until I left Vancouver for the BC Peace, and not for several years, did I find that the Peace has it’s own distinctive beauty, things like endless sunshine, fields stretching to the end of the horizon, sliced my ruler straight black roads and the unconscious honesty of the natives. These things began to creep into my consciousness and my smugness about Vancouver began to wear off.

While on a long ago February business trip to Vancouver, the mountains were blocked by rain clouds. All I could see was the city grime and dirt as I dodged raindrops to stand outside for fresh? air. The next day the sun came out and we got a brief glimpse of the North Shore. All the natives were ecstatic and pointed out to me, the view, expounding, for my benefit, what a beautiful place Vancouver is. I felt extremely irritated.

Don't get me wrong I don't mind you or anyone else raving about Vancouvers beauty. It's a lovely place, on a sunny day... Ok most days. It's the smugness that we need to lose.


After visiting Shanghai I stopped raving about the cityscape part of our skyline... but the ocean-city-mountain combo is still pretty unbeatable IMHO.

Hi, I started a Swedish blog about aquariums a while back. Nice to get some inspiration from you.

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