Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Flight of The PENguin: From Victoria to Vancouver

Yesterday took us from Victoria, back across the Georgia Bay to the mainland of BC. We both agreed that we could easily have spent more time exploring and enjoying the natural wonders of Vancouver Island.

In contrast to Friday’s crossing, the day was sunny and the route differed, so I was pleased to have my camera along, even if the batteries did die toward the end.

Although Sharon has been to Vancouver several times for conferences and to use the library and archives at the University of British Columbia, I have never been here. Vancouver is a big city in every way. As a West Coast city, I was surprised at how vertical it is. But, according to the Rough Guide, the city government made a conscious effort at “urban renewal” in the 1950s and 60s and in the context of the time that meant destroying the smaller scale city of the early 20th century and replacing it with highrise offices and residences. The result is, in turns, striking, graceful, awkward and dissonant. I tried to capture that with these images.

Here, two views from our 17th story hotel room on Robson Street in the heart of downtown.

Some random shots of downtown.

One of the city’s most notable structures is the Vancouver Public Library, again according to the Rough Guide, built in the mid 1990s at a cost of $100,000,00.00. The structure was designed by Moshe Safdie and, for reasons best known to him echoes, post-Modernistically, the Roman Coliseum. Locals are said to love it, architecture critics dismiss it as a pastiche, and both, I think, are right.

The building does incorporate a welcoming entry to the library, soaring and open and a very nice enclosed urban space

Some of the old areas did remain, such as Yaletown and the old Roundhouse, now an arts complex housing the first locomotive to carry passengers into Vancouver in 1887.

(Engineer Rick hauing another load of Waterman's over the Rockies)

The city also, may turn out to be good for pens. Of all places, Sears has a pen counter and I am told that there is a more serious pen store, The Vancouver Pen Shop on Hastings.

Today, in addition to visiting Vancouver Pen, we plan to walk through Stanley Park.

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