Mainly Murals

30 September 2016 – I promised you murals, and boy, they are all around me. My stay just off Main Street, in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, has coincided with the Vancouver Mural Festival — twined all around kilometres of Main Street like the double helix.

My first exploratory walk on Watson Av., essentially the lane just east of Main, introduces me first to wolves …

Watson & E13th Av

and then to this cerebral pair.

Watson & E14th Av

I later discover JJ Bean, on whose back wall they reside, and the potency of whose coffee they may perhaps illustrate. (It suits me fine.)

Sometimes the mural is one small vignette on an otherwise blank wall …

Broadway & Main

sometimes a whole building …

E8th Av & Ontario

and, sometimes, a hallucinatory explosion around balconies & other alley realities …

alley west of Main at E7th

with an equally hallucinatory riposte on the facing wall.

alley w. of Main at E7th

There’s a whole different context & therefore different mood up in the industrial area — the one I teased you with in my False Creek, True Fun post.

Graffiti & street art are nothing new around here.

Western & Nothern

But these full-bleed murals are certainly new, exploding across one warehouse terminal after another, the length of this block of Southern Av.

These panels look even more exploded than planned, since at the moment the door to the B&W segment is thrown open, across the face of the pink segment. Well, what do we expect? These are working terminals, not props.

Southern Av.

“Real pretty,” says a cheerful woman, helping her husband with final logistics before they hop in their truck and start the long haul back north. “But doesn’t make me want to move back south. Vancouver’s too people-y, you know?”

Another, much bigger rig, is also getting ready to roll. It is manouvering its way out of a terminal, easing into the tight turns it must make in this cramped space to get gone.

Southern Av.

Oblivious, the mad musicians play on.

Southern Av.

Over on Industrial Av., Chinese dragons and, around the corner, a pop bottle nicely corrugated into the corrugated roof.

Industrial Av.

Corner of Station & Central, more around-the-corner artwork — except this time I suspect (with no proof) that the “Knit Yourself” mural on Station Av. is part of the Festival, while the various panels along Central (to the right) are of earlier, assorted vintages.

Station & Central


I walk down Central, to check them out. A trucker leans against his rig, smoking, music blaring, watching but not interacting as I go by. There are lots of images, definitely by different hands, at different times.

I’m taken by the sheer energy of Red Face …

on Central Av

and charmed by this duo near the other end of the block.

Central Av

Happy Vancouver on the left, dancing in the sun, exactly how I feel about my days here …

and, on the right, an inukshuk, to guide my path.


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  1. Great finds!


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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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