Stares for Stairs

11 July 2020 — We’re in downtown Vancouver, Yaletown neighbourhood, and, yes, we are here to stare at stairs. (Oh, such an obvious pun — but sometimes, you just let yourself pick that low-lying fruit.)

We’re on the hunt for a BIA morale-boosting project, artists invited to let loose on the edges and stairways of some of the area’s street-side terraces (architectural remnants of previous industrial life).

But stairs aren’t all that’s worthy of a gawk or two.

We tilt-head, open-mouth our way through the parkette immediately behind the Skytrain station at Davie & Mainland.

I’ve seen an installation of overhead umbrellas here before — a rainbow of colours then, solid yellow now. Yellow for hope and remembrance, the signage tells us.

More yellow umbrellas, this time café patio adornments, up a block at Hamilton and Davie streets. With bright new mural-work below.

We are not impressed. We are righteously indignant.

Fine, love the defiant messsage of continued strength & presence: “We’re here.” But is it too much to ask for an apostrophe? Apparently, yes it is, and we grumble away to each other very happily. What-is-this-younger-generation-coming-to-I-ask-you?

Until we turn the corner, and burst out laughing. And blush.

We only saw half the message.

No apostrophe called for. “Wish you were here.”

See? Sometimes the grumbling old biddies are wrong.

Much cheered, we carry on along Hamilton Street.

Shark’s teeth don’t seem to me a very welcoming symbol — come visit, snap-munch — but yes, it is bold & handsome & owns that staircase.

Moving on, and aha, here we go! very welcoming indeed.

All hearts & loving bilingual messages.

I play with its angles, like the way railings, steps, wall & ground all dance with each other.

And then there’s Chameleon Long Dog.

Still giggling, we turn away.

Only to discover that Hamilton Street offers more than cafés and murals. Its boutiques also offer décor tips. Nay… rules.

There is Correct and there is Incorrect in this world, so pay attention.

We argue ambiably about that all the way to the Skytrain station.



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  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures and laughed with the apostrophe!

  2. Lovely walk, and I agree with the right way 😉

  3. I love the Long Dog and the correct and incorrect toilet paper installations sign! Such fun! 🙂

  4. I recently discovered that I had hung the toilet paper roll the wrong way and you know what? I left it that way, just to see.

    So far so good. I’ll let you know.

  5. It does seem that the correct way to hang tp paper has been talked about 🤔☺️ another happy walk Penny I also enjoy seeing them ~ have a productive day smiles Hedy 🙋‍♀️☀️

  6. What a pleasure and a delight it was to take this walk with you-all! (You’d hope that in as seemingly open-minded a place as Vancouver, no one would be telling anyone else how to hang a roll of toilet paper! Correct? Incorrect? Puh-lease!).

  7. Bu yazı için teşekkürler. Gelecekte daha fazlası istiyoruz. Şu ana kadar aradığım şeyin bu makalede olduğu ortaya çıktı, bu blogda birkaç makale bulmaktan çok mutluyum, yukarıdaki cümlenle ilgileniyorum, benim görüşüme göre çok fikir oluşturma, neden? çünkü anlaşılması kolay bir dilde yazdınız.


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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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