“Mount Pleasant Station”

12 December 2022 – Not yet Mount Pleasant Station, that’s still years from reality. Not the purpose of my walk either. But this block-long construction site neatly bookends my walk — a rectangular path that takes me purpose-driven south on Main to East 18th, then whim-happy west to Quebec and north again to Broadway.

The planned station so tidy on the map! It’s our local segment of the Broadway Subway Project — the 5.7 km extension of the Millennium Line west beneath Broadway to Arbutus Street.

And so appealing, so welcoming and soothing, in this early-stage conceptual illustration!

But in the reality of right-now, here at Broadway and Main, it looks like this.

Pedestrians scurry past. Only the mannequins in the vintage shop window opposite pay any attention…

and they are unimpressed.

I visit a few shops. I achieve my holiday-season purposes. Yay! So I am ready for amusement by the time I hit East 18th.

I think I am familiar with both visual treats at this corner, but I learn something new about each. (I only learn the somethings-new later, and that’s directly thanks to you, as it always is, because I look things up to share with you.)

This Vancouver Mural Festival project on the S/W corner, I later verify…

dates from 2020, the work of indigenous artist Steve Smith ~ Dla’kwagila.

And these great bendy arches in Sun Hop Park on the N/W corner, I later learn to my delight…

reference the drinking straws in the Palm Dairy & Milk Bar that stood here 1952-89. Nearby seats, I now realize, are bottle-top shaped, and everything is painted Palm Dairy’s signature bright red. (See what you cause me to learn? Bless your boots.)

Around the corner onto East 18th, and another treat: a surviving Vancouver Special. Arguably not a visual treat, but I think an icon worthy of respect — vernacular architecture from 1965-85 that helped address the housing crisis of the day and has continued to serve city residents with the flexibility that was always a core intention of the boxy design.

Another visual icon, at least of this Fairview/Mount Pleasant neighbourhood — street-side swings. So simple, so friendly, so… neighbourly. I am charmed, every time.

Right-turn north onto Quebec Street, and a great smack-up of colours: designer-red on that house opposite, nature’s own moss green up and down this magnificent tree and, beneath it, the careless gold of autumn leaves.

One block farther south, more of nature’s colour palette: black.

What you see when someone rakes up all those sodden leaves to reveal naked soil below.

Down at East 12th, yet more seasonality: St. Patrick’s Secondary School is in the Christmas tree business.

Then more trees, but street-side, and firmly rooted. I stand mesmerized by the play of colours and texture. (And that one stubborn leaf!)

Thump.

I am back at Broadway. West end of the Mount Pleasant Station site, and just as busy a jumble as the east end.

More fun, though.

All those leaping salmon in the mural (apparently climbing the wall, as real salmon climb a waterfall), and that silver bear, one paw raised in benediction. You’d think he’d be busy nabbing salmon for lunch, not blessing the street…

but perhaps his sun glasses obscure his view.

Previous Post
Next Post
Leave a comment

5 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for your usual readable style. How many people really look at their surroundings? Do you have snow now. No snow in Southern England.
    Wishing you a happy time this Xmas.

    Reply
    • We had snow that lasted 3-4 days, very unusual here art sea level though common at higher elevations — no snow at the moment — I hope you have the winter weather you’d like to have & are comfortable with

      Reply
  2. Lots to like here, not least being “the careless gold of autumn leaves.” The leaping salmon and earlier indigenous murals are nice ones. Is putting a swing set near the sidewalk a thing in Vancouver? As in, anyone walking along can stop and take a swing? Wow, cool. Also, I have to compliment you on the photo of the raked garden – the telephone pole is framed perfectly to make a great composition.
    Ready for the Arctic blast? It looks like it’s going to extend down here, too. Brrr!

    Reply
    • Thanks! as always, acute and generous observations. Yes, swing sets (and/or parallel rings and ropes) seem to be a thing along residential streets; I find it endearing. The Arctic blasts are just now with us, complete with snow and sub-zero temps. Same for you?

      Reply
      • Yes, same here, and I’m struggling with it. It won’t reach freezing until Saturday. I don’t think I’ve experienced a cold snap like this – lasting so long with such frigid temps – since living back East. The thermostat has been turned up for the first time since I set it up when we moved here 4 yrs ago. We have some snow, too, and will get more tonight and tomorrow – probably the same for you. At least that will be pretty! Stay warm! And if I don’t “speak” to you again this week, Happy Holidays!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • WALKING… & SEEING

    "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"

  • Recent Posts

  • Walk, Talk, Rock… B.C.-style

  • Post Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 114,897 hits
  • Since 14 August 2014

    Flag Counter
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,991 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: