The Street of Good Cheer

3 December 2020 – I’ll get to Vancouver, 2020. First we need to visit the New France colony of Port-Royale, 1606.

What with scurvy and one thing and another, the colonists have had a rough few years, so wily old Samuel de Champlain invents a morale-booster: l’Ordre de Bon Temps. The Order of Good Cheer.

Each member in turn takes responsibility for the evening meal and, as that day’s chief steward, leads the procession that starts the meal and the song, dance and what-have-you that complete it.

Jollity ensues.

Meanwhile, back here in 2020 downtown Vancouver, I am not jolly. I am grumpy. Petulant, even. I stomp my way south & east of my home base, just daring the day to try to cheer me up.

And then I hit East 15th & St. Catherines, more or less, and forget my sulks long enough to enjoy the sunshine glow on that house on the right, and the comfy, relaxed attitude of the streetscape in general.

I head east on East 15th, first time I’ve been here — already a recommendation — and begin to see evidence that this is a kid-friendly neighbourhood. Kid-busy as well.

They play, and they communicate.

Love for a tree, for example …

love for frontline workers …

even love for passing motorists.

They’re right: Windsor St. does a serious wobble as it crosses over.

I do my own little wobble, heading slightly south on Windsor to check out the cows and flowers …

before heading back to East 15th, where I crane my neck at another expression of love: a suet offering for local birds.

Kid stuff gives way to this truly beautiful banner fixed to the street lamp (and no, I found nothing to explain or identify it) …

and again, a bit farther east, to this equally beautiful work in stained glass.

I finally abandon East 15th at Glen Drive — but get to take with me one last perfect image. It is the most battered, chipped, kitschy and completely adorable Squirrel Sentinel in the universe.

By now, I am entirely cheerful. Thank you, Street of Good Cheer.

  • 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"

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