Thursday, November 3, 2011

2011 WEEK 44: Gastown

I found myself walking across town to a meeting on Alexander Street this week and so brought my camera along with me.

Beginning on the East side of Gastown and running one block north alongside Hastings Street, Alexander  Street is in one of the oldest areas of Vancouver. Did you know the term "Skid Row" originated in Vancouver in this part of town? The name comes from the roads made of logs which were used to "skid" timber from the nearby forests. Over time the term was used to describe the logging camps and mills along the Pacific Coast and then as a derogatory term for the low income neighborhoods that built up around these areas.

My meeting was at 611 Alexander Street - an awesome space filled with design studios, new media offices and agencies. Kicking myself now because I neglected to take a picture of it! 611 Alexander was once the American Can Company. For more about the history of the area check out this blog by local Historian James Johnstone.

I have a lot of memories of Alexander Street since it was one of the locations used in my first short film The Fare. The Ironworks building at the corner of Main Street and Alexander is now an art studio and the rear parking lot beneath the overpass functioned as the lot for the fictional taxi cab company in the film. Now it's an urban garden... Weird.

From atop the overpass at the end of Main Street there are some great views of the city.

These aren't the views of the city we usually see on postcards but I kind of like it better - old and new cramming together for space.

Focus on foreground... Too abstract?

Focus on background... Better?

On my way back I stopped briefly by Blood Alley and Gaelor's Mews (love those names). This is such a great area but with the rain starting I wasn't able to take many pictures. This ended up being my favourite...

There are so many things to snap pictures of in this part of town you could literally spend a day within a 3 block radius and still barely scratch the surface.

No visit to Gastown would be complete without an image of the world famous steam clock. I wonder how many millions of photos have been taken of this tourist hot spot?

On a completely unrelated note, I had to share one last picture with you. The below creature (I think it's a hornet) has been perched on the back of a chair, freezing his socks off in our backyard for the last 3 days. It's still alive but is not moving very much. Maybe hibernating? Either way, I'm glad he's no longer flying around since he's close to an inch long...

Until next time folks.