Soap box time! This is an area very few would voluntarily go – the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, dubbed the poorest postal code in Canada. Consider yourself very lucky indeed, (and I do, every day) if you do not have a loved one, or know of someone ravaged by addiction, the grind of abject poverty, and a system that seems geared to sweep you and your kind under the carpet.
Tent cities crop up, and are summarily evicted, only to pop up elsewhere in the city – a result of no affordable housing infrastructure, nor any incentive for developers to undergo such a project. Sound familiar? Perhaps you have an equivalent issue in your own city.
Because I pass by this neighbourhood, on a daily commute, I am keenly aware of this ever-widening gulf between the affluent and the very poor. This has led to attitudes of contempt and revulsion towards the poor and damaged, as if their lifestyle was a choice. I am hardly among the affluent, who have the luxury to insulate themselves from this reality by either complete avoidance or making unhelpful blanket statements, such as ‘they’re animals’, in effect, dehumanizing them.
I do render ‘assistance’ to those in need in the community – this boils down to listening to their story, donating some food and sustenance. My family is not overly pleased that I do this (because of potential danger, especially when in those especially stricken areas of the inner city), though I do hope it will rub off on them, any compassion shown. They are human beings.
Thanks for reading my soap box interlude, the cartoons will be resuming (It’s what you get for visiting here!)
Imagine… Leaving your house in the middle of the night. Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she’s just as scared as you.
Imagine… Starting a new school, making friends. Seeing how happy it makes your mother. Hearing a voice, calling out to you.
Imagine… Following the signs, into the woods. Going missing for six days. Remembering nothing about what happened.
Imagine… Something that will change everything… And having to save everyone you love.
This is a change of pace for author Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Literary horror? The Stephen King influence is very apparent and welcome IMO. This is gripping reading – fleshed-out characters that you care about, tightly written, with little flab (as SK is guilty of, at times – generosity, he calls it), and not for the faint of heart, there are some graphic passages. Highly recommended.
One of my favourite hangouts in the world, due to its picturesque location in Vancouver, and its arts community vibe, Granville Island. It is actually a peninsula, and is located across False Creek from downtown Vancouver. I have worked here and taken some arts courses here, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Why I dig Granville Island so much, is the art-y sensibility. As you can see, there are some cartoon-y decorations on some otherwise pretty mundane objects. I approve of this. There was a Harris’s hawk at Granville Island, which I took some pictures of – he didn’t mind, but I wasn’t allowed to let him perch on my shoulder. (he doesn’t take kindly to strangers, but he is quite vain, and enjoyed my picture taking.)
Barnacles encrusted on the docks and some canine denizens of Granville Island. For some reason, this boat is on display beneath the bridge. That yellow building is the best art supply store in Canada, bar none. I am not just saying that because I used to work there. Not much, anyway. They are doing a mostly online trade right now – I’d highly recommend them, if you are of an artistic bent, their mail order service is second to none. Hope you enjoyed this pandemic post of Granville Island – don’t miss it if you ever visit our city!
Copyright 2020 All pictures by Wilt Sugiyama, and they look pretty decent at that, despite not having much of an eye for composition and a tendency to snap at anything that moves. Today’s technology is very forgiving. 😃