Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Park’

Laid Back Or Just Casual?

February 7, 2008

Vancouver has a reputation for being laid back.  People like to walk around the seawall, jog or cycle in Stanley Park, sit on the beach, and get stoned.  I disagree that they are laid back, though.  They may dress casually, but they can be as uptight as anyone else.

When I wore a tie for a passport photo the other day, I made a point of covering it with my scarf when I was outside.  Believe it or not, there are people here who will give you a hard time or dirty looks if you wear a suit and/or tie.

I have actually been confronted and threatened on one occasion.  Another time, a flip-flop wearing woman passing in the opposite direction looked me up and down and gave me an incredulous look, like she’d never seen a suit before.  Well, excuse me for having a job interview and making an effort.  It seems the laid back Vancouverite is often actually a reverse snob who thinks he or she is a better person than the suit wearer.

I’m as casual as anybody else.  I sit around my home in sweats or jeans with stubble on my face if I don’t have to be anywhere or face the world.  I where my day hikers for walking around town day to day.  I’ve got hoodies like anyone else.

I don’t dress any more formally than necessary.  But, there are some occasions when it is appropriate to where a tie, or even a suit.  I actually have suits and ties for those occasions and I don’t apologize for it.  And, I expect to not be given any hassle over it.

Sometimes laid back Vancouverites make me feel less than relaxed.


Move Over Chicago, There’s a New Windy City

January 15, 2008

Another wind storm tore through the city yesterday and into the night.  They seem to be happening more often than usual.  I don’t recall the weather being as windy as it has been lately, in general, let alone the kinds of storms we’ve experienced over the past year or two.

It was about a year ago that the wind devastated Stanley Park, blowing down thousands of trees and causing a landslide that closed the seawall.  Then, in September, just after the seawall finally reopened, there was another one that closed it again.  I wonder what the damage is this time…

Downtown, Georgia Street was actually closed at rush hour because a window pane was flapping around in the wind on an office tower.  A couple sheets of plywood were blown off a highrise under constructon and landed on cars below – one of them occupied.  People trying to get home to the north shore had serious problems, since Georgia Street leads to the causeway through Stanley Park that leads to Lions Gate Bridge.

My own inconvenience was limited to the incessant flapping of the plastic sheet that was tied down over my bicycle where it’s locked to the railing on the deck outside my window.  This was my ingenious design to allow me to store the bike outside the apartment this winter, rather than inside like last winter.  A great space saver.  I guess a couple of the strings broke.  I try to help the environment with pedal power and what does it give me in return?  It’s a good thing the whole thing didn’t break free or who knows where it could have gone or what kind of damage might have resulted.  Can you imagine a big sheet of plastic landing on your windshield while you’re driving? 

Something like that happened to me once years ago in London – on my MOTORCYCLE.  But it wasn’t even clear plastic.  There I was just riding along and, suddenly, THWAP!  Where is everything?  Where did this plastic bag come from?  Fortunately I managed to pull it off before anything else happened.

Oh, there was another noise that I heard last night.  I heard something falling on the deck.  That’s not unusual – things fall off the balcony above me every once in a while.  I went outside this morning to see what it was.  This one was a little unusual.  It was a table leg.  I wonder where the rest of it ended up…