Vancouver, because it is obsessed with its own beauty, it is becoming deeply ugly, a place that destroys anything that resembles aging, and if its aging that provides character, just gut the interior and keep the facade. That is what it is doing with every neighborhood in the city, that is what it is doing to the neighborhood that has kept me here for 16 years. A neighborhood that i have lived in, volunteered and worked in, celebrated in, grieved in, stood up for myself and people i cared about, made friends, fell in love a few times, know better than any other place in the world, this neighborhood, the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, this place was where i felt like i fit, no matter what else was happening, i could just walk around for a while, and feel grounded again, it doesn’t really feel like that anymore, i feel separate now, and still tied. Not knowing if there is anything i can do to help, not save, but maybe that is what i want to do, even though i know its arrogant, egotistical and impossible.
The image above is of a place that used to exist, a place we tried to save, so people could enjoy it for years to come, it was demolished, trees cut, the cob house bulldozed and now their are faux heritage duplexes in its place. This act fuels my hate of this city and the departments and city councillors that are giving license to initatives that homogenize communities, and inevitably the enitre city, a city with grand claims of its greatness, its world classness, its diversity… My gut, well, my gut is flabby, my other gut, my instinct gut, tells me i need to get out of this city, at least for a little while, so i will. East, to my other home, where i was born, Montreal, where old is honoured and there are different problems. I miss it, i miss the smells, i miss what it looked like, and i want to see what it looks like now. I want to know if my missing will be sated by a visit or if it is deeper than that, if it means that i need to leave this place that has been my home for 16 years.