Monthly Archives: May 2006

Yoko Ono “Mending Peace” on Carrall Street

YOKO ONO: Mending Peace.
Centre A will present "Mending Peace," a solo exhibition by Yoko Ono, in conjunction with the 2006 World Peace Forum, June 23-28, and explorASIAN 2006.

Exhibition: June 3 – July 1, 2006; Opening: Friday, June 2, 8pm
The exhibition brings together three works by Yoko Ono that speak to the theme of imagining peace. Transmitting real-time images of the sky to a tv set inside the gallery, Sky T.V. (1966) is one of the earliest video installations ever made and is Yoko Ono’s only work in video art. In Mend Peace, the audience participates by mending broken china. For Wish Tree, visitors are invited to write down their desires on pieces of paper and tie them to trees in the gallery. At the end of the exhibition, all the wishes will be saved and sent to New York to be included in the Tower of Peace that Yoko Ono will make in Iceland. “Mending Peace” is curated by Alice Ming Wai Jim and accompanied by an illustrated exhibition booklet with an essay by Midori Yoshimoto.

Observed (5 minutes)

I am a surveillance camera for five minutes. Observing people walking on Carrall.Three people in coats, one with red hooded jacket, walking east. Two arrive to same spot, one again in red, one in black sweater. Look like tourists. He grey hair, she red jacket, dyed brown hair. Behind them man in blue jacket. Cyclist with backpack, water bottle, young woman and man, well dressed, Man and dog, cap, blue sweatshirt. White truck with ruffles sign on side, delivery of chips?Woman in pink shirt, little bag, again, older, dyed hair. Asian girl pert pony tail. Guy with cap. Cowboy hat, hard hat
Grey hair, man pushes card with boxes on it, delivery to corner store?
Guy in plaid shirt, carries bag from corner store, familiar dealer comes out of store, stands around. Cycle repair setup, bike tubes being fixed.
Old guy, smoking , cap. Looks like retired logger. Backpack kid looks like a trekker
Sports guy, sport shirt, jeans,
Someone goes into methadone clinic,Another guy goes in there, someone comes out with Styrofoam cup, keeps walking.
Asian guy in tilley hat
Couple – he in denim, 60ish, she in black, leather jacket , black peak cap. Carrying bags
Cyclist, bright orange pants, pink shirt, red helmet, he waits at lights. Another tourist couple, older. Two guys on corner. Standing talking, smoking.
Man in white hard hat, suit, clipboard in hand, walks fast.
Guy in shades with coffee, guy with bag of cans and empties over shoulder, guy in blue waits at light. Wait, those aren’t empties that is bedding in a transparent bag.
Two cyclists, caps, expensive bikes. Woman rolls cart behind her, another woman rolls out of methadone clinic with walker, vw van waits at light. Girl in pony tail walks by. Guy crosses against light, another waits patiently behind. Woman walks with intention, high heels, stops to ask the walker person directions. Couple with two coffees walk by. Guy with ipod, black clothes
Tourist man with camera asks resident for directions, she points the way. City truck goes by, guy comes along with big army and navy bag.
Guy has big case on wheels, waits while friend goes into the methadone clinic
Bus goes by
Mini stops at lights
Backpack girl crosses street.
Tourists – which way do I go?
Men women old young Asian Caucasian Black
Jackets backpacks jeans caps
Walking, ambling along, standing there, cycling
Pairs, groups, singles
Bags, cigarettes, coffees

at the gates of the van horne

i first became aware of the van horne building, dim at the edge of my awareness, when i was working in the downtown eastside and crabtree corner was still at cordova and columbia. at that point it was mostly the place with the cornerstore where i’d get my chocolate bar fix after working at crabtree corner on thursday afternoons.

after a while i noticed that there were gates … aha! gates! i remember looking up from them, noticing how big the building was and how new. it was new and had gates – well, it was clear to me then that this was a sign of the dreaded gentrification that everyone was talking about.

yes, i can stereotype with the best of them.

then, a few years later, i met someone who lived in the apartment part of it. she was really cool, part ski instructor, part MBA student, socially conscious. so the building became a bit more humanized for me. it started having a face. there were actually nice people living there! amazing!

a few months ago i met a husband and wife who live there, too. they invited me into their lovely, funky loft. yet another wrinkle. now i got to set foot in the dreaded, gated halls of gentrification.

from inside, the gates actually didn’t look so bad. well, i guess that’s what most people in gated communities think.

i remember the first time i left the van horne through the south gate. through the tiled, nicely landscaped, european-style court and out i walked, opening the gate with its clever mechanism that prevents people from the outside reaching in and – oh, yet another world! not the world of the bus stop at the north gate, not the busy in-and-out world of the cornerstore (yes, right at the corner of carrall and cordova) but a world that announced itself first and foremost through smell. the smell of urine. people marking the territory on the other side of the tracks? people, at any rate, who live a very different life than the people who live at the van horne.

i still don’t know what to make of it all. there’s still a lot of firsts for me at the van horne. lots to explore, lots to wonder about, lots of stereotypes to be examined.

isabella mori

p.s. oh, and here’s another bizarre tidbit: i’m going to a gala next week – and i’m supposed to wear a gown!

a gown?

i spent years in an environment where jeans and a sweatshirt were office attire.

am i on the outside of the gates looking in, or on the inside looking out? gowns, jeans, gates …

Gastown Parent’s Concerns

Wendy Pedersen's letter:

I am a member of the Central Waterfront Coalition and a parent of two young children who lives near to the proposed stadium on the Waterfront. There have been up to 80 kids living in my co-op in the last few years and my views are representative of many who live here and in other social housing in the area.

I disagree with the argument put forth by Stadium Now that opposition to the Waterfront Stadium is only about money and financial interests. Would other parents in Vancouver appreciate 15-30,000 soccer or concert fans invading their neighbourhood?  There will be too much car traffic congestion, pedestrian traffic, pollution, noise from fans, noise from the stadium, and potential for hooliganism.

I worry that I won’t be able to get to the corner store with my kids on game or concert days. I wonder if my kids will get to sleep at 8 o’clock on hotsummer nights when I need to keep my windows open (a high profile concert promoter said he will book 100’s of concerts in the open air stadium).
The City Report on this proposal supports my belief that the stadium will be good for liquor establishments but not other businesses in Gastown.  More bar stools, means more trouble.  At the end of the day, my kids and I still won’t have a video store to go to. 

I am in support of the Woodward’s style revitalization because it is about “residents” and “community.”  This is the model of development that will make our neighbourhood a better place for everyone.

Urban Design Visionaries Speak Out Against Stadium

Erickson and Thom Agree that Comprehensive Plan is Needed for Central Waterfront

World renowned architects and urban design experts Arthur Erickson and Bing Thom have come forward to voice their opposition to the proposed Vancouver Whitecaps stadium.They were prompted to speak by their concerns about the stadium’s location, the failure of the stadium’s design to create a positive link between Gastown and the waterfront, and the negative impacts the stadium would have on the local heritage buildings. Both men are calling on city council to delay any decision on the stadium until a comprehensive plan is in place for the entire area.“We need a comprehensive plan for the whole waterfront,” says Thom. “This is our last piece of undeveloped waterfront and we cannot allow it to be developed in a piecemeal basis. We need a plan.”
“It has been proven in so many other situations – we need to be respectful in terms of how we develop our waterfront,” says Erickson. “Without a proper plan for the area, you might as well throw away all the good work that has been done in Vancouver to properly develop our waterfront and ensure that the public has access to these areas.”

Their comments echo the findings of the recent Policy and Technical Analysis of the stadium proposal, which concluded that problems with the proposal could only be resolved ‘if the Stadium is included as a use in a comprehensive plan for the entire area that includes the full rail yard, the Port’s Central Waterfront lands, Waterfront Road, and adjacent streets and properties’.

Both architects remain skeptical about the need for another downtown stadium and whether there isn’t a more suitable location for a project of this size somewhere else in Vancouver.

“When I look at what is being proposed, in my opinion they have located it in the worst place possible,” says Erickson. “It’s crazy and just doesn’t make sense.”

“The first thing that should be done is to establish whether there is a real need for a third stadium in the downtown area and that hasn’t been done yet,” says Thom. “Even if they could establish an actual need, I still don’t think this is the best location for a project of this size and scale.”

The Policy and Technical Analysis also expressed concerns about the location of the stadium and noted that the proposal had “fundamental flaws … that could not be resolved if the building must remain on the specific proposed six-acre portion of the rail yard”.The stadium proposal is slated to come before city council in mid-June.

Bing Thom is the principal of Bing Thom Architects, which he founded in 1980. He has established a reputation for innovative design on a wide range of projects including the Central City development in Surrey and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC. He has been awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions to architecture and the Golden Jubilee medal for outstanding service to his country.

Arthur Erickson is an internationally celebrated architect who is known for his modernist concrete structures that are designed to respond to the natural conditions of its location, especially climate. Among his many projects are the Vancouver Law Courts, the Museum of Anthropology at UBC and the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. In 1986, he was the first Canadian to be awarded the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects, the highest honour bestowed by the AIA. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1973 and promoted to Companion in 1981.

Read the Vancouver Sun coverage here. 

Primary Liquor License?

Neighbours have recently received a notice for a booze primary license for the old Purple Onion Club at 21 Water Street. The owner is applying to get a liquor primary license for the space again. The last time it had one was when they had that shooting a couple of years ago.

The applicant is the owner of "The Packing House", and the person who will manage the new establishment is the owner of AU bar, Tonic (on Granville)and Cherry Bay.

Usually the residents, property owners and businesses in a neighborhood are informed of an application for such a license and given a chance to voice their opinions. For some reason this time many people were not given notice. If you did not receive a notice or have an opinion as to whether this establishment should be able to get its license back feel free to send an email to Guy Gusdal at the City of Vancouver. Email guy.gusdal (at) vancouver (dot) ca. Feedback deadline is soon.

Maple Tree Square Open House

Maple Tree Square is currently undergoing redesign as part of the Carrall Street Greenway development.  A workshop was held in February 2006 to discuss the redesign with the community and City Staff have been working on revising the design based on previous inputs and discussions. Please come to an Open House on June 1st where Staff will present back to the community the revised design of Maple Tree Square and the interim bike facility on Alexander Street. 

Thursday, June 1st, 2006 4-6pm

Interurban Gallery (9 E Hastings, northeast corner of Carrall and Hastings)

City staff is looking for comments and the Greenway staff team will be available to answer questions.