Monthly Archives: July 2007

Nude Cyclers Protest Ride on Carrall Street

Anti-Oil protesters rode through Carrall Street on Sunday to a shouting and cheering crowd. Hearing the commotion, I barely had time to get out my camera before they were gone. Quite a different atmosphere from the Tour de Gastown group of cyclists a short time ago!

Nude Cyclists on Carrall Street

Bus passengers, motorists and tourists on the street check out the cyclists in their peaceful protest ride.

Nude Cyclists at Carrall and Cordova

Just a Guy in a Shopping Cart

Cart Guy on Carrall Street

Did someone push this guy and leave him here in front of the methadone pharmacy or did he decide to just take a rest in the cart?

What Next for the Boulder Hotel?

This afternoon Vancouver City Council will be addressing the situation of the Boulder Hotel development proposal, which has been in the works for some time now. Incorporating the old Pig and Whistle one-story building into an innovative residential/commercial project, the developers are looking for more support from the city to bring life back into this building that hasn’t seen use on its upper floors for over 28 years. From the street it doesn’t look abandoned, as there have always been restaurants on its main floor, notably the new Boneta has been making a bit of a splash. But two floors above the restaurant have been empty for all this time.

The project has been brought by the developers twice to the civic Gastown Heritage and Planning Committee for consultation and approval of plans, particularly for heritage facade considerations. It definitely is a pity that this building which had been in the original centre of Vancouver should have been left to languish for so many years. Archival photos show this building in its heyday surrounded by bustling crowds, active and well-used. As Gastown changes, this building is in a prime location for redevelopment. There have been many delays in this project going past the planning stage, due to its need for more city support – which for some has been a contentious issue. The result of closed-door meetings between city staff and committees and the developers will be brought to Council today.

On the corner of Carrall and Cordova both the Ranier Hotel and the Boulder Hotel buildings have been unused for some time. They face each other across the intersection at Cordova. The Ranier appears to be undergoing some minor changes, but the main floor, boarded up and inactive at this time, faces the new upscale Boneta restaurant at the Boulder Hotel. It is a picture of the rate of change and the current transformation of this area.

Electro-Acoustic at ACCESS on Carrall Tonight

Check out the electro-acoustic improv tonight, (Thursday July 26th) at ACCESS artist run centre on 206 Carrall Street. featuring
ATTN: DIAMOND SHOPPERS (Rachael Wadham & Lee Hutzulak) and GLASS PLATES (Chandan Narayan on prepared autoharp, Jeff Allport on snare and floor tom, Robert Pedersen on valve trombone and cassette decks)
Tonight’s show starts at 8, by donation, drinks served.
(They say “late night swim after” hmmm)

DIAMOND SHOPPERS

And at 7pm just before that, drop by the gaff gallery at 684 e. hastings to the opening of BIG BLOOD, an exhibition of big murals and small drawings by: Marc Bell, Madoka Hara, Lee Hutzulak, Kieth Jones, Jonny Petersen, & Aarron Rossner,
with a special gramophone dj experience by Lee from across the courtyard!

What’s Happening in Vancouver?

Wondering what to do this weekend? Check out VanCal, a great new site from the prolific Rosie!

Check out her new listing of free and near-free Vancouver events here at her new VanCal site. Updates, reviews, upcoming event listings, its all there!

Upcoming: Illuminares at Trout Lake

Illuminares

Here’s what she says about VanCal:

We have a young family and full time jobs, student loans and a mortgage. Access to the arts isn’t just the purview of the upper middle class, it’s available to everyone. You just need to know where to look.

VanCal is a calendar for everyone who wants to get out and enjoy arts and culture in Vancouver but can’t afford the Chan Centre. The information is collected from the free publications and wherever I hear about it – the important thing is to get out there and support Vancouver’s vibrant arts community.

5 Reasons Why I’m Back

This blog reflects the nature of the street, and just like the street has many facets of history, evolution and devolution. For the past little while it has been as abandoned as the old Ranier Hotel on Carrall and Cordova. As soon as the last reincarnation of the Brickyard closed – that’s not exactly fair, it was a Whiskey bar (I now hear the Doors doing their version of Kurt Weill, singing Oh show me the way to the next whiskey bar…..) – as soon as it closed, the whole building was vacated completely. Graffiti came in a wide swath, and there were some folks camped out on the sidewalk. Lately I’ve heard a power machine making sounds and a radio playing inside. I saw a face in one of the abandoned hotel windows – something may be stirring.

And in reflection, I’m back, chronicling the street again. Here are 5 reasons why I’m back:

1. The new little Moroccan café at Maple Tree square is a ray of hope: mint tea!

2. A restaurant is open now in the Boulder Hotel building on the corner of Carrall and Cordova: Upscale and solid, Boneta just might make it past the curse that took down the One restaurant, and don’t even mention the Video Monster.

3. The first block of greenway paving and street work is finally done! It may have seemed to take months, and look like a flat je ne sais quoi, but it’s the start of the transformation of the street. I see the promise of the square spaces where the trees will be planted. Can’t wait for more traffic detours!

4. The Tour de Gastown is coming up this week: speaking of traffic detours. But it’s always exciting – they put out the hay bales, and then those guys speed around the corner of Carrall and Cordova at unbelievable angles, watched by the clusters of people.

5. It’s summer and the street looks great in the sunlight.

So there seems to be turnover and commitment to Carrall Street, and after a longish hiatus, I’m back with the Carrall Street Journal. Day after day it can seem like nothing is happening or nothing is changing. But when I look more closely, I can see that there have been many incremental shifts, changes worth documenting here in the journal, maybe while sipping some of that Moroccan mint tea.