Friday, February 26, 2010

My Vancouver 2010 Olympic Experience - Two Worlds

On Tuesday, my wife, a group of our friends and I journeyed into Vancouver to take in some Olympic evening activities and to be able to, at least, say that we were there.  That was the night it rained.  Then rained some more. By the way, rain looks like a waterfall when caught in a search light.  The remarkable thing is that despite the "liquid sunshine" the crowds was upbeat and the celebration continued unabated.  This mood was contagious from the Olympic cauldron to the Livecity Yaletown where we caught Canadian rockers Wintersleep.  We, like so many, did not have tickets to any of the events but I am pleased that the Province and City decided to make it a real party in the downtown centre. The fireworks at the end of the evening were well worth the wait.

Not that everyone one was thrilled with the Olympics as evidenced by some of the things I saw in the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver.  The "Olympic Tent Village" was quite active and effective in getting their message across. I was struck by their statement that "housing is a right" and the "Riot 2010" message I saw painted on a number of metal utility boxes. 

We were there however to have a bit of fun, check out the art show (terrific) so our priority was not housing but rather to find a nice pub in which to watch the Canada - Russia men's hockey game.  I know pretty shallow.  This we found at the "On the Edge Pub", 303 Columbia Street Vancouver a beautifully renovated pub just on the edge of Gastown in the Downtown Eastside.  The stew I had was great, the hostess very friendly, prices reasonable and the crowd young and cheering for the right team. Go, Canada, Go.

One finally cheer should go out. With respect to the plight of the Downtown Eastside there are a lot of good people, organizations and governments working to help the people of this neighbourhood that deserve our appreciation- unfortunately their victories are not as tangible as a puck in the net but are perhaps more meaningful.  Go, Canada, Go!

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Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.

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