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Brace for Olympics 24-hour party zone

March 18th, 2009 · 7 Comments

I’m (belatedly) posting my story in the Globe this week about the competition to get and rent party sites downtown for the many, many groups that want to have a presence at the Olympics. What really hit home to me for the first time, as I was researching this story, was just what a carnival it’s going to be downtown as hundreds of business groups, community groups, government organizations and you name it set up party/hosting sites here there and everywhere.

I hear my onetime employer, CanWest, is going to be hosting theirs at the Miele showroom on Yaletown, Alberta is going to be in a restaurant at the corner of Robson and Beatty, Bell is going to be in another restaurant nearby, and so on and so on. Apparently the Heineken beer company always has a great place at every Olympics, although I haven’t heard where they’re going to be yet. That’s on top of the city’s two live sites, which will have non-stop entertainment.

We live within a 30-minute walk of all this so I think we’ll just be ditching our car and wandering around to observe the festivities. I’m not usually a crowd person – I go out of my way to avoid towns holding “festivals” — but this sounds like it will be spread out over so many blocks and be so unique that I’m starting to think it will be fun. Hope I’m not disappointed.

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  • The company I am employed by is working on a few of these sites/pavilions… It’ll be fun. I swear. 🙂

  • Wagamuffin

    I think it will be more fun than we have seen in some time. and sorely needed after this winter of our discontent…

    Good point on the walking, Frances. We may not be Olympic athletes, but given the them of the festivities, and how walkable this town is, there is no excuse not to.

  • gmgw

    “Fun” is a highly subjective concept. I guess some people’s idea of fun (certainly that of a lot of regulars in the so-called “Entertainment District”) is getting hammered and staggering down the street yelling one’s head off at two in the morning. Unfortunately, that’s somewhat less fun for people who happen to live nearby, especially those who work for a living and need sleep. And to head off the predictable accusations that such people are johnny-come-lately NIMBYs who chose to live in the party district, not all of us match that description. We lived in our neighbourhood for nearly 20 years before a pub/resto opened within earshot. Now our summer nights resound with the bellows, howls and raucous laughter of the drunks on the outdoor patio till 2 AM most nights. *Not* fun. My heart goes out to the many residents who are going to suddenly find themselves living in or near Party Central when this vile and idiotic circus rolls into town. Start lobbying your favourite civic politician, now, to find ways of mitigating the side effects of all that fun that’s going to be rammed down your throat whether you like it or not (call it “fun Fascism”).

  • Etom

    Response:
    My Guess is that Your Definition of fun is Complaining

    Even though you state that you lived in your current location for many years,
    I find it difficult to believe that you lived there previous to civilization.
    The Area under discussion has clearly been the city center for eons.
    I myself reside in said area, and chose to purchase my home in this area precisely because I enjoy the sights and sounds of City life.

    Additionally I would state that the Entertainment District did not just pop up overnight,
    so you would have had many years to re-locate (even while the market was at it’s peak).

    The Downtown Core in Vancouver is no different than any other Metropolis, and should have noise, it should have life,
    and it should host festivals, niteclubs and any other international event that the world attends.

    I as well work 7AM every morning, and am occasionally awakened by street noise, but Big Deal, I get over it, and realize that I am not the only person in the world,
    and if other people are having fun, and making noise–More Power to them!

    I’m also not all crazy about the Olympics, but it’s coming, and Thank Gawd that the Whiners can’t stop it.

    However there are several reputable companies that will rent out your home for you for the duration of the Olympics (At top dollar, I might add), thus giving you the chance to get out of the Bustle, and enjoy ‘Fun’ in your own way.

  • gmgw: I second Etom’s idea. Rent out your home/apt for the duration of the games, make a small mint, and take a vacation in a sleepy little town somewhere in the Mediterranean. And let those of us excited for games (and the events/entertainment they will bring) enjoy them with out you and your ilk trying to “mitigate and minimize” the fun. Thanks!

    Here’s a link to get you started:
    http://www.emrvacationrentals.com/2010-winter-olympics-rentals.ihtml

  • gmgw

    Philip:
    Thanks for your suggestion, but I have several obstructions: First, my landlord will not allow sublets; secondly, the love of my life refuses to even consider the idea (and I’ve brought it up several times, believe me, despite problem #1– there’s nothing more I’d enjoy than shearing an Olympics-loving sheep for every cent I could get); she reasons, with impressively paranoid logic, that anyone crazy enough to sublet our place would maliciously destroy it while we were away. Too bad, as we’re a half-hour’s walk from what will be the Athlete’s Village and the views of the black helicopers circling over the nabe 24/7, plus the sight of all those snipers on the rooftops, should be most impressive. Lastly, and this is the one that *really* grates, my employer , who shall not be named but is a major stakeholder in the whole bloody circus, has informed us that no one will be granted holidays during the O’s, as we may be seconded to Olympics-related events. (Imagine my pleasure at the prospect.) So we’re gonna have to stay home and take it on the chin, it appears, unless I can develop a physical ailment severe enough to keep me off work for three weeks. Since I work downtown, my major concern is going to be not doing anything to alarm those snipers. I can hear the bullhorns now: “Good MORNing citizens!! Please listen to these announcements. Please keep both hands visible at all times, remove any headgear that may interfere with easy identification, and above all, do not attempt to conceal yourself; proceed at a moderate pace, and do NOT break into a run for ANY reason. Now, go peaceably about your business”. I just hope they’ll at least fire warning shots…

  • I am so getting out of town for that mess.
    @Etom, ‘get over it’ isn’t a solution, it’s an order to put up or shut up. I have to side with gmgw on this: the intersection of sanctioned ‘fun’ and rabid enforcement will be the pinnacle of a fully mediated society.