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The end of a beautiful weekend

January 19th, 2009 · 8 Comments

I can’t let this weekend go without mentioning how lovely the city looked this morning, especially for all my (perhaps) homesick overseas readers. With the combination of the wisps of fog floating around the downtown towers with blue sky behind, the effect was eerily beautiful.

As I was driving into the city across the Georgia viaduct this morning, the glass Accenture tower looked as though it had golden rays emanating from it, as the sun refracted through the fog. Behind it, the opalescent dots on the Shangri-La tower glowed red in the mist. I have to say, I love looking at that building.

I haven’t always been that crazy about some of architect Jim Cheng’s earlier work with all the cross-hatching and panels. But I love looking at the Shangri-La, with its clean lines and milky glass that’s different from the usual car-showroom kind of glass on many condos. And especially those large iridescent dots at the intersection points of the windows, shimmering with a mix of pale green and lavender and gold.

And then, later in the day, as I was coming across the Alex Fraser Bridge from Surrey back to Vancouver, the towers along the ridgeline of Burnaby and the cluster at the New Westminster end were ghostly silhouettes, with the mountains behind them.

I get frustrated with our city sometimes and the way we’ve trashed it with bad developments and junky buildings and lack of imagination. But today, I was reminded of how beautiful it can be.

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  • Stepan Vdovine

    This is even better than the proposed suggestion to write about the “unknown charms of Nanaimo” as a break from the Olympic Village fiasco.

    Great post, Francis and a lovely day indeed!

  • fbula

    Thanks for the photo, Stepan.

  • jane

    Thanks for that Frances…. with so much going on we forget what we have, and why we love it so much…..

  • jane

    Thanks for that Frances…. with so much going on we forget what we have, and why we love it so much…..

  • I had the same feeling yesterday. I, too, get frustrated with the over-development in the city, and welcome days that remind me of the core reasons I chose Vancouver as home. Cheers to a beautiful day.

  • Wow.

    Stepan has some really, really great shots on his photostream.

    My favorite is this one.


  • Bob Ransford

    You painted in words a lovely picture of the wondeful city we too often take for granted.

    Our skyline is rich with stunning contrasts– the rugged beauty of nature’s most basic elements as a backdrop– water, mountains, trees, mist– and modern architecture still somewhat restrained but confidently placed with order and rythmn.

    Thanks, Frances, for illuminating all of this by revealing thoughts in carefully crafted words.

  • gmgw

    The one thing I will say in favour of the chilly, damp fog (apart from the obvious poetic evocations about its mystery, et. al.) is that it obscures the sight of downtown’s and Yaletown’s dreary towers– indeed, it obscures almost all of the planning atrocities that have effectively destroyed this city’s charm during its Beasleyization over the past 20+ years, when it was in far too much of a hurry to grow up in the hopes of reaching “world class” status. As I walk through the fog across the Granville Bridge or along False Creek’s comparatively bucolic south shore, I am temporarily free to look to the north and construct my own fanatasy city, the way it should and could have been. Remember when we could see mountains from almost anywhere in town?