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Junos and the sun lure us outside

March 29th, 2009 · No Comments

Every time there’s a sunny day in Vancouver, I feel as though the crowds the streets get bigger. I don’t mean just the usual Robson or Granville zombie ramble, but all through the downtown and every little high street in the city.

Mobs of people just roaming around, clustering every so often around a hot-dog stand (must be something about those Japanadogs? at Burrard and Smithe, because there was a horde there) or an impromptu street performance — what were those kids in black T-shirts doing in front of the art gallery? Looked like modern dance plus rap plus serious social message, as far as I could tell as I wove through the crowd.

It almost feels like a big city here to see so much humanity on the move.

One place in particular that’s come to life lately is the gradually gentrifying area around the Tinseltown Mall in Chinatown/the Downtown Eastside. It used to be dead in the streets around there, except when the movie crowds whooshed in and out — usually through the parking garage. 

Now, on a sunny Sunday afternoon like today’s, people are milling around in all directions — a mix of little old Chinese ladies making a beeline for the T & T, the usually homeless/street people, tourists heading for the Sun Yat-Sen Gardens, 30-somethings who look like they’re living in tiny condos nearby, construction workers (yes, even on Sunday, it seems), young women with their little dogs, and, well, you name it.

It was particularly lively this weekend, with Juno events happening just off Expo Boulevard nearby. Quite a happening scene for me and the other Costco shoppers making our pilgrimage to the downtown store opposite GM Place. As we headed in to blow our remaining cash on giant blocks of cheese and condo-sized boxes of pita chips, we could hear waves of screams across the road from enthusiastic music fans.

Granville Street was filled on the weekend with more of the Juno celebrants, milling around outside the booths set up in the middle of the street — which gave me a sense of what the 32 blocks of Olympic party zone might be like next February. I noted that one of the booths on Granville was for the mini-doughnuts that usually can be had only at the PNE. Uh-oh. We are all in trouble now. Better go on that diet right now if this is what’s going to happen — a big fat PNE foodfest spread all over town.

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