TEA & TWO SLICES: On Raising The Red Gate And Surrey Like You’ve Never Seen It
by Sean Orr | Take a chill pill, says Costco shopper over cross-border kerfuffle. We need a price check on melatonin at Checkout 4! Too late, the Canadians bought all of them up.
Bad dog, here’s a treat: Mountie dodges discipline after punching man. Or as the young Latino said to the cops after being ‘randomly’ searched on East Hastings, “You’re the real gang.”
Perpetuating regional stereotypes is our specialty: Surrey like you’ve never seen it. Oh wow, look at that! All the crack shacks are gone and all the sprawling, identical subdivisions have magically disappeared! The kilometres and kilometres of plazas along King George Highway are now tasteful boutique retail outlets!
Speaking of tasteful boutique retail outlets: Whose new Vancouver? What’s at stake with gentrification in the Downtown Eastside. “Vancouver has a new curse word”, and it’s ‘gentrification’. It’s hardly new, and there is absolutely nothing qualitative about it. Just like the words ‘economy’ and ‘environment’, ‘gentrification’ now comes pre-loaded with emotional connotations entirely dependent on the speaker’s personal views. Quite simply, the word needs to have a qualifier; words like ‘responsible, ‘unchecked’, ‘soft’, and ‘structural’. We long ago employed a sort of ‘historical’ gentrification to prevent wholesale urban renewal in Gastown. Its next wave of gentrification – that of smaller boutique retail outlets designed to serve locals and not tourists – occured in the 90′s. Now some people see Woodwards as responsible for the third wave that is upon us now. “The tension between longstanding residents and a growing middle class presence seems to be an inevitable process in any growing city, particularly a city with property values as high as Vancouver’s.” It’s partly a consequence of the physical geography of our little peninsula and partly due to historical factors like the original real estate deal that created Vancouver out of the Granville Townsite. There has always existed a narrative of dualities: Sea/sky, east/west, rich/poor, with Gastown and the DTES being the epicentre of it all. Get used to it.
We built this city: Sticker campaign targets ‘racist’ B.C. lieutenant-governor. Didn’t Denman murder a bunch of Nootka? And of course all those streets named after the CPR will have to go, too, because of their treatment of Chinese workers.
Expect more cruelty: A Brief History of British Columbia. Have we posted this before? I don’t care. It fits perfectly.
Bonus: Raise the Red Gate!