TEA & TWO SLICES: On Being Mad At Sean Heather And The Abandonment Of Nuance

February 22, 2013.

by Sean Orr | Still blaming fancy restaurants: Moving on up: Gentrification in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. You are only mad at Sean Heather is because he is successful.

Social mix has displaced low-income people at Woodward’s. While it might look like a massive condo boom, when you take into account the arrival of The Taylor Building, Abbott Place, Van Horne, the Koret Lofts, Railtown Studios, Bowman Lofts, The Edge, Paris Place, Espana – and so on – it’s a 20 year picture of slow and steady encroachment. I’m not trying to discount their report. I just think the truth is a bit more nuanced.

As it is here: Pidgin protesters offer new twist on Vancouver NIMBYism. The truth is, without protests Woodwards would have never been built in the first place. In other words, this is what democracy looks like.

And yet no one has yet been as eloquent as Pidgin on the subject:

When choosing this location we knew that there would be a stark contrast between what is outside and inside. Rather than this being viewed as a negative we believe it starts a conversation, one that is overdue. Our patrons come from the DTES and all over the city, some of [whom] have never taken a step in Pigeon Park. This venue is on the divide between the east and west of the city and can serve as an opportunity to bring a more integrated community, where we can better understand each other’s viewpoints and struggles

COPE’s by-law elimination suggestion would cause “chaos”, ex-cop says. I don’t get it, copper. Which one is it? Is the DTES a crazy warzone or is it a social experiment that you are heavily invested in? Is it an open-drug market or a tight-knit community? If these people have nowhere to go, where are you moving them to?

Tweet of the day on Sam Sullivan winning the BC Liberal nomination for False Creek c/o David Schreck:

FOI the record: PavCo tries to blacklist inconvenient sleuth.

B.C. agency to handle crack-shack, party-house complaints. Really? So while you announced a fire-sale on public assets, more civil servants laid off, and spending slashed, you have an agency devoted to people who are having parties?

Yeah, but what do we really need? Canada needs a good closer.

  • lindsay

    as eloquent as pidgin!?? come on sean you’ve changed (insert actual disappointment)!!! seriously, welcome to the neighborhood pidgin, you have every right to be here and conduct business and not have people harass your patrons. you chose a really shitty name (elaborated in a previous thread) and most likely that your patrons will sit and laugh at the marginalized and addicted folks expense. but don’t you dare make bullshit statements about your existence opening up ANY kind of meaningful conversation that will be of any benefit to the neighborhoods most vulnerable residents. while hiring one down and out neighborhood dude to wash your dishes is admirable you are not here to effect change, so lets just be honest and move forward. sean, here is the eloquent statement you were actually looking for:

    “Divisions are what work for the City and the developers whom they look to for their political future. They want us to be distracted by isolated emotional issues, opposing Pidgin and saving the Cottonwood gardens, arguing over class lines rather than trying to cross them. The playground gets condo-ized while children argue over who had the ball too long. And the politicians smile. And the developers laugh.”

  • CTurner

    FYI, the first link is to an article that is a year old. If you’re going to make fun of rabble.ca, at least do so in a timely manner.

  • http://scoutmagazine.ca Sean Orr

    Re. Pidgin- I suppose I might feel different had the GM met with me- he was so passionate about doing more for the area. I was amazed. He said we could all be doing more. He was meeting with local druglords also, I mean, I dunno I have never heard of anything like that. I think the entire point is that those divisions are being erased. Rich and poor people CAN live in peace an harmony. ha.

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    ” come on sean you’ve changed (insert actual disappointment)!!! ” Sorry to disappoint you. But I agree, I have changed. When I was writing for Beyond Robson I probably would’ve had a much different take on things- but now after living in Gastown, taking photos of it for a decade- I have room for pragmatic reasoning. I love the area right now, it’s gritty, shiny, loud, drunken, fancy- all in one. It’s like what New York used to be.

  • lindsay

    of course you love it. you are writing all of this from a place of privilege. but isn’t the truth without your subsidized rent you’d have to live in a bed bug infested sro or bed bug/mold infested bc housing such as mclean park or stamps landing, in order to stay living in the dtes? i completely disagree that the very poor/marginalized can co-exist for any great length of time. especially without a working class and lower end of moderate income presence to buffer the tension. those folks are being pushed out at a rapid rate. you’ve mentioned numerous times that vancouverites with a wee bit of cash are NIMBYNIMBYNIMBY. during the BR years you would have done more to acknowledge that however misdirected the anger is, they (we) have a right to be angry about displacement. pragmatic reasoning or complacency? i am not sure which one fits.

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