Nature & Public Spaces
February 12, 2019

Vancouver Diary: Overheard and Overseen

Dianna has been eavesdropping:

Overheard yesterday on the bus. A millennial quite serious and slightly horrified: “Oh, no! I couldn’t go to an English-speaking veterinarian. My cat only speaks French.”

When we got off the bus in the pouring snow we were greeted by a total stranger with a cheery Merry Christmas!

And cycling the seawall:

Department of Good News/Bad News. A few weeks ago as I biked alongside the bank of daffodils on English Bay, I told them that they were too optimistic. It was too early to bloom. They didn’t listen, and so this… which makes the geese happy.

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Dianna has been noticing how tough it is for us to choose our outdoor wardrobe at this time of year:

This runner’s upper body says winter, but his legs protest that it’s summer, summer. The cyclists are equally indecisive with their shorts plus heavy jackets.


A cozy jacket with turtleneck for both dog and person declare that they’re still deeply into winter.


These walkers on the seawall say winter. Definitely winter.

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Dianna likes New York a lot, like so many of us.  So she likes this New Yorker video of “Socially Awkward Dance Moves.”



She observes:

My favourite distinction between NYC Metrocard and Vancouver Compass card: swipe a Metrocard and the turnstile shouts, “Go!” Do the same thing with a Compass card and it suggests, “Proceed.”
In one moment, the difference between Manhattan and Vancouver.

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Dianna writes: .

This stretch of the Jericho Beach pathway is always crowded with pedestrians, cyclists, swimmers, picnickers, little kids, especially on a warm sunny afternoon like yesterday. It wasn’t a surprise when a distracted guy stepped in front of me as I rode.

What was unexpected was the “heads up, dad” from the six-year-old holding his hand.



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Dianna: A very elegant poster for a picnic described as “actually not fancy whatsoev.”


What is this …?


This is no chic-picnic. It’s actually not fancy whatsoev. It’s also free. We are here to invite you to a democratic gathering in CRAB Park on Tuesday, the 25th of August. The task at hand is simple – dress head-to-toe in your blackest clothes, grab some friends, some food and beverages, a big blanket and set yourself down for the evening for peaceful resplendence in one of Vancouver’s finest parks.

You must be warned however: There will be gay people here. And Latinos. Lots of them. Some Persian folks. Native people. Students with massive debt. A handful of Greek people. The dreaded Quebequois. Some Swedes. A smattering of Peruvians and even worse, some white …people that work in IT.

This is an evening of a resounding positive community eating dinner together. An ad-hoc, barely-even-organized, family-friendly event.

This might be a good evening to leave your dog at home, because no creature in history has loved picnics more and things could get very dicey if a ton of people come out. BUT SERIOUSLY – NO DOGS, even though they are so damn cute.

Rather than being a candle lit affair please only bring those tiny crappy battery powered fake plastic candle lights or any other battery powered glowing lights. Let’s not light the park or anyone’s hair or pashmina afghan on fire.

*This is not a Rain or Shine event. Not even close. If it’s raining – it’s a Netflix night. (still tax free, Thx Stevie)

*Important! Please take with you all that you arrived with. A cleanup crew has already been organized to ensure the park is left as pristine as possible.

*We ask that you also bring an item of non-perishable food to donate. We have partnered with Backpack Buddies and they will be on site in a clearly marked area accepting food donations. There are some children that go hungry every week that could use some extra help, so why don’t we help?

All black clothing. Food. Drink. Friends. Big Blankie. Tuesday, August 25th. 5 pm.

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From Dianna:

Saturday when I arrived at YVR to collect Michael I was drawn upstairs by the sound of a live piano and vocalist. A few people were dancing and on the sidelines was an older couple, she in a wheelchair, with a young woman perhaps their daughter. Luggage and coats piled alongside as they, too, enjoyed the moment.

Then, the man got up, extended his hands to the older woman who slowly rose from her wheelchair then they danced slowly and in perfect sync around the base of the Bill Reid sculpture.

It was a movie moment, but in real life.


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