Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Lawman (and woman)

There are a lot of advantages to being a police officer, at least in my opinon. But at one time some of the officers of the Vancouver Police Force got to ride one of the coolest rides ever made - a Harley Davidson motorcyle.

Today I ventured out into the pouring rain even though my view of this city's landmarks was clouded by the mist. I walked in the downpour to get my readers something to peruse. I put on restrictive runner shoes, a heavy rain coat, a hat and braved the elements. Just for my loyal readers. See how obstructed the Top of Vancouver Revolving tower is?

Wasn't that dramatic? This photo was actually taken last week I think but it was as cloudy today.

I walked down to the Vancouver Police Museum. As I mentioned in a blog post on August 9 of this year, the museum is located in the old coronor's court on Cordova Street.

When a person walks through those doors they are greeted by a sign with information of the building.

Then we get  to see what the switchboard would have looked like years ago. Many years ago.
This would have been in use during the 1950s approximately. Here is a closer view of how the dispatcher knew where each car was.

And here is the officer keeping track of the crimes happening around the city.

This display was encased in glass and unfortunately I got a reflection when I tried to take a photo. But if you look closely you can see the map of Stanley Park on the wall.

Posters reflecting the history and accomplishments of the VPD line the walls as you walk up the stairs to the first landing. More stairs take you to the floor with the museum. Turn right at the stained glass window.

Once you have turned right go into the gift shop and pay an admission fee then you can really see the history.

On June 17, 1912 the Vancovuer Police Force made history by becoming the first police force in Canada to hire women.

Until 1943 the duties of a female officer were mainly inside duties. Matrons in the jail, escorting female prisoners, patrolling dance halls and cabarets - things suited for the weaker sex. Fortunately 1943 saw many changes and today a female officer has the same duties as her male counterpart.

A visitor also gets to see a uniforms and such from years past.

Some visitors may even recall these call boxes, or ones similiar. These sealed boxes were located around the city. Officers had a key to unlock it and inside there was switch that the officer could flip to inform headquarters that the patrol was proceeding as normal. There was also a telephone inside so that, if need be, the officer could report any problems. The boxes were all painted blue and marked with special numbers to indicate the district where the box was located. A light illuminated the box so that they could be quickly accessed and utilized when the outside light wasn`t great.

As I was leaving the museum I saw a very impressive wall.

This is only a fraction of the faces you will see on this wall and leading down the stairs. It has every Chief Constable of the Vancouver Police force featured there.

This was a great experience and one I am glad I went on. I would love to go back and take more photos of things I missed as well as perhaps get a couple of items from the gift shop. For the seven dollars it cost me it was well worth it.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Entering the Vault

I'm not feeling the greatest today - a touch of the flu. I am the fourth person associated with this building to succumb to it recently. So I decided to go into my files of pictures that I have taken these last couple of months and see what it is there.

I was walking by Oppenheimer Park and thought this looked interesting. I hope someone was able to make proper use of them.

The Gospel Mission has been in operation since 1929 and at this location since the 1940s. This organization not only supplies meals to those in need but also showers, haircuts and clean clothing. They believe in not only feeding the body but also the soul and have helped some to change their lives.

Not exactly what I would call a five star hotel but from what I have been able to find out this place has been here for probably close to a hundred years. I wonder how much has actually changed.

I found an article written in 2008 which stated that the hotel then was 118 years old. It had been deemed unsafe and closed in 2006 but the province bought it, upgraded it and, when the article was written, the Marr Hotel had 29 suites that are classifed as affordable housing. A great way to keep some of the city's history alive.

Another one of the city's older establishments that had been taken over by drug dealers, criminals and other nefarious sorts. The Beacon Hotel was doomed to destruction until the province stepped in and once again helped to rebuild in order to supply more affordable housing.

The only information I found on this once fine establishment was that the sign was rusty. I figured that one out all by myself.

Now for something a little different. When I was out taking photos of the PNE I found this one on my camera's memory card. Interesting don't you think?

What I am guessing happened is that I was walking by these fountains.

The wind shifted just as I walked by and I must have accidentally hit the button to take a photo. It was a pleasing error. I like the effect, don't you?

I met a new friend this last Saturday who seemed very willing to stay with me.

My apartment building doesn't allow dogs above the first floor and this fellow may have been so keen on staying with me because he is deaf. I petted him and it was a nice place to sit but he soon followed his owner and left me alone. I suppose I will survive without him.

Did you notice that there is a new link under the title? If you like you can sign up to be notified whenever I update the blog. I am aiming for five to six days a week but I will have to see how things go.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

The Variety Show

I went grocery shopping today and did take a few photos. But I don't have a theme to today's entry so you get a variety of things.

This building at the corner of Commercial Drive and East 1 is listed as a heritage building. I haven't found anything about it though.  A few doors down there is a vintage clothing store in what looks to be heritage as well.
Thanks tovancouverneon.com where I was able to find a little bit of information on this sign.

Star Weekly was a magazine that was inserted into papers around Canada starting around 1910. There are signs like this around Canada.

I was surprised at the lack of information on this building.

The St. Francis of Assisi Church and rectory are listed on the names of heritage buildings. However there is no plaque and nowhere can I find information on the history. A mystery. A beautiful set of buildings though.

I enjoy looking at these buildings and marvelling at the things they have seen. The events that have played out inside and around the walls. It saddens me when I see buildings that no one seems to care about any more.

This one on East 12 looks like it is there until it falls down or is condemned. And although work is being done on this one on Victoria Drive I wonder if it is just being torn down.

It would be wonderful to see this majestic building rebuilt even if it was divided into multiple units. Logically a home this big for a single family isn't feasible anymore but I feel pain as I watch it being gutted. I believe homes of this age hold many souls inside. Getting rid of them is like banishing a piece of our history.

Okay I admit that the previous paragraph was a bit dramatic. So a switch of focus. While walking one day along Prior Street I looked over and saw a gaggle of visitors.

These Canada Geese look so relaxed and maybe even a little haughty. They are a protected species due to the fact they were almost eliminated at one time so I guess they have a right to be arrogant. These stunning fowls strut and preen for viewers and remind us that very little we can create will equal the beauty of nature.

Another bird, perhaps not as awe inspiring as the Canada Goose, is the crow. I see a lot of those around and this one I was cute.

He's smart. He didn't go scrounging for food, he waited for someone to dump their leftovers in the garbage. He waited patiently until he was rewarded.

I hope you find the beauty around you. Even if it is just an old building and a hopeful crow.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Last night I did a little research and found addresses for a few heritage homes in the area. My first stop was going to be at 1098 Salsbury Drive.

This grand home is named Kurrajong after bushes on the Australian sheep farm where the original resident was from. J.J. Miller came to Vancouver with his brother in 1903. This house was built for J.J. in 1908 after had and his brother had made a fortune in real estate. His brother's home was built two blocks east and named Wilga. Both brothers lost their fortunes in the crash of 1913 but their fine homes remain. Having gone through alterations and upgrades of course.

On the way to Kurrajong I passed this apartment building.

This is either an older building or one that has been constructed to fit in with the heritage look of many residences and buildings around here.

This house, across the street from Kurrajong is older. I am pretty sure about that.

The house above was built in 1908. That must have been a banner year for Grandview, that is what this area is called. And I can see why. The glimpses I get from in between houses and buildings while walking is gorgeous. Imagine what it was like over a hundred years ago when there wasn't as much in the way to block the view.

I used to live a few houses away from this building. It doesn't have a heritage plaque but it does have this.

I used to like to stand outside this building and imagine what it must look like inside. It just looks so classy and elegant. I imagined that living here would make others think I was refined. I was nineteen at the time. I still think it is a nice building though.

This alluring abode is located across the street from John Hendry Park and Trout Lake. A quiet area filled with nature's gifts. Right in the middle of the city. I don't know much about this house just that it has a heritage plaque.

Now I don't think this house has a heritage plaque and I don't know how old it is. Yet you have to admit the paint job is interesting.

I walk, sometimes with a goal in mind, and take pictures of what I see. Sometimes I am able to get information on them and sometimes not. Some things I see strike me as interesting. Like this.

This door does not appear to actually lead into a home made of grass rather a back yard. Yet when Canada and the US were first settled those gathering on the prairies didn't have access to luxuries like lumber so their houses were made of sod. The native sod of the prairies was a thicker, tougher root structure making a Soddy a liveable structure.

There are many more homes and information to pass on another time.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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