Friday, August 13, 2010
What Makes Vancouver Great?
In 1886 the newly incoporated city of Vancouver was destroyed by fire. The fire burned through almost everything and took around twenty lives. It was a disaster. A quote I read online said: "It took twenty minutes to destroy the city and twelve hours to start rebuilding". The people of Vancouver were not going to let a silly little thing like a massive fire take their city away. When the first train pulled into the station in 1887 it found a thriving city. That is the work and determination of people.
Living in this area I find the atmosphere created by the people to be what makes it so welcoming. I don't get the same vibe everywhere but here I do. And these people are the reason why.
You've already met these two men. Thomas Lockhart, tattoo artist extraordinaire and Bud the Oracle a local activist and character.
This is Michael who reads Tarot Cards on the Drive. He sits at a table in a recessed area in front of a restaurant and a boutique. If he isn't busy reading someone's fortune he is more than happy to discuss life's events with you.
Did you know that Tarot cards have been used from the mid-15th century in Europe as playing cards. It wasn't until the late 18th century that these cards became the tools of mystics and fortune tellers.
Mail delivery started in Canada in 1693 when Pedro da Silva was paid to deliver mail from Ottawa City to Montreal. In 1775 official postal services, under the control of British Government, began and ran until 1851. Vancouver was smart. We waited for the post office to get some of the growing pains out of the way before becoming a incorporated city.
Mike is formerly a window washer and not just any window washer but one who washes the windows of high rises. Three years ago he was run over by a car and has had numerous surgeries since. He has pins and plates throughout his body and is working on healing enough so that he can get back to work. For now he sits outside the Church's Chicken and panhandles. Churchs gives him a free chicken meal once a week and the owner of nearby Donald's is grateful for Mike watching over that corner of the fresh fruits and vegetables. Mike is always smiling and seems embarrased to ask for change.
Another panhandler I know that sits outside of Safeway used to work in the caves on the island. He developed lung damage due to the bat dung in those caves. Now he panhandles and gets a little computer work when he can. I once gave him a chocolate covered granola bar that I had just purchased a box of. He acted like I had given him a million dollars. That is why he is one of the panhandlers that I will help when I can.
We all do what we have to in order to survive. These men aren't lazy, they have just been struck by unfortunate circumstances. "But for the grace of God, there go I."
This is Wayne, he's one of Mike's friends and allowed me to take his photo.
TAGS:Vancouver, Karen Magill, Interurban, Hastings,Church's Chicken,tarot cards,Walk,Donald's,panhandlers