Archive for December, 2009


home #29

Yale & North Slocan. This is another one of those places where there’s so much to appreciate I don’t know where to point my camera. This alley has two concrete tracks for the trucks, but otherwise it’s made of a plastic mesh that lets grass grow and rain soak into the ground. Make sure to click on the photo for a larger image, so you can see the fish in the stone bricks.

Happy new years, everyone! They just keep on getting better.

home #28

Cambridge & North Slocan. Parking’s pretty restricted, I guess because it’s so close to the PNE, but it’s a lovely neighbourhood full of big old trees and Victorian houses… and this amazing place. It never occurred to me before that tacky white statuary could be so lovable!

home #27

William & Victoria. By far my favourite christmas lights of the season… these people hired a crane to string incandescent light bulbs from way up high in the tree outside their house, and shaded them with paper lanterns. String also hangs down from each one and sways with the breeze, making them look like glowing balloons trying to go up, not down. I’ve taken a million photos of the place at night and none of them capture the effect or the colours, so you’ll just have to go check it out yourself.

I want to compile a list of the advantages of living in a van. No rent is the most obvious, mobility is the second most obvious. The possibility that it might (temporarily) attract certain kinds of adventure-loving women is a good one. A less famous advantage is that you never have to do the dishes. You also never have to sweep, and you never have to clean the bathroom. However there are some chores you can’t get out of.

Laundry… yup, I still do that. Well actually I don’t, I’ve discovered that for $8 I can drop off my laundry and pick it up later in the day, all folded and smelling nice. The difference between $8 and what I’d spend on the machines and soap and softener is definitely worth the two hours I don’t have to spend in the laundromat. And I had actually budgeted $10 a week for laundry, so I’m still ahead of the game. Well, that game.

Making the bed… this is the most difficult and important chore I have. Doing it right takes about half an hour of back and forth between the back of the van and the side of the van but it’s worth it, because it means I don’t fall in the crack and I don’t wake up with cold air somehow getting under the covers. And if I do a really good job it doesn’t come undone for three or four days!

Drying the inside of the windows… This is the only thing I have to do every single day, and I’m getting really tired of it. Every morning when I wake up the front windows (the ones that don’t have panels… i take back all the mean things I said about those panels) are covered with water. Water anywhere inside the van is a bad thing. But neither cloths nor paper towel soak up the water, I have no idea why. So I bought a squeegee thing without the foam part, just a good rubber blade. I work the inside of the windshield with that, and all the water pours onto the dash, and from there I soak it up with paper towel. I know, I know, the trees… I can’t use cloths because then I wouldn’t be removing the water from the van, I’d just have a wet cloth that won’t have any way to dry. With the paper towel I can take it straight to the first garbage can I find as I start my day. What’s that? I could find recycled newspaper to soak it up instead of paper towel… ? That’s a great idea, thanks!!!

That’s it, that’s all I have to do. I kinda miss doing dishes actually.

Salisbury & Napier. I’m honing in closer and closer on Britannia every day. There really is no other place in Vancouver where I can swim, do yoga, go to the library, and eat cheap healthy food all within a couple of blocks.

This is also very close to where I used to live when I was about 6 years old. I have a clear memory of being with a couple of friends (Homer, the trouble-maker from across the street, was one of them) and walking up to the side door of this temple, trying my house key in the lock, and being amazed to find that it worked! After that we climbed some stairs and found ourselves in a large dark room with a table at one end that had a number of mysterious things on it; the only ones I can remember are giant plaster cobras which we knocked over, and bowls of sugar, which we stuck our fingers in and licked. I went to the other end of the room and looked out the window, and saw an adult who also saw me, and yelled something. We ran, and weren’t caught.

For years I felt guilty about desecrating the temple, until I looked closer at the building. The door I remember entering through was in that left wing toward the back, about where the electricity meter is. And the window I looked out of was right in the middle of that big peaked roof, where now there’s just a vent. And how likely is it really that my house key would let me into a temple??? But to this day I’m not sure if it really happened or not.

home #25

Kitchener street, by the bacci ball park. It was a beautiful frosty morning and I have to say, much as I loved seeing my friend and sleeping inside for two nights, it was also nice being back “home”. Funny, huh?

Pender & Victoria… stayed with my friend Jodi for the holidays and these houses are across the street from her. They’re not really that warbly in real life, I’ve been playing with autoblending in photoshop, and sometimes you get funky surprises.

Christmas was great! I got to partake in two family dinners and one foreign exchange student dinner… they were all amazing, and I’m still feeling a little woozy.

Napier & Odlum, where I slept the night of the 23rd. These guys look freaked out to me, like they’re trapped inside their little nutcracker bodies inside their perfect little victorian house with its rose bushes…. Let them out!

Btw I’m feeling very frustrated with the limited options I have for photo layout on this site, so now I’m experimenting with thumbnail-size images… if you click on them you get a bigger image.

home #22

Mosaic Park, at McLean and Charles. You could spend hours here looking at the mini vignettes… they’re all amazing, but my favourite by far is the super-charged vagina surrounded by some very hopeful-looking little flying penises. Awesome!

home #21

Last night I slept at Napier & Lily, another one of those wee streets east of Victoria. The photo was taken in the alley behind Lily street. Don’t worry, I didn’t sleep in the alley, that’d be too weird. I do love alleys though, so you can expect to see lots more shots of them here.

PS I’ve added some new pics from our visit with Hitchhike Mike, you can see the post here.