on the edge of the olympics

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Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
For me, one of the most interesting thing about the 2010 Winter Olympics is how it has affected a city I know fairly well: Vancouver. There were all sorts of ramifications for transportation, accommodation, etc. The build-up has been around us for years; we’ve lived through government spending cuts, apparent increased real estate prices, and enjoyed federal infrastructure money as well as provincial. Needless to say, the expectations for these games were high before the economic crisis. After the economic crisis, the expectations have become simply unrealistic – no one truly believes these games can replace what they have taken, and so some are protesting simply on that notion. On Friday, we got off the Skytrain and walked into the middle of 25,000 such people, walking on Georgia Street to BC Place.
I’m not crazy about the Olympics to be completely honest. During this stage, I do want them to be successful so that not too much money is lost. I suspect that many feel the same way. Rationally, it is too late to cancel them – it must be time to enjoy the sporting aspect of it, and the festivities.
After a few minutes of watching the protest swarm around us, we found our way to Granville Street again, in the middle of a bunch of public art. I remember watching the police close down the streets (to make way for the protestors), and I said “We most certainly live in a democracy.”
I didn’t end up taking a lot of photos on Granville Street for whatever reason, and the ones I did take did not do the art justice. After a minute or two of being surrounded by art, I turned around and noted the interesting mix of art, protest, and commerce in the form of 5 story tall advertisements for the Olympics on the side of The Bay.
That’s about as detailed as I am going to get here. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking. Very interesting weekend.
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics
Vancouver during the olympics


A couple songs kept on creeping into my iPod playlist and my brain when I was not listening to anything. One of them was The National’s “Fake Empire”:

Stay out super late tonight
picking apples, making pies
put a little something in our lemonade and take it with us
we’re half-awake in a fake empire
Tiptoe through our shiny city
with our diamond slippers on
do our gay ballet on ice
bluebirds on our shoulders
we’re half-awake in a fake empire
Turn the light out say goodnight
no thinking for a little while
lets not try to figure out everything at once
It’s hard to keep track of you falling through the sky
we’re half-awake in a fake empire


The other was The Republic Tigers “Buildings and Mountains”:

We’ve been waiting all our lives
For things we’ve always had
But have no eyes to see.
Something new is going to happen,
The most natural thing
But nothing we’d expect.
All these buildings and mountains,
Slowly they’ll arise
Before our eyes.
How do cities understand?
We drink our wine, and wonder why we’re really here.
Whats the point of even asking?
We take the good and bad
And make the best of it.
Have you watched the cities move?
Does nature fall before
This age of industry?
For today I’ll let it go
You’ve been good to me,
Have I been good to you?

4 thoughts on “on the edge of the olympics”

  1. It’s the Olypmics and it’s hardly on the news here in tropical Mumbai. However, we do have a small team from India at the games. I’m not sure if they will win any medals, but I’m sure they will come back with beautiful memories from a wonderful country

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