Me and Obon on Skid Row

Hey everyone, welcome to my first post. One of the things I’d like to do here is expose more people to life in my neighbourhood. I affectionately call my neighbourhood skid row. I live just off Main and Hastings, which as anyone who lives in Van will tell you, is the worst part of town. Well, I’d like to change that perception just a bit.

Yes its run down, full of junkies, panhandlers, the odd crack addled prostitute, more than a few mentally ill, and sometime you’ll even catch a glimpse of Vancouver’s finest here too. But to be fair, it isn’t nearly as scary or dangerous as the yoga-panted yaletown crowd or poco dog-and-baby set seem to believe.

Within a 5-minute walk i’ve got the port, a small sandy beach (which i won’t tell you how to get to cause i’d like to keep it mostly empty), China Town, Gastown and Strathcona. There’s some great food, fun shopping, fascinating old buildings and more character and characters than you could shake a really really big stick at. This forgotten part of town is both deeply troubled and, despite the neglect, fiercely alive. I hope to show both to the world.

So to start off with here is a medieval japanese festival celebration called Obon I stumbled across this past weekend. It was taking place at Jackson and Pender, right between a Buddhist temple and a homeless park. The contrasts were delicious.

Here is a short video i took with my old Canon Elph–so please pardon the poor quality.

Kimonos, paper lanterns, buddhists, crowds of homeless, and a hotdog and hamberger stand. Where else are you going to find that combinatoin on one street? Here are a few photos.

obon 004

obon 005

obon 006

3 Comments so far

  1. Rebecca (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 6:25 pm

    We spent a day in Chinatown last week. It was amazing (and John is still craving steamed buns). We were feeling a little ‘adventurous’ so we headed west and kept walking – Strathcona is an amazing neighbourhood – we kept walking all the way up to Commercial and explored a little more. We’ve never spent such a chunk of time in that part of the city but we’re really glad we did.

  2. Jonathon Narvey (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

    Who else knew about Obon. Darn. That would have been cool. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for it next time. Neat pix.

  3. Erin (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 8:35 pm

    Welcome to Metblogs! I’m glad you’re showing some of the Downtown East Side that a lot of people don’t usually think about.

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