A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Angst On Victory Square
Sunday, September 04, 2016





Many say that some of our human actions resemble that of computers. What then was the statement made of human actions before computers were invented?

I can drive through areas of Vancouver in which at spots I can instinctively know I have been there before and I recall the circumstances. Does a GPS truly know it has been somewhere before?

When I drive onto the Knight Street Bridge going south I invariably remember a photographic blunder as I pass the Mitchell Island exit. Sometime in 1977, in one of my first photo jobs at a logging mill for MacMillan Bloedel (my first job at that company came from a legendary man by the name of T.J. MacDowell), I dropped and left the dark slide of my then brand-new Mamiya RB-67. Without a dark slide a Mamiya can be pretty well useless if you want to shoot with two backs, one with colour and one with b+w.

When I drive through downtown Vancouver I can remember the two spots where I used to go to get my Vancouver Magazine jobs.

But there is another spot that has not only a memory of the past but also a more contemporary and altogether unpleasant and troubling aspect to it of which I am not at liberty to disclose here.

This is Victory Square. My photograph here I took for a Sean Rossiter article for Vancouver Magazine (early 80s) on the venerable firm Thompson, Berwick & Pratt. The art director, Chris Dahl asked me to shoot the buildings (the more famous ones) at night. One of them was the Cenotaph at Victory Square.

In the last few months I have regularly visited the place in the evening. I have gone to pleasant Saturday concerts at the avant-garde Gold Saucer Studio on the second floor of the Dominion Building. I have been in that building many times in a distant past as a few freelance writers who worked for our city magazines had offices there. I photographed lawyer Cameron Ward there.

As the area has begun to be gentrified by the activities associated with the downtown campus of Simon Fraser University, paradoxically the area around it, including Victory Square now houses the homeless more and more.It is depressing to see Victory Square at night.

I have a dear friend who is usually under the shelter of one of the trees of Victory Square. I watch unable to help or to remedy the situation.

But I am an optimist and believe all of it will be over soon. And I smile every time I think of my slivovitz with Zvonko.



     

Previous Posts
Slivovitz With Zvonko

My Personal Gioconda

El Reloj de Arena - The Hour Glass

Many Happy Returns

Alastair Macaulay - The foot is at the root of poe...

The Comet 4C - Metal Fatigue & My PC Sync Cord

Capsicum annum (Poblano)

The Sentient Sheep Baas for the last time

¡Cuidado con el perro!

Zapatitos de Charol



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