Kids, my city is a giant party.
We went Downtown yesterday afternoon to see what Vancouver's like during the Olympics. (We live in the city of Vancouver, but about a half-hour from Downtown by bus or about a fifteen-minute drive. I wrote more about my neighbourhood for the Raincoast Books blog series 5 Things Vancouver.)
Most interested in people-watching and experiencing the general vibe, we chose not to wait in line to get into any special sites or pavilions (I'll do that another time, for sure). So we spent about five hours just walking around. Here's some of what we saw (click images for the option to view them larger on Flickr, and for more/different descriptions):
Over at the Vancouver Art Gallery (also home to the British Columbia Pavilion [Sunday was BC Day downtown]), some folks were demonstrating against the use of fur in fashion. I don't think they were specifically responding to anything regarding the Olympics, but please correct me if I'm wrong. UPDATE: Twitter KelaineD tells me US figure skater Johnny Weir has been criticized for using fox fur in a costume.
We walked through Robson Square while the mascots were doing their ice show. It was PACKED. I couldn't see a thing but managed to hold up my camera and get this shot, which I like for the colours and other people's cameras.
We left our house too late to catch even the tail end of the Chinese New Year parade, and in going to the see the cauldron and Robson Square first thing, we managed to miss any other festivities in Chinatown.
That ride was one of the most fun I've taken here. The bus was crammed full of people, and some men at the front that I never managed to lay eyes on sang almost the whole ride, first in a language we couldn't identify and then in French. They had most of the passengers happily singing in a call-and-response Allouette and everything.
I'll take this moment to send a massive jolt of internet love to Translink, the Vancouver transit authority. They're dealing with massive crowds right now, and in addition to keeping their buses, trains and boats moving as smoothly as they can, they're all over Twitter announcing disruptions and delays.
This afternoon we'll head out to the University of British Columbia to see a women's hockey game – Canada vs. Switzerland. We're going to bike, because dudes, we live a fifteen-minute bike ride from an Olympics hockey game!
Got questions or comments about what's going on around town? Fire away!