Monday, May 31, 2010

east hastings vestiges

If there is one street in Vancouver that I haven't ventured alone for a very long time, it is the much maligned East Hastings stretch through the impoverished downtown eastside, often demeaned in the media as "the poorest postal code in all of Canada"...and yet people survive and conduct business and feed and sleep - in perhaps not as safe, hygienic nor as comfortable quarters - but life continues pretty much as it has for quite a long while now...
In the last few years however, the long touted efforts to "clean up" the area has been yielding to the gentrification projects in the surrounding Gastown and Chinatown enclaves...and so a new generation of developers with design sense and of course, dollar signs in their starry eyes has finally encroached and con-descended [and so rises the anchor - a mightier and loftier cap-red-W Woodwards, with other aggrandizement projects following in its wake...]
Before every building and block is liberally dusted by the re-development vanity-wand, I decided to spend an afternoon biking through to find whatever traces still abound...especially vestiges of old advertising signs from the early decades of the 20th century painted directly onto the brick walls of multi-storey buildings...

the ubiquitous red and white Coca Cola logo very much fading away...

this building has already been renovated but they seem to be keeping the old sign intact, for now...

the signage is long gone, but the squiggly grime pattern presents a strangely subliminal-minimal canvas...

does the prominent sign of the old Ovaltine Cafe still light up at night... do they still serve Ovaltine drinks in the cafe... what kind of product is the large sign on the side advertising...




a little further east along East Hastings, the elegant fa├žade of the Ferrera Court building announces itself quietly on this  block of mostly nondescript design and banal destination businesses, and the reach of the downtown eastside has loosen its grip somewhat as Hastings continues into East Vancouver's residential ethnic mix and  detached home equity...


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