the vancouvers*

Old and new, the view from my hotel this morning.



On the left, corner of Homer and Pender, Finch’s. The best sandwiches ever.  Down the street, bookstores, a place (Button, Button, on Homer) to buy shell buttons in bulk, and where I am now, sitting by a bay window, looking out at misted streets? The wonderful Victorian Hotel, built as a rooming house in 1898, now a very comfortable and reasonable hotel, with good beds, a generous breakfast (French pastries, baguette, fruit, yoghourt…), and walking distance to theatres, restaurants, old streets, and those sandwiches.

*I mean by this that there are many Vancouvers and in parts of the city, one can apprehend the layers—the cobbled streets, the old buildings, remnants of signs remembered from childhood trips to the city (Woodwards Department Store Ltd), Victory Square, the copies of poetry books from the 1970s on the shelves of MacLeod’s Books (along with what must be one of the oldest carpets in the city), the markets of Chinatown with ducks hanging from hooks and bins of dried mushrooms. This morning, looking out, I saw many of the layers, and sort of mourned for the old city.