If you happen to be one of those who have visited this site on more than one occasion, or have come along with me on one or more of my strolls through this city that I know and love so well, than you have, no doubt, been subjected, on numerous occasions, to views of the towering architectural monuments that stretching out one after another, row upon row, make up the modern canyons of our city’s downtown landscape. Whether we move along the streets right in the heart of the city, with those towers stretching skyward right alongside us, or perhaps amble about in the neighborhoods outside of the downtown area with the skyline in the distance dominated by the buildings in the clarity of the afternoon, a silhouette in the evening, or a dazzling light-show at night, the fact remains, those buildings are a constant. They are always there, just as solid as the mountains to the North, and (should you gain enough altitude to see it) the ocean to the West.
There is something about all of this that I’ve come to notice, however, that is a little strange. It has to do with the way two people from Vancouver (it may be the same in other cities) give each other directions. It seems to me it would only be natural to use well-known landmarks as aids to location, ie. “it’s a block over from the Public Library, across the street from that huge parking lot.” See, that makes sense to me, since every Vancouverite knows where the Main Branch of the Public Library is (it was designed to look like the Roman Colosseum), and there’s a huge parking lot (1 sq. block in size) one block away. But lately I’ve noticed, very few people actually give directions like that. Instead, they use what I call, “The Construction Method”, ie. “You go up to where they dug that big hole down on Hastings, with the great big blue Cat parked out front, turn left at the next street, then just keep going until you get to those two cranes hanging out over the sidewalk. It’s right there.” I’m not kidding! I hear this sort of thing all the time now. And what’s even worse, is I understand those kind of directions. And I guess it has to do with the amount of construction that is on-going in this city at any one time.
So it occurred to me that it’s kind of a trade-off for having a city that has all these wonderfully beautiful buildings in it. If you want the buildings, someone has to build them, and I, of all people, should know this, since I put in a good number of years as a first-aid attendant on construction sites. So since I’m always showing the finished product in my photographs, I though I would put up a little gallery of a couple of these buildings in the process of being built. At the same time, I thought you might get an idea of just how difficult the process of building one of these buildings can be when it is situated on a busy downtown street. Trust me, this is no fun. Not for the construction crew, not for the traffic, and not for the merchants and consumers who need to use those areas all at the same time, and who all would like to return home safely each night. So here we go.
Even when I worked in the construction field, it always amazed me that from this sort of controlled chaos, something as beautiful as the Public Library, or Robson Square could emerge. It still amazes me today. And as a first-aid attendant (with my Level 3 ticket, I could be responsible for 300 men at a time) I also saw the efforts put out by these men who build these things, and my respect for these gentlemen is huge. So I hope you found a picture or two worth looking at, and if you don’t hear from me for a couple days, I’m thinking I need to take a couple days to get some things looked after. I may or may not get another gallery out, we’ll just have to see how it goes. One way or the other, I will see you soon. Until then, stay safe, and healthy, keep up all the great blogs, and God Bless.