Riot review. The independent review into the Stanley Cup riots released this week concluded that police were overwhelmed by an unexpectedly high number of people, but that given the lack of time to plan for the event, and the lack of a controlled facility within which to contain the live site, the riot was probably unpreventable. The report placed the blame on people who had too much alcohol and makes a variety of recommendations, including a regional framework for emergency services, the formation of a planning team for special events and using volunteers to staff events.
But if these sorts of events are going to require extra policing and other resources, then who should pick up the tab? The city would like to see the Canucks contribute more to both planning and funding and blames the NHL for not having a strategy to prevent or mitigate riots. Others want the province to pitch in.
Some wonder if, now that the dust has settled, the surveillance cameras are here to stay.
Wedged in. How did Gastown come to have so many oddly-shaped buildings? The answer lies in competing land surveys.
Red Gate's 60-day extension is finally up and many tenants are moving out. As with many other buildings in the Downtown Eastside, the building has been long neglected with no compromise reached between the owner, tenants and the city, leaving it's future uncertain. Unfortunately Vancouver is left with one less creative space.
Blighted. A 1964 NFB documentary describes some of the appalling poverty in East Van and the Downtown Eastside and proposes tearing the entire neighbourhood down - a future that thankfully never was.
East Van. The editors of the This is East Van project share some of their favourite photos from the book.
City of the century. In 1986 Vancouver celebrated it's hundredth year with Tillicum the otter and friends.
Image: Duane Storey, via flickr
Post-riot therapy. Scout lists 101 awesome things about Vancouver. Glad to see we (and this blog) made the list!
The backlash continues. Employers of outed rioters are facing boycotts and negative press and in some cases are letting those employees go. Blenz has launched the first major lawsuit against as yet unnamed rioters.
There is growing concern that some riot photos submitted to police have been photoshopped, and it's likely that this will be a popular defence in court.
Gentrification. The Dependent looks at some of the people walking the fine line between gentrification and revitalization in Gastown and the Downtown East Side.
Language. There is now a dictionary for the Squamish language.
Local food. Turning a new page in the local food movement, the City of Vancouver funds a project to encourage people to replace their lawns with wheat.
Summer of our discontent. Past Tense remembers Vancouver's Yippie civil unrest.
Authentic sky. Appreciation for a local artist who paints Vancouver's sky like it is: usually cloudy.
An oddity from the history books: Police conclude that sounds of a man drowning that had been frightening visitors at Third Beach were actually coming from a bird.
Image via Past Tense.
A belated happy new year and welcome back to our weekly batch of things we’re following!
Van East. East Van is experiencing a renaissance as the cultural heart of Vancouver. It’s affordability is drawing a lot of independent and owner-operated restaurants, businesses and arts spaces and for the past several years the neighbourhood has been shedding the stigma it once had
The eagles have landed. But there’s nothing to eat. Brackendale’s famous eagle count registered another disappointing turnout this year, blamed in part on a poor chum run.
Home sweet home. After much political wrangling, tenants are starting to move into the Olympic Village.
Roundhouse Plaza. The Park Board is revisiting plans to vitalize the Roundhouse Plaza, which since it’s inception has not been used by the public to the degree that planners had hoped.
Homelessness. 2010 saw a lot of progress made toward housing Vancouver’s homeless, with the creation of new emergency shelters and permanent housing. Yet in spite of all the efforts made in the past year to house the homeless, the number of homeless people grew this year, from 1500 to nearly 1800.
Remembering Gastown. The Globe and Mail looks at some of the early investors in Gastown who saw potential in the neighbourhood.
Our new exhibit SweaterLodge Unlatched opens this week!
Image credit: kennymatic, via flickr.
A round up of things we have been following this week.
Beatty Street wall repaint. Painting is finally underway on the new Beatty Street wall mural. The project is jointly funded by the City of Vancouver and Concord Pacific and depicts figures from Vancouver’s past and present. More information can be found on the project’s Facebook page and Youtube.
Shortly before the Olympics the Beatty Street Wall was painted over by city workers conducting what was apparently routine maintenance. The move sparked the ire of a large number of people in the community. For those of you who may be feeling nostalgic, the original artwork is still visible on Google Street View, here.
Pop-up shop. Douglas Coupland partnered with Roots to open up a temporary store in Gastown stocked with several limited edition signature items. The event has garnered a lot of buzz and is part of a trend in retail and marketing that turns shopping into an event with stores appearing in novel locations for limited periods of time. Pop-up retail and marketing has already been used successfully by several companies. In a sense, the Cheaper Show uses the same model in order to create new markets for local art. I’d love to see this concept used for non-commercial purposes too, like education or community building.
The changing face of Gastown. The Westender focuses on the closure of Biz Books to highlight the pressures on independent businesses as Gastown gentrifies. In spite of the neighbourhood’s facelift, rents are rising and there is a growing number of empty storefronts as people wait for the renewal and residential density ushered in by Woodwards to arrive.
City calls for container housing. City council is considering a motion to explore the use of shipping containers in providing low-cost social housing. The Tyee ran a very positive story about this kind of housing earlier this year, but the comments below reveal that it is a very controversial idea.
Old Spice answers your questions. And a shout-out to Old Spice for launching an excellent social media campaign this week. In short: you send a message to the Old Spice Man via social media and he responds in a video on Youtube. This is in no way a product endorsement, I just think it’s a clever and entertaining campaign and Mashable is reporting some incredible stats about its’ reach and effectiveness.
Image credit: Kris Krüg, via flickr