More favourite West End places

My little stint of pretending to live in the West End is over. Back to my more familiar East Van turf. I’ll miss places and views like these. The gardens are under the Burrard Bridge. I think it must require a pretty expert gardener to make such a shady spot come to life like this. I’d love to meet whoever is responsible. I don’t think this garden is a community garden in the way that I normally define it (i.e a place where members of the public tend a plot and grow food) but it is open to the public, and I believe created and managed by one person – not sure. Like I said, would love to meet whoever that person or group is.


West End placemaking

I noticed several borders and containers planted with flower seeds along Bute Street, just south of Davie the other day. I took note in part because I rarely do well with flower seeds planted directly in the ground, but that may be because my garden plot is a 10-15 minute walk from where I live, so I tend not to water newly planted seeds as often as they need it. I’d like to keep an eye on these spots to see how they do. I so appreciate it when people make this kind of effort to dress up and add points of interest to walking routes.

Another nice placemaking effort in the same area….seems like something Sharon Kallis might have been involved in.

Update: two more points of suprise and whimsy. These birdhouses. Do some birds like and use these, I wonder? Hope so.


And these little tree-dwellers…


While I’m often skeptical of placemaking efforts (a topic I’ll have to tackle in another post) encountering mini art installations like these always makes me smile…Another benefit of them that has only just occurred to me is that they reward paying attention to your immediate surroundings rather than keeping eyes down on phone.


In the last few years I’ve established a new tradition, which is to make some seasonal decorations on December 1st (or on the weekend day closest to it) and then go hang them in places they’re likely to be noticed by observant passersby. Making (producing) things – decorations, cookies, other food, assorted crafty items and gifts – is about the best way I’ve found to deal with my ambivalent feelings about Christmas and the obscene consumption frenzy that it’s become.

Here are the ones I’ve made and hung so far…materials scrounged from around home and from a trip to Urban Source (love that place) a couple years ago.


The other night I was walking by where I’d hung the decorations, casting a look over to see if they were still there, when a runner who was stretching nearby said to me, unprompted, “Hey, someone hung some cute decorations in this tree. Isn’t that nice?” I was pleased.

Second batch