I found another of these favourite sidewalk tags the other day, this time in Mount Pleasant, which is quite far from the Clark Drive and Prior St. area where I’ve seen the others (pictures here). This one is in front of the No Frills store, just around the corner from City Hall, where there has indeed been a lot of what we often think of as “history” take place. I’m guessing that’s not the reason for the placement though. I would like to inquire. Yet another Vancouverite I’d like to meet; maybe I should start a list. As usual, one post begets ideas for three more.
If you are disappointed that this post isn’t about the history of sidewalks, I apologize. That’s a fascinating topic about which I’ve long wanted to know more. Here are some places to look into that:
This 2011 book by SFU geography professor Nicholas Blomley: Rights of Passage: Sidewalks and the Regulation of Public Flow
10 questions for sidewalk scholar Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris
Three blog posts: Simulated history: sidewalks and streetscapes; Sidewalks: ignored aspects of everyday life; and A brief history of black folks and sidewalks.
Wikipedia’s sidewalk page
Also, an old friend of mine in Victoria, Janis Ringuette, has done a lot of research and writing on Victoria’s beautiful (though deteriorating) sidewalk prisms.
This all brings to mind a question: When did Vancouver get its first sidewalk? That depends, of course, on how you define sidewalk – i.e. one made of wood or one made of concrete? I’d be happy with the answer to either. If the answer isn’t in Nick Blomley’s book, I’ll bet it’s fairly easy to find at the City of Vancouver Archives (how many times have I said that about something I wanted to find, anywhere?), if I had time to go. Too bad the VPL’s Askaway service is no more. If I do find the answer in Blomley, I’ll update.
I was very pleased to see that Gordon Price re-blogged my post on community amenity contributions (CACs) on his own widely read and respected blog, Price Tags. It generated some discussion there, and also prompted another blogger (Jens von Bergmann) to generate a map based on the info in the spreadsheet I compiled. I liked that.
Price Tags, State of Vancouver and Cityhall Watch are probably the three urban-related Vancouver blogs that I find the most informative and useful, so it’s great to be able contribute to discussions on any of those.
Jak King, who is among those I mentioned in the post, also responded on his blog, which is another one I try to read regularly. It’s more focused on East Van and Grandview Woodlands. While I don’t agree with all the positions he takes (same goes for the others), I definitely appreciate the information he provides about neighbourhood goings-on and history and the status of local businesses.
I recommend checking out all of the above blogs.
Hummus, pita chips, baby carrots, and pasta salads from Safeway’s deli. Nothing gastronomically remarkable, but the air was warm and the light beautiful. I think I might count this as my unofficial start of summer. Definitely a moment to appreciate Vancouver.
Spanish Banks sunset
Ah, the end of the semester….freedom to toss all the books out the window, or to delve into the ones you’ve been dying to read but had to slot behind assigned reading lists. And these days, most of my academic reading is in the form of pdf or online journal articles anyway, so not that many actual books involved. Here’s an armful I took home from the library this week – left a few behind to spare my arms and back.
Books from Belzberg
Methodologies in Housing Research, in particular, seems like it could be very useful for my thesis preparation and research. I’m really looking forward to Manhattan for Rent by Elizabeth Blackmar, whom I remember and admire from researching the history of Central Park for my history undergrad honours paper. Blackmar co-wrote The Park and the People, one of my favourite urban history books, with Roy Rosenzweig.