Thursday, 18 February 2010

Down Town Arts and Line-ups

 I finally found the Olympic flame.  You can see it from down below, when you are on the waterfront and then, as soon as climb the stairs, it is right there, behind a winter fence, front and centre, for all of the photo-ops.  And still, there are always hundreds in line, winding their way up the stairs to view it from the otherside, but the no-wait view has the mountain backdrop.  That's good enough for me.

Folks are walking around down-town Vancouver with their camera's wide open, staring into their screens or else texting while walking.  There is a lot to see and talk about.  I even saw Johnny Depp pulling a sulkie offering free rides!

Granville Street promenade is full of sculpture of all kinds, from early years student's art on paper cups to amazing found media art to bronze castings.

Robson Square is a zoo of people.  I fell in love with some of the art buskers in proximity to that zoo.  The copper girl with brilliant blue eyes, holding her pose and the bari-sax man in blue plaid with the tarnished gargantuan horn warmed my heart while across the street the ZipLine screamed people over the heads of the throngs, along a wire, from one end of the square to another.  I could hear music and inched my way past a couple of dead-end stair cases and to an amphitheatre beneath the bubble that you can see in the back-ground of the Global TVcoverage.  There, I watched a zamboni cleaning an ice rink and listened to no less than thirty people asking how you could get to skate on it.  In front, there was a dance performance where Mime met MJ.  Well done. 
Mostly though the people were just resting their tired legs on the concrete steps while they took pictures of themselves in the Olympic throng.  It is all positive engergy; lots of kids in strollers and an endless stream of folks wearing sensible shoes, CDA and other country colours and apparel and leggy women with uggs or over the knee boots with jean tights and HBC sweaters.  Even though it is warm, the red mitts abound.

The YaleTown stroll was a bit different.  They have fair smells all along the lower ridge of the streets.  Candy floss, smokies, and even barker-style games with barkers pulling in happy passers-by with calls like, "Manitoba!  Do we have anyone from Manitoba here?  Step right up!"  I was almost lured in, but with my blue "smurf" outfit, I am mistaken for a local and constantly asked for directions.  I do my best, but really have a hard time orienting myself.  Even when I'm walking along False Creek, I could swear that Pacific Boulevard runs East West and then, I doubt.  I guess it doesn't matter.

The evening was pleasantly cool.  The locals like to remind the Easterners that their cold is really much harder to bear than the Manitoba kind of cold weather.  It is so damp!  For crying in the sink.  It is clear and plus 5 at 11pm and I do not find that hard to bear.  But burr, for the locals.  Yes.  Our cold is dryer and not so bad as this.  And oh yah, don't wear capri pants and flip flops when it is only plus five, that also can make the damp cold a bit more difficult.

I timed the women's draw last night.  The Chinese team has a huge cheering section.  I hear they have almost popStar status in the local Chinese community.  Ms. Muirhead, the barely 20 UK skipper attempted and missed, then attempted and made an exciting across the house double, to the stomping roar of the crowed, but ultimatley, succumbed to Sweden's Norberg crew who looks fit and ready.  I beleive they can through the straightest and hardest of the women out there.  Watched Dane's skip Dumont try to put the heavy duty weight with an extention release, but her accuracy is hit and miss.  But she wants it and she's working on it.  They went down to the Russians in a final end that should become a textbook scenario of what not to do when you are 2 up without and lying three.  Two time-outs later, the Danes had a shot (albiet a miracle shot) for the tie... but missed.  The men are on the ice, and I'm heading back across to do the evening Men's draw.

I'm leaving the sports journalists to give you pictures of the curlers, but maybe I'll get some fan shots and behind-the scene venue shots.  The photos today, are mostly cropped small thumbnails, but the Robson Square shot is a large image.  I think if you click on it you can zoom in and analyze some detail.  Try that.  See you tomorrow.

Go Canada!  Yes yes yes on the Short Track silver.  Lots of people are talking figure skating around me.  I don't really get it, but okay, Jump High, Spin Fast, Look Good.  Go team go.

1 comment:

Gwen said...

When I flip on CTV to get my Olympic fix during the day, I often see curling and it reminds me of your blog. It's good to see you are having a nice time and enjoying the weather. If you do decide to wear flip flops/sandals and capris, keep in mind that heavy, gray construction-worker socks are also permitted by local fashion. They're better with sandals than flip flops, though. Just a small bit of advice from my vast reservoir of Vancouver fashion knowlege.
On that note, have you see the pants the Norwegian men's team is wearing? I LOVE them. Got to have them. If you see any around the downtown, be sure to blog about it. The Canadian men's curling team clothes are so conservative comparatively. Seriously, black pants? Are the guys waiting tables after the rocks are all thrown?