Posts tagged "neighborhood"

I’ve lived in Vancouver for about 5 years now. It’s taken me so long to call it home, but I feel after this year it’s really grown on me. 

It’s always been hard for me to put a finger on this city. On how it is to live here, and what should or could change. I’m surrounded with the beautiful scenery of mountains, trees, and coastline. Most will tell you the people are nice here, but very much to themselves - possibly because of things like the rain, or the way apartments are built here. The city’s also had some bad press recently, earning the label 'No Fun City' - on account of some cultural and arts venues being closed down or bought out. 

For 3 out of those 5 years I’ve lived in Yaletown - one of the neighborhoods in downtown Vancouver. Its among the more affluent of them, but also one of the oldest - it used to be a major industrial area. Here you’ll find a lot of new condos blending into turn-of-the-century brick buildings. It’s a stark example showing how the city is being gentrified on the surface through buildings and shops. I think as more people populate this area and downtown as a whole, we’ll start to see new ideas come to life and hopefully - some stronger feelings towards building community.

What I love

Everything is located so closely to each other, and there’s no need for a car - even a bike isn’t really necessary. Groceries, transit, restaurants, parks - are all really easy to get to. Its especially nice when coming home from a long day at work, and thinking about going out somewhere.

What I think could change

The people in my neighborhood are pretty much high to middle class, and its filled with places that cater to those types of people that can afford certain activities. I’d love to see some more cultural and arts initiatives that are either free or very cheap to take a part in.

Even more cafes or restaurants that double as performance venues would help in this way. Having places to gather and bump into new people can really add a lot to the place you live in. I know that after going to cultural or arts events here, I instantly feel better and much more a part of this city.

- Matt

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I’ve always loved to take photographs - in a previous post I’ve written a bit about how valuable it is to capture my surroundings. And I always wondered how other people see the world around them. Its fascinating how communities can change just based on the people that live in them - I wanted to create something that appreciated that.

A few months ago, I had the chance to help with a couple of friends make a project called Captures. It was a photography exhibit that used images submitted from people living in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood in Vancouver, Canada. We were able to design a set of panels that I was really proud to display in a central part of the neighborhood. 

Rather than advertising something specific, we wanted to show parts of the community through peoples’ eyes that you might not notice at first glance. That bike attached to the street sign, the mural on the side of the corner store, the back alleyways, or the building’s reflections in the coffeeshop window all create a piece of the environment of that community.

It was more than creating panels that sat on a piece of land. I loved creating this simply because it invited people to pause and appreciate their everyday environment - something I feel we don’t do nearly enough. I’d do it again in an instant.

- Matt