Once again business finds me in Vancouver. And once again, the trip is graced with excellent weather. The locals tell me that this is not really representative of the normal July summer, but considering that twice now I've experienced week-long sunny stretches (okay, so this time, there were some patches of overcast!) I'm beginning to be slightly skeptical of that claim.
I have to say I do like Vancouver. I felt right at home trundling around the downtown (um, city-centre) area. Though many things have changed.
For one thing, I wasn't pan-handled nearly as much as last year. Back then I couldn't go a block or two without some walking pincushion trying to bum the odd bit of specie off of me. This year, only one or two weren't put off by the stern countenance and dark glasses.
Nip and Tuck
|There also seems to be a lot of reconstruction going on. Just like Beijing, Olympics Fever has taken grip of the city, and many parts of downtown are getting face lifts in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. In this case, the facade is being preserved, and the entire building behind it is being replaced. I like the fact that they retain some of the old, even as they work to bring in a lot of the new.|
|This year's venue was the same as last: the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, a modestly understated building in the shadow of its more ambitious neighbors, one of which is that Vancouver landmark, the Harbour Centre. We'll see more of that later.||
Nestled under the Tower
|Despite its modest exterior, the Centre for Dialogue is a posh little place that evokes the spirit of Camelot's Round Table and the gravitas of a United Nations' council meeting.|
|This painting dominates one wall within the conference hall. It consists of a confusing jumble of text in languages from around the world that really only begins to make sense as you look more closely at it. But that seems to be the point of the whole space, really.||