In darker times, the lighting of a 60-foot EAST VAN cross might be seen as a beacon. Rise up, ye heathen of the East – our time is nigh! The rabble would take to the streets, and a khaki clad guerilla force would launch out of their basement suites just off the Drive and occupy strategic buildings such as City Hall and the Terminal City Club.
No such luck, however. East Vancouver is not the worker's paradise it once was. It's too damn expensive for that.
A former gang symbol is now seen as high camp by those who get it, and others that I've read complain that it's gaudy. I had a call today from an artist friend raving about the sign. It's so effing cool, she said. Comments on my previous post in general are amused and enthusiastic, as are the tweets I've read.
Score one for Vancouver's Office of Cultural Affairs and the public art program. This one is a winner. Here's some shots I took took tonight of the sign lighted.
Before we get too misty about the past, remember that East Vancouver is now the home for many doctors and other professionals. Chances are there are more university degrees on this side of Main street than ever. A detached home is here usually straddles the $800,000 mark, and today without a good job, a mortgage helper suite and a serious downpayment you better set your sights on Maple Ridge.
Better minds than mine will someday crack the problem of affordability in this city, but in my opinion it is the single most important crisis Vancouver faces. People who would like to be here see the sticker price and go elsewhere. That hurts us all.
The debacle surrounding the Device to Root Out Evil notwithstanding, I'm glad that we're enlightened enough to take a weird pseudo-religious emblem that kids would once carve in their school desks, turn it into a movie marquee, and not have a fit. We're growing up in other words.
East Vancouver would be perfect if you could have all of the urbanity, and none of the suffocating debt.
- post by Mike