Monday, August 16, 2010

"Nice place to visit, better place to rob."

Did about 30 pages of 2B pencil sketches this weekend. Here's one.

Amazing how only three days in the city filled me with tension and drained me of fulfillment. It's easy for me to feel "not good enough" there. Who's got the nicest bike, who can ride the fastest, who has the nicest IPhone, who's more toned, have you seen the latest movie, where are you working, etc etc.

I prefer my own little fucked-up universe, thank you very much. In my world, when an old man shouts a question across the coffeeshop, you don't smirk and ignore him like he's crazy, you shout back an answer. Who's crazy, the old man, or everyone else in the coffeeshop who's too embarrassed to see a man is just looking for a conversation?

For the first time ever, I pulled up to a stop light alongside another cyclist, and he consciously ignored my greeting and turned away to avoid contact. He had an IPod in, which made it even easier for him to avoid the present moment. Biking with an IPod?!? Bikers ignoring each other?!?

I do like that there seems to be a rebellious undercurrent rising up. Lots more tattoos and insane haircuts around. I'd love to see a real rebellion of street art slam all the new buildings downtown. I'd like to think the city is getting big enough for people to overrun bylaws and make their own rules.

Did you know you're not allowed to have a chair on the sidewalk outside your business in Vancouver without a permit?

Did you know you're not allowed to paint grafitti at the skate parks? It's the only place in the world where I've ever seen that. Even small towns like Gibsons let you paint at the skate parks.

One of my Top Ten Things To Do is bike through Vancouver's downtown core (from my courier days, I guess). Bikes can react so much faster than cars, you can rule the street if you're aware enough. One big trick - take control of car traffic. Point at a driver, make eye contact, then point to where you're going. It's amazing how they'll obey. It works best if you're going the same speed and direction as the car, so you're basically 4 feet away from the driver looking into his / her eyes. It works when you're in a car as well. Unroll your window and use hand signals instead of blinkers. People will stop and let you merge way faster. I think it's because they see an actual human extremity, instead of a blinking light.


  1. Jay! Agreed that the city can be an unfun place to be at times... but there are lots of freaks and subversive types who are doing some very good work. You just have to dig a bit deeper, or look in some unusual corners.

  2. Yeah I agree, that's great stuff (it seems like you know some of them by your coverage.. :) )

    I do notice it whenever it's around. I guess no one wants to waste time putting 'em in obvious front areas of new buildings because it will get taken down so fast.

    Or maybe they -do- and it -does- get taken down.