Friday, February 5, 2010

One week to go...

... and the city's transforming before my eyes! 

I write to you from 22 floors over downtown Vancouver where the perpetual sound of helicopters buzzes from outside and giant beams of light dance in the sky.

The Olympics are really taking over this city.

It's pretty exciting actually!

It was yesterday when I was really starting to notice an influx of tourists - athletes, reporters, and so on. People in matching jackets. Women with too much make-up, blonde hair and Euro-savvy fashion sense to be locals. People with their noses in their maps navigating on the sidewalks. And the Yaletown Mini dealership turning into "Yahoo! Sports - Live from Vancouver" media center. And the pedestrians? They're actually smiling!

Yesterday we had our first glimpse of sunshine in a few days. It was also the first day of road closures - closures that will continue until March. Entire stretches of downtown are closed to traffic. Entire entrance ramps are blocked to incoming and outgoing traffic. The major arteries cutting across the city have turned into no-stopping, no-parking zones...

... and you'd think this would be a nightmare, except driving has been a breeze! In fact, I've been able to cut 10 minutes off my commute on my drive home. Who knew?!

And because of yesterday's sunshine, I was able to get an unobstructed view out my window of all kinds of things I missed.

For example, in between the Yaletown condos, I can spot Olympic rings hanging off BC Place. Next door is the big blue Q on the Quebec pavillion.





David Lam Park? Well, we know what that's become...



If I look carefully across the street, the Roundhouse has transformed itself into the Italian pavilion...



But wait a sec...

Did you see that?


Look again...



Yup. That's my unobstructed view of the the boxing kangaroo flag that the Australian team has set up outside their False Creek Olympic Village condo.

It's all over the media, but the IOC want it removed because apparently it's trademarked, but it's not an official Olympics sponsor, blah blah blah...

Read the story here. And here. And here, here, here, here, and here.

But it makes me smile. Perhaps because the Australian team's response to the IOC threat was for them to "stuff it"! Needless to say, the whole situation's ridiculous and now there's a lot of support here for the Australian team. If that flag doesn't stay put, I guarantee you'll be seeing it flying from many a Yaletown condo. Heck, if anyone has one to donate, I'll happily fly it out my window! Back at'cha IOC!

2 comments:

VJM said...

Oh, I only have 1 x Boxing Kangaroo flag, but it's big enough to see from Robson Street and Granville Street, so I'll have to represent Y-Town. hahaha

Can't believe how much you can see from your place!

Robyn said...

You should definitely hang up your flag! Australia needs the support! :)

And yeah, I can see quite a bit from my little shoebox in the sky. It's in a great location - right at the corner of where Yaletown goes historic, so none of the buildings in front of me are higher than 3-4 floors, so it opens up the view corridor quite a bit. A zoom lens helps immensely too.