Thursday, February 18, 2010

On the day before the Olympics...

... I walked through the pouring rain to the Vancouver Art Gallery just in time to see the 2010 Olympic countdown clock reach this:

The rain continued to pour down... I wandered home where hundreds of thousands of people were coming out of the woodwork, wandering down the newly-closed Pacific Boulevard in Yaletown on their way to David Lam Park to see the arrival of the Olympic torch.

I had actually planned to see the torch that night, but they were anticipating crowds of over 100,000. Seeing Yaletown as a pedestrian-only zone for the first time since, well... since ever, was an incredible experience for me. But I could see that there'd be no way I'd be anywhere close to anything.

Also, having seen the torch up close in Steveston with my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandfather two nights before, I wanted to save those special memories. No, I didn't need to compete with the hundreds of thousands to see the torch. Instead, my sister was having a birthday part at the Railway Club in the north end of downtown. Her boyfriend was the drummer for two bands playing that night. We had intended to go anyway, but since we realized there'd be no quick and easy

BTW - If you're looking for an unpretentious live music venue/pub, the Railway Club (upstairs on the corner of Dunsmuir and Seymour).

Josh and I ended up walking against the flow of pedestrian traffic to what seemed like an abandoned part of downtown. When we reached the corner of Richards and Dunsmuir, I noticed that the Holy Rosary Cathedral was beautifully lit.

We then made it into the Railway Club where it was slightly surreal. Two of my cousins were there (who I've never seen downtown, EVER), old high school friends who I see once every 5-6 years, and an old friend from school whom I hadn't seen since I was 12. That, plus my sister's friends, roommates and her old high school friends. While the rest of the city was in Yaletown, it seemed like everyone from Richmond was at the Railway Club experiencing the ultimate in nostalgia.

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