Sanity, hmmm such an interesting word, why do we strive to maintain it? Perhaps we should just roll with the ridiculous and toss cautious sanity to the wind.
Here’s a little Earth, Wind and Fire to help us see the LIGHT (hahaha) as LIGHT is the topic of this post’s community activity.
Yes, you read it correctly, we’re talking Light and street lamps. Claudio, one of our community members, has been all over this issue since the city came and put highway lights down Union street and took away our character/heritage street lamps that we paid for years ago. For so many of us that are stressed from our lives and choices these kinds of things can be dropped and just slip through, but thankfully not in this “hood” as we take care of each other.
So here’s the history on the lights in the hood, so brilliantly documented by Claudio and Angus McIntyre a local photographer. Here’s some of those images from the 70’s when, believe it or not, the neighbourhood was dealing with the same issue…(take a look at the last Community post think there may be a theme happening here?) Could we be ignoring the “locals”, dismissing those who know and understand the history of a place; a community?
Angus writes Claudio: "I was pleased to see my letter of so long ago appear in your email. It just goes to show that as time has passed the City of Vancouver, and its Engineering Department, show the same disregard for Strathcona as they did 45 years ago.
I photographed the removal of those original light standards, as well as the streetcar tracks and wood block streets. The modern replacements, which I objected to, I likened to flying saucers. But to think that existing replica post top lights in the 800 block Union, pedestrian and bicycle friendly, could not be left in place shows a complete lack of understanding of the neighbourhood.”
"What really upset me most back in 1973 was the fact that the original light fixtures on East Georgia, formerly Harris Street, had unique box-type bases not found on the other streets. The post top light globes were not original, but had cluster lights on top of the posts similar to those in Gastown.
Another major change you will notice in the early photographs is the lack of street trees."
Who would have guessed there was so much to know about street lamps right? Probably, James Mason the original owner and machinist foundry dude. It is and it isn’t about the street lamps in the end it’s really about being respectful and listening to each other. It’s about slowing the world down and not throw out the baby with the bathwater. It’s about doing it right not 2 or 3 or 7 times or taking 45 years …
Looking forward to see how this one unfolds and meeting up with my neighbours, yet again, this week.
Strathcona Community Centre at 5:30 pm on Thursday March 7th in the Activity Room (aka the SRA room)
(I’m extending the invitation to all — let’s shake it up and have some fun)