fear & loathing in Lotusland

Category: The Record

Strictly by the Numbers

by Zbigniew

1884-east-end-priv-subdivHistoric Atlas of Vancouver & the Lower Fraser Valley (Douglas & McIntyre, 2005)

1897-1901 - Key Map AKey Plan to the July 1897 Fire Insurance Map of Vancouver (updated to 1901)

406ldff4a-1926-4573-8c0e-63065e3fc0c6-MAP343City of Vancouver Archives, AM1594-MAP 343-: MAP 343.01

CFD_NGwW0AETW31.jpg_large_aBrewery & China creeks, source unknown

bab1d482-5b72-4aa3-893a-c2c9ab241fed-MAP420City of Vancouver Archives, AM1594-: MAP 420

Postal Zones

Vancouver Postal CodesSarnia Flowers

STC94-943_Vancouver_map2aCensus of Canada (1981) Geography Files


districtsVancouver Police Department, Patrol Districts


CVAGzbNUwAAFxal.jpg_large1988 Electoral Boundaries Commission






MarketTrends-Residential-Detached-Homes-Vancouver_AUGUST-2015Urban Vancouver Properties, Market Trends



Full Payment for an Hour of Perfect Bliss

by Zbigniew

Kenneth Millar

“In his novels, Millar resolved his contradictions: there he hid and revealed an aching loneliness, a melancholy humor, and a lifetime of anger, fear, and regret.”

Ross Macdonald, A Biography, by Tom Nolan

Dashielle Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Kenneth Millar aka Ross Macdonald, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of hardboiled detective fiction.

Millar was born in 1913 to Canadian parents in Los Gatos, California. His father, Jack, was a Scots atheist, mother Annie a Christian Scientist. They argued violently. The family moved to Vancouver.

Tom Nolan:

“His father was a harbor-boat pilot there, and Millar recalled the ‘unforgettable’ occasion when his dad took him to sea: ‘I stood beside him in the offshore light, with his hands and my hand on the wheel.’ At the age of sixty-three, he judged this ‘the happiest day of my childhood if not my life.’”

“The boy later remembered a less happy incident: when he looked through a hotel balcony grating and saw a body spread-eagled in the alley below. The man wasn’t dead, only dead drunk; but the frightening image stayed in his mind. For the four-year-old, his parents’ separation was as sudden and awful as the sight of that body. Like a child in a fairy tale, he blamed himself. His father’s absence marked him forever. The world, it seemed, was a place that took full payment for an hour of perfect bliss.”

Never Say Never

by Zbigniew

Beneath the colonial motion picture economy, there’s another narrative, sub rosa, virtually invisible, revealing itself only in glimpses. What characters and conflicts populate that world, I wonder?


Vancouver Sometimes Plays Itself: Vancouver as Vancouver on screen,” Craig Tekuchi, Georgia Straight, April 8th, 2011


by Zbigniew

“In Toronto, researchers recently found that people living on tree-lined streets reported health benefits equivalent to being seven years younger or receiving a $10,000 salary rise. As well as studies revealing benefits from everything from improved mental health to reduced asthma, US scientists have even identified a correlation between an increase in tree-canopy cover and fewer low-weight births.”

Introducing ‘Treeconomics’: how street trees can save our lives,” Patrick Barkham, The Guardian, August 15, 2015


“Trees grow, die, are topped, pruned, clipped, limbed-up, moved, run into and over, and are replaced with other trees, or too often, with buildings or parking lots. Do not be surprised if certain ones referred to specifically in this book are no longer there when you look for them.”

Gerald B. Straley, Trees of Vancouver


Barbara Yaffe: Depletion of Vancouver’s tree-cover a ‘nightmare’ – In an ‘arboristic homicide,’ we have lost 50,000 trees since 1996 — with 96 per cent of the loss being trees on private property


A Sewer

by Zbigniew

The liner notes from The Doors: Live in Vancouver, 1970 quote Ray Manzarek: “Such a cool seaboard town. Smell of smoking salmon in the air. First Nations people’s vibe in the air. Clean air in the air.”

Jim Morrison’s views on Vancouver’s air quality, caught between tracks, are somewhat less florid and fancy: “You guys sure have a beautiful city here, you know that? You really do. You can’t imagine how refreshing it is to come out of a sewer like Los Angeles and breathe some fresh air for a change.”


Forty-five years on and Vancouver -always a sort of far-flung suburb of the City of Angels, a Bedroom Dreamland- has finally caught the big city mojo.

We’re warned to stay indoors to avoid the particulate matter of forest and dockland fires. A short stroll risks exposure to rancid humours rising from the city’s bowels and the high-pitched reek of apparently cooking garbage. Meanwhile, the stink that wafts off False Creek is enough to warrant a rechristening -Shit Creek.

The sewer is in full flow.


By the by, The Doors concluded their Pacific Coliseum performance with, naturally, “The End.”

“Waiting for the summer rain ….”


Sheer Beauty & Loveliness

by Zbigniew

“It is not enough merely to build a clean, healthful, orderly, smooth-functioning urban organism, although every agency of government should strive toward this end. In every possible way it must erase from the mind of the city dweller the monotony of daily tasks, the ugliness of factories, shops and tenements and the fatigue of urban noises. It can do this by showing a decent regard for its appearance, and by various devices it must occasionally touch the emotions. The city becomes a remembered city, a beloved city, not by its ability to manufacture or sell, but by its ability to create and hold bits of sheer beauty and loveliness.”

Harland Bartholomew, “A Plan for the City of Vancouver, 1929”


Excerpts from “Developer producing instant luxury condos in six weeks for resource towns,” Business in Vancouver, June 10, 2015

An Alberta developer with his own Chinese factory claims he can build a 48-unit luxury condominium in Vancouver in six weeks at half the price of conventional concrete construction.

“We can offer luxury urban-style living in even the most remote areas,” said David Weiss, project director for New York City-based Primco Holdings LLC, which has partnered with Stack Modular. “That’s what every small community is looking for, whether it’s an LNG [liquefied natural gas] project in British Columbia or a mining town in northern Ontario.”

Weiss said he has been in talks with a Vancouver developer, who he would not identify, in delivering a similar project into the city’s white-hot condominium market.

Instant CondosImage: Aerial view, Stack Modular apartment buildings | Stack Modular


Rapid Disenchantment

by Zbigniew


Excerpt: “Canada Gains A Noted Science Fiction Writer,” Michael Walsh, The Province, Monday, February 21, 1972

“[T]his year’s convention, held during the weekend at the Biltmore Motor Hotel, did not repeat that first jaunty display of nationalism. It did, however, attract an immigrant.

“Author Philip K. Dick, the gathering’s guest of honor and keynote speaker, has decided to stay in Canada. Although Dick had previously discussed the possibility of such a move with convention planners, the apparent abruptness of his decision was a surprise.

“According to Dick, he has been deeply impressed by this, his first trip to Vancouver. That, combined with a growing disenchantment with the United States, most forcefully expressed in his speech to the convention, led him to decide to stay.”


Excerpt: Chronology, from Phillip K. Dick, VALIS and Later Novels, Literary Classics of the United States, 2009


Visits Vancouver, Canada, SF Con in February, as guest of honor. Delivers well-received convention speech (“The Android and the Human”), and declares intention to remain in Canada. Rapidly becomes disenchanted with Vancouver and seeks another destination ….


Bike Culture

by Zbigniew

Vancouver Cycling Map

Evidence that Vancouver’s bike culture is taking hold abounds. Witness:

The general public

Vancouver Cycling, via 24HrsVancouver 24Hrs

The bike-friendly café

Tandem Bike CafeVancityBuzz

The transportation of goods

ShiftVancouver 24Hrs

Law enforcement

RCMP Bike SquadNorth Shore News

The criminal element

The real estate agent

Cycling Real Estate

The political element

Gregor CyclingThe Globe & Mail


Pre-displacement Map

by Zbigniew



Pre-displacement MapVancouver Especially

Chinatown Sold

Chinatown Cleared

Chinatown Reconfigured

Existential Threat

by Zbigniew

“Researchers at Oregon State University have just concluded there is a one in three chance that a major earthquake will strike the Pacific Northwest coast within the next 50 years. There is a 10 to 15 per cent chance of a mega-earthquake hitting the northern segment of the Cascadia Subduction Zone at some point during the next 50 years. The northern segment of the Cascadia Subduction Zone covers an area from Vancouver Island, B.C. to Seaside, Ore.”

Laura Kupcis, Claims Canada

Hazard ZonesEarthquake Hazard Zones: The relative risk of damage to Canadian buildings,” Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction


Earthquake and wind sound effects courtesy Mike Koenig

Earthquake Preparedness