The Light at the End of the Alley

Going in, or coming out? More tags and a view of the litter on the ground.

This is the last post I have planned for this particular alley in the popular tourist district of Gastown. Is it surprising that graffiti would run rampant in such a place, only about 5 minutes walk from the downtown core where stores like Tiffany & Co. and five star hotels become regular sights? And 5 minutes in the other direction would bring you much closer to the notorious Downtown Eastside…

Nkrumah stencils

One of the first things you see upon entering the alley would be this series of failed and successful attempts at stenciling Nkrumah onto the wall. The tags at the point were irrelevant; this was the first actual political figure stencil I’ve seen in Vancouver and on that particular trip. Is it common practice to have the picture on top and the name on the bottom? The format of this stencil looks identical to the ones on the UBC Campus posted earlier

A close-up:

Close up of successful Nkrumah stencil

But who is Nkrumah? My only knowledge of Kwame Nkrumah is that he coined the term “neocolonialism” and that he was the first post-independence president of Ghana. What is he doing on an alley wall in Gastown? Only the stencil artist would know. A point of interest: Noam Chomsky was also mentioned in the same article Nkrumah was mentioned in on Wikipedia; see the stencil of Chomsky here from an earlier post on my blog.

Had to play with the exposure on this one to make the highlighter orange tag more visible.

More highlighter orange! From right to left: The heart design from before appears to have been drawn by Tasha. It says “Dave & Mike” along with a cell phone number that you can apparently call 24/7. Tasha tries another version of her name with “TAS” and a pair of eyes glaring down says “Independent Soldiers”, “I.S” and “Bad Boy”.

How many “COMBO” tags can you see in this picture? If you see 2, you might be right…Is the “WATER” graffiti or did something spray paint it because it is, after all, on Water street? There’s a tiny sticker on the green dumpster that says “Hesk [?]”.

More tags leading out/into the alley. It’s interesting how you can see the divide between the street and the alley strewn with garbage.

I might pay this alley a visit again sometime down the road just to see if the scene’s changed. That was quite the trip! More images from my morning out in search of graffiti coming up. Next stop: Dunlevy in Gastown.

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