Tag Archives: Gastown

Memories of happier times

Imagine.

It was your 21st birthday. It was dark, drizzling a bit, and you had just finished a sumptuous dinner with your closest friends at Six Acres, a cozy restaurant whose storefront faces the rear of Gassy Jack’s statue, the founder of the part of town that continues to bear his name. Leaving the restaurant, a sweet accordion music assails you, and you recognize it as being part of the Valse of Amélie, a leitmotif from a classic French movie about a girl so altruistic she almost abandons her own happiness for the happiness of others.

This was the kind of atmosphere around you as you walk down the road with your friends to get home. Happy, thoughtful, but carefree, with alcohol buzzing through your veins. Perhaps you were a little more out of it than usual, but when you saw it, you stopped, you took a picture. Two pictures, actually.

And those were the only two pictures you took that night.

Not being from East Van or even hanging around the Gastown area much, this was the first incidence of the famous “Shark” tag that I’ve encountered in the flesh. I have been around a few times right after they have been buffed though, with the outline clearly showing due to the poor paint job.

 I love it when artists work around existing elements in the environment. It makes everything seem more cohesive and natural, like they belong there. Personally, I consider this art and not graffiti. The window looks way better with it there!

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At the Next Stop…

Walking around Dunlevy Ave. close to Waterfront on a chilly October morning…

Spontaneous tags on private property are not uncommon in the Downtown Eastside.

Entering yet another alley…

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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…

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down the alley

Black and white throw up; MINK tag, JOES tag, gc om tag

Continued from the last post, more from the same alley.

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I thought I had hit the motherlode

Various tags and stencils

Continuing from the last post, I thought I had hit the mother lode with this find that morning when I entered an alley in the Gastown district of Vancouver. There were so many colourful tags there and this door in particular stood out due to its complex layering of tags. The “Baby Puncher” stencil particularly stands out and is actually a pop culture reference to some song or band I have not heard of before. Even more legible is the blue “GONE” tag in the lower right corner and a pretty stylized one in the top right.  Continue reading

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