taking a coffee break,
leaning against a wall, head bowed
over his cell phone
During our walking excursions around Metro Vancouver, we turn off of West Cordova Street, climb a flight of stairs and enter a plaza that leads to the Burrard Inlet waterfront and cruise ship terminal. A woman sits on a large circular fountain, gazing at what looks like a double row of five sailboats lined up at the pier, each one casting a shadow on the adjoining sail. This prominent landmark is the Canada Place, a building whose roof is actually made of white fabric.
The building next to the Canada Place looks like a cruise ship itself with many decks. I follow the winding walkway around the building and spot a cook taking a break, one foot propped against the wall, head bowed as he texts on his cell phone. He doesn't notice me taking photos, but someone inside the office building does. Pretty soon a security man comes out and tells me I can't take photos of this building. He says the whole plaza area is private. I can't believe they're afraid of someone with a camera when tourists are as thick as fleas. Anyway, I'm certainly not interested in taking photos of people sitting at desks inside a sterile office. But I just smile and walk away.
What I am interested in is people and signs of people. Fast food in Vancouver comes in a red Dim Sum Express truck.
A girl sipping a strawberry smoothie. From the names on her bag of cities around the world, I imagine that she's a world traveler who takes the advice of the signs on the restaurant behind her: Eat well, Live well, Enjoy life.
A man with lots of arm tattoos on a souped up bike with a mysterious flag.
Two ladies on a street corner.
A man sitting on the rim of a circular building smoking a cigarette.
A girl with thigh-high black stockings.
A girl with headphones leans against a wall covered with graffiti art.
Don't ask, don't tell.
A street performer with an electric guitar.
"I'm homeless. Am a goin' crazy. Need money 4 food & beer." Also, cigarettes, soft drinks & rabbit food for his white bunny.
Have money, crazy about french fries.
Like grandfather, like grandson.
Wheelchair woman, bundled for the rain, waiting for the crosswalk light to change.
That's a woman in a bulky street worker's uniform.
Happiness is walking your dog.
And making a happy face with food at the Spaghetti Factory.