Contrasts of a big city

As my husband and I awake on the North Shore with a view to skyline of buildings and Stanley Park across Burrard Inlet, we take a moment of pause.

The news today is that a 20-year-old woman has died at the “Occupy Vancouver Protest”. The mayor is calling for the population camped at the foot of the Art Gallery to move out. There was nothing special going on last night. The woman was alone in a tent and evidently taking heroin. No-one was with her to know she needed help.

But I suppose when a young life steers to a point where a lethal drug takes over your daily existence, getting help is not so simple.

Contrast some of the ghostly lives we saw yesterday walking around the city on the far end of W Cordova Street with the opulence of The Pan Pacific Hotel area. We were ensconced in the lounge with a panoramic view of the North Shore and Stanley Park. It was easy to track the ascent of a float plane with my camera lens. Exotic cars and expensive real estate surrounded us. The water bustles with the activity that services the port. The majestic Stanley Park sits right in the middle offering her natural beauty for anyone to enjoy. And it all coexists in a relatively small space.

As we photographed a plaque below the statue of “Gassy Jack”, it was interesting to ponder what the founding fathers of the city would think if they could arrive today and take in what it has become. Would they be proud of the progress, the industry and the architecture? Or would they notice those lost souls wandering the alleys?

Living in the suburbs takes away most of the stark contrast of a place. Maybe the high points are not as great, but we also don’t suffer from the low points as much.

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