Homeless in Vancouver: Hazy, lazy do-nothing Sunday

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      To the best of my knowledge nothing at all happened in Vancouver on Sunday (July 7), or rather, nothing happened in my Vancouver neighbourhood of Fairview.

      As a blogger, however, I still feel pressure to post something so here goes nothing.

      After finally getting up and leaving my parkade sleeping spot this morning at the luxurious hour of 11 a.m.

      I lazily made my way to the the McDonald’s restaurant in the 1400 block of West Broadway.

      Once there, I ate an indifferent hamburger, drank two cups of coffee, and consumed a fairly large quantity of social media.

      At the same time my laptop, camera, and wireless earbuds were sucking up as much electricity as physics would allow.

      At some point one of my homeless peers joined me (having—he told me—also just woken up). He ordered a coffee and we chatted about this and that, including the films we had each recently seen.

      Having both had a chance to watch SoloA Star Wars Story, we agreed that it was quite awful (I couldn’t get past the first 15 minutes).

      I told him that I thought Rogue One was, by far, the best of new Disney Star Wars films I had seen.

      For his part, he couldn’t say enough about the virtues of the John Wick sequel he was currently watching over-and-over on his phone.

      While I weighed this recommendation against the knowledge that one of his favourite film franchises was the Transformers, à la Michael Bay, he made a phone call to someone and then left the restaurant—apparently to take delivery of “two blues”.

      I shortly left as well—to answer my own call of duty, as it were.

      Something even more sedentary than me this Sunday

      The well-maintained and working payphone (604-872-9504) outside the VGH Emergency entrance on West 10th Avenue.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      From the McDonald’s, I rode exactly six blocks west to 950 West 10th Avenue—the entrance of the Vancouver General Hospital emergency department.

      My object was to photograph and verify the existence of the rara avis of a working payphone in the emergency department’s massive covered entrance way.

      This was for a map I had just begun of Vancouver’s working payphones.

      With the one at VGH, my payphone map only shows the two that I know work in the Fairview neighbourhood, plus another three elsewhere in the city that, according to the Internet, worked in 2018.

      Taking this photo constituted my entire workload for the day.

      I then rode to the Sunshine Market at 16th Avenue and Oak Street to buy the fixings for dinner, later in my parkade.

      On my way back toward West Broadway I followed Spruce Street.

      At West 15th Avenue I paused to watch probably the most energetic display to be seen in the entire neighbourhood that afternoon.

      In the otherwise empty school yard of L’Ecole Bilingue elementary, a woman could be seen coaxing her dog to jump over a wire obstacle planted in the dusty yard.

      A device that announced the dispensation of treats with loud clicks could be heard being used to incentivize the dog to perform the trick over and over again.

      Jump. Click-click. Jump. Click-click. Jump. Click-click, and so on.

      It was active but monotonous at the same time. I don’t know if I was watching playing, or training, of some kind.

      Nothing much more to crow about

      Two crows lazing on a lawn at Spruce and West 10th.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      As I continued north along Spruce, I stopped again at West 10th Avenue to watch a couple of crows taking it easy on someone’s front lawn.

      While one of the black birds made a languid and half-hearted show of poking around, its mate wasn’t even bothering to stay on its feet. It was sitting perfectly still in the short grass and may have been napping for all I know.

      It was that sort of afternoon.

      Without another notable sighting to slow my progress, I soon arrived back at my parkade sleeping spot—little more than six hours after I left it in the morning.

      The bike trailer’s towbar, freshly realigned with the “plane” of the trailer frame.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      After arranging my sleeping gear and whatnot, I did nothing more taxing than adjust the alignment of my bike trailer’s jerry-rigged towbar. This only involved loosening and tightening half a dozen carefully placed hose-clamps. It took maybe five minutes.

      Later I cooked a simple dinner of basmati rice and mild curry using my butane camp stove.

      It’s true that I also published this post but that hardly counts as work. I think that it may actually take more effort to read than it took to write.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.

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