Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vancouver is a Movie Set

Huh.  I wrote this back when I was blogging my North American trip, but it wound up in the drafts folder instead of being posted.

Well, I had fun that day.  I'm posting it now anyway, belatedly.


I spent this particular afternoon prowling around the lobby of the Four Season Pacific Rim Hotel.  It was raining outside, and I rather like the architecture - I think it's quite successful at what it does.  It's sufficiently monumental, and plays nicely with the aggressively angular geometry that seems to be required to give cutting-edge cred at the moment, but simultaneously it's quite cozy -which is what you WANT in a city where it mostly rains all year round.  The architects have used the asymmetry and angularity to catch a lovely balance between big public spaces and small, inhabitable nooks and niches - even crannies.  I like it.

I was mooching about on the third floor, trying to catch a glimpse inside one of the function rooms (how do you balance modern angularity with those requirements?  You don't.  You slap a nifty contempo veneer on the walls, and let Big Function Room do its thing.  Pity.) when I saw a man falling past the window.
That got my attention.

I sprang to the nearest window and saw a second man falling down after him.
And then, as I stared after him in stupefied horror, they bounced back up past my window - and  fell down again - and bounced back up - and down - and up again -

They were riding bungee cords.
I trotted downstairs and out onto the street.  Someone was borrowing the hotel's exterior to shoot a commercial.  A man clutching a steering wheel was thrown off a 15th floor balcony, then the pusher jumped out after him.  It was raining Vancouver bucket-loads, and they did it  all afternoon.

There are time when this whole city feels like one giant movie set  Every day there are streets blocked off and building lobbies blanked out, and catering trucks set up along the sides of whatever street you're walking through.  When we drove up to Cypress Mountain, we found the  entire lodge was blocked off and marooned in a sea of trailers and caravans.  Scenes for Final Destination 5 were being filmed inside.  A few days ago mum went to a downtown restaurant to book for a large lunch party.  Because it was such a large party, she was asked to come back the next day and talk to the manager.  She went back the following day, but couldn't get inside because  it looked like this:

I rather enjoy it.  Such 'scope for imagination,' as Anne Shirley would say.  When things familiar are chosen to stand in for things exotic, it adds a spark to the everyday.  A little bit of potential for the fantastic. 

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