Since the last post served to launch an interesting conversation on my Facebook page (comments welcome on this blog 😉 ) among visitors who recounted their days in Point Grey, I’ve decided to add another page to the subject, with photographs from the shoot illustrated in the contact sheet there and a couple of additional images that record my time in the neighbourhood, including a peek inside my digs.
I’ve told the story elsewhere of my move to the neighbourhood in 1984, where I shared a 1-bedroom flat with 3 others. We launched many adventures together, including trips to California, climbing at Squamish, west coast explorations on Vancouver Island … not to mention clandestine ascents of the old Cambie Street Bridge. These were the benefits of communal living.
Though there was only one bedroom, the main living area was spacious — big enough to accommodate a makeshift studio … and a dance floor at the regular parties we held. Remember when people danced at parties?
Back to the comments on my Monday post: It was great to hear from readers who grew up in the area, found their first employment at local businesses, like Owl Drugs, and enjoyed the close community experience of West Point Grey.
Going on my last visit, those days are, sadly, gone. I’m glad to have spent a short time there, getting to know local merchants and restaurant owners, including the affordable Varsity Grill Chinese restaurant. I made advertising photos for local shops and sold beauty products (a sideline) to hairdressers on the street, where another roommate worked. Fellow photographer Brian Hay destroyed his hands supplementing his assistant salary as a dishwasher at Earl’s Place, featured in the previous post.
I don’t think it’s just nostalgia speaking to say that with the rise of chains, to a great degree we’ve lost the diversity of small family businesses and with them the sense of community that they aroused.
Aside from pecuniary interests, I’m glad to be able, through photos and jottings, to offer these memories, dreams and reflections to Vancouverites past and present. Please do add to those recollections in the comments below. For my part, I treasure the pictures and memories made there.