Sunday, May 30, 2010

story: family outings




See these images in a video called Changes.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

story: it got me thinking

I lived in a cute little apartment at 18th and Main Street in and around 1995. It was on the second floor of a big old house and organized like a railroad flat in New York City. Super narrow with room after room in a chain. I liked that. You entered in the kitchen and if you made a right you would hit the tiny little living room and then 3 steps forward, remembering to step over this weird step you would be in the bedroom. The living room had room enough for 2 comfy chairs, so entertaining was limited but not impossible. From the kitchen if you made a left you would be in the bathroom. All the rooms had a window except the bathroom so it felt bright and airy. I painted my bedroom dark brown. My living room was beige with burnt red trim and the kitchen and bathroom were baby blue. I had a claw footed tub which was really the clincher for renting it. I was delighted to live there. Prior to this I had had roommates and this place was all mine!

Now, I didn't really know many of the neighbours. Sure, I said hello if I saw someone in the hallways, but that was seldom. For me, this was perfect. I had this idea of anonymity, it was what I was looking for. You see, when I wasn't at home I was on the road, in a rock band. This was a time in my life when sometimes up to 10 months would be spent in a van, loading or unloading gear or at a motel. Of course a small percentage was the stage performance but all things considered, this didn't take much time. We had A LOT of fun but I was always around people, even our motel was shared. I was lucky since my band mates and tour manager were my friends, but being a kind of independent person who likes their down time… touring was a challenge.

With this new apartment came a new sensation…the magic of closing the apartment door and knowing it would only be me.

One of the few times I was back in Vancouver, I came up the front steps, checked my mailbox and opened the shared door to the entrance hallway. I was met with a bit of a bad smell. As I walked up the stairs it got a little worse, and more so as I walked down my hallway. I was a little nervous to open my apartment door. But when I did and went inside the smell was almost indiscernible. Apartment hallways often had strange smells, so I guess because of this I didn't worry too much about it.

The next morning however, as I left my apartment, the smell was much worse. The odour hit me hard in face. It was the kind of a smell I had never experienced. Was it mold? Was it garbage?

When I returned the smell again seemed worse, so I decided to call the landlord. We chatted about the kind of smell it was and wondered if a rat or a cat had died in the walls. Hmmm. I certainly didn't like the sound of a rat, but the idea that it could be someone's cat made me sad.

The next morning there was a kerfuffle in the hallway. When I peeked out my door I saw a whole fleet of men in hazmat suits…and the door to my neighbours apartment was open. A woman who lived in the floor above, the most prestigious apartment since it was the biggest and at the top, told me I should come to her house to hang out.

Very mysterious and definitely not on my solo agenda.

She introduced herself as Maryann and made me a cup of tea. She was older than I was and her place reflected this advantage over me. The view from her window was spectacular.

“Do you know the guy in the apartment opposite of you?” she asked

“Not really” I said. “I've seen him collect his mail once, but that's it”.

“Well, he died in his apartment and that's what's been smelling up this place for weeks.” she told me.

“Weeks?” I asked

“He was in there for 2 weeks… “ then with a change in her voice she added “No one called him. No one came by. No one missed him.”

This of course got me thinking. How long could I be dead and alone before someone missed me? People who knew me, knew my hermit practices. If I died people would just assume I was antisocial!

Well, I would like to wrap this story up in a tight bow and explain how I immediately changed my ways and welcomed friends and family into all parts of my life at all times. Change doesn't happen so quickly for me.

But it got me thinking.

by lisa g
inspired by The Columbia House

Thursday, May 27, 2010

story: Lucky's Comics

Lisa W. met with Ben of Lucky's Comic Store. Ben works for Gabe, who opened the store 15 years ago. It used to be in the storefront where Regional Assembly of Text is, a few doors down. Here is what Ben had to say:

Above: Ben poses for a few snapshots.

"I really liked comic books as a kid, yeah, I still like them. I don't like the super hero stuff, I like the kind of underground more avant garde, stuff like that; graphic novels that tell really good stories, something that's different. You can only read X-Men for so long……..for some people.

Gabe opened up Lucky's 15 years ago. It used to be at another location for about 4 years. I came here 3.5 years ago. I think it used to have a bit too much of a Magic Card feeling to it. I'm happy with the new colours it is painted, it brightened it up.

Above: the old skull gate.

Lucky's used to have this gate with skulls all over it. I was like, "You want kids to come in here?!"

A lot of regulars help support us for sure. They're the ones that know to come here to get different stuff. I think the general public is either totally blown away by this store or totally don't understand it at all. I've had a lot of people come in here and be like, "So, adults read these?" and I'm like, "Yeah, you'd be surprised."

We have a very specific selection of books. We are a niche store that is well known for that. Lucky's is the place to go to get really good graphic novels and lots of local artist's work.

I have had to run down shoplifters a few times. There were some kids here once who stuffed their bags with comics and then ran off. So I ran after them and brought them back here. I gave them two choices, I could call their parents or call the cops. They cried. One of them came back here and apologized.

It's a really hard business, especially right now. On the flipside there is so much amazing stuff that no one's buying. It's not a cheap hobby to have.

Above: Children's drawings inside Lucky's

I love this neighbourhood. I hope no one purposely burns down our building and opens up a Tim Hortons. No one wants that.

Above: one of Ben's drawings

I'm an artist myself and any media that's interesting I gravitate towards whether it's film, a painting or a good comic book. I like to know what is good right now and different. Working here has been a big eye opener for me, and I've been able to meet a lot of people who have helped me along. It's nice to be a part of the community."

Lucky's also has a gallery, this is the upcoming show!

story: Walden Building


courtesy of superdubey

This historic landmark
is located at 4120 Main Street
(25th and Main)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

studio: sport plus photo workshop

Lisa Walker gives photo tips before kids from the after school program Sports Plus go out and take some on site photos.

story: Doors

I sometimes like to take pictures of doors because they may change...or be redesigned.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

studio: video in progress

Matt works on his video on a rainy afternoon in the story studio with lisa g making edit notes...

Tailored Memories is a video story about honouring the building's Tailor Shop past where Matt's current coffee shop business resides.

photo by Lisa Walker

Sunday, May 23, 2010

studio: swimming story

Rose and Lisa g work on Rose's story called FULL CIRCLE.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

story: I like taking pictures!

I really enjoy taking pictures of painted stuff.

I like taking pictures of corners!

It looks like they are having a lot of fun!

I really like badminton, it is really nice to play.

This picture is blurry but I like it...

just in case the windows get washed...

and they did get washed!

by Vivian

Friday, May 21, 2010

story: Main and 15th: then and now

Times change and cities grow but a heritage building can withstand these changes if the city protects them and finds new uses.
Here is a good example.

1927 - Postal Station C

2010 - Heritage Hall

Camera and camera lenses also change, trees get planted and electrical wires installed -- all things that make recreation photographs challenging.
As well, the ability to move as far back as necessary to get the same shot! For the picture below my back was right against the building on the other side of the street!

by lisa g

story: one night we met...

a beautiful anonymous love story from the story-box.

story: one happy mountain

a wonderful anonymous submission from the storybox!