Without technology for nearly 3 days. Using maps and public phones, travel brochures and bugging a local. I’m here in New Westminster on an old CRT fumbling with the internet while on the travel and have to say that I think I’m most at home while in another country.
Things really are on the brink of bedlam. I’m sitting in Vancouver, BC mere hours before Olympic hockey’s gold medal match between the United States and Canada and thinking to myself how much I love sports.
I know hockey only from the local junior league and despite watching a ton of their matches, I’ve come to find that hockey in Canada takes a backseat to no other country. Every bar and storefront is showing the Canadian hockey team games and whether in their front windows or in their back rooms, gatherings on sidewalks are draped in red and white and maple leaves.
Horn honking, bell ringing, this country is certifiable. Their hockey is something blood borne, not just a way of life but a way being. There are chants in the street, songs sung from porch steps and truck beds, everyone is high-fiving in the street, it’s beautiful. Strangers owing their sidewalk screams and camaraderie to one of the most sudden, intricate and brutal sports in all the lands is something I’ll never forget seeing.
Being an American in Canada the day when both countries are gonna battle for Olympic hockey gold medals is just awesome timing. And nicely enough, there is no place I’d rather be.
The sheer amount of change that can occur at any given time is staggering.
Year of the tiger. Year of selling of the house. Year of the parting of ways and forging alliances. Year of fresh perspectives and year of old habits, year of earning piles of dough and the year of finding new gigs. Valentines day and fat Tuesday, saints and super bowls and me going to the olympics. Soon I’ll be off to watch the gold medal round of women’s snowboard slalom, at the foot of Mt. Cypress I’ll be, drunk on the stars and stripes with a belly of Canadian whiskey.
You! Ess! Ay! You! Ess! Ay!
The Virginia Cafe used to sit on Portland’s Southwest Park Avenue and boasted two old timey cash registers that printed tiny receipts and sounded like old slot machines.
The block it sat on for a good 90 years was recently razed and eventually became an urban park that now has underground parking for shoppers and commuters. Very forward, very cool, urbane and practical, green and provincial.
The replica that is now across the street from Portland’s central library on 10th Ave. (a mere few blocks away) is not bad for what it is. The same neon sign sits above the front door, the booths and decor are strangely familiar and everything about it seems like the old joint.
The mourning involved with the demolition of a local drinking institution is quickly vanquished by the delivery of a decent beverage and comfortable atmosphere.
The importance of a bar is determined only by the people who share both in its lavish history and decadent purpose. Any other reason for its memory is purely mercantile.