Friday, February 01, 2013I spend my Fridays working from a different office that happens to be in the Downtown Eastside (the, uh, troubled part of Vancouver). Today I had a meeting at the Carnegie Centre at Main & Hastings. Main & Hastings is possibly considered the epicentre of the troubled area. You will see, while walking down this section of Hastings, open drug use, and many many people who are in very troubled situations. It's not so much that it feels dangerous, but it can feel very uncomfortable and sad. So many people with such problems.
Anyway, this is not meant to be a sad tale. I walked down Pender St rather than Hastings - wanted to avoid the mayham today and preferred to stroll through Chinatown, which I don't do often. When I arrived at the community centre I made my way around to the front entrance. It's actually an old library (built by Carnegie) and is a beautiful building. It's kind of the living room for the neighbourhood and there are always lots of people hanging out outside. I admit, I get nervous walking past hoards of men just hanging out; worried I'll get hassled, especially in this part of town where there's a good chance someone is on drugs or has mental health issues. One of the men on the sidewalk called out quietly as I passed "hey, you're cute". Aw, thanks random guy on the street. At least it was a young guy, right?
I had my meeting and got a tour of the bits of the Carnegie Centre that I hadn't seen before; amazing facility. Took about an hour. On my way out, I head back past all the dudes and I hear a soft, "Hey, you're still cute" - which made me laugh. The neighbourhood may be rough, but it's not all bad.
Posted by burrito at 10:02 PM |