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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Scenes from Vancouver's Chinatown

Today I had to go downtown for an appointment. I decided to stop off in Chinatown as I wasn't too far from there and I needed to find myself a bamboo steamer (to steam frozen dim sum).

I always enjoy the street scenes and today was no exception.  The array of product in a store in Chinatown is always astounding. There are also a lot of exotic to me things that I don't get to use or see every day. I  still remember my early days in Vancouver and how a trip to Chinatown was always such a delight. Buying simple things like Sandalwood soap (heavenly fragrance) was a true cultural experience.






Truth be told I only walked a square block and a few extra streets in Chinatown.  There is actually much more to see.



I loved the artful tree in front of this traditional looking roof top. There is even a bird perching on top (see side right as you are looking straight at the photo).  The sky looks rather gray. It was actually an overcast day today though it cleared up and became quite warm.

If you look off in the distance of the photo below you will see the sky scrapers. They are located in down town Vancouver just a stone's throw away.


These plants make a nice, colourful addition to the street. I am not sure if they are on sale or if they are gifts to the store owners for a new business perhaps.


All over Chinatown the evidence of economic decay is present. So many shops have closed up. For many years now Chinatown has been declining and many shop owners have migrated to the suburb of Richmond (near the Vancouver International Airport) where there is a sizeable Asian community.  I admire the business people who stick it out in Chinatown and try to keep things going. I know there have been some efforts over the years to try and revitalize this area. Sadly I think the revitalization is going to change the entire nature of the area.

Already today I saw several businesses that just do not match the historical charm and nature of the businesses here. I also saw evidence of numerous residential building projects that are going to bring in masses of residents and change the nature of the area too.

I know change is always happening but I will personally miss the charm of what was.




It was nice to see some beautiful murals in the area.  The one depicted in the photo below is adjacent to an empty lot which is scheduled for a condo project.





This ruby red lamplight  post with Chinese writing at the bottom is quite beautiful.



This sign alerts the passersby to the coming condo development. There are several other developments in the general area.


This fast food restaurant, Kent's Kitchen is a very well known and highly frequented restaurant. I stopped by for lunch.


I love this charming, yellow building. At the bottom of the building you can see that other ethnic businesses are moving.  There is now a Filipino Restaurant in what used to be a clothing store. In the next block I saw businesses run by Caucasians and Vietnamese people.  Chinatown is losing it's historic and distinctly Chinese ambience and I'm guessing that building owners are giving good incentives to other businesses just to keep things going.


I just hope that in years to come there will still be a distinctly Chinese flavour to this area even if things change.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday today.
My the time does fly!
Have a great weekend everyone :-)

23 comments:

  1. What a lovely tour. Thank you.

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  2. I love Chinese and Indian shopping areas, sadly we do not get them around here. Guess I should be thankful though that the French shops, although different, are great. Diane

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  3. Ya gotta love Chinatown...so colourful!

    ~Have a lovely day!

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  4. Thank you for taking us along, I have never seen this area before, I am sure it was delightful to explore.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  5. What a wonderful place to go to and things to buy x

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  6. I really enjoyed your visit to Chinatown. It would be a shame to lose all that color and culture. And delicious food!

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  7. Hi Joyful, What a great tour of Chinatown ... so many photos ... very nicely done. Your candid photography of places you visit almost always makes me want to come up to Vancouver again and check things out. Although I've visited downtown Vancouver several times, I don't think I've been to the exact area you are showing us. I remember going down Water Street and the old Steam Clock. That's nearby isn't it? I sure hope the city will be able to keep Chinatown going. Thank you for sharing your visit. John

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    1. Hi John, lovely to have you visit my blog again. I'm glad my photos make you want to visit. The area I am mainly showing in the photos are along Keefer Street, just east of Main Street, and also a little of Gore Street which is perpendicular to Keefer. This area is on the eastern edge of Chinatown and not too terribly far from Water Street and the Old Steam Clock in Gastown (the neighbourhood slightly northwest of Chinatown)

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    2. Hi Joyful, Thank you for the kind reply and info on photo locations. I think your blog is going to make my next trip up to Vancouver sooner rather than later. While checking on my blogs and surfing the web this morning I found something that reminded me that next Monday is Thanksgiving in Canada. May I wish you a happy and peaceful day. You always have something interesting to say about cooking and dining so I am wondering if you will do the “traditional” Thanksgiving meal with turkey? Down here in the “States” Monday is also a holiday, but it’s Columbus Day in honor of that person who discovered America. I wish Canada and the US had gotten together on Thanksgiving and celebrate it on the same day … we have to wait several more weeks for our T Day. Best wishes from Seattle. John

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  8. Hello,Joyful!
    Lovely to see your post! My English teacher is from Canada. I have heard that a big Chinatown is in Vancouver.
    Wow, finally I see the town in your post! I enjoyed walking around the town with you.Here in Japan. there is a Chinatown in Yokohama though I have not been there.
    Have a good weekend!

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  9. Great series of street shots, and it looks like a really fun place!

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  10. Lovely pics of a variety of street views - gives a great overall impression of the neighborhood :)

    I hope for your sake that the changes are not too significant - progress is an overrated word in my opinion!

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    1. Hi there, so nice to see you again. It has been awhile. I tend to agree with you that progress is overrated. I don't mind change but enough is enough. I hope you are doing well down in SA. x

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  11. This is a familiar predicament Joy, progress isn't always for the best. Let's hope the upgrade will retain some authenticity oui.. super series of images from this changing area.

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  12. I wonder if that Filipino restaurant is run by Filipinos or a Chinese-Filipino. Phen-Phen is not a typical Filipino name. Have you ever seen what food they serve? (just in case you dropped by) :)

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    1. Good questions but I don't know the answer yet. One day I met get a chance to go and find out :-)

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    2. Hello I did a little research and learned that this restaurant is actually permanently closed now. When it was open it was run by an elderly Filipina and she served traditional Filipino food. We do have several other Filipino restaurants and bakeries in town. :-)

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  13. Nice shots that give a flavor of things for me. I have seen change similar to what you document and I think that it goes to show just how fragile some things are and once people start leaving it is hard to stop it.

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  14. How interesting that it looks like our China Town in San Fransisco. Great pictures!

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  15. Thanks for sharing. Love the look of Chinatown. So sad to hear that the changes coming may alter the character of the place. I love those murals.

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  16. I just wanted to reply to the comment you left on my blog. If I am making a blanket it is acrylic or superwash wool for me. I like really nice yarn but I am no fool with my money. It is really the only way to go as a blanket with expensive yarn could cost hundreds of dollars. I once made a baby blanket in Debbie Bliss yarn, I crocheted it and did not think about the yarn sucking probability of crocet, I had to go back for more several times. That was the most expensive baby gift I ever gave!
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  17. wonderfull reportage and fotos over China Town,greeting from Belgium.
    http://louisette.eklablog.com/nuit-de-l-obscurite-mons-a112810380

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