Olympics day 2

repairing windows at the Bay

watching speedskating at the Bay

I was late. I was supposed to meet up with some friends so that we could go to the Decentralized Dance Party. Instead I wandered around for a while, checked out the windows that got smashed out at the Bay. The repair guys were working on getting the last two windows reinstalled. Beside them people watched short-track speed skating on one of the TVs in the store window. The Canadian tripped somehow. Everyone groaned.

I’ve said this before but being downtown is very strange right now. Sometimes the crowds are thick and claustrophobia-inducing. Thousands of people slip past each other, my hair gets pulled and I get disoriented on streets I know like the back of my hand. But a block or two away the streets will be totally empty like a bomb’s been dropped on them.

street performers

dancing under a snow machine

I headed to Yaletown to see if I could find my friends. The streets there were a microcosm of the same weirdness I’ve been seeing all over the rest of the city. On one block some people gathered around a singer I didn’t recognise. A group of performers with flaming nunchucks drew a crowd. The next block was empty. On the next a magician pulled a canteloupe from his hat. Further down a small group of people in wearing Korean flags danced under a snow machine. Beyond that, a lone DJ played to an audience of none.

I turned a corner and then there they were!

Decentralized Dance Party!

The Decentralized Dance Party was in full swing. Crazy outfits, boom boxes, trampolines, tennis rackets, scooters, skis and toboggans.

Decentralized Dance Party!

Decentralized Dance Party!

Decentralized Dance Party!

After that I headed down to LiveCity Yaletown to see Wilco play. I left the party late and somehow I got turned around and I didn’t get there until about 20 minutes before the show was set to start instead of the hour I had planned. I doubt the 40 minutes would have made a difference though. I arrived finally at the gates and saw that the line stretched out to the edge of the block. No big deal. I walked out to what I thought was the end, turned the corner and saw that it stretched down to the end of that block. The line stretched out much further than that. It took me a while to find the end.

It seemed to move fairly quickly though. I’d moved halfway up the line before I found out that the reason it was moving was because volunteers were telling people that the gates were closed and they weren’t letting people in.

watching Wilco from the outside

A bit of a crowd gathered outside the fence to watch what we could. The sound was pretty good. This was my view:

my view of Wilco through the fence

During the show it began to pour. The rain soaked through my jacket and trickled off my head down my neck. By the end of the show I was mildly hypothermic and just about every muscle I had had seized up and ached. I stuck it out to the end though. The last time they played here was 2007. Who knows when they’ll be back.

Yaletown fireworks

Afterward there were fireworks. I didn’t get many good pictures because my memory card was full and because by that point I was shivering uncontrollably.


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