Saturday, 14 May 2016

Four more Lonsdale

Four more Lonsdale blocks, two hurried, two more relaxed.  The block of Lonsdale above Queens is busy but pleasant, with a bustling independent grocery store.  No time to linger, though, as black clouds piled up ominously into a spring storm.  The first drops fell just as I finished, and I was soaked by the time I rode home down the hill.  But no harm done, because I obeyed the only real rule of outdoor sketching: always carry your sketchbook in a ziplock bag.  Everything else is optional.
The next block was also done in a hurry, this time because of basic survival.  Lonsdale just above the Upper Levels Highway is a horrible, loud, grey, stinky efflux of vehicles trying to get onto or off of the highway that leads to the perpetual traffic jam at the Second Narrows Bridge.  I gave the drawing 30 minutes - pretty much all I could stand physically.  The few people walking by had their fists and jaws clenched as if they were going into battle, but, remarkably for this area, a couple people did stop to talk to me.  Both of them complained about the traffic.
Not far below the highway, the block above 21st is far more peaceful, with a quiet park outside the very under-appreciated Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art.  Eight large red cast statues of crouching monk-like Chinese businessmen once graced a G8 meeting, with an intriguingly ambiguous message.  Now the one that I assume represents Russia has been sent off to a corner by itself.  However, the current geopolitical situation wasn't too important to the two little girls who were climbing the statues.
And down at the bottom of the street, Lonsdale above 2nd St. is a quiet place, with the star attraction being the Salvation Army Thrift Shop.  I had a nice seat for drawing and was just underway, when a City truck parked right in front of me.  This is one of the banes of urban-sketching.  But the driver saw me, said sorry, and moved his truck up the street out of my way.  That's a first for any vehicle, and makes me feel much happier about paying my property taxes.

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