And then a step to the right: days 376 — 380

In which I reminisce about commuting to the suburbs and enjoying foggy vistas

I said I’d take a selfie if I wasn’t feeling inspired and couldn’t find a good subject, and here we go. It’s… ehh, I never thought I was especially photogenic, but I like it. It exquisitely conveys my irritation at the cold and the rain, and also how I hadn’t shaved in like three days.

Friday, I decided to shoot a bit around Canada Place, and eventually decided on the West Coast Express station from up high. It was remarkably popular (relatively speaking) though I don’t quite get why. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it, mostly for the nostalgia value. 10 years ago, it was, when I took that train between PoCo and downtown, to work at Accenture (2007) and then Waterstreet Technologies (2008, until I moved downtown in May). The train rides were fun, the scenery was gorgeous (yes I took quite a lot of photos), though it was still a long commute especially at night. And if I had to work extra late, and the Trainbus was full, then the commute by bus was extra gruelling.

I remember one time, staying on the train past PoCo Station and getting off at… Maple Ridge, I think. I didn’t really plan it that way, but it turns out that was the last station before we got seriously in the sticks and I wouldn’t even get normal bus service back home. The only enjoyable part of that extra trip was going over Pitt River—who doesn’t like going over bridges in the dark, with Highway 7 just off in the distance?—but everything else was… bleagh. Maple Ridge was just as suburby as PoCo, even more so, and to torture myself even more I ate at a McD. It was a weird time for me.

But hey, look at me now! Living the life downtown, and even when getting over a cold it’s just a short stroll to Granville Island—or at least to a spot on the Seawall where I can gaze at it across the water. Had I ever visited Granville Island back then? I must have, at some point. But I don’t know, those were dark and troubled times, and I’ve blocked some of them from my memory.

I do remember back in those days I couldn’t have dropped into Competitive, even if I’d had the skill. Such a long trek in the morning, with no guarantee of play? And then do it again at night? No, that would have been too much. I would have missed the foggy sun over the field. And later after my nap, I would have missed Burrard Bridge in all its misty glory as well as the West End Inukshuk. My god this city is beautiful.

Beautiful in fog and in clear skies. This Monday I wasn’t 100% ready to go back to the gym, so I thought I’d take a bit of a scenic walk down Pacific and then… I forget, up Hornby, maybe? I stopped at Burrard and Pacific, snapped a couple of pictures… it was magnificent, but not quite right. So I took a few steps to the right, into the bike lane, and voilà!

The moral is: if the photo doesn’t look right, take a few steps to the side and try again. You’d be amazed at how much of a difference it can make.

PS: I’d originally entitled this post “Beyond The Farthest Suburb” as a shoutout to the Star Trek: TAS episode “Beyond The Farthest Star”. It seemed clever, but kind of obscure, and a Rocky Horror shoutout is better.

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