I took my little girl for a walk, she with her little training-wheels bike, me with my camera. We prefer the neighborhood’s alleys for these expeditions. I was struck by the textures and colors of the garages backing on the laneways.
The neighborhood is a bit anomalous. Historically it has been middle-class; the houses range from solid to very modest; no mansions. Some of the houses, of every shape and size, have been fixed up and cleaned up; others are run-down.
The anomaly follows from Vancouver’s ferocious run-up in real-estate prices (there’s talk of a bubble): The houses in front of these garages are probably in average worth in excess of a million dollars.
Vancouver’s houses, typically for the West Coast, vary dramatically in architecture and color from one to the next. I’m always struck, walking the streets of the Eastern Time Zone’s old brick cities, by the houses, all in a cookie-cutter row.
The same is true of the garages. Some seem to have been built to match the house in front; others are afterthoughts. Some seem cheaply-thrown-together; the combination of that and being fifty or more years old can produce remarkably colorful states of decay.
The little girl is used to Daddy stopping at odd places to hold the camera to his face. Also, she likes sitting on the sofa with me looking at the results, so she’s generally patient.
I think most people would have found this walk, down a grey alley on a grey day, sort of depressing. Having a cheery 5-year-old and a good camera along helps out.
Under the pressure of real-estate prices, it’s reasonable to expect that most of the picturesque textures you see here have limited futures; within a few years, I’d expect to find a row of nice modern, or at least tastefully-renovated, garages. I’m fine with that.
For the camera geeks: This is the first batch of pictures here that are the result of processing with the new Lightroom 4 release. I like it a lot.