Quoting Gibson: ... an eight-hour blackout that ended on a concrete ledge two meters above midnight. False Creek water. City lights, that same grey bowl of sky smaller now, illuminated by neon and mercury-vapor arcs. And it was snowing, big flakes but not many, and when they touched black water they were gone, no trace at all. Herewith some pictures of that same water and a Gibsonian kind of thing happening there.

Below is a picture of that False Creek, a small urban Pacific inlet, that appears above in Gibson’s story The Winter Market, the only time he’s been to Vancouver (where he lives) fictionally. It’s an old story, not his best but not bad. We’re looking East; there are mountains and sports stadiums to the North on our left, and straight ahead at the end of the Creek is Science World and some nice condos going up. Nice and blue and cosmopolitan and civilized.

False Creek, Vancouver

I once wrote about False Creek and snow, too.

If you enlarge that picture, you can see some boats floating in the water down towards the end. They’re squatters, people who’ve tied up there more or less permanently; it’s difficult and expensive to get legit moorings for your boat here in Vancouver. There don’t seem to be any laws on the books to chase these folks out, or maybe it’s just that nobody cares.

But look right, along the South coast of False Creek, and it’s pretty industrial, big barges tied up and I used to live in a sixteenth-floor apartment facing them, I’d get lost watching the tugs bring the barges in and position them with astounding slow-motion deftness. I can’t imagine this evidence of Vancouver’s grimy-waterfront personality will be allowed to persist in the teeth of its highrise-lifestyle other half.

Below, we focus on the barges, and glance down and to the right where there’s a flash of colour.

Barges docked in False Creek, Vancouver

I glanced down bicycling over the bridge, and the water squatters are not all in the fiberglass-yacht set. Here’s a little wee community beginning to grow, tiny boats thoroughly tarped, shipshape if grubby.

Water Squatters in False Creek, Vancouver

We have the spectrum that spans homelessness to bohemianism here, and I bet that if nobody decides to chase these folks out, this watersquatting trend is going to have legs. I imagine them spreading to cover more and more of the Creek, and then it’s only a matter of time before someone who’s been to Hong Kong opens a funky fish restaurant on one that you have to walk across a few other boats to get to.

Gibsonian, all right. But today, sunlit and pretty.


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

August 21, 2003
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