Arriving in Vancouver I was amazed at the natural scenery jostling for attention– the mountains, the ocean, the forests, and the clouds all seemed to leap to the foreground at once. Even the city seemed to reflect this competition. Glass condos jostling with construction cranes, masts in the marinas waving at the floral arrangements and the emerald-hued exclamation mark of Stanley Park. On the street, near the Vancouver Public Library, I saw the stalwarts of the creative class rub shoulders with the homeless and their shopping carts of life’s possessions. As a destination, the enveloping walls of the Vancouver Public Library (reminiscent of the Roman Colosseum) seemed to invite one and all off the street.
The Canadian Library Association 2008 annual conference was held at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre. The last time CLA was held in Vancouver was in 1994. Conference attendees experienced the Stanley Cup riot, in which fans converging on downtown were tear-gassed after rioting over the loss of the Vancouver Canucks to the New York Rangers in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final.
From the Burrard Street Bridge, overlooking False Creek and facing west. Downtown Vancouver, site of CLA 2008, is to the right. The line of trees at the far end of downtown belongs to Stanley Park.
A view of the other bridge that crosses False Creek– the Granville Street Bridge. The little red-roofed aquabus ferries passengers across False Creek from downtown Vancouver to the Granville Island Market.
Vancouver Public Library, located in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
The Vancouver Public Library is surrounded with windows and topped with a green roof. The library was designed by Moshe Safdie and it opened on May 26, 1995.
Inside the Vancouver Public Library. A bridge connects the commercial promenade with the library.
Vancouver Museum. Formerly housed in the old Carnegie Library, the Vancouver Museum is Canada’s oldest, and now largest civic museum. The space age appearance also reflects the past. The saucer shape of the building is a nod to the cedar-bark hats of the Northwest Coast natives and the metallic crab in the fountain recalls the animal of legend that guards the port entrance.