The housing stock in the Dunbar area of Vancouver has undergone significant change in the past five years. Originally a working class neighbourhood with many quite modest homes surrounded by lovely gardens, it is now a neighbourhood that 99% of the people working in Vancouver cannot afford because the replacement homes are built to the maximum footprint and cost millions. Greenspace has been reduced. Included on this website are photos of many (not all) of the disappeared houses.
View Teardowns in the Dunbar area of Vancouver, BC in a larger map

Demolitions West of the Dunbar Community Centre

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Our first few days in Saint Maurice and Paris


Our initial six days have been both uneventful and a bit frustrating.  Wifi here seems to come and go at will.  Today (May 30th) is the first time I have been able to get on wifi on the laptop since Sunday morning.  Goodness knows the Bloughs have tried everything they can think of, and poor Orange has received numerous phone calls and delivered a new modem.  Fortunately, we found out that Janice can access the library catalogue by using my iPad.  Unfortunately, every time she needs to add an accent to a letter, she must remove the keyboard and use the virtual keyboard on the iPad.  She could use a French keyboard, but there are so many letters in different positions that touch typing would be impossible.

Our initial days were spent in Saint Maurice, going to the market Friday morning.  We needed the walk, since the plane landed at 9:20 and we arrived at the Centre about 45 minutes later.  It was so good seeing the Bloughs again, after a year, and as they say, we look at home here.  This is our 10 spring visit, so it does indeed feel familiar.

So familiar that I did not bother to take any photos until one or two occurred to me on Sunday.  I heave kept up on the processing, which is easy enough if few photos are taken and if there is no wifi for blogging!

I'll add a few simple photos and see if the blog entry can indeed be posted.  I continue to be intrigued by the former carriage entries into buildings.  The streets in Paris are fairly far apart, which means that houses both face the street and have ample room for a courtyard, stables, etc.  Now that horses are no longer in vogue, cars take up some of the space, but I find that quite a few buildings do not allow cars unless there is underground parking, and that is expensive.  This is true where my friend Michel lives.

I am also intrigued by what people wear.  This lady is walking in Charenton on market day, returning toward Saint Maurice.  She is quite the personality, with tattoos on her right arm, and a wonderful glove visible on her left.  There seem to be some gypsy elements in her costume, which is nicely colour coordinated.

Last evening (Tuesday), Jesse and Rapti (dear friends from Vancouver) invited us to dinner at La Brasserie Flo a wonderful Alsatian restaurant several blocks from their AirB&B in the 10th arrondissement.  With a bit of walking, we were able to get there by using 'our' métro line.  After going through a lovely bottle of Vieux Chateau Palon, Saint-Emilion 2014, we walked to the Flo.  As each plate declared, Floderer was established in 1918, so it is now 100 years old (established one year before Dad was born).  We approached it through a somewhat unpromising narrow alley, where several fellows were sitting/snoozing.

As we got closer, the alley picked up a bit more class, a few tables were being set out for the evening, and the graffiti provided a bit of Parisian colour.

The restaurant is old-style, with old wood paneling (which I now wish I had photographed up close), white table cloths (always a sign that food will cost more), a long brass bar going across the windows, providing a place where gentlemen can rest their hats (those were the days), and great brass hooks for coats and jackets.

We were the first to arrive (which essentially almost screams "We're tourists!"), but the table was ours for the next three hours.  While staff continued getting ready for the evening, Jesse and I decided to take a photo of the impressive Italian music box from 1901.  Staff claimed that it works beautifully, but without demonstrating.  Since everybody was rushing around, we just looked and imagined.

It is wound up by hand crank, and several gadgets apparently let one select one of ten songs of the time.

The photo of the "Programme des Airs" is nearly impossible to read, but it gives a sense of being respectably old.  Our son, Aaron, inherited his Great-great grandpa Stover's music box, something that intrigued me when I was in grade school, lived next door to my Grandpa Kreiders in Wadsworth, and could occasionally play it.

Our meal was not photographed, but included three courses from a set menu.  I had foie gras (why not), pork shank with lots of skin/fat, and an opéra (chocolate layered cake).  Back to the pork shank.  Although the waiter did not know any German (no German in an Alsatian restaurant?), Jesse and I were quite sure this would be like Schein Haxe, and it was identical.  Served on a bed of wonderful choucroute (sauerkraut) done with a touch of curry, I was in heaven itself.  I initially wished that there was more, because once you set the bones aside and the skin, there's not much left.  Then I noticed that Jesse had eaten every single morsel of the crisp skin, so I tried just a bit.  Well, the heavenly choirs were now alive with their "Gaudetes" ('rejoice').  Janice tried a bit and her eyes opened wide.  She liked her salmon, but every single restaurant in Greater Vancouver offers salmon, even some pubs, so why bother with it in Paris?

So I'll close with a photo of Rapti and Jesse, and an unknown (local?) gentleman who I enjoyed watching from the corner of my eye as he sat at a table in the next room.  The restaurant was packed by the time we left (10 p.m.)  I have no idea how people can stay up that late, tucking into heavy food, get sleep and show up for work the next morning.  This was a Tuesday evening, for goodness sake.

Janice has checked/approved the some 30 books Yves worked on this spring, so I gave them cards and labels.  Now she is into cataloguing herself.  The proofing helps her get back into the French way of cataloguing, something she can do even when slightly groggy.

All for now,