Sunday, 27 October 2013

Adventures in Past Life Regression

Come with me, quoth the raven, on a journey to past lives ... mostly Heather's, with a few other stops along the way ...

Ready, reader? Ready, Freddie?

Deep, deep into the past ... let's go!

Our journey starts here, at this unassuming little building at West 15th and Birch. Heather never lived here, but a young nurse named Mary did. When Heather was packed off to Shaughnessy Hospital (now BC Women's) with a new diagnosis of the dastardly "D," Mary was her nurse. She was only a few years older, and the two of them hit it off — surprising, considering how impossibly perky Mary was and how gloomy and sorry for herself Heather was feeling. To cheer her up and show her she could still have a life, Mary invited Heather over to her nearby apartment to hang out ... listen to music, eat normal food. We don't know where Mary is now, but we send her our best and hope she's still got perkiness to spare!

Next up is the first of several apartments Heather has occupied in the South Granville neighbourhood. The affiliation to this area has been more by chance than design. Still, it's a good 'hood, with lots of charms. This building at 16th and Granville, Hycroft Towers, is a landmark. Ugly as heck on the outside, says Heather, but beautiful suites — not unlike the one she and Paul occupy now. ;-) Friends of her parents owned a one-bedroom unit, which they rented to Heather for a criminally low price during her first year of teaching.

We're zigzagging a little here, but I'm a crow, and this is the Internet, so we can do that. At first glance, this monolith below might look like a tree, but, if you study it more closely, you'll see that it is actually one of the Easter Island statues — banished from the island because of its unconventional nose and shipped to Canada many, many years ago in exchange for several gallons of maple syrup and some beer. Their loss.

Returning to the Hycroft ... right across the street, actually, West 15th and Granville, we find ourselves at this recently restored, condo-ized, green-roofed edifice. Way back when, the building was crumbling, but the sprawling two-bedroom rental unit that Heather occupied had a claw-foot tub, black & white subway tiles, and various other groovy features. Julia lived there first, and Heather moved in. Together they managed to cement the kitchen drain with pot-sticker dough. Then Julia moved out and Leah moved in. But Leah found herself a hunky boyfriend and moved out, too. Keith the drummer moved in, and Heather got to experience a hip musician's lifestyle for a year before she, in turn, went travelling, found a hunky boyfriend, and flew the coop.

Heather had no idea at the time, but she was living in a heritage site! They don't mention below that Frank's Barber Shop once shared the building. "Look good, feel better!" said the sign that used to be where this one now hangs.

No, Freddie, Heather doesn't live here anymore.

Ah! Another historical curiosity! What looks like a shrub here is in fact a donated afro wig from a 1969 Stanley Theatre production of Hair (the greatest musical ever written, by the way, but don't bother with the movie version ... yuck). The costume director of this production decided to go all psychedelic (of course!), and the reviews were glowing. In case you haven't heard it in a while, or ever, here is the title song. The lyrics reveal why this wig was just perfect.

And now we come to the last of Heather's pre-Pine Street, pre-Paul abodes — the Winston, at West 11th and Hemlock, where she and Rik (the hunky dude mentioned above) lived for about a year and planned their round-the-world extravaganza. They lived in the bottom left unit, facing the front. Lots of great memories here — except for the time Heather's blood sugar crashed in the dead of night and Rik somehow woke up in time to ring 911. Eternal gratitude to him for saving her carcass!

Heather has never lived in this building and doesn't know anyone who does. But it looks like a nice place, so consider it a bonus stop on your tour of South Granville and Heather's past lives.

And now, quoth the raven, I must return to my seasonal duties, among the jack-o'-lanterns and the falling leaves. We hope you're all making splendid memories this weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Loved the virtual walkabout, and I recognize all of those buildings. The closest I lived was 13th and Spruce, but I worked at Broadway and Fir, and spent a lot of time wandering those very same streets.


What say you?