Stanley Park is the crown jewel of my sorta homecity of Vancouver, not just because its a huge urban park almost surrounded by water and jutting majestically into a working harbour and host all manner of artifacts from Japanese cenotaph, empty zoo grottos, running ovals, cricket lawns, pitch and putt golf course, totem poles and more more more… but because its *real history* is hardly know to most folks: First Nations for centuries, lepers, undesirables, loggers, “homeless”, fiends, hidden communities, lost artifacts and monuments (plus the stories behind the known ones), the construction of the seawall.
Anyhow, this “Scene O Graph” photobook (found at Monastiraki shop in Montréal) captures a genteel and classic incarnation of the park. This is one version of the park, everyone has another.
My memories include petting zoo and totem pole forays at childhood birthday parties, sad Polar bears in grottos, “breaking into” the zoo late night in teenage escapades to tease monkeys, writing a story about walruses which didn’t exist, Remembrance day at Japanese cenotaph, illicit activities on most of the beaches, mediocre golfing, Vancouver 125th anniversary party with the mayor on tuba and Dan Mangan singing Robots, the windstorm which blew down so much and caused a tizzy in the city, more illicit activities in the woods, nonsense about “saving” a hollow tree, always finding a new trail, always getting lost when needed, concerts in Malkin Bowl, smelling roses, longboarding the seawall, riding seawall on a bicycle rented with someone’s lost credit card on a hungover New Year’s day… picnics, parties, treasure hunting.
This book’s cover has a place for a stamp though i am unlikely to mail this (except to Jason Vanderhill but still i’d pack it in another envelope first).
At the exhibit “Hergé et Moi” i attended (on opening day iirc) in Québec City, QC, i documented various accoutrements and artifacts and then, whilst exiting through the gift shop, acquired a few notebooks and a wonderful book called “Tintin et le Québec” with photographs of ephemeral pieces including advertisements, puppet shows, test proofs, letters, sketches and so on. Many of the items included were somehow related to the Montréal world expo (not really the ones shared here) and related events.
I am especially fond of the letterheads, telegrams, commuiques and other stationery type items.
Respectfully sharing a few lousy snapshots of a variety of pages here for personal memory and amusement as well as scholarly research since the book is hard to find (and my copy is in a distant place from my physical location) and to give a sense of the variety within this lovely tome.
I make scrapbooks and journals for all sorts of reasons, sometimes for my own creations and writing, sometimes for specific project and in this case, for inspiration or dareisay therapy.
Background: I was having hard go of it in life or whatever and moved into a very small room at a boarding-house-type place. While basic, i quite loved having a place which kept me safe and allowed me rest. Reminded me a sign i saw in Vancouver for the “Wonder Hotel – Rooms for Rent – Clean, Quiet, Free Cable, Fridge, Secure” – all the attributes this Ankangan Guesthouse possessed.
What follow is Volume Five of several in an on-going series – this one featuring currencies no longer in circulation for one reason or another including the fascinating Japanese Peso issued in The Philippines, as well as artifacts from Colombia, Nigeria, Brasil, Laos, Bulgaria and possibly other locales.
Spiel: Once upon a time… humans moved away from bartering things and services on an ad hoc basis and came up with a default transaction medium which became known as money. First coins (well, maybe something before, likely made of clay) denominated by an arbitrary, yet commonly agreed-upon, value – often made of metals which were deemed to be rare/shiny/valuable.
Then after (perhaps admitting the arcane value of metals and needing something handier to tote around) eventually created paper bank notes – first with value attached to aforementioned shiny metals, then again arbitrarily assigned a transactional value by central banks and governments.
To me, this is neither here nor there, i really don’t have an opinion about the “importance” of money. Indeed, if you value such “wealth” so much, go forth and acquire in exchange for your time, talents or conniving – or simply create your own currency, print it and rally folks to desire it as a means of exchange. This is commonly done in form of community notes, “virtual” currencies (often managed by Blockchain tech), or even various commercial operations making notes, coupons or points systems.
My point in sharing this is: Very often, these banknotes – both contemporary or deprecated – are lovely specimens of design art and printing technology (granted the reason is usually to thwart counterfeit versions polluting the general population’s trust in the monetary system). Note: Collecting and studying banknotes is called notaphily.
Note: the 200 (old) Bulgarian Leva shows the portrait of Georgii Dimitrov On the back side of the 200 BGL bill is a scene of farm workers harvesting tobacco.
I very much enjoy the loveliness of printing “things on substrates” – the values to me are non-important (aside when i need to purchase eggs and bacon) but rather the artistic-ness and the totems decided by a society to represent their culture/country (often historical figures of various repute, significant events, important buildings or cultural motifs) are a source of endless curiosity.
Additionally, the stories the bills imbue, often soaked quite literally into the fibres, as well as the journey the note took to your hand or pocket and/or the travel one undertook to acquire… are what sparks my interest. As such, i gather these notes, photograph for the historical record and my own amusement and, evidently, to share with you. Continue reading Collection: Currency (expired, variety), vol. 5 (includes Bulgaria!)→