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).