"The World is but a Canvas to the Imagination"
~Henry David Thoreau~

April's Tender Nest....
Where the Creative Spirit is nurtured and cared for.

April Martin-Ko
Creativity Consultant, Holistic Life Coach and Educator.

Tea Time at April's Tender Nest

Tea Time at April's Tender Nest
Tea Time at April's Tender Nest

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

what's so special about eastvan?

last week my friend and poet, sachiko murakami launched her new book of poetry with talon books, rebuild. the launch was in toronto where sachi is living now, but the book, i believe to be.... very vancouver. http://talonbooks.com/news/sachiko-murakami-s-launch-of-rebuild.  last year sachi asked some of her poet friends (myself included) to translate a poem she wrote on vancouver specials, as part of a project associated with her forthcoming book. if you are from vancouver you know exactly what a vancouver special is, but for all those transplants and other folks out there, a vancouver special is a type of house that was built in mass numbers from approximately 1965-1985. they were and are seen by some as ugly, but those in vancity have now embraced this house and tried to funkify or even upscale it.  i believe they are loved by many in my generation right now, like much of the 'retro'  80's style.  here are some cool links to check out the vancouver special,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_Special  http://www.vancouverspecial.com/ .  there is even a cool design store on main st. in vancouver with the namesake "vancouver special" http://www.vanspecial.com/.  my partner, who is an architect and builder really enjoys this "vancouver special" store; his opinion on the actual vancouver specials.... he believes when they were built they utilized space efficiently and thinks they probably have 'good bones', but aesthetically speaking, they don't appeal to his design sense; however, he thinks it would be a lot of fun to renovate one.
A recently renovated vancouver special in my hood

in regards to my poetry translation of sachi's vancouver special, somehow mine became very 'east vancouver'.  check-out my poem and translations of it on the project re-build website  http://www.projectrebuild.ca/ , you click on the little vancouver special house and a poet's name will pop-up and then you can read the poem. you are also able to renovate or translate these translations on the website . it is true there are more vancouver specials in east van, but other east van elements  popped up in my poem, and i guess because... this is my neighbourhood and where i feel truly most at home in this city. i have and may in the future, live in other vancouver neighbourhoods, but eastvan feels like it fits me most, my artsy, subversive, inclusive, community feelin' ways.  on that note, i thought i would add another poem to the mix about eastvan, it may come across as sentimental, but that's me i guess...what can i say, i love my hood.

east vancouver special
bike polo parties
caution crochet
moose walking underneath window ledges
wood shavings left on the sidewalk
#20 transit therapy
dyke marches, bike marches and
midnight marching bands
saxophone serenades 
accordions at the liquor store and
guitar parks
children carried close
to the heart
walking down streets 
wearing p.j's in the middle 
of the day 
jesus and his disciples' fashion shows
walking to 
the beat of many drums
a black dog, a rio and a
very wise hall
pink volkswagon vans 
the 'east' van
chili trucks
crazy cats
coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee
a lake right in the middle
plums falling in backyards
earth school
raised vegetable beds and
community plots and corners and 
every available space to
the light 
on the hill 
at the corner of 
clark and east 6th ave
i've heard they even scrawl this 
on burning man bathroom walls
pink houses
yellow houses
and vancouver specials
with lion statues out front

april martin-september 2011

recent yarnbomb at the bike polo court: knitting contribution, karen martin, photo by holly hames
caution crochet by chacha

my friend celeste's bird yarnbomb; she was here from mexico for the summer she left her mark in the lovely park

1 comment:

  1. What's so special about East Van? My sister lives there with all her vibrant creativity and a heart of pure gold.