Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Habitat

CD's in Play: David Bowie, The Man Who Sold the World.

Man, finding a place to live in this town is a chore. Overpriced is an understatement. Living in Vancouver makes sense. I don't have a car, I could easily get a transfer to a site there, it's where I go to hang out when I have the opportunity, food is actually cheaper and I would only have to get a 1 Zone pass for transit. Still, rent is out of control so my options have been limited. There are certain areas I refuse to consider living in, such as Strathcona, (too close to the Downtown East Side, Hastings and Main) because they are either too inconvenient for transit or just kind of dicey.
Then there are the people whom I have contacted. In every email I state my name, sex and occupation, yet I have been met be surprise or uneasiness at almost every turn. Note to women looking for house/roommates - if you aren't looking for a guy then bloody well state so in the add. I figured I had a real shot at one place in the Mount Pleasant area. A husband and wife had a space for rent $350, furnished and all inclusive except for the phone. I show up and it gets cold very quickly. I showered, I shaved and put on clean clothes, smiled... what more can a guy do?
Anyhow, Vancouver and the surrounding area has to get serious soon about tackling the issue of affordable housing. Yeah, it's a city surrounded by beauty - but beauty ain't the only factor in livability. With affordable housing we could get people off the streets and in doors. That would probably go a long way to cleaning up the city in terms of the growing litter problem. And people who work in this city, help it function, run efficiently, drive its economy deserve a place tnear where they work that is affordable and livable.
One place I could have a shot is little better than prison. It is a small, small room with no storage capacity. The living room is tiny and also occupied. No room to move around in and tightly packed in and confined is not my idea of livability. Some people would say that I have no options - people like me have to make the best of things and suck it up. True enough given the situation, but that does not mean that things have to remain this way and I firmly believe the can't. Something must be done.
So now I have to consider my options. Gavin and Maria don't seem opposed to letting me stay here for the time being as they pack up to move in August. My company doesn't have sites across Canada so I only have a few options outside of the GVRD. I may look at my hometown of Port Coquitlam or I may try for North Burnaby. Given that I want to be up North working at a remote site by the end of Septembre all this hardly seems worth it.
Photos taken from Wikipedia entry on Vancouver. Photos byThom Quine and Vera. Despite the rather beautiful quality of these photos, Vancouver has always had its highly underpublished ugly side which is becoming larger and uglier. See Wikipedia's entry for the Downtown Eastside.

5 Comments:

Blogger Thoth Harris said...

It was expensive, even in 1993. Quite ridiculous, trying to find a reasonably priced place (and when you found the latter, it wasn't always that nice, even if it wasn't a basement suite). Basement suites are horrible.

What's up with all that. With the housing that's been going on, and the rocketing skyline, why is there still no housing. You would think that all the drug addicts, etc. would lower the real estate value, not the opposite.


Montreal is getting bad, too. Magnus, you'd be surprised, if you went back. Not quite as bad as Vancouver, but get up there PDQ.


oahyabts

21 June, 2006 07:58  
Blogger Magnus said...

Spencer was telling me that the Plateau was totally unreasonable now, unless you already had a place. Also heard NDG was getting out of control.

21 June, 2006 09:50  
Blogger Geosomin said...

I remember the lower east side. WHen we were in Vancouver last we took a wrong turn and ended up there after being in Gastown...it blew my mind that that kind of decay could exist quite literally next to posh and trendy places. Plus I have never actually felt unsafe in a city before that. I still wonder how can such utter opposites can exist so closely together? To me that's the scary thing about abig city...that that much drug abuse and decay can just exist and noone does anything about it.
Saskatoon is bad enough and has some horrible areas, but they are nothing in comparison.

22 June, 2006 08:54  
Blogger Magnus said...

Poorest region in Canada. It isn't technically a ghetto, but it sure is a slum. When Michael Moore did his commentary on Canada vs. US for Farenheit 911, I am very sure he knew about the DTES.
The Burnaby/Metrotown area and the Whalley area of Surrey are really bad too. Be "interesting" to see how they try to sweep away all that poverty before 2010.

22 June, 2006 14:36  
Blogger RC said...

interesting note, as you listen to david bowie, did you know that david bowie was going to be in christopher nolan's next movie the prestige? I posted about it today, but i had no idea until i began looking into it.

Ah, the ever searching challenge of a place to live...as cheap as liveable.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

23 June, 2006 18:10  

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