This blog reflects the nature of the street, and just like the street has many facets of history, evolution and devolution. For the past little while it has been as abandoned as the old Ranier Hotel on Carrall and Cordova. As soon as the last reincarnation of the Brickyard closed – that’s not exactly fair, it was a Whiskey bar (I now hear the Doors doing their version of Kurt Weill, singing Oh show me the way to the next whiskey bar…..) – as soon as it closed, the whole building was vacated completely. Graffiti came in a wide swath, and there were some folks camped out on the sidewalk. Lately I’ve heard a power machine making sounds and a radio playing inside. I saw a face in one of the abandoned hotel windows – something may be stirring.
And in reflection, I’m back, chronicling the street again. Here are 5 reasons why I’m back:
1. The new little Moroccan café at Maple Tree square is a ray of hope: mint tea!
2. A restaurant is open now in the Boulder Hotel building on the corner of Carrall and Cordova: Upscale and solid, Boneta just might make it past the curse that took down the One restaurant, and don’t even mention the Video Monster.
3. The first block of greenway paving and street work is finally done! It may have seemed to take months, and look like a flat je ne sais quoi, but it’s the start of the transformation of the street. I see the promise of the square spaces where the trees will be planted. Can’t wait for more traffic detours!
4. The Tour de Gastown is coming up this week: speaking of traffic detours. But it’s always exciting – they put out the hay bales, and then those guys speed around the corner of Carrall and Cordova at unbelievable angles, watched by the clusters of people.
5. It’s summer and the street looks great in the sunlight.
So there seems to be turnover and commitment to Carrall Street, and after a longish hiatus, I’m back with the Carrall Street Journal. Day after day it can seem like nothing is happening or nothing is changing. But when I look more closely, I can see that there have been many incremental shifts, changes worth documenting here in the journal, maybe while sipping some of that Moroccan mint tea.