Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vancouver 125 years old, brings back memories, captured in photos of old and new paintings today

The Vancouver Sun, H section, Saturday, April 16, 2011

One of the icons of Vancouver restaurant history, the Aristocratic stands open for business at the corner of Granville and Broadway (south west corner) on September 25, 1951.  The eatery, now only a memory, was among several Aristocratics around the city.
Art Jones Photo, from the Vancouver Public Library special collections No. 81669
I remember this intersection well, my family's home was two and half blocks away.  One thing that is not mentioned in the Vancouver Sun on page H1, is that on the North East corner of Broadway and Granville there was another Aristocratic, a drive-in, somewhat like the WhiteSpot.   Too bad we didn't have a Google Streetview back then.

At Fir (one block west of Granville) and Broadway was a baseball stadium (North East corner all the way to Eighth Avenue)(Vancouver Center Park).  This was the predecessor to Little Mountain's Nat Bailey Stadium.  Rumour has it that Nat Bailey sold his first hot dog at the stadium at Broadway and Fir.

Four doors to the south of the Aristocratic, shown in this morning's newspaper, was the Ingledew shoe store which had the latest technology to make sure that the shoe was the right fit for their customers, young and old.

From the photo below you can see that the X-Ray machine was a well thought out design, where the customer would be encouraged to lean against it so that he could see his own feet inside his yet to be purchased high-priced leather shoes.  The saleman, lucky fellow, had the golden opportunity to see the same results, day in, day out, without lifting a fingers to test the distance of the customer's toe to the shoe's toe.

For some strange reason, the X-Ray machine was removed, should have been outlawed.  Don't know whether it was the WAC Bennett Provincial government, the City of Vancouver Health Inspectors, or the shoe Industry at large that finally woke up to the fact of the harmful effects of X-Ray while seeing the results in REAL-TIME (fluoroscopy).

The radiation hazards associated with shoe fitting x-ray units were recognized as early as 1950. The machines were often out of adjustment and were constructed so radiation leaked into the surrounding area.


The Vancouver Public Library has all sorts of photographs of our most livable city in the world, but here's another source, a local artist, Tom Carter.

Tom continues to capture new ideas from the photographs that he has collected over many years, by bringing them back to life in his paintings, especially under the weather conditions that we all so adore here.   Rainy, Saturday night where Theatre Row  is lit up with neon lights. 

The center painting below is the same Aristocratic's, at Broadway and Granville (South West corner), not sure if the photo to the left is inside the Aristocratic, but it looks just about right.
 Make sure your speakers are on.  Tom has captured not only the colour of Vancouver at night, but the sound as well.

"I love the urban environment - a fascinating cross section
of society where people in very different situations must
interact. Cities may also be where loneliness is felt more
My art explores themes of isolation versus inclusion – how
we fit into the world and society. I tend to set my subjects
in other eras which, besides satisfying my historical interest,
reveals elements that are timeless – truths do not change.
Although there might be cold and turbulence in my work,
all of my settings have a sanctuary, a place of warmth and
respite. We, as the viewer, have the option of going inside
but we choose not to; we stand outside observing."

- Tom Carter
Tom's painting are hanging at the Baron Gallery in Gastown:
Intersections - paintings by Tom Carter

Wednesday to Saturday                          Noon till Six pm

Who else can remember this, the construction of the Granville Bridge?   One of the finishing touches was that the city of Vancouver had a merry-go-round, and a ferris wheel too, for the opening ceremonies, in the area where the south bound bridge traffic would exit onto Fir Street and Fourth Avenue.

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