I’m a sucker for old houses. Really anything old – even cigar boxes, or vintage Valentine’s I find on eBay. I want to save all the houses. Even the ones where the windows are missing and sill is rotting. Even the ones where the roof is caving in. I drove my real estate agent crazy because I could always see potential.
There’s a house near me that breaks my heart. It’s a little 1920s two-storey bungalow, white with black trim and a sweet little gabled upstairs window. The yard is overgrown. The gate and fence, probably original to the home, are tumbling down. Evergreen trees that would have been babies when the house was born now tower over it, leaving the south side in complete shade. Yet you know it wasn’t always shaded because there’s this hopeful little trellis there, which I imagine was covered in roses or something equally lovely 80 years ago. In back lane, if you peer through the dusty windows, you can see delicate yellowed lace curtains. I don’t know if anyone lives there – perhaps the owner died in her sleep years ago and no one has yet noticed.
A similar narrow little home sits a few block away, on a large double lot. An oil tank still sits in the backyard, and it appears it’s still being used as a heat source. A small path from the kitchen side of the house leads to a quaint little vegetable garden. The windows are old and rattling and the owner, who I do see from time to time, has put plastic wrap over them. The porch has not been painted in at least 20 years or more. The house is ramshackle. The large lot is worth over a million.
I stumbled across this Flickr set recently with pictures of a Vancouver that is disappearing. My Vancouver. Houses in my neighbourhood are being torn down weekly – as you can see from the phone snap I captured below. That was a few days ago, and the lot has already been dug out in preparation for a new place. You can’t see it in my shot, but it killed me that upstairs there was a lovely moulded panel door being clawed at by the CAT.
The same photographer from the Flickr set took the shots below. I remember this teal house. I think it was even for sale at one point when J and I were house-hunting. Gone now, apparently.
I love this motel, which is in an area undergoing rapid development. It’s so weird and wonderful.
For decades this coffee shop catered to a light-industrial part of the City. Around the time of the Olympics, the neighbourhood changed to become home to Whole Foods and Home Depot. There are still car dealerships and some light industry there, but this is gone.