Friday, August 23, 2013

Public Chess Battles? Goto Van Art Gallery

Ricoh GR-D IV. 1/1000 sec F/2.5 @ ISO 160

It rains a lot in Vancouver. You sort of get use to it, especially when you spend time outdoors. I rode my bike to work for 6 years, and during high-school I had an early morning paper route. Rain or shine, you do what you have to do. Whenever anyone complained about the rain, I would always say: If you stopped doing what you were planning to do just because its raining, you wouldn't get anything done in Vancouver!

My hardcore opinion has changed recently as I spend more time downtown while testing camera equipment (upcoming review of Leica M Monochrom and Fuji X-Pro 1 with 14mm F2.8).  I see street artists painting masterpieces on busy sidewalks, public pianos throughout the city for anyone to play with, and street musicians on every other corner. More of a participatory activity, public chess boards left out for anyone to play is a great idea to encourage people to interact with others in a stimulating public forum. Where can you find these outdoor gamers playing on a concrete platform? 

Ricoh GR-D IV. 1/1150 sec F/2.5 @ ISO 160.

Go to the front side of the Vancouver Art Gallery along Georgia St. at the corner of Hornby St. There you will witness Grand Masters in the making, or just a group of friends hanging out and enjoying a quick game before grabbing a quick meal at Japadog or Tacofino.

So I've changed my mind about Vancouver rain. Maybe it's not a matter of just toughing it out like a man. Perhaps if it only rained at night, and during the day we only have clear skies? How about a 100% accurate almanac? Rain on Monday and Thursday only during the winter, and every other week during the summer? How about something more practical, like large covered outdoor public spaces for people to gather, even during the winter and rainy days? 

Ricoh GR-D IV. 1/1150 sec F/2.5 @ ISO 160.

Moreover, if it rained all year round, how many of these activities would be possible? Sure you can move these events indoors, but it's not as inviting. Would you be as tempted to go indoors to enjoy a hot dog, go for a walk, or play chess on the ground with a complete stranger? Ask restaurants with outdoor patios what happens to their business when it starts to rain...

So I'm enjoying watching others enjoying the outdoors while the rain refuses to fall for the next few weeks. If you haven't done so already, get out there and participate in as many outdoor activities as possible. You'll regret it when the sun starts to set at 5pm and it rains for a month straight... 

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