A Tale of Two Cities

Alan Barnard’s Tour Easy in Sacramento, CA

David Cambon’s Tour Easy in Vancouver, B.C.

From David:

Alan, I was so mesmerized by the photos of your pristine former Tour Easy parked by your house in California that I took a nearly identical photo of my Tour Easy parked by my house in Vancouver. I even have the same tire as you did! The photos are a portrait of two cities. —David

2 Responses to “A Tale of Two Cities”

  • Perry says:

    Interesting photo, David. I suppose it is especially interesting to me as we are expecting a major snow storm in CT today and tomorrow. For the first winter in a very long time, I decided to park my bike and take the whole winter off (due to especially bad weather and other factors). I hope to be out there riding again soon.

  • David Cambon says:

    Yes that is a hypodermic needle in the photo. Needles are a common hazard in Vancouver. Thanks to real estate speculators, housing in Vancouver is very expensive but incomes for regular people who work in Vancouver are very low. It’s possible to have a full-time job in Vancouver and still be homeless. I think the bad housing situation and the wild disparity of income helps drive people to drugs. How bad is it? The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing was recently in Vancouver because homeless people in Vancouver requested UN aid for the city. Canada is a wealthy country but the wealth is not evenly distributed.

    The parts of Vancouver where rich people have fabulous homes (many empty because they are owned by non-resident speculators) are very pretty. Most of the city, however, is not a pretty sight. Part of Vancouver (about one-third of downtown) is so poverty-stricken that it is the frequent location of documentary filmmakers. For instance, Dan Rather recently did a show on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. He described it as:

    “… the single poorest neighborhood in Canada and one of the roughest areas in all of North America. In this section of the city, one in three residents is HIV positive. The rate of hepatitis C is 70 percent – putting Vancouver on a par with Botswana when it comes to infection rates.”

    That is the same neighborhood where a condominium apartment can sell for $1000 sq/ft. The number of homeless people in Vancouver is growing and the Olympics are coming so police are cracking down on the homeless to make the city look better. People who live on the street are having their meager possessions confiscated by police.

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