After the Colbert thing, we went to a zillion things. Lots of pictures under the cut
So I had taken the day off work to stand in the mud for four hours and watch Colbert. Here is a shot of the crowd dissipating. It was a beautiful day! The plan for the rest of the day was to wander around and get into some of the pavillions while the crowd was a bit thinner. Well, it actually wasn't that much thinner at all!
We did get over to Livecity Yaletown. Inside is a big stage, big screen TVs with sports, and a bunch of sponsor tents. The Panasonic hut was kind of cool, they had 3d TVs you could watch and an interactive game. But most importantly they had a GIANT Quatchi and Muk Muk for me to hug.
The Samsung hut was a complete TRAP, they made us wait in queue and nobody knew what was inside, and in the end they just showed us a commercial and then let us into a room with games. You had to win some games to enter a contest... but there were MORE queues for every game!! F that... but outside they had a dog sled...
... with real dogs! Puppiessssss
The only cool part about livecity yaletown, other than musical acts that weren't there, was this demonstration "Laneway house". Vancouver has permitted people to build second houses on their tiny properties, and companies have sprung up to fill this requirement. This was a model energy efficient home, it was pretty nice inside! I forgot to take pictures...
Russia took over Science World (Russky Dom!)
They had a big scale model of Sochi and some CG mockups of what they were planning. Guys, everyone is bitching about how much money we spent on the Olympics. Holy hell, they have to build EVERYTHING. Every single stadium, a new downtown plaza, hotels, an AIRPORT, a train through a MOUNTAIN!! And NO ONE LIVES THERE! Afterwards it has to either stay empty or be dismantled and moved somewhere else!! Completely nuts. But the pavilion was one of the coolest ones, regardless.
They had these clowns with thick Russian accents for the children, and little bars and exhibits of Russia's achievements in sport. At 6pm the whole place closes down to Russian citizens (and invited guests) only, and it definitely looked like it catered to that function. Very classy though.
They had all the Sochi merch there, and the new mascots... Even cardboard cutout lady is frightened and confused by the Sochi Mascot...
I wanted some Russia swag, but it was so expensive!! :(
Torches! Our torch and the Beijing torch
In the dome they were playing Russian movies! I was kind of delirious from waking up so early and standing so long, so the movie didn't make much sense.
We also waited in queue to get inside Saskatchewan house, Quebec house, Ontario house... they are ALL just beer tents. Seriously. Not saying that they weren't welcome or anything, and we watched the first US v. Can game in Ontario house, which was rad, but... not really worth lining up just to get inside.
"Oh but what about the big dome thing??"
THIS IS WHAT YOU WERE ALL MISSING IN THE SASKATCHE-DOME. Just a little trade show! Tourism/immigration. Take your photo with a fake fish. Learn about all the benefits of cooking Lentils! (I actually was pretty stoked to get some new Lentil recipes but I can see how most wouldn't be) Hahaha
With the good weather the crowds kept building and building. You could NOT ignore the Olympics if you lived or worked in the downtown core during the weekend.
Friday Night was kind of scary on Granville, there were looots of belligerent 20 year old jerks who flooded in from Surrey. Just there to cause trouble. The streets were STICKY. It's at this point that the cops did their crackdown, flooded the streets with officers, closed the liquor stores at 7 and ticketed everyone they found drinking openly outside. I'm glad they did, it made a huuuuuge difference.
This was Saturday on the street.
Everyone was in a good mood, lots of families. Impromptu Street hockey!
Very crowded, but not a "logistical nightmare". If you wanted food, you could easily duck in somewhere, or two streets off the main drage, and pick it up. This is the cafe right opposite a huge line for Northern House.
Only fast food places and "trendy" places like Timmy Ho's and Japadog were crowded. I don't think the restaurants were HURTING by any means, I'm just saying that it wasn't impossible to live your life.
Crowd Lifeguards! Hahaha so hilarious. "IF YOU'RE HEADING TO THE CAULDRON, KEEP GOING TWO BLOCKS. IF YOU'RE GOING TO THE STADIUM, YOU'RE GOING TO WRONG WAY! TURN AROUND" At one point they were stopped at a light so the Crowd Lifeguard led everyone in a "Go Canada Go" cheer :)
Trevor was on a phone call and I said "if I have to stand here while you make a phone call can we at least wait in QUEUE for something?" So we did, we found a random queue inside the Pan Pacific. We didn't even know what it was for, but it was for this "Aboriginal Fashion Show".
This woman creating these amazing woven things made from peeled tree bark
My favourite fish and those silly rings out in the harbour
Pin Traders are crazy! These guys travel from one Olympics to another to trade pins and find "rare" ones! They were everywhere! And so were pins, there were probably 9000 new pins made for the Olympics! What a scam.
This is as close as we were willing to get to the Cauldron on Saturday. It's on the OTHER SIDE of that massive building on the right (the convention centre). People on the news said they waited ALL DAY to see the frickin' thing.
We waited 40 minutes to get inside Northern Canada House.
Trevor building an Inukshuk.
It's a wolf, yo.
At this point we hopped on a bus to Granville Island because it was pretty clear that there was a queue for EVERYTHING downtown. The buses were really quick once they got out of downtown. All the locals needed serious coaxing just to get on the TRAIN, NO ONE but the true downtowners were brave enough for the bus ;)
Some of the RIDICULOUS crowds as seen from the bus
But just 2 or 3 blocks away, not crowded at all! The clusterfuck was seriously just limited to a few key areas around town.
Granville island was a breeze to get to, but as soon as we were there we realized that we'd made a mistake. There was a massive queue for the bus we came in on, huuuuge queue for the tram, and giant queue for the Aquabus. NO WAY OUT!
Granville Island cAN be this crowded... on a Sunny Summer Saturday. Very atypical for the winter. Or "Winter"
Me and a Swiss Goat outside the "Switzerland Pavilion"!
Which was seriously just Bridges restaurant with some extra Fondue recipes and white crosses stuck everywhere. And there was a maaaaaaaaaasive queue out the door of the restaurant. Pffffffffff
Instead, we went to the less publicized exhibit at Emily Carr (art school)
Amazing! They had a painting called "Vancouver at the centre of the world" which I got a copy of ;)
They also had a special exhibit on Canadian achievements in Industrial Design as related to sport.
Really really cool... and DESERTED! People are too dumb to look just around the corner or just inside a door sometimes, they missed out on some amazing things.
Trevor and a big Canada Flag
The winter olympics and the daffodils in bloom... *sigh* (Outside Place Francophonie)
Lineup for Aquabus, Atlantic House
In the end, we found some friends in queue for Aquabus. Some guy came by shouting "ANYONE FOR HORNBY STREET?" And I was like "FUCK, I'LL GO TO HORNBY, JUST GET ME OFF THIS DAMN ROCK!!!" So we took the Aquabus back
Walked around the Seawall to Yaletown - still pretty lively
I hadn't yet heard that the liquor stores were being shut down, so I snapped this picture of a lineup to get IN to the liquor store... and they were carding at the door!
So HOW WILD were the parties!? This is the notice in my building's elevator.
The next week was really quiet, the rains came back and we were losing all the events - the streets were deserted. I'm convinced you could ignore the Olympics again, unless you chose to go to Robson or the Cauldron.
Cauldron - Eaaarrrrrly Thursday morning (7:30 am). This is after they "Improved" the fencing several times, as you can see it's still hard to get a not-ugly shot. They had a viewing platform that was better for photos, but it wouldn't open until 9am! (WHAT!) I don't understand why they were paying SIX cops to guard the ENTRANCE to this glorified staircase, when they couldn't just station THREE of them at either end and have the dang thing OPEN. }:/ WHATEVER
Beard Papa Creampuffs - very patriotic
TOMORROW: The nighttime scenes AND THE BIG GAME!