fear & loathing in Lotusland

Exhibit ‘D’

by Zbigniew

Niagara Falls

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by Zbigniew

King tide floods part of Vancouver’s seawall, offering glimpse into city’s future

Jon Hernandez, CBC, November 29, 2018

The Enduring Hustle

by Zbigniew

“Bob Fosse’s Vancouver is a distant suburb of Los Angeles, on the periphery of wealth and fame; a grey and gritty expanse of working class neighbourhoods, strip joints, and fast food outlets.”

Elvy Del Bianco, “Star 80”, World Film Locations: Vancouver


The closure of the Dairy Queen at 2109 East Hastings Street represents no aesthetic loss: the pseudo-milk/sugar product dispensary franchise’s primary features include an interior colour scheme last updated in 1976 and a pervasive stench of rancid oil and low-wage desperation.

Innocuous and quotidian but infamous.

Working a shift at said DQ in the late 1970s, a very young Dorothy Stratten (nee Hoogstraten) is discovered, or targeted, by local hustler/pimp/sleaze/business type Paul Snider.

The encounter is depicted in Bob Fosse’s mostly true-to-life Star 80, filmed at the same location with Mariel Hemmingway and a greasy-perfect Eric Roberts:

Stratten quickly moves from Playboy centerfold, to B-movie maven to aspiring serious actress, but it doesn’t end well. Sratten’s “wholesome, fresh, young and naïve” rising star is utterly destroyed by Snider’s emotionally stunted, cash-and-status-hungry monomania. A loser relegated to the sidelines, he kills her and himself, interfering with her body in the interval.

Star 80 is presented non-linearly, flipping back and forth in time and space, between the Los Angeles fleshpot spectacle and a soggy Vancouver backwater of scumbags. These transitions make for some strange juxtapositions. In particular: a dissolve that takes the story back from the aftermath of Stratten’s murder in LA superimposes Snider’s bloodied face on the Vancouver skyline.

That’s all in the past. The sleazy hustle is upscale. Paul Snider’s ilk have moved on to bigger stakes and ditched the Trans Am for something German, while the humble franchise yields to “secure market rental.”

Paul Snider

Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity

by Zbigniew

We’re Pricks

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Ghost Capital

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“Henry Pryor, a property buying agent, says the London luxury new-build market is ‘already overstuffed but we’re just building more of them’.

“’We’re going to have loads of empty and part-built posh ghost towers,’ he says. ‘They were built as gambling chips for rich overseas investors, but they are no longer interested in the London casino and have moved on.”

Ghost towers: half of new-build luxury London flats fail to sell,” Rupert Neate, The Guardian, January 26, 2018


“According to U.S. group Demographia, Vancouver is the third-least affordable city in the world for a home ….”

Vancouver housing market more unaffordable than New York and London: survey,” Gerry Marr, The Financial Post, January 26, 2016


by Zbigniew

largesse: liberal giving (as of money) to or as if to an inferior

The Vancouver Model

by Zbigniew

“I think there are people who say the Vancouver model is fine, and then there are others who don’t like the Vancouver model.”

Hon. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General


“Teaching Pediatric Procedures: The Vancouver Model for Instructing Seldinger’s Technique of Central Venous Access Via the Femoral Vein”


“In this chapter, we introduce the Vancouver model to tourism infrastructure planning and development. The key characteristics of this model are (1) an emphasis on private sector participation in tourism project development with little or no direct public financial support, (2) the leveraging of tourist amenities and infrastructure through private sector developments, and (3) an emphasis on planning for a liveable region, with particular emphasis on housing.”

Dennis R. Judd, The Infrastructure of Play: Building the Tourist City


“Of course, the Vancouver model lacks the keen public relations touch of the other, more media-centric New Urbanism. But that may come. Within a matter of years, the Vancouver urban prototype will save more energy, house more people, and make finer urban neigh- borhoods than all the overhyped neo-nineteenth-century projects combined. Vancouver is the portal through which the twenty-first-century city is being conceived, for good, and sometimes, for ill.”

Trevor Boddy, “New Urbanism: ‘The Vancouver Model’”


G.L. Homes


“[T]he Vancouver model is socially and politically regressive, promoting a suburban homogeneity, complacency, and torpor that threatens the capacity of cities to function as sites that support vitality, difference, and invention.”

Matthew Soules, “The ‘Liveable’ Suburbanized City: Post-politics and a Vancouver Near You”


“I was advised that the particular style of money laundering in B.C. related to B.C. casinos is being called, quote, ‘the Vancouver model’ in at least one international intelligence community.”

Hon. David Eby, Attorney General

Refuge: Something Dreamlike

by Zbigniew

The sudden arrival of the unseasonal cold has sped-up the fig tree’s autumnal striptease.  Its bare limbs stand among a discarded shroud of leaves.

On this crystal clear Sunday I opt for the raking zen exercise.

Pulling the freeze-dried leaves into a pile, sunshine catches.

Something dreamlike: ice, molded by the corrugated skin and delicate veins of leaves.