You Catch More Crackheads With Honey
Folks, yesterday evening, I was walking downtown to a section of Vancouver we call Gastown (which I believe was named after Simon Gas, the inventor of the circular florescent light), and I was walking from Pender St straight along Carrall St. to this part of the city. This quickly brought me to the intersection of Carrall and Hastings St.
Now, a few things might pop into your head at this point in my story. I’m sure of the non-Canadian readers have wondered: how did a Texas boy end up in Canada, let alone Vancouver where “roping a steer” usually means a trip to the Odyssey? …The Odyssey being a bar where TV preachers might visit and intermingle with men under a pseudonym.
The second thing that might pop into your head is, “Dr. Matt, why were you walking and not driving your Toyota Plug-in Hybrid Prius?”
Both of these are great questions, and because a questioning mind is a healthy mind, I won’t ruin your momentum by providing answers.
Anyway, so if you’re not from Vancouver, you might not know about this stretch of Hastings Street. Imagine if, in your house, you placed some bowls of honey that would catch flies. Now imagine that the honey is crack and the flies are people and the bowls are East Hastings Street. What’s bizarre is that the flies often don’t really even venture one block away from the honey. I walked through Hastings, through the honey, and let me tell you, it was pretty damn sticky. But, a block later, no honey or flies. So the streets basically go in quick succession of nice / God awful / nice. You can even imagine crossing each block in the order of smells that emerge in each location. Chinese bakeries / cattle barn / steak and prawns.
“Dr. Matt, please, that sounds gross,” you’re saying. Well, obviously you’re not a fan of steak and prawns, but let me tell you, Gastown has some wonderful locations for that.
But, putting that aside, I had to wonder: what is it about this street, this place? Who put all this honey here? And why only here? Oh, sure, there’s other not too great locations, but I can think of no other place in Vancouver with such a concentration of stickiness. How do such locations emerge? I wondered. How do they continue to exist? It’s not like moving farther and farther from affluent places. The affluence is directly juxtaposed with the poverty.
You’re probably saying, “Dr. Matt, you’re making far too many judgements. And, also, I notice, not a lot of answers in this internet tube message.” Perhaps. Maybe. Things like this baffle me, and why not? There’s something so arbitrary about it. A street, not even really a globular area, but a thin strip of the downtrodden, like a river of oil streaming from an oil tanker, somehow prevented from widening by some unseen ocean current. The only reason I can find for it currently existing is that it exists because it has existed. Do the original reasons for its creation even exist anymore? Or has it become a perpetual motion machine? Why do these conditions persist?
Last night, it remained in my mind for a little while until something took my mind off it, which was, of course, the delicious ahi tuna at the Chill Winston. Have you had it? Absolutely delectable. And the risotto? Forget it. I mean, who knew that one could classify risotto as five-star? Put that with a glass of red wine and I’m telling you, you will be set.
So, in conclusion, if you’re ever in Gastown, definitely you should check out Chill Winston. It’s a great place to meet and hang out with people, and even the way they lay out their bathrooms is unique and kind of fun.
It seems like there was something else I was going to mention but I can’t remember what… Oh, well.
Just My Thoughts,
*Dr. Matt is not a real doctor.