Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Down with the viaducts: the unabridged version

I am a girl with a very small brain, so I live by the KISS.

 (Keep it Simple Silly)
I like it when things are easy, so I like to follow a few simple, easy to remember principles.  You know, like "Love is the Law,"  and "If you can't be helpful, than at least be kind," and of course, that perennial favourite "Celebrate often."  

That's one of the best ones.  I love to celebrate. 

You've got to rejoice at the milestones in life, right? It's important to take stock of where you are, where you've come from, and where you want to go.  Today, I would like to take a moment to celebrate a small step away from car culture and toward the kinds of healthy cities we can all enjoy.

What's special about today?

It's the largest of its kind, and it's built where an old gas station used to be.
That's rather poetic, don't you think?

The signs are everywhere.
  All over North America, people are using cars less, and that trend isn't about to shift any time soon, either. 
Why?  Because it's not all its cracked up to be, driving. Do you relish sitting in traffic, strapped into a box, stopping regularly to pour more money into the tank?  Of course not.
More cars on ever more congested roads are not the path to create better, happier cities, and thankfully people are starting to come around after what must have been the biggest mass-brainwashing experiment in human history.
There are all sorts of urban highways coming down, from New Orleans to New York, from Toronto to Cleaveland to Seattle and beyond.  Highway deconstruction is even happening here in Vancouver, with the Georgia and Dunsmuir St viaducts possibly slated for demolition.

That would certainly change the face of the no-man's-waste-land along the underside of these colossal monuments to four wheels. The post-deconstruction development plans include a waterfront park, which is perfect, because pianos.

That guy in the white shirt there?  His name is GP Mendoza, and he (in partnership with with CityStudio) likes to leave pianos in well-visited locations around town.  

Doesn't everyone?
He calls it Keys to the Streets.  Parks along the Vancouver waterfront are obviously great places to plant pianos.  You can tell cause he's already done it a few times.  That one there is beside Olympic Village, adjacent to the bike lane.

That's why you will find children in helmets playing the piano here.

Safety first.

Is that piano on the quay?

No worries.  It still makes foot-stomping good music, even if you are wearing safety shoes.

I mean, really.

You've gotta love this town,
whether the viaducts stay up
or whether they come down.


  1. Public Pianos, I love it! I'm a rusty Pianist, myself. :)

    How do they keep the elements of Mother Nature from ravaging and trashing the pianos? Are they specially sealed or something to prevent rain water/ice/snow from getting in them?

    Happy riding!

    1. Fortunately we're having a much warmer, drier year than the last few summers. They just keep and eye on the weather and cover the pianos when it starts to rain.

  2. ...speaking of supportive structures..., long, elegantly shaped bridge support rises curvaciously up on one side as does the equally delightful one on the other side & where they meet at the top, well that's a bridge i'd like to ride...

    ...being familiar with similiar infrastructure but new to that particular one, i'd wanna stop in the middle, drink in the view, eat enough to satisfy my hunger & then get back to the ride...

    ...whilst admiring local infrastructure, i like to immerse myself in the beauty of my surroundings...

    ...just sayin'...

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  4. Mmmmmmm...Very HOT safety shoes! You know I luv how you roll! ;-) xo BTW, nice blog!

  5. Pianos here in London are only left in bike lanes. Go n' figger.