Texture and Serendipitous Delight

Photo from thedrive.ca. Design by Kelly Cannell and Susan Point
"You can actually change the world for the better and enjoy it at the same time. You don't have to be bitter, you don't have to be mad." Jim Green

Okay, for the sake of my personal equilibrium, I refuse to succumb to further ranting about evil politicians. Instead, I will look to some good ones. We lost a great one the other day - Jim Green, a Vancouver politician who was behind some of the positive change in Vancouver over the last thirty or so years, died on Tuesday. David Beers writes about his last conversation with Jim over at The Tyee.

I especially like what he says about texture:
Take that story of BladeRunners' evolution, lay it next to the saga of Woodward's, and of Jim Green's founding of the Downtown Eastside Residents Association, and of his founding of a bank to serve low income people, and his founding of United We Can, and his role in founding the Portland Hotel Society, and the many examples of Green's support of the arts, including, for example, his helping to bring opera singing to Blood Alley. You really do have to marvel at the breadth of Green's initiatives. Other than Woodward's, none are the sort that grasp for attention along the city's skyline. Rather, they attend to the finer grained textures of Vancouver -- textures social and cultural, textures felt and inhabited at street level. On the phone, Green remembered another project he was particularly happy about -- his effort to have manhole covers in the city crafted by artists. Thousands of cast iron disks textured with bubbles, tadpoles and frogs are being produced. Cities lacking texture, Green understood, are barren of serendipitous delight.


  1. don't give up hope. There are still good people in the world. I am middle-aged too and we are a worthy bunch. I try to vote with my pocketbook as much as possible. Have you seen some of the nominees for president in the U.S.? sheesh, I just stress-ate a half a sleeve of thin mint cookies thinking about it. I am a pacifist but having nothing to lose like you said, I'm not above dying my hair with green kool-aid, picking up a stick, and attending a rally....just sayin'.

  2. I like so much this idea of having artists producing utilitarian but beautiful 'furnishings' for the city.
    And about politicians...do you want me to start on ours?

  3. I didn't know Jim had a hand in those covers! I've been admiring and enjoying them as I walk about the city and never knew. Nice that some people use their super-powers for good and not evil, huh? Even though there's more appreciation than profit in it. Jim Green was one of the good ones. And cancer is pure evil.

  4. onesmallstitch10:41 AM

    Lousia has said it all - yes, Jim Green was one of the good ones and a great loss to us all. If you like the manhole covers go to www.ojisanjake.blogspot.com he frequently shows Japanese covers that are amazing works of art.


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