While at Arsenal Pulp Press last week publisher Brian Lam gave me a copy of Charles Demers' Vancouver Special. My litmus test for any book “about” Vancouver is its treatment of Kingsway, a road that existed prior to European contact and remains one of our city’s most complex and misunderstand immigrant neighbourhoods.
A quick glance at the index had "Kingsway" appearing on pp. 67-8.
Demers, on the gentrification of "shitty neighbourhoods," writes:
"For years the smart money has been on picking out spots along Kingsway and Hastings-Sunrise [note juxtaposition], finding seams of coal that, with the right kind of pressure, could yield diamonds. In a conversation about how hideous and altogether free of personality Kingsway is [note personification], a friend once said to me, 'Yeah, but at least it is the thing that it is.'" [note persistence of former Canuck Todd Bertuzzi's "It is what it is" tautology].
Too much acid, not enough alkaline.