Sunday, November 3, 2013

Second Narrows

Just east of the Second Narrows Bridge, on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, lies the Maplewood Mudflats, once home to counter-culturalists like Tom Burrows and Paul Spong -- until 1970, when the District of North Vancouver showed up with bulldozers, intent on making the area safe for a shopping centre (which was never built).

Further east of the mudlfats (at what is now Cates Park) stood a row of shacks where Malcolm and Margerie Lowry lived in the 1940s and early-50s, before they too were dispatched. A decade later, on this same ribbon of beach, Al Neil took up residence in a nightwatchman's hut, which he and his partner Carole Itter have since brightened.

Lowry was an early Vancouver collagist. Same with Neil, a jazz musician who gave up the piano in the early 1960s to compose not with sound but with flotsam.

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