Thursday, January 21, 2010

Granville Island Market in January

There is nothing in Vancouver quite like Granville Market on Granville Island. This former industrial site was transformed decades ago into a thriving bustling farmers market and artisan shop district. It also has a busy ship repair area (not shown here), several parks, beautiful walkways that stretch for kilometers, places for children to play, and a good supply of coffee shops, cafes and bakeries.

Our photography class took a field trip to the island and these photos came from that brief visit on an overcast, rather dark Tuesday this January. The Vancouver weather is unseasonably warm (10 C), which has the Olympic organizers all worried about snow, thinking about adding chemicals to artificial snow, etc., but real people just walk around the city and enjoy the warmth.

Parking can be a problem in the high tourist season, but a number of garages offer good parking.

One forgets that deliveries are crucial for all the fruits, vegetables and wares we enjoy pursuing in the Market.

You can either walk into shops and Granville Market itself, or walk outside, around all the buildings and activities.

The Market and shops are also kid friendly.

Most people go directly to Granville Market itself, looking for some of the city's finest produce, meats, fish, honey, wines, etc.

Buskers are formally approved before being allowed to perform on the Island, so you can hear and see good performances.

I am fascinated by how many people crowd into the Market and yet are on their cell phones, talking with friends elsewhere rather than with people close at hand. I guess I'm getting old.

Coffee stalls are all the rage on the west coast, places to get the finest beans and meet friends.
Granville Island Brewery makes some of the city's finest micro brews. The beer master came from Germany and follows the Bavarian purity laws to the letter.

My teacher, Ian McGuffie, reminds us that 'mistakes are the portals to discovery'. This shot was a mistake (hopelessly out of focus), yet I found I could take part of it and make an interesting abstract photograph. It is a shot through the window of a fabric shop, which was faintly lit by an antique table lamp.

Thousands of people like to live within walking distance of Granville Island, for good reason.

And finally, a reminder that in British Columbia we are not allowed to smoke in any public building. This is a fantastic province.