I went up to Vancouver last night to watch the Canucks win the Stanley Cup in game 7. Didn’t happen. I didn’t have a ticket, but they had a giant screen set up outside where over 100,000 fans showed up. I had considered bringing Zach along for this once in a lifetime experience. I’m so glad I didn’t. I didn’t get to see the hometown win, but I did get to see them riot. Police cars were overturned, cars were set on fire, windshields were smashed… you know, the usual.
The last riot I attended was in Seattle during the WTO meetings (was that in 1994?). But this one was way freakier. You’d be walking down a street and groups of thugs would run out into the streets and just start punching people. And then another group would come out and attack them. It was like a bar brawl, street festival style.
A police officer recommended that I leave the city quickly, but many of the sky train stations had been shut down. So I went to a mexican restaurant and ate very spicy chipotle shrimp tacos that needed to be washed down with constant beer. I watched the mayhem from the safety of my barstool, and philosophized about it with a guy in his early 20’s who was studying psychology and anthropology at a local college. For whatever reason the bartender generously gave me free drinks.
My little flip camera was not the camera for this event. I didn’t have super zoom, and I didn’t feel like getting right up there in the mix just to get some good shots. Here’s another guy’s vancouver riot photos that are really good.
All in all, I’d give the entire experience a C-. And I would say that it was totally worth it, even though I wanted to be part of a massive celebration and I ended up attending a riot. That’s a chance I would take over and over again. Opportunities to celebrate on this scale don’t come around here very often.
Zach and I changed our minds. We didn’t go to Seattle. We’re in Vancouver, BC instead. So on the drive up I taught him the basics about speaking Canadian, like saying “aboat” and “soory,” and how you can end questions with the word “eh.” “Do we have to talk like that when we are up there?” I should have said yes.
We’ve had a blast. We went to Science World. We went to see Hubble, an Omnimax movie on a dome shaped screen inside a giant sphere. We even did a bit of smuggling. Not across the border or anything. Just into our hotel room, which had a humans only policy. Our contraband was one sweet harmless fluffy puppy. One non-barking, non-shedding, non-chewing, empty-bladdered, ready-to-sleep-for-9-hours puppy.
I know, know. I’m teaching my boy a bad lesson. Unable to find last minute doggy care, my spontaneity had created an ethical dilemma. But now that we were here, there was nothing we could do. And kindness and compassion are more important than minor hotel rules violations, aren’t they? If we played by the rules, Little Roger would have to stay in the car all night, shivering cold, scared and all alone.
It would have been a snap if we hadn’t stayed in the only hotel in the western hemisphere with only one entrance/exit. Any other door would have triggered an alarm. We thought long and hard. I honestly considered hoisting him up with bed sheets from our 3rd floor window. But that might draw too much attention. Ultimately we decided to wrap him up in a blanket and carry the bundle like a pile of laundry. I piled it high on the left side to keep him out of sight on the passing side. Then I took a deep breath and we stepped inside. The front desk guy wasn’t even there! All 3 of us were so excited when we finally made it to the room. Then we got to do the whole thing again when we realized we had left the grape soda and the Beyblades video in the car. This time we had a decent scare when unexpected passengers joined us on the elevator. But we kept our cool and didn’t freak out and made it up again. We watched movies until we fell asleep. So now it’s just one more challenge- morning checkout. I’m thinking bed sheet parachutes.