On the edge at Olympic Village – The Globe and Mail
VANCOUVER — From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail
Published on Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2010 4:00PM EDT
In a city still basking in the warm glow of worldwide adulation, the Olympic village positively gleams; a conglomerate of condos looking impossibly cool in the noon sun. Amid the maze of buildings seemingly conjured by a genie with a penchant for glass and steel, brand-new streets have been carved out of landfill and on the bones of old industrial warehouses. Everything is clean and shiny and platinum LEED – there are self-monitoring buttons inside the condos that turn red when you have used too much energy and green when you have kept to your limit. Southeast False Creek is a heady neighbourhood-in-waiting: From the glory of international sport, it is evolving into a destination that will attract more than curious tourists wandering along the seawall.
Since it opened to the public on May 15 – after several months as a forbidden Olympic site – 26,000 visitors have come for a look. It’s not yet bustling, but those who come congregate on the waterfront. Here lithe locals bicycle, walk and rollerblade to their heart’s content along the seawall that connects them to Yaletown across the water and Granville Island and Kitsilano to the West. They can explore this one-time Olympic village, then drift out to its urban edges for a whole new experience.
And perhaps that’s the thing that makes the area so intriguing. The boundaries, indeed the very identities, are fluid and ever changing. Vancouver – the Terminal city on the edge of the Pacific – is the ultimate New World town.
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