the Quay

I’m always on the lookout for poems in unexpected places — such as the one on the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver that I wrote about here or poems on public transport that I wrote about here. I encountered another example of architexture today — at the New Westminster Quay.

The poem on the building reads, “She slipped softly from a summer stream, as seamless as a summer’s dream.” Quite a tongue-twister! It’s written by Toby Barazzuol and is displayed on the north side of River Market, which houses a variety of unique eateries and shopping stalls.

New Westminster was actually the capital of BC before Victoria was. It was the oldest city in Western Canada, founded in 1859. I think of it as a forgotten city in the Lower Mainland (I never hear anything about it), but apparently it’s becoming the newest real estate gem (compared to Vancouver, I’m assuming, and yet still easily connected by Skytrain to commute there). Its riverside area called the quay has enjoyed a revitalization in recent years, and it’s a lovely walk along the Fraser River, although the river itself is not so lovely.

What I like most about the quay is the funky decor and creative signage they have inside the River Market building. Did you catch the kitchen appliances like cheese graters stapled to the top of the ceiling in this “Eat” picture? On the brown cutting board on the wall is a map of the market with the first floor labelled “the Hungry Floor” and the second floor “the Curious Floor.” Clever, eh?

Even the art in the washrooms is quirky and fun. Just to let you know, I normally don’t take pictures in washrooms, but these ones warranted a couple snaps.

And this one is fun too. Notice the figures falling down the escalator.

So there you have it — a quirky architextural space of words and symbols at New Westminster Quay where even the washrooms are places you don’t mind lingering a little longer.

5 thoughts on “the Quay

  1. i know Toby! or i did, we used to work together when i was involved in the DTES. i love the photos, esp the washroom ones 😛

  2. Ha, I didn’t know you had posted on this! Wonderful : ) I didn’t even remember you taking many pictures there, but I guess you snuck them in somehow. We’ll have to try some more of the bites to eat sometime on the Hungry Floor!

  3. I like the Public Market and developing riverfront; it was a great (re)discovery after having been away from greater Vancouver for almost 20 years. New West is a long way beyond its industrial roots and the days of the old B.C. Penitentiary. I think it’s a great place, but surely an acute problem now is how to keep squeezing an increasing number of vehicles onto the free-of-charge Pattullo Bridge.

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