If you can't be inside the Olympic Games, then follow Seattle Times producers, reporters, videographers and Olympic fans as we take you to the streets of Vancouver, B.C., to show you what's happening on the ground and give you a taste of the scene swirling around the 2010 winter games.
It's a feel-good street party and I feel good about it
Posted by blog
by Cory Tolbert Haik, @coryhaik
I've heard it likened to Mardi Gras more than a few times. And, well, no, it's not Mardi Gras. But it's something. Like, an Olympic party. The streets of Vancouver, BC are a sight. I drove up from Seattle yesterday to get a feel.
It's mob-ish in pockets. And when you hit them, it's remarkable. People of all variety and walks of life are swimming through each other to get to more of each other. Craziness generally starts with the random chanting. Folks on the street wrapped in Canadian everything. Red and white flags, scarves, hats, hoodies, pins, face-paint, you name it. My journo-ness makes me want to stop people, ask them where they are from, why they are here, what compels them to get their maple leaf on in such a way.
The answers are mostly the same, "Wooooooo Hoooooooo."
Granville Street around 11:30 p.m. The streets were full and "Go Canada" could be heard at every turn. iPhone photo: Cory Haik
Here is what I know: people are really happy. They love the athletes. They love the Quatchi plushness. They love the street food. They love their countries. It's a life-is-good thing. They traveled for this, man. They have tickets, they have official Vancouver 2010 merch. Recession be hanged, I guess. This only comes along every four years. Or two, if you count every Olympics as an opportunity.
So Wooooooo Hoooooooo, I stopped asking questions so much and sort of started with the random chanting. I found some dinner, jumped in some street party action and ended my night (very early morning) at Saxony House.
So cheers, world - Canada, for sure.
Another blurry photo from the party district on Granville. iPhone photo: Cory Haik
On the balcony of Saxony House. It's the Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park that has been turned into a club, basically, during the Games. And it's hard to get in to. There was a wrap-around line around one a.m. Luckily, on the way there while walking through the park, I stumbled on what seemed to be a freelance film crew that had a line on someone with back-door entry. @tiffanycampbell and I danced 'til the early morning with crowds of delightful international folks. iPhone photo courtesy of random
Working today from the Vancouver Sun newsroom, I overheard talk about additional policing on the streets tonight. And I thought to myself, I wonder what they'll be extra policing? Because while the crowds were roaring, it was O-so-Canada polite. I have never heard so many people say "sorry" (pronounced "sore-ree") when accidentally bumped in to in a crowd. And well, that's why it ain't Mardi Gras. . ... .
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