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Crip1
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Sanj,

 

Everyone I have ever met who has been to Vancouver has remarked how beautiful it is. After watching the first part of the Opening Ceremonies broadcast, it's clear that those remarks were woefully inadequate. I'm sure that the next couple of weeks will be a wonderful experience for you city. Enjoy.

 

-Crip

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Loved the prairie themed part of the opening show... Dianna Krall singing a Joni Mitchell tune and Cirque de Soleil style "flying" through the prairie sky.... Very Cool

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David Atkins deserves a lot of praise for that ceremony, as does Zhang Yimou, who launched the bar up in 2008. Atkins worked with about 1/9 the money, but he made great use of the cash.

 

I didn't particularly like the K.D. Lang cover of "Hallelujah" because of all the vocal effects she added. She has better performances floating around youtube.

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David Atkins deserves a lot of praise for that ceremony, as does Zhang Yimou, who launched the bar up in 2008. Atkins worked with about 1/9 the money, but he made great use of the cash.

 

 

Agreed, liked the whole thing. I can't say that it was better than China's, or worse really, just different. Atkins definitely did a heckuva job with less budget.

 

I hear that there are some drug and slum problems on the east side of the city.

 

Arbitrager,

 

Never having been there, I cannot confirm or refute, but it would be instructive to create list all of the metropolitan areas in the world with a million plus people who do not have some drug and slum problems. Hmmm...let me see...OK, my list is below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Crip

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Everyone I have ever met who has been to Vancouver has remarked how beautiful it is. After watching the first part of the Opening Ceremonies broadcast, it's clear that those remarks were woefully inadequate. I'm sure that the next couple of weeks will be a wonderful experience for you city.

 

Vancouver is most certainly one of the most beautiful and liveable cities you will ever find...as long as you can handle the rain!  ;D  We've got all the natural beauty, combined with your choice of the cosmopolitan lifestyle or the rural country lifestyle...whatever you please.  Housing prices are insanely high, but that's part of the problem if you have a net immigration into the area for many, many years, and there seems to be little reason why that would stop over the next twenty-thirty years.  It's not an old city with alot of history yet, but it is a great little city to live, raise a family in and do business. 

 

Yes, quite a buzz in the city.  The opening ceremonies were actually quite fantastic relative to the money spent.  Nowhere near the level of the Summer Olympics in China, but they do it much bigger and for a lot more over there...hard to beat the Chinese when they are trying to impress the world!  It was mass hysteria yesterday near my office downtown as the torch travelled it's final leg.  Wayne Gretzky was the final torchbearer and it was pandemonium on the streets of Vancouver when he was travelling over to the outside cauldron near the water for the final lighting last night.

 

For the most part, they've done a fantastic job of putting the games together.  John Furlong and the late Jack Poole deserve most of the  credit.  The province kind of railroaded through a bunch of stuff and it wasn't handled very tactfully in the years leading up...most notably, a number of small businesses suffered extreme hardship as construction projects and traffic closures killed revenues and ultimately forced them to close or move.  But that wasn't Furlong's fault, who is one of the classiest and hardest working guys you will see.  I see much bigger things for him!

 

I hear that there are some drug and slum problems on the east side of the city.

 

Yes, there is a significant problem...big city problems...in a eight block radius on the outskirts of downtown, known as Hastings and Main.  About thirty-forty years ago, it used to be one of the main hubs of commerce and shopping in Vancouver.  In the last 20 years, as the economic hub moved primarily downtown or into the suburbs, this area deteriorated and became a drug, sex and disease-infected area of the city.  It actually has the highest rate of HIV infection in North America, and is easily the most impoverished postal code in Canada. 

 

Various municipal, provincial and federal governments have thrown money at the problem over the years, but there was no cohesive program to create social housing until about five-six years ago as the Olympics were won by Vancouver.  Unfortunately, twenty years of poverty and influx of more drug-adled, strung out people cannot be fixed in five years.  They've made some progress, but they've got alot more work to do.  The area has also begun a succession of gentrification projects and that will eventually have an impact.  The question is, will that simply push out the improverished or will they fund rehabilitation and social housing projects to aid those currently living there.  It's become such a big mess that simple solutions won't work over the long-term.  There has to be creative solutions to this problem. 

 

The other issue is that we now have people who have made it a career to exploit the poor, and use their plight to fight whatever other platform these charlatans want to build on.  Right now we have balaclava-masked hooligans, fringe activists, who are tearing up store fronts downtown and forcing the police to don riot gear.  Journalists that were photographing and following these fringe activists were pepper sprayed by them and beaten up.  So these spoiled brats, and I bet half of them come from money, are out there spouting their socialist rhetoric, with their legal observers present and watching how the police interact with them.  Yet they infringe on the freedom of rights that the media is granted and assault them...how uniquely Canadian!  Yesterday, they disrupted the torch route going to a bunch of war veterans who were waiting for the torch lighting near their war memorial.  They too had their rights for freedom of expression infringed upon, as they never saw the torch arrive at their memorial.  And these guys gave their lives to protect the same rights these balaclava-masked jackasses are now exploiting!  Cheers!

 

 

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Also, I should mention that the tragic death of the Georgian luger yesterday really created a sombre moment for the games.  The poor young guy who came here to compete and make his country proud had a freak accident.  I saw the video on the news and it is just awful and disturbing.  I'm glad his team-mates stayed to compete and make their fallen comrade proud.  I hope they win a medal in every event they compete in!  Cheers!

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I do not live in Vancouver but I have stayed there numerous times for work and I can tell you that it is a wonderful city, easily one of the top three most beautiful modern cities I have seen (San Fransisco and Sydney being the others). I have Climbed the rocks at Squamish and have been to Whistler a number of times but have never skied there. The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is something to see.

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Never been - but the preview for the Olympics on NBC BEFORE the open ceremony was amazing.

 

IMO - Olympics start to tonight with the dropping of the puck.  For hockey fans, the next 2 weeks should be amazing.

 

 

 

 

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