Monday, September 23, 2013

VANCOUVER Views - The Marine Building

A landmark building in Vancouver was completed in 1929, when the world seemed black and white.

The Marine Building, Vancouver, 1929 - Canada PD**

". . .some great crag rising from the sea, clinging with sea flora and fauna, tinted in sea-green, touched with gold."

This description by the builders, 'McCarter and Nairne', gives insight into the Art Deco design and its purpose.

The Marine Building, Vancouver, by DG Hudson

With its heritage design, the architecture of this building has proven adaptable for certain period films. The building has been used for film and tv productions, such as Timecop, Smallville, Blade Trinity, Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

In Vancouver, drive westward on Hastings until it meets Burrard Street. There at the end is the soaring Art Deco building at No. 355. There was an observation deck, but during the Depression the 25 cents admission  proved unaffordable for most. Currently, there are no public galleries in the building.

The Marine Building, Vancouver, by DG Hudson


The design on this front door is impressive, meant to frame the doormen who stood in front of the brass doors when they opened in 1930 and showcasing the fine quality of its craftsmen. Business offices occupy this building today.

Marine Building Entrance, by DG Hudson


Highlighted against the Marine Building, a dolphin sculpure in the photo below reflects our ocean heritage. Only a few blocks away, you can find a city beach and a seawall walk. The skyline of a vibrant city is always changing, so photograph that building before it's hidden behind another or gone forever.

Vancouver - Sculpture and Marine Bldg, by DG Hudson


Are you a fan of architecture or Heritage buildings? OR, did you see any of the movies listed above? Do you photograph buildings for description purposes or because you like the design of the structure?

Please share your answers in the comments, and thanks for dropping by!



*Marine = of or related to shipping or naval matters; not used in a military sense

Marine Building Detailed Art Deco designs Blue designs framing front entrance):

 Close ups of Marine Building - details of design, Marine Building wiki, The Marine Building

The History of Metropolitan Vancouver - Vancouver Archives


**1929 - Canadian Public Domain = Image, The Marine Building

This Canadian work is in the public domain in Canada because its copyright has expired for one of the following reasons: it was subject to Crown copyright and was first published before 1963; Refer to:


Friday, September 13, 2013

PARIS - Outside the Café

Be aware of your surroundings, especially when travelling. In a city like Paris, surprises can be just around the corner.

Cafe de la Paix*, Paris, by DG Hudson


A diner, sitting two tables away at a favorite sidewalk bistro, stood and handed a half sandwich to a sad looking female walking by outside the surrounding glass. The woman outside the partition quickly accepted the food. Intrigued by the generosity of the woman dining and the acceptance of the woman on the outside, we witnessed this scene twice, several days apart. None of the café staff was near. Was there a connection between the people? Outcast family? That one scene could be the seed of a story.

Observation: Kindness touches the heart. We can't take care of all who suffer, but each little bit helps.

Bomb Threat at the Eiffel Tower (in Autumn 2010).
Eiffel Tower, Paris, by DG Hudson
We had just finished a walk by the Seine and were waiting for the tour bus when several military trucks pulled up to the curb and quietly started to make their presence known. They walked armed, guns in hand, looking at everyone in the area near the Eiffel Tower. This was done in a non-intrusive but direct manner at everyone; assessing without any aggressiveness. We suspect they were scanning for a type.
Our tour bus pulled up just then and turned into the curb, effectively blocking the military access. Not a good move, but expertly handled by the leader of this troop; he quietly told the bus driver to move to another area further on. Cool competence by this officer made those of us standing by feel better about the situation. The bomb alert at the Eiffel Tower made the international news that night.

Observation: Trust in those who remain calm under pressure. This was cool French professionalism, as they tried not to alarm the tourists and bystanders.


 At the Art Gallery

Musee d'Orsay, Paris, by DG Hudson
Nutella crepes
The Musee d'Orsay is situated on the left bank of the Seine River, housed in the former Gare d'Orsay railway station. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings are on view in this gallery. The courtyard also has a certain charm.

Elephant statue, courtyard Musee d'Orsay, by DG Hudson

 Our heads were filled with visions of Renoir, Monet, and Pissarro as we left the gallery, but we were hungry after walking through the museum. A few food vendors in the gallery courtyard were open. The smell of warm banana and chocolate drifted from the crepe stone of one of the foodcarts. We ordered one and sat on stairs off to the side of the courtyard which were clean enough for jeans. Within minutes, we were joined by several groups of kids with teachers, perhaps on a field trip. Unexpected, but nice to see schoolchildren on an outing in Paris. French schoolchildren at this gallery were exemplary. Then, I remembered the movie, The Red Balloon.

Observation: Children remind us there is still hope in the world, untainted by the cares of governments.


Have you been in a situation where you weren't sure if you should get worried or stay calm? Have you seen something that restored your faith in your fellow man?  Or - Any food tastes that remind you of a place or city?

Please share your thoughts in the comments. I'll reply.



Cafe de la Paix
* The photo above is a historical well-known cafe, but not the one where the vignette took place. 

Musee d'Orsay Gallery'Orsay Musee d'Orsay - photos of the museum and a list of the painters represented.