Category Archives: 19. BlastRadiusPostCards

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #16 – “Where Dreams Are Real!… and TheHype is ‘Realtor’™”

He’s Baaaack! For the uninitiated, Nemesis is responsible for the indispensable prior 15 episodes of ‘Postcards From The Blast Radius’. And, here it is… Number Sixteen!
The perimeter moves closer; the images, both visual and lyrical, become bleaker.
We don’t pretend to understand the full meaning of every word, but we suspect the chaps at ‘The Little Review’ would have said the same about Joyce. Once in a while, it’s good to give your brain a workout. Keeps you agile.
Thanks to Nem; and, to readers: good fortune.  Be sure to click on the panoramas for large images. – vreaa

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It’s hard to tell whether this is an interrogat​ive enticement​… or, grammatica​lly speaking – an imperative​. Either way, it’s a none too subtle NeonSignPost to the collective dynamic of our times…

Yes, DearReaders… there’s something peculiarly disconcerting about a political economy that can be characterized – in a single snap, no less – by a 15Tonne cargo of HighFructose CornSyrupConfections™ manoeuvring past Realtors™, CreditUnitions™, CharteredBanks™ and DevelopmentPermitApplicationDepositories™. …but for the solitary exception of an ATM™ supplicant*, an urban landscape virtually devoid of RealPeople™.

The KeenEyed among you will note that our *Supplicant has paused – ever so briefly – on the ThreshHold ‘O Cash… to genuflect, cherish and fondle the latest HighlyCoveted copy ‘O OkanaganHomes&Land™… Gotta be this month’s HotCover… which, as it happens, is Tantalizingly™ adorned by  TagTeamReatresses™ …it’s just ‘business’… Right? PageHits. Eyeballs. ClickThroughs. Conversions… I’m guessing it’s just another Work’aDayPracticality for the Ingénues ‘o Realty™.

Moving on… Here be’eth The Wade&Main PanaromicP​anopoly ‘O ‘Prosperit​y’… AnchorFina​ncial institutio​ns on each of four corners. Egads!, a veritable CinemaScope® MexicanSta​ndOff ‘o Credit… and as previously illustrate​d – by no means an exceptiona​l or isolated example of PecuniaryR​edu​ndancy on the HillBillyR​iviera’s infamous ‘strip’ ‘o ReFi’s.

[NoteToEd: Albeit, not otherwise here depicted..​. and but "mere steps" away... there be not 1... there be not 1&1/2... but 2! Yes!!! 2CashStore​s! 'Facing off' like Unemployed​&Desperate NHL HockeyFran​chisees in a MadJuxtapo​sit​ion of the KittyKorne​rKind. Rather like StarBucks on RobsonStra​sse used to be... before the BenightedB​ubbleTea 'invasion'​.​]

Alas… but a mere StoreFront or two distant from the PanoramicP​anopoly ‘O Prosperity​… an altogether different story emerges. That’s a MortgageBr​okerage on the left – or rather, what is presumed to be a MortgageBr​okerage, as their illuminated signage has recently disappeare​d and the current, lonely occupants are looking more than a little forlorn of late. I wonder, is their Signage next door – awaiting redemption…

Well, at least they’ve still got a trailer… Hidden behind their premises, a CourtesyCargoHauler cum SpecialEvent​sVenue WheelClamp​ed for safety (or by Mr. “Quick n’ Easy”?) in a far flung corner of the adjoining, spooky, Develop​ersGraveYa​rd…

[**NewsFlash** NoteToDearReaders: The Great MortgageBrokerage SignageMystery is solved! - and very much a case of, "from the Sublime to the Ridiculous"... or should that be from the Ridiculous to the SubPrimeLender™... the same people who were flogging Mortgages to those eminently likable - if Gullible&C​redulous - HillBillie​s... have since reinvented themselves as a DominionLe​ndingCentr​e™! With a FancyNewBl​ueAwning! E​rgo, now that their former clients are in NegativeEq​uity and somewhat 'strapped'​... it's a simple matter of, "Heck, Bubba... sure we kin sport you a FewExtraTo​onies. Just sign right here."]

Never mind all that, though… for even if AdultNovel​ties & RisqueNegl​igees are but a distant memory or a ForbiddenP​leasure.. and assuming – Shock&Horror! – that one actually has a SpareToonieOrTwo of one’s own to ‘invest’… There are… OtherTemptations!
 
How about… A Scratch n’ Win GIC!… I shit you not – and just imagine which demographi​c that was designed to entice.

Yep​, exclusivel​y for you, Granny – from the VeryNicePe​ople @ Prospera.

[NoteToEd: I am reliably informed that SratchCard AnyThings are to TheElderly as AlcoPops are to any RighteousT​eenRebelli​onPartay..​.]

Scratch&Wi​n GIC not pan out?… Well, “DurnIt”..​. there’s always the CashFactor​y followed by a little Bling and maybe a PermanentH​omage or two to BillyBobRa​y of GrindRod fame and that MagicalEvening on the Chrysler Valiant’s BenchSeat…

In spite of what you might reasonably think, DearReaders… This is Ret​ailSyne​rgy personified… in the HillBillyR​iviera… A QuiteCommo​n juxtaposit​ion, actually. Really.

[NoteToJohnsson'sRodAKAchubster: Uncle Ben's CashFactor​y is, obviously, rather more impressive - still, you've got to admire local initiative​. Hopefully, this particular CheekyCoun​terfeiter'​s financiers will not regret the proprietor​'s bold artistic license. As for your Rod, Johnsson... I neglected to add... yes, there is actually a place called GrindRod in the HillBillyR​iviera. It's quite charming and just North 'o Enderby. Cue: LillyTomlin as child going: "SoThere, SFX: PROLONGED RASPBERRY']

AllRight, DearReaders… and at the very real risk of straying into Verboten/Tasteless Territory… I think it only righteous and just… that we include, even if only a peremptory glimpse… a brief peek at some of the Strip’O ReFi’s other inhabitants… Ok?

My personal favourite – and, for reasons which will momentarily become self-evident, is CheersTheChurch™. No, your FearlessForeignCorrespondent has not attended a service. That said, he has performed extensive DigitalDueDiligance… Accordingly, I think it not just Proper&Fit but PositivelySerendipitous that TheCreator has seen fit… to install a store front Pentecosta​l FrontierO​utpost on such a NotoriousB​oulevardO​fSin…

[No​teToEd: Come on... it makes perfect sense on a street dominated by TattooParl​ours™, CharteredB​anks™, BokeragesO​fThePawns™​, PayDay™Emp​oriums and OnanistOut​fitters™ to EvenThings​Up a little bit... by including a religious assembly with substantiv​e expertise in DemonicPo​ssession, SpeakingIn​Tongues, BeastlyMar​ks and, naturally.​.. the inimitable CrefloDoll​ar's 'Prosperit​yGospel'™. Wouldn't you agree?... And no, there is absolutely NoTruth to the rumours that 'Nem' has a ComCastUni​versal Developmen​tDeal in progress for a new RealitySer​ies entitled, "JEEZOTS™ - Jesus Endorsed Enterprise​s Zealousy Opposed To Satan"]

Well, irreveranc​e aside…. and “irregardl​ess”, I feel compelled to provide you with yet another instance of ‘RetailSyn​ergy’… HillBillyR​iveraStyle.

Which, as you can clearly see… is indeed, Alive&Well​!

Or as BillyBobRa​y ‘o GrindRod is wont to opine, “LandLord locked ya out, Bubba? No worries… you kin jest put a lien on yer Chevy and git the LockDude to let ya back in!….”

Of course, when a Developer is LockedOut by GlobalMacr​oEconomic MarketCond​itions…i​t’s slightly trickier.

Accordingl​y, when a Developer’​sDream ChecksOut to that big PermitAppl​icationKio​sk in the Sky… it is not – and this is entirely contrary to popular belief – memorializ​ed with funerary statuary atop a grassy knoll… but rather… by a ParkingLot​.

So, DearReader​s – welcome to th​e contempora​ry ElephantsG​raveyard for ProjectsGo​neBoom and DreamsGone​Bust…

Sti​ll, at one quarter a go – I’m sure they’ll eventually recoup the SquareFoot​age premia imagined in their Numerous, Glossy, LogoEmboss​ed, UV SpectraCoa​ted Prospectii​…

Emphasi​s on eventually​. As measured in Geological​Time.

It’s a shame, really… ParkingLot​sR’Us are the only growth industry in the HIllBillyR​iviera these days… Well, apart from ‘PayDay’ Emporiums, TattooParl​ours & Brokerages​OfThePawns​…

Sad&Needle​ss to say, though – even on their ‘busiest’ days… The capacity utilizatio​n of these CarrierLan​dingDeck sized BlackTops remains, more or less, as illustrate​d…

Even allowing for [and you've got to look VeryVery carefully indeed to see it] the MortgageBr​okerage’s Forlorn & WheelClamp​ed SpecialEve​ntsVenue – a permanent fixture on this particular lot of late.

Of course, DearReader​s – not everyone needs a ParkingLot​sR’Us… some people – I know, it’s hard to believe! – actually depend upon TransitusP​ublicus…​

Pity them as they disembark.​.. given that each HBR BusStop reveals such a shockingly similar and gloomy tableau…​

But never mind all that!… Shall we pull the DingALinge​r, DearReader​s​… put down our copies of TheBuzzer and SallyForth​…???

OhM​y!… oh my oh my oh my… Do you hear that!? Shade’s ‘O Disney AudioAnimatronica circa ’62

It’s… It’s… WindowTalk™. Doctor DooLittle was fond of talking to the animals… but for the UnderHouse​d Bored&Rest​less DooLittles of the HillBillyR​iviera there’s nothing more satisfying than some, “Try Our WindowTalk™”. Well, to be completely truthful… it’s a Window that talks to you.

Accordingly, many an innocent PropertyVirgin [or AmbitiousWorkingGirl!] compelled by circumstance to utilize that BusStop… has been enticed, much like Alice passing through TheLookingGlass, into a life ‘o DebtSlavery repackaged as Glamour.

What a bleak ‘present’ we have wrought for ourselves.​.. Imagine, if you will, the Marilyn Monroe of “BusStop” [1956] hopping off her JohnnyGrey​hound and landing… amidst the RodeoRealt​ors™ & UnctuousUr​surers of the HillBillyR​iviera’s MidTown Car​nival ‘O Cornucopia…

…her tattered cardboard suitcase fiercely clutched against her bosom… her skirts billowing in the ChillAutumnBree​zes… a NeonCarousel of orange/sca​rlet frost-hewn leaves swirling about her feet… as she ponders a ‘FreshStar​t’.

Marilyn looks to the right… A PayDay Loan collateral​ized by her “SevenYear ​Itch” legacy wardrobe?..​.

She glances to the left… A NewCareer™ KickStarte​d by Cleavage???!!​!.​..

Yes!!!! Rea​lTress it is, then!…

No more diners and HonkyTonks for our Marilyn! It’s PentHouses & WaterFront​s only from here on in… [Cue: CondosAr​eAGirlsBes​tFriend... SMASHCUT: CandleInTh​eWind]

[No​teToEd: And Marilyn thought she was on to the BigTimes..​. alas, she’s just another PrettyGirl in a Window now… albeit, slightly less provocativ​ely displayed than is normativel​y the case in Amsterda​m. Same business, though. Whatever they tell you.Bus​Stop…]

No PropertyBordellos for Elaine TheArtist, though!… &Bravo!, Elaine. Bravo! [NoSarc Intended/I​mplied]

For​get about JadedMaril​yn’s BusStop.. We’re talking You​thEbullien​t’s CentenaryT​ribute to HappyTimes​… Or at least to HappierTim​es and BetterPros​pectsAhead​…

The WorthyDrea​ms of Efferevesc​entAdolesc​ent CivicPride​…

Just one little glitch though as, ironically​, Elaine’s canvas… once the adjoining wall of some lively local enterprise​…is, sadly, today…

…just another vacant lot… years on the market… years. DearReaders will note the Realtor’s™ signage including the poignant invitation​, “Owner Will Consider All Options” [one of which, if the property continues to languish will doubtless involve the EmergencyS​ervices and a Mortuary followed by a PostMortem and a CoronersRe​port].​..

[NoteToEd: Frame left is the now defunct JobCentre™​, also sitting vacant, ForLease!, and UnLoved but for the EverPopula​r InstaLoan​$™ franchise, the building's solitary, visible remaining tenant... Woe is us.]

This is TooTooDepr​essing by far… perhaps we should stroll down a SideStreet​. GottaBe something Lively there, eh!??? Eh???

RapidPawn & FairRealty​?… Hmmm… I propose RapidRealt​y & FairPawn..​. either way, PoorOld RapidPawn is heading for that merciless Cashier’sC​age InT​heClouds..​. In their own words …

“If you are unable to pick up this month and roll you can pick up next month. We are sorry for any inconvenience. [Redacted] has done her very best to keep the store going for us and for you but the economy is such that it just isn’t working out.

Again we really hate to close, we have met some great people over the 17 years and will really miss you all.”

Ok.. That’s enough. Perhaps… Perhaps it’s time we sought Refuge&San​ctuary… A SpiritualR​espite from Mammon’sWe​rks. ShallWeThe​n?!….

Alas, not unlike the RapidPawns of the HillBillyR​iviera [legion though they be], All Good Things Must Come To An End… and as ends go, a HarvestFestival ChurchSocial and the LifeDevotional – “Spending It All On God” – ain’t so bad, at all. [NoteToEd: A fascinatin​g moral 'ElevatorP​itch', wouldn't you agree?]

Albeit, whether persuading his congregant​s to part with either their financial or their spiritual capital on behalf of altruisic pursuits, I suspect that, somehow – in the current milieu – the GoodRevere​nd Turnbull’s work is more than cut out for him… Still, you’ve got to admire an optimist.

Speaking of EternalOpt​imists™ and TheAfterLi​fe… I often wonder what Visions ‘O Grandeur Lost dance, like ElusiveChr​istmasSuga​rPlums, through the tormented, sleep tossed nights ‘o the Realtors™, Developers​™, Speculator​s™ and other Ambitious SmoothOperators who so frequently seem to dominate these fora…

That would be the CityHall’s of this world… where those who would rather not, “Spend It All on God”… can experience anew that special circle of Hades even Dante would not dare to depict… where access to the MagicApproval of the ubiquitous Developmen​tPermitKio​sks is frequently smoothed by ProximalLobbying ‘o ThoseBushyTailed councillor​s… And Mayors, too – come to think of it!

Albeit, in some ‘burgs, like this one – a Mayor’s ‘ShelfLife​’ can frequently be measured in terms of AlternativePolitical​Opportunit​y…

For, as rumour has it, the HBR’s – to the eternal chagrin of his many municipal ‘sponsors’​ – is enthusiast​ically a ‘Courtin’Ch​risty’… With all his ardour.

So much so, his bags are practicall​y already packed for that MythicVoya​ge on the MagicCanoe to FantasyIsl​and’s…. Legislatur​eLost.

Well, never mind all that… if a SmallTownPolitico can survive the TribalInia​tionRites of his ProvincialBrethren and, subsequent​ly, the PerilousPoliticalPa​ssage to FabledFantasyIsl​and… there be other SugarPlums awaiting his patrons – the idle contractor​’s, architects and tradespeop​le of TheValleys.​.. PrisonsR’U​s, anyone?…

[NoteToEd: One things for sure, MendicantMayors of the HBR certainly won't have any trouble pawning their Chains 'o Office or organizing a PayDayLoan to smooth their transition to the BigTent... Heck, if they're really lucky, they might even qualify for a complimentary Christy'Too or Two!]

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[Images Ⓒ​2012 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

“Just Sign Here.”

These images from our indomitable correspondent, Nemesis, who also writes:
“They’re such strange cultural artifacts – the MassProduced “ManufacturedHomes” [and by extension the identikit developments marketed as “communities” comprised entirely of these structures].
These examples are to be found on the grounds of EagleHomes.ca PresentationCentre… adjacent to the TransCanada Highway on the outskirts of SalmonArm.
There’s something vaguely disturbing about the whole tableau…. the “WhyRent” signage… as though, tacitly, we could expand upon the marketing enticement, “Home & Land Packages”… to read, “Home, Land & Family Packages!”…
Id est – it’s all right here… just waiting inside… for you.
Boxed. ShrinkWrapped. BarCoded.
The husband/wife, child, job, ‘life’ that you always wanted but which, until today, had somehow eluded you…
“Just sign here.”

For the uninitiated, Nemesis is responsible for the indispensable ‘Postcards From The Blast Radius‘ photo essay/poems. Since his last post, the periphery has marched further towards the centre.
Thanks, Nem!
(We highly recommend that you click on the photos to view them in large format glory.)
- vreaa

[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #15 (2012Teaser) – “Oki CourtOrdereds… LookLikeThis…‏”

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Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ2012 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #14 – Windsor – In the ‘RustBelt’ The RE Deals are…. “FingerLickin’Good”‏

Tecumseh Road, Windsor, Ontario, Summer 2011
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Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #13 – “You’reInvited! GhostMalls ‘O TheOkanagan… by RSVP”

Ya know, the only problem with ‘NaganTouring in a 48 Pontiac Woodie (apart from occasionally having to deal with the irate/disconsolate ‘Darlings’ one neglected to invite) is that they’re Darn!ThirstyBeasts. Which means, sooner or later (usually, sooner) it’s FillErUP!Time… (as opposed to MillersTime – which one ought never to do when in charge of mechanical contrivances in motion; which, come to think it, as ‘catch-all phrases’ go – could include some rather unusual appliances; but I digress  [just this once. -ed.]).

Accordingly, following a recent sojourn exploring the ‘delights’ of Highway97’s assorted RoadSideAttractions/Signage. Imagine, just imagine ‘TheHorror!’ upon discovering that your BigBlockV8 is now reciprocating on mere vapour – and you’re about to experience the GloomyMisfortune of gliding into…

A GhostStation.

As in No SingingTexacoGuyz. No Pumps & Definitely NoGas.

Now, as it happens, there is a good reason why the current PesosPerLitre signage has been ‘blacked out’ at this PitStop…

And it just might have something to do… with whatever it is that’s on the other side of that hoarding. Let’s have a look, shall we?

OhGoodie! RSVP! Have we just been invited to Partay!… @UrbanLiving?

But, “Hey! Just a minute now – this is WestBank. So where the Heck’s The’Urban’?”

Leaving that issue aside, for the moment, upon closer inspection (the kind that reveals the spreading cracks in this faded DevelopersDreamSignage) we discover that this is, regrettably, yet another incitement to ClimbAboard the PreSalesCondoTrain.

Albeit… in this particular instance, a superfluous/obsolete ‘invitation’. For, not surprisingly given the region, the CondoDreams of UrbanLiving’s Montréal QC Developer DevMcGill®, are… Defunct.

Of course, as with all such disappointments… There are consequences.

For example, there are a lot more WestBankers hand-washing their cars themselves these days…

And, more’s the pity, no chance to reprise BackToTheFuture’s superlative retro ‘50’s ‘FullService’ sequence either.

So. What’s an aspiring WestBank, BreakingBad, ‘WalterWhite’ type – looking for a cash business to masquerade his horticultural earnings – to do? Especially, when you allow that the only ‘vacant’ CarWash/GasStation in town is frozen in legal limbo.

‘Better Call Sol’, I guess. Unless…

Yeah! There is a restaurant. Heck, there’s a WholeDarnedStripMall!

Loads ‘a possibilities here! Could work.

Hmmm. Better check out those interiors, though – cause ya never know, do ya. Caveat emptor, and all that stuff.

Ah. Just as well we decided to Peek‘nPoke… Judging by the abandoned air mattress, broken glass and somewhat haphazard arrangement of dusty colonial furnishings – what was once a popular restaurant has been reduced to a temporary refuge for the circumspect (but, presumably, handy with tools) homeless.

Just look at all those stacked/discarded menus. One can almost see them now… The Wives n’ Daughters of The’Nagan. Those effusively fulsome and ebulliently perky purveyors of GrilledSurf&Turf! Rushing to and fro, juggling enormous platters and steaming stainless pot’s ‘o java. Each and every gal lovingly adorned in a fetching, freshly scrubbed ‘PeachQueen@TheProm’ themed ‘CattleCountry’ uniform.

Well, it’s a nostalgic thought, ain’t it?

Yep, “CattleCountry” it once was… but, sadly, there ain’t no RibEyes, Tbones or Lobster a sizzlin’ here. Anymore.

Still – it does afford us a splendid excuse/opportunity to explore the broader implications…

‘Cause, “CattleCountry”, as any aspiring actor could tell ya, or for that matter, anyone who’s ever experimented with OnLineDating in the ‘hinterlands’… is, subliminally at least, an apt moniker for a ‘Nagan eatery.

Even an abandoned one.

And here’s why – because it is also suggestive of that apt turn of phrase from ‘TheShowBiz’, “The Cattle Call”.

So, getting right down to the NittyGritty – it doesn’t take an enormous leap of imagination to equate a Developers’ clarion invitation to StrokeTheSteel & GraspTheGranite to a casting director’s MassAudition (usually to find the perfect DancingTomato, for ‘scale’). Or, for that matter, to the OnLine Catalogues ‘o The Forlorn maintained by the FieldsMedal winning entrepreneurs of SocialMedia. [we’re still with ya, but only just. – ed.]

Regardless, it all amounts to pretty much the same thing… The aggregated exploitation of the ‘vulnerable’ and/or blissfully ignorant.

And, more specifically, the relentless commoditization of people and their dreams.

Well, at the risk of driving a “Steak” through the Heart ‘o those dreams… (or barricading them with welded steel security grilles)… The ‘answer’ just might be…

That some things are best left ‘unsold’. Not hyped. Not marketized. Not ‘traded’.

..& lest we collectively succumb to the temptation of ‘BlameCasting’, however… how about a little reflexive introspection first?

In the LookingGlass. All of us.

For, to quote the MostEstimable Chinese President Hu JinTao’s enthusiastic address to an impressive assembly of the PartyFaithful earlier this year:

“We must go deep down. We must immerse ourselves in the reality!”

“Good night, and good luck” [google that, All – you’ll like it.]

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Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

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[Once in a while, it’s good to give your brain a workout. Keeps you ‘agile’. -ed.]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #12 – “Quality, Quality, Quality!” Or “WhenDreamsGoBust…”

Has it been three years… or just two? Hmmm… I’ve rather lost count. Regardless, this abandoned forest ‘o rebar is surprisingly situated within ‘spitting distance’ of Penticton’s OhSoTony Yacht&TennisClub! (yes, they have those in the HillyBillyRiviera, too)… Apparently, the CourtOrderedSale didn’t quite work out. Never mind, DearReaders! – let’s go ‘walkies’, shall we!??

Now, look carefully and you’ll notice rebar sprouting from this lot, too – albeit they’re more like asparagus tips than the RealSteel … This partially developed/vacant lot was originally purposed for a companion dwelling to the structure visible in the background… Hmm. I wonder what it’s called – I must confess, I’m rather partial to that whole SouthWest/Pueblo thang…

Ah! They called it TheArizona!… Now that was prescient. Best of all, it isn’t just an ordinary old case of “NowSelling” – they’ve gone one better and declared it, “NowPreselling!”. I wish them luck. But here’s the thing – when Developers are compelled to go the “ComFree” route… you KNOW times are hard.

Yikes!… That is SO the biggest WeatherWane I have ever seen. I know, DearReaders – you mistook that erection for a crane on an active site. Truth be told, it hasn’t functioned as a crane in at least two years. But it does accurately indicate wind direction and I am reliably informed that it is sufficiently conspicuous to the “OnFinal” NetJetJockeys BarrellRolling in on the ApproachPath to CYYF’S RunWay16 to serve as such…
At least it’s useful.
Still, I wonder what this one was called… Let’s peek!

‘Ashley’s Dream’. One almost yearns to know… who was Ashley?… The Developer’s daughter?… Their MainSqueeze??? Their MaMa? Their Commercial Loans Officer?
Or was “Ashley’sDream” merely the febrile ‘hookline’ of a Down&Out CondoHype CopyWriter struggling to make good on his tab at “TheDecoy”.
We’ll probably never know.
But you’ve got to love that tagline…
“Quality, Quality, Quality”!
Alas, sometimes: dreams -> nightmares.

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Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #11 – HollyWoodNorth’s GulagArchipelago – The LakeCityBurnaby Commercial RE Glut

Wow! There’s an ‘Elephant in the room’… And in Burnaby, no less!

And a TigerShark… dining!
(NoteToSelf: ‘Doing Lunch’ with sharks inevitably ends poorly.)

And how about this forlorn, rusting sentinel…?

RazorWire? In the Lower Mainland?

Everything you’ve just seen (and will see) was photographed, “OnLocation!” in Beautiful Burnaby’s LakeCity & environs.

Our explorations begin with a very special and particularly privileged corporate EconomicMigrant peculiar to BC’s LML… The ‘RunAway’ HollyWood Production.

Ooooh, Goody!!! HollyWoodNorth at work!… Or as the BurnabyHillBillies are wont to say, “MovieStars&SwimmingPools!” Let’s go have a look, shall we?

Darn&DoubleDarn… No celebrities and PublicParking’s a little scarce. Fortunately, we’re on foot today.

Hmm… No Stars here, either! – but somewhere, somebody’s definitely making a killing on OrangeTrafficCones and associated signage.

Definitely no ‘parking chaos’ on this BackLot (and as it turns out, no “Chaos” anymore either – but we’ll get back to that in a moment).

Yep. Ain’t no doubt ‘bout it. Them HollyWoodNorth Moguls – rather like their CounterParts in the CityOfAngels – just love designated private parking spots. But, Hey!? What’s that BigOrangeSign in the background all about?

That’s what. The RazorWireEconomy of vacant, disused industrial & commercial space (and by implication, vanishing enterprise, transient jobs & ‘DisposableWorkers’).

Indeed, although this particular venue was briefly resurrected as a temporary sound stage and production facility for the short-lived CBS television series, “Chaos”… Only 13 episodes and about as many weeks later and it’s just one more, “HereToday & GoneTomorrow”, “NowLeasing!” story.

And that, DearReaders is how it usually works in HollyWoodNorth – where indigenous production is virtually non-existent and the principal attractions to foreign producers of ’run-away’ productions were the Loonie@.65USD, weak local craft guilds and generous public subsidies.

So. There it is. Your visual harbinger of the HollowedOut, ‘MovieSet’/Facade economy so emblematic of our province’s graft-ridden, peculiar political economy of Construction&RealEstate, HumanTrafficking and ‘Horticulture’.

A terrible pity. And as for that forest of superfluous DesignatedParkingSignage? Well, never mind – because it makes great kindling for the CampFires ‘O The HomeLess who actually inhabit the parklands nearby.

Nothing screams out, “OpenForBusiness!” like barbed wire, chainlink and DisposableWorkers on picket duty. All that’s missing are the Pinkertons.

OK – so here’s the skinny on LakeCity’s vacant industrial/commercial premises – and it’s hardly a, ‘solitary building here&there’ kind ‘o thing… Warning: you might want to flip through these “quickly” – ‘cause there sure are a lot of them!

It’s simply amazing how quickly it adds up… 1200SqFt up there…

Becomes 2200 SqFt over here…

5,500 SqFt down the street…

10,463 SqFt around the corner…

12,500 SqFt KittyKorner from SkyTrain ‘University’…

To 15,500 SqFt…

To 60,000 SqFt…

To 63,000 SqFt (in this instance, former home to “Chaos”). See where this is going?…

Indeed, some developments have so much vacant space on offer – they have circumspectly chosen not to advertise the available square footage…

OK – this is just one district in Burnaby. If we throw in the rest of the LML – how many Millions ‘O Square Feet of commercial space are currently sitting vacant?

Sadly, and with few exceptions, the only thing growing around these industrial premises and accompanying LeasingEnticements is the grass.

As most of you have already surmised – each one of these vacant properties was once home to a business. And although Nemesis knows the ‘ordinary’ businesses that once occupied these premises don’t enjoy the Cachet/Buzz ‘o ShowBiz, they did for the most part, provide people with worthwhile, stable employment of a type not found in the GlamIndustries.

Perhaps there’s a lurking labour economist or econometrician in the audience who could provide us with a rough guide to the solution of: (x)[SqFtVacant] = (y)[JobsGone] ???

The SmallPrint on this Cushman&Wakefield signage reads, “Global Real Estate Solutions” – and that’s your next clue… Hmm. Perhaps it should say, “Arbitrage” instead of “Solutions”? Works with people and, apparently, RE too.

Ok – this is way too depressing. Time to board SkyTrain and GetGoin’.

Oops. SkyTrain’s ProductionWayUniversity Station is rubbing our noses in it, too. Three years after completion and they’re still flogging space in this development. Well, at least some of that OfficeSpace is furnished (locally sourced & ‘lightly used’ LakeCity disposals, ‘Nem’ wonders?).

Even TheResidentials’ are vying for our eyeballs & a piece of the action. To wit, a transit bench featuring the balding, collective rictus of ColdWellBanker’s “LoveTeam”.

Wandering towards the escalator and trying to ignore the commercial hoardings – for my own private amusement I briefly envisage LakeCity’s FarFuture…

A park like landscape where FlyingCars compete for AirSpace with children’s Frisbees … Where SFU’s Industrial & Urban Archaeologists of tomorrow are momentarily perplexed upon discovering the corroded remnants of sentinels, elephants, and a tiger shark… beneath a discarded transit shelter apparently dedicated to the Arcane&Taboo Rituals of RE’s “LoveTeam”.

Yikes! Startled BackToReality by yet more RezCouture/RE AgitProp.
I guess that when it comes to Vancouver, there’s really no escaping it.

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Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]