One door opens, another closes…


photo by my Chandra

It was high time to give up driving. My vision had changed and my little old car was tired. Do I miss it? Yes. But only for grocery shopping. Traveling by bus is not only a new adventure, but an opportunity to see more — and chat with strangers. People are fascinating. I’m new at using buses, and don’t know anything about where they go or their schedules.

My friend Hans, who lived in L.A.’s Hollywood Hills, used to tease me about plans to visit ‘the village’, which is what he called this beautiful city. He was delighted by the unpaved sidewalk and  remaining unpaved alleyways here and there in my neighborhood.

I believed him. This IS a small town compared to L.A. which is so very large. Using buses for transportation, I was allowing an hour to walk the few blocks to the stop and to get wherever I wanted to go. It worked until now. I’ve just learned the town is bigger than I thought. An hour wasn’t enough to get to where I was to have an ultrasound taken of my shoulder this week.

Yup, it was the first time I’d bused that far. I’d driven that route many times by car, but you get to see so much more out the bus window than you can driving. Driving requires attention to traffic, lights, pedestrians and what’s happening behind you. On the bus, all that is taken car of for you. Hurrah!

Donna suggested I take the ‘Express’ but I didn’t know where it stopped. A REAL person would have asked but I didn’t so I was five minutes late for my appointment. No one else seemed upset by that but me. (Well, did I ever promise you sanity?)


Storm clouds? Stormy sea?

The ultrasound experience was new too. I had once had one, but this time I could actually see the screen. At first it looked like storm clouds gathering and whirling about in preparation for a huge storm — in my shoulder. Later I saw it differently. It looked more like ocean waves in a stormy sea. The technician listened to my nonsense with  amusement, then ventured to say nobody had ever seen the ultrasound in that way before. Probably true….


The Rio Theatre built in 1938

Afterwards, on leaving the building, I looked across the street. Wow! I was right in front of the awesome old Rio Theatre, now so much in our local news. I’d never seen this beautiful Art Deco venue before. No wonder local residents don’t want the Rio, built in 1938, torn down to be replaced by yet more condos — which most of us can’t afford anyway.


Rio Theatre lobby

The other day, I read the Rio was voted our city’s #1 ‘Multimedia’ venue. (It features film and live performances.) What is wrong with us? How can we allow irreplaceable jewels like this gorgeous structure obliterated? The likes of the Rio will never be constructed again. It will be lost to us forever. Kudos to the present operator, Corinne Lea, who is trying to raise the money to purchase the building and save it. She’s just started a crowd-funding push. I wish her success.

Ridge Theatre 1950-

Ridge Theatre, 1950- 2013

My own neighborhood has lost an old theatre too, the Ridge (1950-2013). It was not as gorgeous as the Rio, but nonetheless much loved. The ground floor is now a Loblaws Market (infamous for its participation in a massive bread price-fixing scheme for years which cheated food shoppers) with yet more condos above. The old ‘Ridge’ neon sign sits on top of the building — a constant reminder of what we’ve lost forever.



12 thoughts on “One door opens, another closes…

  1. Don’t forget the Hollywood – the building’s still there, I think, but last I heard it was gonna be a fitness centre. Btw, bus schedules are all online here There’s also a trip planner, but it gives ridiculous routings at least 15% of the time.

    • Hi Carol:
      Thanks for reading. Yes, Years ago I did go to the Hollywood and met the mother, by then retired. She told me they would not have been able to keep operating if they didn’t own the building. By now, who knows who would have been around to run it. All the best, Muriel

  2. Muriel, as much as we would like, you can not stop new buildings from taking over the old ones. It is called progress. The world population keeps increasing especially in the bigger cities. Where are these new inhabitants going to get housing? High rise buildings and condos are a necessary evil but they solve the problem. It reminds me of your previous blog on getting rid of old souvenirs. It hurts to throw them out but if you need the space you frown and throw them out. Great blog as usual.

  3. The great cities of the world are made up of the new and the old, different cultures, different neighbourhoods, people of various backgrounds and incomes and educational attainment. If the past is erased along with our views of the beautiful natural surroundings and the low-rise apartment buildings where so many of us have lived, Vancouver will become a city of modern glass towers that only the rich can afford, It will not be a great city. It will be sterile. And those rich people better eat at home because there will be no one to cook their food or serve it or bus their tables. (This is already happening.) There will be no one to teach their children or drive their taxis. We will be too far out in the suburbs where we can still afford the rent.

    • Thanks Judy: I agree. Those high glass structures are already ugly and there are so many, they block the natural beauty surrounding our city. And, yes, we have a terrible situation where too many can’t afford to live here. Here’s hoping our city officials are wise. Fondest regards, Muriel

  4. We call it progress but I’m not sure it is. Tearing down older classically designed buildings to increase the apartment/condo numbers increases congestion to an already heavily populated city. It’s not just your beautiful city. I live in Los Angeles and it is being over-built with more apts/condos. The streets and freeways are too crowded and water use is already stretched too thin. Will this ever stop- I doubt it! People make too much money building these over priced homes. Quality of life here is getting worse and that’s why I will be leaving soon. Brian

  5. Wouldn’t it be great if politicians had to give up their cars for at least a month, and ride the buses? They’d get to see the city and its inhabitants from a whole new perspective! And bravo for voicing your support for Corinne and her efforts to save the Rio Theatre. Surely there can be room to save at least some of our city’s beautiful, historical structures, even while putting up with all of the “growth”, perpetrated mainly by wealthy developers!

  6. I was in the Adelaide Mall today and your blog made me reflect on the fate of the 10 theatres of my youth that no longer exist there. Their doors have been replaced mostly by ugly glass and concrete – sad but seemingly inevitable. Hope the thunderous ultrasound results in treatment to lessen your discomfort.

    • Thanks Tony: Yes, the ultrasound discovered more than a storm at sea. It will take time, but it will repair. As for theatres of our youth, it has happened everywhere, not only in your beautiful city of Adelaide. Fond regards, Muriel

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