Vancouver Accelerates: Thirty Years of Dwelling

One night, our neighbour across the alley blew herself up. It was the late nineties/early noughts, and our neighbour, an old woman named Mrs Smith, would smoke while breathing through her oxygen mask. What happened was sad but predictable. The resultant fire destroyed her home and the one next to hers. Her neighbour, an elderly Italian woman, had stayed at her sister’s the night of the explosion. She came home the next morning and promptly died of a heart attack upon witnessing the devastation in front her.

It was out of such “vanishings” that Mrs Smith’s Lot was born.

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The Swipe and the Shuffle

The word mall comes from the game pall-mall. Pall-mall comes from the Italian, pallamaglio, literally “mallet ball”. From a strike to a shuffle, all we need is to turn the game alley into a sheltered promenade. In the 20th century, we created the French halles, which inspired the American shopping mall. The text that follows was inspired by a recent visit to Canada’s third largest mall, on a mundane errand (going to the cobbler) and the difficulties in navigating the crowds therein.

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