Vancouver Special

I am much enjoying “Vancouver Special,” a funny but unsparing collection of essays written by local writer and comic Charles Demers and published by Arsenal Pulp Press (with photographs by Emmanuel Buenviaje). A note in his chapter on the Downtown Eastside led me to the wonderful blog “Past Tense: fragments of Vancouver’s history and reflections thereon” published by “activist historian” Lani Russwurm. There you can find an astonishing gallery of videos documenting Vancouver’s past, including the two below: a 1956 interview with a skid row drifter, and a 1964 National Film Board propaganda piece documenting “urban blight.”

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