Thursday, 24 April 2014

Who knew photography could have such a negative aspect?

Ha.  The strangest thing happened yesterday.  I found out that there is still a tiny segment left of the original Georgia St viaduct.  You remember, the one which crossed Main St waaaaay back when Main St was still well under water?


 I wanted to discreetly add a photograph of it to the blasting past into the present post. I was in the back alley taking photographs of the original structure embedded in Georgia St.


due west of Main.


Now, I was just going to quietly drop the photo into the original post with a line or two of context and leave it at that.  You and I would not be sharing this communication at all, except that a Paladin security guard came along just as I was taking those photos and told me to cease and desist.  He told me that it was illegal for me to take a photograph of that site, because it is private property. He said that it belongs to BC Hydro, which is of course ridiculous since it's a City of Vancouver  ROAD, and not private property at all. Being the know-it-all that I am, I was instantly and deeply convinced that  HERE IN CANADA people have the right to stand in a city lane and take photographs of anything they see. He said "No. You can't do that."

I let him know he'd drunk some funny Kool Aid and said "Now I am going ride around to Main St to see the other side of this old piece of Vancouver.  I am going to take photographs of the tram tracks, too."  He called his bosses back - again - and followed me.  He arrived just after I took this photo of the tram tracks.


He promptly took a photograph of me.  So I took one of him.


This one.
He insisted I had to stop taking photos. I insisted he was starkers. He said "I am afraid you will have to stop taking pictures and leave immediately, or I will call the police."  I already had all of the photographs I needed, but I invited him to do just that.  So he did. 

And I filmed him doing so.

 

We waited. He talked to his boss a lot.  


Eventually, the police showed up. They talked to the security guard for a while. 

=

Then they talked to their bosses on the phone for a while.  


Funny, cause when my friend mentioned how we might not be allowed into the US after this, I was literally shaking, shaken, and upset, despite the obvious ridiculousness of the situation. I would have loved to have a chat with the big guy in charge of the rest of the big guys up there where divinity hangs out, because really.  That's enough of being the butt of so many of their silly jokes already.

After what felt like an interminable time, the detectives came over to have a chat with me.  They said that there is in fact a rarely invoked federal law which the security guard was trying to call upon, a felony offense which allows the police to arrest me for taking photographs of certain federal and provincial sites - places like the substation beside the road I was photographing.  Sooooo... I was informed that technically speaking, my photograph of  the security guard up there, the one taken in front of the substation falls under that particular classification and therefore the company technically has the right to insist I not photograph it. There's the value of vengeance for you in a nutshell!

OK.  So in the first place, I had no idea that building was a substation.  And yes of couse ignorance of a law is no excuse for breaking it, but how on EARTH is anybody supposed  to guess that it's illegal to take a photograph of a plain old brick building?!  It's not like it's second nature to assume that you might be breaking the law by standing on a public sidewalk and snapping a photograph of a non-descript building amidst a very public scene. I wasn't even photographing the bloody substation, anyway, until the zealot security guard started taking photographs of me and threatening me with arrest for doing something I was convinced was pefectly legal. I figured if he was going to take one of me I sure as hell was going to take one of him right back, dagnabit.

For goodness sake, if it's so all-important that nobody take photographs of that old piece of infrastructure embedded in a PUBLIC THOROUGHFARE, well then they should have put up a solid fence instead of the SEE-THROUGH wire fences they went with.


Ridiculous.

Please note that despite being proven wrong, and although I do not, in fact, have the legal right to take photographs of anything I choose in the public domain, I rode away from the situation with my sense of righteousness intact.  I remained one with my inner know-it-all. Why? Because in the end, the police did let me keep my awful photographs of an old piece of Vancouver, and they said that the people at BC Hydro/Paladin were pushing their luck. All's well that ends well.

That means I can keep prowling this town,


 taking as many terrible shots of this beautiful place as possible in pursuit of those ever elusive ones that almost capture how lovely Vancouver really is


... when viewed through a velo perspective.



 It's almost perfect, this place. 
Really.
You've gotta love it


 even if it IS inhabited by a strong-like-bull-smart-like-fridge know it all, or two.




43 comments:

  1. You terrorist you. LOL =)

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    2. LOL! Right?! Maybe I will make old Steve's enemy of the state list yet. It's always good to keep company with the Lorax...
      Podium kisses! XX

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  2. That rock is shaved smoother than my fella's.....

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  3. OK I gotta ask, how in Yahweh's name are you keeping your leg warmers up? Or is the cheeky separation only for the photos?

    G

    PS I'm not going to comment (rant) on the photos/public places/hidden laws because no-one wants to see me go off on one....

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    1. Keepin stuff up is her specialty.

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    2. LOL!

      I have a thick pair of over the knee socks which I fold down at the knee unless it's super cold. Then Sugoi knee warmers (who thinks of these things?!) with the rubbery elasticy bit at the top. They sort of stay up. Ish. The cheeky separation only happens after thirty km or so if I am wearing the tradiditonal cycling shorts, but I bought a short pair of Sugoi shorts last year. It's the pair in that beach shot up there ... they are reason for more skin.

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    3. Fair comment. But no-one wins against gravity, not even she!

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    4. Well I do believe some Long Sock Porn is in order lady. Lady. Heehee.

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    5. Well I'm not saying you *should* but only that you *could* - I have a photo of Jane Sheridan racing cyclocross in borrowed/shared leg warmers that she safety pinned to the bottom of her shorts. It's almost as cheeky a look.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/beastgp/11279613565/in/set-72157638490029925

      I'm certainly not complaining mind. :-)

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    6. That's GREAT! Gives them the look of lingerie... I love it.

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    7. Punk lingerie. Sounds like a niche market ;-)

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    8. Hey! That's a great idea, now that you mention it. I've been looking for a steampunk outfit to wear on a vintage bicycle. The bike awaits, and I have the perfect pair of goggles to go with, but nothing steampunk to wear in between. But I do have leg warmers and safety pins. :)

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    9. You need a ruffle and a top hat. Possibly spats...

      (I'll dig up some inspiration....)

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  4. Down here in your poorer neighbor to the south there are a lot more problems taking photos of public buildings -- because that's what terrorists do when they're planning attacks, ride around on a bike wearing pink and tight leggings taking photos of electrical substations. It's the perfect disguise. Hide in plain sight.

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    2. LOL! What a concept, pink wilma cammo.

      Huh. I had no idea. So if I had tried the same thing down there, I would have had the same result? Yeah, makes sense I guess, what with homeland security post 9/11, but it seems they've got their priorities wrong. The biggest, weakest link in all of North America is actually our water purification system, and most particularly the transit of chlorine by rail.
      It makes us surprisingly, incredibly, even unbelievably vulnerable, and yet nobody is willing to invest in rail safety and security, and the whole iindustry is allowed to govern itself. Cause a few white boys make more money that way.

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    3. We've actually spent a lot of money since 9/11 enclosing our reservoirs, etc -- eliminating some nice bike rides around what used to be open lakes and are now covered over.
      Coincidentally, a friend of mine was doing exactly what you were doing, taking photos while riding his bike around -- got stopped just like you did, and questioned, because he was photographing a water purification plant. "They've got chlorine over there." "Really?"

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    4. THAT's the thing! But putting security around a resevoir is also about keeping toxic agents out of the water supply. The trouble is the transport of the chlorine. We need to put small scale chlorine plants right at the resevoir/treatment site. The technology is available, and the return on our investment is huge when you consider the potential for unparalleled disaster hanging over all of our heads in the present situation..

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    5. You seem strangely well informed about this for someone who portrays herself as an empty-headed sexy cyclist.

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  5. Hmm, that sounds pretty ridiculous that you can't take photos there! Let's go ride back down there...since I work for BC Hydro...and take more photos. =)

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    1. Thank you. Since when is a public thoroughfare ANYBODY'S private property? I'll have to have you on the job if I'm ever going to publish that Substations of the Pacific Northwest coffee table book.

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  6. Here's your problem: you quite rightly meant to be discreet while photographing sensitive government ruins, but by mistake you were discrete, which is totally annoying to dogs and bureaucrats.

    - Mr. Language Know-it-all

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  7. Looking forward to your coffee table book "Substations of the Pacific Northwest"

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    1. And they're all so sexy it will surely top the best sellers list.

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  8. Was this a police substation or an electrical substation?

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    1. Electrical. It was BC Hydro's security boy with a hard on for an arrest.

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    2. You sure he wasn't just trying to engage you in conversation, and failing miserably?

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    4. LOL!
      Er... no. I'm old enough to be his mother!

      At first I thought he targeted me cause I am a cyclist in a place where the crack dealers and coconuts make up so much of the two wheeling population. But he was completely earnest, and he took direction from his bosses. And the police took him seriously, too, which all made me wonder.

      Still. I am a woman of deep convictions, and I was convinced that my civil liberties were being trampled upon. So I stuck it out. The police eventually thanked me for sticking around to tell my side of the story

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    5. Heh heh. There was one little bright momennt. The person on the other end of the line asked him how old I am, and he said he couldn't tell, so he asked me. I just chuckled and shook my head. His boss pressed him, so he guessed and he was off by a decade. That made me happy. :)

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    6. He was off the right way then ;-) Nobody would make that mistake - even a little jobsworth.

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  9. I hate how you Canadians pronounce certain words. "Soh-rey". Really? Or should i say EH? Maybe a donchaknow... lol! No, for reals, i would consider moving up there but the last time i was in Canada, was via New York/Thousand Islands area. Fuck those temps. Im stayin in FLORIDA, YA'LL!

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  10. " I remained one with my inner know-it-all." Brilliant!

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    1. Lol! Thank you. Just the simple truth... :D

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  11. I took a photo of a Kookaburra (an Australian bird) in a street near where I lived and this nob asked me why I was taking photos of houses in his street. Seriously people are paranoid about cameras these days. Which is funny when you think of just how much cctv cameras have been installed around the place. What are they going to do when every second person is wearing google glass or on board cameras in their cars and on their bikes! Good on you for sticking to your guns and I love the whole long sock/short short look, you've sure got the legs for it.

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    1. Thank you! :D

      Re:smile, you're on Candid Camera! When I lived in London, they calculated that the average person is caught on camera 200 times during their commute. Can you imagine?!

      For years I was pushing for CCTV cameras at the elementary school my son attends, and I have long advocated for them at playgrounds and other places where children congregate. I was shocked at the push-back. People say "OMG no! That's too Big Brother," but the truth is we're already well tracked thanks to our respective governments anyway. Why not protect our children while we're at it?

      And really, what are they doing in thier kids school ground or playground that they're reluctant to record on CCTV?

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  12. Ms. Babble on, have you heard of a writer named Peter Mayle. Your writing style oftentimes reminds me of his. You seem to adore Vancouver the way he adores Provence and this is reflected in your writing style. He is almost always gracious and seems to find the humor in most situations in his non fiction works and, so far, no one has died in his novels. The sociopaths and narcissists are always out there manipulating, using, and other wise causing pain and problems, but they can be defused, as you did in this blog. An example, Peter Mayle's "A Good Year," (especially the movie). I could also see you writing a book about Vancouver in the style of Peter Mayle's "Provence, A-Z." Keep up the good work.

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    1. Wow! What a beautiful thing to say. Thank you. I do so aspire to having that sort of literary impact one day... :)

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  13. Babble darling, ya shoulda bin nekkid, the poor boy would never have noticed the camera. :) Neither would we, come to think of it.

    Seriously, I thought that kind of "security" shit went out with the cold war? Google Earth is the most effective "terrorist" weapon around, they take the pics for you. I use it all the time.

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    1. Lol! Of course! Whart was I thinking?!

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  14. of course it's a sub station, I can see the conning tower (where the [eriscope goes..get it? sub station?

    I won't leave my name...I don't even know why I bother....sighh

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