Posted by: Andrew Pask | June 30, 2012

Decentralized and dispersed… Tom & Gary hit English Bay

DDP - English Bay - P1050798

After a day of odds and ends (translation: rendering some order to my seriously messy apartment), it’s nice to close things with a bit of liveliness and surprise.

I’d forgotten that Tom and Gary had one of their excellent Decentralized Dance Parties scheduled for today.  As a consequence… I missed all of it, save for the part that showed up just down the street from where I live.

My loss!  the 45 minutes I caught was a pretty good time – and featured everything from Neil Diamond to Meatloaf to some old euro club tracks that were popular when I lived overseas.  For those that haven’t hit one of Tom and Gary’s events before, the DDPs are a roving take-over of different spaces.  They dj a set and broadcast it on a transmitter, and the partyers that accompany them (on foot or on bike) tune in to the set on their boomboxes.  Sometimes it’s a roving affair, while other times it’s contained to a specific (usually) public space.  The whole thing has a great symbiotic feel, where the participants really do help to make the event happen.  Call it the audience as amplifier, or participatory raving.  Fun stuff.

Today’s event started in Robson Square hours ago.  I’m not sure how many spots the revellers  hit in the intervening hours (one cop I spoke to grumbled that the party had gotten a bit too close to Bard on the Beach… which, if it’s true, would have made for an awkward clash of cultural activities).  Nevertheless, at 10:00pm they were in the West End… and at 10:15pm, a happy crowd was gathered at the Inukshuk.

By 10:45 the police had shown up.  They were pretty good natured and waited for 11:00pm (when the Noise Bylaw really kicks-in) to pass.  It was interesting to overhear the pep-talk they had with one-another before hand – mostly centred on making themselves more visible (by donning reflective traffic-control vests) and determining that it was the Park Bylaw that they wanted to quote (because parks are supposed to ‘close’ at 10pm).

My not-so-good (call it Impressionistic) shot of the VPD gathering on the hill:

DDP - English Bay - P1050804

For some folks, this was probably too early to end the party.  I always oscillate on this issue — because I think the city could use certainly use a more diverse nightlife than it currently has, but because I also think the spaces used for this nightlife ought to be at least somewhat conducive to it.  (Partying in front of the Inukshuk, for example, means partying right in front of at least four large residential towers… which invariably will generate some legitimate complaints if things go too late into the night).

We can do better than Granville — there’s no doubt about that.  And there’s no real reason we shouldn’t use some of our parks well into the night.  But which ones, and where?

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