Rainy Royal Oak
The tour of Royal Oak Station last weekend (part of SkyTrain Explorer's walking tours), wasn't remarkable except for the huge Burnaby South Secondary School and a cul-de-sac in the shape of a barbel (at the appropriately-named Barbel Place). Then again, Burnaby, the suburb of Vancouver I live in, is not terribly remarkable either, despite the coolness neighbourhoods like Burnaby Heights (picnics every weekend at the park, the crazy old Italian guys playing and arguing over bocce, the restaurants and other cool shops on Hastings etc.). The size of Burnaby South Secondary is an indication of how residential the Royal Oak neighbourhood is. Not a lot of people got on or off at this station, but the basis for comparison is the high traffic Metrotown Station, which must have a crush of students on their way to SFU on weekdays. It was rainy and a little cold, but a little water from the sky isn't enough to discourage this Vancouverite from getting some fresh air and discovering my surroundings.
Five chapters in and five tours taken on the list of stations in SkyTrain Explorer (Main Street-Science World Station, Nanaimo Station, 29th Avenue Station, Edmonds Station and Royal Oak) it's probably time I invited people to come along with me. The best candidate looks to be Broadway Station, sometime late October or early November. I'll probably check out a copy of the book so that I'm not the only one who can read from it, and ideally I'd like to do it on a weekend day early in the afternoon. I might even post it at Upcoming.org as a self-promotional event. Even though he conducts walking tours himself, I'm sure John Atkin thought that people would (and should!) organize self-guided group tours using his book, and that encouraging people to explore neighbourhoods was what he had in mind when he wrote them.