The Downtown Eastside now delivers to Fairview
About two hours ago I was halfheartedly watching two big blue and yellow Unitow tow trucks slowly circle the 99 B-Line bus that had conked out in the westbound curb lane of the 1400 block of West Broadway Avenue at about 5 p.m. I wondered which of the two would leave — they don’t tow buses as a team.
When I next looked up from my window seat, an additional drama was unfolding: two “streety” guys were out in the far westbound boulevard lane — basically standing in the middle of West Broadway. Between them was a bicycle which they were each gripping with both hands and apparently each trying to tug way from the other.
I vaguely knew one of the fellows, who at about 6-foot-two-inches considerably out-leveraged the other, shorter fellow (who I didn’t know) and who seemed to be having trouble standing up.
There was a third person — a woman — who I thought I recognized (but didn’t). She had long, light brunette hair and a languid manner and she stood off to one side gesticulating with a plastic 7-Up bottle in the direction of the two gentlemen.
And there were two ambulance paramedics — I think they had just been driving by and stopped to investigate why three people were blocking traffic in the middle of West Broadway Avenue.
Meanwhile, the Unitow truck drivers seemed to have sorted things out amongst themselves because only one remained to tow the bus without distracting competition.
And then two of the Vancouver police department’s shiny black Dodge Chargers arrived in the eastbound lane, all burbling with red and blue LED light.
The Downtown Eastside circus comes to (my side of) town
It’s times like this, when a slew of emergency vehicles are strung out along the boulevard with all their emergency lights flashing — all so that two paramedics and anywhere from four to six police officers can deal with three strung-out individuals on a day trip from the north side of False Creek — that the 1400 block of West Broadway Avenue looks like the Downtown Eastside South.
Both of the males ended up handcuffed and cooling their heels until a paddy wagon, or two, came to drive them away. Both guy’s backpacks and the bicycle were also packed up and driven away by police — all except for the bicycle’s front wheel.
The wheel was carried away by the woman, who kind of glided across the street and into the McDonald’s restaurant, in hopes of getting some free soda pop to go in the empty 7-up bottle that she carried. Before she glided back outside and in the direction of a northbound bus stop, presumably to make her way back downtown, she may or may not have taken the water she was offered instead.
Likewise, the dead 99 B-Line may have been towed away or someone came along and just took it. I really can’t say. In either case I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Click the images to enlarge them.