Saturday, January 2, 2010

Finn Slough

Richmond, BC: June 19, 2009 Cisco’s recent foray into the Swedish business world (Tandberg acquistion) made me think of a place I visited last summer.

Just a short distance from suburban homes with modern amenities lies this older fishing village. While, some of these folks may be continuing a family tradition, there also seems to be some serious hobbying going on. Gentlewomen and gentlemen fish farmers?

There is a warning sign, which I’ve included as the second image to the right.  The warning is nailed directly into the bridge’s plank below the historical marker and covers both kinds of people, those who know the definition of beware and those who don’t.

The middle photo shows the Coles Notes (as we say in Canada) version of the history…

…which is written on the historical marker, as shown in the photo on the right. Is the subtext, “come and read about our town, but don’t come crying to us if your loved slip and drown on the way over from your car?” Actually, this a clever way to keep this area quiet except for those foolish enough (blush) to ignore the warnings and take a look around.

Finn Slough has many interesting buildings in a unique environment.

Do they serve lunch at the Dinner Plate Island School? The island itself must be round like a dinner plate, which after a hard day of fishing would sound like Heaven to me. I guess the firewood is either for the fun of having a fire on a cold, rainy day. Maybe it serves as an emergency backup for the gas heating. It looks gray, so it must have been there for a while. Even though the climate is mild for Canada, these buildings could be awfully drafty in February. Recent improvements on the left make me think that it isn’t abandoned.

Got to admit is was cool seeing a discarded boat by the walkway. I was there during low tide, all this grass area floods at high tide. There were photos of the village at high tide on one of the bulletin boards nearby, which explains why most buildings are on stilts.

As you might imagine, these communities are attractive to artists. Low cost living, peace and quiet. Judging by the weeds growing around its wheel, that pink bike hasn’t been anywhere for a long time. Works as a decoration, though, doesn’t it? Maybe I’ll put one in my cube! With the rear wheel embedded in a flower pot!

Reminds me of the story of Carmel by the Sea in California. The original property developers needed to get investors over the negative feeling of isolation from San Francisco, so they made it really attractive (cheap) for artists to rent bungalows near the sea. Hence, Carmel became known as an artists’ village. The growth of California and the success of that artists’ village concept made Carmel one of the most upscale towns you could possibly imagine. This, naturally, raised the rents, which forced out the artists. Today there are many, many art galleries, in Carmel, but locals will tell you that you would have to leave town to buy a paint brush. Good place to walk around, though: if you go, make reservations for dinner at Casanova’s.

Copyright © 2009 David G. Kelly

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