Wednesday, 22 August 2007

New Westminster Quay


This month marks the one year anniversary of my purchase of my LX50. When I bought it, it had 78 kms on it. The other day, the numbers lined up nicely to show all fours. Mind you, the number 4 in Japan has the same meaning as death - oh well...

Looking back over the year I have had a great time on my Vespa and I still have that same excitement when I open the garage door and start out for a ride. It had been both fun and economical and I am glad that I have joined the ranks of other scooter riders.

Yesterday, I went to New Westminster again and I thought I’d check out New Westminster Quay. As I remember, it was a public market with lots of interesting stores. When the girls were small, we used to go there, stock up on a picnic lunch, walk along the boardwalk (it lies along the Fraser River) to a playground and have a picnic lunch / playtime at the park. I have great memories of this thriving market, much like Granville Island. As the kids got older, we just started going to different places and spent less and less time there.

Fast forward eight or nine years to present day. I walked into the market at lunch time and there were only three or four people in the whole market! Many of the stores on the main floor were closed. I went upstairs with the thought of getting something from the food court but the entire food court was behind barricade fencing. Only two or three stores were even open. It was deserted, barely hanging on.


I’m not sure why this happened to the market. The biggest difference is there is now a big Casino boat in front of the Quay that does draw a number of people but the gamblers are probably only there for one thing. Vancouver certainly gets in share of tourists so I’m not sure why New Westminster is doing so poorly - or at least why the Quay is doing poorly.

Just for interest’s sake, I went to the Way Back Machine and checked the Quay website from 1998, about when we went regularly. Back then, the website listed 65 shops and services. The current website lists 25. That’s a pretty amazing drop. Compare today with 1998.

After a last look around (and a quick trip to the Casino where I won $20 on the 25¢ slots) I wistfully got back on my scoot and rode away from New West Quay - probably for the last time.

4 comments:

Orin said...

Looks like the picture of the speedometer is going to be my Steve Williams shot... ;-D

__Orin
Scootin' Old Skool

Dave Dixon said...

Orin

Hey, thanks for the compliment!

Nome said...

Hi Dave Dixon,

I am writing an article about the market at the New Westminster Quay and how it has declined in the last ten years. I ran into your blog while researching.

A really lucky thing for me since your site contained just the info I was looking for (that is the number of shops and services there in 1998 compared to the number there now). I am wondering how you located the 1998 website. Can you tell me how I would find those old websites?

Also a question... given the current condition of the quay, are you likely to visit it again soon?

Thanks!
Naomi

Dave Dixon said...

Hi there Naomi
I went to a site called Way Back Machine. The link is here .

As for the quay itself, I'm not very likely to visit again, especially since they've recently taken away the opportunity to park free for the first hour. It's sad, really.

Good luck with your article...