I’d bet money that most of the buffoons who rioted last night don’t have a Vancouver address. I believe this because we encountered a handful of them downtown before the game. They were already drunk. They were already loud. They were from out of town, they said—shrouded in Canucks gear—and causing trouble even before the game started. Some already had their faces covered with black bandanas.
My partner and I were on Granville having a late sushi lunch at Shuraku on their outdoor patio before the puck dropped. We were lucky to score the table, which allowed us to take in sunshine and the excited vibration around us in seats which were, five hours later, covered in tear gas and trash.
We watched the game in Yaletown at a friend’s place, where we immediately saw the billowing smoke just minutes after the game. From his balcony we watched in horror, unsure what had happened until local news broke to tell us a car had been set on fire. Then there was another fire. And then another. The smoke kept billowing up in different places. Outside, we had one eye on the TV coverage inside and one eye on the real “live” footage eight blocks away. Glass started to break. Punches were being thrown. The riot cops showed up. At this point, we decided to head home and barely made it over the Burrard Bridge before they closed all the bridges.
Like many of you, we watched the coverage last night/today on all the major media outlets and were disgusted and embarrassed. THIS IS NOT US we screamed at the TV! What the cameras didn’t capture or report were the other 99,950 fans who showed up downtown with painted faces, wigs, flags, and hockey sticks ready to root on their favorite team—a group of amazing hockey players who we believed in like a parent does a child and who gave us an AMAZING run for the cup.
What fun we’ve had for the last two months! Despite being disappointed with the loss, I still want to shout THANK YOU CANUCKS from the rooftop!
So, on that note, I’ll share the photos I took yesterday of the gaiety, which I’d hoped to share today with the joyful noise of a victory. We’ll just pretend that the riots never happened, okay? Let’s not allow those assholes who burned up and broke our town steal our awesome 2011 Stanley Cup memories!
(They’re all going to jail anyhow, thanks to smartphones and their snappy users who documented all their faces!)