hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Monday, October 21, 2013

Jeff Downer's View of Us

Jeff, a Vancouver guy, was around last year; interested in doing some kind of grad school project on Point Roberts.  But then he disappeared.  I ran into his website this evening, which has this about the Point:

"Point Roberts, WA
A quarantined culture 
Point Roberts, Washington, the awkward little peninsula below Tsawwassen, is a space kept in isolation from the rest of it’s country, cut off from its inherent culture of the United States. It exists as an American territory solely because it falls below the 49th parallel, rendering the space, its culture, its people in a quarantine-like state, away from major sociological, technological, and economical advancements. It remains untouched from large american corporations, other than gas stations that residents from the Greater Vancouver area flock to on weekends in search of cheap gas prices, or an easy entry point into Canada by runaway criminals.
I am interested in what the culture of an area so gated (Americans have to cross two borders to access the area, Canadians, one) and so detached, yet independent, is like within a contemporary societal context. Or, like most areas, has this area too been effected by mass development, or is it a destination for retirees? Do people that work and live in a displaced landscape mimic their environment? The physical border itself, a mere cement block cylinder lines the border of the two territories. How can something so superficial hold so much weight?
As both an American and Canadian Citizen, I am personally drawn to this binary, and feel Point Roberts is probably the closest space to an area where both countries overlap and coexist in what feels like an ephemeral refuge or muster-station; waiting, just waiting." 

Although it doesn't all sound right to me (as a near 20-year resident), i do very much like the phrase: "waiting, just waiting."  But I surely don't know for what.


Anonymous said...

His name suits him. What a downer of an article. There is so much beauty on the Point but did he photograph any of it? No. If this article was my first view of Point Roberts I'd think of it as a depressed and depressing area which it certainly is not.

judy ross said...

right, but it's interesting to see what the outsider might see. i do think p.r. is something of an acquired taste, taken as a whole. The beauty of p.r. is largely the same as the beauty of coastal B.C., so vancouverites (and other visitors just passing by) may take that part for granted, and focus more on other aspects of the point: e.g., the too many gas stations. Too many, at least, for such a small place from a visitors' perspective.