I found an apartment advertised on Craigslist two weeks before the Games began, and the location is perfect. I have three blocks to walk to reach the USA House, and other events and meeting places are not much farther afield.
Parking is non-existent at the venues, so everyone takes the free busses or trains. The distance from the bus stop to the venues can be considered either a good hike to the fit, or a forced march to the out-of-shape.
On the street, people look fit. Perhaps itís because they walk everywhere. Obesity is rare and I expect that their health care is so affordable because everyone is so healthy. The locals dress with class, somewhat like the folks in downgtown San Francisco. I am also pleased to see families with children in strollers or guided by the hand, attending events and sharing public transportation. The ladies are lovely, and the men, polite... at least until the sun goes down.
On the evening of my arrival, pedestrians kept to the sidewalks while bars and restaurants were half filled. Lately, around the 10:00 p.m. hour, crowds have been spilling outdoors, onto the streets. Authorities are beginning to close off certain streets to automobiles. Each night, the police cordon off additional streets and the rowdiness grows in all directions. I believe the merchants are happy, even if the residents are not. Right now, I can hear the fun seekers outside the window, and Iím on the 16th floor. Behind a nearby skyscraper, I see the remnants of a fireworks show and hear the explosions echo off the other buildings.
And the party seems to be growing. I can only imagine what Vancouver might look and sound like after a gold medal hockey game?