I love walking around in the quickly disappearing industrial and warehouse district near Main and Terminal in Vancouver. Condo developments are squeezing out old buildings that once housed clothing manufacturers, carpet wholesalers and an assortment of metal and woodworking shops. There is a city block of particularly dingy side roads and shipping bays that draws a lot of unmentionables and which has been the subject matter for a few of my images, including the one above.
Despite having walked some strange parts of town in various parts of the world, like in the outskirts of Queens, Bogota, or Mexico City, I rarely feel intimidated by the surroundings or by some of the unsavory types that tend to hang around the darker alleys and doorways. On the particular afternoon I took this photo, though, I felt a little concerned about two black-hooded men, one on the street corner obviously acting as a “look-out” and another standing in front of a dilapidated entrance-way into one of the shadier looking buildings. It looked straight out of a bad movie. Something just told me to stay away and I did, turning on my heels, at which point I saw this image on the opposite wall above some brush and discarded aerosol cans.