There is a section of Vancouver that exhibits a dreamlike quality at night. Dreamlike because when you're in this area at night, you see nothing but soaring lights: visions of a surreal place. You could be forgiven if you think for a moment you're in a science fiction movie. Bridges are illuminated in warm tones and vehicles move rapidly in and out of a golden city on suspended lanes; you don't hear them much down here, only see headlights moving in the air above the bridges.
In the black water, colour spills and mixes in reflective pools and patterns, like molten metal. Occasionally a silver light will appear out of the gloom and a slap-slap sound tells you a canoeist or kayaker is out there, his helmet light turned on for safety. Then out of the dark, the soft sound now of a small wave being pushed in front of a rounded bow...it precedes the appearance of a green light and a red light; and the shape of a small water taxi takes form. It heads for a nearby pier.
A ring of bright pearls decorates the shore. The towers of light go up into the sky.
Seen from this vantage point, the city looks like an imaginary place, like Oz, or some far-off, extraterrestrial future city, or perhaps instead an image from the 1920s, a golden re-creation of Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
It is, instead, False Creek at night, with its reflections of the condo towers, it's ten marinas and it's four bridges; quiet and peaceful, with it's walking path and parks ringing it, in the heart of Vancouver.
Photo by Jonesy22 shows False Creek, taken from the south shore at Charleston Park. Made available under creative commons license