Every day this week the weather forecast predicted rain, so I decided to stay close to home and walk out instead of riding my bike, to make a sketch. But it has not rained yet; so much for the weather man’s credibility. Hopefully it stays that way because we have many visitors coming to Nanaimo for the dragon boat races this weekend, a major annual event.
This section of Front Street is visible from a bench that is located next to the Dorchester Hotel. It is often used by personnel from nearby businesses to have a cigarette break, or nowadays a vape(?), I think it is called. Anyways when I occupy this bench to sketch these buildings, they choose to sit on the steps about twenty feet away.
The sketch shows part of the Pacifica Apartment building and the Federal building.
Thursday night is market day on Commercial Street. I rushed to get this sketch in my book and finished before trucks and vans from the vendors would block my view. In the rush I missed the big sign on the wall, that says “Dakin Block”. This name can be found on the internet at City of Nanaimo Community Heritage Register, under “Hirst Block” (Dakin Block) at 93-99 Commercial Street. The big pick-up truck in front moved after I left.
The next drawing shows a peculiar building. When we first came to Nanaimo, more than 20 years ago, it was the credit union building until they moved out and was vacant for quite a few years after that. The tower would suggest that it was originally a firehall, as towers like that were needed to dry the hoses, but this is just conjecture on my behalf, as I don’t really know.
Today I sat down in a comfortable chair on the outside seating area of the Vault, a coffee shop at the intersection of Albert Street and Wallace. The building across the road from me appeared old and many times renovated to accommodate the various restaurants that occupied this establishment over the years. It looks like every time it changed owners, that the renovations were carried out by the chef himself instead of a contractor as it looks incoherent and messy, but that makes it an interesting subject for sketching. The Queen’s Hotel is in the background.
By the way, the rumour around town is that the Nana sushi and the Mambo pizza next door to it serve delicious meals, and that’s what counts. Compliments to the chef, just don’t give him a hammer!