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6th Annual
Secrets of The City
by Shawn Blore
illustrations by Tomio Nitto

(First published in Vancouver, November 1998)

Infamous Visitors

Moving Violations

Bad Addresses


Tunnel Visions

Screen Gems

Quiz: Welcome to Genericville

Vancouver, as everyone knows, doubles for everywhere else in films and TV series. But where precisely here stands in for where precisely there? If you can't name any of the following Vancouver locations, no doubt you've recently been transferred here from Pelican Narrows. If you can name five, you're doing better than most. If you can name all of them, you're either a location scout or you should get a life. Answers below.

1 In Bird On a Wire Goldie Hawn buys a slinky new dress in this chic boutique, changing behind a chest high screen in the middle of the shop-floor while bantering with Mel Gibson.

2 In Stakeoutt, cops Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez commandeer a house on this Kitsilano block while waiting for Madeleine Stowe's estranged and deranged escaped-con husband.

3 In Whale Music, Maury Chaykin's Brian Wilsonesque character hangs in crazed isolation inside this Shaughnessy mansion until runaway groupie Cyndy Preston lands from a distant planet called Toronto to save him from his demons and his Twinkies.

4 In Look Who's Talking, Kirstie Alley lives with her illegitimate son in this apartment building while killing time dating around waiting to realize she is in love with John Travolta.

5 In Roxanne, in front of an initially jeering crowd in this nightclub, Steve Martin lists off 20 insults about his nose, while the delicious Daryl Hannah looks on.

6 In Neverending Story, Jonathan Brand inhabits a bookstore located in this heritage building when not off voyaging through secret realms of fantasy with a giant furry space-dog.

7 In Homeward Bound 2, a lower-class dog takes an upper-class dog on a pleasant doggie date through this area of a well-known park.

8 In Time Cop, Belgian kickboxer Jean Claude van Damme and Jason Schombing tumble from a top-floor window of this historic downtown building.

9 In Runaway, Kirstie Alley flees a sushi bar situated in this downtown precinct after an encounter with a menacing looking Gene - not Richard - Simmons.

10 In Jumanji, Robin Williams barely escapes with his life after his New Hampshire home actually situated in this improbable location is destroyed by a monsoon stirred up by a boardgame gone bad.

Finally, two bonus questions for X-philes.
11. This is agent Mulder's upscale apartment in Alexandria, Maryland.

12. And this is agent Scully's more modest abode in Annapolis, Maryland.

1 Leone in the Sinclair Centre, 757 W. Hastings St. 2 The 2200 block of Stephens. They wait in 2220; Stowe's house is 2221. 3 Hycroft, 1489 McRae Ave. 4 The Manhattan at Thurlow and Robson. 5 Richards On Richards, 1036 Richards St. 6 The Europe Hotel Building, corner Water and Alexander Streets. 7 Ceperly Meadows in Stanley Park. 8 The Marine Building, Hastings and Burrard. 9 Robson Square. 10 The wave tank of B.C. Research Inc., on the campus of UBC. The set took months to build and cost several million dollars. 11 2630 York Ave. 12 1419 Pendrell St.