This thing, known as McBarge by Vancouverites, is the hulking remains of a floating McDonalds. It was custom-built for our Expo ’86 World’s Fair and then carelessly left rusting in the harbour for 23 years as some sort of ghost ship. I hadn’t thought about it until this week when I saw a funny conceptual artwork by Kate Sansom in the current exhibition Science Fiction_01 at Vancouver’s Or Gallery, where the artist has set up an office inside the gallery as a research base for tracking down McBarge’s unknown current owners and discovering what they ever intend to do with it. This is also how I found a web photo essay at the aptly named wraiths.ca, describing a recent unauthorized reconnaissance – okay, a break-in – of McBarge’s rundown interior. I remembered this barge as an eyesore, but the thing is, with the golden arches gone and all its red-and-yellow, ketchup-and-mustard colour scheme removed, its design elements aren’t bad. If someone offered it to me, I’d take it. Think what you could do with it! But I have a hankering to see the owner of this thing made to atone for its careless waste by wandering around telling his/her cautionary tale to unwilling strangers like the Ancient Mariner. Couldn’t someone have at least donated the use of this thing for some useful purpose? Photos of McBarge above are by Ashley Fisher (unk’s dump truck), Matt Hoekstra (the blurb) and Roger (Rog45) by permission. I took the last photo on Sunday, June 28, 2009.
Tags: Ancient Mariner, as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean, Burnaby, Burrard Inlet, Coleridge, favourite, floating, floating restaurant, ghost ship, houseboat, lost opportunity, McDonald's, modern, restaurant, rusting, ship, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Vancouver, waste