William Chow's Personal Web Page

This a sub-page which summarizes my 2004 trip back to Prince George after 18 years.

It would be pretty hard to keep a city from never changing. I suppose the more hick your town is, I suppose that would slow the rate of change. However, Prince George is growing economically, so the business face is very dynamic, even though the housing market is not as crazy like Vancouver is.

So here are the pictures of some of the face of Prince George in 2004. Click on the picture to see an enlargement.

Prince George in 2004

Here is the new Boston Pizza. It use to be in that little plaza with the arcade beside McDonalds in Spruceland. Well, it is by itself now on the Mohawk side of the McDonald now.

Here on the corner of Central and 15th, yup they put up an Earl's.

And you thought Earl's was hip and trendy, right across from the CNC they put a Moxie's. Here is another newcomer, Denny's located between the old Camelot Motel and the Sandman Inn. Beside the Sandman was a little chinese cafe, but now it is a Daddyo's Pizza and Ribs.
For the newcomers, I didn't define what CNC stood for, College of New Caledonia. It was the highest education you could get before UNBC opened.
It still a very formidable campus. I was able to look through the teaching roster and found that Rosemary Brbot teachs here.
Here WAS the Canadian Tire beside the CNC. They moved out to the new College Hieghts boonie district to join Save On Foods and Walmart. Needless to say, many old customers were not happy with this change.
Oh, yea. Before we finish off with the college, this is their idea of what an arcade is. There is no arcades in town anymore. So you see here a Neo Geo box, and even a Macross game!
So here is Spruceland Mall, the closest mall to my house. It had the largest Overwaitea in BC. Now it has been renamed to Save On Foods. Stedmans is now Fields. Spruceland News is still there. Safeway is replaced with Mark's Work Warehouse. Shopper's Drug Store is still there. The barber shop is still there. The movie theatres were replaced with a Sportmart over 8 years ago.
As mentioned earlier, the Boston Pizza was in this mall beside the McDonalds. Now, it is a Subway. The Roger's Wireless store is run by my neighbour Trish Clarke. They also just added a Chinese restaurant Asian pearl.
Here is the Pine Centre Mall that is beside PGSS. Sears, Zellers, Radio Shack, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Extra Foods are still the big ones in the mall. They have added Electronic Boutique, and a Comic/Gaming store which bought up the name Cameron Stolz. Wow, he did what I did, he made a business out of our hobbies.
On the topic of uncanny people from our past. I stepped into the Radio Shack to see Lorenzo Sia (one of my anime customers) who was working part time there. I was greeted by a woman with the name tag "Joan". As I have worked for Radio Shack for a period of 10 years, that name (and other ones including "Dragon Lady") is famous. She was my manager at the Landsdowne Radio Shack when I worked there back in 1994, 10 years ago. Wow, what a small world.
Here is the first motel I checked into on Tuesday morning. After a $23 cab ride from the airport, this was my going to be my home. Or so I thought.
It is $55 for a single, and somehow I got a double. Oh well, what ever...

However, the room lacked internet capability and I noticed this the first night trying to put this web page together.

This is suppose to be part of the Ester's Inn chain. Doesn't this look like something out of the X-Files?
On Wednesday, that is my second day here, the first thing I wanted to do after breakfast at the Stone Soup was to find a motel that actually had internet so I can upload what I have worked on.

The Spruceland Motel was the next one down the street, and they had internet.

Here is the layout of the second motel. Nice and all but man, what was that smell. I changed rooms but that smell was still there. It must be something in the air venting system. It didn't seem to be coming from the carpet or the bed, so I didn't know. Looks just like any other motel.

Anyway, the internet was wireless. So I had to go to Staples to get a wireless USB adapter. Then, it took me till 4:00am in the morning to configure and get the thing to ping the router and for it to assign me an IP. I had to stand outside in the cold out side the office. I was not more than 10 feet from the router with a sheet of glass between me and it, and the best I got was 40% signal strength. What kinda shit was this?!? So, guess what...

On Thursday morning, I went looking for another motel that had WIRED high speed internet.

The Camelot Motel, across the street and beside the Denny's I went to had the Shaw internet I needed.

Plugged myself in and it worked instantly. Now, that is how Macs is suppose to work. And the stupid thing is, this motel is $50 a night, $5 cheaper than the other two. Nice rooms, no smell, fridge and microwave and coffee maker. Very good deal. Well, I am sure if all else failed I could go to the Coast Hotel. It is still there.
This is the KFC on 5th Avenue. Renovated and updated but it is still the same Kentucy Fried Chicken that is was 19 years ago.
Right across the street from KFC is some more fast food, a brand new A&W.
The Dairy Queen is still exactly where it was 20 years ago.
What was at the corner of Ospika and 5th was the China Sail Restaurant. Now, it moved to 5th and Tabor.
The new look of Parkwood Mall, now Parkwood Place. Now with Staple (pun) stores like Staples, London Drugs, Radio Shack, McDonalds, Second Cup, Bay, Save On Foods.
Here is the Radio Shack where I found out that Joel Turner worked and now is working up in Fort McMurray at the RS there.
Here is the Staples in Parkwood Place. Kinda a wierd way to get into it.
Right by the Greyhound Bus terminal (it hasn't changed), we have the Save On Foods and a Red Robins.
Here is the City Library. It is still in the same place right by the Police Station.
And here is a good place to put a SMUT store, right beside the public library and police station. Ah yes, get your ranchy porn then drop by the library to get your anatomy porn. OR....

Bring the whole family, kids go to the library, parents can go and get porn.

Here is the Civic Centre right beside the library. Looks like they are trying to build an ice rink here or something...

So yea, you another good place to bring your kids so you can skip next door and grab your porn.

This was a really cool restaurant called the Outrigger.
The one big night club, in town. i probably changed hands a few times even when I was in town.
This was the Lotus Inn Restaurant. Now it is some **** religious store called "The King's In Bible Store". For more comments see below.
The Radio Station CKPG (or now it is called PGTV), which was right beside the gimp Bible Store. They moved their operation to the new building
When your town starts converting a Safeway into a "Good Times BINGO", then you city is getting sad.
This was the government office which had the motor vehicle branch which I got my license from. Now it is a Native Inidan Friendship Centre.
This was the Oriental Inn and now it is a Golden Place Pot Pot. I guess people were getting tired of "all you can eat" Chinese food.

This is a really funky looking book store right beside the bowling accipe
This is the Telus building which was originally BC Tel.
CBC Radio One 91.5 Building.
This was the CJCI AM 620 Radio station which is now converted to a 94X Rocks FM and a 97 Wolf FM (I guess CFOX is already taken).
Here is the newly revamped government buildings. The old building they made into the Native Friendship building. They took this out of commerical usage and made it into offices.
This was one of those small everything stores. I do believe it was a K-Mart. Now it has been sub-divided into smaller units, one of which is the Brain Disorder Society.
This was the Hudson's Bay Company, now it is a huge Brick Store.
This was the old Kresge, now it is Crazy Willy's. Even with that, it is closing out. Many say that the downtown core is dying. For the most part, yea, I would have to agree. Almost all the big name retailers have left the core and attached themselves in the malls.
This building was built up as a large CompuTime. But since then it has been all closed. Now the only thing left is a tiny tea shop.
The Spruce City Building is an old office and is still being used by financial services. Next to it the new IWA Union Office.
Here is the BDC building, it was a banking building and it got a facelift and still being used for banking.
This was the Fields store which sold mostly clothes and fabrics. Now it is financial services and the other half is still unoccupied.
Here was where my parents opened a Chinese Grocery store. Now it is a St. Vincent De Paul drop in centre.
My parents use to run one of the most popular Chinese restaurants the Jade Garden. It was close to the movie theatre and the government offices. We sold it when they left for Vancouver. Good thing they did, because now it is an empty unit.
This place was one of the best places to buy electronics. Our family bought our first Sony Beta machine for $1200 and a RCA top loading VHS for $1000.
The sign on the door shows just how many times it has changed. This enhanced photo shows it was a Hollywood Bistro, Barry's and of course the Electronics store. Now it is used for an insurance office.
This beat up and boarded up building use to be one of the more fancy Chinese restaurants. I had my 16th birthday party in the party room here. Now it is a dump called Jet Lin Noodle.
Speaking of movie theatres, here is the one right by our restaurant. However as you can see they are planning to put a martial arts studio here.
Here is the Ramada Hotel, that used to have a controversial Casino in it. But in the end, they opened a bigger and better one on the other side of the Nechako River so this one got closed.
Here is a Value Village right near the Greyhound bus terminal.
Downtown right near the new Courthouses, is all the 2nd hand stores and all the thrift stores. I found some great prices on some really good audio cassettes here.
Yea, this is a great concept. A chinese store where you can buy wicker, swords, art, fans, room dividers, flower pots, woks, dishes, and dim sum(?!) Hmmm. sounds dangerous... When I was walking past the Phoniex Medical Building on my way to Duchess Park High School, I poked my head in. To my surprise, my family doctor, William Chow (really, that is his real name!) is still working here in his office.
So today I decided to walk out and find the huge box stores. Everyone I talked to said it was WAY out there on the highway. So I prepared and hiked it out there. It turns out it isn't far at all. You simply walk out to the end of Pine Centre, walk past the Golf Course and the baseball diamonds and then you are there. First store, Real Canadian Stupid Store.
Fortunately, I still have my expired Costco card so I was able to go inside and wander. It is pretty much the same old, same old.
The next store is Winners. When you think who are the real "winners" you think Americans. So.... When you see a winners store, there is often a ....
Future Shop. It's the wholely Canadian run, but American "Best Buy" owned Future Shop. Ah yes, hipocracy at it's finest. Don't forget to put the Red, White and Blue Christmas lights around the Canadian Maple Leaf...
The last big thing in this mall is this Boston Pizza.

So, from here my next destination is to go to UNBC. Now, like SFU, the university is located in the boondocks, isolated in the middle of no where up a top a hill with really only one entrance or exit.

So now I finished these box stores here, so I start walking to UNBC.

There was a crew of 2 graders and a front end loader working on snow removal. First, they use 2 graders to push all the snow to the sides. It is neat to see the sparks fly off the asphalt with the blade.

Behind the grader trail is a FE Loader. They used this to clear off all the snow from the entranace ways and driveways.

So, enroute to UNBC, I flagged down a transit bus. The buses here are a little different than the ones in Vancouver.

First the service is kinda few and far between. But it is nice to stop to pick up passengers at almost any curb side. And they radio ahead for some kinds of transfers, so you don't miss your connector buses.

So my connection piont is Westwood Mall where we have this Save On Foods.

Also at the connector point is this huge Walmart. It is suppose to be B.C.'s largest Walmart.
Also in this mall is the Home Depot and the Canadian Tire.
Now here is the Great Wall Restaurant in what obviously was the shell of a Pizza Hut or maybe a Red Robin or something else like that.
Today, I wander back downtown to pick up the photo that Mrs. Zeorb supplied that I am getting copied and dropping of another photo that I am borrowing from Colleen Moshenko (ie. Norish).

On the way, downtown I noticed that the Coast Hotel is having a bit of problem with their Christmas tree...

Here is the Keg, still there on George Steet.
Here is Ric's Grill, located across the street from the Keg. I checked inside to see if Andrew Coates still works here. He unfortunately didn't start shift yet but the hostess was nice enough to make a phone call for me and I was able reach Andrew. He is doing some bowling on Sunday so I will catch up with him then rather than bothering him at his work place.
Anyway, the story goes like this. I went to Quinson to find my old class photos. I hear from the principal that all the pictures before 1990 were thrown out by the serving principal 10 years ago. What a stupid fuck! Anyway, I asked to see the current teacher roster and lo and behold, I see a Mrs. Zeorb. No, that can't be... Sure enough it was, my grade 2 teacher was still at this school. She is teaching grade 2, if not in the same classroom at least the same corridor, for the past 29 years. Amazing! Anyway, she looked through her records and she found the class of 1974/1975 picture and let me borrow it to make a copy of it.
Alright, I drop this picture off to WD West but get a same day service on it, as I didn't want to come all the way back downtown on Sunday or Monday to get it. So, when I came back at 4pm to get it, the staff was talking about the second picture pointing there is girl in there that "looks like OUR Helen". "Helen? As in Helen McPherson? " "Yes, she works here". And sure enough, a woman walks out of the back room, and a surprised look comes from her as she finally gets the pieces of the puzzle.
By popular request, I went back to the place where the Jade Gardens was and took a picture of the inside. As you can see it is now an empty unit.
Here is WD West Studios downtown. They were able to take the school photos that I had and made me copies of them without all the copyright hassle that London Drugs was giving me,

An interesting story stems here...

Anyway, I brought it here as it is the only photo store I found downtown. I submitted the photo and they would be ready next day.

Ok, next day I went to UNBC to meet up with Colleen Moshenko and she managed to go through her cedar chest of pictures which she fortunately unearthed and just moved into her new house, and found our Grade 5 picture with Mrs. Vogt.

Helen worked on the Grade 2 picture and she was curiously intrigued by the picture because she recognized faces but she she was confused because she wasn't in the picture.

It wasn't until the Grade 5 picture came where she was in the picture that it all clicked in. The familar faces were just younger versions of kids in her classes. Helen was in my grade 5 and 6 classes, so I traded contact information since she might be able to find a grade 6 picture of Mr. McIver's class.

Ok, back this picture. I got an email back from a visitor to my site (oh my god! someone else actually came to my website). He commented that my word "silly" religious store was inapproriate. Well, he is right, silly was not an accurate word. I am thinking now thinking gaudy and "in your face - butt ugly" and "waste of space" and "ha! is this disturbing enough for you?" are better words to describe it. I must elaborate that I don't think all religious people are silly (just my sister and most of her friends). However, when you are in the middle of urban red neck land, and you post this huge flaming (HEY YOU! LOOK AT ME) pink mural on the side of your building, give me a break. Sure, if this was some native art piece it would probably be ethnically acceptable. If this was something at a skater park, ok, it might slip through the cracks as being "art". But am I to be misguided to its true intentions? It is a big billboard AD for the religious store to cover up the graffitti from the red neck skaters and/or juvenile deliquents and/or ethnic gangs that roam the "hoods" of "Grand Theft Auto : Prince George". My suggestion, paint the crap over and sell the space for some REAL advertising. At least that way, they can generate some more income for their "crusade" in British Columbia.