A Mediocre Painting of McBarge

Link to auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/141930273730

I really liked Expo 86.  To a six year old kid in 1986 it was the coolest thing of all time.  Flashing lights.  A UFO Water Park.  Rides.  A Monorail. The Czechoslovakia Pavilion!

But most of all, there Was. A. FREAKING. McDONALDs. RESTAURANT. ON. A. BARGE.

McNerds will refer to this former floating McPukes as “The Friendship 500” or whatever its official name is but everyone else on earth knew it by one name only:


To many people McBarge was, and remains, the centrepiece to the entire 1986 World’s Fair.  I could tell how exciting it was to watch my happy meal travel from the kitchen to the pick up counter via CONVEYOR BELT! but memories aside, McBarge really came into its own AFTER Expo 86.  

After the lights on Expo 86 were turned off McBarge was towed from False Creek to Burrard Inlet on the North side of Capitol Hill in Burnaby where it sat for nearly 30 years, slowly decaying before our eyes and against ALL odds was never sunk.  Not even once.

Yes, like you I also had plans to “buy McBarge for a dollar" (it’s only a DOLLAR!) and do something amazing with it.  But also like you I didn’t ever actually act on those drunken ideas. 

Somebody else did.  They bought McBarge and FINALLY moved it from its location on Burrard Inlet and towed it up the Fraser.
Word on the Internet is McBarge is being refurbished and will be relocated “to an exciting secret location”

...to which my brother Scott said, “I hope that secret location is…the bottom of the ocean!”

That'd be pretty awesome.  

Who’s kidding who.  It’s probably going to get turned into some mediocre brew pub on the Fraser that you’ll never go to.  The centerpiece of some "new" (but also historic!) condo development in a place like Hammond or Mission or the River District.  


I liked McBarge right where it was.  In Burnaby.  A rusting, barnacle-covered spaceship-esque corpse of former EXPO 86 glory tagged with crappy graffiti, windows smashed out, a magnet for moss and haphazard chainlink fences and pointless NO TRESSPASSING signs that no security company surveilled it was just some lawyer requirement to put them up....oh, and let's not forget the thousands of half-baked schemes to "let's go climb around on that thing!" That you never did except that one guy who made the Youtube video last year with the inflatable boat you know the one....the only guy who ever ACTUALLY went on McBarge.  Legend.  

McBarge was a wonderful bastion of decay visible to commuters on the West Coast Express twice a day.  People on the WCE could literally set their watches to McBarge.  Think about that for a second.

Let's not beat around the bush here either:
In all aspects of the term, McBarge was A Total Fucking Eyesore.

But a smile-inducing, bizarre Floating Former Fast-Food Fascination Fucking Eyesore in an otherwise shiny polished new city.

So in honor of this former floating detritus we all loved, I made this painting. 

I could have painted a better painting.  But I didn’t.  Because McBarge.

Have fun !

Bidding starts at $1.00 (the price of McBarge!) - no reserve - FREE shipping anywhere in the world.

- Kyle

Link to auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/141930273730

- Kyle

Painting Dimensions:
40" x 30"

Auction Summary:
-1 Mediocre Painting of McBarge by Kyle MacDonald
-1 autographed copy of the book One Red Paperclip by Kyle MacDonald

FREE basic shipping (slow) anywhere in the world.  If you want/need this painting FAST chose from the shipping options

This artwork hasn't been to Burnaby.  Yet.

Kyle MacDonald BA UBC GEOG
Ate on McBarge several times
1979 -

and we’ll turn it into art.
One Red Paperclip Inc.
1928 Grant St.
Vancouver BC
V5L 2Y9

Link to auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/141930273730

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