17 June 2009


Shipwreck is finished! Pictures to come after I block it.

I took transit into Vancouver today. It's always a long trip. Before this, most of what I've seen of Vancouver (except Granville Island and Stanley Park) has been the gritty parts. My anthropology class did some research on the downtown east side, which is an area where many of the residents have very serious problems. It's a sad place, and it's a little scary. So I didn't like Vancouver very much.

Today I got to see some of the prettier parts. I got off Skytrain and hopped on the bus and when I got off, I was standing in front of a Whole Foods. There's one in downtown Portland, in Oregon, where I grew up. Sometimes I'd go there for lunch after I had gone to Powell's. When I walked in, I swear I wanted to cry. All of a sudden, I was homesick. I wandered around the store for a while, hoping no one would look at the crazy lady walking up and down the aisles with a wistful look on her face. It's similar to the one in Portland, but it has a BC flavour. And then after my appointment I hopped on another bus (after walking the wrong way for a while), changed buses five minutes later, and found myself in front of Birkeland Brothers Wool. I picked up some sock yarn for a pair of socks I'm making for a Christmas gift, and headed to the bus stop to go home.

Vancouver crept a little bit into my heart today. I like where I live, which is part of the GVRD (Greater Van. Regional District), but about an hour or so via transit from downtown Vancouver. I live in a nice city which makes up for its lack of consideration for bicyclists and pedestrians with a couple awesome yarn stores, a great library, numerous farms, and an overabundance of sushi. I like it here. But I didn't like Vancouver until today. I like Portland for its quirkiness, its 'smallish city' feel, its beauty, its small movie theaters that serve pizza and beer (oh, and Powell's Books--nothing like that around here, although there are some nice used bookstores that are very small). I've missed that zing that Portland has. And no other city is like it. It's unique. But so is Vancouver, and there's more to it than what I've seen so far. And what I've missed until now have been some of the reasons why people love it here.

So in spite of the lack of sleep, the hours on the bus, and my aching ankle, it's been a good day.

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