Tuesday, August 4, 2009


The weather is finally back to normal. 24C, cloudy with sunny periods. Perfection. *This* is why I moved here. Temperate at all times. Except that it's not temperate at all times like it was when I first moved here. The past three winters have been hell on wheels and this past month has been absolutely terrible. My love for Vancouver has been waning for a while, but it's definitely over now.

Now that I have MS I am realizing that the things that Vancouver thinks are great are really, really ability focused. Climbing things. Cycling places. Camping. Beach bumming. Ski bumming. All things that get you away from the city.

When I moved here I thought I was moving to Canada's third largest city and it would be Toronto or Montreal to scale. It's not. I find that disappointing. Every time I thought about what I would like to be doing on those sweltering nights I was reminded that Vancouver doesn't do those things.

There is no pedestrian culture in this city. No late night bookstores and record stores, big patios to meet people at, walking down the block listening to the music that comes from the live music venues, or stores that host djs in their front windows while you browse or dance on the sidewalks. Street closures to watch films projected on the side of a building. Restaurants with not shitty rock bands or slick djs with an average drink price of $3. People don't throw house/balcony parties on a rotating schedule here. At least, none of the people I know do.

I moved around a lot in my 20s and living in the GTA made having a life really, really easy. Trains at all hours. Bars that catered to actual grown ups and people actually acted like grownups. People who would talk to strangers. Strangers that would talk to people.

In almost 6 years in Vancouver I have as many local friends as I made in my first 6 weeks in Toronto. Most of them I didn't really make until I had been here around 3 years. It took me 3 years to get into a job that was worth doing.

I moved to the city to *live* in the city. I know now that Vancouver is a city that's uncomfortable with being a city & doing the things that make city life worth doing. I really don't feel like I belong here, especially now.

I guess I'm just not a west coast person. Joe's tried twice to live West Coast Styles and does not like it either.

I've made the mistake of following Torontoist and Washingtonian on twitter and getting absolutely *green* with envy over what goes on every night, let alone every weekend. I miss being around people who don't like to get dirty and prefer concrete and glass towers to mountains. I miss being in a place that knows how to deal with snow and thunderstorms.

I miss being an Urban Diva. Here in Vancouver that makes you a vapid West Van trophy wife with a phony french manicure, Shake n'Bake tan, and brassy foil highlights, driving a Range Rover in 4WD whilst talking on a mobile complaining that Aritzia was out of size zeros. That's not what being an urban woman is, but it's the Vancouver stereotype of one.

The weather brought me here and it's the weather that is going to chase me away. Joe's got 18 months or so to graduation so we're probably out of here shortly after that. Some days that can't come soon enough. Others I can't imagine leaving. But most of the time, I'd rather be back east. I think I belong there.

(PS. this is not to sit in judgment of the people of Vancouver/British Columbia. It is simply to state what I want in a city experience and how Vancouver's not about that at all.)

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