Vancouver: Nice Legs, Shame About the Pace

Vancouver is boring.

There I said it. You’ve probably said it, too, at some point. We know they’ve said it. Hell, they’ve been saying it for years.

We don’t like when they say it. Because this is our city. And nobody talks about this town like that.

Except us.

And them.

Of course, they also say it’s one of the best and most-beautiful places to live. And not just in Canada or North America.

On the planet.

We like this very much. It makes us feel good. Like morning-yoga good.

That’s why we say it, too. Occasionally to them, in our defense. But mostly to ourselves. Like at the beginning of every month.

Or when it rains. At the beginning, middle and end of every month.

(Wait a second. Is that the sun? In January? Quick – assemble the city’s patios, pull on a pair of cargo shorts and step into your best snow sandals because it’s time to grab a venti frappuccino and raise an environmentally friendly takeaway cup to the best place in the world!)

Still, we know we’re beautiful. English Bay. Stanley Park. Those spectacular North Shore mountains.

And over there? Whistler-Blackcomb. What a pair.

So why everybody gotta criticize our “buts”?

I mean, we’re more than just curvy coastlines and pointed peaks.

We’re more than just downward dog-doing, yoga-pant prancing, summertime toque-toting, old growth forest-fornicating hipsters.

We’re more than just stereotypes.

We’ve got substance, man.

No, not BC Bud. Although, let’s be honest – we’ve got plenty of that, too.

I’m talking about citified soul. That unfettered, undulating, urban heartbeat.

Do you feel it?

No? It’s probably a weekday.

Okay, so we’re not the full package. We don’t have the spontaneous excitement of Manhattan, the avant-garde art scene of Berlin, or the architectural wonders of Barcelona.

We don’t have a Museum of Modern Art, La Scala or National Gallery. A Smithsonian, Parthenon or Taj Mahal.

But you know what? I’ve been to all those places. I’ve lived in Athens, Greece. And Milan, Italy. And Spain. And Hamburg and Munich. Toronto, too.

I’ve travelled extensively across Europe, India, and the United States.

Vancouver trumps them all.

Sure, I was born here. And all of those places are wonderful, in their own right. More exciting, too.

I could live in New York. Or Los Angeles.

Rome? Sure. London? I’m a dual citizen.

Hell, I’d even go back to Toronto if they could do something about November to March.

But this – this sweet piece of aesthetically wondrous real estate – is home.

And guess what? There are world-class restaurants all over the place.

Yeah, the cookie-cutter bar scene could use some work but there are more than a few exceptions. You can find them, too, if you try.

Club scene? No.

Look, it’s the Vancouver Art Gallery! Okay, so nobody’s mistaking it for the British Museum any time soon but I’ve seen some top-notch exhibitions there. It’s evolving. Growing, too. Just like the young, vibrant city it’s in.

There’s UBC’s Museum of Anthropology. It’s awesome. Bonus: no hipster exhibit. Yet.

OMG! Theatre! We’ve got the Arts Club. And myriad smaller companies. Don’t forget the PuSh, folk, jazz, fringe and film festivals.

We’ve got Ballet BC and Dances for a Small Stage.

Like live music? Go to the Biltmore Cabaret and check out a show. Or try the Media Club, Rickshaw, or Commodore.

You see? It’s not us. It’s them. And they are wrong. We’ve got it all. Just, you know, way less of it.

So what if we’ve also got the highest cost of living in North America?  

Nobody’s perfect.

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