Saturday, August 4, 2007
Some things about Vancouver
The transition has taken place. Last Tuesday we moved into my sister's apartment in the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver. That's the residential part of Chinatown. It's also right beside the neighbourhood with the worst drug problem in Canada, and very close to the famous gelateria beside the railroad tracks. It's a yin/yang thing.
We have noticed that, drug neighbourhood notwithstanding, it's really, really quiet at night here. Also, stores close at 6 pm. You gotta be organized about whatever you might need for the evening. We observe Chinatown's transformation into a yuppie haven, which means we probably won't be able to afford to live here once my sister returns from Wales and reclaims this decidedly un-yuppie 1960's reno (in a 100-year-old house). For the time being, however, there are still enough of the traditional residents to provide interest. The Chinese old folks' home nearby comes with its own pagoda. And a neighbour we take to be Italian (note fig tree) has trellised her squash plant up and along the top of her garage. Winnifred discovered in the Chinatown fruit stores something called a mangosteen (sounds like the beginning of a Jewish joke to me, but apparently it's for real).
Today was lesbian day--Vancouver has its Pride festival in August, for some unknown reason--and yes, there sure were a lot of lesbians out on Commercial Drive. We were surprised at how few kiosks and consumer opportunities this afforded, but we are assured that at the more mainstream, more male event in the West End tomorrow, there will be dozens of caterers, florists, and photographers exhibiting. Now that gay marriage is legal in Canada, a whole new market has opened up for the wedding industry. Just what gay liberation is all about.