Vancouver has been my home for the last 18 months, and I’m still not tired of it. Its been at least a year since I’ve stopped being the tourist and become more like the citizen I ought to be. Still I find that everywhere I look, there is something to see. I’m not sure what it is exactly that keeps me so intrigued, but I find that everywhere I look something is happening. I’ve been to the Juno Awards, the Vancouver International Dance Festival, the Canucks Hockey games, and I’ve seen the fabulous international sites geared towards hosting the world for the Olympics in 2010. These are the things the rest of the world knows about my city, these are the attractions the tourist flock to when they come to visit. Between that and the beauty of the natural surroundings, most people are left with a really amazing view of Vancouver.
The irony is, there’s so much more to Vancouver than the Olympics, and what we will be trying to present to the world then. There are things I see every day on the street, or happen to notice because I’ve taken a different route home from work. This is not to say that everything I see in this city is good; Vancouver has a dark side to rival just about any international city. The homelessness alone in this city can make a new resident or visitor forget Vancouver’s natural surroundings.
Take the above picture for example. There is a parking lot near the Stadium station in Vancouver that has graffiti covering the east wall. I happened to be passing by on my way back from picking up the Juno Award tickets I purchased. On the corner rests this lovely woman with sunglasses. Its not a landmark listed in the Lonely Planet or other published guides of Vancouver, but here she is. She is often overlooked because of the homeless that gather on the corner, simply because people tend to walk by as quickly as possible. To me, she has an air about her, one that is relaxed, but makes you want to know what she’s looking at, and what she’s thinking. She could be the coolest person in the world, the one that everyone wants to be around because she’s accepting and contemplative. Or, she could be wearing the sunglasses to hide the overwhelming hurt in her life. Either way, she’s beautiful and intriguing.
So is my Vancouver.
With this blog, I simply hope to inspire other people to take a better look around them where they are. I hope you will take a breath, walk slower, and look around your city. They all have such amazing qualities, and are so unique. I only hope I can tell the story of my Vancouver in such a way that brings her to new light.