A love letter to the city

I miss the days of making the trek to Van, crashing on a friend's couch, wandering the neighbourhoods, looking for parking near West 4th to get to Zulu Records, listening to everything recommended by staff, and crossing the street for sweet and savoury crepes. It was a time when the Coquihalla still had a toll. The city smelt of petrichor on rainy days. There was a lively buzz in the air. Chinatown felt larger. I'd never heard of Lululemon. Sushi was exotic compared to my small-town fare. My god the food. Calling ahead to ask on the quality of the pearls that day for bubble tea at Dragon Ball and bringing extra cash. After experiencing banh mi from Bale I was sold. This would be my new home. I fell in love with the raccoons. The shy skunks known to forage around 2 am. Diving crows protecting nests. Finding kinship with blue herons by sea at sunset. So many hydrangeas. Fist bumping lion statues at each Vancouver Special. Discovering Breka and finding a midnight haven amongst patrons. That first time climbing Grouse Grind and finding comfort on the places worn on rails and trees by hundreds of hands steadying themselves in their ascent. Riding the skytrain like it's a carnival ride and switching sides to marvel at the landscape. Wandering the booths at the Richmond Market and losing myself in the crowd. Concerts in the living rooms of heritage homes and feeling the pulse in the old wooden floors as everyone tapped in time. Grilled cheese at The Rio. Cherry blossoms in Queen E Park. Someday I will have to leave you, yet all the things I've loved about you will remain with me.


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Love this

Jan 18, 2023 at 11:01am

A splendid love letter to the city that evokes my own memories of discovering it as a suburban young adult in the late 90s / early 00s.

My most vivid food and drink memories include Avanti’s, Bukowski’s, Hawkers, Duffin’s, Cafe Deux Soleils, Kitto, Dai Masu, and The Sunshine Diner.

3 0Rating: +3

Back in the day Van was called "Little Village by the Sea"

Jan 18, 2023 at 12:29pm

I remember the Nam on 4th when it was just a health food shop before it then expanded into that very yummy sit-down restaurant. And of course the Straight newspaper in print being everywhere. Bit Woy! Now we are living in rushrushrush sensory overload. John Denver's song comes to heart. Country Roads .... Take Me Back

2 0Rating: +2


Jan 18, 2023 at 2:02pm

Grilled cheese at The Rio is glorious!

1 0Rating: +1


Jan 18, 2023 at 5:14pm

was beautiful.

1 0Rating: +1

Your confession is just beautiful

Jan 18, 2023 at 6:44pm

And brought so many happy memories to mind. Thank you!

3 0Rating: +3


Jan 18, 2023 at 11:18pm

for a lovely, wistful, nostalgic confession.

A lot of of us miss those and many other gems from Vancouver back in the days near the end of the 20th.

5 0Rating: +5


Jan 20, 2023 at 8:53am

The Only restaurant on Hastings. Great mix of all types of people, tile in restaurant looks like it came from the bathroom, food awesome and elbow to elbow at the counter slurping down the best chowder ever!

2 0Rating: +2

I remember

Jan 20, 2023 at 7:54pm

Your post takes me back, but even further. Back to the 70’s! Lifestream was the health food store I frequented on the corner of 4th and Burrard. So many funky stores and people. Rent was doable and lots of us shared big houses and bussed or walked everywhere. Back when the folk fest was still just a few musicians for a few hours. Gastown was still cool, Ruben’s Deli was fantastic after a late movie or bar, and I didn’t worry much about being attacked if I walked home in the dark. Homelessness was virtually unheard of. It was peaceful!

0 0Rating: 0


Jan 21, 2023 at 11:50am

Cloverdale Bakery just closed down at the end of 2022. Best copenhagens ever and the rest of their offerings too good to lose. But that's unfortunately the way things are going. They worked SO hard for our community for so many years. Super missed!!
Grateful for having experienced such quality.

0 0Rating: 0

Mr Smith

Mar 10, 2023 at 10:29am

I will add to your letter with going to Charlies Music on Granville and looking through hundreds of used CDs and DVDs. Going to all the different movie theatres in the city on Granville St. and other areas of the city. Good times.

0 0Rating: 0

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