“Why are you visiting Vancouver?” I quickly thought in my head the correct answer usually would be because I’ve never visited or I’m visiting friends etc. but my smart ass response was, “because I’ve already visited Toronto and Montreal so I figured Vancouver’s next”, all said with a smile, of course! And with the push of the stamp, I was out of the hands of the customs officer and on my way to explore Vancouver! After my short train ride to downtown Vancouver and a slight uphill walk to get to The Burrad Hotel, I quickly dropped off my luggage, grabbed my camera and headphones and made my way to Nelson The Seagull! I examined my surroundings on my walk, comparing each neighborhood to one in L.A and the Gastown District definitely gave me a bit of Silverlake vibes with its trendy coffee shops and boutiques, heavy bearded baristas, some wearing Warby Parker frames and cute girls with red bow lips!
My food arrived and I felt like everyone was watching me as my heavy mound of a picnic lunch was placed in front of me! What, this is the meal that makes for a good photo I thought, slathering a savory cilantro spread on my baguette and layering a piece of cheese on top.I left the tourist filled street of Cardova and walked up the street, surprised at how quickly the neighborhood changed once you hit a new corner! I passed Abbott street and instantly felt like I was walking through skid row; some of the people looked like zombies while others set up make shift shops to sell what they could to their fellow community. I felt sorrow as I passed by an unidentifiable person, blood dripping from one arm, a needle dangling from the other but kept it moving to the next street because these scenes weren’t unfamiliar to me. I walked a short block up and was greeted with Chinese characters, I had now entered Chinatown.The next day, I rose as bright as I could and headed to Stanley Park upon the bartender at Hello Goodbye Bar’s recommendation and again, feel in love with the lushness of trees and fresh air that I was able to breathe in. Stanley park was the opposite feeling of Gastown, a neighborhood filled with compassion, where the local citizen knows his homeless neighbor by name, offering to purchase him breakfast to get his morning started. I kept my journey short because I needed to make it to Medina Cafe, where the lines are endless but the food more than makes up for it!
I walked so much, I felt that my legs were going to give out and I still felt like there was more for me to see. I still wanted to check out Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe so, I followed directions given by Google map and headed towards the City of Parksville and begin to climb the Granville bridge, a bridge made for both pedestrians and motorist alike but as I got 20 feet into my walk, anxiety kicked in big time and the small gap of a barrier that was protecting me from my death didn’t seem safe enough for me so, I turned right back around and thought next time, just take a cab. I did some more careless wandering, trying to kill the time before it was time for me to leave and really felt why people fall so suddenly in love in Vancouver. It’s a cute little city with things to do, nature to see and plenty to eat.