by Andrew Morrison | Ever since the post-game riot nearly two weeks ago and penning my admittedly angry, totally knee jerk reaction to it (amplified in fury 10-fold by my hockey team losing the Stanley Cup), I’ve wanted to be reminded of all the things that make Vancouver worth getting into such a tizzy over in the first place.
It’s not like I forgot, but it feels good to write them down.
I’m over the loss of Game 7 (total lie), but anger nevertheless lingers at the jackasses who posed for photos on burning cop cars, beat down innocents and otherwise abused the name and reputation of this city.
Still, it’s time to move on.
It was in that spirit that my wife and I sat down with a bottle of wine after the kids went to sleep the other night and began trading our favourite things to do, see, eat, drink and be a part of in Vancouver.
We left out most of the glossy brochure fluff – the healthy walks along the seawall, the abundance of yoga studios, the vibrant multi-culturalism and so on (all great things, sure) – and narrowed down what started as a massive list to just 101 things that we could agree on.
Naturally, what follows reflects our own interests, work and personal affections (notice the heavy food component), so it’s doubtful that you’ll hold dear the exact same things. To some, our list might seem bourgeois, blinkered or bullshit, and that’s fine. These are the best things that we get out of our city, and we feel no shame in the way we fashion our good times.
So without further et cetera…
Scout’s 101 Greatest Things About Life In Vancouver
1 | The Nine O’Clock Gun
We might as well start off with a bang! It’s 9 o’clock! So sayeth Stanley Park’s 9′oclock gun:
It’s been hit by lightning, plugged with rocks, short-circuited, silenced by work stoppages and even (briefly) stolen but Vancouver’s famed old Nine O’Clock Gun has—as faithfully as circumstances have allowed—boomed out the time of day from its home in Stanley Park for 107 years now.
What other city in Canada shoots off a canon to tell you with a resounding note of insistence that it’s time to go out and have some fun?
2 | Laneway Housing
For a long time, Vancouver home owners weren’t allowed laneway housing to help pay their mortgages through renters, house aging grandparents or cloister their wayward teens thereby increasing the city’s population density. That changed in the summer of 2009 when City Council approved 70,000 properties for laneway development, thanks in no small part to the lobbying (and awesomeness) of a couple of cool and conscientious little companies that are doing it right. Honour is due.
3 | Tuesday Nights At The VAG
The Vancouver Art Gallery is free (er, by donation) on Tuesday nights. Bring a twoonie and take advantage.
4 | Bike Lanes
Hooray for not getting hit by cars (as much) anymore!
5 | Sunday Soccer at McLean Park
A diverse group of people of every age and background show up at McLean Park in Strathcona every Sunday afternoon to play a legendary – if totally casual – game of footie without nets, refs, corners, throw-ins, rules or clocks. What if it rains or snows? Big deal. Game on. Come and play! (Don’t worry about the old Korean man looking terrified above. That’s just Kip. He’s a power forward, always lurking on the wing) Read more