here i am out on the west coast. i will pull out my west coast rocking chair and watch people coming and going, to-ing and froing.

right now, i can’t even call it the wet coast. not yet.

so during these holidays, i’m spending a few days stepping from back time, stepping out of time. just spending some time.

vancouver is not the city i was born in. i've never lived here (as a citizen) but i've 'lived' the city, so to speak. in some ways i grew up or down here. that all depends on point of view. 

so why come this far? well why go anywhere. i kinda like the city, the diversity despite its flaws.

it’s a lovely place, more than welcoming friends and  acquaintances, smoked salmon, creativity that sparkles and special spirit and culture. particularly in the area most people i know live in - east vancouver, east van, bohemia. it has vibrancy, a uniqueness that i've not felt in the rest of the country

i'll grant that i haven't been everywhere in canada but i've  been from coast-to-coast and find here a strange mystique that no one bothers to hide or boast about or explain. it is what is. for me the chance to soak up some of the creative joue-de-vivre. do the walkabout to virtually everything you need and the roundel, great eatery, is an opportunity to recharge, rejuvenate.
if we can agree that canada stands at the front of the bad civic planning and remarkable urban sprawl, east van, this quartier in a city, is the opposite. you hardly need a car as many businesses in and around are footsteps away, with services coming from very locally owned shops. here you can walk where you need to go be - groceries, restaurants, coffee places, drug, clothing, baked goods store. 

in other words it's pretty self-contained and  diverse – in the local culture, the broad array of people who choose this area, in family income, mass transit, land use, ethnicity and mother tongue. kind of like canada what should strive for, particularly if we’re serious about reducing greenhouse gases. 

east van not a model place (but no one calls you a hippie, whatever that label means today, because you could like respond– right back at you slick), but a model of community that urban designers should pay attention. 
from Hank and I – peace out


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