I am only slowly starting to realize it: I fucking hate downtown Vancouver. I hate living here, hate walking around the streets, hate what it's becoming as the Olympics roll up and the property taxes force place after place to close, while ugly condos for motherfuckers with WAY more money than I have spring up everywhere (didja hear the one about how the official bird of Vancouver is the construction crane, heheheheh?). I hate that Richards on Richards are closing soon. I hate what HMV have done with the cool Virgin vibe, even if their prices are better. I hate that the downtown YMCA, which had the ONLY GODDAMN GYM I'VE EVER FLAT OUT LIKED and was just a few blocks away from me, is closed and being condo-ized. I chuckle at, but hate, the now-blank Paramount sign since Scotiabank took over the vast airport of a movie theatre on Burrard, along with the rest of Cineplex, and doubled the advertising before each feature (including many plugs for Scotiabank, as if banks need MORE of our money). I hate the absence of decent restaurants - a recent piss-up with the braindead dimwit who runs the Templeton means that there are exactly ZERO places I like to hang out at downtown; I mean, the Sugar Refinery is long gone, the clubs on Granville are an abomination, and, much as I'm glad there's ONE ACTUAL LIVING AND BREATHING COMMUNITY near where I live - the gay community - I am NOT, in fact, gay, and don't REALLY want to spend my freetime leanin' back at Hamburger Mary's (a brunch there now and then is okay, but it just ain't my scene, you know?). If only I WERE gay, I'd at least feel SOME connection to the people around me, since it's the only decent community we HAVE downtown (I'd get laid a lot more, too). Most of these Beautiful People coasting along from shop to shop on our streets seem soulless shiny drones, vainly coiffed and tanned, their self-important shrewlike faces gazing into their omnipresent cellphones and their asses far too skinny and perfect (I'm talkin' the female asses, here) to ever be of interest to an oddball aesthete like myself... I want women who look like fashion models like I want to fuck a Barbie: not at all. These are, dig - and I mean this hyperbolically, so don't get worried, but still - these are people you want to take a veritable claw hammer of frustration to for being so vain and empty and perfect - people who seem like they're made of plastic, barely alive (but still happier than me - GRRR!). Then you have your dazed tourists and blinking ESL students (some of them mine - like you want to run into your job on the street) wandering around gawking (by the way, this very lack of any discernible identity to Vancouver as a place unto itself is a common complaint and disappointment of my students; I've sometimes done "what don't you like about Vancouver" exercises with my kids - who, don't get me wrong, I like a lot - and have stammered in shock when Korean and Japanese students have complained - and it's happened more than once - that there are "too many Asians!" They wanted to feel like they were in a foreign environment, you dig - they have plenty of Asians at home!). And then of course, there are the drunken obnoxious snotnose kids from every outlying nowhere suburb come to get drunk and try to get laid on Granville Street, and homeless mentally ill scavengers trying to shake a few coins loose off all the above (I like them the best, usually - shout out to C., the schizophrenic ex-cabbie who lives at the Balmoral. I bought him lunch once and we talked about his stroke and his life as a panhandler). Oh, and there's also the tied-up office workers and Robson Street employees trying to go about their business and get home, of whom I, alas, am one. You know - speakin' of claw hammers - I had a guy walk up to me on the street the other week - a total stranger, lookin' scruffy and fat and not at all well-to-do, and say to me, out of some random classrage, I guess, directed at me because I was wearin' a tie and clearly had a job, that he was gonna fuckin' kill me - his exact words, "I'm gonna fuckin' kill you;" and you know, I felt more fellowship with HIM than I did with anyone else on the block at that moment! All the punks and artists and writers and freaks seem to have been ghettoe'd into the lower rents of East Vancouver, I guess, and I may soon join them; downtown is becoming an intolerable NOWHERE of a place, a vast internationalized fuckup of commerce and concrete and faux-Asian architecture (don't even get me started on Yaletown) with no heart, no soul, no balls, no clit, no identity OTHER than "come and give us money, for we are a beautiful city." Not for very much fucking longer, we aren't, at this rate! A community, a community, my kingdom for a community! I fucking HATE downtown!
Anyone know of any good places to rent on Main Street?