Friday, May 22, 2009

My most popular post ever: Vancouver haters of the world unite!

It amuses me: a few years ago, I was feeling particularly stressed out and miserable about the area where I live, and decided to vent on my blog. I published something called "I Hate Downtown: A Rant" - something not meant as a comment on Vancouver in general, just on the experience of living in its rather soulless downtown core (which, of course, is having even more of its soul beaten out of it by Olympics preparations). It turns out that this has become my most commented-upon - and I assume most-read - thread; because of the word "hate" in close proximity to the title of my blog, anyone who uses Google or Yahoo and looks up the words "I hate Vancouver" gets this as the top hit. I wonder if there will be an ever-increasing number of people commenting on it as the Olympics approaches?

In fact, I am in no way so hateful towards downtown these days. In particular, the sheer FUBAR hysteria of our Olympics preparation - which gives one the feeling of being stranded in a citywide clusterfuck of colossal proportions - has made living downtown, in fact, rather amusing! I keep hearing stories that tickle me; for instance, about the dull black areas now embedded in the sidewalk along various points in the much-ripped-up Granville corridor. I had been scandalized and shocked by the decision of the city to cut down all of that street's beautiful and flourishing trees, revealing just how old and ugly many of the facades are and making it look, frankly, rather like Toronto; then I heard that there were plans to make the street into a "world-class promenade." The dull black areas inserted along the widened sidewalk were apparently originally going to be made of some nicer, fancier material - black glass or such - but since we're way over budget and struggling to bring the Olympics through in the midst of a recession, the city has apparently substituted something cheaper, so boring to look at that it calls the whole venture of redoing the sidewalks into question. I also greatly look forward to seeing, when they plant new saplings along the street - as I presume is the plan - how long it takes for drunk 20somethings from the suburbs or the 'States to rip them out of the ground during their weekly revels. If any last longer than a couple of weeks, I'll be much impressed... This is all priceless as comedy, and I am no longer considering a relocation to Commercial Drive or such - I'm staying downtown!

All I need to do is find a building to live in that doesn't have bedbugs...

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