I spent my childhood in Vancouver over fifty years ago and on the weekend it was as though I had returned to that time. We were visiting a friend there and she took us to the Vancouver East Side Culture Crawl. It's an annual event when artists from the east side of town open their studios. We spent the afternoon walking around the area of Strathcona, just east of the downtown and Chinatown. In this little neighbourhood it's as though the last fifty years (or more) never happened. The houses are all from the turn of the century and there are no malls or parking lots or gas stations. Just the streets and parks and mature trees.
It feels like something out of (at the risk of dating myself)... Father Knows Best. It feels like I am back in my childhood, with the corner store in a building like this one with an apartment above it. Some of the houses are kept up, some are restored...
...and some are not.
The place has a timeless feeling, for me at least, with these old three storey walk-up apartments, tenement buildings and ancient churches.
Lately Strathcona has been discovered by artists and young people who live side by side with the original inhabitants, many of them European or Chinese.
Now the corner stores have been turned into excellent little groceries or trendy cafes offering espresso and designer sandwiches.
I just loved exploring this little island within the big city of Vancouver. If I were going to live in Vancouver this vibrant neighbourhood with its roots in the past would be one I'd seriously consider.
Do you have a favourite neighbourhood?