40 things I like about east vancouver

I have been having some thoughts about moving, and what it is that i like or don’t like about my neighbourhood. Today when i was walking around i decided to list at least 40 things i liked about east vancouver.

1) it’s a good neighbourhood for walking around and thinking about society
2) the chinese gardeners have taught me a lot about space-intensive gardening
3) the frogs in the charles street alley (i can hear them from my room at night)
4) it’s a 20 minute drive to lynn headwaters in north van – which is like being way out in the middle of nowhere
5) eating gelato while walking on the train tracks
6) the buddhist vegetarian restaurant
7) the free side of sun yat sen gardens
8) wild bamboo growing all over the place
9) the fact that people sell stuff on the sidewalks in several parts of the neighbourhood
10) free boxes left out after yard sales
11) good radical graffitti
12) hearing the trains whistle at night as they pull into the yard
13) lots of urban wildlife (coyotes, birds, rats, raccoons)
14) stratcona community garden & bird sanctuary
15) the look on people’s faces when you tell them you live in east vancouver
16) the least heard language on public transit is english
17) the world cup (soccer) parties every four years are *great* fun no matter who wins
18) best coffee in the city, most independent coffee shops of any neighbourhood
19) the WISE hall
20) great view of the north shore mountains
21) people smoke pot on the street, it’s not a big deal
22) watching the old italian men play bocci and swear at each other
23) when the starbucks moved in on commercial, people picketed it
24) the carnival band marching every monday night up and down the drive
25) all my friends live on this side of town
26) the vehicle impound lot under the viaduct (cars in various states of destruction, abandoned and waiting for their owners)
27) people selling art on the street
28) good and cheap restaurants – with lots of vegetarian options
29) the italian gardeners have taught me a lot about dealing with tomato blight
30) this is where the Vancouver 5 (also known as Direct Action) hatched their plans back in the early 80s
31) the saturday farmer’s market
32) people who have planted beautiful gardens in the city-owned strip on the other side of the sidewalks – there is a whole block in my part of the ‘hood that is almost like a forest path because of this catching on….
33) more grow-ops than you can shake a stick at
34) mosaic park at charles and odlum – the grass almost never gets cut there
35) loads of fresh mint, lemon balm, rosemary and sage for the picking (lots of gardens everywhere)
36) the sound of martial arts classes in the upstairs rooms in chinatown in the early evening
37) the buddhist temple on georgia street
38) the rogers sugar factory below hastings – a victoria-era factory still in operation (though it looks like it should be shut down)
39) old chinese women doing chi quong in the parks in the early morning
40) the street mosaic in strathcona that is a dedicated to the “militant mothers of raymur”

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