You can love something, but not necessarily like it

A few weeks ago my friend Kim and I were talking about Vancouver. Both of us have recently spent a long time away from Vancouver in other large cities of European nations. While we both missed Vancouver, neither one of us is certain what the fuss is about.

In the past Vancouver has been named as the top city in the world to live in by the UN, while it hasn’t been top in the past few years, it still remains near the top of the list. Honestly, I don’t see it. Sure, it’s a beautiful city; the landscape is probably some of the greatest in the world, but the city and what it offers, not so much. Let me break it down for you…

Culture

Culturally, and by this I mean arts, the city does not compare with any large city. We basically have one large art gallery, the anthropology museum and a few smaller galleries. In no way are the meager offerings of this city on par with others. While in Berlin we visited a different museum nearly every single day that I was there and still didn’t cover a quarter of those in the city. In Venice or Vicenza the culture was not found only in countless museums but it also oozed from the streets. This city lacks culture, and if you’re someone like myself who craves art and museums this city has little to offer.

Living

Has anyone tried to rent a place around Vancouver lately? What about trying to find a decent paying job or keep up any kind of decent lifestyle? Renting a place has gotten absurd, you’re looking at about $700/month to rent a room in the city, and that’s not even furnished. We (well BC) also boasts the lowest minimum wage in the country but one of the highest costs of living.

Nightlife

Weekends are nothing of note here. Again, in other cities I found a different place to go all the time, lounges, nightclubs, pubs and bars, everything. Here, there is nothing in the city of note for those who are too old to go to the nightclubs (not to mention enjoy being fully clothed when I go out) and don’t have the status or money to hang out in Yaletown lounges. There is a huge disparity in the types of nightlife here.

The prices abroad were so much cheaper than here. I paid $10 for a watered down drink a few weeks ago here, while in Italy, I could get a glass of wine for less than 2 euro.

Fashion

We have nothing, absolutely nothing, on European fashion or even that of Eastern Canada. While I love my lululemon apparel (sorry Lauren and Kristina), but I swear the whole city is going to break out in downward dog at any minute because everyone constantly wears yoga wear. And it has its time and place, but I love the expression of oneself through clothing, not the expression of one’s corporate loyalties through clothing. I love wearing heels and actually spending time on one’s outfit in the morning, here I just get so lazy, what’s the point, I already feel overdresses in jeans and flats, why bother trying.

Dating

People here are notoriously introverted. In Europe you know when you’re appreciated, guys tell you when you’re looking good, even when you don’t think you do. Sure, sometimes it’s chauvinistic and clichéd, but it also makes someone feel good after a bad day. But do we date them, not really, but at least they’re out their trying. Here, nobody makes eye contact with each other, even in nightclubs. Well that is unless it’s last call and you’re looking for whomever you’ll take home that night, but as everyone knows, that never leads to relationships.

These are just a few examples. Don’t get me wrong, I love this city, but it’s not “world class.” If anything, it’s a small city that labels itself as big time. Maybe it’s me missing the European culture, but I want to draw out the fact that this city isn’t perfect, not even close.

I do understand the draw if you are inclined towards the outdoors, the hiking, extreme sports and climate are excellent for those that love sporting, but what about the rest of us? What about those who want to do something after the sun goes down or on a rainy day?

This city, as Kim put it, Vancouver is a dumb blonde. It’s beautiful to look at, but look past the pretty exterior and there is nothing beyond the surface.

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