We’re Number 1!!!

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=trophy&iid=5102881″ src=”4/f/1/b/Group_of_people_a534.jpg?adImageId=9968109&imageId=5102881″ width=”366″ height=”467″ /]

I rolled over in bed this morning, groped for the radio and was treated to the voice of the B.C. Premier once again rah-rahing about the Olympics. He gets a weekly Saturday rant on the province’s biggest radio station and this is about the 32nd straight address in which he’s been jostling his pom-poms about the Games. It’s a helluva way to wake up!

Also this week, one of those lovely, weighty lifestyle supplements slopped out of the morning paper and the headline, which we’ve all seen a thousand times, was trumpeting Vancouver as ‘ The World’s Most Livable City ‘.

This constant self-congratulatory mantra combined with years worth of Winter Olympic hype is leaving a lot of us feeling like Dr. Peter Venkman in the movie Ghostbusters. It’s icky. It’s sticky. I often feel like I’ve just been slimed.

Pride in one’s one’s home turf is good, please don’t misunderstand. But Vancouver is so quick to pat itself on the back every time some poll puts it at or near the top of any half-assed list that the lustre of the moment is lost. The title of ‘World Class City ‘ must, by now, be on the municipal crest. I hear it constantly. It is inescapable. Do world class cities have to run around always declaring themselves as world class cities? Where’s the class in that? The whole thing always strikes me as more than a little desperate.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=diving+board&iid=5437620″ src=”9/8/4/9/Man_on_diving_ec08.jpg?adImageId=9969169&imageId=5437620″ width=”234″ height=”305″ /]We’re like that needy kid at the end of the diving board screaming at his parents, ‘Look at me, look at me!’

Remember the old tv tabloid show A Current Affair? Back in the mid-1990’s A Current Affair, for some inexplicable reason, included Vancouver in a series it was running on America’s Sinning-est Cities. They talked about the city’s drug culture, the crime rate and the liberal prostitution laws. And, boy, did Canadians respond! They flooded the show with complaints..to the point that A Current Affair was forced to come back to Vancouver and back pedal big time. Canadians don’t mind being singled out for the good stuff, but don’t lump us in with all that nasty, gritty urban angst from south of the border.

But getting back to the ‘Livable’ supplement.

The pictures chosen to accompany the article on our wonderfulness were telling. One of them shows a small flotilla of boats anchored in False Creek (lovely shot..I’m a sucker for anything with boats) This is the same spot that the city has been relentlessly trying to clear of so-called aquatic ‘squatters’ for years. Must be an old photo.

There’s also the iconic view of the Lions Gate Bridge..looking towards the North Shore mountains. There are 14 cars on the bridge, I counted them. There are never only 14 cars on the Lions Gate Bridge! It must have taken two guys in orange vests and a thousand traffic cones at either end to achieve this effect.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=vancouver&iid=5293528″ src=”6/2/4/3/High_rise_apartment_c789.jpg?adImageId=9968922&imageId=5293528″ width=”234″ height=”321″ /]   A third photo is staring up at a sky full of West End condominiums. It’s a gulag of over-priced, green-glassed similarity.

The library

With very few exceptions (the downtown Library being one) the residential architecture in Vancouver’s urban core is breathtakingly boring.

But it ain’t cheap. It’s the World’s Most Livable City if only you could afford to live here. And don’t give me that argument that it’s a lot more reasonable than Rome or London or New York. My kids don’t live in Rome or London or New York. They’re going to have to make a go of it here.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=inukshuk&iid=7805064″ src=”3/c/8/5/Feature_d441.jpg?adImageId=9968997&imageId=7805064″ width=”234″ height=”151″ /]A final photo shows a snow covered inukshuk…a symbol of the Olympic Winter Games. The inukshuk , or , more correctly spelled inuksuk, has nothing whatsoever to do with Vancouver or even British Columbia. The inuksuk is an important representation for the Inuit people of the Arctic. There was a lot of debate over the conscription of it for the commercial purposes of the Games. Personally, I was pulling for the image of the white Kermode bear from the central coast of British Columbia.

I wish Vancouver would simply take a few deep breaths and settle into the comfort of its own skin. It is a terrific place, especially when the sun shines. Trust me, all the folks who are about visit will discover this for themselves. You don’t have to beat them over the head with it. Those of us who live here are going to need liniment if we keep up this shameless barrage of back slapping.

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2 Responses to “We’re Number 1!!!”

  1. I totally agree with your comment “I was pulling for the image of the white Kermode bear from the central coast of British Columbia.” The elusive and beautiful Kermode Bear represents BC far more than the arctic sign post. Also the Kermode reflects BC’s environmental policies in setting aside the protected Great Bear Rainforest.
    For those of you who have never seen the stunning Kermode Spirit Bear, check out the first ever Kermode Bear Sighting map I created for BCSpiritBear.com
    We’re blessed live amongst the kermodes and every other bear in BC and would love to see them more recognized.
    Thanks for being a Kermode fan, Stephanie

  2. : ) Way to get that off your chest Dave. A kermode it should have been. At least all the tourist would be carting home souvenirs that are true replicas of something one would find here in BC.

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