Random cafe patio on Davie St.Vancouver, British Columbia
Don't get me wrong, I really like Seattle. And there are things about the town that I can even say I love. But the truth is, Vancouver is way cooler. WAY. It's got a cosmopolitan/European flair with American conveniences, and certain civilities that tend to be lacking in American culture. It's also just incredibly gorgeous, with the beautiful highrise buildings and majestic natural backdrop of mountains and water. It also helps that you don't really need a car here as so much is within walking distance and the public transportation is comparative to New York.
I've learned not to bother coming here with an agenda. Just walking down the block can offer amazing sites and sounds, and if you're willing to walk even further, you can transport across so many different worlds, cultures, artforms and celebrations.
Last time I was here, back in late September, it was just a one-day stop on a cruise. I guess my friend and I really needed a vacation because we hadn't had time to even think about our Vancouver stop, let alone plan it. We got off the ship, grabbed a map, and realized our choices were to turn left, right or forward. We chose left. In a span of about 8 hours, we hit the Gastown District, Chinatown, the 60th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China Parade, the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens (gorgeous), Restaurant Salt, a 1st American Peoples Celebration, Anti-Iraq War protest & rap contest, Downtown, Japadog, and waterfront. I also want to include Stanley Park and the Sea Wall, mainly because we got such an incredible view from the ship, that we couldn't have gotten otherwise from land.
(Holy $&!t, just heard super-loud thunder. Must get back to hotel before rain hits.)