So I’m apparently into self-torture and mental masochism because I’m writing about Vancouver for my long essay.
Part of the reason is because I can’t write in the first place and so my original idea got scrapped.
Another part of the reason is that I’m dumb and can’t think of anything else to write about.
But I think the main reason is because even though I’ve written quite a bit about grad school here on my blog, I’ve yet to really write about my relationship with the city of Vancouver itself. I’ve yet to really write about how my walking routine probably saved my life up there. And I feel like I need to write about those things.
I doubt that a final essay in an intermediate non-fiction class is the place to do so, but hell, I don’t have anything else and this has been pressing against the forefront of my mind for quite some time now.
So that’s that.
In other news: this semester needs to die.
I want to participate in the Vancouver Sun Run again this year. Here are the pros and cons of such a desire.
1. I can run a lot faster (for a lot longer) than I could last year. Even by the end of July last year I had trouble running for three miles straight at a speed of 6.0 mph; now I can run 10k (6.2 miles) at a speed of 7.0 mph.
2. I totally have the money to go back up there now. Yay for having a job!
3. The date of the race is April 16th, a Sunday, meaning that I could fly up on Saturday, stay the night, run the race early Sunday morning, and fly back in time for work on Monday.
4. I want to prove that I can do the race in under an hour. None of this “I need to pee” business slowing me up.
5. As crappy as my time was up there, I’d like to see Van again if for no other reason than to see if my memory of it is anywhere close to the way everything in the city is actually laid out.
6. Running RULES!
1. It’s Vancouver.
2. I’m pretty sure I’d have a panic attack if I were to go back there.
3. Running solitary is peaceful, but running a race alone is lonely. If that makes any sense (though I ran it solo last year, so I shouldn’t complain about that).
4. I’m actually quite sick of travelling.
5. It’s Vancouver.
So we’ll see. It’d be awesome if I could convince my dad to fly up there with me and race as well, but I don’t know if he’s in running condition anymore thanks to his gout.
In the meantime, a silly vid:
Most accurate tourism rundown of Vancouver I’ve ever heard. The foot comment rendered much guffawing.
And by “Dodge” I mean “Vancouver.” This morning my father and I packed the last remnants of my life in Vancouver into a white cargo van and drove away from Vancouver for the last time.
I have absolutely no reason to go back.
Good feeling, my friends. Good feeling.
Tonight is my last night in Vancouver.
And I must admit it feels weird to say that moving is going to be bittersweet.
I love my apartment. I love its location, its quietness, its layout. As much as Vancouver doesn’t feel like my home, my apartment does. And I’m going to miss it. I’m also going to miss my routine. Despite the last three months sucking harder than a Hoover in space, I’ve maintained a routine (particularly in the last month or so) that I will greatly miss and will not be able to exactly replicate in any other location.
But then I step back for a second and remember something: I am extremely good at forgetting the bad when things are going well (or decent). Despite the fact that life is tolerable now—that I can dink around and walk to the Super Store and clean my apartment at my leisure and actually PLAY my Xbox rather than looking forlornly at it while working on my thesis, I know for a fact that if I were to stay here for the PhD, I would most certainly die. There’s no question.
So while I’ve enjoyed the last week of FREEDOM FROM THESIS, I know that leaving is for the best and that things outside of this city will go so, so much better for me.
Good lord, Vancouver, it’s just hockey. Smashing up Seymour St. and Robson St. will not get you the Stanley Cup back from the Bruins.
Because of several issues (not going into these at this time), my mom’s up here with me for a week or so. Tonight (around 10 PM) I took DA SKY TRAIN to the airport to pick her up. They had the rioting on the news at the airport, and we were all standing around watching the chaos unfold, shocked at what was going on just downtown. The majority of the people in the airport were disgusted with it all. One guy even commented, “I’m pretty embarrassed to be from Vancouver right now.”
By the time my mom’s plane got in, they’d shut down bus services to and from downtown, and SkyTrain service was limited to the southernmost stops (those not downtown). My mom and I were going to go to Denny’s, but that didn’t happen for such obvious reasons.
Edit: A gallery of pictures. The fact that I walk down these streets and past these stores quite frequently is scary.
So it occurred to me as I was wandering around downtown Vancouver this afternoon that I’ve walked to all the major malls in the city, but I never gave you guys a ranking.
Like you care, but you know I dig the rankings.
From least favorite to favorite, I bring you Canadian Malls: Vancouver Style!
14. Brentwood Town Centre
Most pointless mall ever. Seriously. It’s like taking the Palouse Mall and removing all the interesting stores, leaving you with Zales, Hallmark, the information center, and that area that turns into the Hickory Farms store during Christmas.
13. Central City
This one’s in Surrey. Do you value your life? Don’t go to
Surrey. The fact that this has a freaking college attached to it perplexes me enough so that this isn’t in last place.
12. Lynn Valley Centre
I don’t really know how this qualifies as a mall, but it is in North Vancouver, which explains the creepy aura about it. Totally not worth the trip up there, unless you’ve got a car. Even then, though, it’s iffy.
11. Lansdowne Centre
There really wasn’t much to this mall, and it’s all the way in Richmond. But it did have a clean Zeller’s, which is like witnessing a miracle, and the Bed Bath and Beyond clone store I walked through seemed pretty freaking awesome.
10. Granville Island
If you can get past the throngs of people that are there pretty much 24/7, the Island is pretty funky. I dig the massive fresh market, but the throngs get to me pretty quickly.
9. Kingsgate Mall
Ah, good old Kingsgate Mall. My grocery depot. Another really small mall, but it’s in a good location, has a grocery store, and has alcohol. What more is necessary when it’s on the bus route home?
8. Capilano Mall
Another pretty “meh” mall apart from the giant Walmart with the McDonald’s as its heart. It’s also all the way in North Vancouver, so it’s really not worth the walk and/or bus ride unless you are morally against the mall on Grandview Highway.
7. Pacific Centre
Apple store + H&M makes for a good mall in general, but there really isn’t anything else in the Pacific Centre worth noting. It’s location is nice, though, and is surrounded by more entertaining things in downtown Vancouver.
6. Oakridge Centre
Poor little Oakridge Centre, being only a mile away…totaly gets overlooked as a place I’ve walked to, haha. It’s a decent mall. Apple store, Safeway, and cinemas for those who enjoy such frivolity. Its proximity to the SkyTrain is both good (“hey! I can get on the SkyTrain right from the mall!”) and bad (“all the SkyTrain traffic has taken over the seats on the bus! How do I get home?!”).
5. Richmond Centre
Apple Store! Late hours! Quiznos! You’re livin’ wild if you go to the Richmond Centre. I still don’t see the logic of having a mall within
literally 300 steps of another mall. At least it’s close to the Skytrain so you can hightail it out of the party zone when all the other malls have closed and you’re still shopping at 6 PM.
4. Real Canadian Superstore
Ah, the love child of Walmart and Costco. I really dig this place, and am glad London seems to think its smaller city needs double the number of RCSSs that Vancouver has. This place gets super extra bonus points because everything’s so cheap. Example: box of awesome granola bars = $4.99 at Safeway. Same box of awesome granola bars = $2.15 at Real Canadian. Yayzorz.
3. Coquitlam Centre
Despite this being 4 billion miles away, it’s huge and has a lot of awesome stores. Assuming you survive the parking lot, this is a super enjoyable mall.
2. Metropolis at Metrotown
This mall? It has a Real Canadian Superstore INSIDE OF IT. It also has a soft pretzel shop, which made my mom super happy when she came up and we hung out at Metropolis. It’s another massive mall, but it’s a lot closer and easily accessible via SkyTrain.
1. Park Royal Centre
GIANT MALL. I really like Park Royal. It’s got an H&M, and HMV (which is like a Hastings), and a Whole Foods. It’s also about 12 miles away and you have to walk through Stanley Park to get there, so it’s a good destination for walking on Saturdays. Completely unrelated side note: Vancouver
has the biggest slugs I’ve ever seen.
Also this: here is a map of my knowledge of Vancouver before I started walking (aka, back when I was on Dunbar):
And here is now:
And today I walked 19 miles.
Hey people. No Canadian Mall installment today, mainly because I’ve run out of interesting malls. There may be more installments later, there may not be. But in the meantime, RECTANGLE WALK!
“A” (and “G”) = my house. This route is exactly 20 miles, but by the time I got to mile 16 it was late (started late because I got distracted by music) so I just took the bus the rest of the way, haha.
Anyway, the main reason for this was to get a reasonable estimate of how long the 40K walk would take. 16 miles = 25.7 kilometers, so it’s totally doable before it gets dark, assuming I start early enough. Maybe next weekend.
OH YEAH, and it’s April 30th, so…
Mean song length: 3:48
No five-stars again. This year has a lot of really good songs, but none quite good enough for five stars.
Tune in tomorrow for anniversary excitement!