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Vancouver V

February 27th, 2011 (09:40 am)

It snowed last night!

As I set off for the game at about 5.30, it was just starting to fall, but by the time the game was over -- we played well, but lost -- there were a few inches to slide about on. As we flooded out of the stadium, people were grumbling, and I got the impression that snow isn't common in the city. As I said the other day, they seem to salt the pavements -- which actually makes them more lethal, so I tried to keep to the fresher snow -- but not the roads, and some of the cars were getting stuck. When I reached Granville Street, people had gathered for an impromptu snow party, and I had a few scary moments working my way through the dancers.

I've just looked out of the window, and the snow's still there, but it's dripping, and the traffic sounds like it's splashing through water, so -- given that walking's a bit difficult at the moment -- I'm hoping it will all melt away soon!


Today's pictures, though, are from Friday, and there's no trace of snow in them.

I set off for West 4th Avenue and the Naam, a vegetarian restaurant founded in the '60s, when Vancouver was the hippy capital of Canada and, according to the menu, West 4th Avenue was known as Rainbow Street.

I would normally have taken the ferry to Granville Island and then walked but, because of my knee, this time I decided to catch the bus. As usual, I waited for ages then three buses came at once and -- thanks to a moment's inattention -- I caught the wrong one! Once I'd calmed down, I had a very interesting tour of parts of Vancouver I'd never seen before. Since the city's built on a rectangular grid, I was pretty sure that, most of the time, we were travelling parallel to West 4th Avenue, so I could have got off and walked down one of the side roads but, since the aim was to avoid too much walking, I stayed on until we reached the terminus, then caught a bus back.

I even managed to get off at a stop just a few paces from the Naam:

The food there is old school vegetarian -- they do a steak and chips platter, with an amazing 'steak' made from shredded beetroot, and Miso gravy which, on a good day, is the best thing you've ever tasted (and which, on a bad day, you just have to scrape off your food as best you can). For dessert I had a vegan chocolate raspberry cake made from cashew nuts, which was wonderful, though I took the precaution of asking for some whipped cream, too :-)

Across the road from the Naam, there's an interesting charity shop:

Charity shops here don't seem to have taken over like they have in the UK. This shop's cold and dark, the books feel gritty -- I didn't look at the clothes! -- and it sells some very strange stuff, as you can see:

A bit further on I spotted this sign in the window of an otherwise perfectly normal general store:

West 4th Avenue alternates between shopping and residential areas, so it sort of feels like a series of villages:

This is the local supermarket, but I took the picture from the wrong side of the road -- had I been further back, you would have been able to see the Rocky mountains rising above the roof:

Next door to Safeway, there's a wholefood supermarket, called Capers, which sells fruit and vegetables, frozen foods and ready meals, crisps and cans of drink, cosmetics, cleaning products... all of which are organic and/or ethically produced:

One nice thing about taking all these photographs is that I'm noticing things I wouldn't normally notice, like this fire escape:

Back at Safeway, my knee had been feeling so good I'd been thinking I might walk all the way back to the hotel. A few steps further on I changed my mind!

There's a secondhand bookshop just past Home Hardware, which I love because I happened to be there on the day it opened. This time, I bought a very big (and very heavy) book called The Complete Guide to Good Writing, which really is complete and, above all, is American, so I thought it might come in handy :-)

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photograph of the bookshop because, by then, I was seriously looking for a bus stop!


Posted by: Karen (kazzy_cee)
Posted at: February 27th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)

The veggie restaurant sounds lively! Sorry your knee is playing up - how frustrating.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: February 28th, 2011 12:49 am (UTC)

The veggie restaurant sounds lively!

It's great fun!

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: February 27th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)

It's fascinating because you clearly know the place so well, and happily wander off the beaten track. Sorry the knee was a bit off - although I can imagine you are putting more strain on it than usual!

I hope the snow has all gone quickly, so that you can get about easily for the rest of the trip.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: February 28th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)

The snow is melting quickly so, as long as it doesn't freeze, I should be OK. With the knee, I'm just taking things one day at a time!

Posted by: Claire (clanne)
Posted at: February 27th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)

It certainly doesn't look like this today! Glad you were able to get out and enjoy the city when the weather was so beautiful. I live on the West Side of Vancouver so it's been fun to see your posts these last few days, especially this one since 4th is one of my regular haunts. Just one note: those are not the Rocky Moutains behind the Safeway! The North Shore mountains are part of the Coast Mountains, specifically the Pacific Ranges. The Rocky Mountains are approximately 800km to the East, along the Alberta border.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: February 28th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)

4th is one of my regular haunts

You're so lucky!

Thank you for putting me right about the mountains. I was very careful with my Burrard Inlet, but I didn't think to check the mountains :-)

I was hoping to get some pictures of the snow, but my camera batteries ran out, and I have the feeling it will be gone by tomorrow.

We've had a lot of snow in the UK recently and I've got very used to tramping through it, but it's very different here. For one thing, we salt the roads rather than the pavements so, although we do get mountains of snow at the kerb, we don't get those terrible rivers of slush when we step down. I've just had to paddle my way back from the Canucks Superskills, but it was worth it!

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