Kitsilano: We’re not in Forfar any more.

May 2, 2014

Bet looked for weeks on airbnb to find the perfect place for us to stay for a week while visiting Roz and Charlie in Vancouver. She found one four blocks from their small apartment in Kitsilano.

Turns out this one overlooks English Bay, the downtown skyline, and North Vancouver and the ski hills above it. The large balcony is equipped as an outdoor living room, so we plan to spend a good deal of time there, though I may need to negotiate with this one large sea gull who seems to own the post adjoining the balcony.

Kitsilano Harbour

Gull

Charlie and Roz picked us up at the airport in a Zip Car, a Korean SUV well suited to hauling luggage. When the business opened up he bought a $100 card which, combined with an app on his phone, gives him the location of an available vehicle (Prius, Kia SUV, or van) and allows him to book it. Then he walks the two blocks to the supermarket parking lot where three spaces are designated for these vehicles. Stroking the card across the windshield unlocks the vehicle and its keys inside. There’s also a credit card for fuel if it needs it.

Charlie had booked the Kia for three hours at a total cost of $36.00. A Prius costs $7.00 per hour. This seems like a terrific way to haul parents around and leave the Porsche with its non-adjustable racing seats in its underground parking space.

The Whole Foods store we visited at 9:00 last night reminded me of Gordanier’s in Elgin, though with a much richer customer base. I grabbed a chunk of superb French bread and a piece of what looked like Johnny cake but turned out to have hot peppers and corn in it. Good, but not what I expected.

But the surprise was the people. They’re young, fit, and apparently well-to-do, to judge from the clothes and the shining, late-model cars which line every street.

Perhaps this is a pocket of endangered yuppies which has survived the cataclysmic extinctions of the tech and Wall Street melt-downs on this isolated northern shore.

Last night on the trip from the airport Roz mentioned that the University of British Columbia campus is actually larger than downtown Vancouver. I wonder if UBC drives the economy of this enclave.

No doubt there’ll be more hick-goes-to-Vancouver observations as we explore the upper middle-class jungle of Kitsilano over the course of the week.

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