Visiting Vigorous, Vivacious Vancouver, BC, Part 2

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)\

Last month’s “travelogue” post of Vancouver, a gem of a city in British Columbia, Canada, demonstrated in photos and captions just what an awesome, modern metropolis evolved from what was a logging outpost and the western terminal of the Canadian transcontinental railroad.

Here, I’ll share three short observations gained from our eight days exploring the city, its waterfront areas and neighborhoods.

Vancouver even has alley ways -- but with a view of mountains.

Vancouver even has alley ways — but with a view of mountains, of course.

1. Respect for the Environment. From just about every corner in Vancouver, one is treated to a view of something pleasurable. Whether it was the mountains to the north, the water along Burrard Inlet or False Creek or even the so-called “built environment” developed by man, we were enamored just looking around.

And, the forested masterpiece — Stanley Park — even maintained its grandeur with a the four-lane Causeway running through it.  What’s more, people had great respect for their surroundings: We saw very little litter and very little graffiti. As for crime: We saw none, read about none or experienced none.

Some of the First Nation totems in Stanley Park.

Some of the First Nation totems in Stanley Park.

2. Diversity Works. Yes, Vancouver has the obligatory Chinatown, but it’s adjacent to a kind of  “skid row” and there’s not a lot to see.  To get a flavor of just how diverse the city has become, visit, the neighborhoods like West End and Kitsilano.

Everywhere we found people, businesses and restaurants of all kinds — all living and working in apparent harmony.  Along Davie Street in the heart of the LGBT community, the crosswalk pavement markers at Bute Steet were in a rainbow pattern.  And, Native Americans or descendants of the First Nation are remembered and respected.

3. What’s Left of Vancouver’s Architectural History?  In researching Vancouver, I learned the city was destroyed by a fire in 1886, just a few years after fire destroyed much of my home city of Chicago.  And, like the people of Chicago, the citizens of Vancouver rebuilt a new, better, more modern city.

Our way cool modern apartment was at The Lions, a twin tower complex in Coal Harbour.

Our way cool modern apartment was at The Lions, a twin tower complex in Coal Harbour.

But strolling through the Coal Harbour and West End neighborhoods, there was little left of traditional neighborhoods of single family homes.  Our wonderful apartment, in a tower 30 stories tall, more than likely replaced several much more modern structures. This Facebook site  — ” a lament for, and celebration of, the vanishing character homes in Vancouver” — even chronicles homes leveled to build more dense properties.

Perhaps the ideal weather — 80s by day with lots of sun — just added to our enjoyment of Vancouver.  But we think the city would have made lasting memories even if it rained much of the time.

The week after we returned to Chicago, it did.

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Visiting Vigorous, Vivacious Vancouver, BC, Part 1

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

The month of August has always been a special one for me. For one thing, I was born in August!  (No gifts, please.)  And, it’s been the month Susan and I have reserved for what generally as been a splendid vacation.

August of 2014 was no exception, as our travels took us to Vancouver, British Columbia.  This gem of a city in the Pacific Northwest was named by The Economist magazine as the third most liveable city in the world after Melbourne and Vienna.  (Note: Must get to Melbourne and Vienna soon.)

During our eight days staying at an awesome rental apartment in the Coal Harbour (note “Canadian” spelling) we did feel that we were living — not just staying — in a very special place.  For one thing, the weather was ideal — sunny and 80 degrees (that’s 27 degrees Celsius) — and there are world-class attractions in close proximity.  But overall, we found cool things to do just strolling the parks, neighborhoods and along the Seawall.

In this first installment, I’ll share some visual memories of our time in Vancouver. It will be followed with some thoughts.  But before we get to the images below, a shout out to the people of Vancouver: This public relations pro thinks you’ve built positive awareness for your city the best way possible: By being friendly, polite and welcoming.

The waterfront was a  short walk from our apartment. The walkway has designated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists.

The waterfront was a short walk from our apartment. The walkway has designated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists.

 

The Kisilano neighborhood, or Kits to the locals, was once the old hippie quarters. Not sure if too many hippies are left, but this football-field sized outdoor pool and beach still attracts hundreds.

The Kisilano neighborhood, or Kits to the locals, was once the old hippie quarters. Not sure if too many hippies are left, but this football-field sized outdoor pool and beach still attracts hundreds.

 

The Lions Gate Bridge links Vancouver with North Vancouver and places north like Whistler. This elegant structure is best seen from Stanley Park.

The Lions Gate Bridge links Vancouver with North Vancouver and places north like Whistler. This elegant structure is best seen from Stanley Park.

 

The Olympic torch sits in a plaza near Canada Place. Wish I could have visited in February of 2010.

The Olympic torch sits in a plaza near Canada Place. Wish I could have visited in February of 2010.

 

This image, taken from Granville Island, epitomizes modern Vancouver.

This image, taken from Granville Island, epitomizes modern Vancouver.

 

I mentioned the friendliness of Vancouverites. This man here with Susan, named Parker, offered directions and shared details on his life with two strangers.

I mentioned the friendliness of Vancouverites. This man here with Susan, named Parker, offered directions and shared details on his life with two strangers.

 

A day trip to Whistler included a stop at Howe Sound. And, we saw an eagle!

A day trip to Whistler included a stop at Howe Sound. And, we saw an eagle!

 

Vancouver has an outstanding public transit network. Some people even commute by sea plane.  How cool is that?

Vancouver has an outstanding public transit network. Some people even commute by sea plane. How cool is that?

 

This final shot was taken at, appropriately, Sunset Beach.  The locals and visitors gather in the city's many parks and are treated to views like this.

This final shot was taken at, appropriately, Sunset Beach. The locals and visitors gather in the city’s many parks and are treated to views like this.

 

There are more image from our Vancouver Vacation on my Facebook page. Want more “travelogues” from The PRDude? Here are some posts to consider.