In Which the City Grows Up (and I Do Not)
I spent last weekend on the mainland, visiting with my two dear, dear, dear friends. It's shocking how the months pass and how people I used to see every week or so, are now visited every year or so. I love that we can pick up where we left off... that somehow in the fast-paced and changing world we are a constant, us three.
Our constancy is in sharp relief against the evolving city that is Vancouver. It is a place I once felt I knew all the ins and outs of. It was my playground, my teacher, my school. In my mind it remains quite frozen and yet to go back and visit... well, I feel as misplaced as the new girl on the first day of classes.
Vancouver of steel and glass, I once knew your bricks. I ruined heels on your cobblestones. I knew the street musicians and the places in which to slip into the after hours. I knew your docks, under-bridges and your unseemly secrets. I knew your kind strangers too. For all the wandering I did, I knew your safety.
Downtown sports a bright veneer of world-class, post-Olympic-ness. It's all so... developed. But outside the centre of the city you will still find some neighbourhoods fairly unchanged by the glare of 'urban planning'. The course of my young life can be charted in chapters, block by block on Main Street. I spent a happy afternoon here with my dearest two this past weekend, exploring shops and conjuring memories.
At Barefoot Contessa I found a long, flowing calico dress for summer. It's trimmed with tatted lace and looks vaguely prairie-like... much like the dresses I loved as a girl. I'm a true product of the 70s in that way... I went to kindergarten (in the same neighbourhood as the shop, actually) with a girl named Meadow. Oh how I coveted her Gunne Sax-like dresses!
Funny thing... these days I seem to be pursuing the things that would make my 5 year old self the happiest... my bike, my calico dress and time spent with my best-est friends.