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Vancouver: An International Perspective

DH Vancouver Staff Dec 09, 2008 4:20 pm

As we get closer to the Olympics more and more international attention will be given to our fair city, even more so than usual. In the last few days alone the NY Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Age (Australian Newspaper) wrote articles talking about Vancouver.

Here are a few snippets from what Dave Cadwell of the NY Times wrote:

Preening For the Olympics, Vancouver is Building Up

“Although it is only 35 miles north of the border, Vancouver looks and feels different from any city in the United States or, for that matter, Canada. With its glass-and-steel towers crowding a sweeping harbor, it could be in Asia.”

“…Vancouver became a much more international city after the World Exposition was held there in 1986. Asians began buying and developing property in the late 1990s. The city attracted Americans, too, many to a growing film industry.”

“No one knows for sure what Vancouver will be like after the Games, though everyone agrees the city, and Whistler, will become more popular. The attractive waterfront, Vancouver’s biggest selling point, will have been virtually developed. As Mr. Rennie said, “Vancouver better hang on tight, because this is as calm as Vancouver will be.”

The Chicago Tribune’s Arthur Frommer wrote the following:

Vancouver’s Melting Pot Makes a Terrific Cultural Stew

“On Robson Street, in the center of downtown, one of the largest Chinese restaurants I have ever seen (Hon’s Wun-Tun House) is patronized by hundreds of Chinese Canadians (and savvy tourists) who watch a regiment of Chinese chefs working at breakneck pace from a giant elevated kitchen at one side of the room, split into meat-preparing and vegetarian-preparing sections. The fact that Hon’s has been compelled to prepare vegetarian meals for half its guests is a tipoff to the attitudes of Vancouver’s youthful population.”

The use of the word melting pot is inaccurate as I would describe Vancouver and the rest of Canada as a mosaic of cultures and not a melting pot. The entire article was not of the highest calibre but had considerable praise for Vancouver despite some minor inaccuracies.

Finally, here is a taste of what Winsor Dobbin of The Age wrote:

Denizens of British Columbia Are More Than a Bit Wacky

“We may speak the same language but there are certain subtle differences it pays to be aware of. Vancouver Magazine, for instance, in a story on the city’s homeless population, revealed they prefer to be referred to as being of NFA (No Fixed Abode). Political correctness is alive and well, even among those who sleep in cardboard boxes.”

“But that’s British Columbia for you. Something different waits around every corner but it’s largely (and strangely) familiar.”

It’s nice to see how others view our town. Expect more of it in the coming months. Who said the Olympics would be bad for the city? Surely they were also the same individuals or spawns of individuals who thought Expo was a bad idea and we all know how that turned out for Vancouver.

Photos Courtesy of Bonny Makarewicz for The New York Times

DH Vancouver Staff
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