There was a time Gastown bars, Yaletown restaurants and Granville Street clubs flourished – at this time I was barely legal. Now, as I walk the streets of Vancouver from Burrard to Davie to Abbott, I fear we’ve lost all excitement. Somewhere between the Olympics, the riot and fear of the Waldorf closing, we simply forgot how to party.
Walk the streets of Europe at night, stroll through New York or down the Santa Monica strip after dark and you’ll find an energy and livelihood that Vancouver lacks. In the day, we ride bikes, run and hike green trails, fill cafés and galleries, yet at night, we disappear. That “rain won’t hold us back” attitude, creating sidewalks cloaked in umbrellas, vanishes as Friday night commences.
Is it because we’d rather be at home with our dogs, up early for a run on the sea wall or save ourselves for the next Canucks game? Or perhaps we are limited and at a loss for options? Do we blame the bars for lack of personality, the restaurants because they close before 2 a.m. or the live music venues because there are so few? Or perhaps we are dull. Are we without that culture that makes New York vibrant and varied? Are we missing the openness, character and frame of mind that fills the streets of Italy until the sun rises on a Saturday?
For those of us who remain single this city constricts us, challenges us and leaves us wondering where do I go to meet other singles? Men and women ask where to go out? Who or how to approach? What areas of the city are ideal? And I often find myself at a loss for words. Is it fair to assume our city is vibrant and alive in the day and asleep at night? Or am I missing something here?
As I sit behind a window, facing out onto Water Street, I can’t help but wonder where you all go at night or on weekends. So with that I ask for your opinion, your perspective, your recommendations and finally, your answer to the question: Is Vancouver’s nightlife dead?