I have always loved Vancouver and still do. It is a beautiful city and one of the only ones I know that has a forest, ocean and large city all in one. The natural beauty is awe inspiring and I feel like I have come home every time I visit.
But Vancouver has changed over the ten years since I’ve gotten here. You can call it progress or you can call it being over run by too much progress. One of the definitions of progress is forward or onward movement towards a destination. I’m not quite sure what that destination is here. It seems to me that Vancouver is not the only place where progress is taking place. Wherever I travel I hear people longing for “the good ole days”. They continually talk about how their city has changed and not for the better. They have great pride in their city and don’t mind people coming to live there. They just don’t want them to change the landscape of the place they call home.
Along with a stream of immigrants into Vancouver has come a tremendous amount of building; mostly high rises. And with that comes more traffic and more business. I remember ten years ago the Kitsilano Beach was somewhat crowded but now, on weekends, it is swamped. I don’t feel the peace I once did when I lived only a few blocks from the beautiful park that overlooked the ocean.
Living in Los Angeles I expect it to be crowded but somehow I was hoping that Vancouver had remained in a time warp and didn’t change at all. Or maybe it’s me that has changed my idea of what a quiet life should be. I’m looking for that place that is small and not so interested in the latest happenings on Games of Thrones or who is going to win the Super Bowl.
I guess I’m looking for a place where you can walk into town (which happens to be only a few streets) and get to know who the people are who run those shops. I am guilty of shopping at the bigger stores. It has become almost imperative only because that is what is now being offered. But I long for the privately owned business that has been past down from generation to generation. My plumber in Los Angeles is one of those businesses. And they offer the best customer service I have ever seen.
Yet what progress seems to me is still saying good morning to the person at your local coffee shop and having the time to find out how their life is and really wanting to know. I always say that I love and hate the computer world we now live in but it seems like we are going backwards in this progress thing. Call it age, call it nostalgia or call it just plain yearning for a simpler life. I hope we can progress as human beings sometime soon by stopping the building progress to live a gentler life.