Walking My Way Through Vancouver

Granville Island

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First of all, it’s not actually an island. So it should be Granville Peninsula. If we are being geographically correct here.

Despite it being grounded, we took a water taxi across the bay/inlet/small body of water separating it from us. This was a neat experience, and easy way to get therefrom Yaletown in just a few minutes. Our captain – are you still a captain if you boat is less than twenty feet long? probably not– our driver was very nice and pointed out a few cool buildings to us*, and gave us a very useful map of the city.

The captain.

The captain.

Vancouver

Vancouver

Granville Island

Granville Island floating homes.

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Graffitied cement containers on the Island.

The day we went here was cloudy and cool(er), which was nice for walking around the “island”. Our first stop once we walked off the little pier was a gourmet cooking store (more on this in Shopping My Way Through Vancouver, or possibly in Eating My Way Through Vancouver, both of which will be coming soon). It turned out this store was nicely indicative of the rest of the “island”: boutique-y, crafty and cute. We walked into another building with multiple shops in it, stopped in a hat shop to see how we all looked in fedoras, and then my mom saw a paper store. She loves these, so we walked right in. This was about the time it started sprinkling. But there was no raining on our parade, and our next destination was the indoor market.

Beautiful breads.

Beautiful breads.

Delicious desserts.

Delicious desserts.

Cinnamon records.

Cinnamon records.

More delicious desserts.

More delicious desserts.

Eclairs.

Eclairs.

Yum!

Yum!

As soon as you walk in you are surrounded by display cases packed with beautiful breads, delicious desserts and mouth-watering meals. I wish I could have tasted all of it. Ok, not all of it, but most of it. Freshly baked bread, homegrown salads, chocolate covered everything! This, not surprisingly, made me very hungry. We headed back into the streets in search of a place to sit and get some food. After a satisfying meal at the Sandbar, we walked through a few more stores, and then found ourselves at the market again. My family really wanted to try a cinnamon record. I was leaning more towards an eclair or cream puffs, but I was pretty full after lunch and wasn’t up for eating my own super-rich dessert, so I settled on sharing the record. It was good. Not mind-blowing, but good.

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After dessert we walked around a little more, and then took the water taxi back to Yaletown.

Yaletown

Apparently this is the up-and-coming business district or something? I don’t know. I wasn’t that impressed. Some cool brick streets, but not really any cool shopping or sight-seeing. I’m not sure if the main streets are part of Yaletown or not, but if not then this district lead right up to them.

Granville Street

I don’t know why they decided to name their street and “Island” the same thing, but they did. They must’ve really liked the name. Or Granville was someone important.

Not super impressed here either. Though I didn’t spend a lot of time here. It was mostly brand-name shopping, so it would be great if you want to shop around. I just wasn’t in the mood that afternoon.

Gastown

This deserves it’s own post, though it will be mentioned thoroughly throughout all the others. This will probably be featured in Listening My Way Through Vancouver, and definitely feature in Eating My Way Through Vancouver.

This was hands-down my favorite part of the city. It also happened to be five blocks away from our apartment. Score!!

Downtown

Right. Basically all of Vancouver is downtown, so, to be specific, I’m talking about Robson Street area. This is also big-name shopping. But it’s kind of fun to walk around and see all the people everywhere. Vancouver is very European-influenced. You can feel this as walk through the city. For one thing, it has stores like Topshop that are based in Europe and which the US doesn’t have. It’s also a classier city than any I’ve been to in the US. The only way to really explain this classiness is that people are dressed nicer, on average, and the way the people act is different, and the design of the city is… different, too. I can’t come up with a better word than different. Lastly, there’s a clear European influence seen in the number of smokers. There were a lot. Too many for my taste.

The Vancouver Art Gallery

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The feature exhibit was Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums, and it was very interesting and fun, especially since I could apply all of my recently acquired, mostly useless knowledge learned in AP European History. The second exhibit was by a local artist, Geoffrey Farmer, and called How Do I Fit This Ghost in My Mouth? Farmer set up random-seeming objects in specific places to create a piece. I didn’t really like this one. A few of the pieces were cool, like one where Farmer cut out a ton of pictures from a history book/encyclopedia and arranged them all around a room, but as a whole I guess I just didn’t get it. My mom really enjoyed it, but we must keep in mind that she was an art history major. The last exhibit was photography. Now, I want to get this straight: I love photography. The stuff I see all of you post all of the time is amazing and super inspiring. But why can’t a blurry picture I take of a necklace on white cloth be in a museum? That’s kind of the whole photo exhibit in a nutshell.

This was one of the cooler ones from How Do I Fit This Ghost in My Mouth?

This was one of the cooler (and creepier) ones from “How Do I Fit This Ghost in My Mouth?”

This is one I didn't understand.

This is one I didn’t understand. Eek. Sorry about the bad quality!

All in all, Vancouver is an extremely walker-friendly city. It’s super easy to get around and a great way to see the streets and to get some exercise so you can eat lots of great food (post coming soon).  Stay tuned for Shopping My Way Through Vancouver next!

The fam. : )

The fam. : )

*Did you know that Canada’s second most expensive penthouse is in a really cool squiggly building, which looks out onto the bay/inlet/small body of water (which is called False Creek–I just googled it)? It is worth about 28 million dollars–that’s in Canadian though– and has a pool with a glass bottom and retractable roof.

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