By Kate Rissiek
Vancouver is a city of mixture and contrast. It is a young city still trying to define itself. Home of the 2010 winter Olympics and the city in Canada with the mildest weather. It’s gray and it rains most of the time. It is embarrassing to only be known for hockey riots and marijuana activism. It is expensive to live here. There are many cultures and religions and always many tourists visiting. There are wild forests, mountains and water. Laid back attitudes and uptight traditions. Fun at times and other times ennui is contagious. The home of the notorious Downtown Eastside, Canada’s worst neighborhood. Consisting of homelessness, prostitution and hard drug use sprawled amongst decaying historical buildings which are slowly destroyed to build high end condos. The Downtown Eastside is also where countless women went missing over many years. Many of which met their deaths on the farm of Robert Pickton, the worst serial killer in Canadian history. Despite all this it has been ranked as one of the top ten most ‘liveable’ cities. By what standards I’m not exactly sure. It’s a beautiful and ugly city. There is a transient nature with many people coming and going. At times I love it and other times loath it. One of the things that does make it much more ‘liveable’ for me is the plethora of amazing artists that keep the artistic climate fresh.