Having been born and raised in Vancouver, you could say that I know a few things about this city. If you asked me where you should go shopping, I could probably point you in the right direction. If you asked for restaurant recommendations, I could probably help you there too.
For the most part, it’s pretty safe to say that I love Vancouver, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my gripes about this town. In no particular order, here are ten things that almost make me want to leave this town.
That’s an easy one. We get a lot of the wet stuff here and it can make for a rather miserable mood for a good part of the year. The dreary weather can probably explain the relatively high prevalence of seasonal affective disorder.
2. Vancouver drivers can’t handle snow
Vancouver doesn’t get very much in terms of snow. As a result, the drivers in this city are typically very unprepared and have no idea how to maneuver in the snow. They all slam on the brakes, drive too fast, or end up in the ditch. This city pretty much shuts down with just an inch of snow.
3. Canada’s poorest postal code
While there are great organizations like Union Gospel Mission doing what they can, Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. I’m not entirely sure what can be done, but something needs to be done about this overwhelming poverty.
4. Housing is expensive
Unless you’re pulling down six figures, it’s nearly impossible for a single person to own any sort of property in Vancouver. It’s a little out of control when a modest 600 square foot apartment goes for $300,000. And that’s not even downtown. Needless to say, the boom hasn’t burst (yet).
5. Possibly too liberal
While I’m sure that I sit closer to the left end of the political spectrum, I find that Vancouver (Canada?) can be a little too far to the left sometimes. Just the mere mention of abortion or the death penalty can solicit a huge uproar.
6. Gimme gimme gimme
Vancouverites, myself included, complain a lot. We want cheaper university tuition, perfectly maintained roads, better public transit… but no one will accept any sort of raise in income tax, property tax, or transit fares.
7. Wha? No English
Because Vancouver is such a multicultural city, there are many immigrants that can get along just fine without speaking a single word of English. I love the variety of food we get, but communication can be a challenge when you go to certain stores or certain neighborhoods.
8. Cheap things to do
This is probably the result of living in this city my whole life, but I’m running out of fun things to do, mostly at night, that won’t cost me a pretty penny. The costs of fine dining and watching movies can add up pretty quickly, but I’m at a loss as to what else I can be doing. Pool? Bowling? Go-karting? Been there, done that.
9. Horrible highway system
Years ago, someone decided that they didn’t want a highway running through the middle of the city. As a result, we are now suffering from a very bad system of surface roads that result in nothing but congestion, frustration, and road rage. Even compared to somewhere like Seattle, Vancouver’s traffic is pretty bad.
10. Expensive cellular
The issue of expensive wireless data is not isolated to Vancouver, but it really sucks when compare to the relatively cheap data that people south of the border can have. Guys like Bob Buskirk can enjoy high-speed EVDO anywhere in the country for one flat rate, whereas the same service could cost as much as $50/MB here.
UPDATE (2/13/08): This post has been picked up by StumbleUpon, so if you could spare a Stumble (link is just above the related posts list), that’d be awesome. Thanks!