In thinking of how best to recount my time in Vancouver, each singular avenue feels lacking in some form.  So there will be a few.  This one is just moments: specific experiences, in hopes that these many individual entities, like raindrops, can come together to recreate the larger body of water.

  • happening upon a restaurant on a weekday night to find the patio transformed into a stage for flamenco dancing.  Having three dancers on rotation, and a student taking part.  Hearing the bartender startled at the initial pronounced step of one of the dances, like a thunderclap on the wooden slats.
  • 1st Ave. closed for a couple of blocks in either direction at Commercial Drive due to construction and repaving; watching youth skateboard on the fresh surface and sharing an appreciative laugh with another pedestrian while waiting for the crosswalk to change.
  • driving once a week only to recharge the battery.
  • becoming fast acquaintances with the owners of the cafe across the street; shaking hands on every greeting; sitting at the window seat, the restaurant opening directly onto the sidewalk at a bus stop; the murmur and bustle; the way in which most people walk.
  • 8pm, Friday, two doors down placing an order at the Indian restaurant whose food makes you feel like a loving mother has opened her kitchen to the masses; The Drive, quieting.
  • sitting on the back patio, half a block away from Commercial where a parade is taking place; momentarily pausing in your book.
  • from your seat at a restaurant bar, spotting someone on the sidewalk across the street wearing a full costume of balloons made to look like a chicken for no discernible purpose.  The patron next to you with whom you had struck up some conversation, chuckles stating, “Only on The Drive.”
  • your good friend, whom you had connected with on the first day at the coworking space you both use, messaging you on Slack to query about an early afternoon walk — the one the two of you take at least a couple times a week.
  • Sours and crepes at Luppolo Brewing.
  • walking to work.
  • staring at the moisture-darkened concrete that seems to disappear beneath the bright yellow tree leaves the Fall has brought to your feet.
  • seeing my favorite band play; in their hometown, for their album release.
  • striking up a conversation with a couple on the patio of a diner; the wife offering to refill your coffee as she heads inside to refill their own.
  • Terry, a neighbor in the building, commiserating with your inability to fly to Houston for your Uncle Ken’s funeral.
  • seeing how all the neighbors in the building share each other’s spaces.
  • your table waitress — at the restaurant you had been to prior on a few occasions yet sat at the bartop — who had already been perfectly cordial and attentive, tells you near the end of your meal that the bartender both recognized and spoke well of you, which she then follows by introducing herself and chatting for a little while.
  • people taking a seat next to, and having a chat with, the familiar homeless.  One of those same homeless individuals reaching up and pressing the crosswalk button for an approaching pedestrian.
  • leaving work with your good friend to an Italian restaurant lauded as one of the best in Vancouver; walking down to what had become one of your favorite restaurants for tapas and cocktails; proceeding to stroll all over East Vancouver, covering some 4+ miles in the process, while talking about everything from travel stories to music theory to careers to food; he suggests you start a blog.

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