Yes, that’s twice in a week we’ve had a Unicorn Chaser, but after dealing with all the drama lately (including an indigenous Canadian assassin, apparently sent by the anti-Julia Allisonites) I think we need one.
As some of you may know, I’m still stuck up in P-town, that cosmopolitan megalopolis of the Interior, and am stubbornly going to remain here until I can get a free ride home. The way my luck’s been running, if I tried to catch a plane I’d be groped by some cranky TSA droid and let fly at him, at which point I’d be sentenced to life in prison for castration without anaesthetic, and if I tried to take Greyhound they’d seat me next to an escaped mental patient from Winnipeg with a knife and anger management issues. And I know way too much about serial killers to hitchhike or take the Craigslist route. If, knowing as many people as I do, I can’t get a free ride, nobody can, and then we’ll know the Recession has hit rock-bottom.
All together now: It’s a small world after all… Actually, every neighborhood in Vancouver is a small world, almost entirely independent of its neighbors. There’s one block on Cambie that is deeply hipster, and has been since before we knew what to call those people, but only the pub across the street is hipster, while every other storefront/bar/restaurant on that side of the block is pure DTES. Even though it’s technically DTWS. And then you turn the corner and it’s something else again. Forget the lack of freeways; it’s this “Islands in the Stream” quality that is most discombobulating for tourists. You can see them along East Hastings, looking puzzled and somewhat frightened as they frantically page through their maps muttering “gaztown, gaztown, czhinatown…” and if I’m well-dressed I try to help them. If I’m not, I just walk on by on the general principle that if someone DTES-looking approached them and began to speak, they’d probably break into a run and then god only knows where they’d end up.
Which brings me to this:
Even though the Diamond (which is a delightful place, moreso because it’s hidden, and don’t try the veal: try the Vietnamese sub) sells $12 drinks and is constantly full of models and photographers, it’s still on the Downtown Eastside, and I can only ascribe that horrendous mistake on a very expensive sign to the desire to Keep it real, yo.