Sunday, July 12, 2009

Vancouver the lovely: a personal post.

I started to look at some of the pictures I have taken in and around Vancouver over the last two years, since I met and started to visit Vince. I found some pictures I have not posted before, and I also find myself crying...Vincent, Skyping me from the airport before he took off on Saturday morning for Montreal, where he is now visiting his mother, sister and nephew, had a catch in his voice. He was trying not to look at the mountains.

Vancouver is a city ethereally and preternaturally beautiful. Her mountains, snow-topped and fir-ridged, her glassy inlets and bird-filled bays, her turquoise mountain torrents and moss- clean air, is perhaps the most beautiful city I have seen. Always a dangerous thing to say, as it is so connected to emotion. And this from a Capetonian. And a lover of Istanbul and her dreaming spires, with apologies to Waugh...And so many cities that I have not seen, and do not know...

There is a lot of Cape Town in Vancouver: the proximity of mountains to water, the pristine wild within the urban wrap. The ease of access to natural beauty. The omnipresent green and grey of a Cape winter. Then there is an Interlaken-ness too: Swiss Alp majesty, the brilliance of the sky reflected in the fjords, the rushing mountain water, the flowers at altitude. And her American roots: Northwest wildness, a bear-mountained, salmon-berried wilderness: Lynn Canyon; Grouse Mountain, where he asked and I said yes; Stanley Park; all within a Europe within North America, where strangers greet you and bus drivers, driving buses that arrive and depart on the minute, ask you how you are.

So, some more pictures. To pay tribute to her beauty, to thank her for the beauty she brought me, and to my husband, who loved me enough to leave, in addition to his country, a city that spoke to him daily in pictures and under his feet as he ran miles and miles along the seawall.

I am humbled by his love, and am sensible of the sense of loss that he must feel. Vincent, you are the stuff of dreams. And a real man. And I know what that means.

Mount Baker, in Washington, a couple of hours away.

Van Dusen Gardens, in the middle of the city.

Lynn Canyon.

Grouse Mountain flowers.

False Creek.

Granville Island's duck prosciutto: to live for. Smoky, fatty, sliced like tissue paper. Unforgettable.

Silvia Hotel.

Vince's neighbourhood, the West End, on English Bay.

The blackberries on the seawall. Bliss for a born forager.

The seawall.

The Syringe, below.

The beach, 40 seconds from his flat. Sundowner martinis.

City of glass and lights, from his balcony.

Sidewalk flowers: snow-in-summer.

Stanley Park's flower borders near the aquarium.

..and its wilder side.

Talking to chickadees.


  1. Vancouver looks heavenly, a stunning blend of wild and tamed, and a city with both shoreline and mountain is hard to beat. It also looks very clean .

    This post brought a tear to my eye and I'm sure it's not the wine, because I've only had one glass so far tonight.

  2. what a gorgeous city! It sounds like Vincent is a person who believes that home is where the heart is...and since you're in NYC, that's where he'll make his home. It'll work out! You both will have adjustments to make, but at least he's not going to be stuck in some sort of cultural badlands...NY has a lot going for it, and lots of natural beauty within and nearby.

  3. You can always go there for a holiday ....... lucky the both of you

  4. Beautiful photos of a beautiful city ... but you can always return to visit. (Brought back good memories for me ... I used to live in Seattle and frequently visited Vancouver.)

    I am just so happy for you and Beence to be finally living together and being in a place you can both call home ... with the cad.

    Keli'i ;)

  5. Lovely post, Marie. No wonder you are so emotionally attached to this wonderful city.

    I loved Vancouver, despite much rain, not enough time there, being caught (30-odd flights up! at night!) in a hotel fire, and a travelling companion who then had a mental breakdown, 3 days into our trip. Your photos remind me that I must go back some day, with time to explore and clothes that don't smell of smoke....

  6. What a lovely post, two-fold. First, thank you for the wonderful tribute to our beautiful city & second, your love & respect for your husband brought tears. You're both lucky to have found one another! I commented on Vince's last Vancouver post & I'll say it here for finally be together with the love of your life is so very sweet. May you share a long life together filled with love, laughter & forgiveness!! To echo QC's comment...NY is such an amazing city so it won't be too hard to adjust, I'm sure!

  7. really nice. a visit will never be the same, i imagine. however "you'll always have paris", and be able to draw upon the memories the beginning of your courtship.

  8. Beautiful, the pictures and the words.
    This city is special to me, too, so I thank you.

  9. m.jolicoeur - it IS very clean...I was thinking of that walking past a city park yesterday which was...not clean. Not to mention the barf on the doorstep of our office. Too much information. I know.

    QC - yes, we can visit. But I ought to have added that it is also very nice that BC is tick free!!!!

    Hen! ja, Ma...xxxxx

    Keli'i and Ikaika - Estorbo is busy herding his cattle in readiness. Tried to bring one home last night but I saw him in time and slammed the door in his face.

    Arcadia...dankie :-)

    Rachel - good grief! That sounds awful. I do hope you are able to go back.

    Camille - thank you so much x

    Donna - yes, you're right. Well always have Pa...I mean Vancouver.

    Dinahmow - it was hard to choose pictures...there are so many.

  10. Wow - I'm slowly catching up on all these beautiful posts, and while I could finally tell you all this in person, I'll write it here for posterity... Thank you. Your praise of Vancouver touched me deeply, as it did everyone else in here. I think 'Storbie even shed a tear. He said he had something in the eye.

    Vancouver is indeed a stunning city in an incredibly beautiful region, I love it dearly. Leaving, however, was a no-brainer. I am now, after all this time, truly home.

    No, it's not New York's 90F and 85% humidity that make me say that, even though that's almost conquered me already. ;-) But I was a knight without a quest, or rather with a quest but without a beautiful queen to defend. That has now changed. One will travel many worlds for such honor. Thank you. :-)
    Uh? Windmills!!! Go, Rocinante, Chaaaaaarge!!!

  11. just reading this now...very touching , very beautiful post marie...i'm all choked up...


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