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Revisiting Vancouver

November 2022

I haven't been to Vancouver in a long time. Last time I went was, what, 2014? Now, I revisited, and had an absolute joy of a time. A big goal of mine was just to experience downtown for what it is, seeing how it compares to cities that I'm more familiar with. I wanted to analyze the transit system [Note: I would do this later, in the early months of 2023] and view a lot of the skyscrapers downtown from different angles. This trip was over Thanksgiving -- my family is on the east coast, so I instead spent the time with my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins nearby in Vancouver and enjoyed my time there. I took the train up and it was fully sold out -- I initially sat on the wrong side of the train, but later found an open seat and corrected my wrongs (I sat away from the water at first, not realizing that the Cascades went waterside rather than Mountainside). The train was delayed, but I loved that it was, well, on a train. Amtrak needs to upgrade this corridor.

Vancouver is a beautiful city. There are so many skyscrapers downtown, and despite my uncle's ranting about the unhoused, the city was pleasant and lively. What surprised me most of all, quite pleasantly, was how many highrises and skyscrapers were being built outside of vancouver. So many of the "suburbs" had incredibly dense, transit-focused city centers of their own, many of them rapidly expanding. I'd heard about this over my summer, about how historic buildings mixed with upcoming hishrises, and I loved seeing this. Seeing how Seattle and other metros drive their train systems out into the middle of suburbs with no development around, the Vancouver metropolitan area's approach was a refreshing sight, one I wish was replicated more elsewhere. I've not much to say about the trip, but I can't wait to visit again. There's so much more to experience.