the other day, i noticed these punchy new banners flying around my neighbourhood. where there were formerly (bedraggled) banners reading ‘hastings sunrise’ the whole area has been rebranded as
THE EAST VILLAGE
hooooold up here, folks. my neighbourhood is not the east village (that’s in new york). it’s hastings sunrise. i suspect this new ‘east village’ garbage is a creative way for the city to push re-investment (read: more new condos) into one of vancouver’s last central relatively-cheap neighbourhoods by disassociating it from the crack-zombied, homeless living, street-walking disenfranchised-person hellscape of east hastings. so many people in this city link ‘problems’ with the word ‘hastings’, but it’s bullshit to attempt to rename one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city as a cheap ploy to invite overdevelopment.
let me break this shit down for you. here is a list of reasons my neighbourhood is awesome.
1.) the grocery shopping. donald’s market, ugo & joe’s italian market, a polish grocery, several chinese & vietnamese markets, a butcher (if you’re going to eat meat, this is a better place to buy it than a grocery store!! they even sell raw pet food!), a bulk natural foods store, east van bakery, a few chinese bakeries (geez louise do i miss red bean buns & custard buns!), a chocolatier…all within a 3-block stretch.
2.) it’s nestled up to commercial drive, an area with its own bad-ass grocery shopping, eateries, coffeeshops, people watching, bars, etc.
3.) a short bike ride to the secret beach! ok, maybe it’s not so secret, but it’s never been busy when i’ve been there. don’t take that as your incentive to go crowding up my favourite place to read a book and fall asleep in the sun!
4.) it’s peaceful. you can see the mountains and inlet and downtown. it’s on a hill. we have a great view.
5.) four of my closest friends live here! i loooove having some of my most favourite people live nearby. it takes all the effort out of visiting<3
6.) it’s not full of yuppie dirtbags, like other parts of vancouver (kits, yaletown, etc) who look down on my tattooed, scruffy self. it’s a diverse neighbourhood–immigrants, young families, bike riding hipsters, can-collectors, the occasional prostitute…i like to think it’s an inclusive place!
7.) it’s conveniently located. it takes me just over ten minutes to bike downtown or down commercial drive; 25 to get to mt pleasant; 30 to granville island; 45 to kits.
8.) it’s a total fluke that i live here. when i was in calgary, i asked my darling friend mal to visit a few apartments & help me find a place to live. she found one in an area i never considered living–had never even visited!–and it turned out to be completely perfect.