As explained previously, I am continuing a brief review of a few places I went to while in the States...
Vancouver is not officially a sister city of Seattle, but it should be. Just three hours drive north, right behind the Canadian border, it really does not feel much different. Maybe only a little but more ... free. No ID checks at every establishment's doors, no national flags at every corner (which ever country's flags), and less people averting their eyes if someone looks straight at them. Of course, by getting rid of some of the negative consequences of US totalitarian society, you have to also let go a few things that you may like. I found most things to be a little more expensive than in Seattle, the queues to bars were ridiculously long (my American friends – a queue is a line, and yes, they do line up to get into a bar in Vancouver), and I was reminded that parking a car is often an issue.
I was in Vancouver for only two days, so there is not much to say, but I liked what I saw. The city is clean and has a good public transport system. They try building tall houses, which gives the city a very European feel. I spent half a day in Stanley Park and it was amazing. I stumbled around the streets and have seen lots of friendly people and charming neighbourhoods, but also a very dodgy homeless people's area. There is a street in the centre that is filled with pubs and clubs. I do not know whether there is much more night-life outside the centre (it would matter if I lived there for longer), but the centre looked quite hot, except for the annoying queues at every entrance.
Overall I spent a very nice weekend in Vancouver. On top of the normal tourist experiences, a particularly and improbably amazing story happened to me while I was there. As I was driving back to Redmond I felt the Winter following on my steps. Next time I’d be going south.