5 Ways Vancouver Is Like A Teenage Girl


1. She throws a tantrum when she doesn’t get her own way. Her hockey team lost, which makes it time to smash in windows and steal nothing but Louis Vuitton bags and Pringles. Sounds a lot like retail therapy.

2. She’s not allowed to drink liquor unless her parents buy it and supervise her. With the most archaic liquor laws this side of Singapore, Vancouver is awash with illegal drinking and speakeasies. The city was founded by loggers looking for prostitutes and hooch, and in an attempt to clean up the city, strict liquor laws were enforced, most of which stand today. Up until the mid seventies, there were still two entrances to a pub; one for “gents” and one for “escorts.” The government was able to determine the color of the rug in bars, and round tables weren’t allowed as they promoted fraternizing. The provincial government purchases all beer, wine and spirits, and marks up the price so much that BC-produced wine is as expensive as wine from overseas. In addition, anyone wishing to open a bar or live music venue must purchase a pricey license from an existing location, and the province has been known in the past few years to purchase licenses themselves and nullify them. Not only can you not open a new bar, but there are less of them now than ever before.

3. Her bad side isn’t dangerous, it’s just repetitive and annoying. Vancouver is home to the poorest neighborhood in the country. However, you won’t get mugged, shot, or abducted there. Rather, you’ll be berated repeatedly by zombies asking for change or cigarettes. After a while it becomes less maddening and you end up tuning it out.

4. She’s pretty but can’t dress herself. Vancouver – with its mountains and ocean fronts – still shock even lifelong citizens with her beauty, but the buildings are miserable and out of place in the same way that young girls tattoo their bodies like they doodle on their binders. Most of the buildings are from the 1970s and were built on spec, many with cork floors. The architecture is lacking so much that buildings with little more than a brick façade are admired for standing out.

5. She has terrible taste in music. For a city that has had a wide ranging influence on pop music (The New Pornographers, Pointed Sticks), the flagship band of Vancouver is Nickelback. If you think for a second that just because the growly, “modern rock” band is from the city that it doesn’t mean its taste is poor, consider the music played during the Stanley Cup playoffs. While the Boston Bruins were blasting Jane’s Addiction, and “Who Do You Love?” during faceoffs, and adopting the Standells’ “Dirty Water” as their official theme song, Rogers Arena in Vancouver was playing Pitbull-soaked mashups. Even the organist was playing dickless, top forty songs instead of classic hockey rally melodies.

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image – Kenny Louie