Every time I talk about the move, I clarify which Vancouver we’ve moved to with “not the cool one.” I think it’s hard to match Vancouver, BC’s level of coolness, but our Vancouver has a few things going for it. (Most of them are food-related. Huh.)
1. Proximity to Portland. We’re actually closer to the airport, Cascade Station, and IKEA than the rest of the city, which is perfectly fine with me. Still, this new situation puts me much closer to the Portland job market, which has got to be at least a tiny bit better than Salem’s.
2. Burgerville everywhere! I think we have eight locations total, one of which is a two-minute drive away. Salem had exactly zero (although they did have Five Guys). I may “forget” to start dinner a couple times so we have to go out…
3. Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s! TRADER JOE’S.
4. A great farmer’s market. It’s large and it runs all weekend, not just on Saturdays. There’s also a grocery store called Chuck’s Produce, which seems to be a downsized, even more upscale version of Whole Foods, only they also sell dragonfruit and cactus pear. Basically, if you’re an adventurous vegan, you won’t go hungry in Vancouver.
5. The Fred Meyers are practically Cost Plus World Market. You can find a thorough selection of Indian, Chinese, German, British, and Jewish foods in almost every aisle. This includes my holy grail of alcohol, Strongbow. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our lowly Fred Meyer carries Strongbow! Stamp of approval given.
6. Sweet riverfront park(s). Esther Short Park is the main one – that’s where the farmer’s market and several events are hosted. It’s in a quiet corner of downtown surrounded by shiny new brick condos and independent ethnic eateries. There’s also a boardwalk of sorts right by the I-5 bridge, and if you keep heading east, you’ll find bike paths and picnic areas all along the river. Finally, there’s a bike path/fishing area right next to the airport, so you can lay around and watch planes land right overhead.