Espresso Street 

Monday, May 17, 2004

Presumably while you sip your espresso: a combusting marshmallow, scenes from my refrigerator, the quick peck, and another crustacean story.

MaikoPunk and I walked up and down The Street on foot looking for our own Espresso Story hangout.

I liked Mario best of all. Both times I've been to Mario's, it has presaged disaster. But I know Mario and I are going to be pals. Despite the disasters. I am determined to make trips to Mario's end better.

By the end of the day on The Street, I had five new plants (sweet woodruff, grapefruit mint, bitter melon, thai basil and strawberry) and a book on terrariums - I've been gardening for four years now and the terrarium angle will be a new project. Everyone, prepare to receive terrariums from me.

This was the first time I've walked through The Street. I've lived near this neighbourhood for years and always just drove or, in my diehard environmentalist days, rode the bus through. The friendliness surprised me. A store owner took an interest in my plant-buying habits. A nice man tried to help us find the coffee shop of our dreams. A bookstore clerk offered to scout for Japanese vegetable books for me. And, of course, Mario shook my hand.

There are other spiffy neighbourhoods in Vancouver.

Some people like Commercial Drive. I like its busy-ness but a friend had the shit beaten out of her there - it's thus tainted with a smidge of creepiness in my eyes.

Kitsilano is busy, too, but the stores are expensive and no one talks much. The beach is a fun place to people-watch but, after two visits, I am bored with the tanned yuppie crowd. Can't they stop rollerblading/drumming/tanning just for once? Can't they just once do something unpredictable yet hilariously cute?

Robson Street - good God! - I haven't been there or anywhere downtown since February. For those of you not from Vancouver, Robson is the place where men with two-inch dicks turn up the volume to deafening on their car stereos.

Main Street was supposed to be my place. Weird smelly people who care for clouds and nod appreciatively when I mention Cheburashka. Impromptu palm-readings by strangers and the sort of film experience I really go for. I even have a restaurant where I am a regular; they've started being nice to me even, not like when I first went and they tried to pour tea on my lap. I also have a designated parking spot and I found my own hooker boots shop there.

Main Street, you failed me!

A foggy walk there one morning really did it. No one in sight.

Neighbourhoods can commit no greater crimes than being desolate.

Main Street can't fool me. It's only pretending to be a decent street; when it thinks no one is looking it will go out to the mailbox without makeup.

Don't get me wrong. Foggy walks are alright in my book. They just have a time and a place. The fields of Calgary or the hills of Ardeal, no problem.

This foggy walk, however, scared me. Main Street suddenly empty. I ran into no one. It was like the set of 28 Days Later, only not perfect.

Main Street could have been something.

Looks like Hastings is cooler.

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