It’s been a long win­ter, but this city still de­serves love

StarMetro Vancouver - - NEWS | VAN­COU­VER - tr­ish Kelly tr­ish Kelly lives and eats choco­late in East Van­cou­ver. Fol­low her on Twitter @tr­ishkel­lyc.

I’ll ad­mit it’s a hard time to be pro­fess­ing love for my city. The usual go-to rea­sons for lov­ing Van­cou­ver have been tarnished as of late; a real win­ter took away my balmy weather brag­ging rights with rel­a­tives in On­tario, two ran­dom mur­ders on the sea­wall have taken the shine off of our civic trea­sure, and an ever-climb­ing num­ber of my neigh­bours are be­ing swal­lowed by the opi­oid over­dose cri­sis.

But it’s Valen­tine’s Day, which is a day when we talk about love and eat choco­late, so I would like to do what I can to re­mind you of the rea­sons you moved here, or choose to stay here. This is my at­tempt to rekin­dle your ro­mance with Van­cou­ver.

Yes, we re­ally had a win­ter this year. We had record-break­ing amounts of snow, we got cranky with each other and now our hips hurt from tot­ter­ing around like pen­guins for over four weeks. But the ice and snow are melt­ing. The rain is wash­ing away the dirty snow­banks, and I can al­ready see some buds on the mag­no­lia trees. Soon the cherry blos­soms will bloom and shed such a flurry of pe­tals, some of our roads will be pink. These are rea­sons to main­tain your love for Van­cou­ver.

If you are the type for whom com­mit­ment runs deep, you can love this city be­cause Van­cou­ver marches, no mat­ter the weather. In Jan­uary, 15,000 peo­ple marched past the Trump Tower for the Women’s March. It’s only Feb. 14 and al­ready Van­cou­verites have marched to de­nounce Is­lam­o­pho­bia, protest Trudeau’s de­ci­sion to aban­don elec­toral re­form, and re­sist Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion ban. To­day peo­ple are march­ing to re­mem­ber miss­ing and mur­dered women. And in Septem­ber, we’ll walk to show our sup­port for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. When we did that in 2013, the viaducts were blan­keted by 70,000 peo­ple brav­ing heavy rains.

You can keep lov­ing Van­cou­ver be­cause it is home to vi­brant First Na­tions, like the Tsleil-Wau­tuth and Squamish na­tions, who re­lent­lessly speak up against tanker traf­fic and other forms of en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age our set­tler gov­ern­ments pro­pose. And per­haps most ad­mirably, these same First Na­tions find the strength and grace to part­ner with lo­cal gov­ern­ments in this fight, even though set­tler gov­ern­ments have for gen­er­a­tions put profit be­fore the health and en­vi­ron­men­tal safety of this land.

It’s also fine to have a less se­ri­ous love of Van­cou­ver, and fan the flames of your crush on the dizzy­ing ar­ray of mi­cro­brews, bi­cy­cles, and the lush green­ness of our ur­ban for­est canopy.

And don’t for­get to love the peo­ple of Van­cou­ver. Many of us have come from afar to make this our home, and all have de­li­cious food tra­di­tions and in­ter­est­ing sto­ries to share. Warts and all, there’s still a lot to love about Van­cou­ver.

Many of us have come from afar to make this our home.

Jen­nifer Gau­thier/Metro file

Cherry blos­soms in bloom along Charles Street in east Van­cou­ver on March 23, 2016.

City holler

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