Bravely Forth Into the Ghetto


I think I deserve a ‘I stopped at a red light at East Hastings and Main and lived to tell the tale’ bumper sticker. *sheepish grin*

After all the worry and planning I realised that I was better off just going through this intersection than trying to contour it. East Hastings is a busy thoroughfare and it was rush hour; I figured that I was safer there in my car than wandering around blindly in neighbouring streets. I was accosted by a very aggressive squeegee guy, but I managed to convey through the glass that he had better back off.

East Hastings at highway 1 (a non scary section of this ill-famed thoroughfare)

East Hastings at highway 1 (a non scary section of this ill-famed thoroughfare)

Driving west on East Hastings was everything I’d been told it would be, a subtle descent into hell. I have seen some very scummy American slums and this is the first place in Canada that even remotely compares to the bad neighbourhoods I’ve been in south of the 49th parallel. Nothing I read about East Hastings and Main was exaggerated and I was very grateful to be in my car (albeit a target of one with a bright colour and an out of province licence plate!) and not on foot!

My colleagues all advised me to take public transit, but I am glad that I decided to drive. Majel has a hard time in the GVR for some reason, so I missed a couple of turns, but if it hadn’t been for that, I would have made it to my friend’s hotel in 40 minutes flat. I still squeaked in in under an hour when I’d been told it would take at least an hour and fifteen minutes! I parked at the hotel, which had better rates than I would have expected. My friend and I were so glad to see each other and we marveled that we were walking in downtown Vancouver of all places together!

For dinner, we hiked to Tanpopo, a sushi restaurant, where we had a great meal! We went for the ‘all you can eat’ option and let’s just say that we ate ALL we could eat. 😀 The food was awesome! There is a large selection of items on this menu and you pick the ones you want; they prepare enough portions for the number of diners. I’m more familiar with the ‘typical’ sushi restaurant menu, so I took the lead, but we did try a few items blindly. The real winners tonight were prawn gyoza (dumplings), salmon teriyaki (salmon baked with teriyaki sauce), and salmon sashimi (raw salmon, which I like with a bit of pickled ginger and soy sauce). Neither one of us liked the seafood fried rice and my friend wasn’t fond of the nori-wrapped scallop cones because she doesn’t like nori (a seaweed), while I loved them… because I love nori!

My friend’s hotel is on Robson Street, which I firmly intend to revisit as it is filled with quirky boutiques and restaurants! Getting there from home, or home from there, is a non-issue since it’s the same route I’d take to go to Stanley Park. In fact, I didn’t need Majel to get home tonight.

Driving home, I discovered soon as we passed the Massie tunnel in Richmond that I’d been afraid of the wrong thing.

We’ve been having gorgeous weather the last few days, but it hasn’t lasted. We got snow tonight and freezing temperatures and highway 99 became a sheet of ice. I took a full hour to drive the 20 kilometres I had left to go, passing at least a dozen cars in the ditch. People out here simply don’t know how to drive in these conditions. I geared down to second, slow enough for me to be able to stop on the snowy shoulder if I started to glide, glued my eyes to the road ahead, and just crawled all the way home.

So, I’m here safe and sound where it is freezing because I ran out of propane about five minutes after I turned on the furnace. :headdesk: There is of course no way I’m going back out there, so I’m hoping that the electric heater will be enough to keep us cozy tonight.

What a week I’ve had: crossing a suspension bridge (THREE times), experiencing East Hastings and Main, and successfully navigating my car down a 20km sheet of black ice. Can anyone recommend a good place in Vancouver to learn skydiving because I think that’s where I’m at now. 😀

Blog Widget by LinkWithinShare on Facebook
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!


  • Glad you made it, but what an end to the evening! Running out of propane was just payback for not having the difficulties you might have expected driving in the ghetto.

  • I think the payback was the black ice!

    Running out of propane was just bad planning on my part. 🙂

  • next time that you’re on Hastings st. in burnaby , have dinner at Anton’s Italian Restaurant. It’s my favorite restaurant in all of Canada.

  • I’ll keep that in mind, Randy, as I love good Italian food!

Got anything to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!