Here I am, sitting in Terminal E of Vancouver International Airport, waiting for what may very well be the final U.S. Airways flight I’ll take in my lifetime. No, I’m not boycotting the airline. It’s just that this flight to Phoenix may be the last one I take under their banner before that American Airlines merger kicks in. Anyway, I’m in my final moments of my stay in Vancouver…a place I’ll call home one day. It was a great time up here. I got a chance to finally go biking through Stanley Park and along Coal Harbour. I spent some time on Granville Island, eating everything in sight. I checked out the Vancouver Art Gallery and gambled $30 CAD at the River Rock Casino in Richmond. I also made my way out to the University of British Columbia to check out the Museum of Anthropology and to see if Wreck Beach was what everybody says it was. On the latter, the answer is a resounding yes. But my favorite part of this trip to Vancouver is how I start and finish every trip up here: a sit and stroll in False Creek. Today was no different. I actually got up a little bit earlier so I could take it in before heading here to YVR. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: False Creek.
How I first came across this moment? I first came across False Creek in December 2006. I was a few months short of finishing out my initial enlistment in the Air Force and I had traveled to Vancouver to interview for an information systems specialist position at HSBC. I secured that job, by the way, and they were willing to wait until I was done with the Air Force but my life took an unexpected turn shortly thereafter. In that debut visit, I saw a lot of the normal sites that tourists flock to here. I didn’t get a chance to check out the Canucks but I got a chance to walk around different parts of the city. I came across False Creek and fell in love with the scenery, the skyscrapers, and just the overall vibe.
What it meant to me then? In December 2006, False Creek meant everything to me. It was where I was going to move had I committed to the job at HSBC. I imagined myself living life like a true Vancouverite in one of the high-rise condos with a bike. I pictured myself taking morning runs all the way to Coal Harbour and Stanley Park. I had thoughts of getting season tickets to see the Canucks and walking to nearby General Motors Place. For me, everything started with False Creek.
What it means to me now? Just over 8 ½ years later, I have nothing but love for the neighborhood. After the 2010 Winter Olympics, the area has undergone a massive transformation. It’s more green, much more pedestrian-friendly. Those housing prices skyrocketed like 100% during that time but I can still afford it nonetheless. False Creek is the reason why I have Item 74 in my bucket list.