A couple weeks ago, I was planning to get together with friends for dinner. I suggested they come west as I’d been to the eastside the last couple of times. As I started to make a list of places we could go to eat, even I was bored. When I sent my five faves to my friends, here’s the message that came back:

We will pick you up at about six. I am going to sound like an east side snob, but we aren’t keen on the options, so we were thinking of one of the east side pizzerias.

We wound up at Via Tevere which was amazing and the best pizza I’ve ever had.

The east side is so hip. And they have cool restaurants that are still affordable. More and more I find myself hanging out on the east side. I feel hip just walking in those neighbourhoods, discovering new restaurants tucked away in nooks and crannies. It is the unique neighbourhoods that attract the people after all and the new restaurants and businesses follow, then sadly, come the chain stores and the condos.

I have to say, even I’m starting to feel like Kits has lost all its funk and is becoming bland beyond belief. I passed a restaurant on West Broadway the other day. Is anyone really attracted to restaurants in glass and steel towers? I think people want to eat at places with character.

Tonight there’s a meeting about a development that will contribute to the blandification of our neighbourhood. Cressey Development Group now owns the complex where the Ridge Theatre and Varsity Ridge Bowling live. The tenants days are numbered as the developer plans to put in more high end condos with more high end retail space below. Lots of room for more restaurants I can’t afford to eat at and that won’t draw my eastside friends.

Mayor and Council, city planners, I hope you don’t homogenize the life out of this city in your quest to densify.

The meeting is tonight at 6pm tonight at the Varsity Ridge Bowling Alley in Vancouver. 2120 W. 15th Avenue @ Arbutus. You can sign the petition so save the Varsity Ridge Bowling Alley here.


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