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Letter of the Week: "An Ode to the Men of Vancouver"

SEND US A LETTER ABOUT SOMETHING THAT MAKES VANCOUVER MORE AWESOME AND THERE’S A VERY GOOD CHANCE THAT WE’LL PUBLISH IT HERE. SEND TO CONTACT@VANCOUVERISAWESOME.COM WITH THE SUBJECT “LETTER TO V.I.A.” Hey there, Vancouver man.

SEND US A LETTER ABOUT SOMETHING THAT MAKES VANCOUVER MORE AWESOME AND THERE’S A VERY GOOD CHANCE THAT WE’LL PUBLISH IT HERE. SEND TO CONTACT@VANCOUVERISAWESOME.COM WITH THE SUBJECT “LETTER TO V.I.A.”

men

Hey there, Vancouver man. I see you over there in your Gore-tex jacket, sporting that more-than-stubble-but-not-quite-a-beard. You’re walking down 4th Ave (or Main Street, or Powell Street), all well-groomed, but not overdressed, looking like you’re headed to your fulfilling but not all-consuming job. Maybe you’re dropping by the nearest microbrewery to pick up a growler for later. I’d share that with you.

Vancouver man, I know the reviews haven’t always been positive -you’ve been called standoffish, passive and even boring. But I just want you to know -I disagree.

Men in other cities might know how to dress, how to drink, or how to dance. But Vancouver man, you do it all. And then you throw on some hiking boots and summit something -for good measure.

Where else but Vancouver can I find a man who looks as good as you do in a hoody? You don’t need a jacket and tie to give me butterflies. But when you have to (like at a wedding, or a job interview, or just for the hell of it, because that’s the kind of game you’ve got), you rock that perfectly fitted suit and appropriately narrow tie like you were born in it.

Whatever you’re wearing, whether it’s skinny jeans or relaxed jeans, quick-dry shorts or cycling tights (is that a chamois in your gusset, or are you just happy to be making good time in a dedicated bike lane?), whether it’s a plaid shirt or a t-shirt or a Cowichan sweater (or all three together), your sexy physique shines through. Probably because of all that running — or crossfit, or cycling, or yoga, or skiing. Or kayaking. Sometimes, you do all those things in the same day. I’d like to paddle a double kayak around Deep Cove with you, if you know what I mean.

Speaking of the wilderness, can we talk about the way you kick the shit out of camping? Setting up a tent at lightning speed in a downpour? No problem. I know you’ll keep me dry, Vancouver man. You don’t need a waterproof match to light my camp stove.

You might be a mountain man (or a city man with mountainous tendencies), but it’s not just the wilderness that you’re good at. Vancouver man, you’re as confident at a Gastown pub with reclaimed wood beams and exposed brick as you are in a snow cave that you’ve dug out for yourself in the Cypress backcountry. You’re as at ease carrying a satchel (or a messenger bag, or a wallet in your back pocket) as you are a 70 litre Arc’teryx backpack with an ice axe strapped on the side of it. You play the guitar (or the piano, or the ukelele, or the djembe) like a pro, and you throw DOWN at Settlers of Catan.

Vancouver man, you are a classic gentleman. It’s obvious from the careful word choice and good grammar in your emails and blog posts that you read stuff. I appreciate that. And while you might not go out of your way to make friends with strangers, you are always polite. I see you thanking the bus driver and smiling at your waitress. I notice the way you respect everyone’s personal space -even on the skytrain at rush hour, where avoiding contact is an art form. I may not always be sure whether I’m on a date with you, or just hanging out as friends, but I know, whatever the situation, you aren’t going to be uncomfortably forward or pushy, because you’ve got too much class for that.

Vancouver man, when you’re staring contemplatively out the window of your local coffee shop, or into the screen of the laptop you brought there with you, I don’t know what you’re thinking about, but it’s probably a good idea. You may be planning out which novel ingredient to add to your next batch of home brew, or wondering whether you have enough time to join an Ultimate Frisbee league and a beach volleyball league, or deciding what song to learn next on your guitar. Let me help you with that decision: yes.

But you don’t need me to tell you how awesome you are, Vancouver man. You may be all of the things I’m talking about or none of them, but you know who are are and what you aren’t, what makes you great and what makes you kind of dorky sometimes. You might walk your bike up Main Street because you don’t feel like riding it, or drink a Bud Light in the privacy of your own home, or flake out on talking to a pretty girl and post about it later on Craigslist. You might get thrown off by a hasty brake-job on the bus and accidentally sit on someone or ignore my messages on OK Cupid. You might do all these things and more, but Vancouver man, you’ve got the decency to laugh about it and move on. Because here in Vancouver, we’ve all felt a little sheepish for not bringing a reusable mug; we’ve all poked a stranger in the eye with our umbrella and we’ve all (and I mean all) glanced a little too long at a pair of fake breasts on Kits Beach. In short, we are none of us perfect. But Vancouver man, I happen to think you get a little bit closer than everyone else.

So, if you want to get together after work one day for a specialty tea or a craft beer or to take your French Bulldog, Chloe for a walk on the Sea Wall, I won’t say no. You can tell me about your latest travel plans, and we can compare our favourite food trucks. At the end of the night, you can walk me to my bus stop, or we can politely insist that the other person take the nearest Car2Go. Whether you mean it or not, I know you’ll suggest we do this again. And I’ll agree. All you have to do is ask.

- Kristin Warkentin