Posted by: TomA | 4 April 2007

The Missing Banjo

After work I got the bus out to Commercial Drive, to have a bit of a walk and escape from Kits. Only today did it really strike me how much I like the area and how different it is from Kits. Back in the day, Kits was apparently the place to be for budding/failing artists, musicians, activists, conservationists etc. Today, although I do really like the area (there are some great shops, great people and great restaurants) it’s very much a yuppie place to be. There are too many dog grooming parlours, Lululemon stores (a strange, Vancouver based firm manufacturing Lycra garments for jogging/yoga/drinking Starbucks) and expensive cars in the street. Rent is sky high. Groceries are stupidly expensive. I’d assumed this was a Vancouver/Canadian thing, but it seems not. A bag of apples from the grocer on Commercial cost me 1/3 the same bag of apples would have cost me at the end of my road.

Commercial Drive it must be said is abundant with odd types: bars and cafes with a rabbles of scruffy bearded types outside; sports bars filled with Italian and Portuguese football fans; benches with bright looking hobos smoking suspicious smelling cigarettes; hipsters filing out of vintage stores; soup kitchens sit next to galleries; you get the idea.

But what really struck me today was a poster in the window of the greengrocers. Around January I remember seeing a similar poster appealing for the return of a girl’s banjo – described as being expensive, holding huge sentimental value and being totally irreplaceable – which had been stolen. Today I saw a sweet letter in the window thanking the person who’d anonymously returned it to her, along with a note of apology. Bless.


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