There’s a debate being waged on the interwebs and in traditional and social media here in Vancouver. I first learned of this debate when I came across an article in which a native Calgarian who, after living in Vancouver for 12 years, labeled the city a ‘Lonely Town‘. She cited a study by the Vancouver Foundation in which the #1 thing that bothered Vancouverites about Vancouver is feeling, “isolated in their own community.” And so, the question stands – “Are Vancouverites standoffish, and if so, then why?”
As an aside, I’m not sure if I’ve experienced this standoffish-ness or not. Before coming to Vancouver, friends had told me that it would be difficult to break into social circles here, so perhaps this is an offshoot of that mentality. But in general, having only been here for a little over a month, I’ve adopted the mindset that it takes time to build friendships.
Along the same vein, another article recently surfaced entitled, “Do Vancouver Men Suck?” in which the author profiles the trials and tribulations experienced by Vancouver women in a city plagued by immature men. Enter my new Twitter Amigo, Jorge who put together his own rebuttal titled, “Do Vancouver Women Suck? A Reader’s Response” in which he expresses that perhaps the reason why Vancouver ladies are having such a difficult time finding nice guys is that they’re too busy being snobby and/or pretentious.
Jorge turned this debate into an opportunity to bring strangers together by organizing the event #BeMyAmigo. Encouraged to “break down the ice wall,” Vancouverites were invited to spend their Valentine’s Day with complete strangers at the Irish Heather in Gastown, purely for the sake of meeting new people over dinner and drinks.
And let me say, I’m so glad B and I decided to spend our Valentine’s Day with 40 strangers. The mood was jovial and everyone was incredibly friendly. I had the chance to meet so many cool people and learned all sorts of awesome things about Vancouver. It kind of reminded me of the early days of #cinqasept when everyone was still getting acquainted and before any of us became regulars. …We even wrote a group story, and took part in a Bob Marley singalong…FACT!
In all, the evening was a huge success and everyone I had the chance to talk with had a fantastic time. Rumour has it that this gathering will become a regular thing, and I really hope so – this is the type of community building that I love to be a part of.
So, if you’re a Vancouverite who happens to be reading this, be sure to keep an eye on the hashtag and join us for the next installment of #bemyamigo!