I am on the sixteenth floor of a high rise overlooking Stanley Park and musing about the constant disappointment of Toronto. Theatre books just announced it is closing. A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from a presumptuous Toronto AD who spent my time explaining to me how “theatre in Canada works”. Not realizing I have already successfully toured this show…Meanwhile their theatre is shrinking this year to the size of a dead man’s walnut. Vancouver¬†is raining and she is charging me far too much mortgage for my two bedroom apartment but she never disappoints me. I like being a little duchess in my corner of the kingdom here. Even if today I am the Dutch maid. I love my people, I love my town and I really dig the art we make. I was thinking today about our poets. Can you get cooler than Talon books? No. Because it doesn’t try to be cool. It’s a publishing house that seeks out the far flung oddball who really has a wondrous wicked way with words. Just one house of many I call a home here. It reminds me of that moment in high school when I stopped caring what other people thought and embraced full geekdom. I hung out with the foreign exchange students Wei and Jane, and quiet studious Jen. We ran the school paper, the mural committee and the opera club of all things. And doing my own thing built a kind of confidence that was catchy. We went from scorn to envy. We went from solo to friends a plenty. The oddballs who made good by being authentic. That’s how I see Vancouver. And that’s why I’ll never leave. I’m not dissing Toronto (despite the fact it keeps dissing me ). There are some amazing people there and some groovy neighbourhoods. But it is just another chump, like me, trying to get by. The difference is a parka and a wee bit of pretension.

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