On a regular basis -- at least once a year -- Old Man Winter visited this wonderful city and dusted the mountains and the city with snow, like icing sugar on a Tim Horton's blueberry fritter. The Lions with their white cloaks looked out over the land and saw that it was good.
"We will invite the world to come and play in our snow and skate on our frozen lakes. We will share our bounteous winter playland, and everyone will be happy."
And so, the world came to our city, but much to everyone's dismay there was no ice and snow -- only roses, tulips, azaleas, daffodils, magnolias, Japanese plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, crocuses, violets, pansies, irises, heather, lavender and bumble bees. It seemed that Old Man Winter had forgotten to pay a visit to our city.
"Where is the snow and ice?" everyone cried? "Where are the dog sleds and snowshoes? What am I going to do with this #$%^&@# fur-lined parka I dragged all the way from London?"
And everyone was sad. And the great pundits in far-away lands were very displeased with us, and they wagged their fingers and admonished us, calling our fair city a "swamp". "This is the worst Winter Games ever! You promised us ice and snow! Who's organizing this -- Doug and Bob McKenzie?"
So, while the rest of the world languished under snow storms and blizzards and ice storms and more blizzards and more snow storms, the
And behold, from high atop Mount Olympus came the voice of
Canada — snap out of it! You’re gorgeous, baby, you’re sophisticated, you live well. No need for an apology.
There may be no more heart-stopping view in all the world than the glimpse to the west, toward the distant Strait of Georgia, from the span of Lions Gate Bridge, which links Vancouver to its northern suburbs. The pan-Asian cuisine of British Columbia, built around a bounty from the sea, forest and prairie, puts London and Hong Kong to shame. And the cheeky sensibility of Canadians — without the British snarkiness — is a fine colonial legacy. Vancouver is Manhattan with mountains. It’s a liquid city, a tomorrow city, equal parts India, China, England, France and the Pacific Northwest. It’s the cool North American sibling. If only, and this holds true for the rest of Canada, it didn’t feel the need to blush.
And the people of Vancouver were pleased, and relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, guilt-free and with a modicum of Canadian pride at being so fortunate to live in such a beautiful land.