Friday, February 19, 2010

The Land That Old Man Winter Forgot...

Once upon a time, long, long ago and far, far away there was a major metropolis called Vancouver, situated in a frozen land known as Canada.

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 fortunate ill-fated people of the metropolis in the Great White North frolicked in their tulips and daffodils and azaleas. But, being Canadians, they were very polite and said, "We're sorry. We had no idea we would have an El NiƱo, and it would be summer in February..."

And behold, from high atop Mount Olympus came the voice of the Gods The New York Times, telling the people of our beautiful land,

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.

The End

29 comments:

Breath-e said...

Wonderful story and some amazing photo finishes this year! Great athletes in a great land.

Kathryn said...

Jo,
Isn't it fun to hear about what the rest of the world thinks of us? Good, bad, indifferent, or ignorant - It's all interesting.
We do live in paradise, don't we?
Kathryn : )

Jo said...

Breath-e, I hope you're enjoying the Winter Olympics. Vancouver is a wonderful city. :-)

Kathryn, we do indeed live in paradise. The rest of the world is just jealous. :-)

Marlene said...

And the Gold goes to Jo for the best bedtime story ever!

jojo said...

very sweet story, your city is fantastic and one of the most beautiful I've seen. Jealousy is an ugly step-sister!! Enjoy your weekend Jo...jj

PurestGreen said...

My aunt is volunteering at the games and it having a great time. I have heard the negative press but all the people I know who are there are enjoying it and saying the atmosphere is fantastic.

Great post!

Teri said...

There are people who get their pleasure out of complaining. I think Vancouver has done a great job and I have enjoyed watching and learning about your beautiful city.

Next time I get over to Seattle I will definitely be making the drive up to spend a few days!!!

the walking man said...

Jo...No big deal really..North America needed all the snow it could gather to take a well deserved dump on DC. seems to me the games are going on regardless. And one good thing did happen, them in DC shut the hell up for a week.

so for your donation of snow to a more worthy cause, a Gold Medal to all of BC!

Pauline said...

The need to blush is one of Canada's many charms - this was a delight to read! I'm proud to claim Canadian roots.

Carl said...

Canada.... Like America only better and with nicer people!

Carl

corabela said...

I've loved the idea of Vancouver since I found your blog about a year ago. Definitely on my travel-to list. : )

DJan said...

I read that opinion post on the NYT and realized that you need to be here in the PNW to realize how lovely it is here, especially right now. Tim Egan (the author of that post) lives in Seattle, he knows Vancouver well, as do I. If I could be a Canadian, I would!

Jennifer D said...

I think it looks lovely there. I have been watching the Today show quite a bit this week and they have had nothing but wonderful things about your city.
Looks like Paradise to me!

Marguerite said...

Great story! The weather sure has been strange this winter. Sounds like you're having our weather for this time of year. Enjoy!

Brenda said...

Well...I for one... admit that I am very jeoulous. I have ENOUGH of this winter weather here...and we didn't even get the snow the east coast got.

Susan said...

You all needed the NY Times to make you feel better? Bah.
Canada has been convincingly kicking our butt in quality of life for some time now.
Stand up tall - now you've got flowers in February, too!

myletterstoemily said...

vancouver is one the loveliest cities
in the world.

we have loved your gorgeous surrounding
mountains.

have fun today at the olympics with your
grandchildren!

Paula Slade said...

Great article! Did you see the poll on Huffington Post yesterday? - American's Favorite Foreign Countries - you should be proud - CANADA is number one! :-D


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/19/americans-favorite-foreig_n_468878.html

The Bug said...

What a fun post! We've been thoroughly enjoying the Olympics (Dr. M is obsessed with curling for some reason). If we ever make it to the west coast we'll have to try to swing by Vancouver...

Nezzy said...

Great photos along with great commentary. Here I sit in southern Missouri and we're havin' your winter. The snow his down here baby. I wish I could send it all back to ya!!! Heeehehe!

God bless and enjoy your Saturday!!!

Michelle said...

I doubt that there is a more beautiful view than that of Vancouvers!

Mia said...

Vancouver has an active volcano?

nomore said...

I'v also heard about the negative news...The happy event used to gathered such an unexpected thing......Never mind it....

Carol E. said...

Love your fairy tale. :-)

lovelyprism said...

My goodness, while the flowers were blooming there, it snowed down here in Georgia! Definitely time to move to a warmer climate.

Lee said...

What a beautiful ode to Canada from the NY Times - and I can't agree more!

Wish I could've been in the lovely city for the Olympics. And though I didn't really understand how it worked entirely, I was glued to the television for almost two hours watching the curling competition.

Essie said...

I heart Canada.

Irina said...

Dear Jo, I like so much your posts, so clever, deep, humorous and inspiring. I am not a big commenter, as my English is far from perfect, so I decided to give you this award. Of course you can do whatever you want with it, but I NEED to express my good attitude to you and your blogging. Details here:
http://irinapictures.blogspot.com/2010/02/oh-how-i-love-awards.html

amourissima said...

Well said! The games went on regardless of the warmth and I'm sure everyone enjoyed themselves that much more NOT having to truck around a big ol' fur lined parka.