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Just moved to YVR; can you help me come up to speed?

Hi-

Just moved here on Mon evening. I am like a turtle on its back. What do I need to know? Where should I get started? Is there a good online resource for learning how the city works?

I guess it's worth knowing that I'm American so even ordinary things are new to me.

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  1. Hi Rainey, welcome to YVR! If it hasn't been mentioned yet, you should check our Guu for a Japanese izakaya experience.

    And if you're ever in Burnaby, I'm a big fan of Yakko Sushi near Metrotown.

    http://www.yummyreads.com

    1. It was so beautiful today I finally walked down to Cookworks. Yes, I am a gadget whore!

      I got a good deal on a Global utility knife and a sharpener for the characteristic Japanese edge. I haven't got such a thing for the Global knives I have in Los Angeles so I may have to go back and get oner to take back with me.

      There was a lovely tea store right next to it. A nice bonus! Plus I think I worked off a TimBit or two. ; >

      10 Replies
      1. re: rainey

        If Cookworks makes you gadget whore, then the Gourmet Warehouse is a full-on house of ill repute :-)

        Sure is lovely today. Spring has sprung.

        1. re: LotusRapper

          LOL! I'm especially looking forward to finding a parking spot there then. But it will have to wait a bit as the real estate search begins today.

          1. re: LotusRapper

            Boy Howdy! were you right! I stopped there this afternoon on the way back from Blaine before traffic got nutz and while there was still some street parking.

            Rivals the premier restaurant supply in Los Angeles! Seriously! I got a few things I wanted right away and I'll go back and look at ingredients when I remember to take my glasses with me. (What a putz I am!)

            They had my favorite Cuispro measuring cups and Endurance measuring spoons. I was hoping to use the excuse of not having my own things to try one of the Kuhn Rikon springform pans (without the spring to secure the side that opens ) but I didn't see those. I also didn't see the KR ceramic blade peeler. Maybe they don't carry KR )but I can bring those 2 back with me anyway).

            Anyway, a GREAT resource! ...and a great way for a fool/gadget whore to be parted from her money. =o

            1. re: el_lobo_solo

              Ming Wo (esp. Chinatown store) has the friendliest staff too.

              1. re: el_lobo_solo

                I remembered Ming Wo from a decade ago and was pleased to see they're still in Cap Mall.

                I already got a couple pieces of EH Flame stuff at a 20% discount. I LOVE that ceramic!

                Will have to check out the Chinatown store as that's actually closer to where we are now. Thanks for that tip!

                1. re: rainey

                  Chinatown has changed a LOT since you were last here, Rainey. For better or for worst. Either way, you'll see less China in the Chinatown. I find myself going there more often than ever (1-2 times a week) just to shop or walk around and savor the sights, sounds and smells before they disappear altogether.

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    Chinatown has changed but it's still Chinese during the day, but very less so at night.

                    All Hail Night Time Hipster Food!

                    Seriously, I like the fried chicken at Mamie Taylor's and Besties has tasty currywurst.

              2. re: rainey

                who needs fancy knives when one can live on Cdn bite-size donuts ; )

                seriously - it sounds like you're enjoying your relocation and I look fwd to hearing more of your discoveries here in BC. Spring is much diff here than So Cal.

                1. re: Georgia Strait

                  Who couldn't enjoy being in YVR?! ...which is sorta the problem as it seems the whole world -- including Eastern Canada -- has moved here and driven rental prices skyward! Our housing allowance sounded sooooo good until I began looking at listings... =o

              3. ScoutMagazine.ca is a good place for getting your finger on the pulse of the local restaurant scene/industry.

                VancouverIsAwesome.com is a local blog, good for grassroots coverage of the local arts, entertainment, and general life in Vancouver.

                VancouverMagazine.com is the higher end look at local restaurants.

                Have you been to Commercial Drive? It's a great place for cheap(er) markets - Santa Barbara, Donald's Market, Norman's Fruit & Vegetables, Dollar Grocers, La Grotta Del Formaggio, etc. Some good eats there too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Florentine

                  Very promising leads. Thanks so much.

                2. OMG! This morning I stopped at City Market on Lonsdale. They have out Whole Fooded Whole Foods!

                  They are not kidding about their "wall of cheese". http://www.loblaws.ca/en_CA/articles/... It's a gorgeous locker of anything you could want. There is an entire section of fresh wild mushrooms of various species. The pastry counter could make you feel like a kid at the candy store for the first time!

                  1. I already posted some info here - and here is the answer to my own question

                    go and find a copy of this publication
                    http://www.eatmagazine.ca/pick-up-loc...

                    1. Ravani or honey cake as they call it at Serranos Greek bakery on W.Broadway=Woot!
                      Pesto pasta (or any) at Antons on East Hastings.=Woot!

                      1. I always like tripadvisor.com You have a good screen name for a Vancouverite.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: daislander

                          Izakaya crawl down Robson, woot.

                          Check out a couple of the food trucks downtown since you're there. Not amazing but kinda fun. Lots are only open weekdays so be sure to check twitter feeds, fb etc. Get a Japadog (go for the Kurobota pork; I like the okonomiyaki one best) just because.

                          Bit of a dead zone for good grocery shopping but you're not that far from T&T and Chinatown. And I've heard the IGA Marketplace on Burrard is decent.

                          1. re: daislander

                            Will check out TripAdvisor. Thanks for that info!

                            LOL about the synchronicity of my name and YVR's weather. It's short for Lorraine and I've used Rainey since I was a little kid growing up in New York state.

                            1. re: rainey

                              Ugh, grayelf is so right about the grocery store deadzone.

                              That IGA Marketplace on Burrard is only HALF-decent, imo. Good for packaged foods and dairy, but that's about it. There's actually another location that is probably closer to you too, at Robson and Richards, but I think they have a smaller selection. The produce can't possibly be worse than the Burrard location.

                              There's a Nestor's at Seymour and Nelson that used to be pretty good, I've heard rumours of the Nestor's chain going downhill a bit?

                              1. re: StarryFork

                                Groceries aren't a problem for me. I'm driving my husband to work on the North Shore so I've been using markets over there. YAAAAAY!!!!! They have parking lots!!!!!!

                                I didn't know Thrifty Foods from my time here a decade ago but I've liked that. There's one on Marine very close to that great green grocer in Cap Mall. The bakery next door looks good too but I haven't tried out their bread yet.

                                There are two cookwares stores near me downtown -- Cookworks and Gourmet Warehouse. Can't wait to check them out but it's been so rainy and I don't know the public transit system yet so I've just had to cool my jets since I couldn't park anywhere near them.

                                1. re: rainey

                                  Parking at Gourmet Warehouse is usually pretty easy to find, on either side of Hastings street. Just remember that parking on the eastbound side (directly in front of the store) is only allowed untill 3:00pm. Also, there are several buses that will drop you off right in front of the store - just check the links mentioned above.

                                  1. re: rainey

                                    CoV (city of Vanc) makes it their MO to discourage driving and parking :-( While I can certainly appreciate the ideals of making our built environment more sustainable, the lack of free off-street parking within CoV's retail districts make it very frustrating to get around. And the on-street parking ? It costs an arm & leg in some areas to feed those parking meters.

                                    Back to topic ...... in the North Shore, check out upper Lonsdale Ave (north of 15 St) for a neat variety of Persian grocers and casual eateries (often combined). A popular one is Yaas Bazaar at the corner of Lonsdale & 19th. They have a resto further south at around 16th (1629 Lonsdale, directly across from Extra Foods). I believe there's a Yaas Bazaar in the West End too ?

                                    Of course the Lonsdale Quay public market is a great place for the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of good eats and ingredients.

                                    1. re: LotusRapper

                                      Haven't been to the Public Markets yet but when I was driving down Lonsdale last night (w/out time to stop) I passed City Market (City Foods?). It's new to me and looked very appealing.

                                  1. re: LotusRapper

                                    Well, you could, of course, but I've been answering to Rainey for 60+ years so it might not get my attention. ; >

                              2. And there's a martini fundraiser (for BC Hospitality Foundation) at Yaletown Brewing Company, tomorrow night.

                                1. Hi! Welcome to Vancouver. You're living near my neighbourhood. (note the "u" in neighbourhood, labour, liquour, etc)
                                  At your earliest opportunity, please visit the Winter Farmers' Markets, either at Nat Bailey Stadium or Steveston (Richmond).
                                  Oh, and pick up a book or two of FareSaver tickets for transit.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: KarenDW

                                    Yes, I'll have to come up to speed with my "U's" and "zeds". LOL

                                  2. Hey Rainey :-) Finally made the move eh ? (notice the "eh", eh ?)

                                    I forget where you were before, SF ? Sorry if I'm wrong.

                                    Assuming you're in city proper, hopefully this helps a bit:

                                    http://vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/m...

                                    And if you're outside city proper but inside Metro Vancouver, try:

                                    http://www.metrovancouver.org/Pages/d...

                                    And for the first little while, for all intents and purposes you're a tourist, so try:

                                    http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/

                                    And for eats, well you've been here quite awhile so no further ado :-)

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: LotusRapper

                                      Yes, than you, we're finally here and thrilled to be!

                                      And,yes, so much has changed in 10 years that I feel very much like a tourist. ; >

                                      We're staying in furnished living for the next month or so while we look for more permanent digs. It's in metro Vancouver not terribly far from Cookworks which I hope to get to tomorrow. ; > I'm working on figuring bus routes out to get there.

                                      Thanks so much for the links!

                                      1. re: rainey

                                        If you haven't already seen this it should help with your transit planning:

                                        http://tripplanning.translink.ca/

                                        1. re: Philx

                                          And sometimes good ol' fashioned printed maps (or PDF versions) are just as good:

                                          http://www.translink.ca/en/Schedules-...

                                          I used to work for TL.

                                      2. re: LotusRapper

                                        Look what else I found: http://vancouver.about.com/gi/o.htm?z...

                                        I look forward to testing it on a nicer day. ; >

                                        1. re: rainey

                                          This site offers a much cleaner, quicker interface than Translink

                                          http://www.transitdb.ca/

                                          And if you're an Android user:
                                          https://play.google.com/store/apps/de...

                                          clean, quick data, can load favourite routes and timetables keep up to date.

                                          Cheers, and welcome!

                                          1. re: kinnickinnik

                                            Yes thanks KK, that was the site I bookmarked long ago but somehow couldn't dig up.

                                        2. You might want to pick up copies or free local papers like the Georgia Straight, Westender or Vancouver Courier. They will start to give you a sense of local issues, entertainment options etc. This board is a good source for food issues and is best addressed by asking for specific information i.e.where are the best Thai restaurants in ----?; as well, http://www.urbanspoon.com/c/14/Vancou... provides a list of critic and blogger reviews of restaurants and some food stores.

                                          2 Replies
                                            1. re: Philx

                                              and what's that newspaper (same format (ie size and fold) as Georgia Straight) - it is about food here in BC - I can't remember where I picked one up last year - maybe in Lonsdale Quay? or the dreaded GI.

                                              re: another comment on this thread - I think that the poor quality produce is same at all IGA's - downtown or small town.

                                              1. re: Sam Salmon

                                                Right now we're in the vicinity of the criminal courts building and the art museum downtown.