BY ŽENIJA ESMITS
People tease me relentlessly for not straying outside of South Granville. These people are the same ones who think Strathcona is the bees knees. Mock me all you want hipsters! I’m a delicate flower and my fragile nerves (and even more fragile eyes) can’t handle the traumas that extend beyond fair SG.
Case in point: The last time my friend and fellow inhabiter (let's call her Pineapple) and I went for lunch. We deliberately and bravely I might add, decided to venture across the bridge. Settling on the predictably tasty and cozy Acme Café, we carefully entered the threshold of the DTES. Miraculously we found a parking spot a literal stones throw from the restaurant. We looked both ways and then dashed across the street. We were seated immediately in their front window, which afforded us a view of the car as well as the eclectic assortment of passersby heading to Save on Meats or Model Express for a new pair of Lucite platforms. .
Diving head first into girl-talk we began discussing tulle, the color champagne and which pie to get. Our order was taken quickly and our lunch arrived almost as fast. It was about this time a fellow (still unclear about where he came from) approached us, pointed to the car across the street and asked if it was ours. We said yes. The fellow then told us that they tow from there at three o’clock and it was three now. We thanked the guy (had he been a patron in the restaurant? Was he spying from the Grand Union Hotel Pub - Vancouver’s Country Bar) and Pineapple got up, dashed across four lanes of traffic, hopped in the car and zoomed off in search of a less precarious spot.
Enjoying the wired in musical stylings of Herb Alpert I happily continued to eat my apple pie. It was 10 minutes later I glanced out the window to notice a frazzled looking Pineapple blindly running towards the restaurant. Practically wheezing and in a mild state of panic, she sat down. "I just saw someone doing heroine." she said panting. I offered my condolences, "Of course you did." She detailed her experience, describing the wrapping of the rubber band to the injection. I sipped my cappuccino with rapt attention. Right around the punch line (my friend almost getting hit by a car as she fled the scene in terror) a delightful neighborhood gentleman spotted us through the fishbowl that was our seat in the Café. He proceeded to gyrate and made increasingly lewd gestures as we tried desperately to rekindle our talk of weddings.
We were unsuccessful and our by now salivating visitor showed no signs of stopping. Until at last one of the Acme staff told him to scram. The other restaurant patrons found the whole thing hugely amusing. Really it was our own fault: Two idiot blondes drinking cappuccinos in full derelict view of East Hastings. Quickly finishing our food we settled up, cut our losses and quickly headed back to the car.
Unscathed and a little less naive we squealed out of the parking lot and headed home. Turning west on Hastings we took comfort in the thought of safe SG. Comfort that is, until we saw a wheelchair speeding towards us down the center of the road. Not just any wheelchair mind you, a wheelchair being “driven” by a shirtless man holding a beer in one hand while steering(?) with the other. Not only that, as he gained speed veering dangerously close to oncoming traffic (us) it soon became apparent that he had a full colostomy bag dangling out the bottom of his shorts - rippling as he bounced down the median.
Pineapple accelerated, we looked at each other and simultaneously decided to NEVER leave South Granville ever again.