My last week spent in the Greater Vancouver area was very busy, but thankfully successful. I didn't get to do as much sight seeing as I would have liked and I caught a mean cold from my cousin's toddler, but in the end I managed to sign for an apartment for August. I had originally been looking for a basement apartment as a more affordable alternative, but after seeing a couple of real apartments I started thinking more space and a grown-up atmosphere would be a better start for my graduate studies.
Hopefully things work out with the new apartment, but if I ever find it's not the right fit then I can take comfort in the fact that the lease is month-to-month. I'm optimistic; the apartment is in an older building, which means I have a lot of space and room for guests and visitors. It's also around the area I had wanted to live in: Burnaby Heights.
Burnaby Heights is a cute, suburban neighbourhood in the Burnaby area. There are countless parks, transit options and even a well-equipped recreational center. The hub of Burnaby Heights is Hastings Street, where all the local mom and pop shops and convenient stores are found.
I think a lot of people unfamiliar with Vancouver hear "Hastings" and a red flag goes off. Hastings Street is infamous because of a couple of blocks of East Hastings which are the skid row of Vancouver. In reality, Hastings Street stretches from downtown Vancouver all the way through Burnaby. In my week there, I had spent a lot of time commuting down Hastings Street. While what I saw on East Hastings was definitely saddening, I found it no different that other areas I've come across in Ottawa and Toronto. It just happens that East Hastings is a much more visible and traveled area.
However, by the time East Hastings becomes Hastings in Burnaby, the street is a suburban stretch of shops. It's a cozier environment than downtown Vancouver, and my apartment is a 10 minute walk or quick bus ride away from most of the amenities. There's a heavy Italian influence with lots of coffee shops and Italian restaurants in the area.
Here are some pictures of my new neighborhood. Enjoy them, and hopefully take some comfort in knowing I will be living in a normal, suburban community.
Labels: Life in Pictures, Reflection, School