Miguel - when in Vancouver, stay away from East Hastings St. Yuck. Comparing Vancouver with my own city (LA)
LOL! I had no clue about Vancouver when I first got there and needing a cheap place to stay I ended up RIGHT AT THE CORNER of W. Hastings and Homer. Little did I know that the area featured front row seats to drug addicts and gangs of boys haranguing passers-by. It wasn't that bad, compared to E. Hastings (where I later drove through) where I was (I'm used to Allston and Roxbury in Boston, and Brooklyn in New York, after all), but still, it was a genuine shock. When I discovered the West End and the quiet streets of Kitsalano I understood what people meant by "beautiful city". Needless-to-say, when my partner arrived two weeks later after my walk of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, I picked a hotel next to English Bay (the Sylvia Hotel... pure luxury at a reasonable price) and she immediatly fell in love.
Victoria Island... hard to really express just how wonderful it was as someone who loves the outdoors. It wasn't just the land itself, but all the outdoorsy types everywhere. I felt like I had finally found my community.