Since the 1980s I’ve been living on Vancouver’s West Side, where everything from homes to halibut is pricey. Now I’m on the more diverse and cheaper East Side. This afternoon, I got a good dose of the differences at the 88 Supermarket, a mere six-minute walk away from Vancouver Cohousing at East 32nd and Victoria Drive.
Like a number of other shops on Victoria, the 88 has fresh whole fish, which are harder to find on the West Side. The supermarket also has an amazing variety of Asian and western foods at excellent prices. A neighbour at my Kerrisdale apartment building drives over from the West Side for the savings.
It’s much the same story all along Victoria Drive, which includes Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cambodian, Burmese, Filipino, Vietnamese and Turkish businesses. For someone who loves ethnic foods, it’s a fun place to be. This morning, my yoga teacher Karen recommended the coconut shakes and Rickety Rickshaw Bowls at Chau VeggieExpress.
Organics are harder to find on Victoria Drive. At 88, I bought a clamshell of mixed organic greens, and they have a few other organic products. For more choice, I go to Famous Foods on Kingsway, a 12-minute walk or three-minute bike ride. There are other organic produce places more of a car ride away.
Victoria Drive has more attractions than places to eat and grocery shop. I get $7.99 haircuts at Ben and I’ve seen manicure-pedicure specials for $25. My bank, Vancity Savings Credit Union, and favourite drug store, London Drugs, are a short walk away. There are shoe repair shops, printers, bakeries and the South Vancouver Community Policing Centre, which is offering us a safety audit. We’re in a great neighbourhood.