Geography Lesson! Or Fun with Paint! Or Hillary's Brain is Fried! Take your pick.
This is British Columbia. Or rather, my poorly drawn interpretation of BC.
See where the little "x" is? That's roughly where Vancouver is located.
The Strait of Georgia (the water between BC and Vancouver Island) cuts into the mainland and becomes the Burrard Inlet once it wraps around the peninsula of downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park.
Vancouver is actually quite large but downtown proper doesn't go beyond the peninsula. (Which is why commuting to downtown Vancouver is such a nightmare if you don't take public transit.)
If you follow the Burrard Inlet to its end, you pass by East Vancouver, Burnaby (including Simon Fraser University) and end up in Port Moody. Or, my new city. We're actually going to be living right at the tip of the Burrard Inlet (just the tip, just for a second, just to see how it feels - name that movie!)
Shawn loves Port Moody and has been pushing for it ever since we decided to list our condo. I was resistant, not because I dislike Port Moody (I actually quite like it there) but because it feels so far. It's a bit silly, actually, because my commute time will be the same if I continue to use public transit (only now I'll be using the lovely commuter train instead of the skytrain - Vancouver's version of a subway.) It's just that where we are right now feels so central to me. It takes me 30 minutes to get to work, 30 minutes to get to Turtle's, 20 minutes to get to my parents' house, 30 minutes to Shawn's mom's place, and 40 minutes to get to Shawn's brother's house. Moving to Port Moody is going to double the time it takes to get to my parents' house and to Turtle's place. It will now take about 15 minutes to get to Shawn's brother's house and under 10 minutes to get to his mom's place. Which isn't a bad thing, don't get me wrong. Shawn's family is lovely and we all have a good relationship with each other. That being said, part of our good relationship is based on boundaries. Physical boundaries. I'm afraid that moving so close to Shawn's family (and further from my family) will create a scenario where I have to either be a total bitch to enforce my boundaries, or accept that people will feel free to stop by because we're so close. I hate it when people stop by. I do not encourage stopping by at all.
Resistant may not be a strong enough word. I really didn't want to move to Port Moody.
So we started looking for condos in both Port Moody and our current location. And the more we looked, the more I began to see Shawn's point. We do not live in a nice neighbourhood. I do not feel safe walking by myself after dark. Crime is high. And not just property crime - in the last year, there have been three fatal shootings and multiple stabbings all within a three block radius of our condo. Our building has a state of the art security system but I would not feel comfortable living on the first or second floor. Our condo itself is lovely. The area it is in? Is not. We live a block from the police station. Our condo is filled with traffic noise and police sirens. Our neighbourhood has character. It's improving. But it's not safe. Not yet.
I wasn't convinced that Port Moody was the answer until we found our condo. It's perfect for us. We're gaining over 400 square feet of space. It has ample storage. It has a massive patio. It's painted beautifully. It has high ceilings and entire walls of glass. I couldn't turn down the perfect condo just because I didn't love the location.
So I'm moving to a new city. And I'm trying to be excited. The lovely magenta accent wall certainly helps.