The Drive (Commercial Drive) is a street in Vancouver that boasts a vibrant community. All the stores and restaurants are unique and interesting. A Subway was proposed along the Drive and a committed campaign was raised to prevent it from succeeding.
Many coffee shops along The Drive have slam / beat poetry sessions if you look for them. Also, one place of particular interest is Magpie Magazine Gallery, wherein one can find magazines of all stripes. Feel free to browse forever -- it's easy to get lost in them. Slightly north along the Drive is Britannia Community Center, where there is an ice rink and a swimming pool as well as a large park.
Another place of interest is the Vancouver East Cultural Center where various dance groups and theatrical performances can be seen.
The Drive is uniquely Vancouver and it reflects a slightly anti-corporate sentiment here - as I said before, it belongs to small businesses and restaurants that are not chains. It is ideal to spend an afternoon (sunny, of course) walking along, starting at Broadway and slowly making your way north along the street, stopping for coffee or ice cream or sushi or Thai or...
While most tourists coming to Vancouver go to Robson Street downtown to find clothing (where stores such as A/X and Banana Republic compete), the as yet unknown area to shop is Main Street, roughly between Broadway (9th) and 45th Street. There, such stores as Dadabase and Twigg and Hottie sell funky artsy clothing. Highly recommended for shoppers who are interested in political statements and offbeat artistic designs on their clothing. Twigg and Hottie, for instance, source all of their clothes locally so all of their clothing is made within Canada, and some of it within BC. Dadabase gets locally made clothing through its in-house Government label.
If travelling to Vancouver, these clothes reflect Vancouver's culture more uniquely than (for example) Holt Renfrew clothing which can be purchased internationally.
Main Street clothing shops are still an untapped vein of creativity.
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