Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Favorite thing: Sometimes refered to Vancouver's "Haight-Ashbury", though I'm not sure if there's anything else like it in other cities. In the first half of the 20th century Vancouver's Commercial Drive area used to be the city's major Italian neighbourhood. If there were new Italian immigrants, this is where they settled. Italian coffee shops, bakeries, grocery stores and restaurants were key ingredients to Commercial Drive. Over the past few decades, Commercial Drive has attracted immigrants of other nationalities, but since the 1980's and 90's it became the "Mecca" of the locals subcultures; an artist, hippy, punk, vegetarian, and lesbian hangout. Multicultural indeed! Now, fast forward to the 21st century and you have a mix of all the groups combined into one area spanning dozens of city blocks along Commercial Drive, from Broadway north to Venables.
Fondest memory: Exploring Commercial Street with my boyfriend on Valentine's Day. We had a great meal at a little Italian restaurant--they even had a guy playing romantic songs (ie. Volare!) on a Casio keyboard! Then we took in Italian soccer and espresso at a very Italian sportsbar.