To the editor:
Re: "Missing Connections," Sept. 14.
I am writing this letter because of all the articles, and forums about what an unfriendly city Vancouver is and how isolated some people feel here, especially newcomers and I have not seen any letters or articles by people who have had the opposite experience like myself.
I first visited Vancouver in the summer of 1999 and came for several holidays here with my husband before we moved here permanently in 2006. From my first visit, I was struck by the friendliness of the city, from passers-by who would come up to us in the street and ask us if we needed help with finding our way to other people who just smiled at us in the street and said hello. Since moving here, I have met many friendly people and have built an extended group of new friends from different walks of life.
I continue to make friends wherever I go by taking classes in the community centres and taking advantage of all the wonderful events and happenings in the community. I have lived in the United Kingdom, Paris, New York City and Los Angeles and this has been a very easy place to make friends.
So when I read these letters about people feeling isolated and alienated in Vancouver I shake my head and wonder whether we are talking about the same city. Some of the responsibility for reducing their isolation rests with these people themselves. In my experience, if you want to make friends you have to be a friend and reach out in a friendly way. So don't put all the blame on Vancouver and label it as an unfriendly city. It is just not so.
Ruth Nyman, Vancouver