In 1995 I visited Vancouver, BC for the first time. I was only there for a few days but I had a great time. Of the many fun things I did there three stand out. I got to hang out with Nicole outside the convention environment for the first time. We were just friends at the time and she was pregnant with Kate but she graciously put me up and introduced me to some of the cool stuff Vancouver had to offer. On Nik’s recommendation we ate at Tojo’s, a local institutions and what became one of my favorite Japanese restaurants anywhere. Lastly, it so happened that I was there the weekend local punk legends the Subhumans were playing out for the first time since 1982. The show, at the Starfish Room, was sold out and 300 people were turned away. I hung around in the hopes of scoring a ticket and lucked into a guy with an extra. The show was awesome and I left Vancouver a happy punk.
This past weekend Nik and I were in Vancouver together once again. Since 1995 I have been back more times than I can count and it’s always a good time. This trip Nik and I were celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary. When we heard that Tojo’s had moved to a new and bigger location we just had to go. The new space is swanky and the food is as excellent as it ever was. The tuna tataki nigiri was particularly awesome and the sablefish was like butter. Since we had skipped lunch that day, we ate dinner early and were out of Tojo’s by 7:30 pm. I had seen a listing for a Subhumans show earlier in the week, but I thought it was the English Subhumans, who we just saw a couple of weeks ago. As we were walking down the street, I saw a poster for the show and was surprised to discover that it was the Vancouver Subhumans. It was too perfect, especially when we discovered that the venue (Pub 340) was about six blocks from our hotel. So to the show we went and once again the Subhumans rocked. While not what most folks would consider a romantic anniversary activity, the show completed a weekend that brought me full circle from 1995. Thanks Vancouver!