The Argo Cafe is the best diner in Vancouver

One of the reasons that Vancouver can feel so stubbornly like a backwater — even after hosting a set of Olympic games, a World’s Fair, and two league-standard Stanley Cup riots, all within the space of less than thirty years — is that it has trouble being more than one thing at any one time. Think about other major North Atlantic cities and the ease with which they have been overlapping and even contradictory things to overlapping and even contradictory people.

In the early 1980s, New York City was simultaneously the cradle of hip hop culture; the centre of the

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