I moved back to Canada recently after spending 25 years in tinsel town, also known as LA. Well, technically I lived in Long Beach, a beach community just outside of LA – but it still had enough of the vibe to count. In Southern California everyone drives to wherever you are going because it is so spread out. You never see anyone up close, just across the highway through the glass of your respective cars while zipping down the freeway at 80 miles an hour.
One of the joys of moving to Vancouver is the public transit. I gave up my car almost two years ago, while still in LA and I don’t really miss it. Here, I hop on the Skytrain (don’t you just love that name? It conjures up images of Jetson-style swooping trains in the air) and in the process meet all kinds of people going about their lives. And in the process, I see little stories.
Most of the times they are just snippets of lives – overheard on phone conversations or witnessed by accident as our lives intersect briefly on the train. I often wonder what happens next in that particular lives chapter – or try to imagine it. That is how the idea of Sidewalk Stores came about, because everyone around us has a story.