Now I’ve always hated the phrase “Surrey Girl” because for those of us who live here, the nickname isn’t pleasant. In Surrey, BC calling a woman a “Surrey Girl” usually means you have little to no respect for them. In short, you’re calling her a whore. Not cool.
That all being said I am without a doubt, a Surrey Girl. That is I am a girl from Surrey and since I’ve been here since I was sixteen, I honestly feel that I now have the right to say how I truly feel about this city.
So let’s start with the obvious shall we?
Surrey is fucking boring. I love that we have so much nature around us, which is awesome I mean everywhere you look there are big beautiful luscious green trees. They match well with the green and gray buildings. Sadly it doesn’t look much better from close up. There is no art, no pretty hand painted murals; it’s just green and gray, wherever you go. No matter what you want to do, Surrey is not the place to get dressed up in fun and exciting outfits. Because if you do, everyone stares at you like you’re a total freak because everyone is so used to seeing green and gray every damn where. Ugh. I legit hate green and gray. And I smoke pot, I should LOVE green. Surrey has ruined the color green for me. Damnit. And by the way…where the hell are all the LGBTQ Spots?! What, you afraid of gettin a lil Gay Surrey? Too bad, you’re already Ghey! Give us our LGBTQ Spots damnit! Some pubs, some clubs, a place for the Queens to come and shake their groove thing and the Kings to squeal in delight. Pathetic showing. Truly. Especially since EVERY major city in the lower mainland has somewhere for LGBTQ to hang out……except Surrey.
Which brings me to point two there is 0 nightlife here; Now that “the Byrd” has closed down, the only place to go “party” is a strip club called T-bars. More often than not a perfect place to get punched stabbed or shot; Yup Awesome. Okay maybe not that dramatic, but it IS the only place where you can go out with people between the ages of 21-35 and do anything even remotely close to dancing and it’s usually filled with gangsters. Which hey no hate guys, but more often than not they come with drama. This is never fun. So that leaves us all to travel to Vancouver to go celebrate the night. This is wonderful, once in awhile. Travelling to Vancouver every weekend can be expensive, not to mention it takes away the sparkle of going to the big city. (so to speak.) So if you’re drinking and you obviously are planning not to drive your only option is the train, which means your ass better be on said train around midnight. Because all adults love curfews. You may as well hang up a giant sign that says “Hey single people, you’re the ones that spend billions of dollars every year on dating, but yeah we don’t want you.” Well fine Surrey, we don’t want you either.
We used to have the “Fireside cafe” which was a great place to go sip some coffee and listen to some live music. Well hell that’s out. Not only are there almost no venues for live music in Surrey, we have legit no cafes. Oh sure we have Tim Horton’s and Starbucks, but all the little mom and pop cafe’s that used to build community? Nope those are gone. We’ve lost a ton of free music to Vancouver because Vancouver has purposely set itself up to be a place where people can grab some coffee, listen to some poetry and music and not stress about being surrounded by gangsters all trying not to beef with each other. There are millions of restaurants and cafes, bars and pubs to hang out in Vancouver. Which means Surrey is losing billions every year to Vancouver on entertainment alone.
Vancouver is filled with art. Everywhere you look. There are art galleries and cool little shops that you can’t find in Surrey. There’s Salmagundi’s in Gas town or if you’re feeling more touristy you can legit walk to any one of twelve million amazing little corners to go hang out at and discover something new. Surrey on the other hand? We have Surrey Central Mall. And Rickey’s. Where the service is so bad the food is either cold, raw or usually has some kind of human attached to it that the aforementioned food did not have prior to being brought into the Rickey’s Kitchen. Woohoo. Oh wait! we also have Green Timbers Park, which by the way is slowly being destroyed because Surrey is far too busy trying to build new towers so y’all can stuff in more citizens and Holland Park, which is………just a park. Yeah sure we have some great festivals here, like Fusion Festival, in which y’all cut the park in half, cramp everyone in, even though you could use the ENTIRE park with food you can get pretty much anywhere and a sound set up that is so fucking awful I’d rather watch Much Music at home. At least I’d be able to hear the music. (Seriously. When a 30 something prefers Much Music over watching Kardinal Offishall y’all got a problem. )
Vancouver actually takes care of its homeless population, instead of sticking them into one tiny corner and pretending they don’t exist. Don’t even try it, we all know that Surrey treats its homeless population like the weird uncle that we all know exists but only bring out at Christmas time.
Vancouver has SRO’s (Single room occupancy) but they also have 1 bed apartments for $350.00 that are actually not half bad. People in Vancouver are homeless more by choice than by direct need. Surrey has a less than 1% affordable housing rate. That’s fucking shameful. You should be disgusted, but you aren’t because you’re Surrey and we don’t give a fuck. (No seriously, it’s basically the Surrey Motto)
There are no fun places to hang out for artists. No this is different than music. I mean artists. There is no place where we writers, authors, poets, painters, sculptors and hell why not, even the glass blowers, can just go and chill. Sure there’s the library….yeah that’s fun. -Insert eye roll here- Come on Surrey. We are full of families but we’re also full of young amazing smart and talented people that we lose every year to Vancouver, New West and Burnaby because those places all have what Surrey doesn’t. They have community. And no I’m not talking about the stupid festivals that the city puts on every year that are geared towards families, with screaming yelling children that are all “Family Friendly”. What about those of us who don’t have a family? You’re going to lose us Surrey, because you’re boring as fuck.
Speaking of community this one is for you, the people that live here. Most of you young families are the same age as me, 25-35 and yet you don’t have community BBQs? What happened to the street parties? What happened to getting to know your neighbors? In Vancouver all summer long there are people hosting BBQ’s. One family starts and before you know it the whole street is bringing food to the party. “Yeah but our neighbors” are what? Poor? Yeah that’s why our parents did it right. You fucking Millennial’s are killing the neighborhood bbq. Fucking knock it off. Throw one, I dare you to invite even your craziest neighbor. Let’s go back to the days when kids were safe because you parents knew every fucking person on your street. And every person on your street made damn sure that your kids were safe, because you were doing the same for them. Duh.
Vancouver has community gardens, like everywhere. In Vancouver a Community garden is like a church, with the added benefit of providing food and creating fresh green spaces in strange little corners you wouldn’t expect to see it. We…..don’t have a community garden. Because City Hall is expecting to build more buildings, for people to live in. So they can sit in their tiny boxes, and be bored. Yay!
We don’t have enough cops. Yeah, I know I can’t believe I’m pulling this one out either, but seriously though. The City of Surrey website states “Over 468,000 (2011 census) people currently live in Surrey. Surrey’s population is projected to increase by an additional 250,000 people in the next 30 years. By 2041, 1 in 5 Metro Vancouver residents will live in Surrey” Awesome. So we’re expected to be the most populated city in the lower mainland and we have nothing to do, nowhere to hang out, and no one to protect us. Great. *I cannot insert an eye roll here, my eyes have fallen out of my head*
Since I’m on a roll here, Movie nights Suck. Ass. Seriously. Now look I get it, you want to play a movie and bring the community together, that’s actually kind of cool and it’s even kind of cool to sit and watch a movie with a bunch of strangers in Holland Park. You know what is not cool? Having the ONLY option be kids movies. I mean seriously? There are thousands, and I mean THOUSANDS of people between the ages of 14-90 that would come out to see A Steven King series, or hell why not some Alfred Hitchcock? The whole idea behind movie in the park was to scare the crap out of people while they laughed at the fact that they were being terrified of a movie while they sat in a park at dusk with twelve hundred other people being terrified by the same movie. It was fun, it was the good ol’ days but yeup good ol Surrey has ruined that too. Instead we get crap like the Hanna Montana movie and Frozen. Seriously? You dun fucked up Surrey. Get your act together. You are so much better than Hannah Montana.
Surrey has great potential, and it has the ability to grow, but as far as I can tell having lived her as long as I do, all y’all are doing is adding more houses so that more people can move here, get bored and move out. What great are all these (Rather hideous by the way) green and gray (seriously, they are fucking GREEN AND GRAY ALL OVER) buildings for people to live in, if no one wants to spend any money here? People are willing, and would spend money to make memories here. To have weird first dates, and strange memories that only a family member could understand. Instead they spend it all in Vancouver.
Here’s a tip City Council, families do not move into 1 bedroom “micro apartments.” They move into houses, single people move into micro apartments, and they would love to move into these (did I mention FUCKING HIDEOUSLY UGLY) buildings IF they had shit to do around here.
Who wants to go to work all day and come home to a micro box the size of a postage stamp? No young people who live here want to go out and have a good time and enjoy and be proud of their city.
For those of us who live here, in all honesty I can tell you that it feels a lot like Vancouver is Star City and Surrey has become the Flats.
It’s time to grow up Surrey. It’s time that the City of Surrey begin to recognize that they are here to serve all of their citizens, not just the ones they wish lived here.
I hate to say this Surrey, but it must be said because it is true. And no the Cloverdale Rodeo show nor the Canada Day Celebration – actually fuck it. Nothing that happens in Cloverdale counts. Whalley is it’s own section of Surrey BC and it demands attention, it demands entertainment it DEMANDS RESTITUTION! At the very least some fucking color.
All my love,