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  • Vancouver: A beautiful, tolerant, civilized facade that hides Wisteria-Lane-like secrets…In a promised land where the chosen make money, run, bike and curb their dogs — failure to do so in Stanley Park results in a $2,000 fine (a penalty more severe than drug possession).

    Many people point to the wandering, cracked-out addicts as Vancouver’s underbelly, but I couldn’t disagree more. Each time I walked through East Van, I grew more fond of its resident addicts and hustlers — they felt more and more real.

    More real than the manicured hedges that shade meth labs and sex rings, more real than The Truman Show immigrant ghettos and more real than the disorienting boulevards of globalized brands — where was I? In Vancouver or Birmingham, Alabama or Hong Kong or New York?
    I’m still not quite sure.

    I spent about two weeks in British Columbia trying to understand the globalization of crime and Vancouver as a gangster's paradise.
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