Just four days before we arrived in Vancouver, there was a riot that grabbed headlines around the world. Similar images were happening halfway around the world, except instead of the overthrow of a decades-long dictator in Syria, the catalyst for this was a hockey game.
The images were pretty shocking and painted a pretty ugly picture when juxtaposed with the kind of beauty that Vancouver offers.
Most people I know there downplayed the riots, and in most cases had to be coaxed into talking about them at all.
Indeed, walking around the city and the riot-stricken areas, it was pretty tame aside from boarded-up windows. People had come out in the thousands the day after the riots to reclaim the peaceful, friendly city that it is.
I got the impression it was more of a bad dream, whose images last a lot longer than anything that actually happened. Tough blow for Vancouver, but ultimately it was a real weird, ugly hiccup in an otherwise amazing city.