27th & Cambie. There’s an enormous tree right in the middle of Cambie street, on the median: walk in between the boughs and make your way to the base of the trunk, and you’ll see that the branches are sturdy and close together, almost like a natural staircase. This is the most perfect climbing tree in the universe.

An old girlfriend brought me here on what remains one of the coolest dates of my life. Someone had hung some bench seats probably 60′ high (I’d say that’s about halfway up), facing north so that you could sit and see the lights of downtown. I didn’t trust the seats one bit, so we just clung to the branches and made out, until fear and cold sent us back to the ground.

During the years of construction on the Canada Line the tree was stuck behind fencing, and the construction workers must have removed the benches, but almost as soon as the fences came down someone hung a fishing net you could lie in, as well as a rope swing above the net. I went up the tree last summer wondering if you could see the fireworks from there, and found about a dozen teenagers drinking and hanging out with exactly the same idea.

Today when I went there were no benches or nets or swings… but I’m sure someone will fix that soon. Maybe I will!