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We’ve moved to a new place – a basement suite with stucco walls (on the inside!) and plenty of quirks. A cross between an old English pub and a hobbit hole, it’s been a safe and comfortable haven for us over the holiday rush, and so it’s been christened Kifthaven. 

While our new home has quickly become normal, the neighbourhood continues to intrigue me.  Still East Vancouver, but with some unusual trappings, and unassuming hilltop views of a far away, glittering downtown.

Each time I make the 17 minute journey from the bustling bus stop at the corner of Busy and Funky, I find something new to pause in front of, and note in my secret book, yet unwritten, “A Wanderer’s Guide to Weird Vancouver.” 

Today’s chapter: Mushrooms & Home Decor – Together at Last. 

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Actually, it’s quite remarkable – instead of falling prey to the fear of fungi that besets most Vancouver homeowners and basement dwellers as they battle the rain and the many splendored spores our moist climate nutures, these houses embrace mushrooms and proudly put them on display. Either that, or the fake fungi are a kind of totem against the real thing – much like I have a cute little ceramic bedbug on my windowsill, thankfully yet to feel the triple bite of those hideous creatures. 

Whatever the motivation, the courage to eschew a few potted plants and a nice light shingle is admirable – and the result? Rather pleasing to the weary wanderer on her way home from the world. And slightly unsettling, considering these houses are all within a seven block radius of one another. But I’m not going to hallucinate consipiracy theories for now. Each time I pass by the mushroom houses, I feel a little fantastical, and lifted out of drudge, transported to some Seussical land where life doesn’t have to be all beige and granite countertops. My new neighbourhood and my imagination are going to get along just fine. At least until I pass a gnome on the street. 

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