Tweetup the ‘least awkward meeting of total strangers I’ve ever been to’

This is a guest post by Marcy Koopmans, who recently moved to New Westminster. This is her take on our most recent Tweetup.

As Jocelyn mentioned in her post on Friday, a large part of what gives New West its sense of self is its sense of history.

Moving here, Wes and I were surprised and, I’ll be honest, a bit amused by what to us seems such an unusual preoccupation with the past. But perhaps this is only because we came from a city which one Twitter user called a “cultural wasteland.” (You’ll get no argument from me on that front.)

That previous city was not one that I chose to live in myself, even though I managed to stay there for 19 years. New West represents home to me in a more real sense because I chose it, because Wes and I chose it together.

That said, even though it has taken very little time for me to feel at home in my new city, as of last Thursday I still hadn’t really met anyone. Twitter has been a great gateway in that regard. Through it, Wes and I found out about the existence of Tenth to the Fraser, the resurrection of the Farmer’s Market, and the Tweetup to follow.

The Farmer’s Market represents a way of life that I think will become increasingly important to our society and way of life in the coming years due to factors such as the recession and the state of the environment. Its continued success will show that we can come together as a community and both provide each other with the things we need — fruit, veggies, almond bark — and support each other economically. All with less impact on the environment that buying food shipped half way around the world.

The Tweetup, while overwhelming for me in the number of new faces and names to remember, was about the least awkward meet up of mostly total strangers that I’ve ever been to.

Perhaps the level of comfort in the gathering was fueled by orange drop martinis, beer and hummus, but I think it also speaks to what New West is as a city. It’s a city both small and big — one of those true clichés that came up during the Tweet up — and one that both loves the past and embraces the diversity that comes with moving forward and embracing progress.

It’s been a long time since I have found myself in a group of strangers where I can talk about the trials of public transportation, education and vampires without meeting blank stares. That, to me, is what is so invigorating and exciting about living in New West: it seems to have something for everyone.


Note: Thanks to everyone who attended the Tweetup, including:

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