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My Best of Richmond: Michelle Zhou
Michelle Zhou is the assistant editor of Rview, the youth publication of the Richmond Review. She grew up in Burnaby but spent a lot of her teenage years in Richmond. She participated in Volunteer Richmond’s Youth Now program in 2012-13, during which she sat on the board of directors of Gateway Theatre. She graduated from UBC with a BA degree, and currently works at Stockwatch editing financial news and summarizing stock recommendations. She hopes to return to school for a master of journalism in the near future. In her spare time, she enjoys sinking into a good book, swimming and attempting to replicate tasty recipes.
What do you like best about Richmond?
“The bustling city centre and the ever-increasing population. It seems counter-intuitive but I love that there is an abundance of people, shops, community centres and restaurants all in close proximity to one another. I don’t mind the congested traffic and frequent crowds at all. They exhibit life.”
What’s the best place to take out-of-towners?
“Steveston Village is a no-brainer with its gorgeous view and rich heritage, but aside from that I would definitely take my guests blueberry/strawberry picking. It’s deliciously rewarding and a totally different experience for those without easy access to farms. Fierce competition for the biggest berries is strongly encouraged. At night, Gateway Theatre is home to some of the best live theatre performances across Canada.”
Best hidden gem?
“Watermania. It always makes me feel like a five-year-old kid again. I can play in the wave pool all day.”
“Shanghai River on Westminster Highway. It is hands down the best Chinese pastry/dim sum spot in the Lower Mainland. Best combination: fried donuts, sweet soy milk (soak the donuts in this like Oreo in milk), steamed pork dumplings, Shanghai noodles and vinegar ribs with pine nuts. The cherry on top is that all pastries are made fresh and you can see the chef rolling your dumpling dough through the open-style kitchen.”
Best thing you’d like to see in Richmond?
“Cultural integration, in the real sense. Ethnic diversity has become an undeniable facet of Richmond, but the influx of immigrants and the changes that followed have left the locals confused and the newcomers equally distressed. The vast majority of the latter are hesitant to participate in community building and are unsure why they should, or even how. If it can inspire involvement from all of its diverse groups, Richmond has the potential to emerge as a truly unique cultural hub.”