SEATTLE: THE STREETCAR NAMED FIRST HILL

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Seattle has a long history of streetcars and trolley buses serving its citizenry, reaching back to before the days when the city became a jumping off point for the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897. By the turn of the 20th century, the fast-growing city had over 50 miles of track. In due course, popularity...

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SEATTLE: POOL, PIZZA, BOWLING AND BURGERS AT THE GARAGE

Thursday, October 12, 2017

As neighborhoods evolve, older, established businesses will move out as daring new entrepreneurs seek to make their mark. The Garage is a concept bar/restaurant that combines big screen televisions, pool tables, and even a bowling alley. That’s the kind of risky venture that might have disappeared f...

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LOS ANGELES: THIS IS THE CITY

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Entire generations of baby boomers grew up listening to the authoritative voice of Jack Webb opening of the popular 1960s police drama Dragnet. In a 1968 episode, he said, “Man has an instinct to create, or to build, or to improve.” In typical LA fashion, Dragnet reinvented itself several times; fro...

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SAN MARCOS: MAKE YOUR MARK

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A dramatic view greets the visitor who has hiked (or driven) to the summit of Double Peak Park; the highest point of land in San Diego County, located just outside the urban core of San Marcos, California (population: 90,000)). To the west lies the blue Pacific and the coastal towns Encinitas and De...

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SAN DIEGO: AMERICA'S FINEST CITY

Monday, October 9, 2017

It’s not easy, as a city, playing third fiddle in the Golden State behind the glitter of Los Angeles and the Silicon smarts of San Francisco. But San Diego — which local boosters call “America’s Finest City” can make such claims based mostly on what people do in their spare time. This is one active...

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NEWCASTLE: BEACH LIFE ON LAKE WASHINGTON

Friday, October 6, 2017

There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than an invigorating swim in a freshwater lake, and Newcastle residents know it. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park just a short drive (or better yet, bike ride) from Newcastle. A paved, pedestrian-only trail hugs the shoreline and connects to the Washington...

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LAKE BOREN: ANOTHER GREAT REASON TO LIVE IN NEWCASTLE

Friday, October 6, 2017

Finding Fido-friendly parks and trails can be a challenge in any urban environment. But lucky Newcastle residents have Lake Boren Park nearby to let their pooches run freely. More of a large pond than, say, Lake Washington, Lake Boren is stocked with cutthroat trout and the perfect place to go for n...

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NEWCASTLE: ONE OF THE NATION'S TOP COMMUNITIES

Friday, October 6, 2017

Eastside place names like Newcastle, Coal Creek and Coaldale hint at a very different economy than the tech-centered Seattle boom of the last four decades. The name Newcastle was revived by the residents of Newport Hills in 1994 as part of its amalgamation into King County. At that time, there were...

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BELLEVUE: THE "CITY WITHIN A PARK"

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

For all of its downtown bustle and easy access to other parts of the Puget Sound Region, there’s still an enormous amount of nature to be found, here. Many parts of the city resemble unspoiled wilderness. If you were to design the perfect urban park, then Bellevue Downtown Park would be it. Extensiv...

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BELLEVUE: RETAIL THERAPY

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bellevue’s booming economy and population growth has been accelerated by two state-of-the- art retail malls which serve not just locals, but destination shoppers from both the local area and outside the region. What’s interesting is that Bellevue’s malls are located right in the heart of downtown, n...

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BELLEVUE: CITY PROFILE

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Trees, lakes, and modern towers dominate the bird’s eye view of Bellevue, WA, (pop. 144,000) a thriving city perfectly situated between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Over the past decade, Bellevue has successfully attracted many of the tech titans that put King County on the map in the late ‘9...

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ALKI BEACH: WHERE WEST SEATTLE STARTED

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

On a gray November day in 1851, the homesteading Denny party came ashore at Alki Beach in West Seattle and was greeted by none other than Chief Seattle himself. Seattle, whose Indian band lived on the nearby Duwamish River, would help the new settlers build a cabin to over-winter. Their encampment w...

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WEST SEATTLE: A PREMIER BUTCHER SHOP

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The curiously named “Swinery” on California Avenue is accurately subtitled “The Temple of Porcine Love.” (If you happen to be a vegetarian, you might just walk on by this store). Alas, The Swinery is a butcher, but a very, very special butcher—a butchery run by people who preach and follow sustainab...

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WEST SEATTLE: MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS AT THE FARMERS MARKET

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Since 1999, vendors and merchants at the West Seattle Farmers Market have been providing area residents with the freshest, most nutritious and tasty produce, meat, fish, dairy, and poultry items straight from Puget Sound growers. Each Sunday on a year-round basis, the market serves as a community ga...

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INTERVIEW: TALKING ART WITH BOBBIE BURGERS

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bobbie Burgers is a Vancouver artist best known for her large scale paintings. You might know her best for her painting that was hung in The Jervis Display Home. What inspired you to paint flowers? “When I first started painting it was all flowers and landscapes, very literal and traditional items,”...

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ORANGE COUNTY: COSTA MESA LIVE!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Aaahh, the Nineties. Hard to believe it was almost two decades ago that the Orange County (OC) suburban punk rock sound blasted from speakers in dusty chop shops and surf parking lots. There were the famous bands like Offspring and Social Distortion, and ones that live on in cassette mixtapes and bu...

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A PARTNERSHIP IN PROFIT

Monday, October 2, 2017

The situation: When Intracorp first approached Ken and Barry about their self-storage facility in the Maywood area of Burnaby, it was for an outright purchase. In fact, they had been in conversation for years. An agreement had been reached in 2008, but it occurred to Intracorp that there was much mo...

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RETAINING FAMILY ASSETS WHILE IMPROVING CASH FLOW

Monday, October 2, 2017

The situation: The Orr family is a well-established real estate family with a wide range of holdings. The family generally prefers to hold properties rather than sell them, enjoying ongoing revenue streams. They held a tract of land along Kingsway in Metrotown that was underutilized. Older low-rise...

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AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR VETERANS AND SENIOR CITIZENS

Monday, October 2, 2017

The situation: In North Vancouver, Anavets (Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans in Canada) Senior Citizens’ Housing Society had three low-rise residential buildings on one large piece of land in the Lower Lonsdale area. These buildings were at the end of their economic life and were beginning to cost...

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HELPING TO DEAL WITH A FALTERING MARKET

Monday, October 2, 2017

The situation: The Crean family had owned the property at Spruce and Broadway for a very long time. To increase the value of their holding, they started work to redevelop the site into a boutique residential building with commercial/ retail space on the ground floor. They went to work, demolishing t...

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LOS ANGELES: IN AND OUT GUIDE TO SUNSET RESTAURANTS

Monday, October 2, 2017

Whether it’s the cuisine or the clientele, many famous LA restaurants have boasted a Sunset Boulevard address. The first was Café Trocadero, a French inspired “supper club” that was opened by Hollywood Reporter publisher Billy Wilkerson in 1934. Wilkerson was likely more motivated by the opportunity...

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LOS ANGELES: ACCESS HOLLYWOOD BY SUNSET BOULEVARD

Monday, October 2, 2017

From the noir tones of Chinatown and LA Confidential to rom-com dreaminess in LA Story and  LaLa Land, Hollywood has “played itself” for as long as there has been a film industry. After all, what other city shouts its name in bold white letters on the side of a mountain top? There are so many touris...

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HOLLYWOOD: STROLL DOWN SUNSET STRIP

Monday, October 2, 2017

“There’s something happening here/what it is ain’t exactly clear…” In 1966, a young band called Buffalo Springfield released a song called “For What It’s Worth” that became a countercultural anthem. A young songwriter named Stephen Stills penned it after a rowdy  incident where police officers were...

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VANCOUVER: SELF-GUIDED WEST END WALKING TOURS

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Fall is here, but the weather shows no signs of cooling down. Take advantage of the sun while you can and explore your favourite neighbourhood, the West End. We put together two self-guided walking tours to help you discover historic buildings and hidden gems in the West End that you might not be aw...

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AN OUTRIGHT SALE THAT DEALT WITH UNCERTAINTY HEAD ON

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The situation: The Cambie Corridor Plan was in the early stages of development at the City of Vancouver’s Planning Department. With the Canada Line as its catalyst, the plan included opportunities for Transit Oriented Development. But the density, height allowances and general architecture of that r...

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COSTA MESA: EXPLORING THE CRAFT BEER SCENE

Sunday, October 1, 2017

These days, nothing says “street cred” quite like a community with a killer craft beer scene. Again, Orange County is way out front on this trend with no less than thirty craft breweries—give or take, it can be a brutally competitive business and tap houses open and close all the time. Within Costa...

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COSTA MESA: A THRIVING RETAIL SCENE

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Shopaholics outside of Orange County might not be able to identify Costa Mesa (population: 112,000) on a map, but they will certainly know where South Coast Plaza is. Fifty years ago, the vision (or folly) was to take a flat no man’s land of dirt and grass close to where a new freeway (the I-405) wa...

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ORANGE COUNTY: TUSTIN SCHOOL DISTRICT - QUALITY EDUCATION IN A PUBLIC SPACE

Friday, September 29, 2017

For house hunting young families, access to a highly- accredited and well-respected public schools system becomes a key criteria, especially as toddlers begin to reach school age In considering Tustin (population: 78,000), these parents have found an “A-Grade” school system that graduates 98 percent...

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ORANGE COUNTY: A GUIDE TO THE BEST BEACHES

Friday, September 29, 2017

It’s safe to generalize that beach culture is California culture and vice-versa. From tremolo-laden guitar licks to noseriding on a ten-foot “log” (surf slang for longboarding) to cruising beach town main drags in a chopped low-rider hot rod, surfing infuses everyday life in Orange County especially...

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IRVINE: DIAMOND JAMBOREE SHOPPING CENTRE

Friday, September 29, 2017

Once you find parking (maybe take a taxi, or Uber, to get there), you’ll find out why Diamond’s owners say “we bring the world to you.” With a population demographic high in Asian Americans, Irvine’s Diamond Shopping Center is regionally renowned for its diversity of restaurants, grocery stores, bou...

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