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Found 7 results

  1. http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2014/03/28/leaving-the-gazette/ Leaving The Gazette March 28, 2014. 6:48 pm • Section: Real Deal I started this blog in 2010 with a story very few of you read about the priciest home for sale in Quebec – that $27 million mega-mansion in Île Bizard. Nearly four years later, I’m writing my final post as The Gazette’s real estate reporter. I am leaving the paper today. Thanks to the many of you over the years who’ve sent me ideas, photos and tips that turned into front page stories. We had a good run. I used this blog to break the story when the famous Schwartz’s Deli went up for sale. Then there was the listing of Brian Mulroney’s Westmount home, zebra print rugs and all. I’ll still be writing occasionally about finance and real estate. Find me on twitter: @RealDealMtl , or send me an email: [email protected]
  2. We like winners. Whether it's the winning army of a war or the world's fastest 100 meter runner, we lavish attention and praise on the victors and relegate the losers to the dustbin of history. The same is true of travel - the most important travel cities like New York, London, Sydney and Tokyo are favored by visitors while lesser-known destinations are skipped, scratched from the itinerary or just plain ignored. The destinations we visit win our attention for good reason. They're typically the biggest cities - meaning they have the best restaurants, biggest museums and largest inventory of hotels. Yet when we travel to only the "most popular" or "biggest," we ignore a fundamental truth of travel. What we know about a place has as much to do with what we're told as it does with what we actually find once there. With that in mind, Gadling is bringing you a compilation of our favorite "second cities" - large urban areas that are among the biggest in their country but frequently overshadowed by more famous capitals. The following picks boast many of the same amenities that make their bigger rivals so famous - top notch cultural institutions, unique local charm, great cuisine and nightlife. How many have you visited? Take a look below: * Second City #1 - Osaka, Japan - travelers love to talk about Tokyo, but focusing exclusively on Tokyo does serious injustice to the city of Osaka. What Osaka lacks in population, it more than makes up for in its citizens' lust for life and sheer zaniness. Along the streets of Osaka's Dotonbori district you'll find a raucous party of eating and drinking that is virtually unmatched anywhere on earth. In addition to the city's famous Takoyaki octopus balls and grilled snow crab, Osaka also boasts cultural attractions like Osaka Castle and the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. * Second City #2 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Stockholm is unquestionably Sweden's capital and its largest city. But not nearly as many have been to Gothenburg, the country's second largest metropolis and home to Sweden's largest university. The large population of students means Gothenburg has a surprisingly fertile arts and culture scene, frequently rivaling its larger sibling Stockholm for an unassuming, fun experience - all at a fraction of the price. * Second City #3 - Krakow, Poland - Krakow has slowly become of one Poland's greatest tourist attractions in recent years, steadily easing out of the shadow of much larger Warsaw. Unlike Warsaw, which was leveled by bombing during World War II, Krakow retains much of its historical architecture - a unique feature that will have first time visitors in awe. * Second City #4 - Melbourne, Australia - neighboring Sydney might boast the Opera House and stunning harbor views, but Australian visitors ignore Melbourne at their peril. The city is packed to the brim with top-notch shopping, hidden laneways and world class events like the Australian Open tennis tournament. * Second City #5 - Wellington, New Zealand - Auckland might appear to dominate New Zealand's economic and cultural agenda, but in truth it's modest-sized Wellington that's really calling the shots. In addition to being New Zealand's capital city, Wellington has a world-class museum at Te Papa, killer food and what might be the best cocktails this side of the Pacific. * Second City #6 - Montreal, Canada - any visitor that's been to the capital of Canada's Quebec province can tell you: Montreal will give Toronto a run for its money any day of the week. In addition to hosting two fantastic music festivals each summer and bohemian nightlife, Montreal is also full of plenty of French colonial architecture and charm. * Second City #7 - Chicago, USA - a list of "second cities" would not be complete without Chicago, arguably the birthplace of the term and perennial competitor to bigger American cities like New York and Los Angeles. Make no mistake about it though: Chicago might be called the second city, but it has first-city amenities, including amazing museums, some of the best food in the U.S. and plenty of friendly residents. * Second City #8 - Salvador, Brazil - picturesque Rio de Janeiro and glitzy Sao Paulo may get all the attention in Brazil, but it's Salvador that's really stealing the show. The city's laid-back citizens, fantastic beaches and historic colonial architecture make it strong competitor for best place to visit in Brazil. Plus, if you want to go to Carnival, Salvador hosts some of the country's most authentic celebrations. * Second City #9 - Galway, Ireland - true, rowdy Dublin has the Guinness Factory and Book of Kells. But don't forget about Galway, a gem of a town along Ireland's wild and windy West Coast. Galway's position as home to many of the country's university students, rugged natural beauty and frequent festivals make it strong contender for Ireland's best-kept secret. * Second City #10 - Barcelona, Spain - if you're among the many travelers already raving about Barcelona's many charms, this pick comes as no surprise. Madrid might be the cultural and political head of Spain, but it is freewheeling Barcelona that is its heart. Between the picturesque city setting nestled between craggy foothills and the Mediterranean Sea, top-notch nightlife and shopping, warm climate or the burgeoning arts scene, there's a lot to love in Barcelona. Did we mention your favorite second city? Think we missed a hidden gem? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.
  3. Montreal: Affordable Winter Base for Families The blackboard menu is in French and all around the little cafe, people are chattering in French, nibbling on croissants and sipping cafe au lait. But we're a lot closer to home than Paris. Welcome to Montreal, just a scant hour-long flight or a 370-mile drive from New York, or an hour's drive from the border of Vermont. Most everyone, it seems, speaks English, as well as French, so there's no need for my 16-year-old daughter, Melanie, to practice her French, she says happily. Another plus: Though there are no bargains here for Americans anymore now that the Canadian "loonie" is about the same value as a U.S. dollar, at least we can soak up the foreign ambiance without spending so much in Europe where the dollar is so weak against the Euro. Especially this time of year, you can find hotel rooms starting at $135 a night (http://www.findyourmontreal.com). Mel and I have come to Montreal for a mother-daughter weekend getaway and a look at McGill University, one of four in this oh-so-cosmopolitan city, which visitors can't help but love. Even our taxi drivers wax eloquent about their city - the restaurants! (There are more than 6,000 offering everything from French to Ethiopian to Montreal's famous bagels.) The museums! (There are more than 30. Visit http://www.museemontreal.org for the Montreal Museums Pass.) The theater, dance companies and festivals that go on all year! (There are more than 90, including the popular la Fete des Neiges de Montreal in January.) The shopping! (Simons, http://www.simons.ca, on Montreal's famous Ste-Catherine Street, we discover, is a good bet for young fashionistas on a budget. Such a clean city! So many parks; there are 1,009 of them and scores of green spaces. Let's not forget the 21-mile Underground Pedestrian Network that connects everything from metro stations to restaurants to skating rinks, office buildings, hospitals, libraries and nearly 1,000 retail shops. With ski areas just an hour away, I think, Montreal would prove a good, affordable winter base for families whose members aren't equally passionate about the slopes. Mel and I are ensconced in one of the city's many boutique hotels, the 59-room HotelXIX Siecle (http://www.hotelxixsiecle.com), which was built in a 19th-century bank building just a short walk from the historic cobble-stoned streets of the Old Port on the St. Lawrence River where this city began. And I love that breakfast is included. I promise Mel if she goes with me to the Pointe-a-Calliere, the Montreal museum of Archeology and History that tells the story of this city from its first Native-American settlers - our next stop will be Ste-Catherine Street where she can shop till she drops at street level and at the three interconnected malls underground. She liked the museum more than she expected - thanks to the terrific multimedia show and its excellent introduction to Montreal, from the first North Americans to the arrival of French settlers in 1642 and then later, the British. The museum is actually built atop authentic archeological remains, enabling visitors to take an underground archeological tour. Models set in the floor reveal how Place Royale evolved through the centuries and the exhibits include displays of artifacts found here, including dice, crockery, old combs and beer caps. Virtual historic figures also pop up to chat about their era. Even kids who hate museums can't help but be intrigued - and leave with a much better understanding of the cultures that have melded to make this city what it is today. Last modified: October 07. 2007 9:33AM
  4. September 10, 2009 Architecture Off With Its Top! City Cuts Tower to Size By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF Does Manhattan have a future as a great metropolis? If you hope the answer is yes, you will be disheartened by the City Planning Department’s decision on Wednesday to chop off 200 feet from the top of a proposed tower next door to the Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street in Manhattan. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the building would have been as tall as the Empire State Building minus its antenna, a fact that probably made planners tremble. Amanda Burden, the city planning commissioner, said the tower’s top, which culminates in three uneven peaks, did not meet the aesthetic standards of a building that would compete in height with the city’s most famous towers. And who, after all, wants to be responsible for ruining the most famous skyline in the world? Still, the notion of treating the Midtown skyline as a museum piece is more disturbing. The desire of each new generation of architects and builders to leave its mark on the city, to contribute its own forms, is essential to making New York what it is. The soaring height and slender silhouette of Mr. Nouvel’s tower not only captured the spirit of Midtown — the energy and hubris that transformed this island into a monument to American cosmopolitanism — it also brought that spirit forcefully into the present. Mr. Nouvel’s design was conceived as a giant spire, like the Empire State’s but without the boxy building. Supported by a matrix of interwoven steel beams reminiscent of a spider’s web, it tapers jaggedly as it rises, evoking a shard of glass. The beams are flush with the building’s glass surface, giving it a taut muscular appearance; an underground restaurant and lounge, visible from the sidewalk, root the structure to the site. The design’s beauty stemmed from its elegant proportions, particularly the exaggerated relationship between its small footprint and enormous height. Seen from the street, its receding facades would have induced a delicious sense of vertigo. Ms. Burden’s objections were directed at the top of the building. “Members of the commission had to make a decision based on what was in front of them,” she said. “The development team had to show us that they were creating something as great or even greater than the Empire State Building and the design they showed us was unresolved.” It’s true that aspects of the design had yet to be developed fully. The three peaks were too symmetrical, which gave them a slightly static appearance. And they could have been sharpened to finer points. But Mr. Nouvel, one of the profession’s most creative forces, would have been more than capable of dealing with these issues. With the new height restriction in place, though, his original design concept will surely be diminished. And the loss of as much as 150,000 square feet of floor space could also lead to cuts in the design budget, which could mean cheaper materials and more cramped interiors. Or, just as bad, it could push Hines, the building’s developer, into finding a way to pack more space onto the lower floors, which could further distort the building’s proportions. But the greater sadness here has to do with New York and how the city sees itself. Both the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, built during the Great Depression, were celebrated in their time as emblems of the city’s fortitude. The Freedom Tower, our era’s most notable contribution to the skyline, is a symbol of posturing and political expediency. And now a real alternative to it, one of the most enchanting skyscraper designs of recent memory, may well be lost because some people worry that nothing in our current age can measure up to the past. It is a mentality that, once it takes hold, risks transforming a living city into an urban mausoleum. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/arts/design/10building.html?_r=1
  5. Ça Ressemble à du copié-collé de plusieurs autres textes "vu d’ailleurs" mais au moins, ils parlent de Montréal. Source: BBC Edgy, unapologetic, seductive, nonconformist… these words often spring to mind when talking about Montreal. The city is Canada’s epicentre of fun and fabulousness, a cultural chameleon with a unique sense of style, jumping nightlife and amazing food. There is always something happening here – even on Sundays, when you can rock to the rhythm of the Tam Tams (a legendary weekly drumming festival) or groove to the hottest electro beats at Piknik Électronik (an outdoor dance party). Plateau du Mont Royal Congenial and charming, the Plateau is one of Montreal’s hippest districts. Once a run-down, blue-collar neighbourhood, it now boasts arty residents, great bars and restaurants, and a bohemian vibe. The distinctive architecture, characterized by spiral staircases and colourful old Victorian houses, is what makes this area so cool — a refreshing change from cookie-cutter homes in the ‘burbs. Montreal’s favourite son Leonard Cohen still keeps an apartment right in the Plateau, just steps away from St Laurent Boulevard (known as “the Main” to locals). The best way to explore the ‘hood? Grab a bixi bike and take a random tour, cruising its tree-lined streets (Gilford and Esplanade are pretty scenic options) and picturesque boulevards. If you are on the Main and need a pick-me-up, be sure to join the locals at Euro Deli for an espresso or an allongé. Culinary treats Montreal’s lively foodie culture and culinary scene are famous across North America. Whether you are seeking haute cuisine, or keen to sample local specialities such as smoked meat, maple syrup, bagels and poutine (fries smothered in cheese curd and gravy), you will be well catered for. Dining options are endless, and the food is both tasty and reasonably priced. The iconic Schwartz’s Deli on St Laurent Boulevard is Montreal’s mainstay for smoked meat. But Montreal is a city of contrasts, and it is no surprise to find popular vegan restaurant Aux Vivres just up the road. Permanently packed with veggie lovers, this place is so good that even die-hard carnivores will not miss their meat. Of course, after fuelling up on a healthy meal here, you will be in the mood to indulge. For the ultimate in sweet decadence, La boutique Grandbois offers high quality, handmade chocolates with some unforgettable flavour combinations… ganache and Monte Cristo cigar leaves, anyone? Vieux-Montreal Montreal is known for its European charm, which is especially evident in the cobblestone streets of the Old Port. Meander along the river or stroll down St Paul, before stopping for a croissant at celebrated café and bakery, Olive & Gourmando. Feeling un peu fatigué after all your sightseeing? Take a soothing break in the eucalyptus steam bath at Scandinave les Bains. After some pampering here, you will be refreshed, relaxed and ready to continue exploring the stunning architecture of this historic area.
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/05/schwartzs-sold-rene-angelil_n_1255654.html?ref=canada Not sure what to make of this. :biting: