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  1. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/19/travel/what-to-do-in-36-hours-in-montreal.html 36 Hours in Montreal Whether you want to embrace the season on rinks, trails or runs, or dodge the cold and head to the spa, this vibrant city has it all. Winter is right around the corner, and when the going gets cold — like zero-degrees-Fahrenheit cold — Montrealers get resourceful. Some dodge Canadian winter amid the heated vapors of the city’s Nordic spas or the warming drinks of cozy bars. Others embrace it by skiing and skating in public parks, cheering the hometown Canadiens hockey team and ingesting hearty meals in the new wave of forestlike and lodge-inspired restaurants. And still others flamboyantly celebrate the frozen season, reveling at Igloofest (an outdoor electronic-music extravaganza), Montréal en Lumière (a food and entertainment festival) and sugar shacks (forest canteens that sprout during maple-syrup season) amid near-Arctic conditions. Whether you are more interested in creative cocooning or winter worship, Quebec’s biggest city offers manifold amusements for the province’s defining season. Outerwear recommended. Friday 1. *Ready, Set, Snow, 5 p.m. Skate, ski or sled into winter at Parc du Mont-Royal. (The mountain it partly occupies is said to have provided Montreal’s name.) The sprawling hilltop park is the center of activities involving snow and ice. From December to March, Le Pavillon du Lac aux Castors rents skates (9 Canadian dollars, or $7 at 1.30 Canadian to the U.S. dollar, for two hours), cross-country skis (12 dollars and up for one hour) and inner tubes (5 to 9 dollars, depending on age, for the day) for the nearby outdoor rinks, trails and runs, some affording lovely city views. 2. *Enchanted Forest, 8 p.m. Reheat in the stylish confines of the new SouBois restaurant and nightclub. The underground space suggests a magical woodlands where avant-garde sculptural trees hover over a dining room of plank floors, shingled walls, raw-wood tables and Scandinavian-style chairs. The chef, Guillaume Daly, conjures magic too, metamorphosing rustic Canadian ingredients into innovative treats. The poutine is a gorgeously gloppy stack of greasy thick fries — piled like logs in a fire, and drenched with velvety warm Cheddar sauce, pungent mushrooms and an unctuous block of foie gras — while veal steak gets a funky crunch from spiced popcorn. For dessert, revisit campfire memories courtesy of deconstructed s’mores, replete with cubed marshmallows, jagged chocolate fragments and crumbled cookies. A three-course dinner for two costs about 110 dollars. Make reservations. 3. Canadian Libations, 10 p.m. The staggering whisky menu at the Burgundy Lion, a lively British-style pub with dark wood surfaces and frosted glass, offers further means to warm up. The more exotic specimens hail from Taiwan, Sweden, France and Switzerland, while Canadian representatives include Wiser’s Red Letter (12 dollars), a mellow elixir with a hint of toasted nut. Down the street, candlelit La Drinkerie Ste. Cunégonde offers several Canadian beers as chasers, including Les Trois Lettres IPA (5.50 dollars), a fragrant, floral brew with hints of clove and nutmeg. Saturday 4. Earth and Sky, 9 a.m. Still chilly? Eternal summer awaits inside the humid tropical forest of the Biodôme, a glass-roofed nature preserve containing multiple ecosystems. You might glimpse iguanas, frogs, bats, snakes, sloths and other exotic creatures as you wend your way among the dense vegetation, streams and stone caverns. The trail then takes you into forest, mountains, Atlantic gulf and subarctic islands (complete with penguins). Next door, the two-year-old Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is a postmodern silvery structure shaped like two telescopes pointed at the sky. Within, two domed theaters-in-the-round take you on immersive sensory journeys across the cosmos with shows like “Dark Universe,” about dark matter and energy, and “Aurorae,” about the Northern Lights. Admission to both facilities costs 33.50 dollars. Check the website (espacepourlavie.ca) for the film schedule. 5. *Shack Snack, Noon If you can’t get to a real sugar shack, the “Sugar Shack” sampler (11.95 dollars) at Eggspectation — a vast all-day breakfast and brunch hall on fashionable Rue Laurier Ouest — is a copious, calorie-rich substitute. Typical sugar shack fare, the dish heaps on fluffy scrambled eggs, sliced ham, baked beans, fried potato slices and unfilled sweet crepes along with ample maple syrup. The restaurant’s formidable menu also encompasses everything from lobster macaroni and cheese (18.95 dollars) to around 10 types of eggs Benedict. 6. **Buy Canadian, 1:30 p.m. You’ve probably grown a size since that meal. Conveniently, the boutiques along Rue Laurier Ouest brim with Canadian-made garments to accommodate your expanded frame. Chic insulation abounds at La Canadienne, where ladies can score weather-treated knee-high suede boots (450 dollars), a long quilted silvery jacket with a fur-lined hood (1,125 dollars) and much besides. Cool, straightforward, solid-colored garments to wear underneath can be found in the eponymous boutique of the veteran Montreal designer François Beauregard, including stretchy jersey T-shirts in autumnal colors (50 dollars) and dark blue 1940s-style trench coat dresses (189 dollars). Strut the ensemble to Juliette & Chocolat, a cafe serving some 20 types of hot chocolate, complete with tasting notes (6.75 to 8.50 dollars, generally). 7. **Chromatherapy, 3 p.m. With its colorful collections of art and antiquities, the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montreal illuminates even the grayest Montreal days, notably in the ground-floor galleries of 19th- and 20th-century painting. Mediterranean sun, sea and palms radiate from Matisse’s “Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window,” a 1922 canvas set in the French Riviera city of Nice. Almost adjacent, the disassembled, fractured and explicitly naked couple in Picasso’s erotic “Embrace” (1971) generates a different kind of heat. A kaleidoscopic array of iconic furniture and housewares fills the multilevel design pavilion, from burgundy Arne Jacobsen “Egg” chairs to candy-colored Ettore Sottsass bookshelves to space-age 1970s red televisions from the Victor Company of Japan. A sleek yellow Ski-Doo snowmobile from 1961 begs to be borrowed for a joy ride. Admission: 20 and 12 dollars, depending on exhibition. 8. **North Stars, 7 p.m. Canadian pride suffuses the friendly, lively new Manitoba restaurant. Animal furs and raw logs decorate the industrial concrete room, and indigenous ingredients from the Great White North fill the chalkboard menus. Among starters, the plump baseball-size dumpling spills out shredded, succulent pork tongue and flank into a tangy broth floating with crunchy daikon for a Canadian-Chinese mash-up. For mains, thick deer steak gets a zesty drench of red wine sauce infused with Labrador tea and crunch from root vegetables like candied carrot and smoked onion. Maple syrup-smoked bone marrow is topped with berries, onion and Japanese mushrooms for a sublime hunter-gatherer hybrid. A three-course meal for two is about 100 dollars. 9. *Liquor Laboratory, 10 p.m. Tucked across from Parc La Fontaine (a favorite ice-skating spot), Lab is a dimly lighted speakeasy of brick and dark wood where the mad mixologist Fabien Maillard and fellow “labtenders” ceaselessly research new cures for your sobriety. Who else could invent the Jerky Lab Jack (14 dollars), a concoction of Jack Daniels whisky, Curaçao, cane sugar and bitters flavored with barbecue sauce? It’s a gulp of the American south, flamed with a blowtorch and delivered under a miniature clothesline hung with beef jerky. Continuing toward the Equator, Caribbean flavors infuse the dozens of specialty rums (from Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada and beyond) and cocktails like Bébé Dragon, a blast of Barbados rum, house-made ginger syrup, lemon juice, lemon-lime soda, mango and basil (14 dollars). Reserve spots online. Sunday 10. Vintage Voyage, 10 a.m. Finally: a place stocking those stag heads, Lego figurines, cowboy paintings, flapper hats, snow shoes, lace doilies and neon signs you’ve had trouble finding. Near the last stop of the Metro’s blue line, Marché aux Puces Saint Michel is a vintage shopper’s Shangri-La. The sprawling, dusty, musty two-level labyrinth-like flea market holds hundreds of stalls selling the contents of seemingly every Canadian attic and basement. Kiosk 216 has an impeccable collection of vinyl LPs from the “Valley of the Dolls” soundtrack to Serge Gainsbourg’s “Grandes Chansons de Gainsbourg,” while Artiques (kiosk 219; 514-898-2536) sells well-maintained pinball machines, jukeboxes, pipe organs and radios. For gents needing winterwear, La Garette d’Anna (kiosk 358; facebook.com/LaGaretteDAnna) sports an extensive collection of bomber jackets, capes, police caps and pith helmets. Haggle. 11. Ship Shape, 1 p.m. Norway, Sweden and Finland have mastered the art of stylishly dealing with cold weather, and Montreal has paid homage to these experts with numerous Nordic-themed spas around town. The most innovative is Bota Bota, a former ferryboat that was remade in sleek contemporary style and reopened as a wellness facility in the winter of 2010. Spread over five decks, the indoor-outdoor spa offers many massages and facial treatments, but the core experience is the “water circuit” (35 to 70 dollars depending on day and time). Sweat out the weekend’s toxins in a Finnish sauna or hammam; plunge into one of the cold pools; and finally chill out in one of the relaxation areas or the restaurant. The 678 portholes and numerous wall-size glass panels afford superb views of the city skyline, though the best vantage point is the external heated whirlpool bath. There might be no warmer spot amid wintry Montreal. Lodging With 131 suites, downtown’s Hotel Le Crystal (1100, rue de la Montagne, 514-861-5550) offers anti-winter pampering perks like an indoor saltwater pool and an outdoor year-round rooftop hot tub, both with city views. Some executive suites and penthouses have operational fireplaces. Double rooms from 199 Canadian dollars. Situated in the hip Plateau neighborhood, the 21-room Auberge de la Fontaine (1301, rue Rachel Est, 514-597-0166) lies across the street from leafy Parc La Fontaine — home to an outdoor skating rink — and down the street from Lab cocktail bar. Certain rooms have whirlpool baths. Doubles from 122 Canadian dollars.
  2. City planners take new look at urban vistas Frances Bula, Special to the Globe and Mail, March 30th, 2009 --------------------- Vancouver’s famous view corridors have prompted more anguished howls from architects than almost anything else I can think of over the years. Now, the city is looking at re-examining them. (And, as the sharp-eyed people at skyscraper.com have noted, the posting for people to run the public consultation went up on city website Friday. You can see their comments on the whole debate here.) You can get a flavour of the arguments from my story in the Globe today, which I’ve reproduced below. --------------------- Vancouver is legendary as a city that has fought to prevent buildings from intruding on its spectacular mountain backdrop and ocean setting. Unlike Calgary, which lost its chance to preserve views of the Rockies 25 years ago, or Toronto, which has allowed a highway plus a wall of condo towers to go up between the city and its lake, Vancouver set an aggressive policy almost two decades ago to protect more than two dozen designated view corridors. But now the city is entertaining re-examining that controversial policy, one that has its fierce defenders and its equally fierce critics, especially the architects who have had to slice off or squish parts of buildings to make them fit around the corridors. And the city’s head planner is signalling that he’s definitely open to change. “I’ve got a serious appetite for shifting those view corridors,” says Brent Toderian, a former Calgary planner hired two years ago, who has been working hard to set new directions in a city famous for its urban planning. “The view corridors have been one of the most monumental city-shaping tools in Vancouver’s history but they need to be looked at again. We have a mountain line and we have a building line where that line is inherently subjective.” The issue isn’t just about preserving views versus giving architects free rein. Vancouver has used height and density bonuses to developers with increasing frequency in return for all kinds of community benefits, including daycares, parks, theatres and social housing. A height limit means less to trade for those amenities. Mr. Toderian, who thinks the city also needs to establish some new view corridors along with adjusting or eliminating others, says a public hearing on the issue won’t happen until the fall, but he is already kicking off the discussion quietly in the hope that it will turn into a wide-ranging debate. “The input for the last few years has been one-sided, from the people who think the view corridors should be abolished,” he said. “But we’re looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks. Most people who would support them don’t even think about them. They think the views we have are by accident.” The view-corridor policy, formally adopted in 1989, was the result of public complaints over some tall buildings going up, including Harbour Centre, which is now, with its tower and revolving restaurant, seen as a defining part of the Vancouver skyline. But then, it helped spur a public consultation process and policy development that many say confused the goal of preserving views with a mathematical set of rules that often didn’t make sense. One of those critics is prominent architect Richard Henriquez, who said the corridors don’t protect the views that people have consistently said they value most from the city’s many beaches and along streets that terminate at the water. Instead, he says many of the view corridors are arbitrarily chosen points that preserve a shard of view for commuters coming into town. That has resulted in the city losing billions of dollars of potential development “for someone driving along so they can get a glimpse of something for a second.” And, Mr. Henriquez argues, city residents have a wealth of exposure to the city’s mountains throughout the region. “Downtown Vancouver is a speck of urbanity in a sea of views,” said Mr. Henriquez, who is feeling the problem acutely these days while he works on a development project downtown where the owners are trying to preserve a historic residential hotel, the Murray, while building an economically feasible tower on the smaller piece of land next to it. The view corridor means the building has to be shorter and broader and is potentially undoable. His project is one in a long list of projects that have been abandoned or altered because of view corridor rules in Vancouver. The Shangri-La Hotel, currently the tallest building in the city at 650 feet, is sliced diagonally along one side to prevent it from straying into the view corridor. At the Woodward’s project, which redeveloped the city’s historic department store, one tower had to be shortened and the other raised to fit the corridor. And architect Bing Thom’s plan for a crystal spire on top of a development next to the Hotel Georgia was eventually dropped because city officials refused to budge on allowing the needle-like top to protrude. But one person wary about the city tinkering with the policy is former city councillor Gordon Price. “When people talk about revisiting, it just means one thing: eroding,” said Mr. Price, still a vocal advocate on urban issues. “People may only get this fragment of a view but it’s very precious. And those fragments will become scarcer as the city grows. The longer they remain intact, the more valuable they become.” It’s a debate that’s unique to Vancouver. Mr. Toderian said that when he was in Calgary, there was no discussion about trying to preserve views from the downtown to the Rockies in the distance. --------------------- cet article n'est pas tres recent, mais je sais pas s'il avait deja ete poste sur ce forum. meme s'il y a des differences, a mon avis beaucoup de ces arguments pourraient s'appliquer aussi pour Montreal. est-ce qu'on devra attendre une autre vague de demande bousillee pour relancer le debat ?
  3. Hope that this isn't classified as politics. http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=0117e486-7567-4fea-babf-5c8030e44534<!-- WPGCCWEB26 16 -->
  4. There was another thread with an old picture of a Citroen DS parked next to the Sun Life building, circa 1971. I forget the thread though. Here's an ad with the same car driving around Montreal! The license plate looks like a 1968 Quebec plate (white on blue). It sure doesn't look like any 1970's plate, and DS/Citroen Canada stopped around 1974... Another one but less memorable city views:
  5. January 25, 2009 And the Blog Goes On By SAMANTHA STOREY KNOWING what your neighbor paid for his apartment is a juicy morsel of gossip, and in New York, gossiping about real estate is an obsession. It is so captivating that an entire niche of blogs was created to cover it. In the past four years, sites like Curbed.com, Brownstoner.com, UrbanDigs.com, TrueGotham.com and The Matrix have been scrutinizing the housing boom with pithy observation and, in some cases, snide commentary. For readers, it was fun to pillory the design flaws of new offerings and to read about how one broker had trashed another in an overheard conversation in an elevator. But with the recession in full swing and the housing market waning, what will these blogs write about now? It’s not entertaining to skewer a market where property values are falling and scores of people are losing their homes to foreclosure. The guiding lights behind these blogs say that they are evolving, becoming more serious and focusing on the nuts-and-bolts details of the market. True Gotham, for instance, is writing about how long transactions are taking. Others are becoming more general sites for neighborhood news. Curbed’s tip line once passed on information from a reader who said that there was a truck in the neighborhood giving out free meat. For some blogs, the real estate slowdown has led to a leveling off in readership. But all of the bloggers say they are confident their services are not only in demand, but will be increasingly valuable as the market gets trickier. The reader community that formed as a result of these blogs is a fundamental part of their success. “These sites are fulfilling the needs of people to connect with each other and stay on top of the ever-changing market,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, a media analyst for Forrester Research. “Real estate is a topic ripe for discussion — it is competitive, emotionally charged and fast changing.” Nevertheless, the blogs’ founders worry about declines in page views and advertising, and like the owners of other forms of media, they are trying to find strategies to deal with the recession. Jonathan Butler, the founder and owner of Brownstoner, said he laid off his sole employee in December and had gone back to writing the entire site himself. Profits have not gone down, he said, but he fears that with the economic downturn, they might. “It is somewhat pre-emptive,” he said. “But I’d rather be safe than sorry — I have two kids.” Curbed, the most popular of the New York City real estate blogs, with two million page views a month, has not had an increase in page views since September. “Traffic on Curbed has been flat,” said Lockhart Steele, the president of the Curbed.com media company, speaking from a coffee shop in the East Village. “I think we are seeing a little of the ‘401(k) syndrome,’ ” Mr. Steele said, referring to people who are ignoring recent financial statements because they know they will present bad news. “There are probably people who are thinking, ‘I am not going to look at that for a few months.’” Although not radically so, the blogs are also becoming more tasteful. Curbed has a feature called Price Chopper that before the downturn was illustrated with a bloody ax. Now that some sellers are taking a bath, the ax has been axed. In the spring of 2004, when Mr. Steele started Curbed.com, many of his posts picked up information about new buildings and commercial real estate from other publications, with links to their articles at the bottom. But as the site grew in popularity, Mr. Steele started to receive news tips from his readers and posted those. “The thing that happened is the readers took over,” said Mr. Steele, 35. “I think what makes the site vital is the fact that we cannot be everywhere, but readers are everywhere, and people love to participate.” Mr. Steele said reader involvement had not declined even with the faltering market. He continues to get tips from readers; these are followed up by two full-time editors. Mr. Butler, who used to work in marketing for a hedge fund, is also optimistic about the future of Brownstoner and other blogs. “I think real estate is the topic in New York,” said Mr. Butler, 39, speaking from an architecture firm in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn where he rents cubicle space. “You have plenty of people who couldn’t tell you what the S.&P. 500 is, but they can talk about real estate values.” Brownstoner, which gets 1.2 million page views a month, was started in 2004. Initially, Mr. Butler wrote about brownstone homes on the market in Brooklyn, and linked to resources about renovating them. This was mainly because he was renovating a brownstone that he had bought six months earlier. The posts were so well received that he started a forum specifically to discuss renovation of historic homes. These days Brownstoner has around 15 to 20 posts a day, covering community news, market analysis and new developments. But Mr. Butler still links to listings for interesting Brooklyn properties, and sometimes follows the entire selling cycle, from when a home is listed, through price cuts and the contract, to when the deed is transferred, giving the reader a sort of real-time play by play. Despite a shaky housing market, advertisers say that Curbed and Brownstoner are vital ways to find buyers. “You will see us moving toward more Web-based, cost-efficient advertising,” said Stephen Kliegerman, the executive director of development marketing for Halstead Property, a Manhattan brokerage firm that advertises on Curbed and Brownstoner. “Blogs, in particular, have buyers and sellers who are sharing their stories,” he said. “As more people come to their sites to read about the market, we feel like we will reach more potential buyers than ever before.” Halstead started placing banner advertisements on both sites about nine months ago. “We have backed off on the number of print ads we are doing,” Mr. Kliegerman said, adding that Halstead would continue advertising on blogs at the same level this year. Although some people go to the blogs only when they are hoping to buy, sell or rent, for others they become a habit. Louis Rosenfeld, who lives in Park Slope, started visiting Brownstoner last summer when he was looking for an apartment. He closed on a co-op in the fall, but is still reading the site. “I find it interesting to use as a lens for what’s going on in the borough,” said Mr. Rosenfeld, a book publisher. He said he liked the site’s broad approach. “I can find out what is happening with the Atlantic Yards and in neighborhoods like Ditmas Park and Flatbush.” He also said it was difficult to find news about these smaller neighborhoods in mainstream media. Some see the chance to comment as a way to promote their neighborhoods. On Brownstoner, one commenter used the log-in name Crown Heights Proud. “I would talk about the good things about Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy,” she said. “I liked to talk about the positive aspects of living in the community, the years of middle-class black people who raised their families there and were not afraid to go out on the streets. There is a history.” Crown Heights Proud, who did not give her real name because she wants to protect her privacy, now posts as Montrose Morris. While Curbed and Brownstoner are run by real estate entrepreneurs who derive income from the blogs, several are put out by people who have day jobs in the real estate business. They are less interested in gossip and more oriented to exposing the wizard behind the curtain. Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel, a Manhattan research and appraisal company, said that the blog genre had given the industry a great deal of transparency. With so much property information available online, “most people do an extensive amount of research before they even call an agent,” he said. “The blogosphere has brought an in-your-face approach to housing, and as a result, the agent’s role has changed from information provider to adviser.” He writes a blog called The Matrix (matrix.millersamuel.com), which has the tag line “Interpreting the Real Estate Economy.” He said his goal was to filter “a lot of the spin consumers are given.” He may write about what a change in federal policy could mean to housing demand, for instance. “I learn a tremendous amount by researching topics, which makes me a better appraiser,” he said. “This is purely a selfish endeavor because it’s like doing homework you like to do.” He doesn’t think interest in blogs will wane. “I think the influence of real estate blogs will continue to grow in this downturn,” Mr. Miller said. “I think they will become more and more mainstream. If you are a passionate real estate follower, people are craving quality and relevance, and these blogs are very fun to read.” Mr. Miller’s blog receives around 60,000 page views a month, which is double what it got a year ago, he said. “I have no way of correlating it to the financial crisis,” he said, “but it might be because of a thirst for information.” Douglas Heddings, a senior vice president of Prudential Douglas Elliman, started his blog, TrueGotham.com, in 2006, to burnish the image of real estate agents. “I really wanted to fight the used-car-salesman stigma that real estate brokers have,” said Mr. Heddings, who has been a broker since 1992. “I was so sick of going into a relationship with a potential customer and having them be defensive the moment they met me because of the bad reputation of agents.” He started to write about the day-to-day intricacies of brokers’ jobs and the things they should be doing for the buyers and sellers they represent. Initial posts had titles like “A Broker’s View of Unscrupulous Real Estate Brokers” and “Things You Can Overhear in a Real Estate Office.” But being forthcoming backfired, he said. “At the beginning I took a self-righteous tone,” he said. “Airing the dirty laundry of an industry that already struggles with its reputation is not the most effective way to change its perception.” Mr. Heddings said that his blog had replaced more conventional forms of marketing, like sending postcards, and that as a result, most of his clients had found him through reading it. One of them was Naomi Novik, a fantasy fiction writer. She got the idea to search real estate broker blogs from thesavilerowtailor.co.uk, a blog run by a British tailor. Since she had come to know the tailor through his blog, she thought she could get to know brokers through their blogs, too. That’s how she found Mr. Heddings. “New York City real estate has a terrible and well-deserved reputation for being a nightmare,” she said, “and Doug’s blog was endlessly valuable because he seemed like someone who was articulate and trustworthy. I live a good portion of my life online, in a way, and have always found people and services that way.” Noah Rosenblatt, a vice president of Halstead Property, writes UrbanDigs, which started in 2005. From the outset he has tracked macroeconomic indicators like unemployment rates and stock-market strength to gauge the housing market. On the blog, “people can learn about me and how I view the markets,” said Mr. Rosenblatt, who worked as a trader before becoming a broker in 2004. “I tell it like it is, real time, ahead of the curve, as opposed to lagging quarterly reports that get spun by brokers.” As a result, he said, he has attracted a readership that over time has come to know him and to trust his opinion of the market. “It takes a lot of time to build something from nothing,” he said. “You can’t just launch a blog and get 5,000 visitors a day.” Now, all of his clients are people who have found him online. Propertygrunt.blogspot.com, named in part for Grunt, a soldier in the G.I. Joe comic book series, is run anonymously by someone in the real estate industry. In an exchange of e-mail messages, he said he had no plans to change the tune or the tone of his four-year-old blog, which gives his perspective of the real estate market as a whole. A recent entry, he said, “was about how brokers kept using the word ‘confidence’ after the dismal fourth-quarter market reports.” He lampooned brokers’ use of the word, and wrote seven sizzling paragraphs in boldface capital letters to get his point across. But whether gung-ho or down at the mouth, New Yorkers, so far, seem to have an insatiable appetite for real estate news. “It just is, and maybe it always has been, the great New York obsession,” Mr. Steele said. “Maybe it’s because Manhattan is an island, and from Minute 1 there has always been a fixed amount of space. “Jeez, I don’t know,” he said. “Real estate just makes people crazy.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/realestate/25cov.html?pagewanted=1
  6. Grumpy

    Lyon

    Pas assez connu mais cette ville mérite un voyage: Fourvière: Ruins of Roman aqueducts: Roman amphitheatre: Views from amphitheatre: Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere: Views from the basilica: On the pathway down from the basilica into Vieux Lyon: Long stairway into Vieux Lyon: Looking back up: VIEUX LYON Cathedrale St-Jean: PRESQU'ILE Views from the Saone: Looking towards Croix Rousse: Looking back at Fourviere: Outdoor market: ...
  7. I wonder if there should be a new Sub-forum for the aviation industry here. It is a hugely significant industry for Montreal and it seems as if many of the participants here are interested in it. However, it doesn't very well into news and views on airlines and YUL.
  8. I have a question: Why would city officials allow Segafredo to have a cheap terrace blocking half of the sidewalk on Ste-Catherine yet at the same time refuse to allow Apple to pay for 3 less parking spots in front of its store? It dosn't make any sense. Corruption or incompetence? I would like to hear your views on this. Thank you.
  9. MAGNIFIQUE MONTREAL VISIT THE FRENCH CANADIAN CITY WITH A TOUCH OF OOH LA LA… Posted: Tuesday 22 Jan 2008 COMMENTS (0) Above: Hotel St James Located on an island in the St Lawrence River, Montréal, in the French-speaking province of Québec, offers an intriguing mix of North American culture and European heritage – you’ll find Parisian Metro signs and a statue of Queen Victoria in the main square. Canada’s second city is compact, clean and efficient and has a dynamic entertainment scene. The shopping isn’t bad either – you can stroll from the designer boutiques on elegant tree-lined streets to the specialist shops of Little Italy or China or the antique stores strung along the cobbled streets of Old Montréal. WHEN SHOULD I GO? It’s punishingly cold in winter, but you won’t get cold if you head below ground to Underground City – the vast entertainment and shopping mall. Also, the freezing temperatures mean you can head to a nearby ski resort, such as Mont Tremblant, for a short break. Summers are warm but you can cool off with a cruise down the river or a jet boat ride through the Lachine rapids. The international jazz festival (www.montrealjazzfest.com) is held June 26-July 6, while the Just For Laughs comedy festival (www.justfourlaughs.ca), where Jimmy Carr and Billy Connolly have performed, takes place July 10-20. ABOVE: Montreal at night WHERE SHOULD I STAY? If you’re a boutique hotel fan, look no further than 61-room Hotel Le St James (www.hotellestjames.com), housed in a former bank in Old Montréal. It blends traditional upper crust decor in its public rooms with modern furnishings and technology in its bedrooms. Madonna, U2, the Rolling Stones and Sir Elton John have all stayed and we hear that Paris Hilton checked in the night after OK!. The hotel also has private access to the Underground City, which stretches for nearly 19 miles and connects with Metro stations. WHERE SHOULD I EAT? OK! loved the ’50s-style drive-in experience at the Orange Julep (7700 Decarie Blvd). For a relaxed lunch, try Olive et Gourmando (351 St-Paul West) or go one notch up and book a table at the French eatery L’Epicier (311 St-Paul East) in Old Montréal. For people watching, head to a city institution, the chic Café Cherrier (3635 St-Denis), which has a fantastic outdoor terrace. In the evening, try local favourite Les Deux Pierrots (104 St-Paul East), an intimate French-style cabaret, or for fine dining Bonaparte (447 St-Francois-Xavier). And make sure you try the Québecois speciality poutine – chips with melted cheese curds and gravy. It tastes a lot better than it looks! WHAT MUST I SEE? There are two highlights you shouldn’t miss. For panoramic city views take the bus (number 11 from Mont-Royal Metro station) to the summit lookout. Depending on the time of year, you can walk, snow-shoe in the park or hire a pedalo on Beaver Lake. Next up, Old Montréal. Tour it in a horse-drawn carriage or wander on foot taking in the Pointe-à-Callière museum, which presents Montréal’s history in a fascinating interactive way. Or you can pop into the ornate Notre-Dame Basilica, where Céline Dion was married, or pick up some souvenirs at the Bonsecours market. WHERE SHOULD I STOP? Montréal is a cornucopia of shopping opportunities, with 1,200 boutiques in a nine-block area. The best can be found along Rue St-Denis, Laurier Avenue or in Old Montréal for arty finds. In the downtown core you’ll find department stores Ogilvy (1307 Ste-Catherine) and Holt Renfrew (1300 Sherbrooke West), which house international designers and smaller celeb-coveted labels. Given the exchange rate, there are some fantastic bargains to be had. For shops on St-Denis, head to Moly Klute – not for the shy, retiring type! The funky, recycled clothes and accessories, such as a tote bag made from records, will certainly be talking points. Almost next door is Muse, where designer Christian Chenail offers some fab casual dresses. Dubuc is one label that’s causing ripples internationally. His clothes focus on tailored menswear with slight quirks, like the suit jacket with a vest stitched on top. Foodies will salivate in Arthur Quentin, which has every kitchen gadget imaginable. Finally, Revenge has been at the forefront of Canadian design and brings 25 smaller eclectic labels under one roof. WHICH STARS MIGHT I SEE? Montréal is a hot favourite with filmmakers. Last year alone you could have bumped into Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett filming The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Jason Statham shooting Death Race, or Evangeline Lilly in Afterwards. Meanwhile, Kate Beckinsale was in they city to film Whiteout and Anne Hathaway for Get Smart. WHAT'S THE NIGHTLIFE? There’s plenty to do at night. The best bars and clubs are located on Crescent Street and Blvd St-Laurent above Sherbrooke Street, the latter being more upmarket. It takes 25 minutes to walk between the two streets or it’s a five-minute cab ride. For the best views, head to the sleek lounge bar Club 737 (1 Place Ville-Marie) atop one of Montréal’s tallest skyscrapers, or to Pullmans Wine Bar (3424 Avenue du Parc), a chic-minimalist joint with a lengthy wine list. HOW DO I GET THERE? British Airways (0870 850 9850; www.ba.com/montreal) is currently offering a three-night Montréal Sweet Escape package from £479 per person including flights from London Heathrow and accommodation in a four-star hotel. http://ok.co.uk/travel/view/314/Magnifique-Montreal/
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