February 24, 2014

Things that confuse me





  • Efficiency committees



  • Initiatives that take the initiative out of initiatives






  • February 22, 2014

    Quote of the Week - Lao Tzu


    The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.
    image © Stacy Reynaud

    February 21, 2014

    A Community Plan that Defeats its Purpose


    goodbye
    information on issues relating to McMansions and possible District actions to make new housing better fit existing neighbourhood character.
    goodbye
    goodbye
    goodbye


    In West Vancouver there's this mentality that renters are an unruly, degenerate dirty bunch who will settle for anything (as interpreted by the state of the rental portfolio and letters to the editor of the North Shore News). Those of that particular mind set aren't reading this blog so telling them to get their heads out of their (gl)ass (house) won't matter. It also shouldn't give them the right to try and rent us a termite infested crack house off the highway for $3000 a month (such as one on Palmerston & 14th we saw recently) or this black mold mid-century we looked at in 2012.

    Just because we live in West Van doesn't mean we're going to pay you more to rent your 'tear down' house you just bought until you can afford to put up your 'trophy house'. You know what we see when we're out there snooping around at architecture, kids (usually baby boomers) whose parents just died that are eager to sell off what they perceived as the tacky family home they grew up in. Don't just blame the buyers of these properties for the 'ugly' neighbourhoods that are transforming West Van, take a look at the sellers.

    Generation X is just now hitting the peaks of our careers and we are all looking for homes - homes that we can rent and live in for many years. We can't afford down payments for overpriced homes - remember, we moved out of our parents' house when we graduated from high school, worked three jobs and put ourselves through university instead - because that's what you did. We'd love to rent your well loved, well kept, clean, tacky family home and make it our home but we're also not stupid enough to pay over $3000 a month for it  - the bloody thing was probably paid off forty years ago. So West Van, if you want to keep, or try to attract, a younger demographic with extra money to spend in the community (not on renting a crappy house) get it together because we're getting fed up with this -  and because we rent - we can just up and leave, whenever we want. You're losing your history and your future community all at the same time. 

    Check out the Facebook group, I Grew Up in West Vancouver.

    Interested in moving to West Van to rent but you're not sure what's going on here?

    The first of two info sessions on the state of West Vancouver housing is happening: Monday, February 24th 4-8pm at the West Van Community Centre.

    See you there.

    PS coach houses shouldn't cost $1.0 million or $4500 a month to rent.

    images Stacy Reynaud

    February 11, 2014

    You Know This Pile of Dirt - Another West Vancouver Home Demolition


    The Baker Residence
    built 1958 - demolished 2014


    The home was listed as a significant West Vancouver support building. 
    The West Vancouver Survey of Significant Architecture 1945-1975, (West Vancouver, BC, 1994), pg 88. 
    Architect - Peter Faulkner-Smith 
    Date - June 1, 1958 
    Location - Altamont, West Vancouver, BC 

    I'll post a photo of its replacement once it's built.

    all images Stacy Reynaud

    February 4, 2014

    The Internet Killed the Luxury Brand


    At the beginning of January I was having a discussion about fashion with a colleague at work -  he's Italian and his family is involved with the fashion industry in Milan, so that makes him an expert, right? We have a similar chat every season, however, this time it was different, not because I missed our previous season's discussion but because my views have changed - you've probably noticed I rarely write about fashion anymore. He asked me who and what I was watching and I said no one. I'm done with those shows and mass marketed pseudo luxury.

    You see, back in the olden days before the Internet, fashion bloggers, and phony street style street style blogs, one of the defining aspects of a luxury item was the exclusivity of the item itself. One never, well at least in Vancouver, saw an Hermes bag for example, in real life. I remember going to LA in the early 90s and being awe struck over actually seeing people - in real life - wearing the luxury pieces I'd seen only in magazines - well not so much in awe, but maybe blown away that someone actually spent that much money, after all, it was the grunge era, but you know what I mean. The price, back then, signified high quality - hence luxury. Exclusivity was one of the defining aspects of luxury brands that actually made them luxury. One rarely, if ever, saw the pieces except for on the pages of magazines.

    Now, because of the Internet, we see these luxury brands everywhere. How many times have you seen that bloody Givenchy sweatshirt with the rottweiler on it or the green Kenzo one with the tiger? Do you think a sweatshirt is luxury? I do, only if it's my thirty year old Oregon Ducks one I borrowed from my buddy in 1986 (and my husband wants to burn).

    Today's silly nouveau riche, and their sixteen year old Lamborghini driving children, have turned what were once luxury brands into nothing more than mass marketed, mass consumed, cheaply produced crap. In the music industry the term is, It's not the band it's their fans. For Gucci, the term was Victoria Beckham. For the Le Corbusier estate it was people in general.

    To quell this disaster marketers have had to coin a new term - ultra luxury.  The term luxury, like the term hang in there - has become meaningless.

    So, my colleague and I, at the end of our conversation, could not come to an agreement on how low the Prada side part should go, but we did, without debate, agree that Karl Lagerfeld should retire.

    stacy reynaud

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