Feb 24, 2014

Things that confuse me

  • Efficiency committees

  • Initiatives that take the initiative out of initiatives

  • Feb 22, 2014

    Quote of the Week - Lao Tzu

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

    Feb 21, 2014

    A Community Plan that Defeats its Purpose

    mid-century home demolition West Vancouver BC image Stacy Reynaud

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

    West Vancouver Home demolition image Stacy Reynaud

    West Vancouver heritage demolition image Stacy Reynaud

    West Vancouver West Coast Modern home demolition image Stacy Reynaud

    West Vancouver mid-century home demolitions image Stacy Reynaud

    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 mindset 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 mould mid-century we looked at in 2012.

    Just because we live in West Van doesn't mean we'll 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 transforming West Van; look at the sellers.

    Generation X is just now hitting the peaks of our careers, and we are all looking for 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 need to be more innovative 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.

    Are you interested in moving to West Van to rent but need to figure out what's happening here?

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

    See you there.

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

    Images Stacy Reynaud

    Feb 11, 2014

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

    The Baker Residence
    Architect Peter Faulkner Smith
    Altamont West Vancouver BC
    built 1958 - demolished 2014
    image Stacy Reynaud

    View my post and interior photos of the home from April 2013 
    image Stacy Reynaud blueprints from the estate of Faulkner Smith

    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 by Stacy Reynaud

    Feb 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

    Jan 3, 2014

    Quote of the Week - Henry David Thoreau

    There is no remedy for love but to love more.

    Dec 31, 2013

    25 Cocktail Party Must Haves

    Friends are coming for cocktails tonight.

    25 things to have on hand:
    1. hand size snacks such as -  popcorn, cheese, pickles, crackers, wasabi peas, Cheezies, or other nibbles - nuts with a vintage nutcracker are always a hit, make sure you have a bowl for the shells
    2. ice, ice and more ice
    3. cocktail napkins and regular napkins
    4. coasters
    5. vintage serving bowls
    6. tea lights, candles, lighter
    7. ice bucket or two
    8. soda, tonic, juice (cranberry, orange, tomato), pop, cold flat or carbonated water
    9. cocktail straws, cocktail picks
    10. garnish -  lemon, lime and good cocktail cherries (check what your drink recipes call for)
    11. extra toilet paper
    12. whiskey, bourbon, rye, rum, vodka, gin, dry and sweet vermouth, cognac, two bottles of both white and red wine, beer, bubbly
    13. clean cloth to quickly wipe up spills
    14. plenty of clean hand towels in the washroom
    15. bottle opener and corkscrew
    16. a game - personally I can't stand games but some people love them at parties
    17. burgundy glasses, beer glasses, martini glasses, rock glasses, champagne flutes
    18. list of cocktail recipes - check the drink section of my blog, or Art in the Age and MasonShaker have some of my current favourites
    19. clean house slippers if you insist your guests take their shoes off
    20. organized front closet with empty hangers (no wire hangers)
    21. bitters, simple syrup (easy to make - boil two parts sugar, one part water or 1:1 shaken until sugar dissolves)
    22. an empty garbage under the sink
    23. cocktail shaker
    24. phone number for a cab or designated driver service - the host should pay or prearrange
    25. appropriate music
    originally published September 24th 2008

      image from the collection of Stacy Reynaud

      Dec 26, 2013

      Hot Buttered Rum with Apple Cider

      What you need:

      • 2 tbsps butter
      • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
      • 2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
      • 2 oz dark rum
      • 12 oz hot apple cider - my recipe
      • Serves two

      What you do:
      • Whip butter, brown sugar and pie spice
      • Chill until firm
      • Divide butter mixture and rum between 2 six ounce mugs
      • Stir in hot cider

      stacy reynaud

      The Wind