21 Feb 2013

City Profile: Vancouver - Introduction

It has been a while since I have written a blog post!  I decided to begin a series of city profiles; with several articles for each city.  The first profile will be Vancouver, British Columbia, which will tie in with an article that I am currently writing for Top City Real Estate (TCR), on relocating to this beautiful city.

Vancouver's Historic Gastown District
Vancouver is one of the youngest cities in the world, having only been incorporated in 1886; though Captain George Vancouver arrived in the area in 1792.  It is said that he hated the area - and yet both the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Island (two different places, the city is located on the mainland of Canada) are named for the man!  Today Vancouver is Canada's third largest city and sees almost 15 million tourists each year.  On your next trip to Vancouver, if you would like to learn more about these origins and Captain Vancouver, head over to the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vanier Park.

Some fun facts about Vancouver:

  • Greenpeace was born in Vancouver in 1971
  • Is the 10th cleanest city in the world and one of the move livable cities for quality of life
  • Is home to the second largest television production in North American (Los Angeles being the first)
    Vancouver's Vanier Park
  • Has the 4th largest cruise ship terminal in the world and the second largest port in North American (the largest in Canada)
  • Though Vancouver sees more a lot of cloudy and over cast days in the year, the total annual rainfall is less than that of Boston, New Orleans, Miami and New York
  • There are more than 200 parks throughout the city, the largest and first being the beautiful Stanley Park, which is 10% bigger than New York's Central Park
  • 1 in 5 Vancouverites walk to work
  • 35% of the population is foreign born, which is the highest in the world
English Bay Beach in the winter

2 Nov 2012

Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy

Florence's oldest bridge is the aptly named Ponte Vecchio (meaning "old bridge").  The structure we see today was built in 1345, but it is not the original bridge to be built there.  The first bridge, which dated back to the Roman Empire days, was destroyed in a flood in 1333.

The bridge was built with houses running the length of it, a common practice during the time in Europe.  Originally they butchers, tanners and the like sold their wares from these structures on the bridge, dumping their refuse into the Arno river below.  Eventually, they were replaced with goldsmiths.

The corridor that runs along the top of the bridge was added around 1565 by Cosimo I de'Medici.  It connects Palazzo Pitti with Palazzo Vecchio and was constructed as a way in with the Medici could privately travel between the two.

During World War II, all the bridges in Florence were destroyed, with the exception of the Ponte Vecchio, which Hitler is said to have spared because it was too beautiful to destroy.

Today the bridge is still home to many jewellers and other merchants, from the extravagant to the touristy souveniers. In the centre of the bridge, on either side, you will find three arches which overlook the Arno river.  These are usually packed with photograph-taking tourists.

My favourite time to walk along the bridge is in the early morning hours, particularly in the winter, outside of tourist season.  Though the shops may not be open, the normally busy bridge is mostly void of people and you can truly appreciate the architectural beauty of the bridge.

18 Oct 2012

Autumn, how I have missed you...

My favorite time of year is upon us!  The light is a little softer, the colors more vibrant and a magic in the air that brings goosebumps to my arms.  I was lucky enough to catch this rain-soaked window looking up from the inside at the beautiful maple leaves that had fallen from the tree outside.  These were taken in Vancouver, Canada in October.

To see more, please visit my website.  To purchase any photo on this blog, and many others, please visit ImageKind.

Happy October!!

1 Jul 2012

Photo of the Day - July 1, 2012

Vancouver's amusement park Playland serves as the spot for the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) every August.  The event lasts two weeks and is filled with shows, exhibits, rides and games.

29 Jun 2012

Photo of the Day - Jun 29, 2012

This photo was taken along highway 9 in Alberta, Canada in the early summer at sunset.  The hay bales, grain silos and the CP Rail train in the background are typical sights that stretch across the Canadian prairies: Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  This particular spot is found between the city of Calgary and the badlands of the Drumheller area.  For more information on this highway, including sights, campgrounds, bed & breakfasts, etc, please check out the website, Mile by Mile.

28 Jun 2012

Photo of the Day - June 28, 2012

It would seem that I have missed a few months!  But I am back to begin posting again...

Though still very much a work in progress, I have been working on my website.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Today's photo was taken a month or so ago in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The light on this tree that stood in front of the dark sky was so beautiful!

5 Jan 2012

Photo of the Day - January 5, 2012

Pigeon Lantern
The building in this photo is the Palazzo Pitti (or Pitti Palace) in Florence, Italy.  Though originally commissioned by a florentine banker, Luca Pitti, it is best known as the former residence of the Medici Family.  Today it serves as an art gallery.  The stones that you see in this photo come from the Boboli Hill, over which the Boboli Gardens majestically stretch themselves, directly behind the large palace.

4 Jan 2012

Photo of the Day - January 4, 2012

The Stone House
This beautiful property is in Sieci, a gorgeous small town in Tuscany, Italy.  If you find yourself in Tuscany, I highly recommend a stop in Sieci to go for a walk amongst the beautiful vineyards and olive groves.  Possibly one of the most beautiful places I have been, it is just a short train ride from Florence.

3 Jan 2012

Photo of the Day - January 3, 2012

Blue Heron
This photo was taken in the autumn on Vancouver's English Bay.  I love how the herons seem to pose for cameras.  Less than a five minute walk from this spot, by the tennis courts in Stanley Park, you can find a large nesting area for these beautiful birds.  Herons have been nesting here for over a decade, with more than 100 nests being reported each year.  Though seen all year round in the area, they are most populous from March through to the end of August.