Thursday, July 05, 2007

a lighter side

I've been doing the curb appall/appeal series for a bit now, and it's been fun, but it is starting to depress me. Maybe I'm already depressed. Maybe I'm just tired and brain-dead.

Anyhow, laughter is the best medicine (or so it is said), and it's always more fun to laugh at one's self. ulsterman provided the link (over at vancouvercondo.info) to Rick Mercer's take on Vancouver being pronounced one of the top cities to live in in the world. I am embedding the video here for some comic relief.

The woman who paid $585k seems a bit embarrassed to admit it, and she ought to be IMHO.

Gotta love Mercer and his way of getting people to laugh at themselves (or make fools of themselves...). Enjoy.

30 comments:

el bbub said...

Awesome!. hehe

M- said...

That was great when the comedian laughed when the realtor told him the bachelor suite was $300K.

Anonymous said...

It was so great to laugh. Thank you.

Babybull40 said...

ROFL.. very funny.. I certainly hope that cheered you up..

Anonymous said...

That clips sums up why we're leaving Vancouver at the end of the month. Found a nice house in Dartmouth, one block from the ocean, 10 min walk to the ferry to downtown Halifax. 5000 sq/ft lot, 1800 sqft house, 3 bed, nice clean neighbourhood, friendly neighbours, 4 lakes 1 km or less from the house. No grow ops, no binners, no needles, no crack dealers on the corner, no used condoms, no ugly Vancouver Specials, no stupid slogan "World Class City". All this for 207K.

Jim said...

yah but its Dartmouth. Home of the 33 foot deep snow drifts and the top employer is a Quiznos. Ohhh ..here comes the telecommuting investment banking software guru line.

Anonymous said...

Top employer here is probably Starbucks.

aftersol said...

Yeah, it does snow and it's colder and they get at least one ice storm a year. But we can live quite comfortably on one salary and it doesn't have to be a high paying stressful job. We just decided that having a comfortable lifestyle that enabled us to raise more than one kid, take vacations, and enjoy life while we're young was more important than living in Vancouver. I really loved this city for a long time and never thought I would consider leaving let alone out of the province, but I guess once you have kids, sometimes your values change and you start to consider what really matters to you.

Anonymous said...

Well said aftersol.

Sometimes the most beautiful days are the days with a blue, cloudless sky and feet of snow on the ground and making snow angels and snow forts with your kids.

I would rather have that then the months of non-stop rain that Vancouver gets.

btw I'm in Victoria.

solipsist said...

Thanks for all of your comments.

m- that made me laugh too.

anon. 9:57 - yer most welcome

babby bull - there's no cheering me up, except for babby solipsist

anon. 4:22 - congrats on your decision. 207k - I could go for that. Winters are definitely longer, but the quality of life would be, I think, so much better. Especially with kids involved. A month in Mexico would be easy to do, which makes up for the price differential and all. You will still get all of those negative ions from the sea there too. And you forgot to mention kitchen parties.

"aftersol", - you aren't with the CRA, or the mob (little difference), and after me are you?

anon 9:01 - those months of endless rain still have me down, and that was months ago...

Anonymous said...

I think it rains too much in Victoria. Lets be honest, Canada does not have great weather - anywhere.

Victoria is a big myth. It has rained from November to July. Today I am freezing.

Anonymous said...

Anon from 9:01pm here.

Yeah, Victoria has cold, rainy winters too. Cold, rainy springs also Maybe, according to the bulls, that is why everyone wants to live here and is moving here in droves and pushing these prices up and up.

I would prefer to be cold in a $207,000 house than cold in a $500,000 house. Maybe in the $207,000 I could then afford heating oil but hey, that's just me.

solipsist said...

"I would prefer to be cold in a $207,000 house than cold in a $500,000 house. Maybe in the $207,000 I could then afford heating oil but hey, that's just me."

Amen to that.

If you want to talk about climate, Vancouver really only has the green in winter going for it. I don't like the brown and grey winters elsewhere.. Summers are never hot enough for my liking, but the last week was pleasant.

Life choices can be hard to make, but when it comes to $300k more for a crap-box on the Wet Coast than a decent house on a "large" lot in the East, well...

People are much friendlier there too.

solipsist said...

"Anon from 9:01pm here."

Just make up a name so that we can track you - under other. No need to register.

outtahere said...

I lived in Halifax for 6 years during university...best years of my life. Yes, the summers were short, but the winter has it's charm too..you just do different things. I loved the houses in Halifax too...beautiful, colourful wood homes. I moved there from Toronto and life skidded to a halt and I loved it! People enjoyed their leisure time in Halifax. Vancouver is now becoming more like Toronto everyday. Fast paced, crowded.

outtahere said...

Oh and look what i could buy for the same price as my overpriced home here: MLS®: 00054072

patriotz said...

Vancouver is now becoming more like Toronto everyday. Fast paced, crowded.

Frankly I think Vancouver has overtaken Toronto in just about all big city ills, despite being much smaller. I was in Toronto last summer and found it to be more laid back than Vancouver.

And prices? What would you get in Greater Vancouver for 350K?

si fu said...

"And prices?"

Here's what you get in Vancouver for a million two:

Fab House

BTW, the place Patriotz linked to in T.O. is in a neighbourhood called the Upper Beaches, which is up and coming, i.e. no longer working class.

the pope said...

Haha - I love this clip, the amazing thing is that its several years old and things have only gotten 'funnier'. Laugh or cry I guess.

aftersol said...

just to clarify, its aftersol is the anon who published moving to dartmouth.
counting down the days.

solipsist said...

Thanks for all the comments, and the clarification from aftersol.

Check back in from Dartmouth, and let us know how it's going. Maybe sol (me and the fambly) will be afteraftersol. One just never knows...

Patiently Waiting said...

I lived in Halifax for a few years, including during Juan. There are times when I miss it. It is a much prettier and laid-back city, as other have mentioned. I loved owning a house with a nice garden. I also had some good friends but watched many move away.

That said, I had some good reasons for moving. While jobs are plentiful, it hard place to build an interesting career (many over-educated, under-employed with all the schools there). If you can survive in Vancouver, there are more interesting possibilities. Halifax is still kind of insular and the job market is little too "who you know not what you know".
Young Haligonians often have to leave to get ahead.

As much as I like bitching about Vancouver weather, January-March in Halifax is generally miserable. When a few feet of snow finally start to melt, you'll see what I mean.

And watch out for violent crime. Don't be fooled by the Maritime friendliness. Halifax has some very deeply-rooted social problems. Some of the worst areas are in the North end of Dartmouth. People get jumped all the time. Downtown Halifax at night can be risky too, though only if you are into the nightlife. I don't want to scare anybody but its best not to believe its any safer than Vancouver (I think its less safe).

Streel said...

Hey pw and all,

Seems that you and I always end up on the Halifax discussions, how is it going? Been down to Davie for a donair yet?

As someone who lives in Halifax and grew up in Dartmouth, I concur with pw. BE CAUTIOUS! My wife and I lived in Vancouver for most of the 90's and moved home for the domestic bliss scenario. 7-8 years later we are chomping at the bit to move back to Vancouver. We will be moving ASAP as soon as we get a few things dealt with.

From the sounds of your location aftersol, you are very close to the north end that pw mentioned. If I had kids this place would be the last place I would want them raised. Bicentennial junior high in that hood had a huge prostitution ring busted a few years ago, this is JUNIOR high. Girls 12-14 right from the student population. I won't go into anymore detail, but suffice it to say that Dartmouth or Darkness as it is referred to here has it's fair share of crime and other problems. There is a reason why it is so affordable.

The main reason why I would not want my kids raised in Dartmouth is the mentality. Very redneck, lazy, and racist. Wait till you see that probably 80% of the population is obese and the employment scenario is less than stellar.

As someone who is from here and St.John's NF (which is a much better city) I am trying to be honest. If you are from here you don't know any better but people who have spent time away from here or come from elsewhere are usually rather horrified after the shine wears off and day to day reality sinks in. My biggest advice I can give, whatever you do do not, repeat, do not start a business here.

Streel said...

As far as the weather, we have had about one week of good weather here this year. No spring and a cold wet summer so far. Today it is foggy, cold and damp. It feels colder here today than Vancouver in January and it is almost midJuly.

"I don't like the brown and grey winters elsewhere.."

It is brown and grey here from October right through to June. Drives me freakin crazy.

solipsist said...

Thanks for the insights streel.

Back to the wishing well for me.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how old that Rick Mercer clip was. The blue building they show is the Watershed. I know several people who live there. Mostly creative types who bought in years ago and couldn't afford it nowadays. I don't think anything there has sold for $300k or under in at least two years. I should ask my friends if the demographic of their neighbours has been changing.

Streel said...

Sorry solipsist to rant like that on a thread titled "a lighter side", but just couldn't contain myself.

My advice to aftersol is if you have already commited to the deal good luck, but flip the house and move to Halifax, much better place to raise a family.

Streel said...

"yah but its Dartmouth. Home of the 33 foot deep snow drifts and the top employer is a Quiznos".

There is only one Quiznos in Dartmouth and that opened in 2005? Such is life in Dartmouth.

solipsist said...

solipsist said...
"I was wondering how old that Rick Mercer clip was."

His Eminence, the pope wrote that it was several years old. I guess I don't get out much.

I wondered at that $300k price tag too. Then I wondered if it was current, and that maybe prices were slipping under the radar.

Don't worry about ranting streel. Information is good, and you were most civil.

Does anyone know why, in every city in Canada, it is always the "North End", or the "East Side" that is the dodgy area?
Por ejemplo - North Dartmouth, East Van., North Surrey, DTES, North End of Winnipeg, East Toronto, etc.

Is it some kind of feng shui?


Babybull40 said...
ROFL.. very funny.. I certainly hope that cheered you up..


Laughter is the best medicine, they say.

Sigh. The tears of a clown....

aftersol said...

Thank you PW and Streel for your advice regarding the crime and weather in Dartmouth. We did our research, including crime stats, walking the streets in Dartmouth and Halifax, trying to detect the unsavory characters and areas etc. We have friends that live near where we're moving to and they advised us which areas to avoid. We are not moving to the north end. We decided for the time being this particular location would suit our needs quite well. We thought we would like to move to Halifax. But for now, we'll get to know this area of Dartmouth, who knows, maybe we'll really like it and never want to leave. We lucked out in finding a house for sale by owner.

As for the weather, I'll get used to it. I lived in the Okanagan for 7 years, and the winters there are cold with snow and chilling winds, not to mention the endless days of valley cloud, you don't see the sun for months. I managed just fine, I had many activities to occupy my time, just like I will in Dartmouth.

Regarding crime, we lived near Fraser / Broadway for 3 years. I don't think we'll be seeing the same kind of nuisance crimes, violent crimes, open drug dealing or prostitution as we did there. I must share this story though - last summer during the dinner hour, we, along with all our neighbours, witnessed a young male being beaten to a pulp. No matter what people said to try to stop the horific scene, these crazy animals just kept at it. The police didn't respond until 35 minutes after everything had moved on. I have never seen such violence in my life (aside from a stabbing in broad daylight on E. Broadway). I just can't figure out why townhouses are going for 650K - 750K in this area of Mount Pleasant. I don't believe this neighbourhood will ever clean up, especially now that the city has approved a subsidized housing unit at the NW corner of Fraser/Broadway. This area also has an unusually high amount of social service agencies. So if any of you are planning to move to East Mount Pleasant, don't believe the hype that this area is the new Westside or that its only a matter of time tll the area cleans up, or that the Olympic Village is just down the street. Gastown is just a few blocks away from the worst neighbourhood in Canada, and the tourists still go there.

I don't believe there's ever a perfectly safe place to raise kids. There's just varying degrees of safeness. From our inspection of this neighbourhood in Dartmouth, we think we'll be happy.