Monday, May 14, 2012

The Saguaro Hotel - Palm Springs

I've been visiting Palm Springs every other year since 2008 for Coachella.  Each trip has been unique and amazing.  While driving to finally visit Moorten Botanical Garden, I spotted the most eye catching site in the middle of a dry desert.  Was it a mirage?  I'd never seen this before, and being someone who loves vivid and bright colours, surely this would have been a place that would have been on my must see list.  All I could think about was "What the hell was that!!!  Do my eyes deceive me?"

Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
I was so excited to see this array of colours.  It was like light had hit a crystal and all the rays had splashed in every direction.  The colours just make me smile.  I was filled with wonder and I made sure to jot down a note in my iPhone to follow up on this sight.

Turning the Corner, I caught the name of the hotel:
Photo Courtesy of Artisan Events
So, I did a google search to learn more about this mirage like paradise.  It turns out, I've been hiding under a rock because everyone has been talking about this development.  The Sydell Group celebrated the grand opening just in March of 2012, a month before the annual music festival, Coachella, was underway.  Architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat set out to pay hommage to the bright tones and hues of the desert flowers that somehow, in their own miraculous way, survive under the most extreme conditions.

I can barely contain myself when I looked at the different rooms on their website.

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Photos Courtesy of
Oh, and those are just the bedrooms.  You want more - don't worry, I gotcha.  Ladies and Gents, please look to your left and you will see the lobby:
Photos Courtesy of
Please follow me as I take you to take in the wonderful design of the El Jefe dining room, run by Iron Chef Garces.

Photos Courtesy of

And the folks from Artisan Events gave us a grand tour of the Tinto Restaurant.  Check out their amazing pictures:

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All Photos Courtesy of Artisan Events

Please be patient, there is much to see, I don't like to be trampled on.  Finally, ladies and gentlemen, we have the pool:

That concludes the end of this tour.  In lieu of monetary rewards for my terrific service, I do ask that you consider treating me to a one week stay in this cheerful oasis.  Thank you and please come again.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rize in Mount Pleasant

Over the years there have been a great deal of conversation (and debate) regarding the now approved multi-story condominium in Mount Pleasant that will be developed by Rize Alliance.  After withdrawing their initial plan to build a 26 story building due to negative feedback from the public, Rize Alliance received approval from the city to build a 19 story building on April of 2012.  They have gone back to the drawing board to put something together that will make everyone happy, which will not be an easy feat.

Mount Pleasant is hands down my favourite neighborhood in Vancouver.  Sure I love Commercial Drive, Downtown, and Gastown but Main Street has my heart.

I've done a couple of interviews with two of my favourite consignment stores, Front and Co. and C'est La Vie and these blog posts are filled with testaments of people who have a passion for what they do and they are among the many unique individuals who contribute to Mount Pleasant's character.

While other developments have gone up in this area such as 3333 Main, The Stella and the Sophia, I was either not fully impressed with the design of the building or was turned off by their location.  When it comes to Main Street, I want to see the developer bring in social housing (both for families and single residents), green space for community gardens, space that will house a daycare, and perhaps a grocery store Co-Op.  I'd also love to see space for a Farmer Market.
The development that will be built by Rize Alliance has been met with opposition from many groups, including the Residents Association of Mount Pleasant (RAMP).  Members are concerns about the ill effects that gentrification will have on their beloved neighborhood. 

But Rize Alliance have been involved in some projects that show some promise that they understand part of what makes Mount Pleasant so special.  Since April 2011, The Rize Pop-Up Shop has housed local artists and designers to showcase and sell their work to the public. 

Notable occupants include Ion Magazine and their network of artists and Sandra Todd of Velveteen Vintage, who gave a handful of youths (age 14-18) the opportunity to flex their creative muscles and gain some valuable business acumen through their exposure to the retail world.

Admittedly, I have my eyes on this development and have been for quite some time because, ultimately, I would love to live here.  I'm a condo person and I'm excited to see if Rize Alliance will be able to strike that balance between urban living and Mount Pleasant charm in the design of this new project.  Mount Pleasant isn't just made of art and artists, it's a community of individuals who care deeply about the social, economic, and environmental impact that such a large scale development will have on their land.

What are your thoughts?

You may also be interested in:
News Flash - C'est La Vie Consignment Boutique
News Flash - Front & Company

Blame it on the Rain

"Blame it on the Rain" - Millie Vanilli (1989)

Yeah, the title is cheesy.  I loved this damn song back in the day.  I think I was 9 or 10 - it was an age where one would be impressionable, foolish, and misguided.  I don't feel ashamed as we were all duped.  Rab and Fab wore a lot of spandex and that creeped me out a bit.

WHOA, I TOTALLY DIGRESSED - GET A GRIP, PAM!!!!!!  Okay, so April was just a messy, rainy affair.  I thought we'd never see some sun.  But now the clouds have parted and we're full of cheer.  I'll certainly need to spend the next couple weeks updating my blog because I've seen and experienced some pretty cool things here and there.

This is the first thing I saw when I woke up to this morning.  Yep, that's worth posting on Instagram!
I'm excited to say that I'll be taking on a new challenge which will take me to British Columbia's wine capital, Kelowna, to live and work for 15 months.  While I do try to keep my work and blogging life separate I can say that I'll be working for one of the places I visited with the Girls Who Wine, back in September of last year. 

I'll be close enough to Vancouver that I can drive or fly back in the blink of an eye.  It will be the first time I've lived or worked anywhere outside of Vancouver and this is a pretty big step for me both personally and professionally.  But I'm ready for the challenge and the adventure and all my loved ones are supportive of this move. 

There will be host of new things to write about, a slew of sites to capture on camera, and rants and raves regarding the special places that I find in Kelowna.

As my move inches closer, I am increasingly aware of how happy am to appreciate my environment and those in it and see the value in all that is around me.