Shopping in Shenzhen

According to many, especially disgruntled Hong Kong shopkeepers, Shenzhen’s Luohu (Lo Wu) district functions as a giant discount mall, just over the border. There’s even a book (widely available in Hong Kong) titled ‘Shop in Shenzhen’ with advice on where to get the best knockoff purses, and where the best foot massages are to be […]

Street Signs in Lotusland

I’ve always had a thing for Vancouver’s street signs. They seem somehow deviant and subtly stylish. The stark black background is unusual enough, but I especially love the white border, which angles in at the sign’s edges; it’s reminiscent of the mid-century modern verve that lurks behind the wholesome attitude that present-day Vancouver has tried […]

Memories of Spring Sakura

Cherry blossom tree on Prince Arthur Street in May

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Memories of Spring Sakura , , ,

Urban Village, Shenzhen Style

The rapid urbanization of Shenzhen since 1980 has generated a contemporary landscape dotted with a series of urban villages, enclaves of buzzing urbanity and street life situated on land owned by Shenzhen’s original rural residents. These areas house much of Shenzhen’s floating population of workers from across China. The local farmers or fishers who are […]

The Fine Art of Signage

Genoa One of the big joys of travelling in Italy—besides the food, the ice cream and the coffee—is the beautiful signs you see everywhere. Italians know the fine art of signage, and they know the art of preserving old but highly functional signs. Rapallo

Posted in: Europe by Olga Schlyter 3 Comments , , , ,

How Good Is Your Landlord?

Sijia Yi knows about bad landlords. She had to deal with two of them when she lived in a Verdun triplex just over a year ago. The first neglected his duties. “Every time I wanted something fixed, his excuse was that his wife was pregnant and in labour,” Yi said. “She was in labour for […]

Posted in: Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment

Suburban Metroland

Platform at Montmorency station The strongest impression left by the new Metro stations in Laval is the determined attempt to get things right. There are elevators and they’re industrially solid ones. Walkways to the far platform are glassed in with thick panes so that nothing (and nobody) can be thrown over onto the tracks. The […]

Greening Chinese Montreal

It was a bright Sunday afternoon at the Chinese Family Service building in Montreal’s Chinatown. An Inconvenient Truth, the Oscar-winning documentary featuring Al Gore, was set to screen, with Chinese subtitles, in less than five minutes. A few people trickled in and sat down. Sandra Lee looked around at the half-empty roof. Turning around, she […]

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Mixed Sky

Sarcee Trail and 17th Avenue SW. Suburban arterials in Calgary

Posted in: Canada by Karl Leung Comments Off on Mixed Sky , ,

The Paris the Tour Guides Avoid

Paris’s 15th probably carries the distinction of being the city’s least loved arrondissement. Though there isn’t much to distinguish it from, say, the 14th arrondissement just to the west, or the 12th crosstown, the 15th languishes in oubli. Tourists eschew it, locals kick it around in jokes, and the most famous attraction anywhere nearby, the […]

Posted in: Europe by Sam Imberman 2 Comments ,

Finding Your Way in Quebec City

I tracked down five types of street signs within the traditional limits of Quebec City. The oldest signs are these attractive blue and white ones. The highest concentration of such signs are in Saint-Jean-Baptiste. This type of sign with a curious mix of embossed lower case and capital letters is the next in our chronological […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada by Patrick Donovan 5 Comments , ,

Jeanne Mance Street

Does anyone read Yiddish?

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Eight Thousand Meters Around the Block

Dupont Street, photo by Jack Lo P Blessed Toronto is probably one of the best cities in the world for city running–the streets follow a flat and mostly predictable grid, and there are just enough people on the street to maintain a sembalance of visual interest and security. I’ve tried to run in places like […]

Posted in: Canada by Siqi Zhu 4 Comments ,

“When I’m in Milwaukee…”

[youtube]3kCvvjzMxeo[/youtube] When I think of George Takei, I think about a couple of his two most famous roles: that of Hikaru Sulu, the helmsman of Star Trek‘s USS Enterprise, and that of gay rights and Asian-American activist. Spokesperson for Milwaukee public transit does not necessarily come to mind. But, sure enough, after my last post […]

Posted in: Transportation, United States, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on “When I’m in Milwaukee…” , ,