Midcentury Modern on Whyte

August 11, 2011

The Palomar Building on the northwest corner of Whyte Avenue and 104th Street (housing The Second Cup and other stores) looks fantastic after its recent facelift.

Simple, sleek and (midcentury) modern…

with a sophisticated monochromatic pallette

and uncluttered lines.

Here’s what it used to look like, courtesy of Google Street Views:

They didn’t do a whole lot to it. It’s more about what they took away than what they added – namely, the hodgepodge of awnings and other signage. I think, though, that the reno isn’t complete and that the signage has yet to go back up. Looks great as it is – wish they could leave it this way (though the merchants might want their signs).

I found this rendering online:

click to enlarge

Looks like there’s some art deco (or streamline moderne) detailing to come. I think I like it better just as it is.

I want…

May 27, 2010

To live in a house made from shipping containers.


La ronde

February 22, 2010

My Saturday

April 12, 2009


Breakfast: pancakes with real maple syrup, sausage, two eggs sunny side up and endless cups of the most wonderful smelling and tasting coffee.



What the heck? The Emergency Relief thrift store was open on Good Friday but not today?









The new art gallery under construction. It seems you either hate it or hate it. I think I like it. Right now it looks like something collapsed – this is what it’s supposed to look like when it’s finished:




Bought my ticket to see this dude.


To the library for cds and dvds


but my membership had lapsed and I didn’t want to wait in line to renew and risk a parking ticket.


Made the thrift rounds in the northeast part of town which I don’t get to very often.




…because it sucks. No thrift finds. I also trolled a couple of Giant Tiger stores I hadn’t been to before for remaindered dvds.





Late lunch at Sunterra market on the south side. Delicious soup (more like a stew) chock full of chicken chunks in spicy coconut milk broth. Then grocery shopping at Spinelli’s for pizza fixin’s.


Homemade pizza with bocconcini, feta and olives.


Enjoy your Easter.


Reasons To Be Cheerful

October 5, 2008

(With apologies to I’m Learning to Share)

This has been a fine week all around.

1. Film Feast

I went to a mess o’ films at the EIFF (Edmonton International Film Festival).

Bruce McDonald (Highway 61, Hard Core Logo) and Stephen McHattie, director and star, respectively, of the cerebral Canadian “vampire” film Pontypool.

Steve “Lips” Kudlow of the Canadian heavy metal band Anvil. Sacha Gervasi’s documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil was a real charmer. I also liked Man On Wire about Philip Petit’s guerrilla highwire walk between the twin towers in 1974, and the Spanish horror film [REC], a movie so wonderfully scary grown men were screaming like little girls.

2. Indian Summer

The weather has been wonderful – as nice a fall as you could ask for. As often as I could I walked downtown to festival screenings, about an hour each way through the river valley.

3. You can always go…

saturday farmer’s market, 104th street

Downtown doesn’t seem as desolate as it’s been. I guess all the new condos are starting to make a positive impact with lots of new stores and services starting to pop up to meet the demand, and human activity taking place at street level.

I’ve  been taking pictures of my favourite downtown buildings. Above and below: The Federal Public Building, sort of a truncated art deco skyscraper.

It’s been vacant since 1989 but it’s being refurbished and will reopen in 2011.

Above and below: Free Masons’ Hall.

4. Birthday Brunch

For Sandra’s birthday we took her to the Santa Maria Goretti Community Centre for Sunday pranzo (lunch).

She looks amazed and appalled by my present.

5. Velvet Vahine

I found an authentic fake Leeteg black velvet painting at the Sally Ann for 5 bucks. If it was a genuine Leeteg it would be worth a few thousand, but it’s an authorized copy, apparently painted in Japan in the 60s. I’m still happy – it will look nice in my home tiki bar (when I have one).

6. Up From Down Under

My niece returned from nearly two years in Australia. We took advantage of the good weather to hang around at outdoor cafes.

She took this picture of me that delights me so much I think I’ll use it as my avatar for everything.

7. Moai-to-Eye

We discovered this flock (is that the collective noun?) of Moai at a landscaping place near my favourite Goodwill store.

That’s all.

good advice


September 17, 2008

This has to be my favourite mid-century house in Edmonton…

…quite possibly because it reminds me of my favourite movie – Jacque Tati’s Mon Oncle.

Summer Holiday

August 18, 2008

I got back from vacation a few days ago. Me and my buddy Gary made a quick trip down to Seattle to celebrate International Tiki Day with friends. I’ve documented the tiki aspects of this trip elsewhere on the internets – I’m only going to blog about other stuff here.

We really liked this moose sculpture made from horseshoes. In northern Idaho somewhere – I forget where exactly.

At Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle in Spokane they make insanely fabulous milkshakes.

I really need to add this to my Big World website.

More Spokane funkiness. The Garland Theatre – “Tops in Shows”

Thunderbird Motel in Ellensburg WA.

Americans like biscuits and “gravy” for breakfast.

Booze is cheap in the States. Air? Not so much.

Returning through Spokane: Downtown has many beautiful historic buildings and a lot of them are being refurbished.

The newly restored Fox Theatre, a former Art Deco movie palace, is impressive. Too bad the box office person wouldn’t let us poke around inside.

Spokane again. Frank’s Diner in a beautifully restored presidential rail car.

This was creepy.

The food was nothing special – canned corn, chicken fried chicken, more of that pasty white gravy.

My favorite roadside building on this trip was this “barber ship” in Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho.

Darling, isn’t it?

Some of the thrift stores I stopped at along the way.

My favorite thrift find, in Cranbrook BC: A Trader Vic’s of Hawaii seahorse mug for a buck (been looking for one of these babies for awhile).

Condo Hunt

March 31, 2008

Yesterday I went condo hunting with my friend Lee. She came over in the morning with the daily papers and we circled some open houses. The first place we saw was a half-million dollar highrise penthouse with a stunning view of the river valley. But the best thing about it was dozens of scary clown paintings on the walls everywhere you looked! By freakin’ Red Skelton no less!!! I think they were original oil paintings – at least some of them (but I could be wrong). The condo lady had been friends with Skelton (or an acquaintance anyway) and there were autographed photos of him around the place, and pics of the two of them together. I was dying to take pictures of all the art because it was so weird and overwhelming, but I thought it would be an invasion of privacy. It was a nice place (if you could get beyond the clown art) but out of my price range.

This is where I want to live:


Eco-house in Old Strathcona: solar roof panels, geo-thermal heating, triple glazed windows, R28 insulation, a bicycle room(!), etc. etc. And way more styly than anything else we saw this day. Seven 2-storey townhouse units on the bottom floors and eight 1-storey flats on the top two floors. They weren’t having an open house, it’s just someplace we passed by on the way home. It’s still under construction and apparently all the units are sold already. Dammit.



We also managed to squeeze in some thrifting (never too busy to thrift).


Lee with pixies.


What is this stuff called? I thought it was tole, but google convinces me that is wrong.



Oooh, 3-D!

Ellensburg, WA

July 26, 2007

tiki face?

tiki faces in strange places?

Dick and Jane’s Spot:

dick and jane’s 1

dick and jane’s 2

dick and jane’s 3

dick and jane’s 4

dick and jane’s spot 5

dick and jane’s spot 6

dick and jane’s spot 8

dick and jane’s spot 9

dick and jane’s spot 10

dick and jane’s spot 11

dick and jane’s spot 13

dick and jane’s spot 15

Dick & Jane’s Website

Dick and Jane’s Spot on Roadside America

Home Improvements

July 8, 2007

Front yard rocket

Santa house

unseasonal Santa

flying buttresses

superfluous flying buttresses