Awestruck on La Rambla and Beyond: Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona, Spain is like Vancouver, British Columbia  –millions of tourists pour into each city every year.  After four days, we still had not exhausted its rich treasure chest of sights and experiences.  Inevitably visitors end up crossing or on its main pedestrian street, La Rambla. It was my first time in Spain whereas for Jack,…

Are North American Cities Boring?

For some North Americans after a long European vacation trip, returning home is to the familiar and mundane  –especially  when home doesn’t have soaring, centuries old architectural monuments or lots of jaw-dropping art.  Or the North American just might be relieved:  thank goodness for space and wilderness.   As a Canadian, I don’t quite view Europe as prime destination to experience stunning,…

2010 Olympic Birthmarks in Neighbourhoods: Vancouver, BC

For locals,  the 2010 Winter Olympics legacy for some Vancouver buildings and artwork becomes paradoxically like a familiar face that we may longer notice its unique birthmarks over time. I haven’t spent any time researching, analyzing  nor comparing long lasting transformation of buildings, art and infrastructure in Vancouver and other Olympic cities worldwide.  So just take my…

How to Celebrate Bike-Pedestrian Bridges: Let Me Count Thy Ways

A shiny new bridge,  is a local cause célèbre in many ways, for expected and totally unexpected reasons. Sometimes it’s just a lovely architectural backdrop to frame not only cyclists and strollers, but also graduation parties, post-wedding photos, seminal reunions of family and friends. Peace Bridge, Calgary: Frames Grad, Wedding and Family Celebrations We were cycling…

900 Years of Architectural Legacy: Why Prague is a Royal Empress

I had heard of Prague’s splendid old World charm.  But I was unprepared for the city’s dizzying variety and historical compression of architectural centuries at each street corner and with each turn of my head.  Good thing we could explore its astonishing richness of Romanesque, medieval, baroque, renaissance, gothic and art nouveau building wonders, by…