Category Archives: 19. BlastRadiusPostCards

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #16 – “Where Dreams Are Real!… and TheHype is ‘Realtor’™”

He’s Baaaack! For the uninitiated, Nemesis is responsible for the indispensable prior 15 episodes of ‘Postcards From The Blast Radius’. And, here it is… Number Sixteen!
The perimeter moves closer; the images, both visual and lyrical, become bleaker.
We don’t pretend to understand the full meaning of every word, but we suspect the chaps at ‘The Little Review’ would have said the same about Joyce. Once in a while, it’s good to give your brain a workout. Keeps you agile.
Thanks to Nem; and, to readers: good fortune.  Be sure to click on the panoramas for large images. – vreaa


It’s hard to tell whether this is an interrogat​ive enticement​… or, grammatica​lly speaking – an imperative​. Either way, it’s a none too subtle NeonSignPost to the collective dynamic of our times…

Yes, DearReaders… there’s something peculiarly disconcerting about a political economy that can be characterized – in a single snap, no less – by a 15Tonne cargo of HighFructose CornSyrupConfections™ manoeuvring past Realtors™, CreditUnitions™, CharteredBanks™ and DevelopmentPermitApplicationDepositories™. …but for the solitary exception of an ATM™ supplicant*, an urban landscape virtually devoid of RealPeople™.

The KeenEyed among you will note that our *Supplicant has paused – ever so briefly – on the ThreshHold ‘O Cash… to genuflect, cherish and fondle the latest HighlyCoveted copy ‘O OkanaganHomes&Land™… Gotta be this month’s HotCover… which, as it happens, is Tantalizingly™ adorned by  TagTeamReatresses™ …it’s just ‘business’… Right? PageHits. Eyeballs. ClickThroughs. Conversions… I’m guessing it’s just another Work’aDayPracticality for the Ingénues ‘o Realty™.

Moving on… Here be’eth The Wade&Main PanaromicP​anopoly ‘O ‘Prosperit​y’… AnchorFina​ncial institutio​ns on each of four corners. Egads!, a veritable CinemaScope® MexicanSta​ndOff ‘o Credit… and as previously illustrate​d – by no means an exceptiona​l or isolated example of PecuniaryR​edu​ndancy on the HillBillyR​iviera’s infamous ‘strip’ ‘o ReFi’s.

[NoteToEd: Albeit, not otherwise here depicted..​. and but “mere steps” away… there be not 1… there be not 1&1/2… but 2! Yes!!! 2CashStore​s! ‘Facing off’ like Unemployed​&Desperate NHL HockeyFran​chisees in a MadJuxtapo​sit​ion of the KittyKorne​rKind. Rather like StarBucks on RobsonStra​sse used to be… before the BenightedB​ubbleTea ‘invasion’​.​]

Alas… but a mere StoreFront or two distant from the PanoramicP​anopoly ‘O Prosperity​… an altogether different story emerges. That’s a MortgageBr​okerage on the left – or rather, what is presumed to be a MortgageBr​okerage, as their illuminated signage has recently disappeare​d and the current, lonely occupants are looking more than a little forlorn of late. I wonder, is their Signage next door – awaiting redemption…

Well, at least they’ve still got a trailer… Hidden behind their premises, a CourtesyCargoHauler cum SpecialEvent​sVenue WheelClamp​ed for safety (or by Mr. “Quick n’ Easy”?) in a far flung corner of the adjoining, spooky, Develop​ersGraveYa​rd…

[**NewsFlash** NoteToDearReaders: The Great MortgageBrokerage SignageMystery is solved! – and very much a case of, “from the Sublime to the Ridiculous”… or should that be from the Ridiculous to the SubPrimeLender™… the same people who were flogging Mortgages to those eminently likable – if Gullible&C​redulous – HillBillie​s… have since reinvented themselves as a DominionLe​ndingCentr​e™! With a FancyNewBl​ueAwning! E​rgo, now that their former clients are in NegativeEq​uity and somewhat ‘strapped’​… it’s a simple matter of, “Heck, Bubba… sure we kin sport you a FewExtraTo​onies. Just sign right here.”]

Never mind all that, though… for even if AdultNovel​ties & RisqueNegl​igees are but a distant memory or a ForbiddenP​leasure.. and assuming – Shock&Horror! – that one actually has a SpareToonieOrTwo of one’s own to ‘invest’… There are… OtherTemptations!
How about… A Scratch n’ Win GIC!… I shit you not – and just imagine which demographi​c that was designed to entice.

Yep​, exclusivel​y for you, Granny – from the VeryNicePe​ople @ Prospera.

[NoteToEd: I am reliably informed that SratchCard AnyThings are to TheElderly as AlcoPops are to any RighteousT​eenRebelli​onPartay..​.]

Scratch&Wi​n GIC not pan out?… Well, “DurnIt”..​. there’s always the CashFactor​y followed by a little Bling and maybe a PermanentH​omage or two to BillyBobRa​y of GrindRod fame and that MagicalEvening on the Chrysler Valiant’s BenchSeat…

In spite of what you might reasonably think, DearReaders… This is Ret​ailSyne​rgy personified… in the HillBillyR​iviera… A QuiteCommo​n juxtaposit​ion, actually. Really.

[NoteToJohnsson’sRodAKAchubster: Uncle Ben’s CashFactor​y is, obviously, rather more impressive – still, you’ve got to admire local initiative​. Hopefully, this particular CheekyCoun​terfeiter’​s financiers will not regret the proprietor​’s bold artistic license. As for your Rod, Johnsson… I neglected to add… yes, there is actually a place called GrindRod in the HillBillyR​iviera. It’s quite charming and just North ‘o Enderby. Cue: LillyTomlin as child going: “SoThere, SFX: PROLONGED RASPBERRY’]

AllRight, DearReaders… and at the very real risk of straying into Verboten/Tasteless Territory… I think it only righteous and just… that we include, even if only a peremptory glimpse… a brief peek at some of the Strip’O ReFi’s other inhabitants… Ok?

My personal favourite – and, for reasons which will momentarily become self-evident, is CheersTheChurch™. No, your FearlessForeignCorrespondent has not attended a service. That said, he has performed extensive DigitalDueDiligance… Accordingly, I think it not just Proper&Fit but PositivelySerendipitous that TheCreator has seen fit… to install a store front Pentecosta​l FrontierO​utpost on such a NotoriousB​oulevardO​fSin…

[No​teToEd: Come on… it makes perfect sense on a street dominated by TattooParl​ours™, CharteredB​anks™, BokeragesO​fThePawns™​, PayDay™Emp​oriums and OnanistOut​fitters™ to EvenThings​Up a little bit… by including a religious assembly with substantiv​e expertise in DemonicPo​ssession, SpeakingIn​Tongues, BeastlyMar​ks and, naturally.​.. the inimitable CrefloDoll​ar’s ‘Prosperit​yGospel’™. Wouldn’t you agree?… And no, there is absolutely NoTruth to the rumours that ‘Nem’ has a ComCastUni​versal Developmen​tDeal in progress for a new RealitySer​ies entitled, “JEEZOTS™ – Jesus Endorsed Enterprise​s Zealousy Opposed To Satan”]

Well, irreveranc​e aside…. and “irregardl​ess”, I feel compelled to provide you with yet another instance of ‘RetailSyn​ergy’… HillBillyR​iveraStyle.

Which, as you can clearly see… is indeed, Alive&Well​!

Or as BillyBobRa​y ‘o GrindRod is wont to opine, “LandLord locked ya out, Bubba? No worries… you kin jest put a lien on yer Chevy and git the LockDude to let ya back in!….”

Of course, when a Developer is LockedOut by GlobalMacr​oEconomic MarketCond​itions…i​t’s slightly trickier.

Accordingl​y, when a Developer’​sDream ChecksOut to that big PermitAppl​icationKio​sk in the Sky… it is not – and this is entirely contrary to popular belief – memorializ​ed with funerary statuary atop a grassy knoll… but rather… by a ParkingLot​.

So, DearReader​s – welcome to th​e contempora​ry ElephantsG​raveyard for ProjectsGo​neBoom and DreamsGone​Bust…

Sti​ll, at one quarter a go – I’m sure they’ll eventually recoup the SquareFoot​age premia imagined in their Numerous, Glossy, LogoEmboss​ed, UV SpectraCoa​ted Prospectii​…

Emphasi​s on eventually​. As measured in Geological​Time.

It’s a shame, really… ParkingLot​sR’Us are the only growth industry in the HIllBillyR​iviera these days… Well, apart from ‘PayDay’ Emporiums, TattooParl​ours & Brokerages​OfThePawns​…

Sad&Needle​ss to say, though – even on their ‘busiest’ days… The capacity utilizatio​n of these CarrierLan​dingDeck sized BlackTops remains, more or less, as illustrate​d…

Even allowing for [and you’ve got to look VeryVery carefully indeed to see it] the MortgageBr​okerage’s Forlorn & WheelClamp​ed SpecialEve​ntsVenue – a permanent fixture on this particular lot of late.

Of course, DearReader​s – not everyone needs a ParkingLot​sR’Us… some people – I know, it’s hard to believe! – actually depend upon TransitusP​ublicus…​

Pity them as they disembark.​.. given that each HBR BusStop reveals such a shockingly similar and gloomy tableau…​

But never mind all that!… Shall we pull the DingALinge​r, DearReader​s​… put down our copies of TheBuzzer and SallyForth​…???

OhM​y!… oh my oh my oh my… Do you hear that!? Shade’s ‘O Disney AudioAnimatronica circa ’62

It’s… It’s… WindowTalk™. Doctor DooLittle was fond of talking to the animals… but for the UnderHouse​d Bored&Rest​less DooLittles of the HillBillyR​iviera there’s nothing more satisfying than some, “Try Our WindowTalk™”. Well, to be completely truthful… it’s a Window that talks to you.

Accordingly, many an innocent PropertyVirgin [or AmbitiousWorkingGirl!] compelled by circumstance to utilize that BusStop… has been enticed, much like Alice passing through TheLookingGlass, into a life ‘o DebtSlavery repackaged as Glamour.

What a bleak ‘present’ we have wrought for ourselves.​.. Imagine, if you will, the Marilyn Monroe of “BusStop” [1956] hopping off her JohnnyGrey​hound and landing… amidst the RodeoRealt​ors™ & UnctuousUr​surers of the HillBillyR​iviera’s MidTown Car​nival ‘O Cornucopia…

…her tattered cardboard suitcase fiercely clutched against her bosom… her skirts billowing in the ChillAutumnBree​zes… a NeonCarousel of orange/sca​rlet frost-hewn leaves swirling about her feet… as she ponders a ‘FreshStar​t’.

Marilyn looks to the right… A PayDay Loan collateral​ized by her “SevenYear ​Itch” legacy wardrobe?..​.

She glances to the left… A NewCareer™ KickStarte​d by Cleavage???!!​!.​..

Yes!!!! Rea​lTress it is, then!…

No more diners and HonkyTonks for our Marilyn! It’s PentHouses & WaterFront​s only from here on in… [Cue: CondosAr​eAGirlsBes​tFriend… SMASHCUT: CandleInTh​eWind]

[No​teToEd: And Marilyn thought she was on to the BigTimes..​. alas, she’s just another PrettyGirl in a Window now… albeit, slightly less provocativ​ely displayed than is normativel​y the case in Amsterda​m. Same business, though. Whatever they tell you.Bus​Stop…]

No PropertyBordellos for Elaine TheArtist, though!… &Bravo!, Elaine. Bravo! [NoSarc Intended/I​mplied]

For​get about JadedMaril​yn’s BusStop.. We’re talking You​thEbullien​t’s CentenaryT​ribute to HappyTimes​… Or at least to HappierTim​es and BetterPros​pectsAhead​…

The WorthyDrea​ms of Efferevesc​entAdolesc​ent CivicPride​…

Just one little glitch though as, ironically​, Elaine’s canvas… once the adjoining wall of some lively local enterprise​…is, sadly, today…

…just another vacant lot… years on the market… years. DearReaders will note the Realtor’s™ signage including the poignant invitation​, “Owner Will Consider All Options” [one of which, if the property continues to languish will doubtless involve the EmergencyS​ervices and a Mortuary followed by a PostMortem and a CoronersRe​port].​..

[NoteToEd: Frame left is the now defunct JobCentre™​, also sitting vacant, ForLease!, and UnLoved but for the EverPopula​r InstaLoan​$™ franchise, the building’s solitary, visible remaining tenant… Woe is us.]

This is TooTooDepr​essing by far… perhaps we should stroll down a SideStreet​. GottaBe something Lively there, eh!??? Eh???

RapidPawn & FairRealty​?… Hmmm… I propose RapidRealt​y & FairPawn..​. either way, PoorOld RapidPawn is heading for that merciless Cashier’sC​age InT​heClouds..​. In their own words …

“If you are unable to pick up this month and roll you can pick up next month. We are sorry for any inconvenience. [Redacted] has done her very best to keep the store going for us and for you but the economy is such that it just isn’t working out.

Again we really hate to close, we have met some great people over the 17 years and will really miss you all.”

Ok.. That’s enough. Perhaps… Perhaps it’s time we sought Refuge&San​ctuary… A SpiritualR​espite from Mammon’sWe​rks. ShallWeThe​n?!….

Alas, not unlike the RapidPawns of the HillBillyR​iviera [legion though they be], All Good Things Must Come To An End… and as ends go, a HarvestFestival ChurchSocial and the LifeDevotional – “Spending It All On God” – ain’t so bad, at all. [NoteToEd: A fascinatin​g moral ‘ElevatorP​itch’, wouldn’t you agree?]

Albeit, whether persuading his congregant​s to part with either their financial or their spiritual capital on behalf of altruisic pursuits, I suspect that, somehow – in the current milieu – the GoodRevere​nd Turnbull’s work is more than cut out for him… Still, you’ve got to admire an optimist.

Speaking of EternalOpt​imists™ and TheAfterLi​fe… I often wonder what Visions ‘O Grandeur Lost dance, like ElusiveChr​istmasSuga​rPlums, through the tormented, sleep tossed nights ‘o the Realtors™, Developers​™, Speculator​s™ and other Ambitious SmoothOperators who so frequently seem to dominate these fora…

That would be the CityHall’s of this world… where those who would rather not, “Spend It All on God”… can experience anew that special circle of Hades even Dante would not dare to depict… where access to the MagicApproval of the ubiquitous Developmen​tPermitKio​sks is frequently smoothed by ProximalLobbying ‘o ThoseBushyTailed councillor​s… And Mayors, too – come to think of it!

Albeit, in some ‘burgs, like this one – a Mayor’s ‘ShelfLife​’ can frequently be measured in terms of AlternativePolitical​Opportunit​y…

For, as rumour has it, the HBR’s – to the eternal chagrin of his many municipal ‘sponsors’​ – is enthusiast​ically a ‘Courtin’Ch​risty’… With all his ardour.

So much so, his bags are practicall​y already packed for that MythicVoya​ge on the MagicCanoe to FantasyIsl​and’s…. Legislatur​eLost.

Well, never mind all that… if a SmallTownPolitico can survive the TribalInia​tionRites of his ProvincialBrethren and, subsequent​ly, the PerilousPoliticalPa​ssage to FabledFantasyIsl​and… there be other SugarPlums awaiting his patrons – the idle contractor​’s, architects and tradespeop​le of TheValleys.​.. PrisonsR’U​s, anyone?…

[NoteToEd: One things for sure, MendicantMayors of the HBR certainly won’t have any trouble pawning their Chains ‘o Office or organizing a PayDayLoan to smooth their transition to the BigTent… Heck, if they’re really lucky, they might even qualify for a complimentary Christy’Too or Two!]


[Images Ⓒ​2012 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

“Just Sign Here.”

These images from our indomitable correspondent, Nemesis, who also writes:
“They’re such strange cultural artifacts – the MassProduced “ManufacturedHomes” [and by extension the identikit developments marketed as “communities” comprised entirely of these structures].
These examples are to be found on the grounds of PresentationCentre… adjacent to the TransCanada Highway on the outskirts of SalmonArm.
There’s something vaguely disturbing about the whole tableau…. the “WhyRent” signage… as though, tacitly, we could expand upon the marketing enticement, “Home & Land Packages”… to read, “Home, Land & Family Packages!”…
Id est – it’s all right here… just waiting inside… for you.
Boxed. ShrinkWrapped. BarCoded.
The husband/wife, child, job, ‘life’ that you always wanted but which, until today, had somehow eluded you…
“Just sign here.”

For the uninitiated, Nemesis is responsible for the indispensable ‘Postcards From The Blast Radius‘ photo essay/poems. Since his last post, the periphery has marched further towards the centre.
Thanks, Nem!
(We highly recommend that you click on the photos to view them in large format glory.)
– vreaa

[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #15 (2012Teaser) – “Oki CourtOrdereds… LookLikeThis…‏”

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ2012 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #14 – Windsor – In the ‘RustBelt’ The RE Deals are…. “FingerLickin’Good”‏

Tecumseh Road, Windsor, Ontario, Summer 2011
Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #13 – “You’reInvited! GhostMalls ‘O TheOkanagan… by RSVP”

Ya know, the only problem with ‘NaganTouring in a 48 Pontiac Woodie (apart from occasionally having to deal with the irate/disconsolate ‘Darlings’ one neglected to invite) is that they’re Darn!ThirstyBeasts. Which means, sooner or later (usually, sooner) it’s FillErUP!Time… (as opposed to MillersTime – which one ought never to do when in charge of mechanical contrivances in motion; which, come to think it, as ‘catch-all phrases’ go – could include some rather unusual appliances; but I digress  [just this once. -ed.]).

Accordingly, following a recent sojourn exploring the ‘delights’ of Highway97’s assorted RoadSideAttractions/Signage. Imagine, just imagine ‘TheHorror!’ upon discovering that your BigBlockV8 is now reciprocating on mere vapour – and you’re about to experience the GloomyMisfortune of gliding into…

A GhostStation.

As in No SingingTexacoGuyz. No Pumps & Definitely NoGas.

Now, as it happens, there is a good reason why the current PesosPerLitre signage has been ‘blacked out’ at this PitStop…

And it just might have something to do… with whatever it is that’s on the other side of that hoarding. Let’s have a look, shall we?

OhGoodie! RSVP! Have we just been invited to Partay!… @UrbanLiving?

But, “Hey! Just a minute now – this is WestBank. So where the Heck’s The’Urban’?”

Leaving that issue aside, for the moment, upon closer inspection (the kind that reveals the spreading cracks in this faded DevelopersDreamSignage) we discover that this is, regrettably, yet another incitement to ClimbAboard the PreSalesCondoTrain.

Albeit… in this particular instance, a superfluous/obsolete ‘invitation’. For, not surprisingly given the region, the CondoDreams of UrbanLiving’s Montréal QC Developer DevMcGill®, are… Defunct.

Of course, as with all such disappointments… There are consequences.

For example, there are a lot more WestBankers hand-washing their cars themselves these days…

And, more’s the pity, no chance to reprise BackToTheFuture’s superlative retro ‘50’s ‘FullService’ sequence either.

So. What’s an aspiring WestBank, BreakingBad, ‘WalterWhite’ type – looking for a cash business to masquerade his horticultural earnings – to do? Especially, when you allow that the only ‘vacant’ CarWash/GasStation in town is frozen in legal limbo.

‘Better Call Sol’, I guess. Unless…

Yeah! There is a restaurant. Heck, there’s a WholeDarnedStripMall!

Loads ‘a possibilities here! Could work.

Hmmm. Better check out those interiors, though – cause ya never know, do ya. Caveat emptor, and all that stuff.

Ah. Just as well we decided to Peek‘nPoke… Judging by the abandoned air mattress, broken glass and somewhat haphazard arrangement of dusty colonial furnishings – what was once a popular restaurant has been reduced to a temporary refuge for the circumspect (but, presumably, handy with tools) homeless.

Just look at all those stacked/discarded menus. One can almost see them now… The Wives n’ Daughters of The’Nagan. Those effusively fulsome and ebulliently perky purveyors of GrilledSurf&Turf! Rushing to and fro, juggling enormous platters and steaming stainless pot’s ‘o java. Each and every gal lovingly adorned in a fetching, freshly scrubbed ‘PeachQueen@TheProm’ themed ‘CattleCountry’ uniform.

Well, it’s a nostalgic thought, ain’t it?

Yep, “CattleCountry” it once was… but, sadly, there ain’t no RibEyes, Tbones or Lobster a sizzlin’ here. Anymore.

Still – it does afford us a splendid excuse/opportunity to explore the broader implications…

‘Cause, “CattleCountry”, as any aspiring actor could tell ya, or for that matter, anyone who’s ever experimented with OnLineDating in the ‘hinterlands’… is, subliminally at least, an apt moniker for a ‘Nagan eatery.

Even an abandoned one.

And here’s why – because it is also suggestive of that apt turn of phrase from ‘TheShowBiz’, “The Cattle Call”.

So, getting right down to the NittyGritty – it doesn’t take an enormous leap of imagination to equate a Developers’ clarion invitation to StrokeTheSteel & GraspTheGranite to a casting director’s MassAudition (usually to find the perfect DancingTomato, for ‘scale’). Or, for that matter, to the OnLine Catalogues ‘o The Forlorn maintained by the FieldsMedal winning entrepreneurs of SocialMedia. [we’re still with ya, but only just. – ed.]

Regardless, it all amounts to pretty much the same thing… The aggregated exploitation of the ‘vulnerable’ and/or blissfully ignorant.

And, more specifically, the relentless commoditization of people and their dreams.

Well, at the risk of driving a “Steak” through the Heart ‘o those dreams… (or barricading them with welded steel security grilles)… The ‘answer’ just might be…

That some things are best left ‘unsold’. Not hyped. Not marketized. Not ‘traded’.

..& lest we collectively succumb to the temptation of ‘BlameCasting’, however… how about a little reflexive introspection first?

In the LookingGlass. All of us.

For, to quote the MostEstimable Chinese President Hu JinTao’s enthusiastic address to an impressive assembly of the PartyFaithful earlier this year:

“We must go deep down. We must immerse ourselves in the reality!”

“Good night, and good luck” [google that, All – you’ll like it.]


Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]


[Once in a while, it’s good to give your brain a workout. Keeps you ‘agile’. -ed.]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #12 – “Quality, Quality, Quality!” Or “WhenDreamsGoBust…”

Has it been three years… or just two? Hmmm… I’ve rather lost count. Regardless, this abandoned forest ‘o rebar is surprisingly situated within ‘spitting distance’ of Penticton’s OhSoTony Yacht&TennisClub! (yes, they have those in the HillyBillyRiviera, too)… Apparently, the CourtOrderedSale didn’t quite work out. Never mind, DearReaders! – let’s go ‘walkies’, shall we!??

Now, look carefully and you’ll notice rebar sprouting from this lot, too – albeit they’re more like asparagus tips than the RealSteel … This partially developed/vacant lot was originally purposed for a companion dwelling to the structure visible in the background… Hmm. I wonder what it’s called – I must confess, I’m rather partial to that whole SouthWest/Pueblo thang…

Ah! They called it TheArizona!… Now that was prescient. Best of all, it isn’t just an ordinary old case of “NowSelling” – they’ve gone one better and declared it, “NowPreselling!”. I wish them luck. But here’s the thing – when Developers are compelled to go the “ComFree” route… you KNOW times are hard.

Yikes!… That is SO the biggest WeatherWane I have ever seen. I know, DearReaders – you mistook that erection for a crane on an active site. Truth be told, it hasn’t functioned as a crane in at least two years. But it does accurately indicate wind direction and I am reliably informed that it is sufficiently conspicuous to the “OnFinal” NetJetJockeys BarrellRolling in on the ApproachPath to CYYF’S RunWay16 to serve as such…
At least it’s useful.
Still, I wonder what this one was called… Let’s peek!

‘Ashley’s Dream’. One almost yearns to know… who was Ashley?… The Developer’s daughter?… Their MainSqueeze??? Their MaMa? Their Commercial Loans Officer?
Or was “Ashley’sDream” merely the febrile ‘hookline’ of a Down&Out CondoHype CopyWriter struggling to make good on his tab at “TheDecoy”.
We’ll probably never know.
But you’ve got to love that tagline…
“Quality, Quality, Quality”!
Alas, sometimes: dreams -> nightmares.

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #11 – HollyWoodNorth’s GulagArchipelago – The LakeCityBurnaby Commercial RE Glut

Wow! There’s an ‘Elephant in the room’… And in Burnaby, no less!

And a TigerShark… dining!
(NoteToSelf: ‘Doing Lunch’ with sharks inevitably ends poorly.)

And how about this forlorn, rusting sentinel…?

RazorWire? In the Lower Mainland?

Everything you’ve just seen (and will see) was photographed, “OnLocation!” in Beautiful Burnaby’s LakeCity & environs.

Our explorations begin with a very special and particularly privileged corporate EconomicMigrant peculiar to BC’s LML… The ‘RunAway’ HollyWood Production.

Ooooh, Goody!!! HollyWoodNorth at work!… Or as the BurnabyHillBillies are wont to say, “MovieStars&SwimmingPools!” Let’s go have a look, shall we?

Darn&DoubleDarn… No celebrities and PublicParking’s a little scarce. Fortunately, we’re on foot today.

Hmm… No Stars here, either! – but somewhere, somebody’s definitely making a killing on OrangeTrafficCones and associated signage.

Definitely no ‘parking chaos’ on this BackLot (and as it turns out, no “Chaos” anymore either – but we’ll get back to that in a moment).

Yep. Ain’t no doubt ‘bout it. Them HollyWoodNorth Moguls – rather like their CounterParts in the CityOfAngels – just love designated private parking spots. But, Hey!? What’s that BigOrangeSign in the background all about?

That’s what. The RazorWireEconomy of vacant, disused industrial & commercial space (and by implication, vanishing enterprise, transient jobs & ‘DisposableWorkers’).

Indeed, although this particular venue was briefly resurrected as a temporary sound stage and production facility for the short-lived CBS television series, “Chaos”… Only 13 episodes and about as many weeks later and it’s just one more, “HereToday & GoneTomorrow”, “NowLeasing!” story.

And that, DearReaders is how it usually works in HollyWoodNorth – where indigenous production is virtually non-existent and the principal attractions to foreign producers of ’run-away’ productions were the Loonie@.65USD, weak local craft guilds and generous public subsidies.

So. There it is. Your visual harbinger of the HollowedOut, ‘MovieSet’/Facade economy so emblematic of our province’s graft-ridden, peculiar political economy of Construction&RealEstate, HumanTrafficking and ‘Horticulture’.

A terrible pity. And as for that forest of superfluous DesignatedParkingSignage? Well, never mind – because it makes great kindling for the CampFires ‘O The HomeLess who actually inhabit the parklands nearby.

Nothing screams out, “OpenForBusiness!” like barbed wire, chainlink and DisposableWorkers on picket duty. All that’s missing are the Pinkertons.

OK – so here’s the skinny on LakeCity’s vacant industrial/commercial premises – and it’s hardly a, ‘solitary building here&there’ kind ‘o thing… Warning: you might want to flip through these “quickly” – ‘cause there sure are a lot of them!

It’s simply amazing how quickly it adds up… 1200SqFt up there…

Becomes 2200 SqFt over here…

5,500 SqFt down the street…

10,463 SqFt around the corner…

12,500 SqFt KittyKorner from SkyTrain ‘University’…

To 15,500 SqFt…

To 60,000 SqFt…

To 63,000 SqFt (in this instance, former home to “Chaos”). See where this is going?…

Indeed, some developments have so much vacant space on offer – they have circumspectly chosen not to advertise the available square footage…

OK – this is just one district in Burnaby. If we throw in the rest of the LML – how many Millions ‘O Square Feet of commercial space are currently sitting vacant?

Sadly, and with few exceptions, the only thing growing around these industrial premises and accompanying LeasingEnticements is the grass.

As most of you have already surmised – each one of these vacant properties was once home to a business. And although Nemesis knows the ‘ordinary’ businesses that once occupied these premises don’t enjoy the Cachet/Buzz ‘o ShowBiz, they did for the most part, provide people with worthwhile, stable employment of a type not found in the GlamIndustries.

Perhaps there’s a lurking labour economist or econometrician in the audience who could provide us with a rough guide to the solution of: (x)[SqFtVacant] = (y)[JobsGone] ???

The SmallPrint on this Cushman&Wakefield signage reads, “Global Real Estate Solutions” – and that’s your next clue… Hmm. Perhaps it should say, “Arbitrage” instead of “Solutions”? Works with people and, apparently, RE too.

Ok – this is way too depressing. Time to board SkyTrain and GetGoin’.

Oops. SkyTrain’s ProductionWayUniversity Station is rubbing our noses in it, too. Three years after completion and they’re still flogging space in this development. Well, at least some of that OfficeSpace is furnished (locally sourced & ‘lightly used’ LakeCity disposals, ‘Nem’ wonders?).

Even TheResidentials’ are vying for our eyeballs & a piece of the action. To wit, a transit bench featuring the balding, collective rictus of ColdWellBanker’s “LoveTeam”.

Wandering towards the escalator and trying to ignore the commercial hoardings – for my own private amusement I briefly envisage LakeCity’s FarFuture…

A park like landscape where FlyingCars compete for AirSpace with children’s Frisbees … Where SFU’s Industrial & Urban Archaeologists of tomorrow are momentarily perplexed upon discovering the corroded remnants of sentinels, elephants, and a tiger shark… beneath a discarded transit shelter apparently dedicated to the Arcane&Taboo Rituals of RE’s “LoveTeam”.

Yikes! Startled BackToReality by yet more RezCouture/RE AgitProp.
I guess that when it comes to Vancouver, there’s really no escaping it.

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #10 – The Okanagan Bust – “The GreatConflagration ‘O HospitalHill & Other OkiTales ‘O ‘SpontaneousCombustion'”

It could be your SmokeDetector going off in the WeeWee’s ‘O TheNight… A building AlarmActivation – or maybe even a FranticNeighbour BANGING! on your door. This is when CrossStreets are important – Life&Death important.
Know yours. Because, when you ReallyNeed the EmergencyServices and you’re doing the ‘911Dance’ you may be too stressed to blurt out a street number. Knowing your cross street will enable a faster response time. And sometimes, seconds count.

Here’s the thing, DearReaders – Housing Booms&Busts come laden with externalities. UnintendedConsequences. BlowBack. And, not infrequently…   BackDraft!
Witness the OhSoMany SadTales ‘O Detonation, Conflagration & Deflagration that have occupied our Metro & Regional HeadLines these past couple’o years. From CoalHarbourYachts to NewBuildCondo’s in Surrey&Richmond to every second restaurant on a certain stretch of Broadway near Main.
Even in the best ‘o times, careless people do stupid things and stressed people do careless things. But… in the worst ‘o times??? Well, financially stressed and/or inherently DishonestPeople do criminal things – and they do them more often.

[Disclaimer: OK, there’s nothing intrinsically funny about “Fire!”. So, please forgive ‘Nem’ for penning a serious piece. And we have no special knowledge of whether crimes should be suspected in these cases. Fortunately, no one perished at the SkyLine or in any of Nem’s subsequent examples ‘o Okanagan ‘SpontaneousCombustion’. Let’s hope it stays that way.]

Our story begins here… Welcome to Vernon’s SkyLine Apartments!
The astute among you will notice the PoliceTape and the charred, skeletal remnants of furnishings strewn about the lawn…

Ah yes. That would be why.
Let’s step back a few months and experience the event’s ‘frisson’, shall we?…

[VernonStar – February 25, 2011 12:06 PM] – “Firefighters remain on scene of a major apartment building fire on Vernon’s Hospital Hill. Flames and smoke engulfed the structure on 31A Street at about 5 a.m. Friday, forcing about 52 people to flee into temperatures that dipped to -17. “As soon as the guys left the department, they could see it,” said Dean Wakefield, fire investigator. Firefighters from Vernon, Okanagan Landing, BX-Swan Lake and Coldstream converged on the scene. “We’re protecting exposures,” said Lawrie Skolrood, Vernon deputy fire chief. Emergency Social Services personnel also responded and tenants were being sheltered in the Vernon Jubilee Hospital cafeteria. A cause for the fire has not yet been determined.”

Damage was extensive.

No part of the SkyLine escaped unscathed, not even the ConcreteCarPark.

Indeed, from one end to the other – the entire expanse ‘o the Skyline’s TopFloor was ‘crisped’.

On the BrightSide though, Vernon’s Jubilee Hospital was certainly close at hand!

On the NotSoBrightSide… At least one SkyLine occupant remains unaccounted for. Rorey.


…back in Kelowna – another OptimisticDeveloper is putting the FinishingTouches on his ParticleBoard MagnumOpus… or is he?

Actually, that would be a resounding, “No”…

[BCLOCALNE​WS: Updated: April 11, 2011 1:42 PM] – “Residents of the Laurentian Heights 3 condominiu​m building at 1405 Kelglen were collecting what personal belongings they could this afternoon after a fire swept through part of the complex at about 4 a.m. Sunday. The Kelowna Fire Department​’s initial response included 21 firefighte​rs, four fire engine trucks, two ladder trucks a Rescue truck, and one command unit. Another 45 career and paid on-call staff were recalled to the scene and to also help maintain firefighting crews for other emergencie​s. Upon their arrival, firefighte​rs were greeted by well involved fire on a balcony of a unit in the southeast corner of the building. It quickly spread into the attic area and throughout the upper part of the building, causing extensive damage to the roof and top floors in the south end of the building.”

Something about those ParticleBoardMansions… Once those flames get going…

They just…



And while we’re talkin’, “Spreading” –
“What’s all this doing on MainStreet Osoyoos?”

[OSOYOOS TIMES – May 4, 2011 – By Paul Everest] – “The Osoyoos Times has confirmed that an 18-year-old Osoyoos man arrested in connection to a fire that destroyed two Main Street businesses on May 1 had ties to one of the devastated businesses. Police announced on the evening of May 2 that they had arrested a man late the night before in Osoyoos in connection to the fire. The fire is being treated as suspicious in nature at this time, police added. The Times has learned that the suspect in police custody is Phoenix Lonsdale, a man who the owner of the Osoyoos Christian Ministry thrift store, which was destroyed in the blaze, said had begun playing a piano in the store on a volunteer basis the week before the fire broke out. Lonsdale’s foster mother confirmed to the Times on May 3 that her foster son had been arrested. He is charged with committing arson and appeared in court on May 3 and is scheduled to return to court on May 9.
The fire broke out before 9 a.m. on May 1 and gutted the Osoyoos Christian Ministry church and thrift shop and the Dollar Smart Discount. No one was injured.”

Those Thermoplastic Resins… They don’t like heat.

DryWall & Plaster Lathing doesn’t always fare that well, either.

The Banks always seem to escape unscathed. It’s so unfair!

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #9 – The Okanagan Bust – ‘Roadside Attractions On Highway 97’

What, it’s raining you say!  And you haven’t the time or the ‘wherewithal’ to LoadUp the FamilyWagon and RegalInTheSplendour of SuperNaturalBC!…  No fear, DearReaders! – ‘Nemesis’ was able to secure the loan of a 48Pontiac Woodie…  So…  What ya waitin’ for!?  Hop In!  Cause, we’re gonna MotorThe’97! [if you’re feeling musical – go ahead and put the B52’s “Love Shack” into your 8Track]…

Yes!  The Okanagan ’97 Westside Road Interchange!  Like the sign says, it’s “The Best Place On Earth”!  And when has BC’s Department of Highways ever lied to you???

Yep!  SceneryGalore! [Look harder, it’s really there! – albeit, the hoardings do at times make it a tad difficult to appreciate]…

Pretty soon we’re coming across evidence of DealsGalore!  Yes! Galore! [Nem just loves that word].

See!?  “BlowOut!” Yes!  “BlowOutPricing!”.  Although evidently, this particular enticement has thus far proven unsuccessful – given that it was replaced last week with New! EvenMoreSpectacular! Signage.

And when you’re finally ready to PullTheTrigger on that Sweet Oki Deal – these Gals will help ya do it!…  Ok, Nem admits that he was first attracted to this particular BillBoard by the astonishing resemblance of MortgageBroker Deb White to actress/comedian Tina Fey.  More to the point though, it serves beautifully as an illustration of the nefariously pervasive (and socially corrosive) Culture ‘O Celebrity.

But it’s not just Celebrity they’re SellingYou.  They’re really in the business of promoting TheDream.  See?  Just look at that HappyCouple!!! Happy, because they’ve “Experience[d] the Advantages of Working with an EXECUTIVE!

And if RealtyExecutives doesn’t do ‘it’ for ya…  Well, Darn!  There’s always SUPERMAN!  Better known as Les York (of King Remax’s RoundTable).  Damn!  That guy looks so sauve I wouldn’t let him within 10Km of my Squeeze!…  Sincere, too!  And what a LogLine! “Les gets you MORE!

Of course, not all Oki RE ‘players’ are in the game for ‘accommodation’…  I’ll bet you’d be DarnSurprised to know that many of these astute PropertyOwners are actually INVESTORS!  And that’s where Dustin, Davis & Sean come in…  You could be forgiven for mistaking them for a BoyBand – but these guyz actually ManageProperty.

Ok. Now it’s starting to get a little scary.  “Kelowna Born & Raised”?  Please forgive ‘Nemesis’, Kathy – but that logline is more evocative of livestock provenance and/or BBQ potential than profession​​al competence​​/commerci​a​l savvy.  Indeed, ‘Nem’ is surprised that the copywriter didn’t add ‘FreeRange​​’ and/or ‘GrainFed’ to Kathy’s list ‘O NoteWorthy Achievements/Attributes.  Or, at the very least, exploit the ‘fervour’ of an important local demographic with a little ‘tweak’ along the lines of, “Kelowna BornAgain & Raised!”.

OK, ‘Nem’ disclaimer.  Hot brunettes are…  Well… UltraHot!  And when their stage name is “Lovin”.  They’re SmokingHot!   But why couldn’t Alina’s parents have gone WholeHog – and just called her Lotta!  What other Realtor could compete with that?  Just imagine, DearReaders – stepping into your new LottaLovin’ Home!

On the ProsaicSide however, we have Mr. Allan Taylor.  You will note the clever italicization of “IS”.  So, bonus points to Allan for typographical simplicity.  Still, there’s something to be said for ‘telling it straight’, without flourish (as VREAA constantly reminds me!!!).  So in all honesty, if ‘Nem’ were seeking agency – he would certainly include Allan on the UsualSuspects list of Realtors to interview (albeit, he’d have a tough time competing for Nem’s attention with his RegionalRival, LottaLovin!).

Now – I know you’ve all heard those stories about ‘difficult’ trading conditions in BC’s Interior RE markets.
Guess what!?  They’re true.
Indeed, things are so bad that Macdonald Realty Okanagan South has had to diversify into other ‘lines’.

Ah yes.  This is the Okanagan.  And, believe it or not, there are plenty more where this one came from.  Albeit, whereas most RegionalIndigenes are patiently waiting for an as yet unrealized ‘spiritual experience​’ – untold legions of UnderWater OkanaganPr​opertyOwne​rs have unquestion​ably already had their ‘ComeToJes​usMoment’.

Speaking of which…  A faded and cryptic GuidePost to us all!  Hey, Art is where you find it.

As ever, DearReaders.  Thank you!

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]


PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #8 – The Okanagan Bust – ‘Tuscany Villas’, Shields Down!

Lower your shields and surrender your Deposits!
We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own! Your culture will adapt to service us!

Arriving at first light,  I chanced upon ‘TuscanyVillas’ on one of those rare moments when its Shields were down!

[From the ‘Tuscany Villas’ website: “…a collection of 84 exclusive condo units on the edge of Okanagan lake. The location means unobstructed views of the specatcular [sic] landscape.”“Construction of this West Kelowna landmark is underway. Register today to become a Tuscany Villas insider.”“Now is a great time to buy; with all indicators showing an end to the recent pricing and sales reductions, this is the perfect time to buy into your future home or investment property.” – ed.]

‘Nemesis’ doesn’t know whether those concrete columns and embellishm​ents are structural – or merely ‘decorativ​e’ – but it did remind him of the Revelstoke Dam’s Hydro-Power-Generation Hardware…

Why ‘Tuscan’?.. Holy Moley! Hey! Way up there at the top… Are those miniature Etruscan Arches? Was our Developer a student of Architectural History, or did he just spontaneously decide to Embellish? … or perhaps his inspiration flowed from a stay at the Vegas ‘Venetian’?

Postscript: On retiring, a mere stones throw away from ‘TuscanyVillas’, we note something even more disturbing than the Borg Presence… this lonely, incomplete (or possibly abandoned) private home.  ‘Fortress at Monte Cassino’?…

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #7 – The Okanagan Bust – The AtlantisVernon! – AddamsFamilyValues or Keeping Up With The Munsters?

Remember them? Well, GuessWhat!
One StunninglySpooky! yet ‘inexplicably’ SadlyAbandoned Vernon CondoDevelopment has undeniably earned a certain Deve​loper this year’s “AddamsFam​ilyValues” LifeTimeAchievement Award!
As you will shortly see, when it comes to ‘Keeping Up With the Munsters!’, a crucial and heretofore​ neglected OkanaganNicheMarket has – FINALLY! – in a single stroke of PureMarketingGenius!, been ‘redoubtably’ facilitated.
Pity it didn’t ‘quite’ work out quite as planned… Let’s have a look, shall we!?

Well… First things first. ‘Nemesis’ cannot tell a lie (at least not convincingly). Here’s the thing, I have no idea what the ‘subject’ Development was or is actually called. And it’s certainly not for lack of trying. But alas, in one of those rare instances of DeveloperForesight, all project signage and ‘incriminating’ evidence of provenance (both physical & the ElectronicallyEphemeral) have been assiduously swept from the face ‘o TheEarth.
Accordingly, looking for a convenient tag, ‘Nemesis’ hastened upon this ProminentHoarding (as they are called in ‘Blighty’) for his inspiration; reasoning, that being conveniently situated within millimeters! YesMillimeters! of the SpookyCondoSiteBoundary it was ‘fair game’.
So, – working on the unverified assumption that the Vernon Atlantis WaterSlides ThemePark people had nothing whatsoever to do with the derelict development adjoining their facility – ‘Nemesis’ extends his abject, humble and profuse apologies to the AtlantisWaterslides owners and management.
There. Done.

Yikes! DoubleYike​s!!
Let’s see now, how did that jingle go?… Ah yes!
Here it is!
DearReaders, click on that for a little SitComNostalgia/‘MoodMusic’, start snapping your fingers and try substituting Nem’s lyric instead (with apologies to Will Van Dyke)…
They’​re creepy and they’re kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They’re all together ooky, The ‘Lantis ‘Condomies’. T​he Site’s a mausoleum… Where people come to see ’em… They really are a scream… The ‘Lantis Travesty. Neat. Sweet. Petite! So get a Realtors’™ shawl on… A Lexus you can crawl on… We’re gonna pay a call on… Some Vernon Anomie!

Well now – no mistaking that message! Let’s try another avenue of approach…

OOOPS! Maybe not this way either. Hmmm… I’ve GotIt! Let’s ‘sneak’ around the back!

Yikes, again! There’s more of them! A lot more of them – however, unlike their brethren facing the ’97… they don’t look all that bad.
Quite salvageable, really – wouldn’t you agree?
But do let’s CarryOn – with our site circumnavigation…

And there it is!
In the parlance of PropertyPimps everywhere, ‘that’ would be TheView.
Foreground is the AtlantisWaterslides ThemePark Hoarding, followed by Highway 97 and thence, TheMightyExpanse of SwanLake & environs (ballet optional at additional cost).

Wait! There’s more!
Check out this fascinating display of concrete art… Originally intended, ‘Nem’ suspects, as a thematically consistent CascadingWaterfall and GrandApproach to the crenellated Redoubts & Turrets that anchor either side of this Development.
On the other hand – it could be a convenient and hasty ‘final resting place’ for anyone affiliated with the project who failed to satisfy the Financiers’ stringent repayment schedule (or as it is also known in certain ‘ConstructionFinance’ circles – ‘TheVig’) subsequent to its demise.

And as we step back to, “take it all in”… and prior to waving goodbye…
Wait!!! Wait just one darn minute!!! What’s that???
The music??? The laughter??? All those FlutteringBats emerging from the Turrets/Redoubts…
How could I have missed them! Yes!

Go on then, DearReaders! – click on THIS
And find out just how much fun TheMunsters are having in their ‘NeatPetiteSuite’ @ TheAtlantisVernon…
Be careful, though – you might want to buy one, too!!!

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #6 – The Okanagan Bust – “WhaddoWeCall It?… ‘Indigo’!”

Have you ever wondered just how it is that the ‘Creatives’ (or in ‘budget’ cases, the Developer’s SiliconeAugmented BFF) choose a ProjectMoniker? ‘Nemesis’ certainly has. My favourite working theory is that somewhere, buried deep within their Id (or, if you prefer, their repressed/unrecovered childhood memories) lurks a Movie!… A GrandMetaNarrative of such NaughtyPossibilities that it’s synaptic persistence is eternally assured – and unpredictable as to exactly how and/or when it ‘surfaces’. For example, once upon a time in the HollyWood of ‘yore’ – a rather taboo subject was addressed… and, appropriately enough, entitled – Mandingo!
Now, it’s certainly catchy! Let’s see, three syllables – easy on the ears, not too difficult to pronounce…
The screenwriter’s teaser for the production: “Expect the savage. The sensual. The shocking. The sad. The powerful. The shameful. Expect all that the motion picture screen has never dared to show before. Expect the truth. Now you are ready for ‘Mandingo’.”
Hmm? Bit racy though, eh what!?? And a questionable array of Subtext… Bondage! Slavery! Infidelity! UnBRidledNakedPassion!!! So maybe, ‘Mandingo’ isn’t quite what we’re looking for …

Bingo!!!! We call it, “Indigo!!!” Doesn’t mean a damn thing – won’t offend anyone and sounds OhSoAuCurrent!!!!… DoneDeal!!!!

And so it was, ‘Done’ – or at least the FlutteringPennants! Now here’s a Ontological Conundrum to tease your InnerExistentialist!:
“In the absence of human observation/cognition do a development’s LonelyFlutteringPennants signify ‘actual’ existence or merely an illusion of actuality?”

Well, I tell a lie… The Developer of this Osoyoos project did actually put together a presentation centre, of sorts…

Indeed – no expense was spared as regards signage/typographical branding! Just check out that ‘g’!!!!

Unfortunately, signage & a shack or two, here and there… is as far as ‘Indigo’ ever got. Indeed, the PresentationCentre has sadly become yet another case of abandonment. And now – all that remains are the memories… and fluttering, tattered awnings and plywood decking strewn with shattered glass.

OHyES!!! And these two, lonely, abandoned ATCO trailers… which Nemesis presumes were intended to create the illusion of ACTIVITY… or at least, imminent construction!

Which, considering the shoreline, pastoral views, and beautiful ‘shrubbery’/foliage… bulldozing the site and pouring concrete would have been a genuine shame/spoiler (if handled indelicately – as these things so often are). So, perhaps ‘failure to proceed’ isn’t such a great loss/shame, after all…

Well, There it is! The only thing built on the site. This is the obverse view of the ProudProject Signage. DearReaders will note the presence of secondary signage courtesy of CBRE notifying other, more adventurous Developers of a ‘NewOpportunity’ to acquire same… With, best ‘o all!, a ‘NewPrice!’…

And this is what that sign must have looked like as it beckoned the WineBesotted, GoldChain wearing Throngs to the GrandOpening CockTailSoiree..

Meanwhile – back at the ‘site’ perimeter, we see yet more signage… advertising the availability of a pristine and ready to go Waterfront acreage just BEGGING for some entrepreneurial genius to resurrect TheDream!… And you will note that this particular Terrifying&Pityless ProtoRealtor of OgoPogo’s name is…: ‘Hack’…? Sometimes, MotherNatu​re can be cruelly funny. At least ‘Hack’ is not a scribbler/journo!

So, next time out.. Nem suggests they go with Racy! With Taboo! With Controversial!!!! What if they had called it “Mandingo!”… and what a TagLine, eh? “The Primeval Rhythm of Life!”
I suppose we’ll never know. 😉

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]


[Advisory: Readers who don’t ‘get’ Nem or are perturbed by his riffs should simply skip these posts. Having said that, Nothing that Nem says should disturb one more than a glance at the market. – vreaa]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #5 – The Okanagan Bust – CrewMan#6 – WhenTheWriterDoesn’tGiveYouAName… & “NewRules!” for ‘NowSelling’…

I’ll bet you thought Nemesis was kidding when he told you there was a development in the HillBillyRiviera that proudly boasted “Lavish” not “Luxury” ‘ResidentialCondos (is there any other kind?) in its promotional signage.  Well, “Ha! Ha! I say to to you!”  Because here it is.  Atypically, the Developer and or their marketing team neglected to ‘name’ this project – opting instead merely to refer to it by its street address.  Now, Nemesis doesn’t know much about the business of property development – but when it comes to ‘story development’???  Let’s just say that if a writer doesn’t think it’s worth assigning a name to a character; that character is normatively ‘toast’ well before the conclusion of ‘ActOne’.  As in the fabled ‘CrewMan#6‘ of any early StarTrek episode (see also Sam RockWell in GalaxyQuest!)…

In the splendid tradition of BillMaher’s, “NewRules” (and the EponymousCondoHype! of YVR BloggingHall ‘O Fame) – Nemesis proposes a ‘NewRule’ of his own for developer’s project signage…  1. When you’ve been flogging it for more than 3 months… all references to “NowSelling” must be eradicated.

Oh yes, 240 WadeWest, to the best of Nemesis’ occasionally faulty recollection, has been in ‘NowSelling!’ mode for well over 2 years…

Now, “Don’tTouchThatDial!”  DearReaders… for a VREAA/Nemesis RoyalConnubialDoubleHeader! is coming to a certain ExistentialistsEssential&Quintessential YVR RE BlogNearYou!… ThisFriday!…
FeaturePresentation: ” ‘RegalRidge’ Meets Harry&TheEricksons!”  And!  A BonusTreat (or is that TrickOrTreat?) FollowUp, Boyz ‘N Girlz with Sunday’s FeaturePresentation:  “TheAtlantisVernon! – AddamsFamilyValues or KeepingUpWithTheMunsters?”  So,StayTuned!

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

[Readers (including ‘Fred’) who are perturbed, flabberghasted, demoralized, infuriated, or overwhelmed by Nemesis’ ‘BlastRadius Series’, are, of course, welcome to simply skip these posts.
We will point out, however, that, in extraordinary times, people are driven to produce extraordinary things. And, also, that it is not unusual for that which is closest to the truth to come disguised in words of bizarre jest. – vreaa

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #4 – The Okanagan Bust – TheColossusOfWestBank & TheTerrifying&Pityless ProtoRealtors™ of OgoPogo!

Observed from a distance… at first glance I thought – perchance – Tosh! mere EarthWorks… but upon careful reflection… I realized. Realized the astonishing Truth!… It was a BurialMound! ‘THE’ BurialMound!… of the fabled Terrifying&Pityless ProtoRealtors™ of OgoPogo!

And what!?? Yes! What?… was that strange edifice on the distant horizon????

And then… I saw them… Faded HieroGlyphs of the fearsome ProtoRealtors of OgoPogo!…
If I wasn’t worried before, I was certainly WORRIED now. What next, I speculated… what next?

Fluff! Fluff? WTF?….
Standing upon… the ThreshHold of AncientRuins? Ruins of a LostCivilization? ‘Nemesis’ momentaril​y reflected, “To what bestial purpose?” – and then.. TheGrandStartle!
Yes! Startled! by the sound of distant drums!!!
And then they came!

Chanting!​ Gyrating! Naked!
The Terrifying&Pityless ProtoRealt​ors of OgoPogo!!!​… together with their sacrificial offerings to TheGreatSerpentOfTheLake.
Untold legions of captive FTB’s! Bound&Marinaded!
How they screamed!.. Begged for mercy!…
Frantically Struggling and Straining to free themselves from the DebtBondage of onerous PSA’s & 0Down VR ClosedMortgages… With obligatory HELOCS!
But – Alas, ToNoAvail.​..
TheHorror. TheHorror. TheHorror.

A gruesome spectacle ensued… of such blood-curdling malevolent, hideous violence that even today, sometimes in the darkest recesses of night… Nemesis still awakens in a cold sweat..,
The victims’ screams echoing… echoing…
Altogether, more terrifying than ANYTHING you could possibly imagine! Anything.
TheFluff. TheFluff. TheFluff… of ‘stuff’…
Whey will they learn?

And now, a brief ‘homage’ to the RealArtistes of TheColossusOfWestBank…
‘primitiveWannabe’ Banksies…
You know who you are…
Keep Spraying. For truly, it is ‘Opus Dei’…

More seriously, all this was the prelude to a failed BluffTop housing development…. and the Ruins were apparently the ‘staging’ for what must surely have been the GrandestOfTheGrand of ExtravagantPreSales Offerings…
All Brought to you by ExciteHomes. The Principals of ExciteHomes are gone now and out of respect for their sorrow/shame, ‘Nemesis’ will not reveal (albeit he does know) their current whereabouts/circumstances… But RestAssured, VREAA readers… it is a CautionaryTale of the UtMostMagnitude!…

Ah… Some of you were wondering about Nemesis’ veracity… re: TheDrums… the ThunderousBeatingDrums of OgoPogo!
Well, here they are. And, Yes – They’re Toxic.
and, apart from the GrandStaging… these are all that remain…
‘Nemesis’, having neglected to come equipped with HAZMAT gear did NOT venture too closely…
Ergo, for the time being – at least – the contents of TheDrums of the Terrifying&PityLess ProtoRealtors of OgoPogo shall go unremarked…

And so, our tale concludes… But, TruthBeTold – TheColossus is (Sacreligiously & CockPosterously!) ACTUALLY situated adjacent to the GenuineArticle…
A real – sacred – burial ground.
Well, Boyz&Girlz…
It all ends like this. If you’re lucky, your loved ones (& others you never knew were ‘loved ones’) will remember you fondly…
So… please strive for excellence and try to FightTheGoodFight!
In between, have some Fun… and do what you can…


Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #3 – The Okanagan Bust – “Life Revolves Around You!”

From the WebSite:
“Welcome to Centre Point, where Life & Style are perfectly in sync.”
[NemNote: When you allow that the developer’s market timing was apparently rather less than ‘in sync’ with condo-newbie appetites – it’s just as well that they got the ‘Life&Style’ thing right. Nemesis wonders though, which elements of life are ‘synchronous/analagous’ with/to vinyl extrusions and particle board? The Coprological?]
“Located in Kelowna’s ‘picturesque’ South Glenmore, this idyllic setting means you don’t have to compromise location for convenience.”
“Only moments from everywhere you want to be, but away from what you leave behind – never before has there been an address that offers it all.” [unlike, say – Buckingham Palace?]
“A true urban [!?] retreat. Centre Point brings new, affordable and ‘luxurious’ rental apartment living to the centre of Kelowna.”
[‘Nem’Note: Do WagCondoCopyWriters/Hypers contest amongst themselves to see who can weave the most glaring oxymorons and cliche into ‘ThePitch’?]

Have a close look at that signage, Boyz ‘n Girlz – you’ll notice that the rental offer is, in fact, a recent vinyl ‘appliqué’ – the obvious intent, to camouflage (or mask, if you prefer) the development’s quasi-mystical transubstantiation from ‘ownership’ to ‘rental’. What will they think of next!?

For a development purportedly nearing completion and with a projected tenant occupancy timeline of ‘June-ish’… there was an astonishing dearth of visible activity on the CentrePoint site. But never mind, as the wind generated opening and closing of the unsecured double-glazed UPVC balcony doors more than made up for all that with some delightful – if random – melodies remniscent of the haunting Japanese ‘Shakuhachi’.

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #2 – The Okanagan Bust – ‘The Conservatory’ Becomes ‘The Reformatory’

TheConservatory!  Look On My Works, Ye Mighty and Despair!
Kathy[Michaels] “If there’s ever been a project that highlights the inherent risks of putting money down on something that doesn’t yet exist, it’s The Conservatory in Glenmore. Developers broke ground for the 99-unit luxury residential condominium nearly [nine] years ago…  It sat for several years as a big, yawning hole in the ground, the subject of neighbourhood jokes… Shortly after ground broke in October 2002, work came to a halt and it took until 2005 before financing issues were resolved and crews headed back to the site again [albeit, only temporarily!]. Further exacerbating the issue was that there was no means to recoup costs from investors who purchased their suites at a cost of  $240 a square foot. The most developers could increase prices was by 27 per cent, but by the time the property went into receivership, the costs were more in the range of  $470 and $550 a square foot…”

Quick, call CentralCasting! All we need are a few emaciated ‘Rent-A-Refugees’ and we can ‘wrap’ that Bosnian MovieOfTheWeek under budget/ahead of schedule! Just imagine the LineProducer’sBonus we’ll score on that one, Boyz ‘n Girlz!

Alternatively, given TheConservatory’s resemblance to the kind of ‘WorkersParadise’ housing so ubiquitous in the former SovietUnion/EastBlox – perhaps we could resuscitate SCTV’s inimitable CCCP TV and gift it this lovely ‘new’ OkaNaganProduktionComplex!

Nix the foregoing!!!  Because: Bingo!…  Nem’s had another epiphany!.. Here’s the thing, with all the recent controversy regarding the cost/location/siting of a new regional provincial correctional facility – why not ReBrand ‘TheConservatory’ as…
After all, they already have a secure perimeter and more than enough ‘luxury suites’ to accomodate hundreds of new guests! Best of all, harness those very same ‘new guests’ to complete the project and you’ve got a vocational rehabilitation programme at ‘pennies on the dollar’!…
A ‘WinWin’ all around! – for BC Taxpayers and Provincial ‘GuestWorkers’ incentivized to finish their lodgings before Winter’s chill arrives!

Of passing interest, an actual ‘CrimeScene’ adjacent to TheReformatory’s SecurePerimeter.

Cleaned out and ironically emblematic of the TheReformatory’s financial woes – a petty cash box most likely taken from one of numerous abandoned ‘Atco’ construction offices/trailers nearby.  Further proof, if any were needed, that the villain who does his ‘RE Homework’ first needn’t waste time forcing entry to unproductive venues.  ‘Nemesis’ neglected to bring his CSI toolkit on this occasion – so instead, notified on-site security who were demonstrably pleased to finally have something to ‘observe & report’ besides the sado-masochistic exhibitionism of self-flagellating RemorsefulRealtors™.

Now as CrimeScenes go, this ain’t just any old Reformatory – nope, it’s a Reformatory with a view!… Albeit, this PrisonersPanorama features a vanquished pastoral idyll.  Where once orchards predominated – sadly, now rise the HousingTractsOfTheDamned™.
‘Nemesis’ is feeling biblical…  nay, not CrefloDollar ‘ProsperityGospel’ Biblical [aside to audience: google that one, cause I swear you can’t make up/write s**t like that]!  But OldTestament, CharltonHeston, CecilBDeMille – WrathfulBiblical!…  Accordingly, time for a little apropos Jeremiah…
Prophecy Of Jeremias (Jeremiah) 6:4-5 [Douay-Rheims]
[4] Prepare ye war against her: arise, and let us go up at midday: woe unto us, for the day is declined, for the shadows of the evening are grown longer. [5] Arise, and let us go up in the night, and destroy her houses.

Sometime soon, in the not terribly distant future, Nemesis ‘prophecies’ that authentic indigenes (aka FirstNations) will doubtless refer in passing to all this as, “The ‘hallowed burial grounds’ of a greedy, foolish and primitive people.”.. Speculative fiction or prescient forecast? We’ll see… 😉

What’s worse, this view to the hills from The Conservatory, or the reverse? Thanks to Nemesis, for illustrating the desolation of a housing collapse,  already commenced in our periphery. -ed.

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #1 – The Okanagan Bust – “Life Beyond Expectations”

‘Nemesis’, one of our regular and eloquent contributors, offers these images from the Interior, with his own inimitable commentary.
The first of a series of occasional photo-essays.
Coming soon, to a city near you. -vreaa

Lucaya. Look On My Works, Ye Mighty and Despair!
An abandoned residential, prime water-front property development adjacent to Kelowna’s SkyeTower, which same – in a frantic endeavour to stave off imminent receivership – last year infamously reduced ask on remaining inventory by more than 40% (to the existential consternation of prior/pre-sale contract purchasers).

[Note to ChristianVultures: Lucaya is conveniently located mere steps from Kelowna’s legendary, Charismatic Christian ‘Living Faith Miracle Centre (Mending Lives – Giving Purpose)’ – where Pastor Tracy Weekes together with her husband, ‘Apostle’ Everton Weekes rapturously promise their acolytes, ‘[a] fullness of intimate worship, where they can encounter God’s awesome presence and his healing touch’. Or as former TeleEvangelist Jim Bakker once remarked to his ‘shy/reluctant’ (but fetching) personal assistant, “When you help the Shepherd, you’re helping the sheep”.]

Lucaya’s derelict ‘Presentation Centre’.

Broken glass and unclaimed telephone directories litter the entrance.

Lucaya’s Deliciously Ironic LogLine: “Life Beyond Expectations”

Lucaya’s unfinished foundations – a forest of rebar and pre-stressed concrete monoliths – finds new life as combined ‘canvas’ and ‘gallery’ for aspirant local ‘Banksies’.

Lucaya ‘Tagged’.

Kinetic sculpture a la Lucaya.

[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]