Seattle, WA vs. Vancouver, BC – Sister Cities?

[photopress:Seattle.jpg,full,alignright]Stephen Jagger of Ubertor gave me a “heads up” this morning about an article written in Vancouver Magazine. 

Sometimes you learn more about your own City by reading the reviews and travel guides of its visitors vs. its residents.

Some of the facts in the article that I found interesting:

Hot Neighborhoods: Seattle’s Pioneer Square – Vancouver’s Gastown are both “troubled historic neighborhoods by the port”.

[photopress:bim.jpg,thumb,alignleft]Hole in the wall burrito Joints: Seattle’s Bimbos Bitchin’ Burrito Kitchen – Vancouver’s Budgies Burritos (location and phone number in Vancouver Mag’s Article)

Mayor’s “GREEN” Record – Seattle’s Nickels nationally recognized for taking Seattle “green” and adopting the Kyoto protocol while Vancouver’s Sam Sullivan “wants his new ecodensity intitiative to be nationally recognized”. 

Seattle invented the term: “Skid Road” – Vancouver invented the word “Skid Row”  (Actually I had heard San Francisco invented the term “Skid Row” – My partner says Seattle invented “Skid Row” – Google says My partner is correct, but I’d let Vancouver have that one.)

Date downtown burned to the ground: Seattle 6/6/1889 – Vancouver 6/13/1886

I’m wondering how many large cities burned to the ground?  I don’t think Philadelphia ever did, because The Betsy Ross House is still standing (note to Bubble People – Betsy Ross was “a renter” in case you are compiling a list of “famous renters throughout history 🙂 ) and so is Independence Hall as well as The World’s First Penitentiary attributed to Benjamin Franlin’s idea.  For anyone interested in REALLY OLD buildings, this virtual tour of Historic Philadelphia is very cool.

Voter turnout last civic election:  Seattle – 30%    Vancouver – 32.4%

Median age:  Seattle – 30     Vancouver – 38 (average age here in Kirkland is 30-something too.  Where do the older people live?)

Seattle is the “fittest” City in the U.S. – Vancouver is the “fittest City in Canada (based on the percentage of the population considered to be overweight) I’m sure there is some City in CA that is going to dispute that one.

Trevor Boddy, Vancouver Magazine’s author of the article titled “The New Seattle”  (from which the above photo was derived “Old and New: Seattle’s iconic Space Needle and Alexander Calder’s Eagle, one of the installations at the new Olympic Sculpture Park.Image credit: Rosemary Poole”) has this to say:

Vancouver and Seattle are Siamese twins. Yet we are fused not at the head, but at the backlooking in different directions. ”  This is just one of several posts in Vancouver Magazine’s “Seattle Series”.  I highly recommend a read of the entire series. 


36 Hours in Seattle: Where to eat, drink, shop and sightsee.

Bed Check: Reviews of three very different Seattle hotels.

Culture Crawl: Our ranking of Seattle’s independent coffeehouses, and listings of the best local books and music acts.

The New Seattle: What Vancouver can learn from its Pacific sister.

A Tale of Two Cities: Which city’s wealthier? Safer? Healthier? Seattle and Vancouver by the numbers.

I’m not certain all of the facts about Seattle and Vancouver are true – but it is a fun read.  A Big Thank You to Stephen of Ubertor for the email and “head’s up”. 

My favorite Vancouver Magazine article is Playing the Real Estate Game and I hope to write a “sister article” based on that one, comparing the Seattle Real Estate Market to Vancouver’s by week end.

Grasping for pebbles & listening for grasshoppers

[photopress:grasshopper.jpg,thumb,alignright]Gordon Stephenson of RPA asked me the other day for blog setup advice. Although I consider myself good friends with the master of real estate blogging, I am a blogging grasshopper compared to many folks. You see, I have never set up a blog before. Sure, I’m a contributor on RCG, I comment on popular real estate blogs, and I even write Virtual Earth based IDX/MLS systems (w/ geocoded RSS feeds) for fun and profit. However, I’m sure Dustin sets up more blogs before 10 AM in a typical day, than I do in a year. Hence, the reason for my post. Besides, as another real estate blogging master has pointed out to me, blogging about blogging is always a good topic.

Anyway, I essentially told Gordon the following…

  1. I’d pick up a copy of the Realty Blogging book and read it. It’s probably out of date, (like most technology related books are) but I suspect it’s as good a starting point as any.
  2. I’d recommend finding a good shared hosting company that sets up & hosts WordPress or Typepad blogs.
  3. Most importantly, I’d ask other bloggers what they think!

I feel that’s good advice, however my clients deserve superior advice, and I don’t feel qualified to give it. Besides, Master Dustin took his pebbles when he left Seattle. 😉

Anyway, I really don’t want to host their blog. Besides, Zillow hosts their blog on Typepad, Move hosts their WordPress blog with Inmotion Hosting, and ShackPrices hosts their WordPress blog with Dreamhost, so I know I’m not alone in my thinking that they are better off out-sourcing to a shared hosting company that does blogs. So I have the following questions for the blogging masters.

Real Estate Blogging Questions

  1. What value / features do Real Estate targeted blogging platforms (Blogging Systems, Ubertor, etc) provide over general purpose alternatives (WordPress, Typepad, Community Server, dasBlog, subText)?
  2. ActiveRain or Real Town Blogs – To join or not to join, that’s my question…
  3. Are free blogging platforms, such as Blogger or Live Spaces, considered the blogging equivalent of using or for your e-mail?

General Blogging Questions

  1. What blogging platforms do you like or dislike and why? I know most of the masters recommend WordPress, so I’m more interested in hearing from folks who use something else and are happy with it.
  2. What company would you recommend or avoid for blog hosting? There’s a million of them out there, everybody uses somebody different.
  3. Do these companies provide tools that make it easy to setup? What about analytics, back-up, comment spam blocking, and everything else you want to do?
  4. Any good books or blog posts you’d recommend?

Geek Blogging Questions

  1. If I were crazy enough to host my own blog, what’s the best blog platform if you want to host on IIS/SQL Server/Windows?
  2. What blog platforms or plug-ins do you recommend for code syntax highlighting?
  3. Is there a way to get WordPress to not mangle, HTML/Javascript in a blog post?

Thanks for your help,

Your humble grasshopper