Weekly Blend: June 5, 2015

The Weekly Blend is your ‘weekly’ source covering real estate news that you just may have missed. Our hard at work Weekly Blend crew scours the web, newsgroups and forums looking for obscure, bizarre, interesting and informative real estate (or real estate related) stories. If you have one you’d like to share please feel free to share it in our comments section or tweet about it using the hashtag #WeeklyBlend. So brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee and enjoy these stories…maybe even share them with friends or colleagues. Happy reading!

Here are my weekly picks:

Talk about nepotism! Seattle-based Amazon says that Seattle is the most well-read city in the U.S.

June 1st, 1969: John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band record “Give Peace A Chance” at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. On your next visit to that city, you too can stay in the same room.

Fairmont Hotels are expanding their Quebec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Whistler, B.C. properties but space is limited and you have to be a bee.

Vancouver’s Mayor has written the Premier asking for a provincial “luxury housing” tax: a levy on property flippers.

An international development team (including a Vancouver Architecture firm) announced a proposal that would transform the Parisian skyline and define the future of sustainable, carbon-neutral building in Paris.

And speaking of transforming, you can go to Indiegogo.com and support Toronto’s “Room in a Box” which provides everything a student needs in a box made out of cardboard … no tools required.

The perfect place for the room-in-a-box might be British Columbia. To help ease the demand for student housing, UBC is proposing Micro Apartments.

As sea levels rise, a University of Waterloo professor and her team of students are exploring ways to protect Charlottetown’s heritage properties.

And, to prevent future property damage/erosion, the PEI government is working on a new land policy which will take into account new information on coastal erosion.

Don’t have a car? Rent one. Don’t want to buy a house? Rent one. But what do you do when you want fresh eggs but didn’t have the chickens? Well, an organic farmer from PEI has solved that problem by offering chickens for rent.

You’ll have to take a step back while trying to find Liu Bolin, China’s “Human Chameleon” in these works of art.

91-year-old Walter Thomas recently fulfilled a lifelong dream: to smash an SUV through a garage door. Dream big Walter!! (VIDEO)

Did you know that the creator of the Hawaiian pizza was an 81-year-old Greek-Canadian man? And, he regrets nothing!

I’m not sure if it will shoot out a light-sabre while you’re suspended over the Sarlacc but the R2-D2 fridge will bring you a cold beer.

Because the Weekly Blend is all about the latest news: Caitlyn Jenner’s former Calabasas house is on the market for $2.6 million.

99 Homes is a thriller about the housing crash of 2007-2008 and, judging by the trailer, it looks pretty intense.

Read about Opendoor – a startup designed to speed up the home buying process.

What do you do when you’re the ousted CEO of Men’s Warehouse? You launch an app (Uber for tailors) and hope that lightning strikes twice.

This is the Curbed.com article we’ve all been waiting for: what would the Three’s Company apartment in Santa Monica cost today?

After almost one week of living in fear, Toronto residents can rest easy knowing the runaway peacock has returned home to the High Park Zoo.

An Ottawa man realized that karma can be a, well you know the word, especially when it comes to by-laws and complaining about your neighbour.

It’s construction season across Canada and Thunder Bay is not excluded. May Street is set to receive $2.6 million in improvements.

Turns out nobody was that interest in the Poltergeist remake but people are still interest in the original Poltergeist house (from 1982).

Let’s follow up that Poltergeist story with another spooky tale of the 10 most haunted places around the world (VIDEO).

And, let’s follow that with this story of a haunted house for sale in Camden, New York. Not sure why this week’s Blend has taken on a ghostly theme.

Berlin has become the first German city to make rent cap a reality.

Take a tour of the POW! Entertainment Chairman and CCO’s office located high above the New York skyline, where one of his creations might just swing by your window (it’s Stan Lee’s office).

According to Esquire magazine, these are the 12 best views in America to drink from.

From Manhattan to Costa Rica, here’s a look at what $2 million will buy you around the world.

Condo sales have officially begun at Zibi (the former Domtar land) in Gatineau, Quebec.

Last week, New Yorkers were prepared for “Manhattanhenge” – when the setting sun aligns precisely with Manhattan’s east-west streets.

If it’s a castle with a drawbridge you’re looking for, look no further than #21 Mayfair Lane, Buffalo, New York.

When you’re Iron Man you can do anything, including having the same furniture in every house you rent while shooting movies.

Why just the other day I was thinking, “I wonder what people in 1950 Czechoslovakia thought a kitchen in the year 2000 would look like?” And then I came across this video.

History buffs will get a kick out of these five historic Airbnbs.

Is it ironic that the inventor or the heart-shaped hot tub died of heart failure?

Here are a few tips on designing the perfect in-law suite.

A priest, a REALTOR®, and a doctor go out for a fun-run.What happened next will restore your faith in humanity.

Are smaller businesses in downtown areas being unfairly taxed compared to box stores and shopping malls? One Halifax business owner says they are.

The dining room is dead. No! Long live the dining room!

Rarely a week goes by where Lego isn’t mentioned in the Blend. Why should this week be any different? Visitors to New York’s High Line are encouraged to envision and build an imaginary cityscape out of white Lego blocks.

A Puff, The Magic Dragon-themed restaurant is in the works. No word yet on whether or not the first  will open in a land called Honali.

This tiny capsule takes tiny-houses to a whole new level and brings “living off the grid” a whole new meaning. And in this story, the Atlantic takes an even closer look at the Ecocapsule.

Buzzfeed breaks down the true cost of buying a $500 home in Detroit.

Last week it was urban gardening in Toronto and this week it’s a green roof installation at Brooklyn’s Barclay Centre.

Think your neighbourhood has a great playground? Think again! Check out 16 of the coolest playgrounds in the world.

The above list did, however, leave this former St. Louis shoe factory (turned urban playground) off the list. Do you think it should have been included?

Vox.com reveals Seinfeld’s never-before-seen fourth wall.

Real estate agency, Kleindienst Group, is constructing a series of lavish floating villas they’ve nicknamed “floating seahorses.” After seeing them, you may want to book your next vacation.

Love this NY Times headline: “The House May Spin, but the Owners Find It’s Hard to Move.”

Photos of Zombie Walks from around the world. Because … zombies.

Jonathan Baker, our former Speech Writer, contributed to the development of speeches, advertisements, and communications to our membership. Our staff knew him as the go-to guy at 200 Catherine for some comic relief. Prior to joining CREA, Jon worked in the radio industry in Ottawa. If you meet Jon, be sure to ask him to tell you about his encounters with many famous musicians while volunteering at a local music festival for more than 10 years.

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