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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Big cities, smaller apartments

Big cities want to attract citizens — people who live right downtown, not just commute from the suburbs to work.  One of the reasons Vancouver is such a vibrant city is because people live in the downtown core.  At any time of the day or night you’ll find people going to restaurants, coffee shops, bars, concerts, sporting events, but also walking their dogs, dashing out for grocery shopping, visiting their neighbours.  I know lots of large cities where the downtown area becomes a science-fiction dystopian landscape at night, the only cars the occasional police car or delivery van.

According to this Houzz article, Mayor Bloomberg is trying to find ways to bring people back into the city to live.  And right now, that means getting more apartments into smaller areas.

 The city states that there are 1.8 million residents who are singles and couples, but only 1 million studio and one-bedroom apartments in all five boroughs.

He called for a design competition, and a couple of weeks ago he announced a winner.  An exhibition of the entries will be held at the Museum of the City of New York until this September.

If you are in the area look it up.

Good bye to all that…..

One of the reasons we are looking forward to the laneway living experience, is because we have to rid ourselves of extraneous “stuff”.  That is a good thing.  As Wordsworth says

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:

Others have gone before us, and show us the way.

Sherry Willis of the Half-Pint Homestead blog writes about it on the Tiny House Blog.  Like her, we must begin

the complicated process of extricating ourselves from our possessions.

And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? When we hold on to “things”, no matter how precious they seem to us at the time, we are owned BY them.

But most advice I get on how to de-clutter seems to be geared to clearing the mess that we can see — hiding away the untidyness and detritus of our lives.  But we want to get rid of it.  Forever.  Banish it from our lives, so we can live so much more simply.

That’s why I like what Laura Norcross has to say about winnowing her wardrobe at Tiny House Talk.  It’s a process.  Do it once, twice, how many times you need to say good-bye to things that you don’t need any more.

Good advice for our new lives, not just our new living space.

How cool is this?

This site lets you make a watercolour of your town’s map.


watercolor_iCXHbhfkY7w

Thanks, Centsational Girl.

More small homes planned for Vancouver

According to this story on Vancouver radio station CKWX, there are a record number of permits  for laneway houses approved for this year.

The City issued a record 350 laneway housing permits in 2012, a big increase from the yearly average of 146 recorded between 2009 and 2011.

It’s not a fad — it’s a movement!

A view from above

I was visiting a friend in the hospital a few summers ago, and looked out over our neighbourhood.  I was amazed to see how lush and green it looks with the large trees lining the streets. The apartment buildings are all 4 storeys or less, and it looked so inviting and friendly.  It’s amazing what looking from above can do to help you see the true structure of your area.

Houzz is showing what different neighbourhoods look like.  It’s obvious that some of them were designed by people who would never live there — cut off from shopping and parks.

Take a closer look:

Notice anything different?

About the blog? *

It’s now at ladywholivesdownthelane.com, no “wordpress” in the address — I bought the domain.

When I first started the blog it was just supposed to be for fun, so my family and friends could check up on the progress of our laneway house project.

That was before I became obsessed interested with the whole “living small” movement.

Then I had the radio interview and I thought it would be nice to hear from more people — much easier to find me when I’m just the ladywholivesdownthelane.

Plus I wanted a way for others who are interested in laneway housing —  or actually living in a laneway house — could contact me.  I think it would be very nice if we could form a virtual neighbourhood of laneway occupants. And that would mean reaching out to people who left me comments.

I found out that, with the wordpress domain blog you have to register to leave a comment, and I know some people are reluctant to do that.  I know I am.  So, in order to be more inclusive, it would be better to have my own domain.

So here it is!  Expect a few more changes — some links to other sites I think you’ll find interesting, etc. I’m just starting to explore the capacity of the new arrangement.

*By the way, the correct answer to “Notice anything different?” is always “Have you lost weight?”.  Always.

More tiny houses

I admire people who need less than I do.  There is almost a Zen-like approach to living that comes with living with very, very little.  These Tiny Houses featured in this Apartment Therapy story  prove that you can do more with less.

Tiny HouseAnd they’re so cute, too!

 

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