Sarge's Deli

The awning outside of Sarge's Deli proudly proclaims that it opened in 1964, the Manhattan delicatessen is decidedly not stuck in the last century: It recently started offering plant-based sandwiches.

If you walked up to the counter you may wonder if you were in the right place. There is no signage announcing the new menu item or branding for Unreal Deli, the company behind this deli's particular meatless meat option. In fact, it looks like the type of old school New York deli that would rail against the non-traditional ways of meatless meat.

But it is the right place. The plant-based corned beef sandwich cost just over $15. If you asked the cashier if the order was popular, especially with what seems like little marketing should we give you an enthusiastic affirmation, saying people were ordering in-store and online after seeing the new choice on the deli's website?

You can actually find Mrs Goldfarb's Unreal Deli online, offering the same corned "beef" that is sold in the deli. It comes with an encouraging note that says this cold-cut choice has a six-month shelf life.

Unreal Deli Corned Beef

The rise of Unreal, Beyond Meat, Impossible Burger and other plant-based meat purveyors marks a turning point in dietary restrictions and choices. Vegetarians, vegans, or anyone else looking to cut down on meat aren't doing it because they don't like eating meat. Health and ethical choices push people to make the change or even to consider the change. For those struggling or find themselves missing their favourite dishes, it could be just the thing that lets everything fall into place.

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Welcome to this week's best buys in Richmond. This week were are featuring a 2 bedroom condo with 1.5 bathrooms in a fully rain screened building. This southern exposed ground floor unit facing into the courtyard and swimming pool has everything done!  A great value in a great building for just $369,900.

This weeks townhouse features 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms spread out over almost 1,300 square feet. Great floor plan surrounded by green space, with newer kitchen, bathroom, floor and windows. All for just $588,000.

The detached house this week is Richmond's only detached home under $1,000,000. This 3 bedroom newly renovated home has brand new quartz countertops and new white cabinetry. New flooring and new windows throughout. Situated in one of Richmond's popular areas close to shopping, parks and transit. Move-in ready!

Call me anytime if you have any interest in any of these valued properties or would like your own tailored list of best buys that fit your criteria.


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This week we are featuring 3 hot properties, 2 in the North Delta, Annieville area and 1 in Ladner's Holly Subarea.

Our house this week is in Ladner and is approximately 22 years old featuring 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms over just under 2200 square feet of living space.

Beautifully maintained with radiant hot water heat, open living room with fireplace and large master with full ensuite. This ideal home is located close to a desirable Elementary School, very easy access to the freeway and only a 5 minute walk to transit and recreation.  Currently listed for $839,900

We are also featuring a 4 bedroom 1879 square foot townhouse in North Delta's popular Annieville neighbourhood.  This updated townhome feels like a house with a great floorplan. Functional updated kitchen that looks onto a huge living room and dining area with newer flooring. Private yard featuring a large covered deck. Recently listed for $509,000.

Our Condo of the Week, also in Annieville, features 2 bedrooms spread over 896 square feet. It is a fully renovated corning unit in the heart of Delta.  One of the very few 2 bedroom condos in this area under $300,000 - currently listed at $287,000.

Please let me know if you are interested in any of This Weeks Best Pick in Delta, or if you would like a complete list of the better buys that fit your criteria.

I'm at your service.

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If you are interested in helping the dwindling honeybee populations you should learn to love weeds and leave the dandelions alone this coming spring.

Working to live in harmony with nature can be as simple as keeping your lawn pollinator-friendly.

It's probably best that you mow around the dandelions and buttercups when cutting your grass because as you can't really help tigers, whales and elephants from home, you can really do something for the insects, birds, and plants that are local to you.

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Think about what you had for breakfast. The marmalade on your toast, or even the coffee beans and tea leaves that make your morning cup - all of these products rely on pollinators to survive and thrive.

The whole business of keeping your lawn clipped and pulling the weeds out is part of our obsession with tidiness.

Whether you have a community allotment, a balcony garden, a  front or back garden and lawn, or simply a potted plant, the choice of plants you make can have an impact on your local ecology.

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A trailblazing Canadian company in Halifax, Nova Scotia is building a new standard for sustainability since they started recycling the bulk of their municipal plastic waste into lumber.

Roughly 80% of the plastic recyclables collected are now being processed by Goodwood Plastic  Products Ltd so they can be turned into building blocks.

The plastic lumber can be drilled, nailed, glued, and handled the same way as wooden lumber - but without any of the same deterioration.

The other 20% of municipal plastic are reportedly being sent to other Canadian recycling markets.

Goodwood also made a name for themselves back in December when they partnered with a Sobeys grocery store in order to create one of the nations first parking lots made entirely out of post-consumer plastics saved from local landfills.

So far the lumber has been used to make everything from picnic tables and park benches to agricultural posting and guardrail structures.

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SFU professor Majid Bahrami has created a machine that turns air into water.

'People are really struggling with water so water has become a major issue,' says Bahrami who explains the prototype took three years to create after years of research.

Unlike air conditioners, which can also similarly create condensation, he explains this prototype can create water under any weather conditions.

The prototype works by enhancing the humidity in the air, and it can create between 19 to 40 litres a day.

He explains he built it with a goal in mind:  to make drinking water more available to those who need it most.

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'There is no secret that water has become a scarce commodity, especially freshwater', he adds.

He says this is not only true in places like North Africa, but also in the Canadian prairies that suffer from water shortages.

Bahrami says the technology is scalable, and in the future, machines can be as small as a coffee maker or as large as necessary.

He explains a few large corporations have approached him about his inventions, but he says his main goal is to give this technology to the people who need it most.

'I personally think we need to focus on more on the humanitarian and sustainable aspect of it'.

So what's next? He says his next project involves solar energy to help reduce electricity consumption.

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Exercises like yoga or weightlifting teach us the different ways in which muscles work and recover - but our body is full of hundreds of muscles, some of which are very small. Many people won't know that just like hamstrings, abs, or biceps, the small collection of muscles around the eyes function the same way. Tight hamstrings can be stretched to relieve pain and promote blood circulation and recovery, and so tight eyes need a similar treatment.

If you are experiencing discomfort in your eyes, there are simple actions like yawning, blinking, and exposing your eyes to natural light which you can do to keep your eyes in good shape and prevent strain during the workday.

Yawning and blinking create moisture and keep your eyes lubricated while natural light exposes your eyes to relaxing colour spectrums and offers a break from the stress of the blue light field experienced when we look at screens.

If these don't provide enough relief, you can try three common ocular stretches to help relieve the tension from working on a computer screen for long periods.

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1) Directional eye stretch. Without moving your head, start by looking up, down, left, and right, fixing your eyes in that position for the duration of a breath. Inhale look up, exhale look down, etc.

2) Focusing stretch. The human eye has four fields of vision, from our peripheral to our most forward-focused point. Keep your eyes fixed in one direction, cycle through focusing on each field of vision for the duration of a breath. Afterwards, adjust the focus of your eyes to a point far in the distance back to something close to your face - and repeat.

3) Stretching around the eyes. This is where most of the tension and cramps in achy eyes are stored. Closing your eyes, take the pads of your fingers and gently massage the areas below your eyes, just between your eyebrows and eyelids, and your temples.

4) Palming. Palming acts a little like cupping in that you're putting a little pressure via suction onto your eye sockets. To do so, place your elbows on your desk and cup your hands over your eyes, before gently leaning forward. Breathe slowly and hold for 30-40 seconds.

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If your eyes are crying out for a bit of eyeball yoga - listen to them! You only get one pair, and these stretches will help you keep them in shape as long as nature allows.

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Many of us have bought or sold a home that has been nicely staged, in which a seller brings in new, sometimes expensive, furniture and decor on a temporary basis in order to cast their home in the best possible light.

Does home staging really work? Will it help a home sell more quickly or at a higher price?

Most Realtors believe staging works. However, independent research on the subject is hard to find, and the available evidence is inconclusive.

In many cases, sellers just need to make cosmetic changes to their home before it is listed. This can include everything from removing clutter to hiding excess furniture to replacing personal artifacts and can extend to repainting the walls.

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It is somewhat clear, that a cluttered home is not only unattractive, but could be interpreted as a signal of inattention to house maintenance on the part of the owner. Simply put  - buyers are attracted to neatness, and simply cleaning up a home, display pride of ownership will almost always sell the home more quickly, and for more money.

A full staging involves replacing the owner's furniture with rented items while the home is listed, with the living room, kitchen and master bedroom the most likely to be upgraded.

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Staging can last from a minimum of 2 months up to 6 months or longer for expensive homes, with costs ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 per month, depending on how extensive the changes are.

While a full staging, no doubt enables a home  to show at it's very best, it is unclear that the added expense will net  out a higher dollar volume for the seller.

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According to a recent poll, visiting the library remains the most common cultural activity we engage in, by far.

The average 10.5 trips to the library that adults reported taking in 2019 exceeds their participation in 8 other common leisure activities.

more people went to library than movies in 2019

We attend live music or theatrical events and visit national and historic parks about 4 times a year on average and visit museums and gambling casinos 2.5 times annually. Trips to amusement or theme parks (1.5) and zoos (.9) are the least common activities on the list.

The data was collected last month - and update from a December 2001 survey. The overall rankings at the beginning of the millennium remain the same today, but a small decrease has occurred in reported trips to the movie theatre.

It was also found that women report visiting the library nearly twice as frequently as men do and that libraries are visited most by adults in low-income households and least by adults in high-income households.

The highest average activity rates are among the 30-49 age group, while the lowest is among those 65 and older.

Conclusion: Despite the proliferation of digital-based activities over the past 2 decades - including digital books, podcasts, streaming entertainment services and advanced gaming - libraries continue to endure.

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Without an internal combustion engine - and all the other components such as radiators needed for one to safely function - all-electric vehicle manufacturers are beginning to realize there isn't anything stopping them from making a truly unique automobile.

That's why Canoo, a company making electric SUVs has just opened up its waiting list for a lounge-like electric SUV that looks like it's straight out of Blade Runner.

The Canoo speaks loudly to the modern green urban-dweller. Many of them consider automobiles to be a primary driver of climate change, too expensive, or just plain inconvenient when ride-sharing options like Uber and Lyft are so widespread. So this pod-like vehicle created a unique proposition that young people can embrace.

Canoo's innovative subscription strategy is designed to reduce the EV's cost by bundling the flat monthly payment to include maintenance, registration, and insurance while charging on a month-to-month basis with no contract.

Since no one knows how much it will cost per month, the value remains unclear. But the waiting list to get yourself a Canoo in 2021 opened last week and is obligation-free.

The interior of the Canoo, which has 300 horse-power and a range of 250 miles, can be described as having furniture more than seats. The lounge-like luxury of the Canoo is meant to resemble a Zen garden, instead of a limousine.  Access to the vehicle's functions is reached through the Canoo app and can be used with the driver's own smartphone or tablet.

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Street in Dublin, Ireland

Homeless Dubliners have a new opportunity to get off the streets under a scheme that trains them as tour guides.  The social enterprise My Streets Ireland aims to give some of the Irish capital's homeless new skills and an income for showing visitors the city.

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Trainees choose a theme for their tour and get help with its research and presentation. The guides receive half of the ticket sales and the remainder is ploughed back into running the project.

"I never dreamed this would happen," says Eddie Dooner, 27, who was living in a tent in Dublin's Phoenix Park, but now has his own flat. " I want to change people's views. Just because you're homeless doesn't mean you're a bad person.

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Similar schemes are running in other European capitals, including Berlin, Vienna and Prague. 

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Many fruits and vegetables go to waste because supermarkets reject them as too ugly to put on sale despite being perfectly edible and nutritious.  But Dutch social enterprise Kromkommer is helping change attitudes towards misshapen produce with a children's toy range available to parents in 23 countries.

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'It shows kids the beauty and diversity of wonky fruit and veggies," says Mark Kingma, head of concept and design at Kromkommer, whose name is a play on the Dutch words for crooked and cucumber.

The bias against produce that doesn't conform to an ideal shape stems partly from past EU legislation restricting the sale of wonky fruit and vegetables even though the law was relaxed ten years ago. "Instead of ending up in the bin these wonkies should end up on someone's plate," says Kingma

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Good news - Bicycle storage in Utrecht, the Netherlands

The Netherlands has more bicycles than people - 22 million for a population of 17 million - and finding a space to park can be a challenge. To address this problem, the city of Utrecht has opened the world's largest multi-storey parking area for bicycles at its railway station.

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The concrete and glass structure has space for 12,500 bikes over three floors, including bikes for rent. It is part of an ongoing drive to enhance cycling infrastructure across the Netherlands.

'There is still so much to be done" says Steinje van Veldhoven, a junior infrastructure minister. 'I'd like us to make better use of what I call this secret weapon against congestion, poor air quality in cities and climate change.

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LEGOLAND just opened up their much anticipated LEGO themed hotel! Families can choose from four different rooms — Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure, or LEGO Friends. A night’s stay includes a Master Model Builder Session, a scavenger hunt, LEGO building competitions, and more! They’ve even made the building look just like the LEGO structures we used to make as kids, too. Nice touch! Not a nice touch? Stepping on a brick in the middle of the night. That is whatever the opposite of a nice touch is. Legoland Florida, Disney World Magic Kingdom, Everything Is Awesome, Lego Friends, 4 Star Hotels, Lego Building, Legos, Hotel Offers, Florida Resorts

One of the biggest challenges families face going to a hotel is making sure their kids are happy. Imagine a giant hotel and resort made into a Lego wonderland.

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It might look something like this. Yes...that's a steam puffing dragon greeting you.

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The entire place is themed after the famous toy line. There are over 2,000 Lego characters to greet your kids.  There is an interactive Lego castle area with pirates, ogres, and a lego filled moat!

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At the 'Bricks Family Restaurant', there is a buffet station designed for children's height that serves tasty yet healthy options.

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There are even 'master Lego builder' classes for kids (big and small)

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And let's not forget the pool!. This pool is shallow enough for the children and has enough relaxing amenities for the adults.

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And even floats that can be assembled! Now that speaks to the big kid in me.

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Peaceful co-parenting after divorce isn't easy, but this dad says it's worth it.  Just because you're divorced doesn't mean you can stop being nice to one another.

Billy tells us about how he woke up early to buy flowers, cards and breakfast ingredients so his kids could surprise their mom, his ex-wife, on her birthday.

'As usual, someone asked me why I still do things for her all the time,' Billy wrote.

'This annoys me. So I'm going to break it down for you all.  I'm raising two little men. The example I set for how I treat their mom is going to significantly shape how they see and treat women and affect their perception of relationships.'

Billy Gadbois with his sons

His point is that divorced parents shouldn't let negative feelings about each other lead to petty behaviour in front of the kids.

'Kids want to take care of their parents, and they can't do it alone. So if it's Mother's Day and the kid doesn't have anything to give to his mom...that doesn't feel good'.

It's a two-way street: On Father's Day, Billy's ex-wife makes sure their sons, ages 4 and 8, have a  present for him, too.

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A brave dog risked its life for 2 days over Christmas to protect an injured friend. On December 25th, a train conductor outside of Tseglovka, Ukraine told locals that he had spotted 2 dogs huddled together on the tracks.

One was too injured to move, so the other huddled close to keep it warm, pressing its friend's head down every time a train passed overhead.

Denis Malafeev, who captured the video of the 2 canines, wrote on Facebook that it was hard to rescue the injured dog because its friend was so protective.

The dogs, Panda and Lucy, have since been returned to their owners.

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The tiny modular home is now available on Amazon. Photo Nomad Micro Homes

These 'micro-homes' are constructed of insulated steel panels and have been compared to Idea products.

One of a  Vancouver company, Nomad Micro Homes products is a new addition to mega-retailer Amazon's lineup.

Nomads mostly prefabricated tiny home, the Cube, is now available to purchase online for $49,000 plus $4,000 shipping.

Made in B.C., they're constructed of insulated steel panels and have been compared to Ikea products in that they're relatively inexpensive and need to be assembled.

These two-storey, 13.5' by 13.5' by 13.5' homes are flat packed and assembled by you, or by a handyman.

Inside the Nomad tiny home. Photo Nomad Micro Homes


Of course, $49,000 isn't the 'all in' price, as there are a few things they don't come with. There's no fridge, stove, heating system or hot water heater.

And you're going to need to hire a plumber and an electrician to connect the services.

If you want to live off-the-grid, there are add-on options such as a water treatment system and solar panels that can be tacked on.

Oh, and of course land. The land is not included.

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Owners of residential and commercial property received their assessment notices last week in their mail.

For the most part, property values across the province have declined only modestly over the past year, looking at all regions and property types, but the loss in the Lower Mainland was considerably higher.

Combining all residential properties in the province, the total value was down 2.45%. In the Lower Mainland we saw total values decline 4.7%, with the biggest drops seen in single-family home values in West Vancouver and UBC, both down 16%, followed by Richmond's detached houses, down 14%, and then Vancouver, Coquitlam, Port Moody and North Vancouver single-family homes, all down 11%.

With strata, residential properties such as condos and townhomes, the only Lower Mainland area to see a double-digit value decline was West Vancouver, down 10%, with most other areas seeing declines between 4% and 9%.

It is important to understand that changes in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding change in property taxes.

For example, the City of Vancouver has already approved a 7% increase in property taxes this year, which most homeowners will have to pay, even if their home has decreased in value.

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For $11,800 a month, the luxury 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment in Vancouver House could be yours. 

Several units in the newly-completed condo tower, which was designed by internationally-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels, have recently been listed on Craigslist. The listings promise would-be renters access to the building's luxurious amenities - including a fleet of brand-new BMW's. 

The 49-storey building with a distinctive top-heavy design rising over the Granville Bridge currently have 2 units for sale: a 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom penthouse for $8.9 million and a 3 bedroom, 5 bathrooms lower unit for $6.8 million.

Chandelier Vancouver

This developer also recently unveiled the public art contribution for the project, a 4.8 million chandelier under the Granville Bridge that intermittently spins and lights up.

The Craigslists rental listings show rents for apartments in Vancouver House are on the high side - but something of a bargain when compared with another high-profile luxury building, Trump Tower.

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Metro Vancouver's real estate recovery continued in October, with home sales soaring 45.4% higher than the same month last year.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported that residential resale transactions in the region totalled 2,858 in October, which is the highest number of homes sold in a single month so far this year.

Homebuyers appear to become more confident today than what appears to be the situation during the first half of this year. This is likely due to prices finally edging down over the last year, while interest rates remain low.

As more inventory was absorbed by a more active market, the number of available listings declined - exacerbated by fewer sellers listing their homes for sale in October. There were only 4,074 homes listed for sale on the regions MLS in October, which is 16.4% less than the 4,873 homes that were listed last October. 

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While sales have been increasing the past few months compared with last year, the benchmark price of a typical Metro Vancouver home is now pegged at $992,000, 6.4% lower than last October.

The benchmark price of an attached home is $771,600, which is 5.8% lower than  October 2018 and the benchmark price of a typical apartment is $652,000, down 5.9% from October 2018.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.