Kicking It With Timber Joey of the Portland Timbers Soccer Team What is better than bacon? The obvious answer is, “Nothing, dummy.”Or it was. As of this weekend, there is something better than bacon: Free bacon that comes to your house.Even in 2017, it seems that wishes really do come true. Celebrity chef Ian Knauer and organic meat purveyor Applegate are teaming up to offer the greatest gift of all: The Bacon Express.Throughout the first half of December, good little boys, girls and gender-nonconforming individuals across the eastern seaboard will be visited by an Applegate food truck dispensing “Season’s Meatings” with a panoply of bacon-inflected treats.Launched last Saturday in Orlando, Florida, The Bacon Express is turning up at grocery stores, public parks, and holiday-themed events to offer tidings of comfort, joy and pork belly. The journey will culminate in New York City with a prime parking spot for The Bacon Express right in front of Radio City Music Hall.As a sponsor of this year’s Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, Applegate will be the star of more than just the theater’s concession stands. Christmas Spectacular attendees can expect to see their favorite organic beef hot dogs incorporated into one of the Rockettes’ most iconic numbers.The mind boggles.As of publication, The Bacon Express has already graced a tree-lighting in Orlando and an ice rink in Atlanta. This weekend brings the road show to the Alexandria Holiday Market, indulging the good people of Virginia for eight solid hours with crispy, salty, smoky treats. From there, it’s on to Philadelphia’s Dilworth Park for another all-day stint. Thursday and Friday bring the tour to its glorious high-kick finale. In all locations, we advise posting up with a lawn chair and a Snuggie in close proximity to the truck, the better to enjoy treats like bacon pecan bars, bacon-infused hot chocolate (don’t ask how), and candied bacon in such flavors as spicy maple, cocoa and cinnamon toast. Talking Food Trucks and Fusion Cuisine with The Peached Tortilla’s Eric Silverstein Editors’ Recommendations We did mention that all this is free, right?In our best Kramer voice, let’s say it together: “It’s a Festivus [read: Christmas] miracle!”Chef Ian Knauer spent nine years as a staff writer and recipe tester for sadly defunct Gourmet magazine. Along the way, he launched the Farm Cooking School and hosted cooking show “The Farm” on PBS. With farm-to-table bona fides bolstered by his family’s farm in Pennsylvania, it’s safe to say Chef Knauer knows his way around a pig.For its part, Applegate has been doing the all-natural thing since 1987, which is pretty woke for a processed meat company. They introduced the world’s first organic hot dog in 2006, and followed it up with a grass-fed guarantee in 2015. When not plotting spectacular holiday road trips, the company works toward a goal of ensuring their product sources are 100% third-party certified for higher animal welfare and that all 140 Applegate products are verified non-GMO. All that work translates to better bacon in your belly.The past year required us all to grow up, and it’s time our palates did the same. Stop waiting around for a mythologized saint to drop down your chimney. Nothing promises to wash away the taste of 2017 like a mouthful of humanely raised, conscientiously cured bacon.For those less fortunate among us — i.e., those not living on or near the East Coast — Applegate has magnanimously posted a number of The Bacon Express’ recipes on its website. Eat your heart out. And, if this isn’t enough, check out Camp Bacon. You won’t regret it.Images courtesy Applegate. America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene An Astronomically Fun Chat About Space and Wine With a Winemaker and Former Physicist What is Biodynamic Wine? A Quick and Easy Guide to the Buzzyworthy Trend
Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press In the Greater Toronto Area, luxury sales dipped two per cent year-over-year to 1,497 units sold. Sales of properties with a price tag of more than $4 million dropped the most — 38 per cent to 20 units sold — partly due to a lack of supply and partly because privacy-conscious homeowners shifted to exclusive and off-market transactions in light of a recent ruling permitting broader real estate sales data disclosures.Sotheby’s expects the top-tier market to remain sound in the area through the spring.Luxury sales continued to fall in Calgary, where 62 properties over $1 million dollars sold in the first two months of 2019. That’s down 33 per cent from the previous year when 92 units sold in that timeframe.The condo market continues to see oversupply, Sotheby’s said, and it projects that segment will experience challenges into the spring. It expects the conventional real estate market to stabilize this year, but said the transition will likely take most of 2019.Montreal, on the other hand, is on pace to set new record in the spring, Sotheby’s said.Sales of luxury properties rose six per cent year-over-year for January and February, with 111 units sold in 2019. Sotheby’s anticipates bidding wars, sales above asking price and shorter days on market will persist through the spring. Luxury home sales fell in the two formerly hot housing markets of Vancouver and Toronto, as well as Calgary, in the first couple months of the new year, according to data released Wednesday by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.That downward trend, however, stopped at Montreal, a new real estate darling that’s likely to set new records this year.“All markets in Canada have faced the same headwinds from interest rates and stress testing,” said CEO Brad Henderson, citing the new stress test, which requires borrowers to prove that they can service their uninsured mortgage if lending rates rise above a certain threshold, that came into effect January 2018. The winners and losers of Canada’s luxury housing market in 2019 Luxury home sales fall in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary in 2018: Sotheby’s It’s not just Vancouver: Property market slump goes global, jolting cities from Hong Kong to Sydney However, Vancouver and other parts of British Columbia have faced additional policy measures, he said, listing off a five per cent hike in the foreign buyers’ tax, as well as a speculation and vacancy tax, and an additional school tax on properties valued at more than $3 million.“It is a considerable amount of taxation on real estate all designed to try and affect a soft landing,” said Henderson.“Well, I don’t think it was completely a soft landing, but it was certainly not a catastrophic landing.”Real estate figures have shown a downward trend in prices and sales activity in Vancouver recently that many have attributed to the new measures.In January and February, 279 properties sold with a price tag of over $1 million, according to Sotheby’s data. That’s down 52 per cent compared to the same two months in 2018 when 576 such properties sold.Vancouver’s “previously resilient condo market” experienced the greatest decline in sales activity of properties over $1 million with 86 units sold — down 66 per cent from 254 units sold in January and February 2018.A crane is seen at a condo development under construction as condo and office towers fill the downtown skyline in Vancouver. The city continues to be entrenched in a buyer’s market, the real estate brand said in its report.However, Henderson said Sotheby’s staff have noted more buyer interest at open houses, and there’s strong signals that buyers and sellers who have been waiting on the sidelines will re-enter the market in the spring contingent on whether prices decline to match current buyers’ market realities.“We believe that there’s a closer alignment between buyers and sellers in terms of what prices are,” he said, noting prices in Vancouver have already fallen to more attractive levels.“Hopefully the governments are going to resist the temptation to add additional policy measures,” he said, “because they could bring about the exact thing they’re trying to avoid, which is a significant correction in the marketplace.”The Toronto market, he said, seems to have adjusted to new interest rates and tax measures that include it.The market there is reacting in a more normal fashion, he said, though he noted the city’s severe winter likely kept many potential househunters away from open houses.Sotheby’s International Realty Canada says luxury home sales fell in three of Canada’s major cities over the first couple months of the year, but rose in Montreal, which is set to break records in 2019.