Category Archives: Stuff we love

Minto Snags 13 BILD Nominations!

It is that time of year again- the 36th annual BILD Award Finalists have just been announced and Minto has been nominated for 13 awards this year!

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The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) recognizes builders, developers, designers, architects, and sales & marketing professionals across the GTA for their contribution to building quality, complete communities across the region.

We have been honored to receive many awards from the BILD Association in the past and can’t wait for April 28th when the 2015 winners will be announced at their annual gala event!

Below is a picture of our super team accepting an award at last year’s BILD !

 

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Check out all the awards that we have been nominated for this year!

Best Logo (Low Rise) – Queen’s Landing

Best Non Sales Video – Minto Bside

Best Marketing Innovation – Minto Bside

Best Marketing Innovation – Minto Westside

Best Suite Design – Minto Bside: The 844

Best Innovative Suite Design – Minto Bside: the 632

Best Innovative Home Design – Oakvillage: Twilight

Best Semi Detached/Townhome Design – Oakvillage: Castlerock

Best Sales Person or Team (High Rise) – Minto Sales Team

Best Sales Person or Team (Low Rise) – Minto Sales Team

Best Sales Office (Small) – Minto Oakvillage

Best Marketing Person or Team – Minto Marketing Team

Green Builder of the Year

 

Congratulations to our employees, trades and consultants for their dedication and contributions! And a huge thank you to the BILD Association for their recognition, support and consideration. Wish us luck and stay tuned for the results on April 28th!

Best Ontario Ski Resorts To Visit Before Winter is Over!

Whether you are a downhill skier, a snowboarder, a cross-country enthusiast or a snow tuber, here is a list of some of the best ski resorts in Ontario! This season started off mild, void of that fluffy white stuff, but now that the snow has fallen and temperatures are in the negatives, the slopes are ready! Die hard snow addicts wait all year for their chance to strut their stuff on the slopes and with winter already almost over now is the time to get your lift tickets!

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Carriage Hills Resort: http://www.shellhospitality.com/carriage-ridge-resort

Carriage Hills Resort, in Barrie has established itself as a family escape into Ontario’s Lake Country. With several activities to choose from for the whole family, there are limitless opportunities for having a great time. Guests can enjoy one of several nearby skiing hills at the Resort. Kids also get a chance to take part in some fun activates at the recreation center where they can do crafts and other daily activities. After a day on the slopes enjoy cozier amenities such as a heated indoor swimming pool and hot tub, along with an exercise center and billiards room. The town of Barrie is nearby and features a selection of restaurants for dining and great nightlife!

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Hidden Valley Skiing: http://www.skihiddenvalley.ca/

Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area located in Huntsville Ontario, has been a favorite Ontario skiing destination for over 40 years! This resort is perfect if you are looking for cruising the slopes and they even have a beginners area for those just starting out! For a challenge, there are both intermediary and advance hills that run through the Terrain Park!

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Blue Mountain Skiing Resort: http://www.bluemountain.ca/

Located along the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario and evenly spanning the Niagra Escarpment, Blue Mountain has the largest Mountain village resort that is ideal for skiers and winter-lovers! The resort is ranked as one of the top family- friendly resorts in Canada. Over the past decade the resort has grown and now offers great restaurants, activities, and nightlife options right at the bottom of the hill! A great base lodge is a crucial component to a fun ski weekend. Not only does nearby Blue Mountain Lodging provide a warm retreat from the slopes, but it’s where you’ll find rental equipment, ski & snowboard lessons, dining and retail shops. Blue Mountain Lodging comfortably accommodates a romantic getaway or, a fun packed family vacation!

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Dagmar Ski Resort: http://www.skidagmar.com/

Dagmar Resort is only a 25 minute drive from Stouffville, and happens to be a one of the more deluxe ski resort in Ontario. Featuring excellent ski facilities, Dagmar stands out for their elegant facilities and close-by location. Dagmar includes ski areas for downhill skiing/snowboarding, cross-country skiing, 4 Terrain Parks and ski lessons for all skill levels. With several chairlifts & some magic carpets, guests can take their pick of slopes from beginner to advanced. Not to mention a charming chalet with beautiful views and an excellent selection of food which means you will never ski hungry!

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We hope this inspired you to fight off the cold to get outdoors and go on a great skiing adventure! It’s the perfect opportunity to get away, even just for the day, with that special someone! So get out and find some fun amongst nature’s snowy landscape!

 

 

 

Best Hot Chocolate in Toronto!

Now that January is upon us in full windy gear, we thought it best to indulge in something warm,  sweet, rich, and sometimes filled with perfectly sized fluffy marshmallows! Yup- we are talking about the greatest winter treat of all, hot chocolate! In the cold upcoming months after a great dinner, an evening walk, movie night with the kids, or, a mid-day pick me up at work,  we all crave that perfect cup of hot cocoa! We have found some great spots around Toronto to keep you begging winter to stay longer!

 

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First up: Moroco Chocolat

Nestled in the heart of Yorkville, Moroco Chocolat is as fancy and delightful as the name promises. This French inspired handmade chocolate shop is getting growing praise for their delectable selections of cocoa in all forms, and confections! They have brunch and afternoon teas, and more importantly here to us, they have hot chocolate! Dark rich and full of flavor, options like Peppermint Hot Chocolate is offered only for the winter season, and is one of the most popular items on their menu! Before you reach for your winter scarf and bag and make your way down to grab a drink or snack, check out their website for more menu options and location details!  Bon Appetite!

http://www.morocochocolat.com/

 

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Maman

Need a lunch hour pick-me-up? Conveniently located in the financial district, Maman’s café is a surprisingly cozy and country inspired café on the first level of the First Canadian Place. It’s refreshing to get away from the hustle and bustle of city and work life and come into Maman’s for some unique offerings such as their infamous, ‘Lavender Hot Chocolate’ .  A perfect duo of rich cocoa and sweet lavender makes this drink the perfect escape for your taste buds! Aside from Hot chocolate the menu also includes an array of breakfast and lunch items such as Quiches, tarts, sandwiches and of course, coffee’s and tea’s!  Check out their website for catering and special order offers!

http://mamantoronto.com/

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Soma Chocolatemaker

Located in the King West and Distillery District areas, Soma is one of Toronto’s most popular sweet spots!  One of their spin-off’s is actually a traditionally inspired drink; Spicy Mayan Hot Chocolate! Decadent cocoa, chilly peppers, orange peel, ginger and Madagascar vanilla keep customers extra warm and coming back for more! This velvety and smooth goodness sounds like the perfect drink this winter that will literally ‘spice’ things up! While you are in the area, check out our Minto Westside  Presentation Centre at 25 Bathurst Street and learn how you can call the Westside neighborhood, to all these yummy cafes and restaurants, home!

http://www.somachocolate.com/

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And last on our list, but not the least at all:  Douce France

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 was to visit Paris, then you are in luck… Sort of!

Douce France is Toronto’s most sought out Parisian style café! Located close to Minto30Roe, they have been known to be as meticulous and detailed with all their pastries and beverages, including of course, their famous hot chocolate!  All of their ingredients come in straight from France making your visit to a nearby French café a convenient delight!  Their hot chocolate has actually been named the best hot chocolate in the world! Pure taste, rich, succulently creamy and just the right thickness that allows you to really sit and take your time to enjoy all of its fondue like goodness! Check out the website to see a list of all ingredients and products that you can have right here in Toronto, straight from a la France!

http://www.doucefrance.ca/

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No matter where you decide to go for that warmth in your palms chocolate liquid bliss, aka hot chocolate , enjoy it with friends, family, or by yourself with a good read or a favorite flick! Stop by one or more of these places to get the best of Toronto’s sweet spot delights, and if you decide to visit Moroco Chocolat, be sure to come visit us at 101 Yorkville to find out more about #24KaratLiving at Minto Yorkville Park, or contact us today for more information!

 

 

Tips On Keeping That New Year’s Resolution!

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There is plenty of literature out there on ways to help keep our 2016 New Year’s Resolution in check! It has been a few weeks now and although for some it may be easy in the beginning, for others, it is more of a challenge to get into a new routine, or habit of something we in most cases blindly promised ourselves as the countdown ended 2015 last year. Whatever your current situation might be, don’t worry – we are here to help!  We took the time to gather some expert advice from all over, to ensure that the excitement and commitment to the first few weeks of these new ambitious goals keep strong into the months to come! While some have us have resolved to finish off that bottom floor renovation, others have decided that they will run every day for 20 minutes, or cut out sugar, and others decided to focus on the overall health benefits of body and mind to clear their mind and live a more stress-free 2016!

We have outlined a few different strategies that will help promote healthy and successful changes akin to your hopes and goals for 2016:

Set Realistic Goals

Making unrealistic goals is the most common mistake and the surest way to fall short of your goals. An example of this would be to set a goal to “Never eat sugar again”. Instead, try, “try to cut down on sugar as much as possible”.

Start on January 1

 

Make a “Pros” and “Cons” List

Rather than writing your goals up on New Year’s Eve or day, try making a list over time. It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. By developing this list over time you will have thought through each one of your goals. It is a good idea to have this list with you so that you can refer back to it when you feel like you just may be slipping!

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Talk About It

Rather than keeping your goals to yourself, it has been noted if you speak to loved ones about them it can help keep you on track. By having a support group like friends and family, they can also make changes to help accommodate your desired lifestyle.  Even better, you may influence those around you to make changes for the better as well!

Reward Yourself

Don’t be so hard on yourself! After keeping up with a goal for a week or two, why not reward yourself. That sweet taste of indulgence will help inspire you to keep going, knowing that there is a light at the end of your resolution tunnel!

Track Your Progress

It may not seem like a lot has been accomplished or resolved, but you should keep track of each small success.  Whither you have a short-term goal like losing 10 pounds before your vacation, or long term goal like travel to at least 5 places before the end of the year, tracking your steps towards this goal will help keep it going strong!

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Stick to It

You may want to call it quits especially if you are not seeing any results, but experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. Knowing this, understand that it will not happen overnight so try to hold on and be persistent and patient!

And finally, Keep Trying and DON’T give up!

If you have past that 21 day mark and are still feeling like you are better off resuming to an old habit or way, remember all the other strategies such as your list, your family and friend support, and your own tracking methods that have been rewarding you for those little steps!  If you think you are on the brink of an epic fail, don’t stress, just start again! Recommit 24 hours, experts say, and do this over and over again and before you know it weeks will have gone by and your second or third attempt will have been a success, and worth it all!

Did you find this helpful? If so visit the full article on:

http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-tips-help-you-keep-your-new-year-s-resolution

We really hoped this help and remember, even when it gets tough, there are many others that are going through the same thing during these wintery new months of the New Year, and are also trying hard not to give up! So let’s support each other in making 2016 the year it all happens for us!!!

 

Get Your Warm And Hearty Comfort Food Fix Near Minto Westside!

It’s officially winter, and although we may miss the ice-cream and bbq patio season, there is nothing like a great bowl of hearty stew, or some good old mac n’ cheese to cure that wintery chilled spot! For your winter appetite we’ve got all the cheerful and delicious spots just a short distance from Minto West Side! Nestled within close proximity to King West, Queen West, and Liberty Village, Minto West Side’s convenient location is swarming with good eats that will feed your soul on that crisp cold walk home from work, or on a wintery weekend with friends!

 

Let’s begin!

 

The Foggy Dew :

Known for serving all the traditions of Ireland, this place recreates a genuine Irish establishment in the heart of King West Village. Amongst the warm food menu, there is always an array of beers on tap or by the pint. Share plates of Black and Tan Onion Rings, Sharp Cheddar and Ale Dip or Duck Confit Poutine followed by Guinness Braised Ontario Angus Flat Iron Steak or Traditional Fish ‘n’ Chips! These are only a few of their yummy menu items!  Come and join The Foggy Dew crew on Saturday nights and you will be obliged with some great live music to pair with that scrumptious dish!  Group bookings and private parties are also welcomed at the Foggy Dew. For more information visit their website:  http://fabrestaurants.ca/restaurant/foggy-dew/

 

Touhenboku:

Ramen is one of the traditional dishes of Japan, known for its beautifully orchestrated bowl of noodles, veggies, meat and or seafood!  Amongst the hottest cuisines in this city, Touhenboku has gained popularity for its cozy atmosphere and chummy table layout.  Touhenboku explodes with the perfect combination of class and comfort with an impressive selection of what some call “Japanese soul food,”!  Folks swarm into Touhenboku for its warm approach and consistently delicious selection of its signature dishes. For their main attraction, Ramen, the broth is perfectly clear yet intensely flavored, the noodles are thick and chewy and perfectly filling and your choice of all the add-ins only add to the robust tang. Customers can also enjoy a range of appetizing and authentic accompaniments, like gyoza dumplings and the much-celebrated chicken karaage. To check out the menu click here:  http://www.touhenboku.ca/

 

Smoque N Bones:

Craving ribs tonight? Say no more and make your way over to Smoque N Bones for their famous pork ribs that come fresh out of the smoker in three-hour intervals. They’re served naked straight from the smoker with barbecue sauce supplied on the side with a brush for your own freedom and convenience to add as much or as little as you please!  In addition to ribs, there are southern comfort food sides that are evenly priced at $3.90 some of which include;  sweet options like candied yams and baked beans, collard greens, dirty rice, cheesy grits, shoestring potatoes, sweet potato waffle fries and buttermilk onion ring and mac n’ cheese! Want something to cool of all that heat; try out the cold salads like coleslaw and potato salad! There is pretty much something for everyone, including draught beers such as; Samuel Adams, Amsterdam Blonde, Muskoka Detour, Flying Monkey and Mill St. Tankhouse! You can choose a pint sized or, regular sized portion (if you’re full off all those ribs)! Check out their website for directions and more menu options: http://smoquenbones.com/

 

Cheesewerks:

 Located in South Bathurst area, this glassy establishment boasts off their fresh house-made soups, baked goods, libations, and of course the main event, lots and lots of grilled cheese sandwiches, ranging from bare-bones classics to creative and authentic creations of their own! This yummy venue is setup almost like a dining room set against a wall mosaic of cheese-inspired tones of yellows. Once you’ve found a table through the rush, enjoy the city-inspired sandwiches off the menu with flavors that include; Koreatown” (gruyere and kimchi), and “Danforth” (aged goat cheddar and olive tapenade), and “Little Italy” (buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil).  There are many more menu options, all which come with a side of fresh hand cut kettle chips! Cheesewerks also hosts many  events throughout the month, check out their event listings, menu and location here: http://www.cheesewerks.com/


Queen Street Warehouse: 

The same owners of El Furniture Warehouse bring you Queen Street Warehouse, where you can get you comfort food fix, with almost everything on the menu for $5! Hearty options include, Braised Beef Spaghetti (Fresh herbs, tomato marinara, hint of cream + slow cook beef) Warehouse Crispy Mac n’ Cheese (creamy 3 cheese, roasted red pepper Alfredo sauce, crunchy corn, fresh thyme + Parmesan crust) And for your sweet tooth finale- some fresh baked mini donuts! This venue is particularly popular for its large TV screens that showcase music and concert video’s, rap battles, and accompanying tunes that are a mix of ’80s and ’90s rock, R’n’B and hip hop! Friendly staff, good food and music, say no more! Click here for directions: http://www.toronto.com/restaurants/queen-street-warehouse/

 

The Thompson Diner: 

The Thompson Diner (formerly, The Counter), is the Thompson Hotel’s trendy 24-hour diner, a spin off the classic diner theme. Just south of King on Bathurst, this restaurant is decidedly more upscale in appearance but still provides a great selection of some good old comfort food.  The sleek and retro décor and huge red velvet booths is what makes up this large space! The menu offerings include; fries, onion rings, which come with choices of dips like garlic aioli! But if you made your way to the diner, it only seems right to try one of The Thompson Diner’s famous burgers (with options that are available on veggie, turkey and of course the classic beef)! There is also a wide selection of toppings to choose from that graciously decorate these huge tower-like burgers!  Most burgers arrive on a wooden cutting board, generously topped with your choice of comfort goodness like melted jalapeno jack cheese, spinach, crispy fried onions, lettuce and tomato. Large, messy, and maybe a challenge to eat, but the comfort it provides to the palate keeps everyone coming back for more! For location and menu details click here: http://www.thompsondiner.com/

 

Is your mouth watering yet? Get your fix at some or all of these locations and while you’re in the area, visit us inside the Minto West Side Presentation Centre at 25 Bathurst Street and learn how you can call the Westside neighborhood, home.

The Perfect Christmas Tree For Your Home, and How to Do it Yourself!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and your home is the perfect way to display your holiday spirit! Christmas is such a special time, and picking out the perfect tree to create that ideal festive feel is always so much fun!
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With so many options out there we often find ourselves wondering; which Christmas tree should I go with, what color, what will be this year’s theme,  size, and much much more!  With all the different décor ideas out there it’s hard knowing which one is right for your unique space, don’t worry we are here to help!

Here are a few ideas to assist in finalizing your favorite décor pieces for this season!

Preparation – Finding the Tree:

 

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Before you pick a design for your home, there are a few pointers on what to look for!  Reader’s Digest helps the process by outlining some key factors before choosing! For Example, it is suggested that before you go tree shopping, measure the height of the ceiling in the room where you will display your tree because you will want to choose a tree that is at least one foot shorter than the ceiling height. Also, it’s best to measure the opening of your tree stand and make sure the base of your chosen tree will fit. Other suggestions are to run your fingers along the needles and ensure that when you give it a shake, the bristles are not falling out! We hope you found these tips useful, for more tips visit: http://www.rd.com/home/pick-the-perfect-christmas-tree/

 

You have many choices in purchasing a tree when living in Toronto, as there are many markets and farms within close range ! Here is a list of places around Toronto where you can choose the right tree for you and your family! http://www.toronto.com/articles/where-to-pick-the-perfect-christmas-tree-around-toronto/

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Design/ Theme of Your Tree:

Now that you have picked out that tree, time to decide on how to decorate it! Whether you are going for the traditional, modern, or unique approach, we have several ideas just waiting to be tried out!

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If you are the kind of person who loves the traditional Christmas tree, you probably already have some of your own favorites; here are some more ideas from Traditional Home to help you chose exactly what style of traditional you prefer! http://www.traditionalhome.com/design/decorating-christmas-trees?page=3

 

 

For a trendier, modern tree take a look at Debbie Travis’s guide on how pick the perfect tree for different contemporary styles of home décor. Some ideas include:

Peppermint – Traditional candy cane colours inspires this traditional collection, updated with silver accents to enhance the richness

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Pistachio – This is a lovely green and gold trimmed trim with details that play off beautiful dark brown accents in an elegant collection.

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Once Upon a Time – This collection is romantic, pretty and feminine with a Victorian feel. It is inspired by all things that are magical for your little princesses.

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These are just a few styles of trees to chose from, for more ideas, visit:

http://www.styleathome.com/decorating-and-design/styling-secrets/debbie-travis-christmas-tree-tips/a/33498

 

And lastly,  for the inner creative genius in you, we’ve got just the perfect way to spice up those pines! If you looking for a funky and unique spin on decorating your tree, check out these cool ides:

http://www.styleathome.com/decorating-and-design/accessories/christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/a/38087

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Now, Let’s Start Decorating Ourselves!

Now that you have everything, follow this easy stet-by-step guide to start decorating yourself! In just 5 steps you will have your beautiful Christmas tree ready for the Holiday celebrations!

http://www.styleathome.com/decorating-and-design/styling-secrets/decorate-your-christmas-tree-in-5-easy-steps/a/44378

Decorating The Christmas Tree: Tips

We hope this helped your search, and narrow down your awesome design ideas!

 

From our Minto family to yours, we hope that whatever tree or decorative style you decide to go with this holiday, it fills your home and families with tremendous joy and holiday spirit!

Get Yourself Holiday Ready – Toronto’s Christmas Markets and Fairs!

It’s that time of year again, where no matter how hard you try to be organized with your Christmas shopping, you still manage to forget a few items or people on your list! Skip the lines and crowded stores and stop off at any of our city’s Holiday markets and fairs for some unique gift ideas, fun treats, and spirited music to put a jump in your holiday step!

The One Of A Kind Show

The one of a kind show is truly the only one of its kind! This long running show brings together buyers and sellers who have the same commitment in sharing their passion for handmade unique items! The show has been around since 1975 and still goes strong due to its creativity and craftsmanship involved from all participants! Don’t miss out, the show runs until December 6th 2015! For more information on vendors, location, hours; click below!http://oneofakindshow.com/toronto/index.php


Trinity Bellwoods Holiday Weekend Market

This holiday season, join many others in the holiday spirits, and find the special gift for that special someone on your list. December 19th and 20th, 11am-6pm Trinity Bellwoods Park will host a special event just in time for the countdown to Christmas!  Be sure to find all your favorite handmade, local, art and vintage vendors and artisans to bring you a diverse and truly worthy selection of goods. This event runs for two days so don’t miss out on this great shopping experience! Admission is free, and there will also be free gift wrapping when you spend over $50 at the market. Get ready to sip on some hot cocoa, or mimosas while skipping along to some of your favorite 90’s hits, and of course, the Christmas classics too!

For more information click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1046971941994263/

Distillery District

Home to the most artistic and historic shops and restaurants, it is no wonder the Distillery Christmas Market is truly a huge success every year! With over 320 performances including bands, carolers, and dance groups, there is never a dull or quiet moment! Spread the cheer and bring your friends, family, and even pets to take part in many activities that are lined up throughout the day! Whether you are looking for somewhere to take the kids, or a romantic evening date night with that special someone, be sure to come down to this perfect holiday hotspot!

For more details on entertainment schedules and tickets click here: http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com/

Union Station Holiday Market

Located in the centre of it all, the Union Station Holiday Market is an easy one-stop place to get a dosage of holidays in the city! The Market showcases unique merchandise from specialty retail vendors, artisans, designers, food merchants and cultural institutions.  A destination for Torontonians and visitors to browse, shop, and embrace the holiday spirit. Being Toronto’s transportation hub, Union Sation is Canada’s busiest building and a National Historic Site of Canada.  Attendance is free for all who come! Come out and embrace the Holidays at a convenient location for all to get to ! For more information on vendors and hours, click here! http://www.unionstationholidaymarket.com/#about

With lots of Holiday Fairs and Markets to choose from, be sure to make it out to at least one of these fabulous destinations in our favorite city!