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About spa

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    Clerk of Red Tape

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    Halifax, NS, Canada

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  1. Not to excite anyone too much by bumping this thread back to life, but I wanted to share where my real life journey has taken me. The young family, which chewed into my Sim City time, has been joined by a big change of career. I was successful last weekend in being elected to Halifax Regional Council as Dartmouth Centre's representative. It took a lot of work to make it happen and I'm very excited to take on my new role. I get the feeling I will have very little free-time for anything except my family and that being a local politician will be both very challenging and rewarding. Funny to realize that this thread is now 10 years old. I started it when I was a grad student, carried on as a young professional, to the young family years and now into politics. I have been enjoying Cities Skylines immensely though so the city bug is still there http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/district-5-sam-austin-gloria-mccluskey-municipal-election-halifax-1.3807378 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/new-faces-hrm-election-1.3808816
  2. Hillcroft Farms #2

    Best countryside I have ever seen in Cities Skylines. Really shows everything that this great game is able to do.
  3. Did they fix the black beaches in the tropical maps? (shadow effect was broken) Cities Skylines was a work of genius and is by far and away the best city simulator produced to date. What I can't fathom is how a team that created the dream simulator is messing things up so badly on the DLC side. I haven't fired up my city yet (bit afraid too), but I don't see any new content that will actually enhance the game in a significant way. Trams? Is that really it? Meanwhile, there is a whole lot of messing with stuff that makes the experience less enjoyable (screwed up mods, screwed up textures). Give us some DLC that actually adds to the game or just get out of the way and let the modders and content creators run the show.
  4. Thanks for this lovely CJ. It really shows everything that Cities Skylines can do. Cagayan feels like a real place and a beautiful one at that. PS: Laughed out loud at "Cagayan Land Jellyfish." Their is a mod out that eliminate those ugly sprites now if you don't already have it
  5. Thanks David. It is a chance to redo a few things I'm already working on finalizing the terrain for my next map.
  6. Thanks everyone. Unfortunately, I have some bad news. I had been avoiding Cities Skylines since After Dark came out, knowing that there would be problems. Figured I would wait to allow some updating of all the custom content I have been using to occur. The good news is Vitarvis still loads, but the bad news is a whole ton of stuff is missing. That wouldn't be the end of the world except for the fact that I installed traffic plus many, many saves back and have regretted doing so because it really slows things down. If I could do that over again, I would just do traffic Manager combined with the congestion avoiding AI. With the slow speed, all the missing assets and how much I would have to put into getting Vitarvis back to where it was, I think I'm going to just start a new city. It'll probably be a new CJ since I did enjoy this as a creative outlet; it really made the city come alive as a real place for me. For now though, Vitarvis is closed and likely finished. Thanks for following my forray into CJs and for the encouragement.
  7. Exploring Vitarvis #5: Gahan

    Bit of a summer hiatus, but even though I haven't been posting, I have still be working on Vitarvis. On today's tour, we're going to the Gahan neighbourhood on Vitarvis's far eastern edge, a place that is almost completely surrounded by water. The updated satellite map below identifies the location in relation to our previous stops. Unlike Point Inglis, Augustein and Piedro, Gahan was never much of an independent entity. Its growth has been entirely the result of the success of Vitarvis. Gahan's seaside location proved to be attractive to suburban residential development and things really took off after the subway (Blue Line) was extended into the area. Over time, the low-density residential has slowly given way to some height and the neighbourhood is now very much an old suburb transitioning to inner city. Gahan is still though a largely low-rise district. In the picture below you can see all of Gahan including Coral Point, Warbler Pond, Gahan Beach and the Gahan Crossroads. The high-rises of Muriel Square and the waters of Lake Presario dominate the background with the Vitarvis skyline visible on the distant horizon. From down at street level in Gahan of course, you wouldn't see Vitarvis's towers. First stop is Coral Point. This jagged bit of rock is named for the coral reef that is located just below the surface on the sheltered northern side of the point. The reef is a popular stop for snorkellers while the Point is a great place to walk catch a fantastic sunrise over the sea every morning. The number bus route terminates in the road circle on the point and connects all the way to Downtown. Walking from the point, you can follow a path down to the seaside to enjoy the sand at Gahan Beach. Gahan Beach is Vitarvis's least popular beach because it's located at the bottom of a steep stoney hillside. Paths have been built to provide access, but it still means a long walk out at the end of the day. On the flipside, Gahan beach doesn't get the crowds of Vitarvis's other beaches, which means that it's popular with anyone who doesn't mind a little bit of a hike in exchange for a bit more space and solitude. Here you can see the substantial engineering that had to occur to provide a second access route down to the beach. It was a tricky walkway to build and design because of the steep hillside. The project ended up being way bigger than the surface path that was originally envisioned and of course ended up way over budget. Still, it does the job without creating additional erosion problems. Up the hill from the beach, Warbler Pond Park breaks up Gahan's street grid. Named after the large flocks of warblers that would gather in the trees on its shores, the park is much more urban now and the flock of warblers are greatly diminished. It's still a favourite promenade for locals though. Low-rise residential used to completely surround Warbler Pond, but high-rise development has shown up in recent years on the southern end along Merit Road and on the western end close to the Gahan Crossroads. Strolling in Warbler Pond Park Looking east over Warbler Pond towards Coral Point. The old McCormick Building has been recently refurbished into high end condos. The patio on the top offers a $1,000,000 view of the Pond and sea with units on the upper floors priced to match. Two main roads meet in the centre of Gahan, Muriel Avenue and Balcom Street. Muriel Avenue takes you towards Muriel Square and, eventually, Downtown Vitarvis while Balcom Street is the only road that runs along the north side of Lake Presario to Tignus Hill. The intersection of Muriel and Balcom is known locally as the Gahan Crossroads and blocks around the Crossroads function as Gahan's commerical hub. The Crossroads is also a major transit hub, featuring the second last stop on the Blue Line Metro and two intersecting bus routes. When the Metro was built, several small heritage buildings on the corner had to be demolished leaving a blank wall behind on the surviving historic Lanekirk Building behind it. There has been talk of putting a mural on the Lanekirk Building's blank wall for years, but, so far, nothing has come of it. The Crossroads from above. Note the stream of ambulances just past the intersectoin. For some reason, Gahan Hospital is a go to place for emergency services and the dispatch of ambulances is constant (not sure why Cities Skylines is picking this hospital so much but it is). A siren is a steady sound at the Crossroads. Just down from the Crossroads on Balcom Street is Rosebloom Row, a stretch of rowhouses built into the side of the hill. Rosebloom Row is overlooked by the twin Tobek Corporation Towers. Tobek Corporation is a real estate holding company and, in actuality, only occupies a few floors of Tower 1. The rest of the space is leased out to a variety of firms that want a convenient location, but not at Downtown Vitarvis prices. Before the Tobek office development, the rowhouses of Rosebloom use to extend all the way across the block. Looking up Balcom Street. Muriel Square to the left (a future update), Lake Presario and Coral Point. One final shot of the low-rise residential development that still characterizes much of Gahan. You can see the Tobek Towers to the left and the Crossroads at the top of the hill. That's all for now. Hope you've enjoyed your visit to Vitarvis.
  8. Exploring Vitarvis #4: Piedro

    Thanks Vibrance!
  9. Not sure if I should be keeping this going here or just focussing on the City Journal section (seems to be somewhat different audiences). Here's the latest update. On today's visit to Vitarvis, we're heading up the harbour to Piedro at the mouth of the Colteck River. Piedro is another one of the Vitarvis area's older settlements, but its origins are quite different. While Point Inglis and Augstein were primarily settled because of their access to the harbour, Piedro began as a Christian monastery. Set in a deep valley, its limited entry and exit points provided the monastery with solitude while the fertile land and river allowed its monks to be relatively self-sufficient. The monastery didn't occupy the entire valley though and its presence spurred the growth of a smaller supporting community on the river front. The picture below show's the entire Piedro valley, which is nicknamed the bowl because of its steeply sloping walls and generally round shape. Piedro's two defining features are its waterfront and the monastery's central bell tower. We'll start by taking a closer look at the waterfront. The waterfront is defined by Anthern Avenue, with its commercial buildings on one side and a pedestrian promenade on the other. This is the secular community that formed to serve the monastery. Once upon a time, Piedro's waterfront was a much more industrial place. There was a network of small piers which made up a thriving working waterfront. The rise of modern containerized traffic though rendered the old piers obsolete and most of them were abandoned and have long since rotted away. One of the old piers, Slayter's wharf, however, was bought by the city to provide a landing place for pleasure boats. Slayter's Wharf is now an integral part of Piedro's waterfront, attracting walkers, fishers and recreational boaters. Close up of some of the commercial buildings along the waterfront. The Piedro Valley Link Bus can be seen moving along Anthern Avenue. The bus route comes down one side of the valley and goes up the other. It provides a public transit link from Piedro into the rest of the urban area above the valley. From the waterfront, it's only a short distance up Saint Road to the Piedro Monastery and its distinctive bell tower. The Monastery has a long history in Vitarvis. It once covered the entire northern end of the valley and was home to several hundred monks. As Atlantica society became more and more secular though, their numbers shrunk and the monastery came under increasing financial pressure. Some religious orders would have sold everything off and moved to the country, but the Piedro monks had come to believe that they needed to be with the people. The Monastery sold off their agricultural lands for development. and the proceeds of the sale created a fund. Through some lucky investing, the fund has ballooned in value and has made the monastery self-sufficient, despite the hefty upkeep costs of the bell tower and adjacent building. The garden park to the right of the bell tower is a city park designed with a colour palette and lines to compliment the monastery. Looking up Saint Road to the bell tower. There is always a crowd of tourists out front waiting for their chance to scale the stairs to the top. Gotta love the symnetry. There are two roads that bring people in and out of Piedro. Old Augstein Road below was carved into the cliff to get to an erroded channel and the plateau above. It was the first means of accessing the valley from the land. I really liked the way the curves turned out on this one. Felt very natural to follow the contours. Once you're at the top of the valley, you can follow the edge all the way around. The views from up top down into Piedro, the inner harbour and Colteck river can be quite pretty. The other side of the valley is capped with a gentle mesa. Known as Piedro Heights, it was not developed until after the Valley had filled up. Piedro Heights was quite controversial in Piedro itself because it wiped out what had been a spectacularly green hillside and popular hiking destination. The development was eventually approved, but only after the developer had committed to an aggressive tree planting program. Today, it can sometimes be tough to pick out the houses from the mature trees and the mesa is green again... at least from a distance. That's all for now!