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Vieux Montreal, New Yawk, And The Sneaky Swede

Vieux Montreal, New Yawk, And The Sneaky Swede

Tweets and additional commentary from an 8-day trip to Montreal and NYC to celebrate the 7th anniversary with my fiancee, Mila.

Storified by Peter Dushenski · Tue, Nov 20 2012 16:53:32

Do airplanes have winter tires?Peter Dushenski
Day 1: Edmonton to Montreal
We started our journey by flying 3500km east from Edmonton to Montreal. We landed, checked in, went for a walk, and went to bed. Day 1 in the books!

Day 2: Montreal

We slept in, grabbed a coffee, and walked down St. Catherine’s towards my Grandpa’s place in Westmount where we were joined by my Uncle Justin and his wife Karen.

Landed in Montreal with The Future Mrs. CarEnvy on our 7th anniversary trip. This is our last November 12 anniversary, moving to August 24…Peter Dushenski
Obama only asked for 4 more years in the most RT’d tweet ever, I’m asking for 7 with the option for several more re-elections. #7moreyearsPeter Dushenski
We then sauntered over to the romantic Old Montreal and stopped into the Taverne Gaspar for cocktails. The Old Fashioned was delightful, but if you only order one drink, go for the signature Bourbon Lemonade.
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Yom Kippur at the Paris Motor Show 2012

Today is “The Day” i.e. The Day of Atonement on the Jewish Calendar. There’s no holier day for The Chosen People. It’s also the first live day of coverage for journalists at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the first show of the rambunctious Auto Show Season. How do these fit together?

Since we didn’t win the Kia Canada Photography Contest and Twitter gives a more interactive glimpse of the proceedings anyways, let’s see how the world’s largest and most influential automakers fared in Paris today and what they have to atone for as a result. Even with more guilt-assuaging plug-in hybrids than sexy booth babes, you’d better believe they’re still guilty beyond reproach.

In no particular order, the 6 Most Sinful:

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Romney GS vs. SHObama – Turbo Americana

By Peter Dushenski @carenvy

As our neighbours to the south head to the polls for the most important election in the world this November, it’s time again for members of the international community to think about who we might vote for, given the opportunity.

To help guide us in this very theoretical debate, CarEnvy has invited two proud American sedans that provide speed, luxury, and most importantly, exceptional value. Because other than childhood obesity and technological innovation, what’s more American that bang for your buck? We’ve matched each of the political candidates with their nearest automotive parallel to help shed some light on what is sure to be a nasty and narrowly won fight to the finish. Republican Candidate Mitt Romney will be represented by the 2012 Buick Regal GS and Democratic Candidate Barack Obama will be represented by the 2013 Ford Taurus SHO. It’s Romney GS vs. SHObama!

You have but one vote, dear friends, and the fate of the world depends on it.

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What Does The 2012 Buick Verano Mean For GM? [Review]

By Peter Dushenski @carenvy

What does this compact car mean for Buick, a company renowned for staid near-luxury and burdened by associations to bailouts? It means that Buick has succeeded.

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Part 1: Finding Black Swan Robustness with the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, and Chevy Aveo


by Peter Dushenski @carenvy

In our lifetimes, certainly in my quarter century, the global economy has never been less predictable and the future has never seemed more opaque. It’s been more than four years since the housing bubble burst in the US  and Credit Default Swaps entered popular parlance, yet little seems to have changed. Governments are even deeper in fragilizing debt, global currencies are teetering on the brink, and the world’s largest banking institutions are back to making record profits. If that weren’t enough, education is increasingly incapable of ensuring employment and job prospects in general continue to haunt hopes of lasting recovery. Even if you’re personally unaffected by this, watching any amount of TV news will surely make the world seem a bit bleak.

And yet, we still eat out, we still go to movies and to the bar, and we still buy new cars. Borrowing rates remain low and the luxury market has never been hungrier. By most any measure, the lives of those of us in the western world have never been better. But because the larger picture remains so unsure, we’ve never been more exposed to what the (justifiably arrogant) investor-philosopher Nassim Taleb calls “Black Swans”: highly consequential and equally unpredictable events. Black Swans get more severe the more complex a society and economy become, which is perhaps the only sure bet there is. Their effects become more devastating than we can imagine and, ironically, we’ve never been more vulnerable. It’s about time that we think about ways in which we can protect ourselves, ways in which we can remain robust even when the world goes crazier than Christopher Nolan’s gruesome Gotham.

Being robust means being unharmed by (or better yet, benefiting from) volatility. It’s being agile and ready for anything, like a blogger-ninja hybrid. Robustness can be a state of mind, and it should be, but we can also build our lives to be more robust. Reducing or eliminating debt is a great place to start, as is having cash on hand. Diversification, hamstering your assets a little here and a little there, will ensure that when Black Friday returns, you won’t have all your eggs in one basket. Certain forms of insurance can also be used to provide protection from these crippling curveballs.

But let’s say that you want to maintain robustness while also spending $67,000 on your next vehicle (we’re imagining here that you have a healthy income and are already contributing a fair share to savings), where do you start? How can you protect yourself from the next big economic catastrophe while still being ready to go on blind dates, help your friend move, and survive your commute?

For a mere sixty-seven large, you could drive off the lot in the vaquero-flustering Ford F-150 King Ranch EcoBoost, an unimpeachable tool for life on the Prairies with enough charisma to charm milk out of a cow, eggs out of chickens, and wheat out of flour. Hauling your friends to the lake, commanding rush hour traffic, going on a date, off-roading like a high-roller, or dragging your parents’ old furniture to the city dump (like I did) could all be easily accomplished with a visit to your local Ford store. And you could do much, much worse for that kind of money (Z4, anyone?), but is that the best way to spend all that money? Perhaps we should listen to our grandfathers and not spend it all in one place, spending it instead on a trio of (don’t laugh) hatchbacks? Let’s look at a few real life scenarios and decide for ourselves, like big boys.

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2012 Ford F-250 Lariat: Casting Long Shadows

By Peter Dushenski @carenvy

Strawberry-peach skies blend into the violet-soaked horizon. Renewed trees bud with green intent, spreading millions of hopeful seeds into the wind. Brightly coloured runners bounce off their treadmills and onto jagged, pockmarked pavement. Our cats resume their hunting ways, free from their purgatory of winter solitude once more.

Close your eyes and listen to hypnotic motorcycles as they fizz and grumble, echoing into the mesmerizing Sunday evening. It’s a time of beauty unknowable in the rest of the dark starry cosmos. It’s spring on the High Prairies and the shadows are getting longer.

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2012 Ford F-150 SuperCrew SVT Raptor: Introversion, Friendship, and Dayenu [Review]

“We are friends and I do like to pass the day with you in serious and inconsequential chatter. I wouldn’t mind washing up beside you, dusting beside you, reading the back half of the paper while you read the front. We are friends and I would miss you, do miss you and think of you very often.”

- Jeanette Winterson

I was introverted growing up. A loner, even. I didn’t seek the company of others; I didn’t need them to be content. I played soccer and acted in plays, group activities encouraged by my parents, but I was rarely happier than when alone with my Lego. I was quite happy to construct my own world, unsatisfied with the uncertain one around me.

As you can surely gather, I didn’t make friends easily, mainly because I didn’t understand what others were thinking. Others were confusing. At the time, I didn’t understand that my actions and words could impact other people’s emotions. I simply wasn’t born with that intuition. Is it any wonder I was picked on?

I moved schools frequently growing up; always ready to move to greener pastures. Unattached was I to anyone in particular. I just switched schools whenever I wanted to try a new program. I attended schools for French Immersion, the visual and performing arts, self-paced learning, before finally completing my grade school education at a more academic institution replete with kids as intent on post-secondary as I was. I never kept in contact with my friends from previous schools. I just happily moved on.

When I entered University, hopeful of finally meeting intellectual equals, I had only a handful of people I was even moderately close with, but by then I’d gotten better at meeting new people. I’d certainly done it enough. Meeting new people wasn’t that tough, I learned, it just required some persistence. This persistence would be key to befriending one girl in particular. She was a tough nut to crack, but I eventually broke through. This girl would soon become the best friend I ever had. In fact, she’s still my best friend.

Over the next 6 years, this girl would teach me many things, but arguably the most important was how and why my actions and words impact other people’s emotions. It wasn’t easy for me to understand, but she patiently and logically worked me through this complex and baffling facet of the human condition. This invaluable lesson is perhaps the greatest gift she’s ever given me, after her friendship, of course.

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The 2012 Harley-Davidson F-150 Is The Modern Day Tower of Babel

by Peter Dushenski


Its bricks and mortar are fuel and space.

Like the Tower of Babel, the newest Harley reaches high into the clouds.


Serpents abound.

Printed leathers and wondrous wheels.

Man tasted knowledge for the first time in the snake-infested Eden,

He ignored God’s word for the second time before the Flood,

He reached for the clouds a third time with his Tower,

Man reaches further still with every new Harley.


It’s has been around for ages now.

A not uncommon sight on the streets of Alberta.

The orange and black have faded.

How small and simple they look next to this one:

The newest and most self-aggrandizing yet.


It’s immense in every sense.

Its hypnotic V8 purrs relentlessly.

Its fanged flanks look ready to eat an Elantra.


Its whizzing running boards loft the driver one step closer to the clouds.

One step closer to the top of the Tower.

They also get jammed with snow.


It’s natural.

Just as the Empire State Building was surpassed by the Sears Tower,

So will the Burj Khalifa be passed.

Man seeks great heights.

He seeks to surpass his peers

And himself.

This Harley is taller.

It reaches higher.


Fuel prices rise.

Population and density commensurately.

The bricks and mortar are crumbling.

The Harley keeps reaching.

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