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Peak of Whistler Mountain - The inukshuk at the Whistler Peak is like the community's own weather vane. When it's covered in snow, you can safely say the conditions are good. When the inukshuk is covered in snow and it looks like it was captured running at top speed by a camera with slow shutter speed, it's safe to assume it's a little windy at the peak. In any case, there's lots of inukshuks in Whistler to choose from, despite them being an Inuit symbol with no particular cultural relevance to this region, and the man at the peak takes the cake.
Alpine Meadows - When you meet a real Whistler pioneer, somebody who's been here for 40 years, it's almost a stupid question to ask them where they live. Most of them will tell you one of two places - Creekside or Alpine Meadows. Alpine, quiet and serene, was chosen as Whistler's best neighbourhood this year. It's the home of many a Whistler hardcore. Like Vincent "Binty" Massey, the local potter and author. Or Cathy Jewett, one of Whistler's quintessential volunteers and veteran patrollers. It's there you'll find some of the community's oldest and most rustic homes, little A-frame huts left over from the days that squatters laid claim to this valley. It's also surrounded by forests, far from the hordes that roam the Village and has nary a streetlight to guide you home at night. Unsafe, to be sure, but it's also one of few neighbourhoods where you can look up at the vast canvas that is the night sky. And It's easy to access bike trails and Rainbow Park, and Meadow Park is always handy.
Best New Business
Fuji Market - Whistler's burgeoning sushi industry got some major competition this year, and no, it's not an expensive new joint opening up in the Village. The real competition that places like Samurai and Sushi Village are facing these days comes from the new Fuji Market overlooking the parking lot at the Whistler Conference Centre. In short, the place is awesome. You can get octopus tentacles, tempura batter, teriyaki marinade - anything you need to make a great Asian dinner at home. And if you don't feel like cooking, they also have pre-made sushi available to take home with you. The food selection is good, but the design of the store is clever too, reflecting the back alley of a major Japanese city with clotheslines going over your head and boxes stacked up next to you while you eat. No wait - that's real storage.
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