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17 beautiful pictures of roadkill and other dead things


Artist Bobby Neel Adams became famous for his clever photos of aging. His latest series focuses on death.

"In a strange way I think that it is a natural progression of my world view and my place in it," Adams writes in an email.

The new series, called "Memento Mori," shows road kill and other dead bugs, plants, and animals in haunting arrangements. One image features a pig head floating underwater with flowers in its mouth. Another is a dead quail surrounded by petals.

The series is showing through October 30 at Smack Mellon gallery in Brooklyn. Adams shared a selection of the images below.

SEE ALSO: These clever photos show how faces change as they age

DON'T MISS: Here's what pets look like around the world

"Pig Bouquet"


"American Anahinga Gecko"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A reusable water bottle that won over Starbucks' CEO could reach $100 million in sales this year


S'well, Sarah KaussYou’ve probably seen a S’well water bottle out in the wild, with its unmistakable, sleek, stainless-steel physique and boldly colored exterior, or perhaps faux marble or wood facade.

If you haven’t, you’re bound to see one soon. The company is growing rapidly and is now sold everywhere from mom-and-pop shops to nationwide retailers like Nordstrom and Target to Starbucks stores around the world.

Last year, S’well — the brainchild of CEO Sarah Kauss (No. 49 on the BI 100: The Creators) — pulled in $50 million in sales, a mark that the company hopes to double this year.

But S'well might never have happened at all save for some timely encouragement and wisdom Kauss received from her mother.

Six years ago, Kauss was enjoying a much-needed vacation in Arizona with her mother. At the time, the then 35-year-old Harvard Business School graduate was working “a million hours” in a demanding but successful career in commercial real estate development. Her mother, who was celebrating five years free of cancer, began reflecting on life.

“We had this deep conversation about ‘What would you do if you could do anything?’ — she almost felt like she had an extra life,” Kauss said. 

Her mom decided to become a painter. Kauss, a University of Colorado at Boulder alum with an environmentalist spirit, told her mother about an idea to create a reusable water bottle that didn’t look like bulky camping gear. Her mother pushed her to take plunge.

“I just thought the world needed a more fashionable water bottle,” said Kauss, who envisioned something both beautiful and useful that could sell in the store at the Museum of Modern Art (today, the bottles are in fact sold there).

“I just thought the world needed a more fashionable water bottle.” 

But beyond design, Kauss thought her idea could make a significant impact on the environment, an issue she cared deeply about. With the right blend of fashion and function, she thought, S'well could create a water bottle that's so enjoyable to use that people will stop drinking from plastic bottles — 50 billion of which clog landfills in the US each year.  

So Kauss returned home to New York and invested $30,000 in savings to start S’well right out of her NYC apartment. 

She spent the next six months working to get a prototype of the bottle, find a factory, and launch a website.

“I didn’t know how big the market was [for water bottles], I thought I was building a product for me and maybe a small group of people like me,” Kauss said. 

The Oprah effect

The combination of style and functionality— made of non-leaching and non-toxic stainless steel, the bottle keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours —  struck a nerve with customers. A few months after launching S’well, early bulk orders came in from Facebook and Harvard, and Kauss landed in Crate and Barrel for the holiday season. 

“Those first orders were great because it gave me a confidence that people were going to buy [the product],” she said. 

Then Kauss got a call from a senior editor of O, The Oprah Magazine after sending her a sample bottle. The editor took the bottle on vacation and loved it. She wanted to feature it in the magazine, but had one request: Send every color you have. But the bottles only came in blue, so Kauss scrambled to create a new palate of colors and send them off to the manufacturer.

swell 5944

“It was sort of the moment that I said ‘OK this isn’t a project, we’re a company,’” Kauss recalled.

About four months later, Kauss’ array of colored bottles made it into the magazine’s Must Have Things for Summer 2011 list. “What was surprising is how long those magazines live for — we have a ‘How did you hear about us?’ on the website and months and months later people would be saying they saw it in Oprah," Kauss said.

Partnering with Starbucks

On the heels of the Oprah feature, which caused sales to surge in the 600 small retail stores the bottles were sold in at the time, Kauss scored a trial period with Starbucks in 2012 to sell bottles in 140 stores in Atlanta and Austin. The bottles sold out, cementing the partnership with Starbucks, which would become S'well's most lucrative and lasting partner.

The following year, S’well created a hyperlocal collection with Starbucks for its stores in New York City, Seattle, and Hawaii. The bottles were a hit, but it wasn’t until Kauss had the chance opportunity to meet Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (No. 2 on the BI 100: The Creators) that sales really ramped up.

Kauss spotted Schultz standing alone at the grand opening of a Starbucks coffee bar in Seattle, so she grabbed a S’well bottle and introduced herself. Schultz reveled in the story of S’well and wondered why the bottles weren’t in more stores, Kauss said. He invited her to meet with him and his senior leadership team the next day to discuss expansion.

The impact of that meeting was profound: S'well found itself integrated at Starbucks stores around the world — 10,000 locations in North America, as well as Brazil and throughout Asia.

“Starbucks is a beast. They’re amazing. They’re huge and they’re everywhere,” Kauss said.

More than just sheer scope, Starbucks also shared a commitment to higher ideals, including stringent fair trade and sustainability standards. In fact, it took S’well’s factory nearly two years to meet Starbucks’ standards.

“They do so much work to make sure everything is good for the environment and good for the workers and it makes me feel better when I go there as a customer because I know how much work they do," Kauss said. 

Rapid expansion

Buyers are smitten with S’well. In 2015, after rolling out in thousands of Starbucks stores, S’well reached $50 million in sales, a gigantic leap from $10 million the previous year.

The company is continuing its rapid expansion in 2016. This summer, S’well will launch at Starbucks in another 37 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and South Africa. S’well also debuted an exclusive line at Target stores this spring called S’ip by S’well, a smaller bottle size at a lower price point ($25), which will roll out nationwide by the holiday season.

Kauss says this year S'well sales could as much as double to $100 million.

“It’s exciting. It’s sort of unbelievable. You’re standing at the ocean and you just don’t know how big it is,” Kauss said.swell 5994

Part of the reason the company grew so much last year is its focus on being “on trend,” a commitment that’s grounded in Kauss’ vision to become “the bottle of fashion week.” The company now has more than 200 designs and colors — which range in price from $25 for a 9-ounce bottle to $45 for a 25-ounce bottle — and appears at the buzziest events including SXSW, New York fashion week, and TED conferences. S'well also has brand partnerships with celebrities, Kauss said, a marketing tactic that undoubtedly boosts brand recognition, especially on social media. 

But ultimately, S’well’s success comes down to customer loyalty. On average, customers have 5.5 bottles at home, according to Kauss.

“Our customers have this great appetite, but I thought eventually we’d run out of customers because everybody will have one that’s in the market. ... but what’s surprising is that we keep coming out with new lines — spring, summer, fall, holiday — just like a fashion brand,” Kauss said.

Many customers also appreciate S’well’s social mission. A portion of profits from every bottle sold go to the US fund for UNICEF — $200,000 since 2015 — to help provide clean water to children, and for every wood-surfaced bottle sold a tree is planted through American Forests. But while the charitable aspect is an integral part of the business, Kauss doesn’t think it’s a make or break for buyers.

“We don’t even talk about it that much with our customers, but it’s just the right thing to do,” Kauss said. “It’s part of our DNA, it’s part of our mission statement and part of everything that we do. I think customers are really smart and it has to come from an authentic place.”

SEE ALSO: Why the maker of Fat Tire bucked the trend and became 100% owned by its workers

SEE ALSO: 40 quotes from business visionaries who are changing the world

Join the conversation about this story »

Donald Trump's massive empire is under siege as his glamour fades — here's everything at stake


trump tower boo

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's brand might be losing steam.

In the wake of several public gaffes, including a decade-old recording of Trump making derogatory comments about women, consumers are becoming wary of the brand.

Since the video was made public, perceived value of the Trump brand fell 8 percentage points in real estate and 6 percentage points in country and golf clubs, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing research firm Brand Keys.

Data assembled by location-intelligence company Foursquare in August showed thatbusinesses that have been hardest hit by a drop in foot traffic include some of the best-known Trump properties: Trump SoHo, the Trump Tower in Chicago, and the Trump-branded Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, which closed earlier this week. 

"I know from industry insiders that business is down at least 30% at their other properties," Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Vacations, told the Boston Globe. "Our numbers with Trump are consistent with that projection."

As the added value of the Trump brand drops, he could struggle to find people who are willing to pay a premium for his name. 

Here are the major properties and businesses at stake.

SEE ALSO: 29 celebrities who love and endorse Donald Trump

Residential properties

- Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago

- Trump Grande, Sunny Isles, Florida

- Trump Hollywood, Florida

- Trump Towers, Sunny Isles, Florida

- Trump Plaza New Jersey

- The Estates at Trump National, California

- 610 Park Avenue, New York

- Trump Palace, New York

- Trump Parc, New York

- Trump Parc East, New York

- Trump Park Avenue, New York

- Trump Park Residences, Yorktown, New York

- Trump Place, New York

- Trump Plaza, New Rochelle, New York

- Trump Tower at City Center, Westchester, New York

- Trump World Tower, New York

- Trump Parc Stamford, Connecticut

- Trump Towers, Istanbul, Sisli

- Trump World, Seoul, South Korea

- Trump Tower, Century City, Makati, Philippines 

- Trump Tower Mumbai

- Trump Towers Pune

- Trump Tower Punta del Este, Uruguay

Commercial properties

- Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York — headquarters of the Trump Organization, Niketown on ground floor

- The Trump Building at 40 Wall Street

- 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York

- 555 California Street, San Francisco

- Trump Tower, Rio de Janeiro


Mar-a-Lago is a beach and pool club and spa, with rooms, suites, and cottages spread over 20 acres. The club has been the site of everything from Trump's most recent wedding to Maya Angelou's 80th birthday party, hosted by Oprah Winfrey.

See what it's like to stay there »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 'Apple of vaping' made an e-cigarette for marijuana — here's what it's like


pax era pax labs

This summer, Pax Labs reinvented the e-cigarette with its best-selling device Juul.

The San Francisco-based startup dubbed the "Apple of vaping" is back with a device that aims to bring the same simplicity to marijuana smokers that the Juul delivered for tobacco smokers.

The Pax Era is a vape pen that works by heating up a liquid form of marijuana concentrate contained in tiny, Keurig-cup-like canisters. Users need only inhale to activate the device.

Here's how the Pax Era holds up.

SEE ALSO: The CEO of the 'Apple of vaping' explains why the comparison makes sense

The Pax Era is a lightweight, portable vape pen that uses technology developed for the company's best-selling nicotine e-cigarette, Juul. It retails for $59.99.

The Pax Era is only sold in California and Colorado, where marijuana is legal in some form.

Since the company introduced its flagship vaporizer, the Pax, in 2012, it's garnered buzz for making user-friendly vapes on par with Apple's high standards of product design.

Source: Business Insider

The newest device is three inches long, making it compact enough to fit in your back pocket or a purse. The matte aluminum finish gives it a clean, modern look.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

12 simple cooking hacks everyone should know


kitchen shears

If you're an amateur in the kitchen, meal preparation can be a slow process. But there are plenty of hacks that can make the process faster and more efficient.

Business Insider consulted America's Test Kitchen, a professional culinary organization that's home to 50 food experts and also produces the popular cooking show of the same name.

Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison, culinary scientists at America's Test Kitchen and the hosts of the TV show's 2017 season, gave us a few cooking tips that they say can help anyone save time and avoid mess.

Check them out.

SEE ALSO: 12 cooking tools everyone should have in their kitchen by age 30

Hold tomatoes in place to slice a bunch at once.

Cutting grape or cherry tomatoes in half is a pretty slow task. Instead, try putting a bunch of them between two small plastic container lids, and then slicing horizontally through the opening, Lancaster says. Of course, this trick requires ripe (unmushy) tomatoes and a very sharp knife. 

Wash and dry herbs with a salad spinner.

Instead of rinsing off a few parsley sprigs at a time, wash the bunch in a salad spinnerLancaster says. After the water drains, spin the whole bunch again to dry them.

Par-freeze slippery raw chicken.

Put chicken in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up the meat before you start working with it. This will make it much easier to cut it into thin slices, Lancaster says.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

5 signs you can't afford to move to New York City — even if you feel wealthy


new york city

Living in New York City is expensive — even if you have a high-paying job.

And while it's possible to balance out costly splurges with affordable activities, it's not for everyone. If you're thinking about packing up and heading to the Big Apple, it's important to make sure you can truly afford it before making the jump and landing in debt.

Read on for five red flags that you might not be financially prepared to move to NYC, even if you're pulling in a solid income.

You don't have a budget

Earning a good salary might make it easier to afford New York's exorbitant rent prices, but if you aren't keeping track of where your money is going, it's easy to blow it all in the blink of an eye. Building out an honest, detailed budget — and sticking to it — will make or break your chances of surviving in an expensive city.

Mary Beth Storjohann, a certified financial planner and CEO and founder of Workable Wealth, suggests building out your "big city budget" first thing if you're considering a move. "You want to figure out what's your rent, what are your expenses, what do you need to get by," she explained to Business Insider. "And then factor in some savings, retirement, and your emergency fund as well. That's where you want to aim your salary."

It's also important to consider how your taxes will change if you're moving from another state, says Alan Moore, a certified financial planner and cofounder of XY Planning Network. An $80,000 a year salary doesn't translate to $80,000 in your pocket. To understand how your taxes will be affected, Moore recommends playing around with the IRS Withholding Calculator.

You aren't willing to compromise

You might be able to afford a huge one-bedroom in Phoenix, but that same amount of rent won't go quite as far in Manhattan. Do you go out to eat every night? Do you use Uber instead of taking the bus? If you're moving to an expensive city, your entire budget probably needs to shift. Things that were once affordable might not be, and your priorities should reflect that. While you don't necessarily need to live off ramen, you probably can't eat out every night.

"What are you willing to give up in order to make this happen?" Storjohann asks. "I think that's the place to start. If you want to move to the big city, what other goals do you have and are you comfortable with putting those on the backburner for however long while you make this transition?"

If you aren't willing to trade a few Uber rides for the subway, you might find it harder to afford New York than you expect.

You don't have a plan

Making a big financial decision on a whim is rarely a good idea.

"It's deciding to move and setting a plan in place to make it happen, instead of deciding to move and just moving," Storjohann says. "You always hear dream stories about that happening, and then people get to the city and have to work three part-time jobs."

Unexpected expenses always come up. Both Moore and Storjohann suggest crunching the numbers, making sure you know exactly how much a move will cost, and creating a plan to transition into your new budget. New York will still be there in six months after you've had time to prepare.

bay ridge brooklyn neighborhood

You only want to live alone

Rent is the ultimate expense in New York. At $3,200 per month, the city's average for a one-bedroom apartment is nearly three times the national average of $1,158 per month, according to Zumper's annual National Rent Report. Not to mention that even for the elevated price, apartments in the big city tend to be much smaller than the rest of the country. 

Even if you can technically afford to funnel 60% of your income toward a one-bedroom apartment in an of-the-moment neighborhood, does it come at the expense of paying down debt or building up your emergency fund? Finding a roommate — or two, or three — could make your ideal location a whole lot more affordable.

Moore suggests getting creative with your housing and not only looking at roommate and subleasing options, but considering things like co-living spaces.

You don't have a good reason

Deciding to start over in a new place comes down to much more than money. Consider why you want to move to New York — is it specific to the city itself, or is it something you can find elsewhere?

"What's the draw? Do you have friends there, family there? Is is the perfect job opportunity?" Moore asks. "There are a lot of folks who give me all the reasons they want to move to a big city and they find that they don't really care that it's New York or San Francisco or San Diego or Chicago. They care about certain opportunities."

Budgeting for life in New York includes sacrifices, so be completely sure you're ready to make some.

SEE ALSO: Here's how I spent a weekend eating and sightseeing in New York City for less than $50

DON'T MISS: I moved to New York City 2 years ago — here's what I tell my friends who say they can’t afford to

Join the conversation about this story »

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Nobody wants to buy the world's largest log cabin — and now the price has been slashed by $20 million


Granot Loma

A hunter's paradise is having a hard time finding a buyer.

It's called the Granot Loma, and according to the listing, it may be the largest log-cabin lodge in America.

With a private marina and 5,000 acres of surrounding woodlands, the 26,000-square-foot house was listed for a staggering $40 million last year making it the most expensive house in Michigan.

Bob Sullivan of Northern Michigan Land Brokers formerly had the listing. It is now for sale by its owner for $19.5 million — a discount of more than 50%.

Keep scrolling for a tour of its taxidermy-filled interiors.

SEE ALSO: Nobody wants to buy this $12.5 million Brooklyn mansion with connections to mobsters and Russian heiresses

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

Called Granot Loma, this gigantic log cabin sits on the shores of Lake Superior, north of Marquette, Michigan.

It was built and named in 1923 by its original owner, financier Louis G. Kaufman.

Kaufman played a pivotal role in the founding of General Motors, where he was on the board for 20 years.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 ways to make extra cash selling your old clothes online


women clothing

Reselling your old clothing is one of the easiest ways to make money, fast.

In fact, clothing resale is now a $16 billion industry.

And there are more ways to do it than ever.

In the past, sellers had two choices: either lug your stuff down to the nearest consignment store, or list it on eBay alongside 20,000 other identical items.

These days, you have several apps and websites to choose from.

For social shoppers:

Poshmark, an app which looks and feels like Instagram, allows you to buy and sell clothing just like you would on eBay. The app has an enthusiastic community of shoppers and sellers who "follow" each other, comment on photos, and star their favorite items.

It has over 800,000 sellers who maintain "closets" on the site, and 1 million shoppers.

Brands like Tory Burch and Michael Kors tend to be the most popular, but you can also find lower-priced items from Forever 21 and H&M, as well as high-end labels like Chanel and Balenciaga.

For Alexandra Marquez, a 23-year old living in Arkansas, reselling thrift store finds on the app has become a full-time job.

"I look at my phone from the time that I wake up until the time that I go to bed … and sometimes also when I get up in the middle of the night," she told Business Insider.

It's paid off: She earns $5,000 a month and was able to quit her corporate marketing job.

Business Insider's Caroline Moss tried using Poshmark, and made $700 in less than two months.

Many of the app's users are on the younger side, like Marquez, but co-founder Tracy Sun told Business Insider she sees people of all ages reselling their preowned clothes. "Everyone from teens, college students, professionals, celebrities, stay-at-home moms and even grandmothers are using the app," she says.

behind_the_scenesFor people who want everything taken care of:

With Twice, all you have to do is put your unwanted clothing and accessories in the mail.

The company provides you with a shipping bag and label, and will make you an offer after it receives and sorts your items.

Typically, items sell for 70%-90% off the retail price, and brands like Gap, Banana Republic, J. Crew and Ann Taylor are popular.

While many resale sites are exclusively dedicated to women's clothing, Twice also has a men's section, which features brands like Polo Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers. Over one million people currently use the site.

Business Insider's Libby Kane tried it out and was impressed by how easy it was to clean out her closet and earn a little money on the side. Although she only earned $28.50 for one bag of clothes, she concluded, "Sure, selling clothing through the mail isn't going to make me rich. But it's so little effort that it doesn't matter. Compared to lugging stacks of clothing down the street to be potentially rejected at a thrift store or to miss the hours of operation at Goodwill, throwing a prepaid bag in the mail is a breeze."


For busy parents:

ThredUP works the same way.

Originally for kids' clothes, it's expanded its mail-in resale service to include women's clothing and accessories.

Many of the site's two million users are busy moms who can't keep up with how quickly their kids are outgrowing their clothes, and don't have time to take photos, place listings on sites like eBay, and make extra trips to the post office themselves.

Anthropologie, J. Crew, and Free People are big sellers, and Moxie, Merrell, and Jacadi are popular for kids. However, the site will also accept items from less expensive stores like Old Navy. On average, items are listed for 70% of their original retail price, and anything that can't be sold gets donated to charity.

Laurie Palau, who runs the organizing business SimplyBOrganized, says she gives ThredUP's shipping bags to clients who need help decluttering their homes.

"I deal with a lot of clients who feel guilty donating high-end clothes that they have spent a lot of money on," she explains." Taking time to go to a consignment store isn't always realistic for them."

To streamline her own life, she always keeps one of the bags in her closet. "Last time I checked, I had over $700 in my thredUP account."

For label fanatics:

snobswapOn the high end of the resale spectrum, there's SnobSwap, where clothing and accessories from brands like Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Tory Burch, and Coach typically sell for $250 to $370.

(You can also skip the waitlist and get a Hermès Birkin bag for $90,000.)

Co-founder Emily Dang describes the average user as a professional woman between the ages of 20 and 45 years old who is fashionable but budget conscious, and loves a good deal.

Lydia, a seller who didn't want her last name used, fits that definition: She's made over $4,000 selling gently used pieces from her wardrobe, like Louis Vuitton and Prada bags.

SnobSwap authenticates every single item that it sells, which builds trust with buyers and makes it easier to get high prices for previously owned luxury goods. As Lydia puts it, "No one wants to spend $2,500 on a handbag that was actually a $25 replica from China."

realreal Spring LaydownFor people who only wear designer duds:

TheRealReal has a similar model: mail in clothing and accessories from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, or Cartier, and the site will make sure they're authentic and list them for consignment.

TheRealReal keeps all of its four million members anonymous, but says that on average, sellers make $8,500 a year.

Items on the site typically sell from $150 to as much as $20,000.

For stylish guys:

Though most clothing resale options cater to women, a new site exclusively for men, Grailed, is growing quickly.

Grailed"It's possible to list a piece, receive an offer on it, and sell it in under 30 minutes," Dave Nacianceno, who has become the site's top seller, explains.

Most of the clothing for sale is on the casual side, like hoodies, t-shirts and sneakers, which appeals to the site's core base of users in their mid-to-late 20s.

However, that doesn't mean it's inexpensive.

Designer labels like Alexander Wang, Allan Edmonds, and Helmut Lang sell for an average price of $140, and Nacianceno cleared over $25,000 in revenue last year.

For Instaholics:

All resale companies take a cut of the money that you make by reselling your clothes, which is why some people are running their own sales on Instagram instead. Using the hashtag #shopmycloset, which has over one million posts, they post photos of clothing and accessories that they don't want anymore, and take bids in the comments.


Susanna Hindman, who blogs at Revisionary Life, hosts #shopmycloset sales on a dedicated Instagram account, @shopsuzyscloset. "Your following tends to already like your personal style," she tells Business Insider. "That's often why they follow you, so marketing exclusively to an audience that enjoys your personal taste seems to produce a higher return and more competitive bids." Her last sale earned her around $100 on previously owned children's clothes.

Although doing business through Instagram isn't a violation of the app's policies, it's not encouraged, either. There's no "Buy" button and no built-in way to pay a seller, so users have to find workarounds.

In a guide posted on her blog, Hindman explains that she asks the winning bidder to leave an email address so she can send them a money request through Paypal. The rest of the transaction takes place on Paypal, which gives the buyer security.

No matter how you choose to do it, one thing is clear: Reselling your clothes is big business. So if there's anything you don't love currently hanging in your closet, you may want to cash in.

SEE ALSO: After Selling My Clothes Through The Mail, I Think Online Consignment Is Brilliant

Join the conversation about this story »

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The key differences between seltzer water, club soda, and tonic water

Renters in Manhattan are pushing back against exorbitant prices


manhattan sunset

Renters are increasingly rejecting the surge in rental prices in Manhattan.

In September, the median rental price fell 1.2% to $3,396 year-over-year, according to a report from Douglas Elliman Real Estate released on Thursday. This was only the second time in 2016 that the median rent fell. It was flat in August, Bloomberg noted

A quarterly report from the same firm released earlier in October showed that the number of sales fell 18.6% in the third quarter. 

Manhattan's housing market is still far from crashing. In fact, Douglas Elliman reported a "significant number of new leases signed," which is a sign of strong tenant demand.

But these declines show that buyers and renters are increasingly rejecting prices that they think are too high. Prices fell the most in September, by about 3%, in the luxury end of the market; rents were flat in the category with the cheapest apartments. 

The glut of new construction is partly why renters are pushing back. Not only do they have more choices, but the extra supply – especially of luxury homes — is containing the surge in prices.  

Also, more landlords are offering potential tenants discounts like a month of free rent, giving tenants more bargaining power while they're apartment hunting. The share of new leases with concessions was 15.1% in September, the most for that month since 2010 according to Bloomberg. 

Douglas Elliman found that it took longer for landlords to find tenants. The number of days that units were listed for increased by 12.8% to 44 in September.

The firm also said the median rental price in Brooklyn rose by 2.4% to $2,949 in September.

SEE ALSO: Manhattan's housing market is slowing down

Join the conversation about this story »

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Christie Brinkley is selling her gorgeous Hamptons Mansion for $18 million more than she paid for it



Model and tabloid star Christie Brinkley is looking to offload her Hamptons home.

It's a 19th century bay-front beauty, and Brinkley is looking to score a cool $25 million for it. She last listed the home in 2010 for $15.75 million. She's done some remodeling since then, but still needs some work, the listing agent told the Wall Street Journal. She originally purchased the home in 2004 for $7.15.

The home is quite large, close to all the best Sag Harbor has to offer, and has tons of waterfront property, which all contribute to the asking price.

Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman has the listing.

SEE ALSO: Nobody wants to buy the world's largest log cabin — and now the price has been slashed by $20 million

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

Georgian columns greet you upon approach to Brinkley's Hamptons home.

Inside, the decorations are extremely nautical but not overly pretentious.

The home is located in the sought-after enclave of Sag Harbor, a premiere location in the Hamptons.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

There's an intriguing reason why 99.9% of Americans have never tasted blackcurrant but Europeans love it



The blackcurrant, a small, tart berry, that when married with sugar can be made into jams, sauces, syrups, fruit drinks, and purple candy, is popular across Europe. But most Americans struggle to describe its flavor.

"A large majority [of Americans] have never eaten one — probably less than 0.1%," Marvin Pritts, a professor of horticulture at Cornell University, told Business Insider.

This was not always the case.

In the late 1800s, US farmers grew around 7,400 acres of blackcurrants, gooseberries, and white currants, together known as Ribes species, with New York state leading production, according to a report in the journal HortTechnology.

Then, disaster struck.

Pathologists discovered that blackcurrants spread a fungus, introduced from Europe in the 19th century, that killed white pine trees, the backbone of the nation's timber industry. The federal government took aggressive action: it outlawed the commercial growth of blackcurrants in the early 1900s and financed a program to eradicate Ribes plants.

Crews outfitted with backpacks of chemical spray fanned out across the country. As field after field of Ribes were destroyed, the American consumer's memory of the deep purple fruit was also erased.

America's war against blackcurrants

White pine blister rust

By the 1800s, America was cutting down white pine forests for timber at such a rapid rate that the nation's nurseries could not keep up. So farmers began turning abroad for cheap tree planting stock. The result was the importation of seeds infected with a parasitic fungus called blister rust. Blister rust first alarmed US officials in 1909 when it was found on a New York plantation of white pine trees grown from seedlings brought over from Germany, according to the book "History of white pine blister rust control: a personal account" by Warren V. Benedict, the former director of the United States Division of Forest Pest Control.

The problem with blackcurrants is that blister fungus — characterized by "yellowish, elongated swellings" — does not hop directly from pine to pine. For the disease to complete its life cycle, it must infect a Ribes species before returning to the needles of white pines and spreading into the bark. Authorities believed the only way to save America's pine trees was to get rid of these intermediary hosts, which had far less economic importance.

"So discovery of a few small pine trees infected with blister rust was to trigger a gigantic fight that has been waged coast to coast for 70 years," Benedict writes.

Blackcurrant cultivation in the US was restricted in 1911, followed one year later by a ban on the importation of white pine seedlings from Europe.

Blackcurrants take a different path in Europe


Blister rust fungus was a well-known nuisance in Europe before it was brought to America. But in contrast to the US, Europe had few commercial pine tree plantations. Blackcurrants, on the other hand, had been an important crop for a long time. "In Europe the white pine was sacrificed to retain the Ribes," writes Benedict.

Currant chartToday, Europe produces 99.1% of the world's currants (which lumps blackcurrants, red and white currants, and sometimes gooseberries into one group), according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations. Two-thirds of blackcurrants produced in Europe are used for juice, according to a 2007 report from the European Commission.

In England, a blackcurrant cordial mixed with water gained popularity as a vitamin C supplement given to children to prevent scurvy during World War II, after Germany's U-boat campaign prevented citrus fruits like oranges and lemons from entering the UK. Brits will know the name — it's called Ribena.

In 2010, 90% of all blackcurrants grown in Britain were destined for Ribena's bottling factory in Gloucestershire, according to The Guardian. Ribena and energy drink Lucozade did roughly £500 million in combined sales for GlaxoSmithKline in 2012, according to the Financial Times. Both products were sold to a Japanese company in 2013 for over £1.3 billion.

Blackcurrants find a champion in the US

Greg Quinn in Hudson Valley

In 2003, Greg Quinn, a children's book author with a background in horticulture, successfully lobbied to have the blackcurrant ban overturned in New York state. By this time, the regulation of blackcurrants had been entrusted to each state. It is now believed that the plants can thrive under proper management, according to Pritts, especially after the development of disease-resistant blackcurrant varieties.

Blackcurrant production is not tracked by the US Department of Agriculture so it is hard to know how many are grown and where, though Pritts suggests there is a "thriving group" of blackcurrant farms in the Hudson Valley of New York and Connecticut, as well as Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Canada.

And, of course, there is Quinn, who grows about 16,000 pounds of blackcurrants on his farm in the Hudson Valley region of New York. He sells 15 different blackcurrant-based products under the brand CurrantC. The company's flagship product is blackcurrant nectar, which costs $9.99 for two 16-ounce bottles on his website.

Purple grape candyIt is easy for Quinn to gush about the potential of blackcurrants and how he uses them to cook up glazes for game and pork. But outside of his own kitchen, Quinn said he is still "pushing the rock up the hill to introduce to people blackcurrants."

"This may be the last product that everybody knows about except the US,” Quinn said.

It also explains why purple Skittles (and other purple hard candies) are synonymous with grape flavor in the US, but taste like blackcurrant in other countries, including the UK and Australia, as pointed out by Atlas Obscura

There are some challenges to growing blackcurrants — they tend to be susceptible to leaf diseases, for example — but the biggest hurdle is marketing and selling them.

"Consumers just don't know what to do with them," said Pitts, "particularly since their taste is off-putting to most Americans."

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Maserati has hit a home run with its first SUV (FCAU)


Maserati Levante

It would be hard to overestimate the importance of the Levante SUV for Maserati. The brand came back to the US over a decade and and half ago, but since the financial crisis and amid an SUV boom, it's been selling only stylish luxury sedans and sexy GT sports car.

That will all now change, and it couldn't happen at a more important time for the Italian automaker, part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles empire. It's down at the bottom of the luxury sales hierarchy in the US, with a puny 0.1% overall market share (Porsche sells five times as many vehicles annually).

The Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans have their fans (me, for example). But in the US and increasingly China, you really need a strong crossover offering. Porsche established the template for an automaker that had never built an SUV crossing that river in the early 2000s when it created the Cayenne, a hugely successful vehicle.

Now Maserati has taken the same plunge.

We first saw the Levante when it was revealed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and later in the flesh at the New York auto show. Now we've actually spent some time behind the wheel. It was a relatively brief, two-hour run from a working farm and restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, about an hour north of New York to Bear Mountain.

This wasn't enough time to fully evaluate the vehicle — we'll get a crack at that later — but we formed some early impressions. And those impressions were good.

Read on:

SEE ALSO: The Levante is Maserati's first SUV — here's what it's like to drive

I arrive at the driving site. It's the rustic Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, home to the well-known and highly regarded Blue Hill restaurant.

The scenery is spectacular. This is a working farm. There are cows and sheep in the fields, a beekeeping area, and lots of farming plots and pastures.

Gorgeous. A fine day to drive an Italian luxury SUV.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Everything you need to know before buying an engagement ring


engagement diamond ringOnline diamond retailer Ritani knows exactly what its customers are looking for when they visit the site: an engagement ring.

"Not only is this [ring] generally [our customer's] largest purchase to date, it's typically the millennial male, and he has no idea what he's doing," Ritani's Vice President of Marketing, Mark Keeney told Business Insider during a recent visit to their Manhattan diamond factory.

We toured the diamond factory to find out everything you need to know when it comes to purchasing a diamond engagement ring. Below, see how much people are spending, the most popular cuts, settings, and how the "four C's" can affect price. 


SEE ALSO: Go inside America's largest diamond factory, which is leading a revolution in the jewelry industry

US consumers spend an average of $5,871 on an engagement ring.

According to The Knot's 2015 Real Weddings Study, which surveyed 18,000 US brides and grooms married that year, consumers are spending an average of $5,871 on the ring.

And while the rule of "save up two to three month's worth of salary" is long outdated, experts are advising couples to seriously consider finances before buying a ring.

Diamonds are graded and priced based on the "four C's," which include cut, carat, color, and clarity.

The four C's are important to know because they help you understand the quality of the diamond, and they also help determine its price.

For example, a one carat round shaped diamond with an "ideal" cut grade can range from $2,521 to $12,857 at Ritani depending on its grade for clarity and color.


Cut grade determines the diamond's "sparkle" effect.

The cut grade is determined by the diamond's proportions and symmetry of each facet of the diamond — which directly effects the way the diamond captures and reflects light, creating that beloved "sparkle" effect.

Cut grade is measured on a scale from "ideal" to "poor."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside the new $133,000 tiny house that can be taken apart to move with its owners



Moving usually means leaving your old house behind.

But a new tiny house, called the Koda, is designed to move with you.

A construction crew from Kodasema, the Estonia-based design firm that created the 269-square-foot cube, can assemble it in less than seven hours, and disassemble it in four days.

The furnished house will come in three different models: "Koda for Living," "Koda for Studying," and "Koda for Working." They will function as homes, classrooms, and offices respectively, Kodasema's cofounder, Taavi Jakobson, tells Business Insider.

150 Kodas will become available to order online in Estonia starting in late 2017, with prices likely starting at €120,000 (or about $132,500). Jakobson says the company might expand sales internationally if Kodasema can manage to ramp up production. 

Check it out.

SEE ALSO: A new hotel is like WeWork combined with Airbnb — take a look inside

One side of the Koda is made of four-layered glass, which Jakobson says is thick enough to insulate the house from noise and cold. If owners want privacy, they can close the floor-to-ceiling curtain.

Each cube measures just 269 square feet. (For perspective, the average one-car garage is around 200-square-feet.)

All three Koda models come furnished with pieces designed by the Estonian manufacturer Floyd IFS.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

You’ll probably marry the wrong person — here’s why that’s okay

Stanford psychiatrists developed a test to help see if you'll respond to antidepressants


depressed woman

The sadness often descended like a curtain — heavy and dark. But even when my depression threatened to cut me off completely from the world around me, I struggled with the decision to take antidepressants. It wasn't just that I'd been taught to believe that "going on meds" was giving up. No, what really worried me was how I'd cope if the drugs didn't work.

A group of researchers from Stanford has created a tool that could help make that decision much easier. It's a two-part test that they say could one day help predict — with striking accuracy — if someone with depression will respond to antidepressants.

That's a huge development.

Millions of people still grapple with the choice to take medication. Millions more never even have the option — in dozens of countries, including the US, the prescription-only pills remain prohibitively expensive or impossible to access in the first place. And a debate is still raging in the scientific communities of many wealthy nations about whether antidepressants are over or under-prescribed in those countries.

The scientists published their results detailing how the test worked on a study sample in October in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"I believe [this] is one very important way to transform how we manage depression," Leanne M. Williams, a psychiatrist at Stanford University and one of the authors of the new paper, told Business Insider. "This could help close the gap between the insights we get from our research and the current devastating impact of depression."

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, the chair of Columbia University's department of psychiatry, agrees. He told Business Insider he thinks that the Stanford researchers are one path of a larger race towards the same goal — to better understand, define, and treat mental illnesses like depression. "We hope there will be diagnostic tests for mental illness just as there are blood tests for diabetes," said Lieberman.

How the test works

For starters, the test has only been given to people with diagnosed depression in preliminary study settings so far. Researchers are still at the stage in their work where they're deciphering how well it works and for whom. In other words, you aren't going to see the test popping up at your doctor's office tomorrow. Still, the scientists who designed the test told Business Insider that they plan to start deploying it in limited real-world settings at Stanford University in the next few months.

Prozac pillsAt its essence, the test looks at two factors in someone with depression.

The first is specific patterns of brain function in one area of the brain that's thought to play a key role in depression, which the researchers measured by showing people images of emotional (angry and sad) faces while they sat in an MRI machine. The second is a history of exposure to stress in one's early life, such as being abused or neglected as a child. Based on someone's "score" on these two measurements — i.e. Did they show high patterns of brain activity when exposed to the emotional faces?Were they exposed to lots of early life stress? — the researchers were able to come up with a predictive snapshot of how well that person might respond to an antidepressant drug like Prozac or Zoloft.

And what they found could change the course of treatment for countless people.

Depressed people who'd experienced high levels of early life stress and who were highly reactive to specific emotional stimuli were more likely to respond well to antidepressants.

In other words, people with depression in the study who revealed that they'd been abused as a child and whose brain scans showed that they were highly reactive to the angry and sad faces were more likely to have a positive outcome on the drugs. The same outcome was predicted for people who'd experienced low levels of early life stress and were also not very reactive to the faces.

On the other hand, depressed people who said they'd experienced high levels of early life stress but did not react much to the faces (or people who experienced low levels of early life stress but were very reactive to the faces) tended to respond poorly to the drugs.

What does this all mean for depressed people who might one day take the test?

Put simply, we don't know yet. But here's what it could mean in the future for someone with depression: Picture a scenario where this person walks into a clinic, takes the test, and finds out she probably won't respond well to antidepressants. Then, she has options: First, she could either go on the drugs anyway and see what happens (the test does not predict the future — depression is complicated and there's still a chance that someone who performs one way on the test might have a different real life experience). Second, she might be encouraged to try a different route of treatment, such as talk therapy.

More studies are needed before this happens, but if the present study's results are any indicator, the future looks bright.

"Anything that would help identify such individuals or give doctors an idea of how they'd respond to treatment would be beneficial," said Lieberman. "This is one piece of putting that bigger puzzle together. But it's not the final piece."

SEE ALSO: I've been on antidepressants for a decade — here's what everyone gets wrong about them

DON'T MISS: Antidepressant use is rising sharply around the world

Join the conversation about this story »

10 award-winning photos of hidden places around the world



4 under my umbrella ella ella by antonio bernardino coelho coelhos photo taken in porto portual uses the bokeh effect which makes the snail and plant in the foreground look sharp while the background is blurry

For the Hidden Worlds photo contest, the photography social network Photocrowd asked its users to "look at architecture from a different perspective and reveal places where we can escape or let our imagination run free, whether it’s a personal refuge from the daily grind or an unexplored bit of city infrastructure."

Submissions poured in. The site's users, a mixture of professional and hobbyist photographers, voted on pictures that featured abandoned villages, underground caverns, and hidden nooks.

Here are the top 10 photos.

10. "Alley at Birr Castle" by Vladimir Polivanov. Polivanov captured a statue on the grounds on the castle in Ireland, surrounded by fall-colored leaves.

9. "A Place to Work" by Redmere Photography. The photographer captured antique tools and rusted parts on a workbench in a barn in Nelson, Nevada. It's like someone just stopped in the middle of working and never came back.

8. "Trees take over the temples at Angkor Wat" by Kira Morris. Cambodia's famous temples were first built in the 800s and are slowly being enveloped by the jungle.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

An artist whose work is getting snatched up by celebrities is tearing up the art world all by himself


Jojo Anavim

The INSIDER Summary:

• Celebrities like Amar'e Stoudemire, Seth McFarlane, and Kylie Jenner collect Jojo Anavim's artwork.
• Anavim gets his business mainly through word-of-mouth.
• His style is Andy Warhol for the Snapchat generation.

Jojo Anavim
was making art for a living, but not the kind of art he wanted to make.

As a commercial artist, he created huge billboards and advertisements for companies like Sephora and W Hotels. 

On the side, he started making some of his own work, as a creative outlet for his own ideas. He never planned to make it into a business. His artwork was just for himself. He liked making collages, inspired by Andy Warhol's work that he first saw as a child.

"One of the things that's just seared in my memory from such a young age was the Coca-Cola billboard in Times Square," Anavim told INSIDER. "I remember just vividly staring at this billboard thinking 'this is the coolest thing I've ever seen.'"

His first celebrity buyer was basketball player Amar'e Stoudemire.

He had his big break when the New York Knicks basketball player Amar'e Stoudemire saw his work online. Stoudemire invited Anavim to his home, and the two quickly became friends.

The basketball player became an early collector of Anavim's work. At a barbecue at Stoudemire's townhouse, Anavim met an "esteemed" art collector, who Anavim declined to name because the collector prefers to remain private. The collector eventually commissioned four original paintings from Anavim after seeing his work.

"It was that evening where I kind of go back, refocus, and say okay, maybe this is where I should be focusing my energy," Anavim said.

Jojo Anavim

When Stoudemire comissioned his first painting from Anavim, he told him that he embraced his Jewish roots and wanted a painting of Moses. It wasn't like anything he'd done before, but Anavim wanted to push his boundaries, so he accepted the offer. He made a mixed-media portrait of the biblical figure, using pieces of a 1948 copy of the New York Times that proclaimed the independence of the State of Israel.

"He almost didn't say anything," Anavim said. "I wasn't sure if he loved it or hated it." Two weeks later, Stoudemire was featured in a Vanity Fair article about his art collection. The story mentioned that he was collecting works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, and other modern pop artists. In the article, Stoudemire said his favorite painting was Anavim's Moses portrait.

Stoudemire has made similar comments to other journalists. "We're a very spiritual family, so when they see Moses with the tablet, they're mindful of putting God first," he told Esquire.

"That really struck a chord with me. You work hard not for the money, you work hard to create opportunities," Anavim said. "I put in the hours, I worked hard, and the opportunity presented itself."

Jojo Anavim

Anavim sees himself as a pop artist for the Snapchat generation.

Anavim was inspired to make art early. When he was a teenager, he got a Mac with Photoshop preloaded on it, and used the program to make art. He also enrolled in a cartooning class taught by Al Baruch, a legendary Disney animator who worked on classics like "Peter Pan" and "Lady and the Tramp" and created characters like Captain Hook and Mighty Mouse. He's 88 now and semi-retired, but teaches classes in Florida and still makes art, now focuses on the Holocaust era.

Later on, Anavim discovered Warhol's work, Warhol's Coca-Cola art reminded him of the billboard he saw in Times Square at a young age. One idea he picked up from the artist is that he saw, at first, little distinction between commercial art and fine art. Anavim's own work is inspired heavily by Warhol and other pop artists, but are updated for a world where pop culture is inseparable from the internet-connected devices everyone has in their pockets.

"I will have a portrait of Marilyn Monroe on a painting," Anavim said. "But my own interpretation is that I'm speaking to a new generation. A portrait of Marilyn Monroe will have a Snapchat filter and an iPhone 6 around the border."

He's not interested in offers from art galleries.

As his popularity grew, Anavim began fielding offers from art galleries. That's how the art world's business model normally works. An artist signs a contract with the biggest gallery you can find, and they exclusively display their work for a year or two. When someone wants to buy a work of art on display, the gallery takes somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of the cut.

So Jojo had to decide: should he take a steady gig with a gallery? Or figure out how to live as an artist another way.

Jojo Anavim

In the end, Anavim developed his own business model. He makes pieces he likes, and people just buy them from him directly, usually finding his work based on word-of-mouth. It's worked for him well so far. His buyers include, in addition to Stoudemire, Seth McFarlane, Kylie Jenner, Sheldon Adelson, Russell Simmons, and Daymond John. He also recently curated the art for the condo Kendall and Kylie Jenner stayed in for New York's fashion week. He works out of a full-floor studio in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood with his two assistants.

According to Anavim, any artist can do what he does.

"Historically, the narrative is this: An artist needs to be struggling for an extended period of time," Anavim said. "And then if he catches a lucky break, whether it be through a curator or through a gallery, they'll decide to give them a chance and put them through some sort of gallery."

"I'm not saying there's not good galleries out there that can bring your value up," Anavim said." But "if they decide to drop you, they just drop you and you're really left holding nothing."

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How to tell if your Cuban cigars are real or fake


On Friday the Obama administration announced it will lift restrictions on the amount of Cuban cigars travelers can bring back with them in their luggage.

In June 2015, Business Insider sent three reporters to Havana, Cuba, to experience the city as tourists. One of the top priorities on our list was to buy some authentic Cuban cigars.

We tried two different approaches. First, we bought a box at an authorized store inside the Hotel Habana Libre. Then we bought a box sold to us by someone we met on the street.

We brought both boxes back to New York and invited David Diamante, owner of Diamante's Brooklyn Cigar Lounge, to come and examine the merchandise.

We have lots of stories about our adventures on the island, which you'll find here.

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