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How The Suburbs Are Trying To Lure Young People

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The Space at WestburyYoung people aren't really keen on the suburbs anymore. 

According to recent surveys and census data gathered by The New York Times, people in their late 20s through early 40s are ditching the backyard and white picket fence for elevators and doormen in metropolises like New York, D.C., Chicago, and Boston.

Because of this, the population of young adults in the suburbs has been dropping dramatically over the past couple of years. 

For example, the suburb of Rye, N.Y., has seen a 63% decrease in 25- to 34-year-old residents in the past decade.

So what is a suburb to do? Apparently, the best tactic is to emulate cities. Some towns are "building apartment complexes, concert venues, bicycle lanes and more exotic restaurants," according to The New York Times' Joseph Berger. 

The 15,000-person town of Westbury, Long Island has built 850 apartments around its train station. And just last year the town opened a new concert venue, the Space at Westbury, that hosts concerts, stand-up, and laser shows. 

Another suburb near Long Island — Long Beach — has added ethnic restaurants, provided more parking, and spruced up its appearance downtown near the local train station.

But the modifications don't seem to be piquing interest just yet. The article features a married couple who both hail from Long Island. Even though they're in their 30s, neither of them are "in a hurry" to move back to the suburbs, due to the excitement and easy commute in Manhattan.  

And their mindset could reflect the larger attitude of how it's not exactly what the suburbs don't have, but more of what the cities have.

Christopher Niedt, academic director of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, told The New York Times that survey data seems to show “that younger adults are becoming more drawn to denser, more compact urban environments that offer a number of amenities within walking distance of where they live.” 

However, not everyone agrees that this is a concrete trend. Some experts argue that young people are just marrying older and moving to the suburbs later, while others argue that they're starting their independent lives later, "pushing the traditional arc of adult life into the future."

SEE ALSO: 15 Vintage Pictures Of Los Angeles When It Was Still A Beachside Village

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Billionaire Philanthropist Sells His Central Park West Penthouse For $42 Million

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Jon Stryker New York City duplex Prásadá

Jon Stryker, a philanthropist and heir to a surgical and hospital supply fortune, has sold his duplex penthouse overlooking Central Park for $42 million, according to The Real Deal.

Stryker originally listed the property back in October 2013 for $48 million. The identity of the buyer remains unknown.

The 5,600-square-foot apartment is at the top of the Prásadá building on New York's 65th Street and Central Park West.

Stryker originally paid $12.8 million for the two neighboring apartments back in 2002, which, at that time, was the most expensive apartment purchase in the history of the Upper West Side.

The home, which was sold through real estate agent Brown Harris Stevens, has 12 rooms with plenty of windows, as well as two terraces that look out over the park.

This is the Prásadá building on the Upper West Side. It was built in the French Second Empire style.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens



Inside, the home has double-height, coffered ceilings as well as two fireplaces.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens



Brown Harris Stevens says there are a total of 45 windows through the penthouse, most of which look out toward Central Park.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






9 Things That Surprised Me About Being A New Parent

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Crying-Scared-Baby

When my husband and I decided to have a baby, we knew that we were entering into the unknown. But we still thought we had some idea of what to expect. Turns out we were wrong about a lot of things.

Here are nine things that surprised me about being a new parent.

1. That nothing will really prepare you for being a parent.

Before I gave birth, I took parenting classes and read parenting books. But the truth is that nothing can really prepare you for your baby. Each baby is different, and you'll get to know your baby and cater to his or her needs.

I still panic sometimes when my daughter cries, but at least by now I recognize what the different cries mean. Also, babies reach the big milestones in their own time, so don't panic if your baby isn't rolling over or crawling when the baby books say they should. 

2. That newborns sleep constantly.

Newborns can sleep up to 18 hours a day. When I brought my baby home from the hospital, I kept waiting for her to wake up and play. Turns out that she mostly just slept (and ate and cried and pooped). Feeding her was a challenge because she would constantly fall asleep, and we would spend hours on end tickling her feet, calling her name, and even rubbing water on her to try to get her to wake up and eat. 

3. That sleep deprivation is utterly debilitating.

Just because a newborn is sleeping doesn't mean parents will get any rest. The single hardest thing about being a new parent is the sleep deprivation. When you bring home a newborn, there's a good chance you'll never sleep for more than two or three hours at a time — at least in the very beginning. Even though newborns sleep for almost 18 hours a day, they're up every two to three hours to eat — and eating can easily take an hour, meaning that sometimes you'll only be able to sleep for one hour at a time before it's time to start the next feeding. Try to sleep when the baby sleeps.

 4. That babies are extremely expensive.

I knew that a baby would be expensive, but I didn't factor in how much the basics really rack up. Consumer Reports estimates that parents will spend at least $2,500 on diapers by the time their child is potty-trained. I signed up for Amazon Mom ($79/year), which offers discounts on diapers and baby essentials as well as free shipping, and it's already paid for itself. Diapers.com also had great deals. Formula can also be really pricey, but it's a necessity if you're planning to formula feed your baby. And then there are the essentials, like cribs and strollers, that can add up to thousands of dollars. If you choose to buy them used, make sure they are up to current safety standards.

But those costs are minor compared to the big picture: It costs an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child to 18 years of age, according to a 2013 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

5. That breastfeeding can be incredibly difficult.

Before I had a baby, I thought they just grabbed on and started sucking. Turns out it's a lot more complicated than that. There can be difficulty with latching, swallowing, milk supply, clogged milk ducts, and more. And when a baby can't eat, it's terrifying because it can mean a life or death issue. I learned that there's a whole industry devoted to breastfeeding: There are lactation consultants, all sorts of products, and even whole stores devoted entirely to breastfeeding. 

6. That babies make a ton of laundry.

It's amazing how such tiny beings can make such an insane mess. Between explosive poops, spraying pee, and spit-up and throw up, be prepared to go through tons of diapers, clothes, burp cloths, bibs, and blankets. And I mean TONS. If you can afford it, hire someone to do the laundry for you — you'll be happy you did.

 7. That new parents are late for everything.

Don't even bother scheduling appointments when you're caring for a newborn. Your baby has other plans for you. It's hard enough to get yourself and the baby dressed, but there's always an element of the unknown. Just as you're walking out the door, your baby may start wailing inconsolably or take such a big poop that the clean-up will require a full bath. 

8. That everything can be forgiven when your baby smiles.

Don't underestimate the power of cute. You can forgive the messy diapers, the lack of sleep, and everything else when your baby smiles at you. And the first time my baby laughed? That was one of the best moments of my life.

9. That it changes your life in every way possible.

After you become a parent, there's no going back. There's no more late night bar-hopping, no more spontaneous travel, and no more last-minute plans — at least at the beginning. You'll always be responsible for this tiny, helpless being, and that's a terrifying but amazing feeling.  

SEE ALSO: Escape The Hustle Of New York City At One Of These Laid-Back Weekend Getaways

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Guy Fieri Is Distancing Himself From His Infamous Times Square Restaurant

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Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is now trying to distance himself from his Times Square restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar.

The chef has been making the media rounds for the opening of his brand-new restaurant in Las Vegas, Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar. He was asked by Las Vegas Weekly about his infamous New York City outpost, and the scathing, zero-star New York Times review written about it by food critic Pete Wells back in 2012. Here's how Fieri responded (emphasis ours):

I only do things the best I can do them in the moment that I'm doing them. Have I learned from that experience? Yes. But I was doing the best I could do. Also, remember it's a licensing deal. I'm the chef, I make the recipes, I make the idea and I give it to a group.Let's be realistic about what this was. But there was nothing realistic about what was being said. You know, you take it; it hurts; it's a bummer. But whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

The gist of his argument is that though the recipes and the idea for the restaurant were his, after that the restaurant's day-to-day operations (and food) was out of his hands. The actual cooks in the kitchen weren’t under his control.

And while this is technically true, Grubstreet is quick to point out that Fieri's latest quote is in direct contrast to what he originally said about the restaurant. He even took a redeye flight to be on the TODAY Show when it opened in 2012. At the time, he claimed to be instrumental to the NYC restaurant, saying, "Not only did we design the restaurant, we spent a year in a half doing this. We wrote the menu, brought my culinary team in to work with this team here that’s on premise all the time. I did the training for the front of the house, I did the training for the back of the house. I was here painstaking hours."

“This is more heart and soul,” he concluded to Savannah Guthrie. “This is not just a name stamp.”

Guy Fieri's other name stamp — Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar — opened today.

SEE ALSO: Inside The Guy Fieri Restaurant That Was Eviscerated By The New York Times

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How This 40-Year-Old Won A North Pole Marathon On Drifting Ice

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North Pole Marathon

American Michael Wardian is one of a few dozen international runners who ran a marathon April 9 on drifting ice at the North Pole. Not surprisingly, he told Business Insider this week it's the toughest marathon he’s ever finished, although he won it easily.

“I don’t love the cold,” Wardian laughed. He committed to last week’s 26.2-mile North Pole Marathon— the northernmost marathon in the world and the only one not run on land — because he had no previous experience with cold-weather races and welcomed the adventurous new challenge.

This winter, Wardian began training around his home in the Washington, D.C. area, where he hit the streets and treadmill to test how many layers of clothes he would need in the Arctic. The perfect amount of clothing is critical, he explained, because overheating is a danger.

"You really want to run as hard as you can without getting too sweaty, because as soon as you get sweaty in that type of weather you get cold, and then it freezes and you can get hypothermia really quickly,” Wardian says.

North Pole MarathonWardian ran the marathon in a little over 4 hours. That's over two hours longer than it took the last winner of the New York City marathon to finish, possibly due to the difficulty of running on drifting ice and in many layers. Wardian's best marathon time is 2.17.49, a far cry from his time at the North Pole Marathon.

The night before he left for the North Pole, Wardian purchased a bigger size shoe to accommodate the multiple layers of socks on his feet. "My biggest goal was to come back with everything I left with and make sure all my extremities were intact when I got home,” Wardian said.

After a flight to Norway, Wardian boarded a Russian charter flight to Camp Barneo, a Russian-led temporary research center located next to the North Pole. Although initially worried about possible tensions between Americans and Russian troops in the camp, Wardian said the soldiers were friendly and didn't mention the current situation in Ukraine. He purchased some souvenirs from the Russians.

"They gave me a canteen which just reeks of vodka, to live up to the stereotype,” said Wardian, 40, who works as an international ship broker.

North Pole Marathon

The marathon consisted of 12 3.52-kilometer loops around the camp, while armed guards stood watch for a polar bear and her cubs that had been spotted in the vicinity shortly before the marathon.

Although some of the competitors took breaks throughout the race to warm up inside the camp’s tents, Wardian spent no more than half a minute indoors during the race. While he said the camp was never out of sight, portions of the loop took him far away from the tents, where he relied on black markers to stay on course.

"The consequences are pretty dire if you make a mistake at the North Pole,” Wardian said. “It’s nice because it’s a small loop that we're running, so we're not really exposed for that long, but within 15 to 20 minutes at those temperatures you can be at the far side of the loop and by the time someone has a chance to look at your face, you can already have a lot of damage.”

The cold was so extreme that Wardian worried moisture freezing around his eyes would hinder his vision. “I was worried my eyes were going to freeze shut, so I would breathe really heavily into my mask to try to create a little atmosphere around my eyes,” he said.

By the time Wardian crossed the finish line, winning with a time of 4.07.40, he had frostbite on his nose and his face mask was frozen to his face. "I had this huge ice goatee where my breath had just frozen,” he recalled.

"This was just so outside of anything I’ve ever done before. ... For me it was kind of inspiring and eye-opening and exciting in that I’ve been so kind of scared about cold weather just because I don’t love it, but I really embraced it and now I know that I can do these type of things,” Wardian said of this year's North Pole Marathon. He will next set his sights on the April 21 Boston Marathon.

SEE ALSO: Watch This Breathtaking Video Of Russian Soldiers Parachuting Onto Arctic Ice

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27 GIFs That Explain How To Survive In New York City

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Survive NYC Cover

Nathan W. Pyle's quest to explain the basics of living in New York City started with a GIF.

After teaching high-school theology classes in Ohio for two years, Pyle decided to move to New York City to pursue creative work. He got here in 2008 for an unpaid TV-production internship and noticed it was a different world than the one he left.

"The most important thing I learned was to stay out of everyone's way," the 31-year-old told Business Insider. "Assume everyone's trying to get somewhere important and have spatial awareness." 

Pyle noticed that New Yorkers are constantly thinking about 10,000 things as they navigate their daily lives. He wanted to create a guidebook of easy tips, covering everything from how to tell the difference between the East and West villages to the acceptable food to eat on the subway. And, most important, where to never, ever stop on the sidewalk. 

"I knew GIFs would create viral attention," said Pyle, who recently began a job at BuzzFeed. "Viral art doesn't usually sell well, but I knew I had a really deep well of resources that would be useful for people." 

He said one of the most under-used tips he offers city dwellers is to always have cash, especially if you want to avoid that awkward moment at a group dinner when you have to split the bill seven ways on credit cards. 

His 136-tip book, "NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette," came out this week. It's the result of just over a year of work. It's available as a real book, e-book, or animated e-book (with all the fabulous GIFs you see below, and more).

At less than $10, that's some pretty cheap life-saving advice.

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Click here to buy the book at Amazon.

SEE ALSO: The Right Way To Eat Ramen Noodles, In GIFs

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Here's How To Groom The 10-Day Beard That Women Find Sexiest

Tech Billionaire Marc Benioff Is Not Impressed By Mark Zuckerberg's $1 Billion Gift To Charity

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mark zuckerburg

Billionaire philanthropist Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, has some sharp things to say about the $1 billion donation to charity Mark Zuckerberg made last year.

Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and CEO, gave $1 billion worth of stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in December. SVCF lets the donor decide where to spend the money and feeds nonprofits in areas like education, health care and the environment.

Benioff implied in an interview with San Francisco Magazine's Jon Steinberg that the donation was basically a tax write-off:

Marc Benioff: Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a bunch of DAFs: donor-advised funds. You give your money to SVCF and you get your tax write-off for the year, but [the foundation] has no obligation to administer that money.

Jon Steinberg: So you see Zuckerberg’s gift as more of a write-off than a donation?

Marc Benioff:Where’s it gone? What good is it doing now? I’m sure his intentions are positive, but we need to see that money get distributed. What are his targets? What are his philanthropic interests? We know that he has a political interest with his 501(c)(4) [Fwd.us, a lobbying group pushing for tech-friendly federal policies], but what are his philanthropic interests?

However, the SVCF says it is definitely giving money away. It says that in 2013 it had $4.7 billion of assets under management, recieved $1.4 billion in donations and gave away $367 million in grants.

This isn't the first time Zuckerberg has been generous, without controlling how the donation was spent. In 2011, Zuckerberg gave $100 million to match donations given to the Newark, N.J., school system, leaving it up to the school system on how to spend the money.

Although it's fairly unusual for a billionaire philanthropist to criticize how another billionaire donates money, Benioff isn't shy about speaking his mind, even on this subject.

He often speaks out against what he calls the "pay at the end" model advocated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and their Giving Pledge. Instead of becoming rich and then giving it all away right before you die, Benioff wants the rich to give their money away as they earn it. It's the "pay as you go" model, he calls it.

Meanwhile, he's currently pressuring more tech CEOs to open their corporate wallets for his latest project, called SF Gives. He wants Valley tech companies to share their wealth with the less fortunate in their local communities. Many CEOs are signing on, but about one-third are telling him, "No, thanks," he says.

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: Salesforce.com showers employees with breathtaking views, swag and doggy daycare

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9 Maps That Show How Americans Speak In Different Regions

We Followed Anchor Legend Pat Kiernan Through His 15-Hour Workday

9 Incredibly Useful Russian Words With No English Equivalent

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toska Russian tattooIn many languages, a single word describes a concept that might require an entire phrase in English. 

Like Japanese, Russian uses a  different alphabet (Cyrillic) than English and has lots of words that just don't translate.

Here are some words for which we wish there were an English equivalent:

Тоска (tas-'ka)

While this Russian word roughly translates as emotional pain or melancholy, native speakers continue to claim Americans can't possibly understand its depth. Vladimir Nabokov, the famous Russian-American author of "Lolita," put it best:

No single word in English renders all the shades of "toska." At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.

пошлость ('poshe-list)

In Anton Chekhov’s short story “A Lady With a Dog,” the heroine cries out after sex that she has become a "poshlost" woman. 

"This one word encompasses triviality, vulgarity, sexual promiscuity, and a lack of spirituality," Harvard professor Svetlana Boym explains in "Common Places: Everyday Life in Russia."

From 1860 to 1960, Boym also notes, Soviet Russia embarked on a battle against this particular form of banal obscenity.

бытие ('bwi-tee-ye)

Post by themedved on /r/doesnottranslate, this Russian noun hints at hyper-consciousness or an objective and analytical mindset. Russian-to-English dictionaries might translate it as "being." While the word does stem from the Russian verb for "to be," the exact meaning contains a metaphysical property English can't relay.

Proz.com, a forum for translations, also defines the word as "enrichment of one's life."

переподвыподверт ('per-e-pod-'voy-pod-'vert)

Reddit user deffun on /r/doesnottranslate defined this noun as "to do something in a complex, incomprehensible way." 

The word kind of embodies itself, as it has four prefixes including one that repeats itself twice.

беспредел (bes-pre-'del)

Posted by Reddit user Izgoy on /r/doesnottranslate, "bespredel" literally means "without limits or boundaries," as New York University Slavic professor Eliot Borenstein defined in his book, "Overkill: Sex and Violence In Contemporary Russian Popular Culture."

The word also conjures images of chaotic violence, and Google translate says it means "lawlessness." When this state is in place, an ordinary person is at the mercy of somebody behaving without regard to law or structures. 

почемучка ('pa-che-'mooch-ka)

This refers to a person, normally a child, who asks a lot of questions.

While English-speakers might use "busybody," "pochemuchka" doesn't have the same negative connotation. In fact, parents or grandparents often us it as a term of endearment because of its relation to a children's book called "Что я ви́дел," or "What I Saw."

сушняк ('soosh-nyak)

Like English, Russian has a slew of words to convey states of drunkenness: various levels, hangovers, and more.

According to a post by DragonFilet, it means "that really dry feeling you get in your throat when you wake up after a night of drinking."

It can also interpreted idiomatically as "the cat pooped in my mouth," as noted by The Arioch.

Недоперепил ('ne-do-per-ee-'pel)

Another drinking-related word, posted by Pavswede, this means "under-over-drunk," as defined on Proz.com. In other words, someone drank more than he or she should have, but less than he or she could have (or wanted to).

белоручка ('bel-a-'rooch-ka)

This word describes someone who doesn't want to do any dirty work. The first part of the word, "belo," is a variant of "white" in Russian. As noted by the Moscow Times, Russian includes tons of black-and-white meaning good-and-evil references. 

SEE ALSO: 8 Incredibly Useful Japanese Words That Have No English Equivalent

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Alex Rodriguez Sold His Miami Beach Condo For $2.6 Million

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A little less than one year after he bought a $2.2 million condo in Miami Beach, Alex Rodriguez sold it for $2.575 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A-Rod put the condo on the market back in December for $3.2 million.

The condo is in a luxury building with plenty of amenities and gorgeous views of the beach.

Rodriguez is suspended from MLB for the entirety of the 2014 season for alleged violations of MLB's PED policy.

The condo features an awesome porch with views of the water



The view from the other side of the porch



The glorious beach



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Why Does Grease Make Paper Translucent?

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Greasy Pizza

BI Answers: Why does grease make paper translucent?

You might have wondered why a cheesesteak bag or a pizza box becomes slightly see-through when touched by its greasy contents.

To understand why, we need to understand how light interacts with matter. The colors we see are different energies of visible light waves. We see these waves as the different colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

When a light wave hits an object, a few things could happen, depending what the object is made of. The wave could be absorbed by the object, it could be reflected (light bounces off at the same angle it hit), it could be scattered (bounced around or reflected in many different directions), it could be refracted (bent), or transmitted (passed through making the object transparent).

The color of the object that we see is the color of light that is reflected. A banana is yellow because yellow light is reflected back to our eyes and other wavelengths of light are absorbed.

Snow is white because it reflects and scatters all the different colors of light equally. Snow is made of ice crystals with tiny pockets of air between those crystals. When light hits snow, the light is scattered and reflected as it passes through all these different crystals. 

The same thing happens when light hits a piece of paper. Paper is made of fibers, and there are little pockets of air between those fibers. When oil, grease, or fat comes in contact with paper, tiny droplets of it fill all the little gaps between the fibers of the paper.

As a result, "Light doesn’t have to do all that bouncing and scattering," says Larry Scheckel, author of "Ask a Science Teacher: 250 Answers to Questions You’ve Always Had About How Everyday Stuff Really Works. "It only has to pass from air through the grease. Light does not have to pass from paper back to the eye. The paper is transparent, or, to be more technically correct, translucent. We can read words right through the paper."

Similarly, ice appears transparent because it does not have those pockets of air so light goes right through. 

The scattering of light by an object like a paper fiber depends on its size and shape, but also on the difference of the amount of light that's refracted, known as the index of refraction, between the fibers and its surroundings, explains Michael Patterson, a professor of physics at McMaster University in Ontario. Generally, the smaller the difference, the less scattering. 

"The oil, grease, or fat has about the same index of refraction as paper," says Scheckel. "So the amount of scattering is kept to a minimum. Most of the light that would be scattered from the not-oiled paper is now transmitted through the paper." 

Water has a lower index of refraction than paper fibers, which is why it generally does not make paper transparent. 

This post is part of a continuing series that answers all of your "why" questions related to science. Have your own question? Email dspector@buisnessinsider with the subject line "Q&A"; tweet your question to @BI_Science; or post to our Facebook page.

SEE ALSO: Here's The Best Sleeping Position For Your Health

More BI Answers Is Drinking Carbonated Water Bad For You?

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Robin Williams Lists His Extraordinary Napa Valley Estate For $30 Million

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Robin Williams has relisted his 653-acre estate in Napa Valley for $29.9 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The actor had previously tried and failed to sell the estate, nicknamed Villa Sorriso, for $35 million in 2012.

The 20,000-square-foot home has five bedrooms, six full bathrooms, and six half-bathrooms. Amenities included a library, theater, elevator, a wine cellar, and an art gallery.

The vast property, which has both vineyards and olive trees, is crisscrossed with roads and trails.

Meredith Galante contributed to this story.

Welcome to Villa Sorriso.



The property is 80 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge.



Williams built the home himself in the early 2000s, according to The Wall Street Journal.



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16 Stunning Photos Of New Orleans' Mansions And 'Shotgun Shacks'

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On quiet nights in college in the late 1990s, New Orleans photographer Frank Relle went out with a friend at Tulane University and strolled through the neighborhoods of his hometown. The two would concoct stories about the imagined residents of the city's unique homes, both the ornate mansions and decrepit houses (colloquially referred to as "shotgun shacks"). 

When Relle returned in 2004, after 3 years away from the the city, he began looking for a way to tell the the story of New Orleans through his camera. He soon realized his excursions in college had the answer; he decided to document his hometown through its unusual houses.  

New Orleans has long been a city of haves and have-nots. As recently as 2011, the U.S. census bureau reported that New Orleans had the 6th-highest income inequality in the United States. At no time was this more apparent than in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when poor low-lying neighborhoods were devastated while mansions built on high ground suffered little to no damage. 

When the storm hit, Relle had already been photographing houses for nearly a year. Discouraged and forced to moved to New York, he thought the project was over. Then he realized the project had just begun and returned to photograph the homes in the aftermath of Katrina. 

Relle shared some of the photos from New Orleans Nights here, but you can see the rest at his website, where he sells prints of the work.

Most of the mansions that Relle photographed have been standing for more than 100 years and are considered "historic." Some, like this one, have not been well-maintained.Burgundy_Relle_FrankThe mansions were built on high ground, because when the houses were built, the city did not have the means to pump water out of the low-lying areas. This means the city's grandest houses were not as affected by Hurricane Katrina as those in other areas. Chestnut_Relle_FrankThis house is located next to New Orleans' City Park, a large public park that is 50% larger than Central Park. City Park holds the largest collection of mature live oak trees. Two can be seen here.Moss_Relle_FrankThis house is located on Charles Street in uptown New Orleans, also known as "Millionaire's Row," due to the number of 19th century mansions that were built on the road.Thalia_Relle_FrankTelemachus_Relle_FrankWhen Relle began the project, he would sneak around the city, plugging his photographic lights into the outlets of nearby houses and photographing the homes without the owners' knowledge.Clio_Relle_FrankNow, Relle hires a police officer to come with him on shoots and help close off streets. He also works with the property owners to ensure that they are okay with the shoot and cars are not left in front of the house.Dardar_relle_relle_frankWhile there are a few affluent neighborhoods of mansions, there are many more neighborhoods of "shotgun shacks" like these in Bywater, one of the few sections of the Ninth Ward to escape flooding during Katrina. The shacks are distinguished by their long, narrow structure.Kerlerec_Relle_FrankMany of these less affluent neighborhoods were devastated by Katrina. The Lower Ninth Ward, where this house is located, was by far the worst hit section of New Orleans.Clouet_Relle_FrankRelle calls New Orleans "a massive outdoor museum, because the architecture is a representation of the history." Even the impoverished neighborhoods show that history. The "shotgun shacks" became popular in New Orleans as early as the mid-1800s.Hampson_Relle_FrankFerdinad_Relle_Frank

Dupre_Relle_FrankWhile many areas were devastated by Katrina, most of the homes are far more affected by, what Relle calls, "the slow-hand of humidity," rather than flooding. Neglect and poverty are also to blame for the deterioration. Dubreuil_Relle_FrankThis house is located in Tremé, a famous neighborhood historically associated with African-American culture and the city's robust brass band tradition.Lapeyrouse_Relle_FrankThis house is located in the Lower Garden District, which was largely unaffected by Katrina flooding. That house is still in utter disrepair. Choctaw_Relle_Frank

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9 Things You Didn't Know About Trader Joe's

The $100,000 Aston Martin Vantage Signals The End Of An Era

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Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT Interior stick shift manual

Automakers are slowly but surely pushing the traditional manual transmission toward obsolescence, and that's bad news for drivers who prize the skill and control of a manual gearshift.

The case against manuals is strong. Auto technology has become so advanced that computers can control cars better than most humans.

Automatic transmissions have wider appeal because they're easier to use. Developing only one system saves money, especially for high-end cars with lower production numbers.

Ferrari and Lamborghini have decisively moved away from stick shifts, and now Aston Martin has joined the movement.

However, all is not lost for those who want to feel like James Bond and a master driver. One high performance Aston remains available with the tried and true manual shifter. 

Just a year or two ago, virtually every vehicle in the Aston Martin lineup was offered with a manual transmission. Now, only the V8 Vantage GT remains.

Unveiled at the New York Auto Show, the V8 is the most racetrack-ready model in the Aston lineup. The company's venerable 430hp 4.7 litre V8 engine will push the car all the way up to 190 mph and from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. 

With a traditional 6-speed manual transmission, the V8 Vantage GT will feel much more like the legendary Aston Martin sports cars of the past than any other model out there.

Even better, it's the rare Aston that will start for less than $100,000 ($99,900, to be precise). The V8 will hit American shores in the third quarter of this year.

Here's a closer look at Aston Martin's last manual hurrah:

Aston Martin Vantage N430 geneva motor show 2014

Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT (1)

Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT Interior (2)

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The 10 Best Cruise Lines In The World

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Caribbean Cruise

Cruise ships seem to be getting more and more extravagant, with cool extras like glass viewing capsules, laser-shooting ranges, heated pools and movie theaters. 

We've found the 10 best cruise lines in the world with the help of the experts at FindTheBest.

FindTheBest ranked major cruise lines based on data from consumer reviews, including those from J.D. Power Cruise Line Satisfaction Report, expert ratings from U.S. News and Cruise Critic, crime reports and health inspection data like the CDC vessel sanitation program score.

10. Royal Caribbean International

Average Price: About $150 per day or less

FindTheBest calls Royal Caribbean International "The Innovative Ship." It has the biggest ships in the cruise industry and provides everything you would expect from a cruising experience: bumper cars, water slides and musical theater all onboard.

Young couples in their 20s and families with young kids tend to take this cruise line. It sails to the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico among other places.  

Royal Caribbean International



9. Norwegian Cruise Line

Average Price: About $150 per day or less

Norwegian Cruise Line offers a very relaxed atmosphere, which is why FindTheBest dubbed the line "The Freestyle Cruise." Travelers dress casually and enjoy onboard activities including comedy shows, musicals and food events like a Chocoholic's Buffet.

The line attracts a lot of family travelers. It sails to the Caribbean, Mexico and the West Coast of the U.S. among other places. 

Norwegian Cruise Line



8. Seabourn Cruise Line

Average Price: $301 - $450 per day

Seabourn is a luxury cruise line for "The Well-Traveled Cruiser," according to FindTheBest. It offers sophisticated onboard activities like wine tastings and lectures. The ships have high marks for health and safety.

Couples tend to take this cruise line. It sails to Asia, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean among other places. 

Seabourn Cruise Antarctica



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Here's How To Greet People Around The World

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If there's one thing you should get right when visiting a foreign country, it's the greeting. International travel resource Vayama has done the research to make sure we don't look like fools when we travel. Here are some traditional greeting customs from around the world.

Produced by Justin Gmoser

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It's Time To Stop Being Such A Restaurant Snob

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restaurant datejpgI have eaten at forty-two of food critic Adam Platt's 101 best restaurants in New York.

(Two years ago, he published a list; I made an Excel spreadsheet to keep score.)

I have tried six of Jonathan Gold's 101 in L.A. Tasted five dishes from 7x7 magazine's "Big Eat" musts in San Francisco. Dined out at four of the San Pellegrino 50. Also, five of Bon Appétit's Best New Restaurants in America; I have eaten at all of the Best New Restaurants in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This attentiveness to these lists—the fact that I keep a list of lists—is proof of something.

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That I know about food? Nope. That I'm a little bit compulsive? Probably. That I have bought into a system in which part of my value—the part that says whether I'm worth my salt in small talk—can be measured by the restaurants where I've stuffed my face?

Very much so. Over the past five years, I've subconsciously subscribed to that proposition. Recently, though, I've started thinking that chasing restaurants is the least interesting way to be interesting.

If you've lived in an American city anytime recently, you know that one makes a pretty bold statement when he neglects to keep up with restaurants. Not having an opinion about where you eat is what it once was to not have authors you quoted, albums you defended, or directors you followed to the depths of Kundun.

Something, at the very least, to argue over. Restaurants—which, it should be said, are different from food or cooking—became the topic with which people my age could prove some with-it-ness.

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Around the time I moved to New York, in 2008, the restaurant thing, to a 22-year-old with typical 22-year-old eating habits, seemed unscalable. I was safe, I assumed, to ignore the scene and its accompanying chatter. But something happened that forced my hand.

The buzzy spots cropping up were not, in fact, the luxe four-dollar-sign dining clubs I imagined them to be but envelope-pushers focused on the twin goals of simple and cheap. The Mozza joints. The Momofuku empire.

It had become vital to be accessible. Layer on the recession and you had a dining environment that seemed specifically targeted at the young and cash-strapped.

While we had to give up some of the "fancy" stuff we couldn't really drain our bank accounts for anymore (concerts, plane tickets, trendy clothes), there was this other culture thing—eating—that we had to do a few times a day, anyway.

And these restaurants—with their tatted-up chefs barking orders over a Zeppelin Pandora station—acted as proxies for the culturally cool things we couldn't afford.

Compound the equation with the growth and youth-i-fizing of shows like Top Chef, blogs like Eater, and magazines like Bon Appétit, and suddenly we even had a language with which to articulate our immediate, hollowly informed reactions to each bite of every small plate (e.g., "Hmm, needs more...salt"—the line of lines, as acquired from Padma Lakshmi, queen of fake-it-till-you-make-it food pretenders and model to many).

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This was, it turned out, happening in lots of places. Cities like San Francisco and Chicago, where friends had taken new jobs. College towns like Ann Arbor and Durham, where they'd moved for grad school. Two or three years would pass between visits, and guess what those friends happened to know more about than politics or movies or sports? Eating. No matter the distance or diverging career interests, we all knew the name Husk. We planned trips around GoogaMooga instead of Bonnaroo.

So many meals! So much $! (Twenty-five-dollar dinners seem reasonable until you start eating out six times a week.) This was very cool for a while. Every new restaurant led to new knowledge of others, connections. There were lots of dinners where the conversation centered solely on what other places we'd been to and which we planned to try.

For every restaurant we checked off, we added two—until that game became unwinnable and exhausting. The restaurant universe was ever expanding, faster than ground could be covered. There was no way to touch its edges. Heroin addicts and astronomers get bummed about the very same concept.

Not long ago, around dinnertime, I confronted the 90,000 restaurant options in N.Y.C. There were dozens on the old lists and six months' worth of magazine intel on new openings. I thought for a moment about the charge I'd always get when I stepped into a new place.

It had nothing to do with the anticipation of tasting the entrée that had been recommended or the drinks we'd be served, but rather with the validation of crossing that thing off the list and knowing full well that I'd have a new "Yep, I've been there" to wield.

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What an asshole. I hear how it sounds now that I'm coming out on the other side. But haven't we all had phases of unreasonable fixation? Baseball cards. Shiny rocks. Video-game levels. That stuff's for children, you might say. And you'd be right. We get busy, we get older, there's no time for the obsessive pursuit of completism.

When I found myself ordering a cocktail at the bar of a fancy restaurant where I couldn't get a reservation, and debating whether that "counted," I realized the whole frame had shifted and the fun was all in the wrong place. The food thing that happened—while at times overly reverential (Danny Bowien ≠ John Lennon) and encouraging of our worst tendencies (some restaurants have been forced to ban mid-meal Instagramming)—is undeniably great. Everything tastes better, period, all up and down the price scale. Keep it up, food people.

It's the by-product that's a little cringey. Eating is something we're really, really good at—that we're born good at. But we confuse that with expertise. And that perceived expertise—deciding whether to like a dish in a restaurant is as basic and binary a skill as it is on Facebook—turns us all into a special kind of smug mob.

Maybe, as the dust settles and the tediousness of another OpenTable conversation ("They only have 5:30 and 10:30 for the rest of the month!") crystallizes in us all, we'll find ourselves harking back to conversation about other, more important things. Like, I don't know, ballet. I'll find another way to demonstrate I'm worth talking to.

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And in the meantime, I'll settle into accepting the trickle-down benefits of the restaurant revolution rather than trying to surf the bleeding edge. Some of us don't have the stomach for it.

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