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This couple quit their jobs, built a tiny house, and earn their living by blogging about their cross-country adventure

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Tiny House Giant Journey, Central Park

Two years ago, Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard realized they didn't want to spend another day chasing careers they didn't love.

The adventure junkies' love for writing, photography, and the great outdoors led them to quit their jobs and pursue travel journalism — opting for life as cross-country nomads.

They ditched their homes in Los Angeles and built a tiny house on wheels that now serves as their permanent abode.

Five months into their journey, the couple, along with their dog, Salies, have racked up 10,000 miles and visited 25 states. They document their experience on their blog, Tiny House Giant Journey, and on their YouTube channel.

Dutilh and Spesard shared some memories and photos from their micro-living journey with us.

Meet Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard. For the past five months, the two have lived in a mobile tiny house of their own making and traveled through 25 states.



They've towed their 125-square-foot home from California to New York, through eastern Canada, and from Maine to Florida, documenting the journey on their blog, Tiny House Giant Journey.



Two years ago, Dutilh was an engineer for a motorcycle manufacturer, and Spesard was an executive assistant for a movie studio. They didn't like their jobs, but the work paid the rent.



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Successful marriages share this trait, says America's top couples therapist

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barack michelle hugSure, having the perfect personality match helps a relationship.

So does the right age difference

But if you want to have a long-lasting, intimate partnership, you and your boo need to be able to "repair" after conflicts that inevitably come up. 

"In every good relationship," says psychologist John Gottman, couples have "repairing skills, and they repair early."

It's the number one commonality in successful relationships, he says.

Gottman's certainty comes from 42 years of studying relationships, both as a professor at the University of Washington and cofounder of the Gottman Institute with his wife Julie. John has authored or co-authored 41 books, and together they've demonstrated that human relationships behave in predictable, replicable, and scientifically verifiable ways

To err is human, Gottman says, but to repair is divine.

"The thing that all really good marriages and love relationships have in common is that they communicate to their partner a model that when you're upset, I listen," he says. "The world stops, and I listen. And we repair things. We don't let things go. We don't leave one another in pain. We talk about it, and we repair."

That's where gentleness comes in.

"In really good relationships, people are very gentle with the way they come on about a conflict," Gottman says. "They don't bare their fangs and leap in there; they're very considered."

For example, he says: "Instead of pointing their finger and saying, 'You asshole!,' they say, 'Hey babe, it's not a big deal, but I need to talk about it and I need to hear from you.' In bad relationships, it's, 'You're defective, and you need therapy.'"

In this way, the most effective repairs rely on making emotional connections rather than scoring intellectual victories. An effective repair doesn't come from analyzing a problem and being right about it, Gottman says. Instead of turning it into a debate and telling them that they're wrong, you report how you feel. 

Gottman says a successful repair might be: "When you walked out of the room, that really hurt my feelings, because I felt like what I was saying was unimportant to you. And I really need you to stay in the room when we talk about an issue."

Resolving conflict gracefully is a skill in itself.

"To get better at conflict, you have to learn how to talk to each other emotionally — listen to each others' conversation," Gottman says. "That's the skill of intimate conversation, and that's the key to sex and romance, too. If they don't have those conversations, over time their relationship will deteriorate. They'll be living in an ice palace." 

John GottmanSo if you want to prevent your relationship from freezing over, it's necessary to get comfortable with the perceived heat of conflict. 

Miscommunicating, misaligning, and otherwise disagreeing are all natural parts of relating to another human, Gottman says.

It goes against the popularly held belief that people who are "in love" don't hurt each other's feelings and can know what the other person desires without ever talking about it.

Even the most intimate human relationship — that between infant and mother — experiences misalignment.

Mothers and infants don't naturally fall into a beautiful, perfect rhythm of knowing what the other needs and wants. Developmental psychologists have found that mothers and three-month-olds are uncoordinated 70% of the time, and that it's up to the mother — and sometimes the baby — to repair the relationship

As other psychologists have told us, tension and conflict play a major part in a relationship's maturation.

Gottman says that conflict, or telling the other person how you really feel, is especially difficult for Americans. The American view is that disagreements and conflict are "bad," he says. 

italian coupleThat outlook is many generations in the making, stretching all the way back to before the colonies broke away from England. Because of that history, America has an "honor culture," he says, so opposition is seen as disrespectful. 

"Anglo-Saxon cultures tend to be honor cultures, where any kind of opposition is viewed as a moral affront," he says. "You don't tolerate disagreement. You think that disagreement is dysfunctional, and agreement is functional. When someone says you're wrong, you take it as a moral affront." 

Not every culture is like that. 

"In Italy," Gottman says, "if somebody tells you that you're full of shit, you say, 'That's probably true, but so are you.'" 

To get better at conflict, we need to shift our cultural perception of it. 

Instead of seeing conflict as a sign that you and your partner are incompatible, you can see it as a natural, constructive part of knowing somebody really well. 

SEE ALSO: Psychologists Say You Need These 3 Compatibilities To Have A Successful Marriage

DON'T MISS: The Key To A Happy Relationship When You Work Insane Hours

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NOW WATCH: What the Chinese saying 'The ugly wife is a treasure at home' actually means








I lived in Europe for 5 years — these are the places I tell all my friends to visit

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Cesky Krumlov

Travel isn't cheap.

But it usually makes for an experience that exposes you to something new and leaves an impression for years after.

I was lucky enough to live in Zurich, Switzerland, for five years when I was younger. Because of its central location in Europe, Zurich made it easy to explore the rest of the continent.

The traveling that my family did while living abroad was definitely an investment, but it was a worthwhile investment. Those travels make up most of my favorite memories from those five years.

I've rounded up 15 places in Europe I think are must-sees. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just a starting point based on my personal experience.

Morcote is located in the Italian part of Switzerland on the shores of Lake Lugano, which makes for beautiful views. It has the best of both worlds: Italian charm and Swiss cleanliness.



Besides Amsterdam's obvious tourist draws — marijuana and the Red Light District — its canals are incredibly picturesque and are a great way to see the city. Take one of the many boat tours, sit back, relax, and enjoy.



The Church of Peace in Świdnica, Poland, is one of the three wooden Evangelical churches built in 1656 in Silesia, a region in Southwestern Poland. The outside looks more like a home than a church, so the magnificent interior is both shocking and stunning.

Source: Lonely Planet



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Award-winning photographer is selling his clifftop Maui mansion for $19.8 million

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Peter Like Maui Mansion

Award-winning photographer Peter Lik is selling his beautiful Maui mansion for an asking price of $19.8 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

With it's unique three-hut formation, one-of-a-kind ocean views, and recent $3 million renovation overseen by Lik himself, the home is truly a sight to behold.

Several of Lik's works are included in the home's price. This is no small parting gift: Lik recently broke records with the sale of his work "Phantom," which stands now as the world's most expensive photograph, according to Forbes. 

The Journal says, according to Lik's office, the included photos are estimated to be worth $70,000.

Courtney Brown and Rob Shelton of Island Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.

 

Peter Lik's one-of-a-kind Maui mansion has just been listed for $19.8 million.



Nicknamed Aura, the house sits just yards above the crystal blue Honolua and Mokuleia Bays, which is a popular surfing spot.



It was built as a a modern take on a traditional surf hut, one that has been "expanded upon" using the "latest in sustainable architecture" according to the realtor.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






People who have big weddings have happier marriages

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kate middleton weddingIf you're getting hitched anytime soon, you're probably going to want to expand that guest list. 

According to the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project, the more people that come to a wedding, the happier the couple will be in their marriage— thanks to how the ceremony cements the connection between a couple and their community. 

"Weddings, after all, are public celebrations involving family, close friends, and often a wider network of people around a couple," write Galena K. Rhoades and Scott M. Stanley, co-authors of the "Before 'I Do'" report

Drawing from a sample of 418 people married between 2007 and 2013, the study found that couples who had 150 or more guests at their weddings had a 47% likelihood of having a higher-quality marriage, while having 51 to 149 guests predicted a 37% likelihood, and having 50 or less predicted a 31% likelihood.

Screen Shot 2015 02 20 at 9.51.28 AMThe correlation held up after controlling for income and education. 

"There is some reason to believe that having more witnesses at a wedding may actually strengthen marital quality," Rhoades and Stanley add.

They gave the following explanations for the link

• "Weddings may foster support for the new marriage from within a couple's network of friends and family."

• "[T]hose who hold a formal wedding are likely to have stronger social networks in the first place."

Citing sociologist Emile Durkheim, "Rituals associated with collective life [like weddings] give meaning, purpose, and stability to social life." 

Citing psychologist Charles Kiesler, "Commitment is strengthened when it is publicly declared because individuals strive to maintain consistency between what they say and what they do."

Citing social scientist Paul Rosenblatt, "Holding a big wedding with many witnesses would lead to a stronger desire — or even need — to follow through on the commitment." 

There's a deeper lesson here for anyone tying the knot: While only two people say vows at a wedding, their whole community is involved in their marriage.

SEE ALSO: America's Top Couples Therapist Says All Successful Marriages Share This Trait

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Before the Oscars red carpet is set up, it's just a run-down street in Hollywood

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Tina Fey Oscar red carpet

On Sunday, millions of people will be watching as celebrities descend upon Hollywood Boulevard to walk the red carpet before heading into the Dolby Theater for the 87th annual Academy Awards.

We stopped by the Dolby Theater to get a better look at what exactly it takes to prepare for the most-watched red carpet event of the year.

While workmen are quickly trying to transform Los Angeles' Hollywood Boulevard into a red carpet area, the street is anything but glamorous before the Oscars take it over.

This is what the red carpet looks like during arrivals for the Academy Awards.



But before Sunday's big show, the glamorous red carpet area is just a blocked off busy street in the middle of a touristy area in Hollywood.



To the right of the carpet, there is a Forever 21 clothing store and Johnny Depp look-a-like from "Pirates of the Caribbean."



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For your consideration — why 'The Interview' should've gotten a Best Picture Oscar nod

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This year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated eight films in the Best Picture category. Critically acclaimed favorites like "Nightcrawler," "Wild" and "Foxcatcher" are among those that were left out of the race.

I think the Academy committed another major oversight by leaving out the controversial comedy "The Interview," which reportedly caused the retaliatory Sony hack that eventually led to the resignation of studio chief Amy Pascal.

Many people wrote off "The Interview" as a sophomoric farce, but I think the movie belongs in the same pantheon as classic political satires like "The Great Dictator" and "Dr Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," both of which were nominated for Best Picture in their respective years. Watch the video above to see exactly why "The Interview" should be up for best movie.



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This self-stirring mug will change the way you drink coffee

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coffee

Technology has come so far. Now, you don't even need to use a spoon to stir your coffee.

Enter the self-stirring coffee mug.

Once you've poured coffee and milk into the mug, all you need to do is press a button. Then, the mug will automatically swirl the liquids.

Bonus: this mug can also double up for mixing instant soups and tea with milk.

Self-stirring mug: $12


 

SEE ALSO: 7 of the best coffee makers around

SEE ALSO: Make smooth coffee and espresso without bitterness using the AeroPress

SEE ALSO: Read about the secrets, scandals, and affairs behind 'Saturday Night Live' in these 4 books

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NOW WATCH: 14 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do








The 10 most miserable states in America

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Unemployed coal miners Todd Hatfield (L) and Dave Houck talk at Hatfield's bar and restaurant in Gilbert, West Virginia May 22, 2014.

Gallup-Healthways released its Well-Being Index for 2014 on Thursday, and West Virginia is the most miserable state in America for the sixth straight year.

It was followed by Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Mississippi to round out the bottom five states. 

The Gallup-Healthways data is based on over 176,000 interviews with US adults from January until December 2014. It tests five essential elements of well-being, including motivation to achieve goals (purpose), having positive relationships (social), economic satisfaction (financial), feeling safe and having pride in where you live (community), and taking care of your health (physical). 

bottom 10 gallup healthwaysArkansas, Ohio, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Kentucky are the only five states to be in the bottom 10 for well-being since the poll began in 2008, according to Gallup.

West Virginia ranked the lowest in both physical well-being as well as for "purpose" or liking what you do every day. It was the only state to rank dead-last in two of the five categories.

West Virginia's welfare is not new fodder in the media. The state's economy relies heavily on coal production, a dying industry that is rapidly losing jobs and has little career growth. 

Its population is one of the least educated in America and 35.1% of West Virginia's adult population are also obese, according to the nonprofit State of Obesity website, which is the highest rate in the nation.

According to the Gallup-Healthways data, Illinois had the lowest community well-being rating, Rhode Island had the lowest social well-being rating, and Mississippi had the worst financial well-being rating in America.

Check out the full state rankings below.

Gallup Healthways State of American Well Being_2014 State Rankings vFINAL

SEE ALSO: Wait until you see what our coal addiction is doing to West Virginia

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14 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

This 26-year-old from Baltimore took a 35,000-mile road trip and ended up fighting in the Libyan revolution

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"Point And Shoot" is a documentary by two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Marshall Curry.

In 2006, Matt VanDyke, a timid 26-year-old with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder left his home in Baltimore and set off on a self-described “crash course in manhood.” He bought a motorcycle and a video camera and began a 35,000-mile motorcycle trip through Northern Africa and the Middle East. While traveling, he struck up an unlikely friendship with a Libyan hippie, and when revolution broke out in Libya, Matt joined his friend in the fight against dictator Muammar Gaddafi. 

Video courtesy of Marshall Curry Productions

Stream the full film on Amazon & iTunes

 

 

 

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Angela Merkel's incredible rise from quantum chemist to the world's most powerful woman

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merkel

The world's most powerful woman earned her Ph.D. in quantum physics, presides over the richest economy in Europe, and is the central broker in a massive euro-bailout deal.

Germany's Angela Merkel is the undisputed leader of her political party, and she faces hardly any opposition in her now third parliamentary term as chancellor.

Merkel rose from humble beginnings under an oppressive East German regime, overthrew her political mentor single-handedly, claimed the top spot as Germany's leader much like her late British counterpart Margaret Thatcher, who also had a degree in science.

Angela Kasner was born in Hamburg, West Germany, on July 17, 1954.

Angela Dorothea Kasner was born to Herlind Kasner, an English and Latin teacher, and Horst Kasner, a theologian and Lutheran minister.

A few weeks after she was born, her father moved the family to Templin, in East Germany, about an hour from Berlin.

Merkel's childhood was shaped by the Stasi, or secret police. The Stasi made people paranoidMerkel learned early on to keep her cards close to her chest.

Source: The Making of Merkel, BBC



A perfectionist by nature, she excelled in her studies.

She excelled in academics, especially math, science, and languages.

In her teenage years, her parents encouraged her to join the Communist youth organization, the Freie Deutsche Jugend, or Free German Youth, to develop skills for a career in politics. 

After flunking a physics course in high school, she decided to pursue a degree from the University of Leipzig in physics to prove her mastery of the subject.

Source: The Making of Merkel, BBC 



She became a physicist.

Popular among her peers, she caught the eye of fellow physics student Ulrich Merkel, whom she met during a Russian exchange trip.

She married him in 1977 and graduated the following year with a degree in physics and physical chemistry.

She continued her academic career and went on to study at the elite German Academy of Sciences, in Berlin, and earned a Ph.D. in quantum chemistry, in 1986.

Source: The Making of Merkel, BBC



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The 10 best beaches in the world, according to travelers

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Whitehaven Beach

With temperatures below freezing in much of the northern hemisphere, it's the perfect time to escape to one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

TripAdvisor has just released its 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards, which ranks the best beaches in the world based on millions of reviews from real travelers.

Baia do Sancho, a beach on the remote Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha, was named the best in the world for the second time in a row.

From the white sands of Turks and Caicos to the crystal clear waters of Italy’s Rabbit Beach, here are the top 10 beaches in the world.

10. Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece



9. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia



8. Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico



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LAST CHANCE: Win a trip to that big tech festival in Austin, TX

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SXSW party

Business Insider and General Assembly have partnered to bring you a chance to win a trip to everyone’s favorite tech festival in Austin, TX this March right around the same time as a large tech festival. We'll cover the flight  for you and a friend, provide VIP access to private events and parties, and set you up in exclusive 1-on-1 meetings with entrepreneurs & influencers from the tech and music scene. Enter by February 22, 2015.

One Lucky Winner And A Friend Will Receive:

One lucky winner and a friend will receive:

  • Round-trip airfare to Austin, TX this March 13 - March 17
  • Four nights of accommodations in downtown Austin and a boozy gift bag from Drizly to greet you
  • VIP access to the third annual Lunar Kaleidoscope party on 14 March, hosted by General Assembly & Splash
  • Two VIP passes to the full-day ff Massive Party on 15 March
  • Coffee meetings with hand-picked startup founders and industry influencers
  • Exclusive seats at a private dinner with influential entrepreneurs from NYC, SF, & LA
  • $1,000 Uber credit to ride in style around the city
  • Free access to all GA Educational Programs at the festival

Enter to win here

 

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3 science-based life hacks to help you host the perfect dinner party

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kitchen disaster

Trying to impress a special someone, a group of friends, or a team of colleagues by inviting them over for a delicious dinner can be a great way to show off your cooking skills but can also be incredibly stressful — even if you know what you're doing.

Timing everything down to the right minute so that the food on your guests' plate is cooked through, the right temperature upon serving, and looks beautiful on the plate is a daunting task and difficult to pull off.

Then there's your own appearance to think of, and if you're planning on cutting a lot of onions, then good luck looking like you didn't just finish watching the tear-wrenching film Old Yeller.

Here are four techniques, provided by the American Chemical Society's Reactions YouTube series, that can help you on your descent into kitchen-cooking hell. There's also some cool science behind these techniques that are sure to impress any dinner guest as they happily chow down.

1. Preserve the bright-green color of your cooked vegetables.

vegetablesChlorophyll A and B are the two molecules that give vegetables their beautiful, bright-green color. When you cook the vegetables for a long period of time, the heat breaks down the plant cells in your veggies. As a result, the cells release acids.

Normally, these acids are kept separate from the chlorophyll, but when heated, the acids escape from the plant cells and come into contact with the green molecules. When this happens, the acids change the chlorophyll molecules' chemical composition, which, in turn, changes the color of your vegetables from a delicious-looking vibrant green to an unappealing dark green.

To prevent this from happening, cook your vegetables for approximately seven minutes. This is long enough to cook them through but not so long that the acids get the chance to do their dirty work.

2. Don't cry over your onions. Refrigerate them!

onionOnions are a delicious addition to any guacamole, burrito, stir fry, or casserole. But they come with a price: Your tears.

Every time you cut into an onion, you release compounds called sulfenic acids. One of these sulfenic acids mixes with other enzymes in the onion that you release during cutting. This mixture is what then creates the eye-burning, tear-inducing gas, called syn-propanethial-S-oxide.

The gas wafts toward your eyes and upon contact stimulates your sensory neurons. The neurons then send signals to your brain that tells you your eyes are burning, and your body's immediate response to alleviate the pain is to wash it away with tears.

To protect your eyes, refrigerate your onions for at least 30 minutes before chop time. This reduces the onion's tendency to release sulfenic acid. Another option is to cut the onion under water, that way the water, and not your eyes, absorbs the acid.

3. Don't cook with a bad, stinky egg.

cracked eggRotten eggs not only taste gross but their putrid state gives them a fetid smell that will have any guest running for the hills instead of flocking to the dinner table. The reason eggs go bad in the first place is because of the many tiny dimples, shown in the image above, that dot their shells.

These dimples are actually pores that allow air to flow in and out of the shell so the developing chick within can breathe. But, the pores also let bacteria in, which feast on the gelatinous embryo inside breaking down proteins and emitting the putrid-scented gas called hydrogen sulphide.

Over time, the gas builds up inside of the egg. To protect your kitchen from a smelly egg, place the egg inside of a glass of water. If the egg is filled with hydrogen sulphide, it will float to the surface. If the egg sinks, then you and your guest's noses are safe.

Hosting a dinner will test you on many levels, and if all else fails, there's always pizza delivery.

CHECK OUT: Take our quiz to find out what bad food choices you are making

SEE ALSO: 9 easy tips for waking up earlier and more refreshed

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Gentrification is good for the poor

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San Fransisco MissionIn an old bar on U Street in Washington, DC--a place that was once a centre of black life and is now an inferno of hipsterdom--Jay, the bartender, is talking about how the area has changed over the past decade or so.

"They ain't got barmen any more," he says, with a grin. "They got mixologists." What happens in Washington, he explains, is that young white professionals move in, bars open, "and then you know that all the bodegas and liquor stores on every corner, they ain't got long either."

Such gentrification obsesses the bien-pensants. In November the New York Times instructed its journalists to stop comparing everywhere to gentrified Brooklyn. A Saturday Night Live sketch showed a young man in a tough neighbourhood talking about his "bitches"--only to reveal that he runs a dog-walking business, and even knits matching sweaters for his bitches.

In Philadelphia and San Francisco, presumed gentrifiers have been the target of protests and attacks. Elsewhere, the term is used as an insult ("I would hate to be a gentrifier," says one young professional in Detroit). Yet the evidence suggests that gentrification is both rare and, on balance, a good thing.

The case against it is simple. Newcomers with more money supposedly crowd out older residents. In Washington, according to a study by Governing magazine, 52% of census tracts that were poor in 2000 have since gentrified--more than in any other city bar Portland, Oregon. Young, mostly white singletons have crowded into a district once built for families.

Over the same period, housing in Washington has become vastly more expensive. And many black residents have left: between 1990 and 2010, the number of African-Americans in the District declined by almost 100,000, falling from 66% of the population to 51%.

In New York and San Francisco, which both have rent-control rules, soaring property prices create an incentive for property owners to get rid of their tenants. Stories abound of unscrupulous developers buying up rent-controlled properties and then using legal loopholes or trickery to force residents to leave. Letting a building deteriorate so much that it can be knocked down is one tactic; bribing building inspectors to evict tenants illegally is another.

Yet there is little evidence that gentrification is responsible for displacing the poor or minorities. Black people were moving out of Washington in the 1980s, long before most parts of the city began gentrifying. In cities like Detroit, where gentrifiers are few and far between and housing costs almost nothing, they are still leaving.

One 2008 study of census data found "no evidence of displacement of low-income non-white households in gentrifying neighbourhoods". They did find, however, that the average income of black people with high- school diplomas in gentrifying areas soared.

gentrificaiton

Gentrifiers can make life better for locals in plenty of ways, argues Stuart Butler of the Brookings Institution, a think-tank. When professionals move to an area, "they know how to get things done". They put pressure on schools, the police and the city to improve.

As property prices increase, rents go up--but that also generates more property-tax revenue, helping to improve local services. In many cities, zoning laws force developers to build subsidised housing for the poor as well as pricey pads for well-off newcomers, which means that rising house prices can help to create more subsidised housing, not less.

The bigger problem for most American cities, says Mr Butler, is not gentrification but the opposite: the concentration of poverty. Of neighbourhoods that were more than 30% poor in 1970, just 9% are now less poor than the national average (see chart), according to the City Observatory, a think-tank. In Chicago, yuppies can easily buy coffee and vinyl records in northern neighbourhoods such as Wicker Park.

But the South Side, where racist housing policies created a ghetto in the 1950s and 1960s, remains violent, poor and almost entirely black. In Brooklyn the most famously gentrified district, Williamsburg, was never all that poor or black in the first place.

However annoying they may be, hipsters help the poor. Their vintage shops and craft-beer bars generate jobs and taxes. So if you see a bearded intruder on a fixed-gear bike in your neighbourhood, welcome him.

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This article was from The Economist and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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This is what everyone keeps getting wrong about the WWE being fake

GoPro footage of a skier plunging through the ice on Lake Baikal in Siberia

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A skier plunged through the ice of a Siberian lake into freezing water. Everything that happened next was recorded on his GoPro camera.

Produced by Jason Gaines. Video courtesy of Caters News and Associated Press.


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Starbucks, Dunkin' or McDonald's — which coffee is the best value?

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A war is always brewing for your coffee dollars between Starbucks, McDonald's, and Dunkin' Donuts. We bought three coffees from each of these establishments on 23rd Street in New York City. We recorded the prices and compared the size and caffeine content of each cup. The results may surprise you.

We used caffeine data from Caffeine Informer.

Produced by Sara Silverstein

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What it's like inside the secretive halls of the Time Warner Center, the high-rise built for anonymity

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time warner center new york

80% of the luxury apartments owned in New York’s Time Warner Center at 25 Columbus Circle were bought through secretive shell companies, according to an in-depth luxury real estate report in The New York Times.

The tall glassy building and its 192 condos rise above the Shops at Columbus Circle and are known for being protective of owners' privacy. 

Many of the residents are foreign billionaires investing in a New York vacation home. Some are even alleged corrupt officials or under investigation, according to the Times, and using the expensive condos as a kind of Swiss bank account.

And they could not have chosen a better place to stash their wealth — from the unadorned hallways to the multiple entrances, this was a high-rise built for anonymity. As The Times reporters Louise Story and Stephanie Saul put it:

There are no door buzzers or mail slots with residents’ names. You are unlikely to bump into neighbors wandering the halls because only about a third of the owners live there at any one time, according to people familiar with their comings and goings. The building’s annual holiday party is a lonely affair, they say.

No one in this building really knows their neighbors, and they’re not meant to. There are multiple entrances either through the Shops at Columbus Circle or the nearby garage, as well as the main doors. If they want to, they don’t even need to have their names listed in the building's book of owners, according to the Times:

And while the building has a book listing the names of people associated with units, the owners do not have to be listed for them to get access to the building. They could walk in alongside someone whose name is in the book. Or, if they are cleared to visit, they could enter the complex through the shops or the hotel, and then take the secure elevators to the condos.

Not even the people who are associated with the sales necessarily know who purchased each unit thanks to all the secretive limited liability companies (LLCs) and trusts that hide the buyers’ identities, according to the Times reporters. 

Tobias Meyer time warner center aptAnd even if their signature or name were visible on the lease, many of the sales are made in cash, according to The Times, so there are no mortgage statements or public documents that could trace back to the true owner.

Aside from the secrecy and confidentiality offered by the Time Warner Center, the gorgeous apartments in the building are another huge draw. They have some of the best views of Central Park, huge bathrooms and kitchens, bedrooms with 360 degree views, and more.

apt 70b time warner center condoAdding to the luxury, all the condos have access to the building’s amenities including restaurants Masa and Per Se as well as the Mandarin-Oriental Hotel’s spa. 

entrance to per se in new york cityPlus, Whole Foods is right downstairs in your building as is an Equinox fitness center and luxury shops such as Cole Haan, Diptyque, Coach, and Wolford.  

time warner center shops at columbus circleThe building is a tiny microcosm in and of itself. In fact, if they didn’t want to see the rest of the city, the wealthy occupants wouldn’t need to journey anywhere else at all.

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