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Happy Birthday, J Law!

Monday, Aug 15 2022 by

Today, Jennifer Lawrence turns 32 years old, and we hope that the most successful actress in Hollywood history can take a break from her newest role as mom to a baby boy born in February, to enjoy some cake and gifts and time with loved ones.

Childhood Home in Louisville, KY

Jennifer grew up with her parents and two brothers in a nice suburban home outside Louisville, Kentucky. While she moved to Los Angeles around the age of 14 to pursue an acting career, her family continued to live in the 4,000 square foot home until 2021, when it sold for about $1.2 million. The beautiful, wood-floored home was a great place to grow up, and certainly helped her become the grounded, capable person she is today.

Jennifer Lawrence's House (former) (StreetView)
Jennifer Lawrence's House (former)

Suzanne Collins Home in Newtown, CT

Jennifer’s acting talent was clear from her early teens, and she quickly landed some successful roles. She was nominated for a best actress Oscar when she was only 20! However, it was her starring role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Game series that brought her international fame and fortune.

The movies were based on the best-selling novels written by Suzanne Collins, who writes from her home in the Sandy Hook area of Newtown, Connecticut. While she is now worth more than $60 million, and even helped adapt the books for film, she still lives in her 2,400 square foot home that she and her husband bought in 2003.

Suzanne Collins' House (Author of The Hunger Games) (Birds Eye)
Suzanne Collins' House (Author of The Hunger Games)

Hunger Games Filming Site, Jonesboro GA

The Hunger Games is a dystopian story about a country that seemed loosely built on the United States, so it was awesome that filming of the films could take place across the US. Much of the filming took place in the southeast, including this location in Georgia, which was used for the intense cornucopia scenes.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Cornucopia Filming Set (Google Maps)
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Cornucopia Filming Set

First Townhouse in Santa Monica, CA

Jennifer moved to LA when she was young, trying to break into the business. As soon as she found limited success, she bought a 1,500 square foot townhouse in Santa Monica. She paid just under $900,000, which is a bargain for the area!

She stayed in the basic home for a few years, until she really made it in Hollywood with films in the X-Men and Hunger Games franchises under her belt, but sold it when she moved.

Jennifer Lawrence's House (Google Maps)
Jennifer Lawrence's House

Tribeca Condo, NY

Like most celebrities, Jennifer keeps a residence in New York. In 2017, she bought a condo at 443 Greenwich, which caters to the rich and famous, with major security and privacy for all residents. Her neighbors included Jake Gyllenhaal, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Harry Stiles, and more.

The building has underground parking for increased privacy, a Turkish bath, fitness rooms, a massive lap pool, and more.

Jennifer’s unit has 3,000 square feet, with 35-foot ceilings in some areas, and a restaurant-grade kitchen, perfect for amazing meals in the gorgeous suite. She never spent much time at the penthouse, often listing it for rent for $30,000/month.

443 Greenwich (Paparazi-Proof Celebrity Enclave) (Google Maps)
443 Greenwich (Paparazi-Proof Celebrity Enclave)

New York Townhouse, NY

Jennifer’s husband, Cooke Maroney, is an art gallery director, so naturally he spends plenty of time in New York. Therefore, the couple needs a good home for their family. In 2020, they bought this townhouse in the West Village, for about $22 million. NBD!

It has four bedrooms, and is located in the heart of Manhattan, perfect for Cooke’s career.

Jennifer Lawrence's Townhouse (Google Maps)
Jennifer Lawrence's Townhouse

Beverly Hills Mansion, CA

Unlike some other celebrities, Jennifer hasn’t spent a lot of time and money investing in real estate; when she buys a residence, she seems to keep it for awhile and try to make it a home.

In 2014, she bought a 5,500 square foot mansion in the celebrity enclave Hidden Valley Estates in Beverly Hills. Her neighbors include Ellen DeGeneres, and the house was previously owned by Ellen herself, Jessica Simpson and other celebs.

She paid about $8.2 million for the fully-renovated mansion, which has a pool, koi pond, amazing kitchen, and plenty of interior space. Nearly a decade on, she’s still living here basically full-time, and has made the home perfect for her growing family, with husband Cooke, and the new baby boy they welcomed this year.

Jennifer Lawrence's House (Birds Eye)
Jennifer Lawrence's House

In the spotlight since she was a teenager, Jennifer has taken a step back, but not a step down, in her Hollywood career. As she celebrates her birthday today, let’s hope she reflects on all the amazing things she’s accomplished, and feels content with her amazing achievements, and enjoys cake on her special day. Happy Birthday, Jennifer!

 

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Celebrity Politicians

Wednesday, Aug 10 2022 by

Some people might say that Americans have two main interests: Hollywood glamour and political involvement.

Donald Trump is the embodiment of the mixing of these two interests, but he is far from the only celebrity to run for political office.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian bodybuilder turned American actor, was most famous for his role as the Terminator, until he chose to run for governor of California. He served from 2003 to 2011, and was a generally well-liked politician. His transition from a hunky hulk to “the Governator” might not be so shocking when you realize his (now ex) wife Maria Schriver is part of the Kennedy clan, niece of President John F. Kennedy and his brothers, Senators Bobby and Ted Kennedy.

He was born in Austria and raised in Thal, living in the same home until he moved to the United States to pursue his career as a bodybuilder.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's House (Birds Eye)
Arnold Schwarzenegger's House

After becoming wildly successful in Hollywood, he maintained several residences, including a large estate in Los Angeles, which was the family’s primary residence until his infidelity ended their marriage. It sold in 2013.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's House (Birds Eye)
Arnold Schwarzenegger's House

Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia Nixon has been a working actress since 1980, but her most famous role was that of consummate New Yorker Miranda Hobbes on the now-classic HBO series Sex in the City.

Since the end of the show, Nixon has made a name for herself as an advocate for LGBT and women’s issues. After ending a five year relationship with Danny Mozes, she began dating her now-wife Christine Marinoni.

In 2018, Nixon announced her intention to run for Governor of New York as a Democrat, challenging incumbent Chris Cuomo. While she has made quite an impact in the campaign, it was clear from the start that her campaign would raise important issues in the Democratic primary, but she was a long shot to beat Cuomo. Cuomo did win the primary and was reelected governor in November 2018.

Nixon and her family, classic New Yorkers, maintain several residences throughout the city, including this home just off Central Park.

Cynthia Nixon's House (StreetView)
Cynthia Nixon's House

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is tough, and he always gets his way. As an actor he has embodied a tough as nails attitude, in his famous Dirty Harry films, and has directed gritty, moving and successful films such as Million Dollar Baby and Flags of our Fathers.

His grit isn’t just an act, and it shows in his personal life. He has lived in Carmel, California for decades. He has been active in maintaining and protecting the town of 4,500, and after a dispute with the mayor, he ran for mayor in 1986. He won the election on a platform of, among other things, allowing ice cream cones to be sold within the city limits. He donated the $200 monthly salary to charity, and after his first term, decided not to run for reelection.

Clint Eastwood's House (Google Maps)
Clint Eastwood's House

Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer, famous for his tabloid-style talk show, was a politician first, and then became a celebrity. Springer was born in London, England, during World War II, and emigrated to the United States in 1949 and ended up as a lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1971, he was elected as a city councilman, but in 1974 he had to resign amid a major, if not amusing in hindsight, scandal.

Springer had been a client of a massage parlor that fronted a brothel, and had the misfortune of paying with a check “for services rendered”. In spite of the short-term scandal, he was reelected to office in 1975, and appointed mayor in 1977.

After his stint in politics, he got involved in local television news, and eventually became the host of the nationally syndicated show The Jerry Springer Show, which interviews guests on salacious and dramatic topics, encouraging fights and dramatics to the delight of viewers.

Jerry Springer's House (Birds Eye)
Jerry Springer's House

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was an actor, appearing in movies and on television from the 1930s to 1960s. He was famous, if not an A-list star, but became very well-known for his television appearances.

He ran for and was elected governor of California in 1966, and served two terms. After serving, he remained involved in politics, and very popular among conservative Republicans. He was elected president of the United States in 1980, and served two terms, and was generally well-lied and effective in his job.

He and his wife Nancy maintained their close ties to California, including visiting their ranch in Santa Barbara, which earned it the nickname the “Western White House”.

Ronald Reagan Ranch (Google Maps)
Ronald Reagan Ranch

The Reagans also spent much of their time post-presidency in a nice home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, where Ronald Reagan died in 2004.

Ronald & Nancy Reagan's House (Former) (Birds Eye)
Ronald & Nancy Reagan's House (Former)

These celebrities and politicians just go to show us all that you can really do anything you want, if you set your mind to it, and maybe have a lot of fans to vote for you, and enough money to fund your campaign ambitions.

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Amazing Lighthouses Shining around the World

Sunday, Aug 7 2022 by

You may not know it, but August 7 is National Lighthouse Day in the United States. So, let’s take a look at some of the brightest, boldest, and most unique lighthouses from around the world.

Cape Hatteras Light, Cape Hatteras, NC

The Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina is a group of barrier islands in the Atlantic Ocean. As ships come up the North Carolina coast, they can run into powerful swells and storms near Cape Hatteras. The shifting sandbars led to the area earning the ominous nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic”.

One of the oldest lighthouses in the US, the original Cape Hatteras Light was built in 1802, but was quickly recognized as insufficient for the needs of the area. The current structure, which is the tallest lighthouse structure in the US and second-tallest in the world, is widely recognized by its bold black and white diagonal stripes.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (Birds Eye)
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse, County Wexford, Ireland

Also given a bold black and white paint job, which helps sailors identify the landmark structure during the day, the Hook Lighthouse on the other side of the Atlantic, is famous for being the second oldest operating lighthouse in the world! The existing tower has stood 850 years, while other lighthouses were installed on the same location as far back as 400 AD.

The lighthouse warns sailors of the dangerous rocks of the peninsula, especially during the regular and sudden fogs that strike the outcropping. Originally, guns were fired to warn of the shoals during foggy periods, but now, technology allows sailors to guide their ships safely even when visibility is low.

Hook Lighthouse (StreetView)
Hook Lighthouse

Chania Lighthouse, Crete, Greece

The Chania Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses, originally built by the Venetians back when the city-state controlled much of the Mediterranean. While the lighthouse was destroyed centuries ago, the base remained. In the 1860s, a new lighthouse was built on the existing base. It is considered one of the most beautiful lighthouses, especially when viewed at night.

The 85 foot high stone minaret is lit up at night, creating a warm, romantic glow that fills the sky. The glow serves as an additional visual marker in addition to the light at the top, which can be seen for nearly ten miles.

Chania Lighthouse (Birds Eye)
Chania Lighthouse

Cape Espichel Lighthouse, Castelo, Portugal

Another old European beauty, the Cape Espichel Lighthouse was originally built by an order of monks who built a community to honor an image of the Virgin Mary, which was found on the rocky site. As pilgrims came to see the holy relic and worship, the monks recognized the need for a lighthouse to ensure the safety of the travelers. The area was known as the “Black Coast” because it was so dark and difficult to navigate.

With a low, wide building at the base, the lighthouse reaches up more than 100 feet into the air, with thick walls making a hexagonal tower. It is painted white, with a beautiful traditional red clay roof. Guests are able to tour the lovely structure at least once a week.

Cape Espichel Lighthouse (StreetView)
Cape Espichel Lighthouse

Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

The Portland Head Lighthouse was one of the first lighthouses funded by the new American government, and details about construction and management were overseen by none other than George Washington! The lighthouse guides ships into the Portland Harbor, one of the most important shipping lanes in the Northeast.

The height of the structure had to be enhanced a few times, as builders realized that it needed to be much taller to be visible to sailors. It was originally lit with whale oil, but is now illuminated by electrical power. Like other areas on the north Atlantic, fog often covers the area, so the lighthouse also has fog signals to keep people safe under all weather conditions.

Portland Head Lighthouse (Birds Eye)
Portland Head Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse, Silver Bay, MN

Not all lighthouses protect sailors on the open ocean. Some lighthouses are built along dangerous rivers or large lakes, like the Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.

In addition to serving a unique purpose, the lighthouse is considered one of the more beautiful lighthouse structures in the US. Positioned at the top of a high cliff, the beautiful brick lighthouse is a striking image against the water and sky.

While the lighthouse is no longer in use, it has been turned into a state park, and visitors and campers can take in the picturesque views all year round.

Split Rock Lighthouse (StreetView)
Split Rock Lighthouse

These are just a few beautiful and historical lighthouses around the world that keep people safe from dangerous waves, dense fog, and rocky shoals.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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