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Let's All Go to the Movies!

Monday, Jun 24 2024 by

It’s the middle of summer, and  this year, there are several sequels to highly successful franchises coming to theaters.  Blockbusters are the perfect cure to a hot or boring afternoon, so let’s take a look at some of the really cool movies we can see this summer.

Deadpool and Wolverine comes out this July, and it will be a guaranteed success, merging two hit franchises known for their powerhouse main stars and action-packed plot lines.

Hugh Jackman, NYC Apartment

Bringing the Wolverine to the movie, few people in Hollywood have made being a superhero more successful than Hugh Jackman. The character was his breakout role way back, and has helped him develop a net worth of more than $150 million.

However, a year after separating from his wife of 27 years, Hugh Jackman’s private life has been a little up in the air. Way back in 2008, the couple bought this amazing West Village property for $21 million. It is situated across three floors, and has more than 11,000 square feet.

Just a few months before they filed for divorce, the couple bought a new penthouse in Chelsea, and put this triplex apartment on the market. It hasn’t sold in over a year, so maybe Hugh is using the place while he figures out where he’s going to live going forward.

Hugh Jackman's Apartment (StreetView)
Hugh Jackman's Apartment

Ryan Reynolds, Pound Ridge Estate

Ryan Reynolds has a smile that can take your breath away, but when you learn he’s parlayed his acting career into a net worth exceeding $350 million, you’ll really be speechless. And much of that financial success comes from the Deadpool franchise. Each of the previous films have broken all the records, and brought in nearly a billion dollars each!

When not portraying a sarcastic and feisty antihero on screen, Ryan likes to spend time with his wife Blake Lively and their four girls. They love to be away from Hollywood, and enjoy their Pound Ridge, New York home.

They paid $5.7 million for this property more than a decade ago. With nearly 9,000 square feet, the six of them can really stretch out; and if that’s not enough, they can really get comfortable running around the 11.5 acres the house is set on.

Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively's House (Google Maps)
Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively's House

Bad Boys: Ride or Die has been out a few weeks and already netted about $150 million! The fourth installment in the 20-year franchise proves why people love Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and can’t get enough when the two work together.

Will Smith’s Pad in Calabasas

The Fresh Prince has reigned over Hollywood for decades, outlasting all sorts of challenges and scandals, even those that were self-inflicted. He and his longtime wife Jada Pinkett Smith own an estate in Calabasas that’s so big, words like huge and enormous don’t do it justice.

The 150-acre compound in the highly sought-after area of Calabasas has a 25,000 square foot main house, and several other houses and structures on the property. It has an 11,000 square foot gym, and even an artificial lake!

Will’s net worth is pushing half a billion dollars, and this summer hit will bring him even closer, with rumors that he earned $25 million to reprise his Miami detective role.

Will Smith's House (Google Maps)
Will Smith's House

Despicable Me 4 comes out the day before the Fourth of July, and it’s sure to be a hit. The previous three films each made more than $3 billion dollars! Seeing evil Gru and the mischievous minions is practically a summer tradition at this point, so seeing the next movie is a must!

Steve Carell’s Mansion in Toluca Lake

Steve is known for being a hapless if not lovable character, even as an evil animated villain. But in real life, he’s a laid-back family man. This home in Toluca Lake was bought in 2010, only to be torn down and have a totally new mansion built in its place. The custom design has more than 7,000 square feet on the first floor alone, and rooms designed for his two kids, showing he’s a big softie at heart.

Steve Carell's House (Birds Eye)
Steve Carell's House

Pharrell Williams’ Florida Pad

Pharrell brought the original Despicable Me to life with his rendition of Happy and he’s back at it again for the newest film. Since the last film, he’s packed up from his estate in California and relocated to a 17,000 square foot estate in Coral Gables, Florida.

The stylish home was designed by a renowned architect, and has a sleek, minimalist design that helps it feel like part of the landscape, rather than apart from it. Inside, the home is very modern, and includes a massive video wall in the main bedroom!

The $30 million property also has a guest house with movie theater, infinity pool, an outdoor movie area, and a skate park!

Pharrell Williams' House (Google Maps)
Pharrell Williams' House

This summer, it’s obvious these celebs will be staying cool in their massive, gorgeous estates. But you can beat the heat too, just by going to the movies and enjoying an afternoon or evening of fun and entertainment. Don’t forget the popcorn!


Viva Las Vegas! A Great Spring Break Destination

Saturday, Apr 20 2024 by

Whether you’re young and looking for an adventure, or traveling with a family, Las Vegas is a great Spring Break destination.

Let’s take a look at some of the places everyone should have on their list to see when they make a trip to Sin City.

Welcome to Last Vegas Sign

Perhaps the most recognized feature of Las Vegas, the flashing sign welcoming visitors to Las Vegas was funded in 1959, at perhaps the heyday of Vegas glamor and glitz. These days, it’s a familiar, retro greeting for everyone who tour the Strip, the area jam packed with casinos, restaurants, party venues, and entertainment for all ages. Day or night, the party’s going on, and it’s the perfect photo op to announce your arrival!

Las Vegas: The Strip - Google Earth (StreetView)
Las Vegas: The Strip - Google Earth

The Venetian Casino and Resort

If you want to see a great music concert, check out the Venetian! Christina Aguilera will be there for two weeks in April, followed by Kylie Minogue, who regularly performs at the resort.

The hotel and casino is just as amazing, often making lists of best resorts and casinos in the US. Its theme hearkens back to the height of the Venetian empire, with a recreation of the Rialto Bridge, the Doge’s Palace, and other famous landmarks from the powerful empire of the Middle Ages.

Doge's Palace at the Venetian Casino and Resort (Birds Eye)
Doge's Palace at the Venetian Casino and Resort

The Bellagio

The Bellagio is one of Vegas’s most famous luxury resorts, created in the style of an Italian village, complete with classical-styled sculpture and design, high-end art galleries, breathtaking botanical gardens, and more.

Bellagio Hotel & Casino (Birds Eye)
Bellagio Hotel & Casino

Perhaps the most famous attraction at the Bellagio are the impressive fountains, which perform free water shows choreographed with music and lighting to entertain the crowds. Designed as the focal point in an 8.5 acre man-made lake in the center of the Las Vegas desert, they are certainly impressive. In fact, they are considered one of the most talked-about attractions in the city by people around the world!

Bellagio Fountains (Birds Eye)
Bellagio Fountains

Eiffel Tower and Paris Hotel

The Paris Hotel is an awesome spectacle, and a lot more affordable! It was designed with the average, not high-end, visitor, in mind. But they did not skimp on awesome Parisian features. The biggest draw is the replica Eiffel Tower, which rises about 550 feet in the air. Only 1/3 as big as the original, it’s still impressive against the Las Vegas skyline.

Eiffel Tower in Paris Hotel (Birds Eye)
Eiffel Tower in Paris Hotel

Other replicas on the site include the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre museum, and Paris Opera House. It’s “almost” like going to France, without crossing an ocean or needing a passport.

'Arc de Triumph' (Birds Eye)
'Arc de Triumph'

Luxor Las Vegas

The Luxor Hotel goes all the way to another famous desert for its theme: the deserts of ancient Egypt, and the pyramids of Giza. Some years, the hotel hosts more visitors than the city on which it’s modeled! Its centerpiece is a massive pyramid, which is the actual hotel. At the top of the pyramid is a giant light called the Luxor Sky Beam, the most powerful man-made light in the world.

Like other hotels, it also has lots of entertainment, beyond cool hotel rooms and casinos. It is also known for the expansive and educational Titanic exhibit, that still impresses visitors with artifacts and historical details in a museum dedicated to the ocean, that seems a little out of place in the desert.

Luxor (Birds Eye)

The Mob Museum

Branching out a bit from the Strip and resorts, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, better known as the Mob Museum, is a really cool museum dedicated to telling the story of organized crime, and the law enforcement agents who fight that crime.

Some people don’t know this, but Las Vegas has deep ties to organized crime and mob bosses, which makes sense with all the gambling and other activities you can do there. While the connections have eased up considerably over the years, the history is colorful, and the museum is a great place to learn about law enforcement over the years in the US, and see some really cool exhibits about the most famous, and notorious, characters, in organized crime.

National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (Google Maps)
National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement

Hoover Dam

If you’re looking to spend some time enjoying the region’s climate and scenery, you should check out Hoover Dam. The dam, blocking the Colorado River on the border between Las Vegas and Arizona, generates power for California, Nevada, and Arizona, for more than 1.25 million people.

It also generates water for crops and cities and towns in the area, coming off of Lake Mead, the man-made lake created as a result of the dam. Tourists can tour different parts of the dam, can check out the structure from the bridge at the top of the dam, or participate in water activities on Lake Mead. It’s less than an hour away from Sin City, but it feels like a completely different world.

Hoover Dam (Google Maps)
Hoover Dam

If you have the chance to tour Las Vegas, springtime is a great time to go; it’s not too hot, and there’s so much going on to keep you entertained. And if you can’t make it, this list will keep you almost as entertained.


Behind the Scenes of Dune: Part Two

Wednesday, Apr 10 2024 by

Dune: Part Two came out last month, and since then it’s broken all sorts of records, including earning over $600 million, raking in more money on opening weekend than any other film earned all year, and making way more money than even the first Dune did for its opening. Even now, it’s incredibly popular, and has fast-tracked production for the next installment of the sci-fi story.

Let’s take a look at some of the starring actors and locations from the film.

Timothée Chalamet

Making his debut more than a decade ago in Interstellar, Timothée Chalamet has become a major star, with a varied film repertoire, and credit for both artistic and blockbuster successes. At just 28, he’s already been nominated for an Oscar, and won several major accolades. And, he’s been dating celeb powerhouse Kylie Jenner for over a year now, so he’s really got it going on!

Born and bred in NYC, the dual American and French citizen bought a house in Beverly Hills in 2022. The home, formerly owned by Kate Upton and Justin Verlander, set him back about $11 million. The beautiful property has privacy-enhancing landscaping, a tennis court, pool, and great views. Inside, the four bedroom, five bathroom house has distinctive features including a fireplace that takes up an entire wall, in-home theater, wine cellar, and more. The house has been owned by several celebs in addition to Kate Upton, including Kenny G and Pete Sampras!

Timothee Chalamet's House ( Formerly Kate Upton and Justin Verlander's) (Google Maps)
Timothee Chalamet's House ( Formerly Kate Upton and Justin Verlander's)


Since getting her start on the Disney Channel in 2010, Zendaya has been known for her beautiful, piercing eyes, and amazing acting ability. Starring in Dune is just her most recent success, she’s been in the Spider-Man franchise, indie films, television shows, and more.

She has bought a few homes in the LA area, including this gorgeous place in Encino, which offers more space and privacy than some more famous zip codes in the area. The six-bedroom home is more than 80 years old, but several renovations have kept it up-to-date, perfect for the knockout celebrity.

Zendaya's House (Google Maps)
Zendaya's House

Josh Brolin

Josh Brolin’s father has had a long career in Hollywood, but Josh took a long time to determine that he, too, wanted to be an actor. But, once he did, his career has been stellar. His acting in Dune brings to life one of the most interesting and charismatic individuals in the story, and he deserves all the praise he gets for the role.

He left Hollywood a few years ago when he bought a home in Atlanta. While he put it up for rent last month, the $3.25 million home just north of the city in the upscale neighborhood of Buckhead, has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and 6,500 square feet of living space on 1.5 acres of land. Of course it has a gourmet kitchen, gym, theater, extra sitting and entertaining rooms, and  more.

Josh Brolin's House (Google Maps)
Josh Brolin's House

Wadi Rum, Jordan

Filming the desert scenes of the sci-fi film in a realistic environment was critically important to director Denis Villeneuve and his crew. They picked the Wadi Rum location in Jordan because it had both a “scary” quality and the rocks mixed among the sand described so vividly in the books. And just like on the planet of Arrakis, the area is known for deadly windstorms, but fortunately doesn’t have any sandworms.

A wadi is an area that is desert except when it rains; then it’s flooded with rushing rainwater that helps give it an eerie and unique landscape formation ideal for an other-worldy tale such as Dune.

Wadi Run - The Valley of the Moon (StreetView)
Wadi Run - The Valley of the Moon

Liwa Oasis, Abu Dhabi

While the wadi was great for some angles, the sand dunes in the book were best filmed on site in Abu Dhabi, where the vastness of the desert spread out before the camera, giving the viewer a visual feast of Arrakis in all its dangerous beauty.

Filming wasn’t so hard; the crew and actors stayed at a resort at the oasis, an area of water and vegetation that sprouts up in the desert. In many ways, it helped them feel more in character, and unified them as a team, far away from the distractions that might normally overwhelm a movie crew.

Liwa Oasis ("Star Wars") (StreetView)
Liwa Oasis ("Star Wars")

Ålesund, Norway

About a world away from the desert of the Middle East, Ålesund on the coast of Norway, was the perfect setting for the water-rich world of Caladan. The bays and inlets, as well as the dramatic cliffs, were perfect for portraying the paradise Paul Atreides left behind to follow the directive of the emperor, and eventually fulfill hundreds of years of prophesy and his own destiny.

Ålesund is a small but beautiful coastal city that attracts visitors for its Art Nouveau architecture, great river and ocean kayaking, and amazing hiking.

View of Ålesund from Mount Aksla (StreetView)
View of Ålesund from Mount Aksla

It’s so fun to look at where the stars live and worked while making both Dune films, it only makes us want more! Because the first two installments of the books-turned-movies were so successful, it’s all but guaranteed that there will be more breathtaking films to carry on the story in the next few years. And we can’t hardly wait!


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Monday, June 24, 2024

Showing 12 of 48 maps submitted on 2024-06-24:

Barnum Water Tower
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Blaine Water Tower
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Backus Water Tower
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Blaine Water Tower
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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Showing 12 of 57 maps submitted on 2024-06-22:

Boriyamal Island
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Chetlat Island
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Gateņu ezers
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Katrinišku ezers
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Friday, June 21, 2024

Showing 12 of 39 maps submitted on 2024-06-21:

Brewster Pond
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Secor Lake
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Dean Pond
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Lockwood Pond
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Barrett Pond
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Byrant Pond
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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Showing 12 of 30 maps submitted on 2024-06-20:

Whaletail Lake
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Wassermann Lake
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Carl Krey Lake
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Lippert Lake
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Tyler Perry's house
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Spray Island
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Goose Island
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Molnau Airpark
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