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Who is Having A Birthday in April?

Tuesday, Apr 7 2020 by

April is a great month; the weather is getting better and everyone is a little bit happier; those who are having a birthday will have an extra reason to smile this month.

Let’s see which celebrities are completing another trip around the sun in April.

Christoper Meloni

Christopher Meloni made a name for himself as tough-as-nails Detective Stabler on Law and Order: SVU, a long-running gritty crime drama. But on April 2, he’s going to be all smiles as he celebrates his 59th birthday.

Even though he is a famous Hollywood actor, he and his family mainly reside on the East Coast. They’ve been reducing their real estate portfolio, but they might be celebrating his birthday at their weekend home in New Milford, Connecticut.

Christopher Meloni's House (Birds Eye)
Christopher Meloni's House

Alec Baldwin

If there’s Hollywood royalty, the Baldwin family is certainly part of it, and Alec Baldwin is nothing less than a prince. The oldest of the famous Baldwin brothers, Alec will be celebrating his 62nd birthday on April 3. A man who loves New York, he’ll probably be celebrating with his wife Hilaria and their four kids in their awesome New York apartment or their massive Hamptons estate.

Their city residence is a beautiful two-story unit in Greenwich Village that set them back almost $12 million. The 4,000 square foot home has two master bedroom suites, a great dining room for entertaining, and gorgeous windows to provide lots of natural light to the home.

Alec Baldwin's apartment (Google Maps)
Alec Baldwin's apartment

Their Hamptons estate is a dream home for the family, and they spend plenty of time there. The 18th century home has been remodeled to meet the specific needs of the family, including a spacious kitchen and equal sized bedrooms for all the kids, to avoid potential jealousy.

Alec Baldwin's House (Birds Eye)
Alec Baldwin's House

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe has had a hectic few months, culminating with his massive New South Wales estate being damaged by terrible wildfires, and dealing with unfair allegations of preferential treatment by firefighters saving his property. He has taken it all in stride, and hopefully he can focus on his blessings in the world as he celebrates turning 57 on April 7.

If he celebrates in Australia, he can still celebrate at his New South Wales estate, since the main residence was not damaged in the fires.

Russell Crowe's House (Google Maps)
Russell Crowe's House

The New Zealand-born actor may also choose to spend his birthday at his beautiful waterfront Sydney property. The eleven-bedroom house is actually four units, with 30,000 square feet of living space.

His picture-perfect home with amazing views would be a great place to blow out 57 birthday candles!

Russell Crowe's House (Google Maps)
Russell Crowe's House

Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore rose to fame as a young singer, capturing the hearts of America’s teenagers. She’s maintained her popularity, branching out into film and television acting. She currently stars in NBC’s This Is Us, a tearjerker drama in its 4th season, and has a new album out. She turns 36 on April 10, and the talented crooner will have a great celebration no matter what she’s up to.

Since 2018, Mandy has owned a gorgeous home in Pasadena, California, with her husband Taylor Goldsmith. They paid $2.56 million for the residence, which has a gorgeous kitchen with stunning views, a pool right outside the bedroom, and custom marble stones. It would be a perfect place to sing a birthday duet with her musician husband.

Mandy Moore's House (Google Maps)
Mandy Moore's House

Barbra Streisand

While this Hollywood legend has made much of her career on Broadway, Barbra Streisand and her husband James Brolin have an amazing residence in Malibu, a $100 million waterfront estate that would make anyone swoon. It would be an amazing place to celebrate her 79th birthday on April 24.

The 10,500 square foot main house has eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, a lovely outdoor pool and a cliff-side oceanfront view to die for. It also has not one but two guest houses on adjacent lots. She has owned the three lots since 1997, when she sold an equally breathtaking estate in the hills of Malibu.

Barbra Streisand's House (Birds Eye)
Barbra Streisand's House

Jerry Seinfeld

Made famous by his eponymous television show, Jerry Seinfeld is a household name, but we probably don’t know he’s having a birthday in April. Jerry is turning 66 on April 29, and with his $280 million fortune, he can afford to celebrate anywhere.

Maybe he’ll choose to take things easy and spend the day with his family at their sprawling East Hamptons estate that he bought from Billy Joel in 2000 for $32 million. The home has a 22-car garage to house just a fraction of Jerry’s car collection, as well as a manor house, multiple pools and even a baseball diamond.

Jerry Seinfeld's House (Google Maps)
Jerry Seinfeld's House

He could also spend it in New York City, his professional home base. The Seinfeld family has a duplex in the famous Beresford apartment building. The unit set him back about $4.5 million, and is a great urban resting spot for the family of five.

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

Let’s take a minute and wish these people, and everyone else having a birthday this month, a very wonderful birthday!


Beautiful Places Around the World We Can Enjoy from Our Living Room

Tuesday, Mar 31 2020 by

While most of us are practicing social distancing, now is a good time to take a virtual tour of some of the most beautiful natural wonders around the world.

Mystic Falls, Yellowstone

Mystic Falls in Yellowstone National Park is just one of hundreds of breathtaking sites to see in the park. It is a 70-foot waterfall that can be reached by a short 1.2 mile hike in the Upper Geyser Basin. The waterfall cascades down the mountain canyon, providing a beautiful and calming view for those who reach the destination.

For those hiking in real life, take the clockwise route to take advantage of the easier slope and to enjoy a dramatic reveal of the falls when you reach your destination.

Mystic Falls (StreetView)
Mystic Falls

Uluru, Australia

Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock by non-indigenous Australians, is a massive rock formation that juts up nearly 3,000 feet from the surrounding area. It is sacred to the Aboriginal people, and is one of Australia’s most famous landmarks. The formation is nearly five miles around, and is a great tourist destination.

Visitors will be in awe of the rock’s beauty and how it appears to glow red at sunrise and sunset, and change colors throughout the day.

Uluru / Ayers Rock (Google Maps)
Uluru / Ayers Rock

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia

Flowing from the Zambezi River is Victoria Falls, named in honor of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. The waterfall is considered the largest in the world because of its combined width and height, though it is neither the single widest or tallest waterfall.

The waterfall is dramatic because of the vast plateau that extends for hundreds of miles in every direction. The falls rest on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, and serves as a symbol of how nature’s beauty cannot be contained to any one country.

Victoria Falls (Google Maps)
Victoria Falls

Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon in the southern United States is one of the largest, and most breathtaking, canyons in the world. It has been carved by the Colorado River over two billion years, and visitors are impressed that the small, muddy river has created something so vast and beautiful.

Visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park can hike into the valleys and walk along crests and ridges to take pictures of some of the most impressive views of nature’s slow and steady progress.

Grand Canyon (Google Maps)
Grand Canyon

Lake Como

Lake Como in Italy is famous for being a vacation spot for the rich and famous, but it’s no wonder people flock to its shores, because it is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on Earth. The lake was formed by glacier activity, and the mountain lake retains some feel of ancient, more peaceful times.

Villas and small villages dot the lake’s perimeter, adding to the quaint, delicate feel of the region that immediately invites visitors to relax, settle in and become part of the surroundings.

View of Lake Como from Castello di Vezio (StreetView)
View of Lake Como from Castello di Vezio

Mount Everest

No list of Earth’s amazing locations would be complete without a mention of Mount Everest, the largest mountain in the world, nestled in the beautiful Himalayan mountain range. It peaks at nearly 9,000 feet, making it as remote as you can get on the surface of the Earth.

In the last century, climbing the mountain has become a goal of endurance climbers, celebrities, and people looking to break down barriers; but most of us just look at the icy wonder in amazement and appreciate the pristine beauty of the tallest peak in the world.

Mount Everest (Google Maps)
Mount Everest

These are just a few of the beautiful places on Earth that we can all enjoy from indoors, and soon we’ll be out and about enjoying the beautiful scenery closer to home.


Mob Sites Around New York

Sunday, Mar 22 2020 by

The mafia is a big part of New York history and culture. For years, it seemed that in some parts of the city, you could hardly eat your pasta or walk down the street without running into a mafia don or witnessing a mob hit.

Even today, around every corner, there’s a story about a hit, a hangout or a takedown. Let’s look at a few.

Park Central Hotel

The Park Central Hotel in midtown Manhattan is famous for not one but two mafia murders. One of the first famous New York gangsters, Arnold Rothstein, was shot there on November 4, 1928 during a meeting. His murder was not exactly mob-related, but was payback for an outstanding gambling debt.

Nearly thirty years later, Albert Anastasia was assassinated in the hotel’s barber shop, on October 25, 1957, likely an attempt by an underling to take over the family. Neither man’s killers were ever definitively identified or brought to justice.

The hotel has been partially converted to high-end condos, but guests can still stay at the hotel.

Park Central Hotel (StreetView)
Park Central Hotel

Triangle Social Club

Vincent “The Chin” Gigante started his life of crime early, and played a pivotal role in the power shift that created the Genovese crime family, which he took over in the early 1980s. He held court at the Triangle Social Club during his rise to power, and the place retained its reputation as a mafia hangout for years. It was recently turned into a high-end tea shop, which is quite a change of pace from its earlier reputation.

Gigante was followed for years by the police and FBI, and so he developed a reputation as “The Oddfather”, walking around his Greenwich neighborhood in a bathrobe and slippers, faking a mental illness to avoid arrest. Eventually, he was prosecuted for gang-related crimes and died in prison.

Triangle Social Club (StreetView)
Triangle Social Club

Sparks Steakhouse

Being a member of the mafia is dangerous work, and you face as much risk from inside your family as outside. Mafia members often kill each other to gain power and control within the family.

On December 16, 1985, Paul Castellano, head of the Gambino crime family, was gunned down at Sparks Steakhouse in midtown Manhattan, along with an underboss, on orders from John Gotti. Gotti brazenly watched the murder from across the street in a car, and is rumored to have driven slowly by the bodies as he left the scene.

The steakhouse is still in business, and known for great food, not just the bold murders.

Site of the Steakhouse Massacre (StreetView)
Site of the Steakhouse Massacre

Ravenite Social Club

John Gotti took over the Gambino rime family after murdering Frank Castellano, and was a very public figure, unlike most other mafiosos. He gained a reputation as a “Dapper Don” for his flamboyant style and “Teflon Don” for beating multiple prosecutions. In spite of his outgoing reputation, he was very careful to avoid being seen or heard committing illegal acts.

He was eventually taken down by the FBI because they were able to wiretap the apartment that he kept above his tightly controlled headquarters, the Ravenite Social Club.

Former Headquarters of the Gambino Crime Family (StreetView)
Former Headquarters of the Gambino Crime Family

Gotti and his family lived in a nice but not flashy home in Howard Beach, New York until he was arrested and convicted on murder, racketeering, conspiracy, gambling, and other charges. He died in prison on June 10, 2002 of throat cancer.

John Gotti's Former Home (StreetView)
John Gotti's Former Home

Columbus Circle

Joseph Colombo was the head of the Colombo crime family in the 1960s. In an ill-fated attempt to gain public favor for Italians (and by extension reduce prosecutions of the mob) Colombo founded the Italian-American Civil Rights League. During a rally at Columbus Circle on June 28, 1971, Colombo was shot three times and paralyzed, likely on orders by Joe Gallo, a rogue member of his own crime family. Several years later, he died of a heart attack.

Columbus Circle (Birds Eye)
Columbus Circle

Umberto’s Clam House

A few weeks after the Columbus Park shooting, on April 7, 1972, Joe Gallo and his family went to Umberto’s Clam House for a very late celebratory dinner, when a member of the family recognized him and secretly left to find associates to get revenge on Gallo. The associates opened fire in the restaurant and Gallo was shot at least three times. Witnesses claim he moved to the exit in order to draw the shooting away from his family. He died later that day.

Mobster Joe Gallo's Assassination Site (StreetView)
Mobster Joe Gallo's Assassination Site

The Five Families of the mafia have worked out agreements to minimize assassinations and keep inter-family conflict at a minimum, so headline killings and crime sprees are less common these days. Hopefully, this article is as close as you ever come to a real life mafia crime scene.


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Thursday, April 09, 2020

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