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Deep Dive into History: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Thursday, Jan 27 2022 by

Today, 266 years ago, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria. In 35 short years, he wrote more than 600 compositions, revolutionized the concept of the symphony, took music in a new direction, and confirmed his legacy as one of the greatest composers and most talented musicians of all time.

These days, we think “classical” music is old and outdated, but you only have to listen to a few seconds of any of his greatest works to recognize his work. You’ll quickly realize what an influence Mozart still has on music, and culture, even today.

You can listen here to some of his greatest hits while you read about the genius composer. 

Birthplace, Salzburg, Austria

Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, the youngest of seven kids. Five of his siblings died as children. His father was a musician, and so music was in the home from birth. By age five, Mozart was playing his own compositions on the piano, and showed an immense talent for understanding, playing, and composing music.

Mozart’s childhood home is now a museum, which people can visit to learn more about the influences that shaped this prodigy. It also has space dedicated to some of his musical endeavors, including the opera The Magic Flute.

Mozart's Birthplace (StreetView)
Mozart's Birthplace

Teenage Home, Salzburg, Austria

When he was 17, his family moved to another home, and Mozart received a patronage from a local bishop. Mozart, his father, and sister spent much of his childhood traveling around Europe, entertaining the wealthy, elite, and royal courts in many countries.

Mozart lived in this home off and on until he was 25, as he sought time and again to find suitable patronage to support his musical endeavors without tying him down too much.

Mozart’s second home has also been turned into a museum, and it is another wonderful stop on the way to gain an education of the life and talent of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mozart's Home (1773-1781) (Google Maps)
Mozart's Home (1773-1781)

Residence in Vienna, Austria

Mozart made his way to Vienna, and began performing and composing there. He gained the patronage of the emperor, and became a well-known musician.

The house where he lived for three years in downtown Vienna has been turned into a museum. It is famous because here Mozart wrote his famous opera The Marriage of Figaro. Therefore the house has is nicknamed “The Figaro House”.

Mozarthaus (Figarohaus) (Birds Eye)
Mozarthaus (Figarohaus)

Mozart’s Memorial at Central Cemetery, Vienna, Austria

Though he had achieved fame and prestige in his lifetime, Mozart had not acquired the wealth he desired along with his renown. He died after a short illness on December 5, 1791, at age 35. He was buried in a “common” grave in the city cemetery, but over time the meaning of this has become muddled.

Some think now his “common” burial meant he was dumped in an unmarked grave, but his burial was within the tradition of the time in the city for anyone who was “common” or not an aristocrat.

In fact, his death was widely noted and memorial services were held for him throughout Europe. A memorial at Central Cemetery was established for the country’s greatest composer.

W. A. Mozart memorial at St. Marx Cemetery (StreetView)
W. A. Mozart memorial at St. Marx Cemetery

Mozart’s Family Grave, Salzburg, Austria

Mozart’s family, including his wife and mother, are buried in a family grave site in Salzburg, his family hometown. The stone marking their burial place is still standing, and can be visited by those wishing to pay tribute and respect to the family that influenced, and encouraged, the great talent to reach as far and wide as he did in his short life.

His wife, Constance, in particular, did great things to enhance his reputation. She worked to promote his music after his death, helping to ensure his legacy as one of the greatest composers the world has ever known.

Mozart family grave (StreetView)
Mozart family grave

Vienna Opera House, Vienna, Austria

Mozart left a strong influence on music, especially on classic music. When the Vienna Opera House was built in 1869, it reflected Mozart’s influence, down to the decoration of the interior. Motifs of The Magic Flute, Mozart’s groundbreaking opera, are displayed on the famous Ring of the building. The opera is also performed each year for youth, to promote a love of classical music for the next generation.

Wiener Staatsoper (Google Maps)
Wiener Staatsoper

In honor of the great musician’s birth, and life, we should take a moment and appreciate his great talent. Share his music with those around you, and listen to some music as you go about your day.


Ski Resorts Around the World

Thursday, Jan 20 2022 by

It’s the middle of winter, it’s cold outside, and it’s the perfect time to be outside. Outside skiing, that is! Let’s take a look at some of the best ski resorts, so you know where to go when you plan your next winter vacation.

Whistler Backcomb, British Columbia, CA

Whistler Backcomb is one of the busiest and biggest ski resorts in North America. It was the location for alpine ski events for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, for which the resort upgraded and expanded its facilities significantly. And even if you’re not an Olympian, you’ll have a spectacular time at the expansive resort.

Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort (Google Maps)
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort

Aspen/Snowmass Ski Resort, Aspen, CO

The remote area of Colorado of Aspen is an unlikely place for the rich and famous to spend their free time, and money, but Aspen is one of the most popular areas for skiing, and being seen skiing, in the world.

Aspen Snowmass is a four-resort complex near Aspen, Colorado. One of the smaller resorts, Buttermilk, is often the host location for the Winter X Games. When it’s not being used as the location for intense sporting activities, it’s a great location for kids and new skiers learn their way around the slopes.

Aspen Ski Resort (Google Maps)
Aspen Ski Resort

Deer Valley, UT

Utah has some of the best skiing in the world. The high altitude and low humidity make for great snow, and the weather is so great, you can ski more than 300 days a year. The resort was one of the locations for the alpine events of the 2002 Winter Olympics hosted by Salt Lake City.

Talented and adventurous skiers love Deer Valley because of the back-country skiing, where snowmobiles and helicopters drop skiers to ski down crazy uncharted slopes until they reach civilization again.

Deer Valley Ski Resort (Google Maps)
Deer Valley Ski Resort

Heavenly Valley and Palisades, Lake Tahoe, CA/NV

Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is a short drive from Los Angeles and other California cities, so it’s become a popular getaway destination. Nestled in the mountains, year-round outdoor recreation has developed in the area.

Tahoe has multiple ski resorts, including Heavenly Valley, the largest. It’s also known as the location where singer and actor Sonny Bono died after crashing into a tree.

High Atop Heavenly Valley Ski Resort (StreetView)
High Atop Heavenly Valley Ski Resort

Palisades Tahoe Resort, formerly known as Squaw Valley, was host to the 1960 Winter Olympics, and is known for its difficult ski trails. It has 30 chairlifts and other ways to get skiers to the tops of the six peaks within the resort.

In 2021, the owners changed the name of the resort due to the offensive nature of the word “squaw” to both Native Americans and women in general.

Sundance, UT

Another great Utah resort, Sundance is one of the more popular resorts in the world; not least because it’s owned by celebrity of the ages Robert Redford. When it’s not ski season, the resort is home to the annual Sundance Film Festival, where films are screened, judged, sold, prepared for mass distribution, and given critical exposure.

Robert Redford's Sundance Resort (Google Maps)
Robert Redford's Sundance Resort

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

While some of the most famous ski resorts are in west coast mountain ranges, good skiing can be found all across the United States. Bretton Woods in New Hampshire has been rated among the best resorts in the world.

The resort is also famous as the location of the 1944 international meetings that established the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which govern internation

Bretton Woods Ski Resort (Google Maps)
Bretton Woods Ski Resort

Ski Dubai, Dubai, UAE

The last thing you’d expect to find in a desert is a ski resort, but wealthy Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has one of the coolest ski resorts around! Ski Dubai was once the largest indoor ski resort in the world, and while it no longer has that record, it’s got a 25-story ski lift, a toboggan area, and it even has penguins!

Ski Dubai is part of the world-renowned Mall of the Emirates, one of the premier shopping centers in the world. Along with the skis and penguins, visitors can also pick up designer goods, see live theater, or have an amazing dinner at one of the high-end restaurants in the mall.

Ski Resort in the Desert (Google Maps)
Ski Resort in the Desert

Innsbruck, Austria

Not once, but twice, Innsbruck hosted the Winter Olympics. There are nearly a dozen ski resorts within an hour of the city, all of which have amazing reputations for advanced runs, great snow, and easy access from the airport and city.

Many upgrades and new facilities were constructed for the Olympics, including a permanent bobsled, luge, and skeleton track that is still in use today.

Olympic Sliding Centre Innsbruck (Google Maps)
Olympic Sliding Centre Innsbruck

These are just a few fun places to visit, for skiing and outdoor activities in the winter, no matter where you find yourself!


It's Howard Stern's Birthday!

Wednesday, Jan 12 2022 by

Howard Stern came to fame as a “shock jock”, a radio host who pushes the limits of decency and convention while entertaining, and shocking, their listeners. Once one of the most polarizing figures in American culture, Howard has aged like a fine wine, growing new audience bases, reaching out to more Americans, and increasing his reputation and popularity across many demographics.

So, on his 67th birthday, let’s take a look at the man who made pushing the envelope a career, and wish Howard Stern a happy *bleeping* birthday.

Childhood Home, Roosevelt, NY

Howard Stern was born on January 12, 1954, in Queens, NYC. When he was young, the family moved to Roosevelt, on Long Island. While there, he got his first taste of entertaining, playing with marionettes and puppets, as well as joining a band, where he sang and played on the keyboard. His dad worked in radio, perhaps giving Howard the initial exposure and interest in the career that would make him famous.

Howard Stern's childhood home (StreetView)
Howard Stern's childhood home

Fred Norris Homes

Early in his career, Howard came across fellow radio host Fred Norris, and the two became friends. When Howard became popular enough, he was able to bring Fred onto his show, an opportunity of a lifetime. Since that first gig in 1981, Fred has worked with Stern in several cities and on several stations, and has an estimated net worth of at least $16 million!

Apartment in NYC

Fred bought an apartment in New York City in 2011, which is smart since the radio show is usually recorded in the city, and his main residence is about two hours outside the city. He paid $1.4 million for the 1,370 square foot unit.

Fred Norris' Apartment (Google Maps)
Fred Norris' Apartment

Home in the East Hamptons, NY

Fred’s wife, Allison, is a real estate agent in the East Hamptons. The family owns a home there, with great landscaping, lots of privacy, and, of course, a pool.

Fred Norris' House (Google Maps)
Fred Norris' House

Robin Quivers Mansion in Beach Haven, NJ

Robin Quivers is the long-running co-host to Howard Stern on his radio show. The “Voice of Reason” plays such an integral role in the show that Howard has said, without her the show would be cancelled. But Robin is more than a sidekick, she’s become Howard’s best friend over the 40 years they’ve worked together.

Robin has earned a lot of money working with Howard, making at least $10 million a year. In 2013, she sold off much of her real estate and bought a seven bedroom mansion in New Jersey.

She paid about $3.4 million for the mansion in the small and exclusive town of Beach Haven, about 70 miles from Manhattan. It’s a lot of money to most people, but since her net worth is at least $75 million, she could easily pay cash!

Robin Quivers' House (Birds Eye)
Robin Quivers' House

Mansion in Southampton, NY

Howard and his wife own a gorgeous mansion in elite Southampton on Long Island. He bought 4.5 acres in 2005 and built a custom mansion in 2012. It has eight bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a master suite as big as many homes, bowling alley and wine cellar.

It also has a studio, which was great during the Covid lockdowns, as Howard recorded his show from here.

Howard likes to maintain and upgrade his property, which is easy enough to do since he is worth abut half a billion dollars, and makes about $100 million more every year.

Howard Stern's House (Google Maps)
Howard Stern's House

Penthouse, Manhattan, NY

Howard has long worked in downtown NYC, so it only makes sense that he has a place nearby. And what a place it is! Over two decades, he acquired two entire floors of the Millennium Tower in downtown Manhattan, giving him 8,000 of living space, all for a cool $21 million. This building is home to some of the richest and most famous New York residents, so it’s perfect for Howard.

Howard Stern's Penthouse (Birds Eye)
Howard Stern's Penthouse

Mansion, Palm Beach, FL

In 2013, Howard dropped $52 million on an estate in Palm Beach, Florida. He’s since spent more than $13 million renovating the home, including adding a studio nearly identical to the one he has in New York. He’s recorded some shows here in 2021, stating he prefers the lifestyle, weather, and tax structure in Florida.

The house has a custom 1,000 foot closet just for his wife alone, five bedrooms, 12.5 bathrooms, and a guest house. The home has 19,000 square feet of living space on 3.25 acres, has a pool, and direct beach access. What a life!

Howard Stern's House (StreetView)
Howard Stern's House

Howard has come a long way, from rough neighborhood in New York City to one of the richest entertainers in the world! He has amazing real estate, a great job, and most importantly, friends and family who love and support him as he continues to evolve in his career. On his birthday, no matter where he is, he’s sure to have a wonderful birthday

Happy birthday, Howard!






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Friday, January 28, 2022

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