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Thanksgiving Football

Thursday, Nov 25 2021 by

It’s Thanksgiving in the United States, and just after turkey, pumpkin pie, and grandpa telling bad jokes, comes the tradition of watching NFL football games.

For nearly 100 years the Detroit Lions have played a game on Thanksgiving. Since 1966, the Cowboys have played on Thanksgiving as well. And in 2006, the NFL added a third game, played in prime time with different teams selected each year.

So, in order to learn more about the game, and maybe throw in a random fact during a timeout, let’s look at who will be taking the field today.

Ford Field, Detroit, MI

The Detroit Lions are one of the oldest teams in the league, and have been in Detroit since 1934. They moved to a new stadium, Ford Field, in 2002. Named after the Ford Motor Company, of course, the stadium can seat at least 70,000 football fans. It cost more than $500 million to build!

A unique stadium, Ford Field has a roof to keep out the cold Detroit winter, but also has huge skylights to allow for more natural light. In addition to NFL games, the stadium hosts college football bowl games, and the occasional college basketball game.

Ford Field (Google Maps)
Ford Field

Jared Goff, Hidden Hills, CA

Jared Goff has been a successful quarterback his entire career, even taking the Los Angeles Rams to their first Super Bowl in nearly 20 years. In 2021, he was traded to the Lions, but he hasn’t sold his gorgeous LA-area mansion yet.

He’s earning about $25 million this year, so he can afford to keep the California home, which set him back nearly $5 million. It has 5,000 square feet, five bedrooms, a pool, of course, and more. Neighbors include Drake, multiple Kardashians, and The Weeknd!

Jared Goff's House (Google Maps)
Jared Goff's House

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL

This year, the Lions are playing the Chicago Bears. At home, the Bears play at Soldier Field, in downtown Chicago. The Bears are one of the original NFL teams, and Soldier Field is the oldest stadium in use for NFL games.

Soldier Field first hosted the Bears in 1971, but has been around since 1924! Before then, the Bears played at Wrigley Field, but they have loved their new home, and even undertook massive renovations in 2002.

And it needed renovations. Originally, the stadium had plank seating! When demolition began immediately after a game in 2002, fans waited outside and took home individual seats and other items discarded for the renovations. Bears fans sure are dedicated, right?

Soldier Field (Birds Eye)
Soldier Field

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t the oldest team in the league, but they are among the most famous. The team was formed in 1960, and shortly after, began playing a regular Thanksgiving home game. Part of the reason they decided to have an annual game was because there wasn’t a lot else on TV to watch that day!

AT&T Stadium is relatively new, having been completed in 2009. It has a retractable roof, a massive high-definition television, and many other bells and whistles that people love, and sometimes, mock.

It holds 80,000 fans, making it one of the biggest stadiums in the NFL. But it’s not just used for the Cowboys; college football plays several games here each year, and even important high school football games take place here. In Texas, football is king.

AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys) (Birds Eye)
AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys)

Dak Prescott, Prosper, TX

Drafted in 2016 by the Cowboys, Dak quickly became the starting QB after Tony Romo was injured in the preseason. He rightfully earned a reputation as a star player, now ranking as one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

Dak lives in a gorgeous, 9,000 square foot mansion in Prosper, Texas, a small suburb of Dallas. The mansion set him back $3.3 million, and has seven acres of land, an indoor “sports simulation theater”, game room, outdoor pool, and his very own practice field!

Dak Prescott's house (Birds Eye)
Dak Prescott's house

Allegiant Stadium, Los Vegas, NV

The famed Oakland Raiders moved to Los Vegas in 2020, and now play in the Allegiant Stadium. On Thanksgiving, they’ll suit up in Texas to play the Cowboys.

Allegiant Stadium was built specifically for the Raiders, and cost $1.9 billion! It is home to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas football team, as well. Because the Raiders prefer to play on grass, and UNLV prefers to play on astroturf, the stadium has a unique design to have Bermuda grass for the NFL games, and turf for college games. The grass is actually on a roll-tray, so the entire field can be moved in or out as needed, kind of like a cabinet drawer.

When you have a budget of $1.9 billion, you can do anything, it seems.

Allegiant Stadium (StreetView)
Allegiant Stadium

Superdome, New Orleans, LA

The final game of the day will be played in New Orleans, between the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints. Now one of the most famous, or infamous, stadiums, the Superdome holds NFL games, NCAA basketball games, and college football bowl games as well.

It is famous for being the site of refuge for thousands of New Orleans residents who fled their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They stayed there for days in squalid conditions, with no food, power, security, or place to sleep.

The stadium was entirely renovated before it reopened in 2006, and serves as a symbol that the city is strong, resilient, and dedicated to surviving, and thriving.

Mercedes-Benz Superdome (Google Maps)
Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Football is part of the American tradition, and plays an important role in many Thanksgiving holidays. Games will play all day, starting with the Lions-Bears at 12:30 eastern, then the Cowboys-Raiders at 4:30, and finally the Saints-Bills game at 7:30. So no matter where you are when you want to watch a bunch of guys throw an oddly-shaped ball, you’ll be able to get your fill of football.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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New York, New York!

Thursday, Nov 18 2021 by

It’s a wonderful town! And there’s no better time to visit than in November. You can catch the end of the gorgeous New England fall, with the leaves changing color, you can catch the start of winter as the season changes, and if you’re there over Thanksgiving, you can even watch the amazing spectacle that is the Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Or, you can just shop til you drop in the thousands of stores the city has to offer.

No matter what, your time in NYC will be well-spent!

Statue of Liberty

A gift from France in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of freedom, acceptance and the open arms of the United States. She stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, welcoming all who come into the city. Visitors can climb the 300 foot statue, take in her beauty from the base on the island, or get a great view from Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan.

Statue Of Liberty (Birds Eye)
Statue Of Liberty

Times Square

Times Square is one of the most vibrant places on Earth, especially at night. It has been a center of theater activity for over a hundred years, and after a span where the area struggled with crime and adult themed shops, it has cleaned up its image and become the heart of the city. In addition to fun shops and shows, it’s the center of the world on New Year’s Eve, when the ball drops in Times Square.

Empire State Building (Birds Eye)
Empire State Building

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is a complex of nearly two dozen buildings in downtown New York that houses much of NBC’s New York operations, as well as many other businesses and corporations. Tourists love to gather outside in the early morning to watch live tapings of the Today Show, and enjoy the Christmas decorations and go ice skating at the Lower Plaza in the winter.

Rockefeller Center Lower Plaza & Rink (StreetView)
Rockefeller Center Lower Plaza & Rink

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn was completed in 1883, and is an architectural masterpiece in the New York City skyline. It was constructed largely by manual labor, where men risked their health and lives to build the bridge. The bridge is open to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic, and people love to stroll across the bridge, especially on a sunny day.

Brooklyn Bridge (Birds Eye)
Brooklyn Bridge

Woolworth Building

When the Woolworth Building was built in 1913, it was the tallest building in the world. When it opened, President Wilson flipped a switch and lit up the building with over 8,000 light bulbs, an engineering marvel at the time. Avant-garde in architecture and design, the building has an elevator decorated with Tiffany glass and cast iron. Visitors can enjoy the unique building from outside and the lobby, but because the building is now owned by private corporations, guests cannot tour the other floors.

The Woolworth Building (Birds Eye)
The Woolworth Building

Irish Hunger Memorial

In the 1840s, Ireland suffered from a dramatic and extended famine where nearly two million people died or left the country in search of better lives. A large portion moved to New York City, and it had a significant impact on the city’s culture and demographics. In the north end of Battery Park is a half acre memorial that includes an authentic 19th century cottage donated from a village in Ireland. It honors both the Irish who came to the city and those who died in the home country.

'Irish Hunger Memorial' by Brian Tolle (Birds Eye)
'Irish Hunger Memorial' by Brian Tolle

High Bridge Aqueduct

Aqueducts have been used for thousands of years to efficiently move water. The Croton Aqueduct system brought water to New York City, and where it crossed the Harlem River, the city constructed the High Bridge Aqueduct. It was used for about 100 years before being closed. In 2015, it was reopened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic, connecting High Bridge Parks in the Bronx and Manhattan and providing a wonderful outdoor resource for the city.

High Bridge Aqueduct (Google Maps)
High Bridge Aqueduct

White Horse Tavern

New York is not short on great places to eat and sites full of cultural importance, but the White Horse Tavern combines the two. Operating since the 1800s, the West Village establishment became famous as a gathering place for writers, poets and bohemians in the 1950s. Famous artists including Dylan Thomas, Bob Dylan, Norman Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson and even Jack Kerouac (though he was kicked out multiple times) met, drank and mused here. Come raise a glass in their memory, but bring cash since they don’t take credit cards.

White Horse Tavern (StreetView)
White Horse Tavern

What makes New York City great is that there is something for everyone, from the classic attractions to the out of the way memorials, from the big skyline to the small eateries. No matter your style, interests, or budget, you’ll find something to take your breath away and somewhere to spend an amazing day in New York City.

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Happy Birthday, Whoopi!

Saturday, Nov 13 2021 by

Whoopi Goldberg was born today in 1955, making the world a funnier, and more entertaining world! She got her start in comedy, but has been involved in some of Hollywood’s most moving and memorable films, and is a mainstay on the long-running and very popular daytime talk and news show The View.

So on this icon’s birthday, let’s learn a little more about Whoopi!

Chelsea-Elliot Projects, New York City, NY

Whoopi was born  Caryn Elaine Johnson in Manhattan, to a Baptist minister and a homemaker. Despite her Baptist father’s influence, Whoopi identifies as Jewish, and adopted the name Goldberg in her early years, with the influence of her mother.

Whoopi was raised in the Chelsea-Elliott Projects, a large housing project on the west side of the city. The development has four buildings and houses more than 1,000 families.

In addition to Whoopi, the Chelsea-Elliott Projects produced several other superstars, including several members of the Wayans family, including Damon Wayans, Jr. and others!

Chelsea-Elliot Projects (Birds Eye)
Chelsea-Elliot Projects

HB Studio, New York City, NY

Whoopi had an early and obvious talent for comedy, and that’s how she earned her moniker we all know her by today. She was dedicated to becoming a better comedian and actor, so she attended the renowned HB Studio in Greenwich Village. Some courses and events are free, but others require auditions and acceptance before allowing students to attend.

Whoopi’s classes paid off because after taking classes, her career took off! Other famous actors who had studied at the Studio include Bette Midler, Jack Lemmon, Marlo Thomas, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Herbert Berghof Studio (StreetView)
Herbert Berghof Studio

Steven Spielberg, Pacific Palisades, CA

While Whoopi started out as a comedian, her big break in Hollywood came when she starred in The Color Purple. She was specifically cast by super-director Steven Spielberg, in 1985, and she was nominated for several awards for her role in the moving drama.

Steven owns real estate around the world, but his main residence for decades has been a five-acre estate in the tony LA-area Pacific Palisades. The director spent $6.5 million on the home, and promptly renovated it down to the nails. When he rebuilt it, he was sure to add a hobbit-themed living room. The estate, which overlooks the Pacific coast even has a vineyard, something that is rare, even in LA.

Steven Spielberg's House (Birds Eye)
Steven Spielberg's House

St. Paul’s Catholic Church, San Francisco, CA

After starring in The Color Purple, Whoopi went on to make several other box office hits, but one of the all-time most popular was Sister Act. The comedy, which centers around a group of nuns acting as witness protection for a loud-mouthed Las Vegas singer, was largely filmed on location at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in San Francisco.

The church, which is still in use, has actually been used in other television shows and movies.

St. Paul's Catholic Church (Birds Eye)
St. Paul's Catholic Church

Joy Behar’s House, Sag Harbor, NY

Whoopi has done it all in acting: comedy, stage, serious film making, and sitcom work. But for the last 14 years, she has served as a co-host of the daily morning talk show, The View. It is the most-watched talk and news show on daytime television.

Co-host Joy Behar has been on the show since its inception in 1997. Joy has loved owning expensive real estate, and her most recent investment was a home in Sag Harbor, in the Hamptons. The home is around 100 years old, and cost Joy top dollar, as it wasn’t even for sale when she decided she just had to buy it!

Joy Behar's House (Google Maps)
Joy Behar's House

Whoopi’s Current Home, West Orange, NJ

Whoopi has owned several homes and apartments, many in or near New York City. In 2009, she bought a home in West Orange, New Jersey, for just under $3 million. The 100-year home in a gated community has 23 rooms, including eight bedrooms, a gym, pool, and more, spread out over 9,450 square feet.

Whoopi, a born-and-bred New Yorker, felt she needed to leave the city in order to have enough privacy to live her life comfortably. West Orange is a great choice as it’s close to the city,  and has so many other celebrities and wealthy people that no one bothers the highly-recognizable celebrity.

Whoopi Goldberg's House (Birds Eye)
Whoopi Goldberg's House

Since today is Whoopi’s birthday, it would be great to celebrate her by watching some of her work. And since she has starred in more than 200 shows and movies, there’s sure to be something that everyone likes. So sit back, sing a little Happy Birthday, and celebrate Whoopi with whatever show works for you!

Happy Birthday, Whoopi!

 

 

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