There’s No Doubt It’s Gwen’s Birthday!

Gwen Stefani is having a birthday today, and she has a lot to celebrate as she turns 52. Just married this summer to Blake Shelton, the singer, songwriter, television personality, and fashion icon has it all going for her. Let’s take a look at Gwen’s life, and where she might be letting her favorite crooning cowboy sing her Happy Birthday.

Childhood Home, Anaheim, California

Gwen was born and raised in southern California, in a middle class family. She grew up in Anaheim, near Disneyland. She and her older brother were part of the band No Doubt since their teenage years, and their first album was named after the street they lived on: Beacon Avenue.

Gwen Stefani childhood home (Google Maps)
Gwen Stefani childhood home

Current Mansion, Los Angeles, California

While she’s a million miles away in terms of fame and wealth, she actually lives pretty close to her childhood home. She and her new husband Blake Shelton recently moved into a $13.2 million, 13,000 square foot home set on 1.6 acres in LA.

The couple bought the house in May, and are still settling into the newly-built home that has three floors, private theater, pool, spa, four car garage, and an outdoor kitchen, which is all the rage these days. Gwen’s touch is all over the house, with snake-print paneling in the living room, and huge pictures of Blake on the walls.

Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton's House (Google Maps)
Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton's House

Ten Point Ranch, Tishomingo, Oklahoma

Blake and Gwen got married on July 3, at Blake’s Oklahoma ranch. Blake bought the ranch as he rose to fame, and has become an integral part of the small town of Tishomingo.

The 1,300 acre estate originally had a 2,000 square foot home, but Blake and Gwen recently completed work on a lakeside mansion on the property. Importantly, the property also has a small chapel built by Blake specifically for Gwen. It was at this small building that he proposed to her, and it was here in a private ceremony that the two were married on July 3, 2021.

The mixed family have made the ranch a real home, and they spent a lot of time here during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Blake Shelton 10 Point Ranch (Google Maps)
Blake Shelton 10 Point Ranch

Gwen and Gavin’s Mansion, Los Angeles, California

Before meeting Blake, Gwen was with Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale for 20 years and married for 13, but the couple divorced after a cheating scandal.

The powerhouse music couple owned several homes including a mega-mansion in Los Angeles. Due to the unique design and high price tag, it took several years and price drops from $35 million to $24 million to find a buyer.

The modern mansion had 12,000 square feet, seven bedrooms, ten bathrooms, a funky kitchen, full gym, infinity pool, tennis court and… a chicken coop. Before being owned by Gwen and Gavin, the only previous owner was Jennifer Lopez, so whoever bought the house got a lot of cool music cred along with it.

Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale's House (Google Maps)
Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale's House

Gwen and Gavin’s Mansion, London, UK

The former couple also had a home in London, which makes sense because Gavin is British. They enjoyed spending vacation time there, as well as using it as a resting spot when the family traveled around Europe.

The $6 million home in the posh neighborhood of Primrose Hill was a perfect place for the musical family, with Jamie Olivier and Daniel Craig as neighbors. They lived on the top floors of the building and leased out the lower floor, which was broken into in 2014. Fortunately for Gwen and Gavin, the thieves were not able to access their private area.

In the divorce, Gavin retained ownership of the Primrose Hill building, as well as other property in Europe.

Gwen Stefani’s House (Birds Eye)
Gwen Stefani’s House

Harajuku, Japan

As Gwen branched out in her musical and fashion careers, she drew on fashion from Harajuku, a district in Tokyo, Japan, known for its fashion, art, and high-end shopping. The area has a global reputation for trend-setting fashion and culture, which drew Gwen’s attention.

As she toured, she had a four-member group that served as her entourage and backup dancers, which she called the Harajuku Girls after the district. They toured with her, appeared at events, and helped promote her fashion line and music.

Takeshita Street (StreetView)
Takeshita Street

Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino

In 2020, Gwen started a stage show at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, but had to cancel the show due to Covid-19. However, she has resumed the show at the resort and casino, playing there in October and November 2021.

The resort and casino is located on the Las Vegas Strip, famous for its gambling and entertainment, both for families and adults. This hotel was originally Aladdin’s and renovated and rebranded as Planet Hollywood in 2007. The massive hotel has nearly 2,500 rooms, upscale restaurants, and the Zappos Theater, where Gwen will perform, and where Britney Spears performed for four years.

Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino (StreetView)
Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino

Gwen has been entertaining and performing for nearly 30 years, but her career, and personal life, as as trendy and fun-filled as ever. As she celebrates her birthday today, first as wife to Blake, she will certainly be full of joy and happiness, looking forward to her next trip around the sun. Happy Birthday, Gwen!

The Unsolved Crimes of the Zodiac Killer

The fear a serial killer can strike within a community is profound and only truly ends when the serial killer is brought to justice. The Zodiac Killer terrorized the San Francisco, California region by attacking at least seven people, four men and three women, between December 1968 and October 1969.

During the ten months that the killer was active, he taunted the public by sending letters and puzzles to the media to promote his crimes. What made his reign of terror more frightening was that his victims were assaulted at various times and in various fashions, making it harder to track him. He claimed many more victims than are officially linked to him, and there are several unsolved crimes that could have been committed by him.

Lake Herman Road attack

The first two Zodiac victims were teenagers David Arthur Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, murdered on December 20, 1968. The two were on a date, and had parked at a “lovers’ lane” on Lake Herman Road in Benicia. According to the investigation, the killer pulled aside their vehicle, exited his car, ordered the two out of their vehicle and shot them one at a time.

Zodiac Killer - Lake Herman Road attack (Google Maps)
Zodiac Killer - Lake Herman Road attack

Blue Rock Springs attack

The next known victims were killed on July 4, 1969. Michael Mageau and Darlene Ferrin were together in a parked car when another car came along side them, shooting into the car from the passenger side. Ferrin died at the scene but Mageau survived. Later that night, a man called the police station taking credit for the Blue Rock Springs attack as well as the one on Lake Herman Road the previous year.

Zodiac Killer - Blue Rock Springs attack (Google Maps)
Zodiac Killer - Blue Rock Springs attack

The next month, the killer began sending letters and cryptograms to the local newspapers, often demanding the letters be published to avoid a killing spree, threats he never followed through to completion. It was in one of these letters that he gave himself the nickname “Zodiac”. The cryptogram was alleged to include his identity, but when cracked, it was nothing more than a typo-ridden explanation of his bizarre motives.

Lake Berryessa attack

On September 27, two college students, Bryan Hartnell and Cecilia Shepard, were on a picnic at Lake Berryessa when a man wearing a hood and sunglasses covering his face threatened them at gunpoint, making Shepard tie up Hartnell with rope, then tying her up. He then stabbed each of them multiple times.

Later in the evening, the police department received a call from the killer reporting his act. Shepard and Hartnell both initially survived the attack and were able to provide details about the crime and the attacker, but Shepard died two days later.

Zodiac Killer - Lake Berryessa attack (Google Maps)
Zodiac Killer - Lake Berryessa attack

Presidio Heights attack

On October 11, 1969, cab driver Paul Stein was attacked and murdered by an apparent passenger, who shot him in the head, took his keys and wallet, and a portion of Stein’s bloodstained shirt. He used pieces of Stein’s torn shirt to later taunt the police .

While the crime was witnessed by local teens, miscommunications in the report and description of the suspect led to the police likely encountering but not stopping the killer just minutes after the murder.

The Zodiac Killer later claimed to the media that he had spoken with police just three minutes after the murder, further taunting the police and terrifying the public. He thoroughly enjoyed communicating with the media, even getting a famous lawyer to appear on a talk show at his request.

Zodiac Killer - Presidio Heights attack (Google Maps)
Zodiac Killer - Presidio Heights attack

Modesto attack

Kathleen Johns was a young pregnant mother who was driving near Modesto when she was encouraged to pull over by another driver. The driver informed her that her tire was loose and offered to tighten it. Instead, he apparently loosened it so that when she attempted to drive, it fell off and she was forced to accept a ride from him to a service station.

Instead of helping her, he drove her and her child around for about 90 minutes before she was able to escape. Four months later, in a letter to a local paper, the Zodiac Killer took credit for Johns’ abduction.

Possible Santa Barbara attack

Several unsolved crimes are often linked to the Zodiac Killer, either because he took credit for them in media correspondence or the method of attack matches his known patterns.

On June 4, 1963, two high school seniors were murdered on a beach in Santa Barbara County. They were bound, unsuccessfully, and then shot multiple times each. If this were committed by the Zodiac Killer, it would have been one of his earliest known crimes.

Possible Zodiac Killer - Santa Barbara attack (Google Maps)
Possible Zodiac Killer - Santa Barbara attack

The Zodiac Killer continued to send messages to the media, with the last confirmed message sent in February 1974. Several unauthenticated letters were also received over the years, along with countless forgeries claiming to be from the killer.

While the case is cold, having been more than 45 years since the last known contact, local police forces are still investigating the crimes. In May 2018, stamps were sent to be analyzed for DNA evidence, but the results have not been released. Even after all this time, the Zodiac remains one of the most mysterious and famous serial killers of the 20th century.

Grey’s Anatomy is Back!

Once again, this fall, Thursday nights will be filled with the drama and excitement surrounding the doctors and nurses at Seattle Grace Hospital.

Grey’s Anatomy is starting its 18th season! As we return to watch the full-drama prime time show, it’s fun to look back and see some old familiar faces, and learn about their real lives.

Shonda Rhimes, Los Angeles, CA

Without Shonda Rhimes’ creative genius, and drive to create the show, Grey’s Anatomy would never have become the long-standing success that it is. She’s become a powerhouse in Hollywood, directing and leading several incredibly successful series.

In 2014, Shonda bought an LA-area home for $8.8 million, and worked for years to renovate and upgrade the structure. In July 2021, just as she finished a $100 million deal with Netflix, she put her estate on the market for $25 million.

The 100-year home has 11,700 square feet, seven bedrooms, even more bathrooms, a pool, outdoor fireplace, landscaped garden, and a fountain for good measure. With a separate guesthouse and a cabana, it’s sure to be a great purchase for someone who has that kind of money.

Shonda Rhimes' House (Birds Eye)
Shonda Rhimes' House

Ellen Pompeo, Los Angeles, CA

Ellen bought this house in 2009 with her husband Chris Ivery. Together, they set about renovating the 1930s Mediterranean mansion in the Los Feliz area of LA. After years of hard work, the now-16,000 square foot dream home is perfect. It’s even been featured in high-end magazines!

The couple renovated the home down to its bones: widening windows, upgrading finishes, expanding the square footage, and restoring it to its old Hollywood beauty. The focal point of the home is the living room, with 11-foot iron and glass doors, big windows, and hand crafted original furniture.

Ellen Pompeo's House (Birds Eye)
Ellen Pompeo's House

Patrick Dempsey, Malibu, CA

Patrick Dempsey starred opposite Ellen Pompeo for fifteen seasons, as her boss, lover, and husband. Even though he left the show a few years ago, he’s still one of the most memorable, and influential, characters from the entire show.

Filming took a large toll on his family and marriage, so he and his wife separated in 2005. But he chose to leave the show, and and he and his wife reconciled. The reunified couple bought a new home in Malibu in 2016, for $6.4 million.

The one-acre property has a pool, cabana, tennis court, and landscaped gardens. The 4,400 square foot home has four bedrooms, four baths, and lots of space for the race car driver worth $80 million to relax and enjoy his wife and family.

Patrick Dempsey's House (Google Maps)
Patrick Dempsey's House

Sandra Oh, Los Angeles, CA

Sandra Oh starred for ten seasons on the show, cementing her reputation as an incredible, tough-as-nails actress. She left the show on her own terms, ready to move on to new projects in Hollywood.

The incredibly private actress lives in Los Angeles, in the home she bought in 2002 for  $800,000. Even though she’s worth more than $25 million, she is down to earth and enjoys her home, and her lifestyle, that she has established since arriving in Los Angeles.

Sandra Oh's House (Birds Eye)
Sandra Oh's House

Justin Chambers, Los Angeles, CA

Justin Chambers is another private cast member who rose to fame and fortune starring in Grey’s Anatomy. He left the show after 17 years, wanting to move on in his acting career to new and different roles. When he left, he was making $350,000 an episode!

While his on-screen character was a playboy, immature doctor who took forever to grow up and settle down, Justin settled down early. He married his wife Keisha in his early 20s, and the couple have five children.

He and his wife have a nice home in Los Angeles, and have managed to stay out of the spotlight in spite of him starring on one of the longest-running, most popular shows of all time.

Justin Chambers' house (Birds Eye)
Justin Chambers' house

Camilla Luddington, Sherman Oaks, CA

Camilla Luddington joined the cast of Grey’s Anatomy in 2012, and quickly went from recurring member to full cast member and fan favorite. She was born in the UK but her character is clearly American, which displays her great acting chops.

Camilla and her family had a gorgeous 3 bedroom bungalow in Sherman Oaks, but they put it on the market in late 2020, asking $1.45 million, after buying it in 2017 for $1.2 million. It’s not clear where she and her family will go next, but since she’s a star on one of TV’s most popular shows, it’s a good bet they’re getting an upgrade.

Camilla Luddington's House (StreetView)
Camilla Luddington's House

These are just some of the many, many stars and characters from Gray’s Anatomy over the years. The show has become a legend, and the actors and creators of the show are just as legendary, and they have the amazing real estate to prove it.

Deep Dive into History: The Death of Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly was a beautiful, famous and successful movie star who seemed to turn a fairy tale into real life. She met a charming, handsome prince and fell in love. Soon, she was married in the most-watched ceremony in the world, and followed with attention and admiration for the rest of her life.

Her life, however, did not end happily ever after. On September 14, 1982, she passed away at 52, after being in a car crash the day before. It was a sad, early end to a beautiful life. On the anniversary of her death, let’s look back on her life and legacy.

Childhood Home, Philadelphia, PA

Grace was born in Philadelphia, and raised in an affluent, important family. Her dad was a Olympic athlete-turned construction company owner and local politician. The 6,000 square foot family home was bought by her son in 2016.

Prince Albert II paid about $755,000 for the home, and restored it to its original splendor. The home is now used for local business for the Princess Grace Foundation, and other programs run by the royal family.

Grace Kelly's Childhood Home (Birds Eye)
Grace Kelly's Childhood Home

Intercontinental Carlton Hotel, Cannes, FR

Grace was a famous Hollywood actress, and favorite of director Alfred Hitchcock. In 1955, she filmed To Catch a Thief on location in the French Riviera. Some filming took place at the famous Intercontinental Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France.

While she was in staying at the Carlton Hotel during the  the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, she participated in a photo shoot with Prince Rainier III, the ruler of Monaco, a “microstate” next to France, to promote the festival.

Carlton Hotel (Birds Eye)
Carlton Hotel

Prince’s Palace, Monaco

Grace met Prince Rainier on May 6 at the Prince’s Palace, the official residence of the sovereign of Monaco. Portions of the castle date back to 1191, when it was built as a fortress on a high point jutting out from Monaco.

Over the centuries, the palace has been enhanced and renovated, but it has always maintained its fortress structure. Because Monaco is a small but coveted principality, it has been critical to protect the royal family and center of power for the principality.

Also, because the city-state is so small (smaller than Central Park in New York City!), there was never enough room for a second palace.

This palace was where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier were publicly married, in one of the most-watched events in television history.

Prince's Palace of Monaco (StreetView)
Prince's Palace of Monaco

Monte Carlo, Monaco

When Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III, she became the Princess of Monaco. Monaco, a tiny strip of land sandwiched between France and the Mediterranean Sea, is the second-smallest sovereign state in the world, the most-densely populated, and one of the wealthiest in the world.

A large reason Monaco is so wealthy is because of Monte Carlo, a district within the principality, that has attracted high-stakes gambling, international investment as a tax haven, and wealthy tourists. The district is famous for its luxurious vice, and is featured in many films, like James Bond, and more.

Monte Carlo (Google Maps)
Monte Carlo

Monaco Grand Prix

Adding to the allure of Monaco is the annual Monaco Grand Prix, a Formula One race that takes place every year in early summer. It is one of the most important and most well-regarded events in racing.

Drivers race through the tight, winding streets of Monte Carlo and Monaco, up and down the hilly streets. It even includes a tunnel, making it more challenging than other races because of the change in light while navigating a serpentine course.

Monaco F1 Grand Prix Pit Lane (Birds Eye)
Monaco F1 Grand Prix Pit Lane

Villa l’Aiglon, France

Grace Kelly was very involved in promoting the development of Monaco, as well as raising three children to be leaders of Monaco and influential citizens. Her personal property included a villa in France, close to Monaco, where she could go as a retreat when needed.

The Villa, known as Villa l’Aiglon, was for a time home to Josephine Baker, the American-French dancer, in her later years. Grace was a friend of Josephine, and supported her personally and professionally.

Grace Kelly's Villa (Google Maps)
Grace Kelly's Villa

Accident Site, France

On September 13, 1982, Princess Grace was returning with her daughter Stephanie to Monaco from a retreat at a family estate in France. While driving on the winding, narrow road, Grace suffered a stroke and caused a car crash. While Stephanie sustained several significant injuries, Grace was gravely injured. She was pronounced dead the next evening, at age 52.

Princess Grace of Monaco accident site (Birds Eye)
Princess Grace of Monaco accident site

Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate, Monaco

On September 18, Princess Grace was laid to rest alongside other Grimaldis in the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate, which is sometimes called Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Many heads of state and celebrities attended her funeral, including Cary Grant, Princess Diana, Nancy Reagan, and others. When he passed in 2005, her husband Prince Rainier III was laid to rest by her side.

Monaco Cathedral (StreetView)
Monaco Cathedral

Memorial Rose Garden, Monaco

In 1984, Prince Rainier officially opened a memorial rose garden in her memory. The garden is part of a community park, and is open to the public daily. A special rose created in her memory grows at the park, along with 4,000 other rose bushes, and a statue of the Princess.

Roseraie Princesse Grace (Birds Eye)
Roseraie Princesse Grace

While her life ended too soon, her memory has endured, both through her memorable film legacy, and through her role as a kind, charitable leader of a small but influential principality. Thirty nine years after her death, she is as loved as ever, and her memory will endure.

Salma’s Having a Birthday

Happy Birthday, Salma! Today, we celebrate one of Hollywood’s most glamorous, classic, and enduring actresses on her birthday. Let’s take a look at Salma’s history, and how she went from a telenovela actress to one of the world’s glamor power couples.

Salma was born 55 years ago today in Mexico. She moved to the United States to further her acting career as a young woman. Her talent was undeniable, and she quickly became a star. In 2009, she married François-Henri Pinault, one of the richest men in the world. The couple have one daughter, and appear as happy and in love as ever.

Hollywood Hills Home, Los Angeles, CA

Salma bought one of her first properties in the Hollywood Hills in 1996 for around $500,000. The 4-bed, 3-bath bungalow is gorgeous, with all the upgrades and amenities any up and coming movie star could want.

Even after she moved on to bigger and better homes, Salma has held onto the property. Currently, it rents for around $10,000/month. With a pool, privacy, amazing views, and high-end furnishings, ten grand a month is probably steal for this piece of LA real estate.

Salma Hayek's House (Birds Eye)
Salma Hayek's House

Bel Air Mansion, Los Angeles, CA

Salma bought this gorgeous, 8,000 square foot mansion in tony Bel Air right before she became engaged to her husband. She bought the estate from Kelsey Grammer and his then-wife Camille in 2007, for more than $20 million.

The 1-acre estate was a main residence for the family until January 2020, when they moved out in order to demolish the home and rebuilt a massive 17,500 square foot estate! When you’re one of the richest and most famous couples in the world, you can get away with crazy things!

Salma Hayek's House (Google Maps)
Salma Hayek's House

Rental Mansion, London, UK

Salma and her family have been living in London since 2017. They’ve been renting a mansion formerly rented by Justin Bieber. It’s unclear whether they’ve privately bought the property, or prefer to rent, but it doesn’t appear the family have moved since settling into the North London estate.

It has 17 bedrooms, an indoor pool, spa, wine cellar, movie theater, massive garage, gorgeous bedrooms, and ornate wood stylings. The residence is perfect for the private family, as it has a large brick wall and iron gate to keep the family’s activities to themselves.

Justin Bieber's London Rental House (StreetView)
Justin Bieber's London Rental House

The Blue House, Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City, MX

Salma gained attention in Hollywood for her beauty and persona, but her portrayal of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo brought her critical acclaim as well. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in the film “Frida”.

Frida Kahlo is one of Mexico’s most renowned artists. Her home in Mexico City, the Blue House, has been turned into a museum. Visitors are given an intimate look at the artist’s life and work, and see how each impacted the other. The garden is a highlight of the museum, as well as an exhibition on the beautiful and memorable dresses Frida was known to wear.

La Casa Azul. Museo Frida Kahlo (StreetView)
La Casa Azul. Museo Frida Kahlo

La Fenice Opera House, Venice, IT

Salma and François-Henri were married in a small ceremony in Paris on Valentine’s Day 2009, but in April that year, the couple had an all-out affair in Venice, Italy.

They were married at La Fenice Opera House, a stunning, historic, theater in the heart of Venice, one of the most romantic cities in the world. The gold theater was enhanced by white roses, glass, and more gold decor for the wedding. Guests included Bono, Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz, and even former French President Jacques Chirac!

The opera house has played an important role in music, including commissioning pieces by Verdi, premiering works by Rossini, Verdi, and more. Even today, musicians leap at the chance to perform here. Talented  performers include Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, and many more.

Teatro La Fenice (StreetView)
Teatro La Fenice

Salma is more than a celebrity; she’s an icon. Looking back over her life, it’s clear her determination carried her to where she is today. As she reflects on another year on the planet, at the peak of her life, it’s no doubt she’s going to celebrate life, and love, to the fullest. Happy Birthday, Salma!

Deep Dive into History: The Life and Death of Princess Diana

In the early hours of August 31, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris, France. Her death shocked England and the world. More than 20 years after her untimely death at just 36, she is still a cultural icon known for her grace, class, and charity. She will always be the “People’s Princess.”

Althorp House

Diana was born and raised in Sandringham, but when her father became Earl of Spencer, they moved into the family estate, Althorp House in Northamptonshire. The house was built in 1688, and was a center of British elite entertainment for centuries.

However, in recent decades, it has been a financial burden to maintain the house, and the current Earl, Charles Spencer, has been creative in finding ways to keep the estate functioning.

The home is full of invaluable artwork, ornate furnishings, and impressive decor. Visitors are welcomed during summer months, which helps keep the estate afloat.

Althorp (Google Maps)
Althorp

London Flat

When she turned 18, her mother bought Diana a flat in London’s Knightsbridge area for about $100,000. She lived in the three bedroom apartment for two years with some friends, until her engagement to Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, was announced.

After her engagement was announced, her mother sold the unit for twice what she paid. In 2021, the 1,500 square foot apartment was estimated to be worth about $3.5 million!

Princess Diana's Flat (Google Maps)
Princess Diana's Flat

Highgrove House

While Highgrove House in southwestern England was Diana and Charles’ official home, it was not her favorite place to be. She felt the residence was too close to Charles’ former girlfriend and future wife, Camilla.

The house was built in the late 1700s, a large three-story rectangular stone building. Prince Charles has taken a particular interest in environmental preservation and has created several gardens on the estate.

Visitors can schedule tours of the garden, and more than 30,000 people visit the gardens in a typical year.

Prince Charles' House (Google Maps)
Prince Charles' House

Lindo Maternity Ward, St. Mary’s Hospital

Princess Diana gave birth to her first son, and future king of England, William, in 1982 in the private Lindo Ward of St. Mary’s Hospital. The photos of her shyly holding her newborn son are some of the most famous pictures of a new mom. Two years later, she repeated the process with Henry, much to the joy of England and the world.

Son William and his wife Kate have also stood on the same steps for first photos with each their three children. It’s a fitting, unspoken tribute to Diana, even after her death.

Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital (Royal Birthing Wing) (Birds Eye)
Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital (Royal Birthing Wing)

Kensington Palace

After their wedding, Diana and Charles moved into Kensington Palace, and after their divorce, Diana stayed on in the apartments.  After her death, hundreds of thousands of well-wishers left flowers and other signs of condolence for weeks and weeks.

The palace was built in 1605, and brought into royal ownership in 1689. It was actually hit by a bomb during the Blitz of World War II. The location, in the center of London, and close to Hyde Park, is ideal as a local official residence for active royals, including William and Kate, who have the largest space available. Staff also have residences, and even regular people can rent units in the sweeping estate.

If you can’t marry a royal, and you can’t afford the rent, you can still go on a public tour of the facilities, the state rooms, and the palace grounds.

Kensington Palace (Birds Eye)
Kensington Palace

Alma Tunnel, Paris, France

After years of problems, Charles and Diana finally divorced in 1996. She began seeing Dodi Fayed in 1997, and the two vacationed in France that summer. On August 31, while in Paris, the couple left the Hotel Ritz, on their way to his father’s house. Hounded by paparazzi, the driver was speeding through the narrow downtown streets.

As the car entered the Pont de l’Alma Tunnel, it clipped a wall, and spun out of control. It crashed into a pillar, a total wreck. Dodi Fayed and the driver died on the scene, and Diana’s bodyguard survived with massive injuries.

Alma tunnel where Lady Diana died (Google Maps)
Alma tunnel where Lady Diana died

Burial Place, Althorp Estate

The entire world mourned the loss of “England’s rose” and her funeral on September 6 was a global affair that many still remember. It had a somber feeling, with Princes William and Henry walking in the procession.  More than 30 million watched the funeral in the United Kingdom, and hundreds of millions more watched it around the world.

Diana was laid to rest at her family estate, Althorp. Her final resting place is on an island called the Oval, in a garden lake on the estate. She was buried with a rosary given to her by Mother Theresa, who happened to have died the day before the funeral.

Visitors can pay to tour the Althorp Estate grounds, which includes an exhibition dedicated to Diana.

Burial place of Diana, Princess of Wales (Google Maps)
Burial place of Diana, Princess of Wales

Memorial to Diana in Hyde Park

Decades after her death, the memory of Diana is still treasured in the UK and around the world. In 2006, Queen Elizabeth II opened a memorial fountain in Hyde Park, London. The fountain is designed to be peaceful and symbolize some of Diana’s positive qualities.

The memorial is a great way to honor Diana: it is accessible to all people, aims to give new life, is beautiful and peaceful, and feels like a place the People’s Princess would enjoy.

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain (Birds Eye)
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain

On this 24th anniversary of Princess Diana’s untimely death, the best way to remember her and honor her legacy is to serve others, be kind to those less fortunate, and give back to the community around you. This way, Elton John’s lyrics ring true: Her candle’s burned out long before her legend ever will.

Happy Birthday, Martha Stewart!

Martha Stewart seems ageless. The home and lifestyle guru has gently taught America, and the world, about “good things” for forty years but she’s as popular and fresh as ever.

Today, as she turns 80 years old, let’s take a look at some important places in Martha’s life.

Cantitoe Corners in Katonah, N.Y

Martha’s main residence is in Katonah, a small town in Bedford, New York. She has lived here since 2000, and has acquired about 150 acres of farmland. It had been owned by an eccentric millionaire, and when it went on the market, Martha knew it was meant to be her next home.

Martha lives in the “Winter House” rather than the original 1700s “Summer House”. It has several other homes and buildings on the property, and she paid about $15 million for the entire estate.

Martha Stewart's House (Google Maps)
Martha Stewart's House

Next Door Neighbor Ralph Lauren

Martha has lots of rich and famous neighbors, including her next door neighbor Ralph Lauren. He has described the 17,000 square foot mansion as “part hunting lodge, part stately home.” The home is surrounded by unpaved roads, 250 acres of land, and an impressive collection of classic cars.

As one can expect, the interior is an homage to the famed American designer, with deep colors, plaids, plenty of leather, and a great deal of wood. With more than $6 billion to his name, he can afford all the fancy upgrades he could want.

Ralph Lauren's House (Birds Eye)
Ralph Lauren's House

East Hamptons, NY

Like any self-respecting East Coast millionaire, Martha owned a great house in the East Hamptons. But, with the upward pressure Covid-19 put on the local housing market, Martha decided to cash in. She sold her house in the summer of 2021. She had owned the Lily Pond Lane home for more than 25 years, and even threw her 50th birthday party there.

She rarely stayed at the 1880s-era home, and while the selling price isn’t known, it was listed for about $4.8 million. Knowing how hot the market was, she certainly didn’t lose money on her investment.

Martha Stewart's House (Birds Eye)
Martha Stewart's House

Skylands, Seal Harbor, MA

When she’s not at her Bedford home, Martha loves to spend her summers at her Seal Harbor, Maine home. Built for Edsel Ford, Henry Ford’s son, “Skylands” was designed not to stand out but to be an extension of the granite, wood, and moss surrounding the estate.

The home was sold to Martha complete, with most of the original furniture, decor, and even dishes and linens! Martha has upgraded and added her personal touch to the property, but she considers the estate “an American treasure” and views herself as the “caretaker”.

The main house has 35,000 square feet! She also bought another home to restore the estate to its original design. The property has a church, indoor squash court, multiple garages, greenhouse, and a fully-stocked wine cellar.

Martha Stewart's house (Bing Maps)
Martha Stewart's house

Turkey Hill in Westport, CT

Martha got her start catering local parties out of her kitchen in Westport, CT. She and her then-husband bought Turkey Hill in 1971 and worked hard to restore the home, which had been part of an onion farm. They acquired another home, part of the original farm, for a grand total of less than $100,000.

They turned the larger property into a working farm complete with orchards, kitchen gardens, flower gardens, animals, and more. The home, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, was a central feature as Martha grew in her success. The kitchen, living room, and other rooms have been featured on her television shows, in magazines, books, and more.

Eventually, Martha outgrew the estate and moved her activities to Bedford. She put the estate on the market, asking just under $9 million, in 2007. It took several months, but eventually she found a buyer who would love the property as much as she did.

Martha Stewart's House (former) (Birds Eye)
Martha Stewart's House (former)

Snoop Dogg’s Diamond Bar, CA Residence

In 2008, Snoop Dogg appeared on Martha’s show, and the two had an instant connection. Nearly 15 years later, they are closer than ever. Sincerely friends, the two have turned their odd couple friendship into a professional powerhouse.

They’ve done commercials together, supported each other’s businesses and even have an Emmy-nominated television show together!

Snoop Dogg could not be further from Martha in terms of lifestyle. The OG rapper bought a home in the LA area in 1992 for less than $750,000. It’s now worth millions, but Snoop has no intention of leaving. It’s on nearly three acres, has four bedrooms, a pool, spa, basketball court, and amazing views.

He bought another home in the neighborhood that he considers his man cave, and since he’s worth more than $140 million, it totally makes sense!

Snoop Dogg's House (Birds Eye)
Snoop Dogg's House

Martha has more than $400 million to her name, which makes it easy for her to celebrate in style, whether it’s a low-key celebration with loved ones at Skylands, or somewhere fabulous enough to ring in her next decade. No matter what, it’s sure to be full of “good things”. Happy birthday, Martha!

NBA Stars in the Playoffs

As the NBA Finals are in full swing, let’s take a look at some of the players who have made an appearance this postseason.

Chris Paul

Leading the Phoenix Suns in their pursuit of their first National Championship, Chris Paul is working overtime. After spending much of his career with the LA Clippers, he was traded to Houston, then Oklahoma City, before landing in Phoenix in 2020.

The vegan veteran athlete has taken the team to new heights, and is showing he’s worth his $41 million salary! He has bounced around so much recently, he’s barely had time to sell his massive modern mansion in Houston.

The mansion was on the market for $8 million, but reduced to $7.2 million before it finally sold in January 2021. Whoever got the home will enjoy the five bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and private balconies, steel-framed interior, Texas limestone finishes, and imported French roof tiles.

Chris Paul's House (Google Maps)
Chris Paul's House

LeBron James

While his team didn’t make it past the first round, LeBron James still dominates the postseason conversation, because of his overwhelming influence on his team and on the league overall. He’s been playing for nearly 20 years, has amassed a fortune of half a billion dollars, and four championship rings.

Fairlawn, Ohio

LeBron grew up in Akron, Ohio, and played much of his career in Cleveland. While there, he bought a home on seven acres and promptly turned it into a 30,000 square foot paradise. The house has a two-story master suite, an aquarium, barber shop, full gym, and sports bar.

Lebron James' House (Birds Eye)
Lebron James' House

Brentwood, California

In 2015, James bought a mansion in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles for $21 million. But in 2017, he bought a better Brentwood home for $23 million. This home has eight bedrooms, massive kitchen, full gym, 15,000 bottle wine cellar, cigar lounge, and bar. Reports are that it’s going to be on the market this summer as the family upgrades, once again.

LeBron James's House (Google Maps)
LeBron James's House

New Home in Beverly Hills, California

James reportedly bought a third LA-area home in 2020. This home was owned by a Hollywood powerhouse couple, and is a great fit for James and his family. It has the privacy he needs, as well as enough space to really feel comfortable. It is on 2.5 acres, but close to downtown LA, has a pool, tennis court, and more amenities fit for King James.

William J. Bell's House (Deceased) (Birds Eye)
William J. Bell's House (Deceased)

Rudy Gobert

While Rudy’s Utah Jazz came into the Playoffs with the best record in the NBA and a serious chance to win it all, injuries kept the team from reaching their goal. But Rudy was a standout player this season, winning Defensive Player of the Year for the third time. The French player gained notoriety in March 2020, when he was the first player diagnosed with Covid-19. In December 2020, he was given a $205 million contract extension, one of the largest in NBA history!

Rudy lives in Salt Lake City, in a hillside mansion that he paid nearly $4 million for in 2017. It has 11,000 square feet of living space, a billiards table in the front room, a tennis court, and newly-installed pool where the 7-foot center can relax all summer.

Rudy Gobert's House (Google Maps)
Rudy Gobert's House

Paul George

Paul George has been playing in the NBA for a decade, but ended up back in his hometown area of Los Angeles in 2019 when he was traded to the Clippers. Happy to be back on the west coast, Paul bought the house of another NBA star, DeAndre Jordan, who now plays for the Brooklyn Nets.

He bought the home for $16 million, which has 10,000 square feet of living space, seven bedrooms and ten bathrooms, three stories, and an elevator. Outside, there’s a putting green, pool with a waterfall, and even an outdoor kitchen. Although his Clippers didn’t make it past the second round, he’s sure to soothe his feelings, and his aching muscles, in the spa-like bath in his owner’s suite.

Paul George's House (Google Maps)
Paul George's House

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons is an up and coming basketball star from Australia. He was the first overall draft pick in 2016, has dated a Kardashian, and is sure to be a powerhouse team leader for years to come. He has helped his team, the Philadelphia 76ers, make the playoffs every year.

He bought a house in the Hidden Hills area of Los Angeles in 2021 for $17.5 million. The modern-looking mansion has seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, unique and funky decor, and even a kitchen dedicated to candy! Only a basketball star could get away with that! There’s a guest house by the pool fancier and bigger than most homes.

Ben Simmons' House (Google Maps)
Ben Simmons' House

These are some of the stars of the 2020-2021 season, but the season isn’t over yet; and we have a few more games to go before we find out who will need to make room for a championship ring display, and who will go back to their mansions empty handed.

 

 

 

 

 

It Pays to Be Funny! Late Night Comedian Houses

Your 8th grade science teacher may have told you cracking jokes wouldn’t pay the bills, but these late night talk show hosts are proof that teachers aren’t always right.

From Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon, these guys made it big by being funny, and are laughing all the way home.

Jay Leno

Jay Leno knows how to make a living making people laugh. He was a standup comedian for years, becoming a regular on late night shows like the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In 1992, he took over the show, and reigned supreme for most of the next 22 years.

Leno has been so successful that he owns multiple homes around the United States, including one in Rhode Island, which set him back about $13.5 million.

Jay Leno's House (Google Maps)
Jay Leno's House

He also owns two neighboring properties in an upscale area of Los Angeles California.

Jay Leno's House (Birds Eye)
Jay Leno's House
Jay Leno's House (Birds Eye)
Jay Leno's House

He owns yet another house in his hometown of Andover, Massachusetts, but doesn’t spent very much time there.

Jay Leno's House (Birds Eye)
Jay Leno's House

He has long been known for his enormous car collection, owning at least 169 cars and over 100 motorcycles. He spends much of his free time working on or looking at cars, and has multiple garages to store all of his vehicles.

Jay Leno's "Big Dog Garage" (Birds Eye)
Jay Leno's "Big Dog Garage"

David Letterman

Starting long before and outlasting Leno, Letterman started hosting Late Night with David Letterman in 1982, and hosted his last show in 2015, with Stephen Colbert taking over. Letterman has since grown a massive beard, spoken out about political issues and even hosted a TV interview series on Netflix.

Letterman owns several houses throughout the US, including in North Salem New York. He bought the house and property in two phases, for a total of $10 million. He is worth over $400 million; his hard work has clearly paid off!

David Letterman's House (Google Maps)
David Letterman's House

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon rose to fame on Saturday Night Live where he developed a unique and recognizable style of comedy, including hosting segments of Weekend Update. After leaving the show in 2004, Fallon got a late night talk show on NBC in 2009, and eventually took over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2014.

Fallon’s hosting style has been groundbreaking, being more interactive with guests, participating in humorous gags, skits, and musical segments rather than sticking to  couch interviews.

Fallon and his wife a nice apartment in a co-op in Gramercy Park, in New York City. They have actually bought four additional units in the building, showing how much they love their building and their neighborhood!

Jimmy Fallon's Apartment (Google Maps)
Jimmy Fallon's Apartment

They also own a home in Sagaopnack, in the Hamptons, New York. They bought the home in 2011 for about $5.7 million, and enjoy relaxing in the 6 bedroom home and the 2 acre lot, a nice change from the urban life in New York City.

Jimmy Fallon's House (Google Maps)
Jimmy Fallon's House

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel rose to fame hosting shows on Comedy Central, before he became host of the late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2003. He has also hosted the Emmys and Oscars.

Kimmel’s show is based in Los Angeles, and the comedian has multiple homes in the area, including a large home in Hollywood Hills, with new neighbor Kendall Jenner.

Jimmy Kimmel's House (Google Maps)
Jimmy Kimmel's House

He also owns two homes in the same area of Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles.

Jimmy Kimmel's House (Google Maps)
Jimmy Kimmel's House
Jimmy Kimmel's House (Birds Eye)
Jimmy Kimmel's House

Conan O’Brien

Conan O’Brien was a long-time comedian who took over when David Letterman left The Late Night and NBC in 1993. O’Brien hosted the show for 16 years, before briefly taking over The Tonight Show in 2010. However, network politics and ratings issues forced Conan out not long into his new gig, and he quickly found a permanent fit hosting Conan on TBS.

Conan has a quirky and self-deprecating sense of humor that appeal to many late night viewers, and his cable spot gives him more leeway to explore new areas of comedy including skits, gags and remote short movies.

O’Brien hosts his show in New York City, and he has a residence there as well as a large home in Rhode Island, where he and his family often reside.

Conan O'Brien's House (Birds Eye)
Conan O'Brien's House

When O’Brien moved to Los Angeles to host The Tonight Show, he bought a home in the Pacific Palisades area, and he has kept it even after moving back to the East Coast.

Conan O'Brien's House (Birds Eye)
Conan O'Brien's House

Each of these comedians have worked hard and had lucky breaks help get them to the top of their game, but their ambition, effort and determination demonstrate that, no matter what you’re good at, if you work hard enough, you can make a living doing what you love.

Happy Birthday, Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney is one of the most talented and influential musicians of the last 100 years.

Today he turns 79, so let’s take a look back at some of the most important places in his life and career, and where he might be celebrating his birthday this year.

Childhood Home, Liverpool, UK

Paul McCartney was born on June 18, 1942 in Liverpool, England. When he was a teenager, he moved to this home on Forthlin Road.

When the Beatles were just starting out, the group would meet at this home and practice, write songs, and hang out. While Paul certainly imagined being a famous musician, it’s likely that he never would have imagined that those afternoon practices would lead to him becoming one of the most famous and wealthy musicians of all time. As of 2021, his net worth was estimated at more than a billion dollars!

The British National Trust acquired the home in 1995, and has labeled it as the “Birthplace of the Beatles”. On an episode of Carpool Karaoke, Paul and the host James Corden visited the home, and Paul said it was the first time he’d been back since his teenage years.

Paul McCartney's Childhood House (StreetView)
Paul McCartney's Childhood House

St. Peter’s Church, Woolton Parish, Liverpool, UK

From a young age, Paul McCartney loved music and wanted to be a professional musician. By his teens, he was serious about the pursuit. When he was 15, Paul met John Lennon at St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool, where John was performing with his own band.

The two connected and quickly formed a new band. The place was very important to the group. In fact, it’s here where the band got the idea for the song “Eleanor Rigby”. The name is found on one of the cemetery’s headstones. The song was featured on their Revolver album, and was one of Paul’s most famous, and most beautiful, compositions.

Paul McCartney and John Lennons first meeting place (Google Maps)
Paul McCartney and John Lennons first meeting place

Ranch in Tanque Verde, AZ

Paul met his first wife, Linda, at the height of his fame, and the two were married in 1969. They were together until she passed away from breast cancer in 1998.

The couple bought an Arizona ranch in 1979, because Linda had spent much time in the state, and loved being in the desert environment. The Tanque Verde ranch is about 150 acres, near Tuscon.

The home is not grand, but it was perfect for long visits while raising their four kids. Linda passed away at the ranch, and some of her ashes were scattered around the property.

Paul McCartney's Ranch (Birds Eye)
Paul McCartney's Ranch

London Residence, UK

Paul bought a townhouse way back in 1965 in London’s St. John’s Wood. Through all his career growth, different relationships, and life changes, he’s always kept this as a main property. In fact, the wedding reception for his marriage to Nancy Shevall was held here.

He paid about $1 million in today’s dollars for the three story structure. His investment has paid off; recently, a fixer-upper went on the market for about $25 million! He’s done extensive renovations, including adding a gate and security system. He also has a home recording studio, of course.

Paul McCartney's House (Birds Eye)
Paul McCartney's House

Peasmarch in Rye, Sussex, UK

Paul likes to buy real estate and hold onto it, unlike many other celebrities. In 1973, he bought an estate in Rye, and has kept it ever since. He and Linda raised their family there, and loved the low-key lifestyle it afforded them.

In fact, this is where he spent much of his quarantine in 2020, with one of his daughters and her family. The large house and sprawling grounds are a perfect place to quarantine.

This isn’t the only home he owns in the area. He has bought property and other homes both to ensure his privacy, and for investment purposes. All told, it is estimated he owns more than 1,500 acres in the area.

Paul McCartney's House (Google Maps)
Paul McCartney's House

Stella McCartney’s Home in Pershore, UK

Paul isn’t the only famous and successful McCartney in England these days. His daughter Stella has become an internationally-famous clothing designer, first for Gucci and now under her own name.

Stella and her husband Alasdhair Willis bought a lovely estate in Bishamtpon, in Worcestershire, England. They have lived there since 2001, and have become regular sites in the small village since.

As of 2021, Stella’s net worth is abut $75 million, and she has used her money to make considerable improvements to the once-dilapidated Georgian structure they call home. They have placed specific emphasis on the multiple gardens they’ve cultivated on the grounds.

Stella McCartney's UK Mansion (Bing Maps)
Stella McCartney's UK Mansion

Because Paul is a bit of a homebody when he’s not touring, and because of Covid-19, it’s likely Paul will spend his birthday at his Rye estate. He’ll probably be surrounded by family, and maybe they’ll even sing the Beatles anthem “Birthday” to their dad and grandpa.

Happy Birthday, Paul!