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    The Psychology of House Cleaning: How Tidying and Decorating Can Lead to Happiness – Vogue - May 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Pre-pandemic, it would be hard to imagine spending as much time as we do now in our homes. Our maxed-out spaces must function as offices, remote schools, gyms and all-day cafes (not always the chic kind). If these walls could talk, they would tell tales of togetherness but also boredom, frustration, and burn-out.

    In the early 20th century, Swiss theorist and psychiatrist Carl Jung proposed that the home is powerfully symbolicand psychologically significant. Far more than shelter from the outside, our homes are a reflection of ourselves, our identity, he argued. How we construct this space is, therefore, closely connected to our inner narrative and mental state of mind. A large body of modern research supports this idea, laying the foundation for environmental psychology, or the study of how the built environment influences our mood and behaviors. Surprisingly, everything from how you arrange your sofa to how much sunlight filters through your rooms can have an impact on your emotional and physical health, whether youre aware of it or not.

    Our homes can be incredibly important tools for shaping our daily experiences, says Lindsay T. Graham, PhD, a research specialist at the Center for the Built Environment at the University of California at Berkeley, CA. How theyre organized, decorated and furnished can be curated to evoke a varied palette of feelings, and she adds, serve as a form of emotional regulation. Greenwich, CT-based interior decorator Kate Gelfand has studied the healing potential of public and private spaces and finds that our interior worlds can truly aid recovery and healing, and work to support wellness and personal growth. Consider it decorating therapy for the 21st century. Here, seven research-backed solutions to boost your health and happiness and turn your home into a restorative sanctuary for youand those you share the couch (and laundry duty) with.

    First, honestly assess what you like and dont like about your space. Make a specific, actionable plan to tackle the problem areas, which can save your sanity. In a well-known study, researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles asked working families to film self-guided tours of their homes. Participants who dwelled on things that needed fixingsuch as unfinished projects, repairs or chaotic areashad weaker recovery of cortisol, the bodys stress hormone, at the end of the day compared to those who described their homes as restful and relaxing. Interestingly, this finding did not apply to the men in the study, only the women who historically have been socialized to be feel more responsible for the upkeep of the home, even in a partnered relationship, says Darby Saxbe, PhD, the studys lead author and director of Dornsife Center for the Changing Family at the University of Southern California. When the housework and improvements pile up, Saxbe explains, your domicile represents a source of demands, rather than a haven from the outside world. If you need to hire a pro for tricky projects, do it: Its money well-spent if it eliminates mental stress.

    Mess can really, well, mess with your psyche. Why? Seeing piles of stuff everywhere overstimulates your brain, making it work harder and draining your resources, says Saxbe. Clutter is a nagging visual cue of all the things you have to do, which taxes your stress response system. To control the jumble, deal with items quickly in the momenthang up coats, keep or chuck school papers, put laundry in drawersrather than let things accumulate until the end of the day (or week, month). Theres also nothing wrong with visually hiding clutter that cant be totally eliminated, says Saxbe. Store work papers in a stylish filing cabinet or use a chic, paneled screen to conceal an office nook so youre not thinking about stacks of expenses during dinner or before bed.

    Color therapy (or chromotherapy) has long been practiced as a form of holistic healing, focused on how the spectrum of light and color affect mood and physical health. Granted, its not an exact science since perceptions of color are often influenced by past experiences and cultural references. But, in general, reds and oranges have the longest wavelength, which requires the eye to adjust and stimulates the body. Blues and greens, on the other hand, require very little adjustment, and are considered more restful (blue, in particular, has been shown to lower blood pressure). You can level out the energy in your house accordingly, but keep in mind that everyone finds different tones soothing, says Graham, who points out that comforting spaces are often reconstructions of our past. You might unconsciously be drawn to colors that remind you of well-loved placessuch as the pastels tones in your best friends bedspread. Pay attention and work these details into your space for subtle inspiration.

    Its remarkable how we can live in shared quarters with others but not actually talk or connect that much. Maybe everyone is sick of each other (enough family time!) but the layout of your space can also steer people together or apart. Researchers point out how chairs on the porch facilitate emotional expression (otherwise known as chit-chat) and inside, modular furniture that can be rearrangedinto an L-shape or tte-a-tte configuration, where two people face each other with their own backrestsinvite conversation, says Gelfand, who recommends interchangeable sectional sofas by Living Divani. Or consider Yogibos body-confirming chair, which makes it easy to plop down and catch-up, wherever people feel like gathering in the house.

    Adjustable lighting is essential to a happy home, says Gelfand. Basking in the natural rays is great, but you can overdo itresearch shows that rooms with too much sunlight are actually stressful for office workers (who are now likely WFH). Instead, opt for solar shades or airy linen curtainsstylish, modern options let in light but reduce glareand floor lamps with arms that can be articulated to swivel 360-degrees and dimmed to reflect your lighting preferences. The bulb matters, toobut not just the wattage, says Sarah Barnard, a Santa Monica, CA-based, WELL and LEED accredited designer who specializes in environments that support wellbeing. Look at the kelvins, which are printed on the box and measure the color temperature on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000, she says. A bulb with 2,700 kelvins will create a cozy, inviting ambiance (great for the kitchen, living and bedrooms) while 5,000 kelvins mimics crisp daylight (and is best for task lamps, for example).

    Hardwood floors might appeal to your minimalist aesthetic, but science favors plusher surfaces. In a small study, researchers in Japan measured brain waves of subjects and found that those who walked on carpet versus wood experienced more restful alpha waves, indicating that carpeting might alleviate stress. Another reason to go cushy underfoot: Carpets absorb noise, which can buffer the acoustics of any interior. In a soon-to-be-published study, Graham found that in an open-office setting, people who identify as extroverts are more stimulated and distracted by noiseto the point of it being detrimental to productivitycompared to introverts who are bothered by noise but can tune it out, she says. You dont need to go wall-to-wall at home, but Gelfand finds people often dont think big enough. Most of your floor should be covered by the carpet, your furniture should be fully on it, and in a bedroom, it should extend up to your bedside tables so your feet hit a soft surface when you get up. As for textures, Gelfand prefers natural wool or a mix of jute and chenille for maximum comfort.

    Forest bathingor the meditative practice of being surrounded by treesis a proven health booster. Specifically, breathing in the phytoncides, or aromatic oils released by trees, can aid immunity and decrease anxiety, among other positive outcomes. You can also reap the benefits by bringing nature inside: Pipe in forest-y scents, incorporate furniture and dcor with salvaged or responsibly-sourced woods, and go for botanical or earthy artworkscientific evidence shows that merely looking at nature scenes can lower stress. Barnard, for her part, designed her own Kale Tree line of wallpaper and furnishings inspired by flora and fauna; and potted plants of all kindsfrom monstera deliciosas to parlor palmsare therapeutic on many levels.


    In the end, dont get so caught up with the Instagram of it all, or the need to make every room impeccably styled and unrealistically perfect, that you forget a simple fact: A restorative, healing home is defined by how you feel when you live inside it, says Saxbe. Also, adds Graham, spaces should evolve along with the inhabitants. The dcor, layout or arrangements you have now might not suit you in a few years, so its healthy to reassess your surroundings and make changes every so often. Nothing needs to be forever or permanent, which can take the weight of decision-making off your shoulders and, literally and figuratively, create space for you.

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    The Psychology of House Cleaning: How Tidying and Decorating Can Lead to Happiness - Vogue

    1916: Syracuses men and women were divided over a $10,000 Heart Balm trial – - May 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Any ideas of settling down into normal married life were dashed for Nathan Komar when he returned to Syracuse from his honeymoon on Feb. 4, 1916.

    Just as he was about to settle in for his first dinner at home with his new wife, the former Rose Gais, Komar was served with papers by an attorney.

    He was being sued for $10,000, roughly $243,000 in todays money, by the indomitable Libbie Kodish, who for the previous five years, had thought she was to become the next Mrs. Nathan Komar.

    She told newspapers that Komar had proposed marriage to her in the summer of 1911 when he was 19 and she was 17.

    But whenever she pressed him for a wedding date, he told her he was waiting for his economic fortunes to improve. He was earning then just $3.50 a week.

    While they waited, they met each others friends, looked at possible wedding venues, and places to live.

    But their wedding was never scheduled.

    Finally, in September 1915, Kodish demanded that a wedding date be chosen.

    He promised her that a wedding would take place before the spring of 1916.

    Well, one did. It was just was not with her.

    "No siree, I didn't love her." A newspaper sketch of defendant Nathan Komar. Courtesy of World ArchivesCourtesy of World Archives

    When Kodish first heard of Komars engagement with Gais, she said she fainted from the shock of it.

    Then, she got a lawyer.

    The jilted Kodish, which was a favorite adjective for newspaper reporters for her, had hoped to have the papers of her lawsuit delivered during the actual ceremony as a wedding present but the couple married quickly and then left immediately for their honeymoon.

    (The Syracuse Herald called their nuptials a hurry-up affair which happened on a Tuesday.)

    Libbie Kodishs breach of promise lawsuit, called in Syracuse newspapers at the time as a heart balm suit, was the first of its kind for many years in Onondaga County.

    The trial began on May 9, 1916 with jury selection. Supreme Court Judge Leonard Callender Crouch presided.

    Interest in the case was high and, during both days of the testimony, crowds completely filled the courtroom.

    The public loved to read the salacious testimony between the former lovers and opinions on the case was split along gender lines.

    A Herald reporter noticed that men and women had very different ideas about who was right and who was in the wrong.

    On one side there was the men:

    There were any number of men present. Many of them were married and conversed with each other in regard to what this new woman stuff leads to.

    The single men looked a little scared when Kodishs attorney, William Harding, described some gentlemen as fiends in human form and professional heartbreakers.

    Women, it was noticed, paid even closer attention to the testimony:

    They leaned forward eagerly in the effort to not lose a word. Evidently most of them sympathized with the plaintiff for they said so out and out and hoped shed get good big damages.

    One woman was heard to say if her husband was on the jury and didnt bring in a good verdict for that poor girl, hed SEE.

    What both sides, and the jury, did see was a master performance by prosecutor Harding, who effectively made an emotional plea on behalf of Libbie Kodish.

    For four or five years Nathan courted Libbie and she built up a dream of married bliss, he told the jury. He told her he loved her and would give her a nice home, making a show of affection, and now he says it was all a joke. You cant play with the heartstrings of a woman and then kick her over.

    He called Komar a rascal and a reprobate, and said that Libbie should count her lucky stars that she ended up not marrying him.

    (The fact the new Mrs. Nathan Komar, Rose Gais, was the daughter of a retired prominent clothing manufacturer in Syracuse, while Kodish was just a poor, working girl, certainly made the case against Komar easier.)

    I ask you jurors to treat Libbie like you would your own daughters. For her suffering and troubles, $10,000 is not a cent too much.

    Defense attorney Myron Melvin had a much more difficult job.

    He argued that his client had never made a promise of marriage.

    He asked the jury not to punish Komar for hugging and kissing Kodish, or for taking her out to the movies, theater, and for ice cream all those years.

    I think, he told the all-male jury that our experiences as practical men proves that boys and girls at the ages of 17 and 19 will kiss each other put their arms around each other. In this day of enlightenment, there are some that will say that they should not have kissed until after they were married and others will say that they shouldnt kiss at all, on account of germs. But kissing and hugging is no crime.

    The real victim of Rose Komar, who was having to suffer through this trial instead of beginning her happy married life.

    Headlines from the May 11, 1916 Herald announces the verdict in Syracuse's "Heart Balm" trial. The court room was packed for both days of the trial. Courtesy of World ArchivesCourtesy of World Archives

    It is probably little wonder that the jury returned with a verdict in Kodishs favor in less than three hours.

    They awarded her $2,500 in damages. Though it was not the full $10,000 she asked for, the award was, the Syracuse Journal reported, one of the largest ever given for a breach of promise in the county.

    Nathan Komar did not pay, was briefly jailed, bailed out by his new father-in-law, and then declared bankruptcy.

    Libbie Kodish would celebrate her victory with a relaxing trip to Sayre, Pennsylvania in June where she had friends.

    There she met another Nathan, a Nathan Staver, who was a prosperous painting contractor and interior decorator in Sayre. They fell in love.

    On July 4, 1916, they were married.

    I expect to stay right here in Sayre, she told the Syracuse Herald, and I am not a bit interested in anything at all in regard to Mr. Nathan Komar.

    The Journal hoped that her victory in court, and in love, would be a warning to other triflers.

    Read more

    1986: Feeling drowsy? Maybe this history of Upstates Jolt Cola will perk you up!

    1921: Socks, macaroni, and lingerie were some of the items to bid on at Syracuses grab bag auction

    1931: The hair flew in Waterloo as two rival barbers competed to be crowned New Yorks fastest

    1891-1924: Too short to join the fire department, an Auburn man starts his own, joined by his pony, Thelma

    Check out our true-crime podcast

    An invention from Upstate NY soon became the preferred method of execution across the United States -- the electric chair. In The Condemned, we trace the history of the chair through the stories of five men who were sentenced to death for their crimes. Explore our series here.

    This feature is a part of CNY Nostalgia, a section on Send your ideas and curiosities to Johnathan Croyle at or call 315-427-3958.

    1916: Syracuses men and women were divided over a $10,000 Heart Balm trial -

    16 Dinnerware Sets With the Clever Seal of Approval – Architectural Digest - May 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Listen, were clinging to our youth, too. But the cold hard truth is, if youre out here looking for dinnerware sets youre officially an adult. With adulthood comes the expectation to have a few domestic things in order, like a fresh set of bath towels that havent followed you around since college, grown-up sheets, a mattress that doesnt sit on a box spring on the floor, etc. And, of course, every grown-up kitchen should have a full set of matching dinnerware that could be proudly displayed atop some floating shelves. Were not talking about that hodgepodge collection of plates youve amassed over many moves with many different roommates. If you were under the impression that a proper dinnerware set was something youd receive as a gift for your wedding/first home/30th birthday but you still find yourself without an unchipped plate to call your own, were here to help: Weve scoured the market for truly solid designs for every type of adult. And actually, there is no better time to invest in dinnerware, because like many other corners of the home market, direct-to-consumer companies have modernized the buying process and offer good deals on stylish sets. Check out our favorites below.

    Studio Ro Smit works with artisans in the Kathmandu Valley to build their dinnerware sets. The four-piece earthenware collection, available in white or creme (pictured), is handcrafted with clay indigenous to Nepal, and the brand works to support the use of traditional techniques in the region.

    Food52s in-house line of kitchen and dining goods, Five Two, iswell, really good. From a smart collapsible dish rack to hypoallergenic dryer balls, the collections are thoughtful and beautifully designed. Its dinnerware collection features a sunburst design, which brings a subtle flair to the table and looks just as good when stacked on a shelf.

    Snowe is all about dead-easy ways to outfit your home with bedding, bath, and kitchen essentials through discounted bundles. Its porcelain dinnerware is super modern and comes with everything you need, including flatware, making it a no-brainer to buy in a bundle. Were also big fans of their all-in-one dinner bowls for casual eating.

    Another brand thats thought of it all is Leeway Home, founded in March 2021 by Lyle Maltz and Sam Dumas, which offers several packages thatll set you up for any mealtime situation. The 44-piece The Full Way includes four settings with the full monty: flatware, mugs, dinner and salad plates, as well as bowls andperhaps most importantlyelegant stemmed wine glasses. The stoneware dishes are available in solid earth tones or, for a fun twist, with colorful striped rims.

    Sustainably made in Portugal with recycled clay and shipped in recyclable packaging, the Canada-based outfit is on a mission to become a zero-waste company and is currently pending B Corp certification. To top it off, its high-quality ceramic pieces come in four shades ranging from light pink to dark blue, and the bundles are mix-and-match if youd like to change up the coordinating colors.

    While they may look delicate, Materials dining sets, made in partnership with Soil Baker, are solidly crafted with natural Korean soil and feel rugged despite being lightweight. Weve waxed poetic about Materials cookware and cutting boards in the past, and were pleased to report that the companys dishes more than live up to expectations.

    Made in Asheville, North Carolina, East Forks dinnerware has a down-to-earth vibe in refined silhouettes. Choose from a variety of rich neutral tones, including panna cotta and amaro, as well as several set options, from a three-piece set to a seven-piece collection that includes a generous mug.

    Another cookware brand gone tabletop, Made In is preparing for dining domination. Available in settings for four or eight, the plateware is made in England and Italy and designed to be restaurant quality. In fact, the brand offers a one-year no-chip guarantee if it doesnt live up to your dinnertime demands.

    Though it may seem a little questionable to include Urban Outfitters in a piece about adulting, this ceramic set is decidedly grown-up (at a college-kid price). The slightly lipped stoneware will look at home on any tablescape, whether in a light sage green (pictured) or subdued gray and white.

    Another DTC dinnerware company, Rigby, takes the guesswork out of building a collection by offering solid basics in sets of four. Rigbys designs are made in Portugal and have a substantial weight to them, perfect for the clumsy diner. Prices start from $38 for a set of four mini bowls and top out at $64 for a set of four dinner plates.

    There are few things that make us smile more than Hays signature Danish-inspired hues. Its Rainbow series of dinnerware comes in yellow, blue, pink, and green, so you can assemble a kaleidoscopic set to jazz up your dining table. (See? Being an adult can be fun.) Rainbow plates and bowls by Hay are available from $9 each.

    For the modern decorator who likes variety, Mud Australias dinnerware offers both a clear glaze and natural finish on each sculptural piece. We also love the variety of pastel hues available in the range for a more cheerful table setting.

    Splatterware is a centuries-old tradition in ceramics and enamelware, but we love this vibrant modern take from March SF. Handmade and painted in Puglia, Italy, this set is a fun investment that will feed your soul for a lifetime. Prices start at $35 for a soup bowl.

    Retro glassware is back in a big way. Mosser has been producing its signature tinted glass pieces in Cambridge, Ohio, since 1970, but for most of us, the look is totally fresh. A set of four medium shallow bowls and a set of four plates starts at $108.

    Felt+Fat began making dinnerware for local Philly chefs, and now its handmade designs are available to the public. With smaller spaces in mind, it created the Apartment Set, which is designed to fit in more compact cabinets and comes in a wide range of colors. Included in the set are a salad plate, snack plate, soup bowl, and dessert bowl.

    For those who embrace imperfection, theres this organic-inspired dinnerware collection, which features a slightly asymmetric design for that made-by-hand look. Price listed is for a four-piece set with pasta bowl; other configurations are available.

    See the rest here:
    16 Dinnerware Sets With the Clever Seal of Approval - Architectural Digest

    What Happened to Luann De Lesseps’ Ex-Husband Tom DAgostino? – - May 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    GettyLuann de Lesseps and Tom in 2017

    Its about Tom (DAgostino Jr).

    In 2017, Real Housewives of New York star Luann de Lesseps finally married her dream man or so she thought. Unfortunately, Lesseps marriage to DAgostino only lasted seven months and ended in a bitter divorce. Its with great sadness that Tom & I agreed to divorce, Lesseps announced on Twitter at the time. We care for each other very much, hope you respect our privacy during this sad time! So, what is Lesseps ex-husband up to today?

    According to a February 2020 report from The Sun, DAgostino has moved on with a girl named Danielle Rollins, and they have been dating since February 2019. DAgostino told the publication at the time, Im doing better than ever and happiest ever! Rollins is an interior decorator and clothing designer, and it seems like the two spend most of their time together in Palm Beach, Florida.

    After Lesseps announced her divorce in 2017, she opened up about her split from DAgostino in an interview with People. At the time, Lesseps explained that something that caused a major rift in their relationship was the fact that DAgostino would often reach out to his ex-girlfriends while she was married to him.

    Getting caught in the press going out and meeting with ex-girlfriends, that caused a lot of fights to go on, Lesseps told People. The former Countess also revealed that the last straw in their relationship was when he tried to meet up with an ex after they had come home from a dinner party.

    Lesseps revealed to People, He ended up calling an ex-girlfriend to see where they were, and thats when I said to myself, This is the last straw. This is really the last straw.

    However, even though DAgostino may have been acting suspiciously, Lesseps believes that her husband never cheated on her. He assured me he wasnt cheating on me, but that was not the perception of people around us, Lesseps said. We live under the spotlight, so you cant act a certain way you might be friends with your exes but it doesnt look good. I believe he was not cheating on me. And I hope that was the case.

    Although the couple is divorced now, it doesnt mean that DAgostino has disappeared from Lesseps life forever. During the Season 13 premiere of The Real Housewives of New York, Lesseps reveals that she can see DAgostinos terrace from her new apartment building.

    Its Toms terrace, Lesseps said during the sneak peek of the episode posted by Bravo. Its, like, right in my view. I was in shock.

    However, Lesseps has a good sense of humor about it all. The good news is I know when hes in town because the lights are on or theyre not so now I know if the lights on, I wont be going to The Regency, she said during the scene.

    Season 13 of The Real Housewives of New York returns on Tuesday, May 4, at 9/8c on Bravo.

    READ NEXT: Leah McSweeneys Nose Job & Plastic Surgery Photos

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    RHONJ Recap: Dolores Confronts Ladies for Talking About Relationship With David; Teresa’s Boyfriend Luis Makes Debut – Reality Blurb - May 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    This week on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, will we meet the ever-elusive Louie? Can Dolores forgive Joe for trashing her relationship with her imaginary boyfriend David? Lets check in with our Jersey wives and see what kind of trouble they can stir up this week, shall we?

    This episode is called Teresas Mystery Lover and last week it was Teresa In Love. Well, all you get this week is a tease and everyone pontificating about him. We get a glimpse of Louie carrying flowers in the last second of the show to her front door. Bravo is milking this crap to the very end. They might as well call this franchise Teresa and the Other Real Housewives of New Jersey. Okay, lets get started!

    Jackie is having a birthday celebration at an apple orchard. She is giving Evan instructions on what needs to be done with the kids and their virtual schooling. Really, Jackie wants him to stay away from the gym and be hyperfocused on a full schedule with their kids. Dolores calls Jackie and lets her know that she has a doctors appointment and will be late for the apple picking. Jackie is concerned that Dolores might be hurt over the party at Michelles house.

    Jennifer is getting new furniture to fill up her massive house. She hired an interior decorator to change it from Bills style. Jennifer hated their previous style with ornate fixtures and thrones on steroids. She tells her dad, John, that she is going to invite her mom over. John basically just shrugs and just seems to not be interested in anything involving his wife. Very sad.

    Jennifer then calls Josephine to invite her over. Josephine is furious and starts speaking in Turkish and you know then it is really troublesome. When a parent starts speaking in their native tongue you are in BIG trouble! Josephine is irate that they were talking about her relationship and basically made a fool of her. She is embarrassed that her personal living situation was discussed at the tea party and she is done. John tells Jennifer to ignore it and that is probably why Josephine didnt feel happy in their relationship. He ignored her discontent and chose to do nothing about it. Sad, very sad.

    Teresa and Milania are chatting in the kitchen. She is growing up from that incorrigible little girl. Joe comes over to organize the garage and basically have a manufactured conversation. He thinks she needs a man in her house to help her with this manual labor. Teresa confronts Joe about oversharing about her guy. She gets all giggly when Joe talks about how he loves seeing her so happy around him.

    Teresa admits he is the most amazing guy she ever met. She says he is smart. Hmm, I dont know if she is qualified to determine intelligence. We are all well aware that she is severely challenged in the grammar department. Joe wants her to have someone better than that meatball Joe Giudice.

    Margaret is having the cover of her book shot at her house. She put Joe B. to work to get her house in order. Joe claims he put eight years of work into that house? Marge Sr. is going to be photographed for the book as well. Margaret is wearing a green silky plunging gown with binder clips on the back of it. She and Marge Sr. will be shooting a photo for the back of the book. Margaret has way too much makeup on and she really needs to watch it since the face is sliding down as we speak. She needs to be wearing boulder holders to keep those boobs from tumbling down, and she needs to keep her bright red pout from ending up on her chin when her face melts.

    Dolores and Frank are having a joint birthday party for Gabby and Frank Jr. Their birthdays are a week apart. Frank comments on their kids and how successful they are. He is right they are both good kids despite big Franks influence. David shows up, which is a shocker! It is pretty sad that the kids arent sure who David is actually dating.

    Dolores tells them she lost her sh*t at the party over the Porsche vs. Ring debate. David could care less about what her friends think about their relationship. Dolores claims David shows up when it matters to her. I dont recall him being there for her when she had her cancer scare? Sorry, I digress. I love when Dolores said she has a beautiful monogamous relationship. Gabby chimes in with, That is a foreign concept to her, Dad! BOOM, love it, call that aging player out.

    Margaret with her tight leather pants that look like pork casing and Melissa arrive at Jackies house. They are meeting for breakfast before their road trip. Margaret discusses how Joe spoke to Dolores at the party and found his behavior chauvinistic. Dolores told Margaret that the fact that they took a poll was a scumbag move. She loves that word, remember Danielle? Melissa tells Marge and Jackie that Teresa is dating her future husband. Jennifer arrives and looks fabulous wearing a cute hat for their day trip. The ladies give Jackie earrings for her birthday.

    Jennifer tells the ladies that Josephine felt ambushed at the party. She shares that they are presently not talking. Melissa gets a text from Gino that Joe fell on the floor. She calls Joe and finds out he must go to the hospital. Melissa has to leave since Joe thinks he has a kidney stone and is in excruciating pain.

    Margaret finds it ironic that David might need to save the day by treating Joe Gorga. Joe was just slamming him. Margaret also spills that Melissa told her that Teresa is gaga over this guy. Teresa is reluctant to admit this to the ladies. She admits he is amazing, but she wants to take her time before he meets this crew. Dolores makes it to the Warwick Valley orchard winery just in time. The winery guide describes the orchard as the Disney World of Alcohol. Yes, please!

    Dolores thinks Joe is going through something. She thinks Melissa should have told him to shut his very little mouth. Teresa acknowledges that he has been going through a lot. Dolores lets the ladies know in no certain terms that she is miffed that they took a poll. The ladies are now picking apples and the orchard looks really pretty. Margaret probably wont be able to partake in eating the apples since they might cause her to lose her veneered chompers. Dolores asks Margaret how the other ladies would feel if their relationships were being voted upon. She feels they are not respecting her choices and essentially judging her. Dolores thinks that friends shouldnt do that.

    The ladies head to the luncheon where they will be doing the wine tasting. They order truffle fries, YUM. Teresa mentions that she heard Joe definitely had a kidney stone. Margaret announces that she is having a birthday/Halloween party for Joes 65th birthday. Jennifer asks, Is David going to grace us with his presence? She thinks he should appear at least once since he literally has been ghosting Dolores all season.

    Dolores loses it and resents her friends questioning her relationship. Jennifer wants Dolores to pick a lane with David. Dolores likes the commitment that she has now. I am not buying it that this is all she wants. Dolores probably loves getting expensive gifts, but she is a traditional girl at heart. Margaret wants Teresa to bring her new guy to the party, so that is when this shady dude is going to appear?

    Joe got treated by David at the hospital. David took good care of him in the hospital despite Joe bashing him. Melissa tells Joe that Margaret thinks he is chauvinistic. Joe takes offense to Melissa not defending him. He wants the old Melissa back. Joe puts her on a pedestal, and he has given her everything she wants. He thinks she is not fulfilling her end of the deal they made when they got married. Melissa thinks Joe is trying to hold her back. Joe tells her to go do her own thing, but you can tell he isnt being sincere about it. He stomps out of the room to go pout. That didnt go well.

    Teresa is getting ready to go on a date with Louie. She wears a top that pretty much leaves nothing to the imagination. In her ITM, Teresa shares that they talk all night long. Can you imagine the gibberish that comes out of her mouth? Milania thinks her mom is pretty smitten over him. She has really grown up from the little tomboy days. Louie arrives with flowers in hand to pick her up and we have a to-be-continued

    Next week, we must have the Halloween party and Louie finally materializes I think. Side note: I have to mention the transition into WWHL as we get the guys taglines, which was actually pretty funny. I usually dont watch that show, unless I am interested in the guests, but this was well done.



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    RHONJ Recap: Dolores Confronts Ladies for Talking About Relationship With David; Teresa's Boyfriend Luis Makes Debut - Reality Blurb

    David Chase and The Sopranos writers break down Pine Barrens, 20 years on – British GQ - May 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Twenty years ago today, two assholes got lost in the woods, and the greatest ever hour of television was born.

    Pine Barrens, AKA the one with the unkillable Russian, arrived deep into The Sopranos third series, just as it was beginning to hit its peak, in both creativity and popularity. It was a simple story, pitched on a whim by one of the shows most-decorated directors, Tim Van Patten, based on a dream he had: Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) and Paulie Walnuts Gaultieri (Tony Sirico) take a mope out to the Pine Barrens (a vast woodlands south of New Jersey) in the dead of winter to whack him, only to lose him along with their bearings.

    Nothing monumental happened in Pine Barrens. In fact, it barely moved the plot forward at all. For the most part, it stewed joyously in the tension between two of the shows most hot-headed and petty characters as day turned to night and they began to think they might not make it out of the snow-covered expanse at all. But it nevertheless encapsulated the spirit of the shows trademark dark humour, with Paulie and Christopher epitomising the dichotomy of the typical Jersey gangsters that the show satirised, who were at once silly and terrifying. When Christopher begins to wonder if Paulie is going to kill and eat him while he slept, the audience cant help but also question whether he would be capable of it, too. Its an absurd proposition, but stranger things had happened on The Sopranos.

    Though Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and Bobby Baccalieri (Steve Schirripa) eventually saved the two freezing idiots the former plucked from a flaming row with his mistress, Gloria, the latter dressed in ridiculous hunting gear the towering Russian, who escaped despite Chris shooting him in the head, never resurfaced. It would become one of the shows great unresolved mysteries. What happened to the Russian? Fans would grill creator David Chase and the shows writing team at every opportunity. But Chase has remained consistent in his messaging for 20 years now: it doesnt matter and it never did. I think what I was feeling then was the more you answer, the more questions that are gonna be raised, he tells GQ over the phone, looking back. That was one part of it. And thats what The Sopranos was. The Sopranos was ambiguity. With a capital A.

    We spoke to Chase, the episodes writer, Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire, The Wolf Of Wall Street), and the shows most-decorated director, Tim Van Patten (Boardwalk Empire), about the making of a masterpiece that has only grown in stature over the course of two decades.

    The Sopranos was comedic from the very beginning, but it really found its groove in series two and three, as an understanding of the characters various eccentricities enriched the viewing experience. Pine Barrens was a sweet spot for this.

    David Chase: From the first frame [of the pilot] its kind of comedic. You know, the first frame is Tony looking at this nude statue. I mean, that all played to me as absurd, at least.

    Terence Winter: When we used to hand in our scripts for The Sopranos, the writers would compliment each other, usually by saying, Oh, your script is so funny. You know, we kind of wrote it like a dark comedy. I remember in the third or fourth series we had a premiere of the show in a big movie theatre and it was really fun to get to watch it with hundreds of people at the same time. There was a situation where Uncle Junior had just entered a room and apropos of nothing said, Well, Ive fucking had it and the audience howled with laughter. They dont even know what hes actually talking about. They dont know what hes had it with or why hes upset. Its just the fact that you know this guy so well and hes such a curmudgeon. The fact that hes just annoyed is funny to people. And when you know who they are, you know all of their little peccadilloes and all their little traits.

    DC: The TV industry insists on pigeonholing things into comedy and drama it's got to fall into one of those two boxes. I just don't believe that The Sopranos ever did.

    Tim Van Patten: We all were weaned on Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, The Three Stooges informed everything at some level. There's a lot of slapstick, you know, like when Tony beats up the guy in the Bada Bing! with the fish what did they call it? the Billy fish that plays a song [Big Mouth Billy Bass]. And, you know, hitting someone over the head with a phone or Uncle Junior falling down a flight of stairs.

    DC: Laurel and Hardy, thats a big one for me. WC Fields, big one for me. Richard Pryor too.

    TW: You know, in general, in the writers room there was a lot of bullshitting and storytelling and One time this happened to me and I had a dream last night and just things that didn't seem like they had anything to do with the series. But ultimately all of it somehow would work itself back into the show somehow. In Pine Barrens theres a moment where Gloria Trillo, Tonys mistress, hits him on the head with a piece of London broil. And that happened to me in real life. I was on the receiving end of that London broil in 1982, from an old girlfriend who apparently took umbrage with something I said and nailed me in the head with this thing, and I just thought, Im going to use that somewhere.

    It was all a dream

    DC: Tim mentioned to me that he had this dream...

    TW: I was sitting in our writers room with Todd Kessler, who was a writer on the show at the time. We were just batting around ideas. And Tim happened to walk in and he said, I have an idea. It was a dream I had. Its really stupid.

    TVP: I call it sort of a waking dream. I think part of it was a dream. The long story is, when we were kids, my father was a horse player and he used to take us to racetracks all the time, all over the country, all over the East Coast. One of the tracks was down in Atlantic City and he had to sort of calm us into going by, you know, telling us that thered be a great adventure included. Part of the adventure was he would pull off into the Pine Barrens and he would fill our heads full of stories about the Jersey Devil [a mythical, hoofed creature said to inhabit the woods] and about people who go in there and disappear.

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    He had us completely sold on this and we would go in there and he would drive around a little bit and wed get a little bit lost or we thought we were lost. And it would just fill our heads full of all sorts of nonsense, and he got to go the racetrack and he would go play the horses and we'd run around. So I was thinking about that and I had a dream about it. Because its an unforgettable place to find your bearings. I guess the breaking point was I said, Wouldnt it be interesting to take someone out there to whack them, and it goes bad and the guy disappears, and the guys get lost and the victim disappears. And that was pretty much it.

    The writers knew they had struck gold when they decided to place these two morons with short fuses in such a perilous situation. A standout exchange comes halfway through the episode, when, over a dodgy phone line, Tony tells Paulie that the guy they lost had killed Chechens and worked for the interior ministry, with Paulie interpreting it as a Czechoslovakian hes an interior decorator!.

    DC: In our writers room, there was always a lot of laughing and joking. For every episode, including ones that were serious or sad. We didnt sit there all serious, it was just part of the job. There wasnt a particular laughter about this one or high spirits, but if that came across on the screen, thats great.

    TW: We all knew we had comedy gold in that it was going to be Christopher and Paulie those two characters together were always magic. They just clicked. You know, much like with Uncle Junior and Bobby Bacala, there were certain combos of characters that you knew you had gold all the time. So Christopher and Paulie in a tense situation we knew immediately was going to be funny.

    TVP: You couldnt find a better trifecta than to have Paulie and Christopher get lost and then have Bacala try to find them. It makes me laugh just saying it out loud.

    TW: It was really the question of like, How do we make these circumstances even worse for these guys? David came up with the idea that Paulie loses his shoe and then we laughed about that for a while. OK, and then they shoot something. But then, OK, what if its not actually the guy? What if its a deer? You know? So its just constant, like, how does it get worse? How do we ramp up the circumstances?

    DC: Paulie was jealous of Christophers position. Because he was, quote-unquote, related to Tony. That's part of it. I think Paulie was jealous of Christopher, because he was young. And Paulie was coming towards the end of his run. Christopher didn't like being bossed around, or being directed by Paulie. It was a power struggle.

    TW: It's always fun to write for Christopher, because of his use of language, his malapropisms, you know? He thinks he's a lot smarter than he actually is. And he tries to use words that he doesn't really quite understand, or turns of phrase that he doesn't quite get. I knew Paulie would not in a million years know what the interior ministry was, or, you know, Chechen, as opposed to Czechoslovakian, so it was about interpreting it through the stupid filter in his brain. So that was fun, too, because the phone kept dying out. So basically, it's like a game of telephone for stupid people where, you know, I whisper in your ear and you whisper to the person next to you.

    Sirico was a big influence upon his character, Paulie Walnuts.

    TW: The first time you see Paulie in the episode, he's getting a manicure. So my idea was that I wanted to take Paulie from his most pristine to completely disheveled in the course of that one hour where you've never seen him like that before.

    DC: I mean, [Tony Sirico] didn't come to us and say, Oh, it would be a good idea if Paulie was like this, he never did that. None of the actors did that, except for Joe Gannascoli, who did it once, that [his character] Vito was gay. But, no, Tony never did that. But he would say things that we would observe and they would seem to fit right into the show.

    TW: They're very, very similar. Theres an extremely thin line between Tony Sirico and Paulie Walnuts. Youd say, OK, go into wardrobe and when he came out, he would look exactly the same as when he went in. He is very much like that guy. It's no secret that Tony Sirico had been to prison as a younger man and had been involved with, you know, various aspects of organised crime in and around New York City, so he certainly understood that character very well.

    He was like the real-life Fonzie. His hair was, like, you know, perfectly coiffed all the time. Tony didn't let the hairstylist on the show touch his hair. He would do his own hair. And he once told me his whole system. If he had a 6am call, he would wake up at 3am. He would comb his hair to get it into the shape he wanted. And then he would spray hairspray in the air and let this spray mist down on his head. Much like snowflakes. And he would do that repeatedly until it formed a protective shield around his hair that was sort of impervious to wind and the elements, and I swear you could hit him on the head with a lead pipe and the pipe would bend.

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    And there's a bit when Paulie loses his shoe and rolls down a hill and the stuntman who did the stunt was wearing a wig that looked exactly like Tony Sirico's hair. And when the stuntman got up, his hair is completely disheveled. So I said, Just look at his hair. I said, That's what I need you to do. He's like, I'm not doing that. And after having worked with him for so long I knew that the way to get him to do something was tell him it's really going to be scary, or it's really going to be funny. I said, Tony, it's going to be so fucking funny for people to see you with your hair messed up. No one has ever seen you like this. And he went, All right, you c***sucker and he put his hands through his hair. And he completely fucked up his hair and it stayed like that for the rest of the episode.

    There are two kinds of people in the world: those who care about what happened to the Russian and those who do not (David Chase is famously the latter).

    TVP: I don't care. And it took me a minute to get there. David Chase, when I asked him the question, he was like, I don't care, because that's not real life. Number one: I don't pander to what the audience wants, and, also, thats just like in real life, you know, that likely wouldn't happen, you know? And I guess I sort of subscribe to that.

    TW: Everybody was convinced this was setting up a storyline where it's gonna be a big mob war between the Italians and the Russians. And, of course, that never happened. And then they were never even mentioned again. And that's real for me. Like, that's one of the many brilliant examples of David's work, where it always defies expectations. Whatever you think is gonna happen generally is the opposite.

    People kept clamouring for closure. I think we're trained from, whatever it is, 70/80 years of TV watching. We are trained that, you know, stories wrap up and you find out what happened at the end and you find out who the killer is and then you got that sense of closure. And part of what makes this show different and I think part of its greatness was that it doesn't answer all your questions. You know, there's a famous saying, I don't know who to attribute it to, but its Art asks questions, it doesn't give answers.

    Mystery is good. It'll give you something to think about at night when you have nothing else to do. It reminds me of back in the 1970s. You'd leave a movie and it was ambiguous and you'd talk about it with your friends. What do you think this meant? What do you think that meant? And where do you think they are now? It's funny, I was watching Out Of The Past, a film noir with Robert Mitchum recently. Robert Mitchum dies in the end and it's the kind of thing like, oh, yeah, they used to kill people in movies. The main character would die at the end of the movie in 1945. And now it's like nobody ever dies. Because what if we want to do Out Of The Past 2 or Further Out Of The Past? I like the idea that things don't work out the way you expect, or don't work out necessarily the way you want, and then they're confusing and ambiguous. That's what art is.

    Van Patten and Winter both initially wanted to see the Russian resurface in a later series. They pitched Chase an idea that he ultimately turned down.

    TW: As people kept clamouring for closure, I finally said to David, It would be so amazing for the audience if we finally paid off the Russian somehow. And, you know, I thought what if Christopher comes, a year later, into the Russian mob boss headquarters and sees Valerie, the Russian guy, and he's there sweeping and they look at each other and it looks like Valerie recognises Christopher. And then Valerie returns and the whole back half of his head is gone and you realise that, oh, Valerie's mentally incapacitated because of that gunshot. Maybe he does recognise Christopher but he can't say anything he's just incapable of expressing it.

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    David liked the idea and we were planning on maybe doing it. But then I made a fatal mistake of saying, The audience is going to love that. And David said, Well, that's the worst reason to do it. I'm not doing it. I'm not just doing this to, you know, to fulfil audience wishes and desires. I'm telling the best story, it's not wish fulfilment. So that was the closest we ever came to closure.

    DC: I'm satisfied. It was a long time ago. I didn't need to bring the Russian back. Ive always said that the episode was a fairy tale. It's like a Grimm story two guys are lost in the woods in the snow. It sounds like Hansel and Gretel or something to me.

    There was some speculation that the Russian was a supernatural being, in keeping with some of the more surreal, near-magical occurrences in other episodes of the show, like when Paulie visits a psychic who appears to know his deepest, darkest secrets. But Chase denies this.

    DC: I enjoy including that feeling [of the supernatural]. Like Tony's whole trip to the nether world in Los Angeles [in series six]. I really enjoyed all that. I never thought that... what was the Russian called? Vitelli? Vladamir? I never thought of him as being from another world. However, I did keep telling people it was a fairy tale. It's a fairy tale. That's all I ever said.

    TW: In their reality that is the only way they can make sense of it, that he must be supernatural. When they shoot him in the head, you clearly see the headshot. There's no question. They shot the guy and then he keeps running. And then, you know, the spookiness of being in the woods and theyre frozen and hungry. And Christopher tells the story about the Jersey Devil, which is this myth of this preacher that used to live in those woods, and it just gets worse and worse. I think their imaginations start to take over. That said, you know, there are other little supernatural moments throughout the show. And, you know, David Chase and I are really interested in that stuff and just the whole mystery of life. And there's an episode later on, where Paulie sees the Virgin Mary at the Bada Bing!. Paulie, particularly, with his experience with the psychic, is more open to that kind of stuff than any of the other characters.

    After our phone call, Chase called me back up to make one final point about the way he and his writers tried to ground the show in the comical absurdity of real life.

    DC: I dont know what you call it, the humour and the horribleness. We had one show in which we featured a homeless woman with a New York Daily News up her bum. And you can be outraged by that and only the Daily News complained or you can be saddened by that. Or theres something funny about it. And Terry [Winter] had seen that and I said we should put that in the show and we did. And the point about it is it was real. That was real life and that was what we were always trying to do.

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    David Chase and The Sopranos writers break down Pine Barrens, 20 years on - British GQ

    What $750,000 Buys You in Pennsylvania, New York and Georgia – The New York Times - May 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Lancaster, Pa. | $725,000A circa-1900 eclectic brick house with seven bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, on a 0.3-acre lot

    This property is in School Lane Hills, a neighborhood about a mile west of the city of Lancaster, so it is within walking distance of Lancaster Central Market, the Fulton Theatre and numerous shops and restaurants. It is a few blocks south of Buchanan Park and the campus of Franklin & Marshall College. Wheatland, the Federal-style house to which President James Buchanan retired after failing to prevent the United States from descending into civil war, is a mile down the road (you can visit the house virtually during the pandemic).

    Size: 4,514 square feet

    Price per square foot: $161

    Indoors: The sellers renovated the house in two phases, followed by updates. In the first phase, from 2002 to 2010, they concentrated on the first-floor public rooms and a second-floor bedroom and study, removing century-old wallpaper, repairing plaster, refinishing floors and cleaning, restoring or replacing period glass, built-ins and lighting. They also did roof repairs, painted interior and exterior woodwork, and renovated the entire third floor.

    From 2012 to 2013, they got really serious and renovated five bedrooms, two bathrooms, the sunroom, the grand stairway and the kitchen (with breakfast room). They also rebuilt all three rear entrances, enclosed a porch and a balcony, and landscaped three sides of the house, adding a stone retaining wall and 45 arborvitae trees. They estimate their total renovation investment at more than $500,000.

    The entrance is through a deep, covered, wraparound porch, into a vestibule ornamented with chestnut wood and leaded glass, a recurring theme. The foyer that follows has a chestnut fireplace with a tiled surround and hearth and chestnut columns supporting the mirrored overmantel (additional columns introduce the grand chestnut staircase). Turning left upon entering takes you into a living room that has a fireplace with a marble surround. Beyond that is a library with a bay window and floor-to-ceiling shelving. And beyond that is a formal dining room with a paneled wainscot and a crystal chandelier. All of these rooms can be closed off with pocket doors.

    Italian marble covers the floor, and granite covers the countertops, in the updated kitchen. The cabinetry is Shaker simple and includes a central island with a sink and dishwasher. A commercial-grade Viking range is tucked into a niche. The breakfast room effectively a sunroom is also connected to the dining room (the subfloor here and in the kitchen is heated). A half bathroom is next to a rear staircase.

    The second-floor bedrooms extend along a hallway and occupy either end. The primary bedroom includes a bay window, window seat and double closets. Another roomy bedroom has a curved wall of windows. A third bedroom, also spacious, opens to a sunroom. A fourth is fitted out as an office with extensive built-ins, including a closet converted into an inset bookcase. All of these rooms have hardwood floors, doors with transom windows and folding shutters. Of the two hall bathrooms, one has marble floors, a large stained-glass window and a marble counter with double sinks; the second contains a soaking tub.

    Two additional large bedrooms, separated by a sitting room, are on the third floor, along with full bathroom. The basement includes a laundry room, a half bathroom and direct access to the rear garden.

    Outdoor space: A wrought-iron gate encloses the deep front lawn with its arborvitae border. Additional grassy areas and plantings are in back, along with a detached one-car garage with a matching flared roof.

    Taxes: $14,923 (based on a tax assessment of $404,500)

    Contact: Anne Lusk, Lusk & Associates Sothebys International Realty, 717-291-9101;

    The 11 units in this ornate brownstone building are staggered on half floors, and each occupies its own level. This unit is at the front, a flight and a half up from the entrance and facing West 84th Street to the south. The American Museum of Natural History and two subway stations are five minutes away on foot. Restaurants, cafes and shops are strung along nearby Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. And a highly rated zoned public elementary school is half a block from the front door.

    Size: 385 square feet

    Price per square foot: $1,948

    Indoors: The living-and-dining room has hardwood floors and an exposed-brick wall with open shelving constructed with pipes and boards. At one end is a south-facing window bay; at the other, a galley kitchen with tile floors, wood cabinets, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

    A rolling ladder takes you up to a sleeping loft above the kitchen and adjacent bathroom (which includes a small vanity and sink and a combined tub and shower).

    The bedroom is a windowed 9-by-8-foot room off the living room; it has a closet but currently lacks a door. Free laundry facilities are in the buildings basement.

    Outdoor space: This home is less than a block from Central Park, near the 86th Street transverse, a couple of exceptional playgrounds, the Arthur Ross Pinetum and the Great Lawn.

    Taxes: $8,700, plus a monthly $506 homeowner fee

    Contact: Kimberly Chestone, Compass, 973-670-5536;

    Paul Marcarelli, an actor and screenwriter known for asking, Can you hear me now? in Verizon Wireless TV ads, has owned this condo with his husband, Ryan Brown, since 2017. The home also has the distinction of being across the street from the Unitarian Universalist Church associated with the composition of Jingle Bells (a long and complicated story that involves competing claims from Medford, Mass.).

    The building, which has five units, is smack in the middle of the historic district, a couple of blocks from the writer Flannery OConnors childhood home and less than half a mile northeast of Forsyth Park. It is an easy walk from there to the campus of Savannah College of Art and Design.

    Size: 1,400 square feet

    Price per square foot: $536

    Indoors: One enters through a private street door and climbs a flight of marble stairs to reach the second-floor unit. French doors lead into a living room with original heart-pine floorboards, a fireplace with a neo-Classical mantel and a second set of French doors opening to a covered balcony overlooking East Charlton Street. The balcony, which is framed by a brick arch, can also be entered from an adjacent kitchen and dining area with wood cabinets, marble countertops and wood knobs and pulls. (As specified by the apartments decorator, Kelly Woodton of New Jersey, the gray-and-green palette was meant to evoke grand country-house kitchens from the Victorian and Edwardian eras.)

    On the opposite side of the foyer is a double closet with a stacked washer and dryer, followed by the bedroom wing. The guest room, staged here as an office, has heart-pine floors, marine-blue walls with white trimming and three sash windows with shutters. The guest bathroom, which opens from the hall, includes a tiled tub-and-shower combination. The primary bedroom is white with wood floors and includes a private balcony overlooking Troup Square, an en suite bathroom with a walk-in shower faced in glossy dark-green subway tile and a windowed, walk-in closet.

    Outdoor space: Every square in Savannah has its own night for socializing, and Troup Squares is Thursday. The little park is distinguished by its armillary sphere, which alludes to the cosmos and is supported by six tortoise sculptures. It also has a drinking fountain for dogs.

    Taxes: $6,105 (2019, based on a tax assessment of $483,400), plus a monthly $371 homeowner fee

    Contact: Staci M. Donegan, Seabolt Real Estate, Christies International Real Estate, 912-247-2052;

    For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.

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    What $750,000 Buys You in Pennsylvania, New York and Georgia - The New York Times

    Who is who in the "Wallpapergate", the scandal that puts Boris Johnson on the ropes – Tallaght Magazine - May 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The latest political upheaval to shake the British prime minister, Boris johnson, the controversial works carried out at his official home in Downing Street, has put the leader and the Conservative Party under the suspected violations of ethical rules.

    The scandal involves a colorful gallery of characters, from the prime minister to a decorator to a billionaire lord. These are the protagonists of the so-called Wallpapergate (the case of wall paper):

    The prime minister is at the center of the controversy for not having declared how he paid for the renovations undertaken at his residence in Downing Street, subject of an investigation.

    The conservative leader has insisted in recent days that he paid personally for those jobs and is trying to get out of a scandal that could affect your popularity levels, when there are just days until the next local and regional elections in the United Kingdom.

    The scandal adds to other recent leaks that Johnson has had to deal with, such as the one that claims he claimed that prefers to have piles of corpses to decree a new confinement in October.

    Doubts about the controversial reform of the official apartment of the premier and his partner, Carrie Symonds, soared last week, when the former Johnsons main adviser and Brexit ideologist, Dominic Cummings, accused him in an inflammatory message from have searched last year that donors pay secretly for the works and claimed that he had warned him that this would be probably illegal.

    Under British law, Heads of Government receive up to 30,000 pounds (34,500 euros) to decorate his official Downing Street residence. In this case, the national media assured that the reform in question undertaken by Johnson and Symonds far exceeded that figure. until reaching an additional 58,000 pounds (66,000 euros).

    After his controversial November exit from Downing Street, Cummings has become with his leaks a spanking for johnson and in an even greater threat than that of the Labor opposition.

    Johnsons partner and mother of their young son, Wilfred, was reportedly the works supervisor in the official apartment.

    His known differences with Cummings caused him to leak pearls to the media aimed at damaging Symonds reputation. Among them, he commented that Johnsons then fiances taste in interior decorating was inspired by designer Lulu Lytle, and that she set out to eliminate the nightmare of John Lewis-style furniture (popular department stores) from the time of ( former Prime Minister) Theresa May.

    Lytle, 49, is the designer who is behind the refurbishment work performed at Johnsons home.

    She is co-founder and director of the company Soane Britain, a firm that, according to its official website, designs and manufactures furniture, upholstery, lighting, fabrics, wall-papering and interior needs.

    Born in Worcestershire and specializing in Egyptology from University College London, she also has a background in antiquities.

    Lytle is married to Charles Patrick, a veteran investment banker at Goldman Sachs, and the couple have three teenage children. They live in a valued property at 4 million pounds (4.6 million euros) close to the central London park of Hyde Park.

    According to the latest list of the richest in the United Kingdom released in 2020 by the British Sunday The Sunday Times, Lord Brownlow has an estimated fortune of 247 million pounds (284 million euros).

    It was he who allegedly donated the 58,000 pounds (66,784 euros) to the Conservative Party to pay for the controversial works, an amount practically insignificant to him compared to the almost 3 million pounds (3.4 million euros) that over the years he has donated to the Tories.

    According to a source well connected with that party mentioned in the newspaper today The Times, the donor has gone to great lengths to cheat on all the Conservative prime ministers in recent years.

    Ben Elliot, co-chair of the Tory Party, was apparently always aware of plans to finance the renovation undertaken at Johnsons apartment and he was also aware of the donation of 58,000 pounds provided by Brownlow.

    In this gearing of political connections, Elliot, co-founder of the London-based company Quintessentially which offers luxury concierge services moves like a fish in water through social circles in which members of the royal family, characters of the City of London financial center and the governing Conservative Party.

    He is also the nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, wife of the heir to the British throne, Charles of England.

    Your email address was copied to a email sent by Brownlow to the person in charge of raising funds for the tories, Mike Chattey, accessed by the British tabloid Daily Mail, dated October 14, 2020.

    According to Thursday The Times, in that email the donor Brownlow expresses his intention to donate 15,000 pounds, but also refers to the aforementioned sum of 58,000 pounds for cover payments the party has already made on behalf of the soon-to-be Downing Street Foundation.

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    Who is who in the "Wallpapergate", the scandal that puts Boris Johnson on the ropes - Tallaght Magazine

    Living in a house inspired by Japanese culture – – VENTS Magazine - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Interior design is the art and sciences of improving the layout of a structure so that the people in the house can enjoy a cleaner and more stylistic atmosphere. An interior decorator is somebody who designs, explores, manages, and oversees individual ventures for change. Interior design is a diverse discipline that involves design creation, planning of spaces, site preparation, scheduling, analysis, coordination with project partners, product development, and design execution. The society of Japan is among the worlds most influential and fascinating cultures. Their practice has dramatically influenced the robust and reliable design and decor since the beginnings of their times. It created a unique, stylish style that inspired the entire world. Among the most significant parts of the house is a communal area of the Japanese household. That is where the family comes around, tells their experiences, and even eatsthe location where Ocha, the Japanese tea ceremony, is also located. For more than 1000 years, it has been in Japanese society. For the tea ceremony to be performed, plain and modest designs must be put in line with Japanese architecture standards.

    First of all, the natural surroundings implementation into architectural configuration is characterized in a Japanese living area.

    It utilizes organic elements such as twigs, timber, and stones, which have natural colors and textures. Ornamental nature components such as the renowned bonsai tree and bamboo are also added. If high ceilings or sliding doors are possible, which open to natural landscapes, the Japanese will undoubtedly use them, inviting nature into their homes. The color scheme is essential in every Japanese design, as it can make the room comfortable or not. Consequently, the most frequently used color palette is cheerful and relaxing. This color combination also included white, beige, brown, and some green tints to represent the vegetation. The principle of modernism has prevented the Japanese from using any color palette beyond the natural worlds fundamental shades.

    An instantly recognizable Japanese screen is called Shoji and a significant design feature of Homes today.

    Because of the rising mortgage costs, the Japanese residences tend to be small, and many citizens are renting houses, it is essential to keep every rectangular inch of space. Contrary to the doors, these Shoji move backward and forwards, improving safety for a swinging door. A genuine Japanese screen usually is a fine-textured sheet on the inside of a wooden board. However, current models of these screens are available on the internet and typically consist of a timber grid of window panes. Another essential feature of these screens is to prevent direct sunlight and outdoor environment, except doors. Trying to replace a big wall with a glass-paneled sliding door might be an excellent way to add this aesthetic to your whole residence. The living room design for a house in Japan is crucial. All furnishings must be well thought through. It needs to be as minimal as possible to the floor. After the idea of less is more, much room is unoccupied in the house. Only the light fills it, enhancing the feeling of spaces calmness.

    In Japanese Traditional residences, sofas are not embraced even though theyre in more Japanese Culture residences.

    The dining room would be made of clean-geometric timber, which remains in its natural shape or is painted colorfully. Either reduced seats or puff pillowcases will be around the table. Tatami, which is rice straws tapes, would be the carpet tile underneath the dining area. As we said, ornaments always are minimized inside the Japanese Style. Just hang scrolls with famous quotations or aphorisms, and candle holders with plain ceramic plates will often have been found on the wall. Parents photographs cant be found in Japanese Traditional residences; sofas are not embraced even though theyre in more Japanese Culture residences. The dining room would be made of clean-geometric timber, which remains in its basic shape or is painted colorfully. Either reduced seats or puff pillowcases will be around the table. Tatami, which is rice straws tapes, would be the wall paneling underneath the dining area. The entry is known as a genkan by the Japanese. This region welcomes guests and where sneakers are chosen to take off instantaneously and usually substituted by indoor flip flops. The entrance has shelves or an office called tobacco, which is used to store shoes. The door is simplistic with wooden elements and a lot of artificial sunlight, as you will notice. In these houses, especially the entrances, stone tile carpeting is also widely known.

    As we said, ornaments always are minimized inside the Traditional Japanese home. Just hang scrolls with famous quotations or aphorisms, and candle holders with plain ceramic plates will often have been found on the wall. Japanese design is clean and stylish; you can already tell. In these residences, Mess is not included. As we mentioned above, in a real Japanese house, sometimes there are not even many furnishings. The point is to keep your design realistic and uncut. This Style is easy to recreate for most modern design lovers. Contemporary, spotless furnishings and wood laminate should be available. Early and modern lights should be. Or illumination could also imitate a true Japanese lantern style. Look at this sleek, minimalist Style in western life design elements overall!

    Slowly, this idea was introduced into the living room to express the Zen-philosophical thoughts.

    They are thinking about Scandinavian or Japanese interior design as of Zen or minimalist living. The Japanese society pays attention to old practices, instills modernism and Zen, and lives in harmony with nature. They sure should use trees and flowers in their fashion concepts as often as practicable. A lot of open fields and direct sunlight would still be available. Fine art also takes precedent from Japanese architecture and design. Their elegant arrangements of furniture are made of organic materials in a custom engraving workshop.

    Style of architecture and interior decorating focuses primarily on the natural realm of possibilities. Organic fibers are used in living rooms: Tatami mat, walls, and floors in Shoji style, bamboo chambers, and bamboo blinds.

    Real wood furnishings are well suited to both classic and contemporary decorations.

    They make a room look more sleek and typical. You may use wooden armoires, cabinets, frames for kitchens, etc. The living room with timber works, including wall slopes and wood lamps, can also be occupied. To add a Japanese flair to your furniture decorating, you dont need a natural wooden bath. Classic Ofuro styles are also available using granite or ceramic materials. When the ancient Japanese rituals are introduced to the Western World by the home interior scheme, just put a big bathroom in the house. It replicates the theme of a spa where citizens can swim for an extended period. If your bathroom is tiny for a big bath, you can opt to make it a little bigger. Keep tidy and bare in the remainder of the area in the toilet.

    Read more from the original source:
    Living in a house inspired by Japanese culture - - VENTS Magazine

    "My Mike Tyson": Gauri Khan’s Caption For This Adorable Pic Of Son AbRam – NDTV - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Gauri Khan shared this image of AbRam. (courtesy gaurikhan)

    Gauri Khan's latest Instagram entry is adorable in every sense. On Wednesday, the interior decorator shared a super cute picture of her and Shah Rukh Khan's son AbRam. In the picture, AbRam, can be seen looking at the camera as he sits wearing boxing gloves on his hands. Referring to boxing legend Mike Tyson, Gauri Khan captioned the post:"My Mike Tyson." Just like us, Gauri's Instafam also loved the picture and the comments section of her post clearly reflects that. "Cutie," wrote an Instagram user. "Cutest," added another fan. In no time, Gauri's post was filled up with heart emoticons. Gauri Khan and SRK are also parents to Aryan (their eldest child) and Suhana. Both Aryan and Suhana are pursuing their higher studies abroad while AbRam stays with his parents in Mumbai.

    See Gauri Khan's post here:

    AbRam frequently features on his mother's Instagram profile and we simply love it when that happens. See some of the posts here:

    Gauri Khan is an interior decorator and she owns the plush Gauri Khan Designs in Mumbai. She has given makeovers to several suburban Mumbai restaurants and celebrity homes over the years. She has decorated homes for several Bollywood A-listers such as Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor and Karan Johar among others. She has designed restaurants like Arth and Sanchos. She also designed Alia Bhatt's vanity van. She is the author of the book My Life In Design.

    Shah Rukh Khan was last seen in the 2018 film Zero, co-starring Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif. The actor produced several projects which include Netflix's Bard Of Blood, Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu's Badla and Kaamyaab. He also produced the film Bob Biswas, starring Abhishek Bachchan. The actor has signed a film titled Pathan.

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    "My Mike Tyson": Gauri Khan's Caption For This Adorable Pic Of Son AbRam - NDTV

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