The city of Boston is renowned for its
beautiful surroundings and both modern and classic buildings. People who are
looking to live in this area will find that they have a choice that cannot be
found in many other cities due to the fact that a lot of the older buildings
are still standing today. There are also a lot of new developments and projects
going on all the time. Here are some apartments for rent Boston area choices.
Boston has a wide diversity of cultures and influences
throughout its city and this can be seen in its variety of properties.Moving
into the central city area there are a range of contemporary high-rise luxury
apartments for rent.These are greatly suited to individuals who live a fast
paced life and are looking to stay close to the city centre so they are not too
far from the nightlife and their place of work.Apartments for Rent Boston
nightlife and activities.The nightlife consists of many diverse restaurants
ranging from cultures all over the world.There are also a lot of activities to
do like going to the cinema and of course seeing some of the many large sports
teams that have a home in this city.Anyone who is looking some game time action
will be able to support their local team by visiting the Boston Celtics
arenaScience Articles, the TD Garden.Here you will be able to see an NBA
championship team playing on a regular basis.If basketball is not yours cup of
tea then there are the New England Patriots who are an extremely good NFL team
and the Boston Red Sox if you are into baseball.For those who want to live in a
more classic style home there are a lot of brownstone homes which are still the
main type of property in the Back Bay area.Most of these homes have now been
converted into apartments and youll be able to find yourself a very nice living
quarters in a friendly neighbourhood.The prices in Boston can range from $500
going all the way up to $5000 per month.It depends on the type room that you
are looking for and obviously the area that it in.On average a contemporary
studio apartment can be found for around $700-$800 per month.This is an
extremely good rate for the area considering all of the local amenities that
are to hand.Boston is currently undergoing a lot of regeneration in many areas
and the Italian community have definitely seen a large change in the suburbs
where they live.This is attracting a lot more people to the area and is
stimulating the property market around.Before one does decide to make a move to
look for apartments for rent Boston is definitely an exciting place and should
be considered but one should do their research first.Visiting the areas that
you would like to live in is important before you put down a deposit.
I have been waiting so long to finally get to “tour” you through This Old Victorian. However, doing said tour in blog post form is a bit more challenging than I thought. Hence it’s taken me more than a week to get this all together! Remember Instagram was barely a thing and Stories, Snapchat and TikTok didn’t exist when we bought our house in 2014 so I have ZERO videos of our reno. Seems crazy, right? Therefore, I feel an Instagram video tour series coming on! For now, I want to share the dramatic before and afters of each space, give you a bit of a behind the scenes peek at our renovation and share a few (of the million!) things I learned about tackling a renovation of this scale.
To recap for those who haven’t followed since day one, we purchased a Victorian in San Francisco – an Italianate to be exact – five years ago. It was an exhaustive two year search, but finally found a gem. It just happened to be a diamond in the rough. It estimated build date is the 1850’s, but the exact year is unknown. The home is on the national historic register and the previous owner, who was approaching 90 years of age, had owned the home for more than 45 years.
Let’s take a tour of the first floor before we touched it, shall we? You needed a little vision to see its potential.
I knew as soon as we got the house (and looked past all the garish colors, the wall to wall carpeting and reams and reams of…stuff oh and the smell!), that I wanted to preserve the home’s amazing original historic details – original windows, crown molding, arched doorways, plaster walls and transoms to name just a few.
I was also clear that Victorian-era design – ie small closed-off rooms, no closets, zero storage, tiny bathrooms – was not conducive to modern day family life. I knew from the start that if we were going to create our forever home, we were going to have to make major layout changes. Enter our amazing architect Seth Brookshire. While I thought I had tons of crazy amazing ideas to optimize our space, he had much better ones – and they were also structurally sound – ha!
Renovation lesson one: surround yourself with very talented experts.
Here is a peek into how Seth proposed we rearrange the ground floor’s layout.
We actually changed very little structure at the front of the house. The entry and dining room retain all their original elements. We simply did our best to restore them. But as we moved deeper, the changes got much more substantial.
Our biggest structural change was the choice to remove two major walls to create an open concept living room and kitchen. This choice eliminated the long dark hallway and allowed the natural light from our 8′ tall windows to spill from one side of the house to the other. It also ensures that each room flows from one to the next.
Another significant architectural change was the elimination of an unnecessary back staircase. Removing the stairs allowed us to connect the house straight from the front door all the way back and made way for a large custom kitchen, adding a walk-in pantry, building out a dedicated laundry room and adding a powder room.
While it’s easy to summarize all this in writing, it certainly undersells the time, effort and insane amount of work and this reno required. Here’s a glimpse.
As the pictures above illustrate, nothing about our renovation was small. A sampling of the renovation and restoration punch list included:
Replacing all electrical
Replacing all plumbing
Insulating whole house
Repairing rot and and leaks
New heating and hot water systems
Restoring staircase, four fireplaces, ceiling medallions
And then there were the actual major structural changes! We added three bathrooms, opened up the ground floor and created a kitchen from scratch. And while we had an amazing architect and builder, we did not have have a general contractor, leaving the procurement of materials, the management of schedules and the coordination of trades up to us. Having never undertaken a renovation of this scale, that was definitely a steep learning curve. And did I mention that I had a baby right in the middle of all this? I had to pick every single light fixture and outlet placement six weeks postpartum. I do not recommend this.
When it was all said and done, renovations took 20 months to get the house to a point where we could move in. But don’t mistake livable for done! We moved in with maybe 80% of the work complete. We quickly learned that the old adage is indeed true. Once you move in, the work slows down to a snails pace. Life gets in the way of construction.
While on the one hand the slow down was maddening, it also gave me time to take decorating deliberately. Intentionally. And with a lot of thoughtful consideration. When we moved in I made the commitment to hold out for the right thing, not just the expedient thing. Because when you put in a placeholder, be it a sofa, dresser or even a light fixture, it’s likely to stay for years. I’m sure this has happened to you too. I did not way to fall prey to that trap. Instead, rooms sat nearly empty for months (to years!) on end while I slowly but surely figured out what both the home and we really needed.
I would like to say my patience paid off. I hope you think it did too. Here is the official after tour of our ground floor!
A clean black and white palette greets you as you as the enter the front door. We had to restore the staircase, recreating a period appropriate newel post and bannister as well as recreating a historically accurate plaster ceiling medallion. The oversized pendant by WEP (which I stalked for years after seeing it in an 2012 issue of LivingEtc) offers the air of grandeur this house demands. The leaning console by Skagerak creates the perfect unobtrusive place to drop keys and mail. The arched transition is original and one of my favorite details.
The dining room really showcases some of the home’s original architectural gems that makes my design loving heart smile. The layers of crown, the ceiling medallions, the fireplace and bank of bay windows are all built in design elements I’m lucky enough to get to play with. I wanted to create a design aesthetic that both matched that grandeur of the house’s scale, but was also allowed for comfortable family life. I would describe my final design for this house as old world European meets easy California living. The lines and details are refined and pared back, but also warm, inviting and livable. The dining room really embodies the old world European feel.
Custom credenzas by Lauren Nelson Design flank the fireplace and offer the storage and functionality I needed, with beautiful modern design I love. It took some time, but I finally realized that the dining room’s dimensions required a custom dining table. Thanks to Instagram, I found a local woodworker with whom I worked to design a custom racetrack table in a stunning bleached oak. It took over two years of scouring 1stdibs to find the oval antique mirror that now resides over the fireplace (which we restored to a historically accurate Victorian style using a Chesneys mantel).
This room may appear elegant and formal, but because it connects directly to the living room it is in fact fully integrated into the rest of the house and we eat dinner here nightly.
The easy California living side of my aesthetic couldn’t be more evident in our living room. While the original windows and restored fireplace are the architectural stars of the show, I finally figured out that I needed a custom seating area that allowed us to maximize the use of this room. That’s where I abutted my design limits. Thankfully, I turned to my friend, and design spirit animal Lauren Nelson to help me by designing more custom pieces that address the scale and spacing challenges of this room. She designed both the sectional and the stunning fluted coffee tables. Do you spy the brass feet on that sofa?? So much goodness.
Renovation lesson two: Don’t try to force a round peg in a square hole. Sometimes investing in a custom design that is made specifically for your home’s needs is going to last you much longer and make you much happier than any off-the-shelf option that only leaves you disappointed.
One of the best ways to help a newly decorated space feel lived in is to use vintage pieces to add patina and history. I spied this dramatic woven lounge chair on Pinterest and finally tracked it down at Amsterdam Modern. Lauren helped me get custom cushions made to mimic the chair’s original design, but in a more of-the-moment nubby fabric. It’s my happy place.
Directly across from the living room sits the opening to our den. I probably had the most specific vision for this room, which is why I was able to “complete” it before many of the others. I always wanted this room to envelop you in a dark, cozy vibe with tone on tone walls and furniture. The pièce de résistance of this space however, took nearly three years to complete.
I knew from the get go that I wanted steel and glass french doors to enclose this room from the rest of our living spaces. This room houses our TV and so I wanted to create a separate space for movie nights and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel binge sessions with doors to buffer the sound. But I also envisioned these french doors as the perfect book end to the black framed windows that sit exactly opposite.
Yet the oversized opening we cut during the renovation sat vacant as we saved up the budget and I hunted endlessly for perfect partner to design this custom piece. I finally found Bananas and Hammocks (on Instagram of course!). The husband and wife design and fabricator duo based in Ventura, CA fashioned an amazing set of custom doors with a matching transom. Even the brass inlayed hinges are one of a kind. When those doors finally went in this summer, I finally felt like my original vision for the house was realized.
Our kitchen reflects my more modern design inclinations. I wanted to create a clean, relatively clutter free space. We have almost no upper cabinets. A single stack houses both my oven suite from Theramdor as well as our hidden refrigerator. I love incognito appliances. I couldn’t resist open shelving at the time, but as I look back now (by nearly four years) if I had to do it over again, I might even eliminate those. Sadly you can’t see my big drama moment in this pic, but we installed a stone wall from counter to ceiling behind the range. It offers subtle texture and movement.
A desk height “breakfast bar” connects the kitchen to the living room and offers a great spot for our son to do crafts or someday homework while I’m in the kitchen. If the counters look odd, that is because we chose to make them 39″ high. We come from a line of very tall people!
To complete the tour of our first floor, you move down the hall past the kitchen, and there you’ll find our walk-in pantry (which is quite dreamy if I do say so myself), our laundry room and a powder room. I’m happy to report that we make use of every single space on this floor every single day.
I hope this 2000 world monologue has helped shed light into our renovation at least a little. If I were to impart one point, it would be this – creating a dream home isn’t necessarily quick, cheap and easy as much as HGTV and the like would lead us to believe. While sometimes a fixer can be tackled slowly, project by project and in DIY fashion, some home’s needs are so large scale that they take on a life of their own. Our house certainly resides in that latter category. Did I make many a design mistake that likely cost us both time and budget? For sure. Would I do somethings differently if I had to do it over? You bet. Did I learn so much along the way? Absolutely.
Does our house make me smile everyday? Yes. Is it a great home for my son? Most definitely. And that is really the point.
Hope you’re excited for my next 2,000 words touring our second floor! Hopefully I’ll have that done before Christmas.
If you can’t wait for that though, be sure to check out Domino’s online feature HERE! Have you picked up Domino’s winter Renovation issue yet?? There are SO many good home tours in there.
photography by seth smoot for domino magazine produced by kate berry styled by rosy fridman
If you’re going to do crafts and DIY projects, you need to have the proper tools. But there are so many things you can use and it’s hard to know what the essentials really are. We’ve got your back. Here are the craft room supplies you need to get started on that weekend DIY project.
There are so many types of glue and each one serves a different purpose.
Hot glue guns are a staple in any crafter’s arsenal. It’s really the ultimate adhesive — easy to use, affordable, dries quickly and fairly permanent.
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Glue sticks are perfect for paper projects. They’re not messy and you don’t end up with warped paper when it dries (unlike liquid school glue).
You can use wood glue to substitute for a hammer and nails and fabric glue in place of a needle and thread. It will save you hours of time and you don’t need to worry about accidentally hitting your hand with a hammer or poking your finger with a sharp needle.
While tape isn’t quite as permanent as glue, it still helps with a lot of craft projects, even if it’s just to hold something in place before it’s glued down.
The kinds of tape you’ll want to have are regular clear tape for temporarily holding things down, double-sided tape as a quick adhesive for paper projects, and masking or painter’s tape to have clean lines for paint-related projects.
3. Permanent markers
Black permanent markers are good for everything, including crafts. Along with plain black, it’s good to have a rainbow of colors available for any project.
Invest in a nice pair of scissors that are heavy-duty, reliable and cut well. It may not seem too important to some people, but a good pair of sharp scissors can make a huge difference in the quality of the work and make cutting things a lot easier. Trust us, it’s worth the investment.
5. Cutting razor and mat
These are absolutely necessary for when a design has intricate cutouts that are hard to cut with scissors. Make sure you use a mat when cutting with a razor to avoid scratching tables and countertops.
6. Paper trimmer
Instead of cramping your hand and spending hours on trying to cut the perfect straight line, get a paper trimmer. You’ll be able to effortlessly cut a smooth, straight line in just seconds. There are a few kinds of paper trimmers to choose from depending on your personal preferences and the storage space you have available.
A guillotine trimmer is great for cutting large quantities of paper at once. It’s a bit large, so you’ll need a little more storage room if you want to keep it out of sight.
A rolling or sliding trimmer can’t cut through as many sheets of paper at one time, but they deliver a more precise cut. If you need to cut geometric designs or thin pieces of paper, this is a little better than the guillotine trimmer. They also aren’t as bulky, so if you need a more compact option, this is it.
These are one of the most versatile tools you can have for any crafting project. Your paintbrushes aren’t limited to only paint but can be used for applying liquid glue, Mod Podge and even cleaning up mistakes on messy projects.
For painting, you’ll want to have a variety of brush shapes and sizes as each project will require a different type. Make sure you educate yourself on what each brush does so you can get the best results every time.
If you’re going to use a brush for glue or mod podge, a foam paintbrush is usually the best option, so it’s good to keep them on hand. They’re affordable and come in multi-packs so you don’t need to worry about trying to save them after mod podge or glue has dried on them.
8. Mod Podge
Editorial credit: Litepix / Shutterstock.com
You can use Mod Podge for almost every DIY project, so it’s a craft room necessity. There are lots of different varieties, ranging from the common classic Mod Podge to matte finish to dishwasher safe formulas. At the very least, you should always have the original formula, but you might want some of the others for specific projects.
You can’t have a craft room without paint. You’ll want to have a few kinds depending on the projects you tackle most often.
Acrylic paint is probably the most common kind and you can use it for an assortment of projects. It’s affordable and comes in every color you could possibly need.
Craft paint is similar to acrylic and can be used for most projects. It’s a little thinner than acrylic paint, so you might need to apply multiple layers to achieve your desired color, but it doesn’t dry as fast so you’ll have more time to work with it.
Watercolors aren’t as versatile as acrylic and craft paint, but they can still be used for a good number of crafts. One of the advantages of watercolor paints is you can use as much or as little water as you’d like to dilute the colors and control how bright or pale they are. They’re affordable and you can usually get away with buying a single palette of 10 or 12 colors instead of buying and storing lots of individual bottles (like acrylic and craft paints).
Paint markers are something you’ll want for writing words and creating precise designs. It’s a lot easier and comes out cleaner than trying to write words with a paint brush.
No matter what your meat and regardless of whether your sauce is Eastern Carolina vinegar, tangy Kansas City, South Carolina mustard or Alabama white, barbecue is the quintessential American cuisine, available at the fanciest of restaurants and the tiniest of downhome soul food joints.
You can find amazing barbecue from the streets of Manhattan to the beaches of Malibu. While BBQ rules the roost in places like Memphis, Kansas City and Austin, where else around the nation can you find great dry rub and sopped mops?
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We scoured the nation and found nearly 6,300 cities in the U.S. with at least one barbecue restaurant. We then calculated the percentage of barbecue establishments to the total number of restaurants in each of those towns to determine the cities with the highest ratio of BBQ restaurants. Here are the top 10.
10. Gary, IN
In 2010, the Hoodie Awards — an extravaganza held in Las Vegas highlighting the best black-owned businesses in the nation — named Big Daddy’s BBQ the Best Barbecue Restaurant in America. Standing aside competition like the famous Gates Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, MO, and Robinson’s No. 1 in Chicago, this small ‘cue joint in Gary, IN, of all places, was tops. And that’s just the beginning because, despite its northern pedigree, a full 8.79 percent of the Chicago suburb’s 91 restaurants serve Midwest barbecue.
More than just old steel mills, the Jackson 5 and the setting for “Music Man,” Gary is a post-industrial city of 75,000 that sits on the most southern tip of the southern shore of Lake Michigan, just 30 miles from Chicago’s loop. It remains a center of industrial development and transportation, despite economic difficulties in the days since steel production was the nation’s core. Gary even features the gorgeous lakefront Majestic Star Casino Resort.
A population decline and a change in economics have lowered demand for apartment rentals in Gary. A one-bedroom unit runs for a monthly average of $597.
9. Smyrna, GA
In the land of the fried chicken sandwich, it’s chopped pork that is king when it comes to barbecue. Around Georgia, pork shoulders and hams are smoked over hickory and served with a tomato-based sauce distinct in sweetness and heat from its mustard and vinegar neighbors to the north.
And just outside of I-285 is Smyrna, Atlanta’s eighth-largest suburb. The city of 56,000 holds the quiet, relatively unknown distinction as one of the South’s most barbecue-friendly towns. In fact, Smyrna has nearly 23 barbecue restaurants per 100,000 residents, the densest population among our top 10 and the ninth-highest percentage in the nation. One of the city’s most famous joints is Thompson Brothers BBQ, named one of the top 10 places for barbecue in Metro Atlanta by both Eater and Atlanta Magazine.
But outside of its barbecue heritage, upscale suburb Smyrna is an intriguing place. Having doubled its population since 1990 and tripled since 1980, Smyrna is one of the fastest-growing cities in Georgia, and with 3,500 residents per square mile, it’s also the 13th most densely populated city among all 600 in the state.
The city is known as a small business-friendly town, with a number of independent companies and stores and no single business employing more than 600 workers. Downtown Smyrna offers the Market Village development that features a number of eateries, shops and pubs, along with the Smyrna Public Library and Community Center.
To live only about 10 miles outside of downtown Atlanta in Smyrna’s suburban enclave will cost an average of $1,193 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.
8. Saint Cloud, FL
The reputation of Central Florida cuisine usually lies somewhere between giant Mickey Mouse-shaped ice cream bars and Dole Whip at Disney and miles of Waffle Houses and fast food along highway off-ramps. After all, Orlando proper has 56 McDonald’s and 33 Pizza Huts alone. It’s a tourist town populated with nearly 100,000 local employees just at DisneyWorld and Universal, so people here are no stranger to feeding hungry sightseers.
But just 20 miles southeast of the Magic Kingdom is the city of Saint Cloud. Far enough away from population centers like Orlando and Kissimmee to be considered “locals-only,” it’s the unlikely king of Florida barbecue. Within its 67 local restaurants, a full half-dozen of them — nearly 9 percent — are good ol’ Southern barbecue. Many of these, and a number of other eateries, lie along and around Saint Cloud’s 13th Street/East Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, including old school joints like Fat Boy’s Bar-B-Q, Jimmy Bears BBQ and Granny’s Southern Smokehouse.
Saint Cloud, along the shores of East Lake Tohopekaliga, is a mix of Florida locals, theme park workers, veterans and retirees, offering a lot more small-town life vibes than even its resort region neighbors. To settle down in this part of Central Florida, expect to pay $934 a month for an average one-bedroom apartment.
7. Kansas City, KS
Just across the Missouri River and State Line Road from Kansas City is … well, Kansas City. While the Missouri side may be three-or-so times bigger and have the Chiefs and Royals, the primary airport, the Power & Light District and Country Club Plaza, its Kansas counterpart has the region’s NASCAR track, a growing partnership with its consolidated county and a title that KCMO would love to covet: Best barbecue city in the Midwest.
While both adjoining cities offer slow-smoked meat, spice-rubbed and slathered with a tomato-based sauce, its KCK that is barbecue haven with 19 BBQ joints out of its more than 200 total restaurants. Sure, the Missouri side might have world-famous spots like Gates Bar-B-Q and Arthur Bryant’s, but don’t sleep on the Kansas side’s best like Jones Bar-B-Q and Slap’s BBQ — named the best barbecue in Kansas by Food & Wine.
But what Kansas City, KS, also has over the Missouri side is a lower cost of living and a cheaper place to live. In fact, KCK was named one of the best cities to start over after foreclosure. Rents here are much cheaper than across the river, with an average one-bedroom in KCK renting for $808, less than the $1,162 for the same in KCMO.
6. Decatur, AL
The first (and smaller) of the two Decaturs in our top six, Decatur, AL, has nearly the same number of restaurants overall and number of barbecue restaurants as its Illinois counterpart despite more than 17,000 fewer residents. This certainly proves that the people in the second-largest city in North Alabama love their food and are crazy for barbecue. With its dozen barbecue spots among 129 eateries for those 54,000, Decatur’s BBQ Ratio of more than 22 is the 10th highest in the entire nation.
Decatur is an important stop along the North Alabama Barbecue Trail (which runs from the Mississippi border nearly all the way to Georgia), with two featured joints on the tour, LawLers Barbecue and the legendary Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. Tradition here smokes pork over hickory, which is then chipped or chopped and piled large on a hamburger bun with dill pickle slices.
But Decatur’s location along the Tennessee River is key to its non-barbecue economy. As the busiest port along the river, it’s become a hub for manufacturing with facilities for corporations like General Electric and 3M, along with the headquarters of pet food Meow Mix and the 1.6 million-square-foot Lockheed-Martin/Boeing-combined satellite-launching rocket facility.
Each year, 100,000 people crowd into Decatur for the Alabama Jubilee hot air balloon festival and 65,000 more for the annual Spirit of America July 4th festival. To live here full time, expect to pay $481 on average a month for a one-bedroom apartment.
5. Bowie, MD
Halfway between the bureaucratic halls of Washington, D.C. and wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay, you’d imagine Bowie, MD, would be a haven for crab boils and Old Bay. Sure, the seafood and shellfish abound in Bowie, but it’s also one of the best places in the Mid-Atlantic for barbecue. More than 9.6 percent of the 83 restaurants in Bowie serve Northeastern barbecue, including hotspots like Chuck’s Wagon BBQ and Hardy’s BBQ and the local sauce company Barbecue Everything.
Bowie, MD, was named one of Money Magazine‘s “Best Places To Live In America.” It’s no wonder, with a city convenient to Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington and the Eastern Shore. But for those that stay at home, there’s plenty for the 59,000 residents, including 2,000 acres of parks and greenspace (about a fifth of the total land area), which includes more than 70 athletic fields, hiking and biking trails, the Bowie Playhouse and SportFit Bowie at Whitemarsh Park and the Bowie Ice Arena at Allen Pond Park, which also often serves as a de facto Main Street Bowie. The city also offers the village-style Bowie Town Center and the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, along with community events like Bowiefest, the Back-to-School Bash and the International Festival.
With most of the jobs for locals over in D.C. and its suburbs, Bowie (pronounced BOO-ee, not like the singer) is primarily a bedroom community. A monthly rent of $1,637 will house you in an average one-bedroom apartment.
4. Decatur, IL
Chicago and St. Louis are two of the most revered barbecue regions in the world, connected by decades of tradition and historic Route 66. So, it’s not a stretch to picture generations of travelers and pilgrims traversing the Mother Road — and later I-55 and I-57, as well — trading Chicago rib tips and sausage with Saint Louie style spare ribs. And along the way is the Central Illinois city of Decatur, the second Decatur on our list. Out of the 133 listed restaurants in Decatur, IL, more than 9 percent of them are of the barbecue variety.
The city of Decatur, IL, is perhaps best known as the first home of the Chicago Bears, known as the Decatur Staleys from 1919-1920. But the city of 72,000, just to the west of Springfield, is, much like its past, an industrial town, with facilities of large manufacturers like Caterpillar, Archer Daniels Midland and Tate & Lyle.
Decatur was also the first home of Abraham Lincoln in Illinois, having settled near here in 1830, and at the center of town is Lincoln Square and the monument at the site of the 21-year-old future President’s first political speech.
Nearby, the Decatur Transfer House is one of the most historic buildings in Illinois, an important piece of architecture that was moved from the Square to neighboring Central Park in 1962 for modernization of U.S. Business Route 51.
3. DeSoto, TX
While big cities like Austin and Dallas and small cities like Lockhart and Brownsville get all the attention around the Lone Star State, it’s the southern Metroplex suburb of DeSoto that’s the King of Texas for barbecue lovers. Out of just 58 restaurants in the town of 54,000 (the smallest in our top 10), six are solid barbecue joints. That’s more than 10 percent serving Texas beef barbecue, the most of anywhere deep in the heart of Texas, including local favorites Ray’s Bar-B-Q and Evans Pit.
DeSoto, one of the oldest cities in North Texas, grew beyond its railroad stop beginnings after World War II like many regions in the state. Today, DeSoto is a diverse city just 20 minutes south of downtown Dallas just off the junction of I-20 (Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway) and U.S. Route 67 (Marvin D. Love Freeway). It’s a city filled with urban parks and retail centers along with several attractions like the Windmill Hill Nature Preserve, the Victorian Nance Farm, helicopter excursions and Metroplex BMX, the longest BMX bike racing facility in the nation.
Rents in DeSoto, south of Dallas, are lower than its more popular counterparts in the northern suburbs like Richardson or Grapevine. A one-bedroom in DeSoto leases for an average of $1,058 per month.
2. Minnetonka, MN
When you consider all of the marvelous barbecue regions in America, of course, you never overlook the barbecue hotbed of … Minnesota? Why yes, inside the Land of 10,000 Lakes is the land of awesome barbecue choices.
Just west of Minneapolis lies the MSP suburb of Minnetonka. Outside of the tourist areas around the Mall of America and the sports arenas, Minnetonka dissolves into real Minnesota with neighborhood joints and local eateries, and where out of its 43 restaurants, the fewest in the top 10, five offer saucy barbecue.
It was just a few years ago where if you said “barbecue” in these parts, you’d get grilled meats like brats and burgers. But as real pitmasters populate the region, Memphis and Texas barbecue are melding with Scandinavian and Viking traditions to create Minnesota dishes like smoked lamb Valhalla Dip and barbecue smoked Lake Superior whitefish and trout, much with horseradish for heat over chiles.
While most of Minnetonka is tree-canopy suburban neighborhoods, you can find tasty barbecue and other eateries in the retail districts along the Interstate 394 and State Highway 7 corridors.
While Minnetonka is a suburban bedroom community for many that work in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, a number of people settle in the land of Great Water for work at Minnetonka’s Cargill, where the headquarters of the largest privately held corporation in America lie. But for the needs of either, an average one-bedroom apartment unit lists for $1,395 a month.
1. Memphis, TN
To absolutely no one’s surprise, Memphis, TN — the barbecue capital of the world — sits at No. 1 for the best city for BBQ. Not only does the River City have the highest ratio of barbecue restaurants in the nation, but it also has the third overall most barbecue joints behind only the much larger Houston and Chicago.
There’s a reason everyone knows — with apologies to Austin, St. Louis and Kansas City — that Memphis is the best place in the world for barbecue restaurants. With some of the most famous joints in the world, from Central BBQ and Payne’s to Charlie Vergos and the late Public Eye, with 142 barbecue restaurants within the city limits, there’s amazing pulled pork, ribs and dry rub around every corner.
But for those that live in and visit Memphis, the city is much more than dry rub, Elvis and the blues. Beale Street is a cacophony of music, art, drink and eateries. Mud Island is a stunning park set on an island just off the Mississippi riverfront with walking trails, museums, an amphitheater and a half-mile long, full-scale geographic model of the lower Mississippi River from confluence with the Ohio River in Illinois to the delta in Louisiana, with river water flowing southward into a replica Gulf of Mexico. And the National Civil Rights Museum celebrates the fight for equal rights at the Lorraine Hotel where Martin Luther King was assassinated.
OK, sure, there’s a no better place in the world to visit for Southern eats and events like the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, nowhere else to hear the blues than in the home of the legacies of W.C. Handy, B.B. King and Aretha Franklin and — yes — to see Graceland.
If you want to bring home the best dry rub leftovers anywhere, a one-bedroom apartment in the heart of the Midsouth will run you an average of $960 each month.
Top 50 cities for barbecue
Didn’t see your favorite barbecue city in the top 10? If it seems like there’s a ‘cue joint around every corner by you, find your town in the top 50 cities list and if it’s not there, open up your own place!
Percentage of BBQ Restaurants
BBQ Restaurants Per 100K People
Top 10 cities for most barbecue per capita
Just two of our top 10 best cities by the highest percentage of barbecue spots are also in the top 10 for the most barbecue restaurants per person, and they’re at numbers nine and 10. So, where do you find the most ribs and rub per capita? No surprise, they’re entirely in the South in the heart of the BBQ Belt.
BBQ Restaurants Per 100K People
Percentage of BBQ Restaurants
Top 10 cities for most total barbecue establishments
Combine a large metro population, a rich culinary culture and mostly a Southern pedigree and you’ll find the top 10 cities for the most barbecue restaurants overall. Every city in America with more than a hundred BBQ hangouts is in the top 10. But don’t worry, all is right in barbecue world: Memphis still beats out New York City and L.A.
Percentage of BBQ Restaurants
BBQ Restaurants Per 100K People
To determine the best cities for BBQ, we looked at roughly 6,300 cities that had at least one barbecue restaurant in a database of more than 8 million commercially available business listings. We then filtered out all cities with less than 50,000 people according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 population estimates. From there, we divided the total number of barbecue establishments by total dining businesses of the remaining cities. This gave us the percentage of all restaurants in a specific city that are barbecue restaurants. The cities with the highest percentage of barbecue restaurants were deemed to be the best cities for barbecue in our quantitative report.
Per capita calculations were based on dividing the total number of barbecue restaurants in a specific city by that area’s population, then multiplying by 100,000 to determine the number of barbecue restaurants per 100,000 people.
Our calculations may not reflect recent restaurant openings or closings.
The rent information included in this article is based on average entry-level one-bedroom multifamily rental property unit inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of January 2019 and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
Zumper Stanton Ave. | Zumper odd just how some distance your dollar goes in Pittsburgh? we now have rounded up the latest locations for hire by the use of condominium websites Zumper and condo book to get a way of what to expect back it involves discovering competitively priced flats in Pittsburgh with a price range of as much as $,month. hold a glance on the listings, beneath. word: expenditures and availability are area to change. Hoodline presents facts-pushed evaluation of local affairs and traits throughout cities. hyperlinks covered in this article may also earn Hoodline a fee on clicks and affairs. Morningside Ave. Morningside supplied by using Hoodline Zumper offered by using Hoodline Zumper right here s a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house at Morningside Ave. listed for $,ages for its rectangular feet. constructing facilities consist of storage parking. in the unit, you are going to find balk ground, vital heating, air con and a dishwasher. bodies are welcome. stroll ranking shows that the encircling enviornment is reasonably walkable, isn t primarily bikeable and has a number of neighborhood accessible busline alternatives. See the comprehensive list right here. Stanton Ave. Stanton Heights supplied with the aid of Hoodline Zumper next, there s this three-bed room, one-bathroom apartments in Bala Cynwyd. it s going for $,one hundred forty fiveages. The assemblage offers a mix of hardwood floors and carpeting, storage parking and outside space. first rate information for animal fanatics: This condo is each dog-cozy and cat-friendly. in response to walk rating, the area around this handle is rarely actual walkable, has minimal bike basement and has some transit options. See the whole record right here. Atwood St. Oakland provided by means of Hoodline Zumper take a look at this -square-foot two-bedroom, one-bathing room unit this is discovered at Atwood St. it be additionally listed for $,a hundred forty fivemonth. The building has additional space for storing. that you could also expect hardwood floor in the assemblage. Pet homeowners, purchase heed: The acreage is both dog-chummy and cat-amiable. there s no leasing payment appropriate for this apartment. stroll ranking indicates that the area round this tackle is reasonably walkable, is pretty bikeable and offers many regional public transportation alternatives. try the finished checklist right here. This record changed into created immediately the usage of local true property information from Zumper and house guide, again advised through an editor. for extra about what we re doing. additionally, if you’re an agent or a broking service, read on for actual property advertising ideas to promote your native list. acquired concepts? Go here to allotment your remarks.
house, restaurant building proposed for Oakland
No outcomes found, are trying new keyword!Wu is proposing to assemble a six-account constructing on the corner of South Craig and Winthrop Streets in Oakland, in line with a file within the Pittsburgh submit-gazette. The constructing would feature two …
The most cost-effective residences for appoint in Allentown, Pittsburgh
Zumper Arlington Ave. | Zumper in keeping with apartment site Zumper, average rents for a one bed room in Allentown are hovering around $, compared to a $ one-bedroom average for Pittsburgh as an entire. but how does the low-end pricing on an Allentown rental appear these days — and what could you get to your funds? We took a glance at native listings from Zumper and Bala Cynwyd apartments book to discover what rate-mindful apartment seekers can are expecting to find in the hamlet, which, in keeping with walk score ratings, is slightly walkable, is pretty bikeable and offers many neighborhood public transportation options. examine on for the most cost-effective listings accessible presently. notice: fees and availability are field to change. Hoodline presents records-driven analysis of native happenings and traits across cities. links included in this article may also acquire Hoodline a commission on clicks and affairs. proctor manner supplied with the aid of Hoodline Zumper offered by Hoodline picture: Zumper Listed at $month, this one-bedroom, one-bathroom space, observed at proctor approach, is .% under the $month median hire for a one bedroom in Allentown. The building points outdoor house; the house also has high ceilings, stainless steel home equipment, a dishwasher and a deck. bodies and canines aren t accustomed. The record specifies a $forty application fee. See the complete list here. climax St. provided by using Hoodline Zumper supplied by Hoodline Zumper This two-bedroom, one-bathing room rental, situated at climax St., is listed for $ages. The constructing includes extra storage space as an advantage. Pet house owners, inquire in other places: This spot does not allow cats or canine. seem to be out for a $ software fee. See the complete list right here. Arlington Ave. provided by Hoodline Zumper supplied via Hoodline picture: Zumper right here s a three-bedroom, one-bathing room home at Arlington Ave., which is going for $ages. The building comes with out of doors house. in the unit, you are promised chrome steel home equipment and in-assemblage laundry. Pet lovers are in luck: This rental is both dog-matey and cat-amiable. The checklist specifies a $ software charge. See the entire list right here. fifty three Millbridge St. supplied via Hoodline Zumper supplied by Hoodline picture: Zumper again there may be this ,-square-bottom living area with two bedrooms and one bathroom at Millbridge St., also listed at $ages. you re going to find an eat-in kitchen and a dishwasher within the unit. bodies and dogs don t seem to be accustomed. Be organized for a $ software payment. See the record here. This epic became created instantly the use of local real estate information from Zumper and condominium ebook, again advised through an editor. click here for extra about what we re doing. moreover, if you’re an abettor or a broker, read on for true estate advertising ideas to promote your native record. got strategies? Go right here to allotment your comments.
You know how to break up with a romantic partner when it’s not working out. “It’s not you, it’s me,” you tell them. Or, “I’m not ready for a long-term commitment.”
But how do you break off a professional relationship — like with a real estate agent — when it’s not working out? Can I fire my real estate agent, you’re wondering. Yes, you can. Professional relationships can go bad if you’re not happy with the service you’re getting. And like any bad relationship, they need to be ended.
“When you reach the point where it’s not going to work and you don’t want to deal with that agent, you should tell them,” says Elizabeth Weintraub, a REALTOR® based in Sacramento, Calif.
Let’s talk about some of the reasons you might be unhappy with the person helping you hunt for a house, and how to fire your real estate agent.
Your Agent is Ghosting You
One of the most common complaints buyers have is that their agent isn’t communicating with them. If your agent isn’t returning your calls, or you’re getting a text when you wanted to speak with them, that could be a problem.
Sparse communication is especially annoying if you’re house
hunting in a tight market where you have to act fast when you see a home you
like. To keep your relationship healthy, tell your agent how often you want
them to be in contact with you, and what your preferred methods of
Weintraub says she makes it a point to talk to her clients about
communication as soon as she begins working with them. “I ask, ‘How often do
you want to hear from me? Do you want me to call, text, or email? Are there
times during the day that are not convenient?’” she says.
If you’re consistently not hearing from your agent as often as you’d like, have a chat with them. Be open if your expectations also need alignment. But if you don’t see any agreed change, it might be time to get a new agent.
Your Agent Just Doesn’t Get You, And You’re Over It
There’s no eHarmony for real estate. But even if your agent isn’t a match made in house hunting heaven, you should be able to have a professional, courteous relationship with them.
But sometimes, people clash. If you’re a Type A person, an agent who has a laid-back approach to business might drive you nuts. If you’re dipping your toe into the real estate world, an agent who wants you to make quick decisions may make you uncomfortable.
Buying a home should be a enjoyable adventure. If you and your agent aren’t a good fit and there’s no resolution in sight, get a new agent.
Before you part ways, read any contractual agreements you signed with the agent. If you signed a buyer broker agreement, you may have promised to work with the agent for a set period of time. You’ll need to ask to be released from the agreement early if that’s the case.
Once you know you can fire your agent, call him and tell him so.
Be calm. Be polite. Be clear.
You don’t need to provide a lengthy explanation, but you do need
to tell them you won’t be needing their services any longer so they won’t
continue to look for homes on your behalf.
Do not fire your agent via text. In professional relationships,
just as in romantic ones, it’s not OK to breakup via text. Call them.
Do not ghost your agent. In real estate, as in romance, that’s cheating. If you buy a house from another agent without ending your relationship with the first one, you may be on the hook for multiple commissions.
TIP: Working with a buyer broker is a smart idea. A buyer broker represents you in the search and purchase of a home. If you work with the seller’s agent or an agent without a contract, that agent isn’t obligated to work in your best interest.
Have High Expectations From the Start
When a relationship reaches its breaking point, it’s good to
reflect on where it went wrong — with a tub of ice cream and Taylor Swift
songs blaring in the background. You want to learn from your mistake so you
pick a better person next time.
“Don’t latch onto the first agent you meet because you’ve got someone willing to show you properties,” Weintraub says. “You’ve got to be simpatico from the beginning.”
When you decide you’re ready to be a homebuyer and need a real estate agent, write down a list of things you want and need. Do you need someone with expertise in a specific neighborhood? Do you need help finding a lender? Do you need someone patient enough to answer a lot of first-time homebuyer type questions?
Also, ask for recommendations from friends and family who have
recently bought a house. Look at reviews online. Once you have a name, meet
with an agent and discuss your expectations before you hire them. Make sure
they’re someone you like and trust enough to guide you through the biggest
financial transaction you’ve ever made.
Remember, putting the effort into finding a good agent can save you the awkwardness of firing a bad one.
Preparing your house for winter may not be on the top of your to-do list right now. After all, most of us wouldn’t rather spend their down time doing home maintenance tasks when they could be enjoying the fall foliage, going apple picking, or sipping pumpkin-spiced lattes instead of winterizing their house. But, here’s the reality: you can’t procrastinate if you want your home to be fully prepared for the winter elements.
Indeed, cold weather, ice, and snow can do real damage to your home — unless you take the time to prepare it before the winter chill takes hold. Completing this checklist will effectively winterize your home — and make your abode a lot more enjoyable when the thermometer dips.
Winter drafts can drive up your energy bill — and detract from the cozy vibe you want inside your home when it’s cold outside — if your windows have any air leaks. But by reducing drafts you can lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20% per year, according to the U.S. Energy Department, while also making your living space more comfortable.
V-seal weather stripping. Add this plastic weather stripping along the sides of the sashes. Windows can open and shut evenly with the V-seal in place. (Pro tip: Weather stripping also works wonders on doors.)
Rope caulk. This soft, sticky stuff can be molded to fill the gap — and the caulk removes easily at the end of the cold season.
Shrink film. Applied with double-sided tape, this clear plastic sheeting shrinks drum-tight when heated with a hair dryer. The film seals off drafts and captures an insulating buffer of air. Use rubbing alcohol to help release the tape in the spring to avoid stripping off any paint.
Nail polish. If carefully applied, clear polish fills the crack almost invisibly. Once hardened, it will stabilize the glass until you can replace it in the spring.
Draft snake. If the bottom of your window is letting in cold air, buy a foam-and-fabric draft snake kit. Cut the 36-inch foam tube provided to length and slip the washable cover over it. Then place the snake on the sill, and shut the window on to seal the deal.
Trim Tree Branches
The last thing you need is a winter storm loosing the wrath of that mighty tree whose branches are angling over your roof. Not to mention, overhanding limbs can cause excess water to seep into cracks in your home’s roof or siding, which is why you want to make sure any tree limbs or branches surrounding your home are at least 3 feet away from the house.
There is no bird nest or debris buildup on the cap.
There are no tree limbs above or near the chimney.
The mortar and bricks on the chimney aren’t crumbling or missing.
The chimney rises at least 2 feet above where it exits the roof.
The chimney crown — the sloping cement shoulders at the top of the chimney — is beveled, which helps air flow.
The flue liner is visible above the chimney crown.
The chimney is plumb and not leaning to one side or the other.·
The roof flashing is tight against the chimney.
Inside your home, confirm that:
The flue damper opens, closes, and seals properly.
There are no combustible materials, such as animal nests, or other foreign objects in the flue.
The fireplace surround, hearth, and firebox have no cracked bricks or missing mortar.
If you spot any damage, order a professional fireplace and chimney inspection. An inspection costs, on average, between $79 and $500, depending on whether you’re ordering a level-one or level-two inspection.
Gas fireplaces require less maintenance, but you should still:
Inspect the glass doors for cracks or latch issues.
Check that the gas logs are in the proper position.
Turn gas off at the shut-off valve and test the igniter.
Ignite the fire and look for clogged burner holes. If present, turn off gas and clear obstructions with a pin or needle.
Check the Roof
You certainly don’t want to find out you have a leaky roof after the first snow hits. A roof inspection can help you spot any potential issues.
Squeamish about heights? Don’t worry — you can do a thorough inspection from the ground using a pair of binoculars.
Work your way around your house, looking for these defects:
Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
Missing or broken shingles.
Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.
Some roofing fixes are easy to do yourself, such as repairing shingles or calking flashing, if you’re comfortable working on a roof. If you’re not, you’ll want to consult a specialized roof inspector. Be prepared to pay between $119 and $296 for a standard roof inspection.
Clear Out Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged rain gutters or downspouts can damage your home’s foundation or cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. So, after the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Also, make sure the gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water, tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets, and replace any worn or damaged materials.
Finally, finally the full reveal of the before, design and after of the upstairs floor of This Old Victorianis here! Finishing the second floor – specifically our master bedroom – really marked the culmination of this crazy five year renovation project. And I couldn’t be happier with the final result. I can’t to hear what you think.
Ahhhh, there’s the grown up master I’ve been dreaming about – basically for an entire decade. But let’s back up and start from the very beginning. Because it’s a very good place to start!
We actually did the more dramatic and extensive renovation of our upper floor, (as compared to the ground floor), if you can believe that. While the original layout featured four bedrooms, it actually left a tremendous amount of wasted space. And with only one teeny tiny totally insufficient bathroom, it really was not practical for how we live today. So we went to work. Nearly 24 months of work to be exact. The original floor plan for our upper level is on your left, the remodel on your right.
As you can see from the plans above, we accomplished three major things with our overhaul of the upstairs:
Removed the second set of stairs, reclaiming a significant amount of usable floor space
Created an entire new kid’s bath using the fainting room off the front bedroom
Built a master suite, connecting unused hallways, the original bathroom & the fourth bedroom
While our new layout did result in losing a bedroom, now there is not a single square foot of wasted space and I have the master of my dreams. So everyone wins! Now for those oh so glamorous Before shots.
What is now my son’s room started off the same color as the original Apt 34. How’s that for full circle?
Can you imagine a lovely vanity against that wall and a deep soaking tub under that window?? Nope, I can hardly envision it either. But keep scrolling to see how we got there.
Here is the 2nd floor in process.
Demo of what was to become my master closet and then master bath. As I mentioned in the post about our first floor, we had to take everything down to the studs to replace all of the knob and tube wiring, add in modern plumbing, add insulation (the entire house wasn’t insulated) fix rot in the framing and floors…we discovered more problems as we went of course. A renovation is often like a pandora’s box of problems!
This view looks from the stairwell back into what would become the kid’s bathroom.
We made sure to preserve original 1850s architectural details like the arched hallways and the glass transoms above each door.
What lath and plaster looks like when scraped back to its bare bones. I actually think it’s quite lovely.
It’s alway a good idea to lay out your tile pattern as a test run.
Once the new floors went in, I thought we were so close. And yet we were still so far.
My master bedroom looked like this 1.0 version for the better part of two years.
And here is the complete(ish) tour of our second floor!!
As you ascend the stairs from our entry, you turn right to find two doors facing one another. One leads to our son’s room, the other to our master. This bedroom was the last space I completed as its design challenges plagued me for quite some time. You can see my documentation of my master bedroom saga here.
Figuring out this bedroom is where I ran up against my design novice limitations. The layout and scale of the space just stumped me. I finally realized I needed yet another custom piece to deal with the room’s unconventional window placement so enter Lauren Nelson Design. Lauren and her team’s custom bed & amazing custom fireplace finally helped me realize the bedroom of my dreams! Lauren also sourced the exceptional vintage rug and an amazing refinished dresser (which you can see here) to complete the space. While I never thought I’d put a bed below a window – supposedly it’s a no no – but that is exactly what this room requires and it lives so well now. I just lay in bed and gaze lovingly at that fireplace. Swoon.
Reno tip: know your limits – Learning by trial & error is both too time consuming and $$$. You’ll save yourself time, money & marital drama if you just hire a pro when you need one.
As you move from our bedroom area, you enter a passthrough en route to the master bath. There you encounter two more doors. On one side sits a pocket door for our WC. The other pocket door leads to what was the original upstairs bath (see the before above) and is now my walk-in closet!
The end of the passthrough leads to our master bath. I won’t sugar coat it. A master bath the size of a bedroom is luxurious for sure. Two full vanities, a soaking tub and a massive walk in shower offer that spa like feel that I should probably work to appreciate more than I ever take the time to do. I think I over compensated for living in 800 sq feet for more than five years.
If you’ve been following along all this time, you’ll already know that my master bath was another ride on the struggle bus. Lighting is both my crowning jewel for this house, but also my nemesis. After multiple attempts, I think I finally got it right. You can see the story all about my major rookie lighting mistakes in our bedroom and master bath right here.
My son’s bedroom , while shoebox-shaped and smallish, still offers plenty of room for fun. Two windows allow natural light to spill in all day long. Wall-mounted shelving and a darling toddler bed from the Netherlands maximize the floor space to ensure there’s plenty of room to play – and keeps the space whimsical!
The room’s curved wall long served as yet another major design conundrum, but Carter’s love of outer space finally sparked an idea. I found a set of constellation decals on Etsy and simply colored over the stars with a glow-in-the-dark marker. Now he has his own starry sky to admire as he falls asleep every night.
You can see Carter’s entire toddler room design (and his original nursery) by clicking right here.
Finally, there is our kid’s bathroom. I was rather disappointed that this bathroom did not make the cut for Domino, so I had to be sure to share it here. I so love this space. The floors, one of my first major design decisions for the renovation, are hexagon handmade tile by Fireclay set in an ombre pattern. They start dark at the doorway and transition to white as you hit the tub. While a touch difficult to see in this image, the tub is also surrounded by Fireclay tile, this time running in a vertical stacked pattern all the way to the ceiling to create a clean, modern look. The floating vanity really lets you appreciate the tile floor and helps the room feel a bit bigger. I intentionally did not install a backsplash for an extra clean, modern look. Three years in and the walls still look great. This room is whimsical and playful but has the classic bones that will grow along with our four year old.
The only other upstairs space you do not see here is our guest room. In an ideal world every single corner of This Old Victorian would have been perfect for Domino, but real life often gets in the way. So instead the guest room served as my photo staging area – aka where I hid all my crap – hence why it is absent in the feature. You can see our guest room here though. Although I’m now about to completely redo it. Cuz a blogger’s work is never done.
And there you have it. I hope this gives you a (more) complete picture of this renovation process. There were many additional mishaps along the way. Like when our crawl space flooded and submerged our brand new furnace. Or the winter we had major rains and discovered some of the house’s windows still leaked when there was water running down our kitchen walls. I suspect such adventures are likely to never end. It comes with the 150 year old house territory.
I hope I’ve given you a realistic view into what a true restoration entails. I’ve certainly learned more than my fair share about all things interior architecture, renovation, restoration and figuring out how to turn a house into a home. I’ve leaned it’s not a quick and easy process, but really it isn’t supposed to be. Building a home that reflects both who you are and who you want to be takes time, commitment and a whole lot of patience.
But the end result is worth the wait.
For the complete tour of the first first floor of This Old Victorian, CLICK HERE.
For the online feature in Domino magazine, CLICK HERE.
For the entire five year history of this renovation saga, CLICK HERE.
For my newest project – a complete redo of our yard CLICK HERE.
When I started Apt34 (more than 12 years ago!), the primary purpose was to gather and share inspiration created by people much more talented than I. It’s still my favorite thing to do and the primary reason I’m still here after all these years. Hence why I have a little end of the year gift for you today – a tour of what has to be my new favorite home shop in San Francisco – The House by Tracy Simmons Design.
You might think that San Francisco is awash in amazing home decor stores, but that’s actually far from the truth. The gems are few and far between which is why The House feels like a breath of fresh air. Chic, swoon-worthy fresh air.
Every item in The House is hand selected by owner and highly accomplished interior designer Tracy Simmons. Many of the items she’s carrying are custom designs made exclusively for the shop. There are a variety of lovely ceramic collections speaking to the on going handmade trend, but the pieces in The House are an elevated take on the look. The ceramic fruit bowl by SIN that typically has a rustic or boho vibe in other contexts, feels elegant and refined when paired with FRAMA soaps, Aieul candles and the crisp modern fine art photography collection by my dear friend Bess Friday.
Everything from the the yummy cashmere throws by Teixidors to the 100% non toxic fragrances from LA-based Fiele are luxurious but approachable. The custom designs from Sheldon Ceramics and one-of-a-kind vessels created by ANK Ceramics beg to be to touched and admired up close. All of the textures are so warm and inviting.
Tracy and her team also use the space as their design studio, which almost makes the environment feel like you’re in someone’s home – where you want to drop by and stay for awhile! They always have a cup of tea or a little bubbly to offer you – and who am I to say no?!
The House is a fantastic addition to the San Francisco design scene and I feel lucky it arrived in time for holiday shopping – even if all the shopping I’m doing is for myself! With a soft opening this month, The House will celebrate its grand opening on January 16, 2020. I have a strong feeling only more gorgeousness is going to be added between now and then and I for one am so excited to have The House on my regular design shopping rotation.
The House by Tracy Simmons Simmons Design is located at 3307 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, California. The store is open from Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For our entire Retail Therapy archive (featuring stores all around the Bay Area and beyond) CLICK HERE.
The day after Christmas and all through the house, nobody knew what to do with the darn apartment tree now that Christmas was over.
When you live in an apartment, you may not have the ability to just drag your old tree to the curb and wait for pick-up.
Whether you have a dumpster, some community trash collection area or indeed can put trash out at the end of a driveway, there are a number of ways for you to safely dispose of your tree after Christmas instead of watching it turn brown in your living room as the calendar changes.
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Here are 11 Christmas tree disposal ideas for you as the season winds down.
1. Put the tree out with the trash
The easiest thing to do with your tree after Christmas is to take it out to the trash to be collected as recycling. Depending on your rental situation, this may mean hauling it out to the curb, taking it out to your bulk trash pickup area or having some designated tree plan.
If your apartment is in a residential neighborhood and you regularly take your trash to the curb, check with your local city or township for rules, dates and times as to when you’re allowed to put your tree out with your normal collection for recycling.
If you live in a building or complex with private or bulk pickup (like a dumpster), ask your landlord or management office what the policy is (or look for a posting on a community bulletin board or in the Facebook group) and when and where you can take your tree to be sent to its final resting place.
But if your apartment or complex doesn’t have or doesn’t allow drop off of your tree, you have a few options…
2. Take your tree to a drop-off site
Most municipalities have some sort of organized tree drop-off plan. In fact, there are more than 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs throughout the country, most run by local waste disposal departments. Drop off your tree, drive away and don’t look back — unless you want to see your memories given the “Fargo” treatment. It couldn’t be more simple.
The idea of hauling your slowly-decaying tree in your personal vehicle to a drop-off site may not sound like fun, but doing it right will minimize the damage and mess. If you can find a bag or box big enough to hold the remains (even if you have to cut it into a few pieces), you will keep pine needles and sap from getting all over and in your car. Then, do the reverse of how you got it home in the first place. Strap it to the roof or toss it in the back. And if none of this is feasible, find a friend that owns a pickup.
3. Chip your tree into nothingness
Instead of abandoning your tree at a recycle dump like an unwanted child, turn your tree into wonderful mulch. If your apartment has a garden or flowerbed or a landscaped lawn, you can toss O’ Tannenbaum into a woodchipper and let your tree live on.
Mulch and chips are great around bushes and small trees where they can help keep moisture in the soil and stave off direct sunlight. And as the chips decompose, the wood releases nutrients into the ground.
Don’t have a giant woodchipper lying around your apartment? No problem. Many cities and non-profit organizations offer chipping events where you can have your tree turned into mulch and either take it home or donate it to the local parks and rec department to be used in city parks.
New York’s two-day “Mulchfest” is held annually around the city and recycles more than 26,000 trees a year. And in Atlanta, the “Bring One for the Chipper” program is more than 25 years old and shreds more than 100,000 trees annually.
4. Dump your tree into a lake (nicely)
An alternative to schlepping your tree to a recycler or drop off is to dump it in a lake. Believe it or not, you can actually toss your (chemical-free) tree, trunk and branches separately into a pond or lake and the wood will provide shelter for overwintering fish. Discard your tree and help the environment.
Well, not just any lake and not just however you want. First, find a nearby lake or pond and then, contact the municipality where it’s located to make sure you’re following all local ordinances.
5. Dump your tree into your fish tank
On a much smaller scale, you can also snap off some of the smaller branches and twigs and arrange them in your home or office fish tank to give your fish a new and natural place to hide and chill out. Just be sure the wood is completely clean and dirt free before tanking it.
6. Reuse just the needles
If you don’t have an outdoor space (or fish), you can just upcycle the needles. Before you take your tree to a drop off site, shake a bunch of the needles off into a bag and spread them over the soil in your outdoor spaces or in a flowerbox or planter. The needles break down like mulch and work on balancing out the pH levels in alkaline soil.
7. Use your tree to smell fresh year ’round
The needles can also keep your house smelling sweet all year, as well. Only if your tree’s needles are still green and fresh-looking (give them a sniff), strip a bunch of them off and toss them into small paper bags. Stick the bag anywhere you want to smell piney fresh like a closet or catbox area and they’ll last a lot longer than you’d expect.
8. Make fire from your tree
If you’re one of the lucky ones to have a fireplace in your rental, congratulations … you have some post-Christmas firewood for the rest of winter. You may not have a woodchipper at your disposal, but someone you know somewhere has a saw or axe if you don’t have one. With great care, take your tree to an open space in your complex (ask to make sure you’re allowed) or somewhere nearby and start chopping.
Well, not right away. If the wood is still wet, take it away from a water source and let it dry. Wet wood in a fire can cause fires where you don’t want them. And if your tree is too dried out, it won’t burn properly. It’s a fine line. Either way, most Christmas trees are small and slender, so you’ll wind up with some good kindling or fire starters.
9. Replant your tree
If you have a backyard spot or community green space, and your tree hasn’t been cut or had its root ball damaged, you can actually replant it. If you live in warmer climates, and if your tree didn’t get dried out inside your house, especially next to vents or heaters, your tree may have a second life.
And new to the scene are actual companies that will rent you a tree, deliver it for the holiday andthen come pick it up and replant it for you. It’s like Netflix for Christmas trees (OK, well kinda)!
10. Return your tree
And believe it or not, you may actually be able to return your tree! No, not for your money back, but in many places, you can drop your tree off back where you bought it. Some large lots and tree farms will take your tree back and recycle or upcycle it themselves. Ask them when you make your purchase if you can return it, or give them a call.
11. DIY your tree
Remember, your tree is made of wood! That means, if you have the requisite skill, you can make the perfect Etsy-level DIY projects from your soon-to-be-former Christmas tree. Try some of these projects, using the trunk, the branches or just the twigs:
Regardless of what you decide to do with your Christmas tree, just know you have options other than dumping it somewhere under the cover of darkness. Or you could always just go with the artificial version and box it back up for next year.
Whether you’re expecting snow or just colder temperatures, it’s best to prepare. Stock up on all the essentials — plush blankets, ingredients for s’mores, hot cocoa mix and candles easily make the list, but there’s one more thing to be ready for — the flu.
Flu is a winter disease because you have to be relatively close to a sick person to catch it. “Situations in which people are crowded together are more common in cold or wet weather — and so, perhaps this contributes to spreading the flu at these times,” says Hugh D. Niall from Scientific American.
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When you stand beside someone with the flu and they cough or sneeze, you’re at high risk of catching it. Knowing how and when it spreads, means you can take the proper steps to avoid it.
Surviving flu season
A typical flu season runs from about October to May each year. “Flu activity often begins to increase in October and November. Most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and February, and it can last as late as May,” according to the CDC’s FAQ on flu.
In 2019, there were between 37 and 42 million flu cases in the U.S., ranging from minors that required no treatment to hospitalizations and even death. It’s a treatable illness, and shouldn’t be ignored.
Avoiding the flu
Each year, 5-20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu on average, but it’s possible to avoid getting sick by taking a few extra steps during flu season.
1. Keep things clean
People can carry the flu without having symptoms, so during flu season, treat every visitor like they’re spreading germs.
After visitors come over, whether they seem healthy or not, do a quick wipe-down of commonly touched items like those in your bathroom and kitchen. Use a cleaning wipe on doorknobs and countertops.
2. Wash your hands often
Whenever you touch something many people come in contact with — elevator buttons, door handles, the pole you hold onto on a bus or subway car — you need to wash your hands or take a squirt of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to kill those germs.
Between washes, make sure you’re not touching your face. This helps you avoid introducing any germs into your system.
3. Avoid sneezers and coughers
You need to be about three feet away from a sneeze or cough to prevent airborne germs from reaching you. Keep your distance, if possible, and avoid touching contaminated items like used tissues or things handled by someone who is obviously sick.
4. Stop sharing
In this instance, not sharing is caring.
Keep your food and beverages to yourself during the flu season. Don’t share silverware or straws or take bites from someone else’s food.
5. Get enough sleep
Sleeping between seven and nine hours per night helps ensure your immune system is in top form to fight off the flu and other illnesses.
Beyond all these safety measures, the best way to avoid getting the flu is to get a flu shot early enough in the season to give it time to work for you. “It’s best to get your shot by the end of October, before flu season peaks between November and March,” says Elizabeth Narins from Cosmopolitan.
Luckily, it’s easy to find a location near you that has flu shots with urgent care centers and local drug stores providing access. Most places don’t even require an appointment.
Catching flu symptoms before they spread
Flu symptoms settle in early and build over the course of the illness. You’ll start feeling better between 5-7 days, but it can take up to two weeks to fully recover. Initial symptoms include:
Fatigue and weakness
Body aches, sweats and chills
You’ll most likely also have a fever between 100-104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Over the first few days, general symptoms may get better, but local ones like a sore throat or cough can get worse.
Are you more susceptible to the flu?
While many flu symptoms mimic those of the common cold, it’s important to not ignore them during flu season, especially if you’re more susceptible to getting the flu and at a greater risk of complications occurring. According to the Mayo Clinic, you’re at a higher risk during flu season if:
You’re younger than a year or older than 65
You live or work in a heavily populated area
You have a compromised immune system
You suffer from a chronic illness like asthma or diabetes
You’re on long-term aspirin therapy and under the age of 19
You have a BMI of 40 or higher.
Treating the flu
Doing all you can to prevent the flu doesn’t mean you won’t catch anything. If you do get sick this flu season, the most important things you can do are rest, hydrate and keep a few over-the-counter medications handy.
Pain relievers, cough suppressants and decongestants are good staples for your medicine cabinet. You don’t have to see a doctor unless you have a medical condition that puts you at a higher health risk.
Staying healthy this flu season
Winter is a hard time to stay healthy for many reasons. Between the cold and the crowds, germs can lurk anywhere. With a few precautionary measures in place, you can reduce your risk of getting sick during flu season.
There was a time not too long ago when gray was all the rage in interior design. After all, it’s a simple color to work with, especially for novice decorators, and there are quite a few (dare I say 50?) shades of gray to choose from.
As is the nature of trends, it seems gray has been overdone to the extreme, with homeowners outfitting their abodes in the neutral hue from floor to ceiling—accessories and furniture included.
You may be perfectly content with your gray decor scheme, and that’s no problem—unless you’re planning on putting your home on the market anytime soon. According to real estate professionals, having an all-gray aesthetic, particularly in the living room, could impact the sale of your home. Ahead, find a few reasons why.
Buyers scour countless homes when they’re house hunting, so it’s important for yours to stand out from the crowd.
“When it comes to appealing to more prospects, I find that the more bright a home is, the better it shows,” says Miltiadis Kastanis with Douglas Elliman in Miami. “White just reflects light better and gives the impression of a more open and airy space.”
Plus, you’ll want to remember one of the most important rules of showing: Encourage potential buyers to see themselves in your home. If they have to paint over your gray walls, that may be a deterrent.
“Buyers like to envision the space as their own and redesign it in their head as they walk through,” he says. “Naturally, a white canvas leaves more room for the prospective buyer to mentally create, curate, and tailor a home to their specific taste and style.”
He advises sellers to “neutralize” gray walls, fixtures, or decor before putting a home on the market.
While gray comes in countless shades, ranging from warm to cold, it’s a color that can bring people down.
“Too much of a gray color creates sadness and a tendency for loneliness and isolation,” says Marlene De Cespedes with Douglas Elliman in Miami.
Instead, incorporate different tones, textures, and finishes of white, ivory, and sand into the space to make it look “elegant, fresh, airy, and chic,” she says.
The color doesn’t photograph well
In today’s increasingly screen-dominant world, a buyer’s first impression is almost always via an online listing, and photographs are key in making it stand out. Gray doesn’t necessarily translate well in photos, says Danae Aballi with Douglas Elliman in Newport Beach, California.
“You can’t capture a room’s personality and cheer without a little contrast, so we use pops of color to make the photos stand out,” she says. “People buy homes for the future memories and experiences, so it’s natural in life to have some color. All gray just lets your imagination fall flat.”
City dwellers see enough gray as it is
When you live in a concrete jungle like New York City, you’re pretty much surrounded by gray everywhere you go, from sidewalks to skyscrapers to subway cars. So, do you want to go home to a gray space? Not really, saysPhillip Salem of Triplemint in New York.
“Many of my buyers and I are seeing all-gray living rooms from the walls, to the rugs, to the coffee table, and even once on the tint on the windows. Most of them feel this overwhelming sense of gloom immediately walking into the apartment,” he says. “Buyers want to view apartments that are inviting and feel like an oasis and escape from the gray colors outside.”
Salem suggests adding pops of color and texture into a space by incorporating accessories and plants.
Finally—and put simply—it’s been done.
“When a design or fashion trend reaches the saturation point, it is seen everywhere and becomes tired and predictable,” says Gerard C. Splendore of Warburg Realty in New York. “It is safe to say that, once a trend is almost ubiquitous, it is probably on the way out because everyone has it and there is no sense of surprise or newness. The public is ready for the next big thing.”
Consider a prospective buyer who’s viewed several homes in a single day. At the end of the day, if they’ve seen more than a couple gray living rooms, it’ll be hard for them to distinguish one from the other, Splendore explains. “To the home buyer, one gray living room is as good as another,” he says.
And while gray’s replacement as the color du jour remains to be seen, Splendore is ready for something original. And he’s not alone.
“Any relief from an overused trend is refreshing for both a realtor and a home shopper,” he says, adding that he’s willing to take a chance and stage his next listing with any other color but gray.
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Name:Revae Schneider and her dog, Bogey Location: Roscoe Village — Chicago, Illinois Size: 1,000 square feet Years lived in: Rented
This holiday decor house tour originally published several years ago, but it’s such a beautiful example of a classy, elegant look that we like to rerun it for inspiration and ideas every year! At the time of her tour, Revae Schneider loved getting into the Christmas spirit in all the classiest ways. There were no multicolored Christmas lights in the apartment she shared with her dog Bogey (who has since passed away, sadly)—her color scheme was strictly white and gold with roses all over.
An entrepreneur, she founded RS Collective–a “Chicago-based consulting company specializing in interactive mixology classes, cocktail recipe development, and more” in 2011 and more recently, Mahalo Vibes, a creative and social media consulting firm. Since cocktails play a role in her career, she had over 350 bottles of booze around this apartment, which she housed on antique bar carts, some of which she restored herself.
At the time of this tour’s publication, Revae had a fascination with Paris, which you could see all over her space. There are French sayings, as well as books from Parisian fashion houses. Whimsical no matter the season, fresh and preserved flowers mingle with glints of metallic gold in a home tour that’s easily one of Apartment Therapy’s favorites throughout the years.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Inspiration: I’d like to think when I come home that I’m transporting myself into what will eventually be my apartment in France.
Favorite Element: I love that I’ve had a hand in finding everything: various antique markets, Craigslist, and refurbishing a lot of it—and all of the antique glassware!
Biggest Challenge: Finding enough space to hold a business and a home in one!
What Friends Say: It’s like you live in a Pinterest Board! It’s glamorous and feminine, sometimes I don’t know if I can sit down!
Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen backsplash (not my choice since I rent)
Proudest DIY: My 1920s bar cart. I originally got it for someone I was seeing and things went south before it was finished, but I worked so hard on it and it works really well in the space now as our whiskey cart.
Biggest Indulgence: Original artwork
Best Advice: Go slow, keep your eyes open in really random places, and have fun!
How will you possibly find the apartment that is right for you when there are several to choose from? Allow me to share five things to consider that should assistance with this process.
What part of town is most attractive to you?
This kind of sounds like a no brainer, but it is imperative to know the town or city that you are planning to live in. Be sure you research the area thoroughly and then select the part of town where you prefer to live. By simply doing the research on a particular place in advance of time, you become acquainted with the area and find the section that is merely right for you.
Couple of areas more prone to crime than others? You would naturally want to avoid these.
Are some areas more pedestrian friendly? Where is the offered?
Where are shopping and entertainment options?
Where are parks located?
Are some regions of town cheaper to are in than others?
The set of things to consider can seem to be endless, but knowing the answers to questions will help you distinguish in which the exact part of town is that best matches your lifestyle.
Installment repayments on your Where can you afford to have?
Much more goes into your living costs than just what is needed for rent every month. Along with this preset expense, things like electricity, water, heat, internet, and cable must be considered in as well. Many apartment complexes will also charge an additional every month payment on top of your rent if you have a dog or a cat.
It is recommended that you spend only 20 to twenty-five percent of your online income on housing. In the event that you discover beforehand that you cannot afford to are in a particular place, it makes it that much easier to cross it off of your list.
What types of amenities are you interested in?
Apartments for lease are typical over the place when it comes to the types of amenities they offer. Some stadiums have pools. Some do not. Some have exercise facilities along with field hockey and tennis courts. A few do not. Incidents where provide car washing bays, game rooms, clubhouses, saunas, and racquetball courts. Upon the flip side, there are other apartments that may well not even provide you with a free car parking space. You have to decide what you need in conditions of amenities and what you can live without.
Apartments for hire come in all size and shapes. There are massive processes that house hundreds of tenants, small houses that are home to a single family, and fairly much everything in between. Larger complexes generally provide more amenities, nonetheless they also tend to could prove costly money. Smaller homes and duplexes tend to offer more private outdoor space. The question is, so what do you want your living environment to be like over a day in, day out basis?
How long of a time commitment do you want to make?
At the time you get started the process of renting your brand-new home, you will most likely have to sign a lease contract with the landlord. Several landlords only use one year leases while some may offer three or six month obligations. Other folks may even allow you to rent on a month to month most basic, simply needing you to give an one month notice before you plan on moving out. In the event that you know that you would like to stay in your apartment for some time, then the one year lease may be fine for you. In the event, on the other side, you may have to move quickly, a month to month option is probably the best choice.
What is the customary tip for your luxury high-rise doormen? or for that matter, your super, your porters, and housekeeper? Every other guide simply defers to the non-advice of “it depends.” So we will try to be more concrete. First, check out our guide on how MUCH to tip doormen.
Most people who give will give more than you think
In an infamous and wide-ranging study, Sociology professor Peter Bearman sent students out on a massive crowd-sourced effort to interview doormen everywhere and ask about tipping. He found that most of your neighbors will lie about how much they give – because they actually give more!
What’s the logic?
Some are naturally more generous. Others more frugal. We all lie somewhere on the spectrum, but of course we prefer not to spend more money than we need. Most New York residents aim to be slightly above average tippers in their building. So they will tell their neighbors when asked a lower amount.
Perhaps they say they gave each doorman $50, but they did not include the Macy’s Gift Card worth another $50. Or that $50 only went to the least favorite doorman, but others got up to twice as much!
But Many Give Zero!
Ok, maybe not MANY, but a larger percent than most millennials would expect. Unfortunately, you can’t count the cheapskates into your equations. In some ways, it’s better to give nothing at all and have the staff assume you don’t know the culture and tradition. Because if you do tip, and it is far below the typical amounts, you actually end worse than the non-givers.
What actually happens to you when you are a low or zero giver? Don’t expect any over the top service in the future. The next time you have guests coming over or a heavy delivery, the doorman will be very by-the-book. No bending the rules to make life easier. But worst of all, residents have reported that they KNOW when the tip was too low. The staff suddenly stiffens up into a very stoic, almost blatantly obvious cold tone for the next few weeks. Ask yourself, is it really worth saving a few bucks if it means coming home to an awkward building lobby for the entire next year?
If you actually own your unit via a condo or co-op, then going the cheap route is incredibly foolish. Things happen when you live in a building for a long time, and you want the staff that is there day to day to be on your side.
Who To Tip
The luxury high rises, large no-fee doorman buildings, and private social clubs make this easy for you. If you should be giving a tip, or at least the staff expects it, they will send you the classic holiday mailer in late November or early December. For no apparent reason, they think you want a list of the names and sometimes tenure of all the staff members. In some cases, it lists their position, and in all cases will have staff nicknames in case you don’t know their full legal name.
How To Tip
Cash versus gift cards vs check? That’s easy – they don’t like gift cards as much, for the same reason you don’t like gift cards. You need to actually deal with the hassle of spending the cards. Sometimes if you had a personal conversation about liking a particular store or brand, it can be a nice touch to add a gift card – but only in addition to the primary tip.
As for cash versus check, doormen probably prefer cash in all cases. But there is a practical reason to give checks. At least you will know that the correct person received the tip, AND the doormen will also track it properly (yes they do track). Best of all, YOU can track over the years in case you’ve forgotten. And as a practical concern, if you don’t keep the correct hours to see each doorman individually, you might need to drop the checks and cards into the communal box or to the trusted “main” doorman, in which case checks are simply more secure.
When you do the hand-off, you don’t need a long speech. They know the game and have dozens of other residents doing the same thing daily. But thank them for their hard work, wish them happy holidays, offer a firm hand shake, with extended eye contact, and you are done!
Back in 2009, Lawrence and I were speaking with one of our early investors about spam messages. Specifically, Craigslist postings at the time were full of low quality ads, and for anyone with a legitimate apartment, they would find their inboxes quickly filled with unsolicited offers.
“Getting rid of spam is easy!” the investor told us excitedly. “You just need to make sure the spammer doesn’t realize they are banned.” This particular investor knew a lot about spam – he was one of the inventors of modern spam filtering today.
So finding and identifying the spam is not hard. But how do you make a spammer go away? The practice known as “hell banning” or “shadow banning” comes from the old days of dial-up modems and bulletin board systems, but deployed in modern apps such as WeChat, Reddit, and RentHop’s apartment finder and messaging system.
Why Is It Called Ghosting?
The idea is, eventually the problematic or abusive user will see that his or her messages appear to be sent to and seen by everyone else. However, the crowd just ignores them completely; no one even engages with or interacts with the offensive post. The banned person, unable to elicit a reaction from anyone, leaves and brings their toxic attitudes elsewhere.
Perhaps it’s like the classic movie Ghost, when the hero desperately tries to have an impact on the world around him but is unable to do so? Or how about Sixth Sense and the classic quote: ” Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.”