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Apartment Living

Hand Shake Replacement: Elbow Bump, Fist Bump, Or Wave?

Hand Shake Replacement: Elbow Bump, Fist Bump, Or Wave?

Originally posted on March 27, 2020 8:46 am

Updated on March 26, 2020 9:14 am

Over a decade ago, founder of TechCrunch Mike Arrington ranted about why we should all stop shaking hands as a ritual in all things business and social. He cited all the germs and unhealthy reasons we shouldn’t do it, and suggested some alternatives like bowing and fist bumping.

The Elbow Bump

For some reason he was anti elbow-bump, but if you’ve ever met him, Mike Arrington is super tall and tended to wander Palo Alto’s University Ave walking his dog. Elbow bumping someone much shorter than you while getting tangled with a dog leash is probably awkward. For those of us on the shorter side, I’ve come to terms with the unequal height bump, which usually requires some raised arm-pit action. It’s not bad in the winter, but I can see problems in Bay Area weather and attire.

Image result for elbow bump or handshake

Fist Bump

The Fist Bump seems to be a hybrid of sorts. You are still touching the other person’s exposed skin, and any germs on their knuckles. The fist also defeats one of the original medieval purposes of the handshake: to show the other side you are not holding a weapon. Or for more modern times, fist bumping just feels more of a bro-culture move, further promoting Brotopia as Emily Chang would say, and alienating those who prefer the more gentle and empathetic hand shake.

The Wave

Not a bad alternative for the anti-elbow people. As a software engineer an introvert, I like the wave because it is what we call an order-one algorithm. In the old hand-shaking world, if you meet 5 new people in a meeting, you feel obligated to shake all 5 hands. It gets increasingly strange when you hit a room of say, 9 people — small enough that it’s weird to leave anyone out, but not large enough where it’s obviously too impractical.

I’m a fan of the wave, but its biggest strength is also its biggest weakness. It isn’t personal. You wave at the whole room, or these days, at the entire Zoom gallery view of collaborators. Perhaps in this work-from-home era, we will learn to get more efficient and turn greeting rituals from linear order-N processes into order-one.

One solution is the wave and mini-nod. You can still personally greet or say goodbye to a small group of 3 or 4 people, if you wave at each one, one-by-one, and sort of nod your head to each one. And if the crowd is too big, you can convert it to a mass wave to all of them. You pan the room while waving, as if your hand were a flame-thrower or shower head, and you’ve engulfed everyone in the spray.

What solutions do you have for navigating the post handshake world?

Published at Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:46:25 +0000

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Apartment Living

Millennials and Boomers: The Best of unlikely friends

Millennials and Boomers: The Best of unlikely friends

Millennials and Boomers: The Best of unlikely friends

My daughter sat down next to me and looked like she had something serious to say. “Mom you don’t look as old as grandma did to me when she was your age.” At first, I thought that this was a compliment, but after a moment of reflection, I wasn’t sure if it was a compliment, or more of a statement of fact. So I said “what makes you think that I look younger”? She said that my clothes were trendy, and I have a lot going on in my life. My new position as the National Sales Manager for @Callassist24/7 has been an exciting challenge. I have always been passionate about the multifamily industry and about helping people find solutions to make their lives easier. Call Assist 24/7 has a simple solution for call management that makes communication with apartment residents seamless by using the native tools in our cell phones to text.

We are in a unique time in the multifamily industry history where we are experiencing a strong period of high occupancy. As the Baby Boomers look to downsize as they retire, they are moving into apartments in unprecedented numbers. (Source: Housepedia)  Strapped by huge student loan debt, the Millennials find that renting an apartment suits their needs financially. They want the flexibility that home ownership cannot provide. How will these two groups relate to one another co-habituating in the same apartment community?

One group likes to read print and the other group prefers to tweet, post, like and share their communication. Central Media Solution has the perfect answer with their print for both generations. @ApartmentMagz is a targeted apartment publication that gives you the option to hold and read a magazine or the ability to see it on a mobile device. Both generations are seeing the same content, but in a manner that makes them both feel comfortable. In addition, a vanity URL in the ads will offer both groups the option to go directly to the website of the apartment community to see more information.

If my daughter doesn’t view me as “old”, then I won’t view her as an internet obsessed young’un. As age and circumstances have brought these two groups together, all for one and one for all, they can help each other. Boomers have much to learn from Millennials about technology and creating sustainable environments. We raised these young adults to make the best decisions that they can by sharing our failures and successes. Age diversity makes for a strong sense of community. When we have communities, neighborhoods will grow strong and we will be better for it.

Published at Thu, 05 Mar 2020 12:51:56 +0000

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Apartment Living

Is Bleach or Vinegar Better to Get Rid of Mold?

Is Bleach or Vinegar Better to Get Rid of Mold?

Mold is a fungus that grows in a wet or damp environment. It reproduces and forms ugly black spots on your tile grout or your shower curtain. When left untreated, it gradually destroys the look, smell and structural integrity of your home.

Mold can cause health problems, too, such as allergic reactions and even asthma or lung infections. By keeping surfaces dry and clean, you’ll prevent damage to your home, save money and avoid potential health problems.

So, how do you kill and remove mold in your home? Clean with the right products like bleach and vinegar. They can both kill mold, so which is best?

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Bleach

Bleach is a popular cleaner because it’s powerful and leaves a surface looking clean and bright. Yet, using bleach is only effective on mold that’s growing on non-porous materials, such as tile and glass. Bleach can’t penetrate mold that’s growing on surfaces like concrete, wood, drywall and unsealed tile.

Unfortunately, using bleach on some materials kills the mold above the surface but the mold continues to grow underneath, which can cause it to return and grow faster. Another disadvantage of bleach is that it can damage the materials it’s used on as it is a harsh and toxic chemical.

For killing mold with bleach, use a ratio of one cup of bleach per gallon of water. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners, as it will produce dangerous, toxic fumes. Wear rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin and eyes. Open windows and doors to ventilate the room.

Although the active ingredient in bleach, sodium hypochlorite, is the main ingredient in many mold removal products, there’s a non-toxic alternative — vinegar.

Vinegar

Vinegar is a mild acid that’s effective for killing mold and can actually help prevent future mold growth. While not as strong as bleach, you can use vinegar to clean porous surfaces like concrete, wood, drywall and unsealed tile.

Don’t use vinegar to clean marble or granite because it can eat away at the surface and cause discoloration. To clean these fragile materials, the Organic Consumers Association suggests using rubbing alcohol or vodka with water.

To clean mold with vinegar, just spray it on the moldy surface and leave it. Repeat this every few days to prevent mold from growing back. Vinegar is a natural all-purpose solution for killing germs and removing odors. Combine it with some orange peels to make your own citrus vinegar cleaning spray and use it to clean everything in your home, from your bathroom to your kitchen counters.

Removing mold from your home

Because of its non-toxic nature, vinegar is usually the best cleaning product to use on mold. If vinegar isn’t strong enough, use bleach and heavily dilute it (about 1 part bleach to 10 parts water).

Cleaning mold with vinegar is safe and effective, but large quantities of mold should be cleaned with specialized equipment. If you have extensive mold growth, call a professional to tackle the job. If you’re renting and find mold in your apartment, contact your landlord immediately, take photos and keep records of any health problems that you encounter.

The CDC provides these suggestions for cleaning up mold in your home:

Chart outlining how to clean mold from your home.

Source: CDC

Tips for preventing mold growth

The best way to fight mold is to prevent it from growing in the first place. Keep your bathrooms, kitchen, basement, storage rooms and other areas of your home well ventilated. Humidity levels in your home should be no higher than 50 percent. Here are some things you can do to reduce the moisture and keep your home mold-free.

  • Fix leaky faucets, showers or household appliances that use water (dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters, etc.)
  • Vent bathrooms, clothes dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
  • Use air conditioners and de-humidifiers
  • Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, cleaning and bathing and run ventilation fans for at least 10 minutes after taking a shower or finishing cooking.
  • Fix leaks in your home’s roof or walls. Clean out gutters to prevent leaking.
  • Clean bathrooms and dry completely
  • Remove or replace carpets in rooms like bathrooms or basements that have a lot of moisture
  • Check windows for condensation and keep them clean and dry

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Published at Thu, 19 Mar 2020 13:39:04 +0000

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Apartment Living

I Tried 5 Home Office Tips To Make Me More Productive—and Here’s What Worked

I Tried 5 Home Office Tips To Make Me More Productive—and Here’s What Worked

Last year, I transitioned from a full-time office job to a more flexible, work-from-home situation. And like most people, I anticipated the whole thing to be a piece of cake. You mean I can take breaks whenever I want? Have my own office? Design my own space? Yeah, I’ll be just fine, I thought to myself. And then reality set in. Turns out that working from home comes with its own set of challenges.

As much as I wanted to take on a top-to-bottom office makeover to support my new work-from-home lifestyle, it wasn’t quite as financially possible as every blogger makes it look on Instagram. I made the WFH switch to start my own business, so income was more sporadic than before. It took me months to even get around to having a desk in my office space because I was waiting on hand-me-down furniture. And while getting a desk is definitely a game changer, there have been a handful of other changes I’ve made that have been even more beneficial. Most of them are tiny changes that cost no money at all, and all of them helped me feel more productive, settled, and happy with my at-home work environment.

Let go of the idea of having the perfect office right away.

For a long time, the idea that my office wasn’t “finished” kept me from feeling settled in the space. I wanted a different desk, better lighting, a mirror. I somehow got it in my head that the space wouldn’t work for me until it was perfect. This, however, only prevented me from being as productive as possible and making the best of the space as is. One day, I know my office will be “perfect,” but in the meantime, it works for me just fine. I no longer let the imperfections distract me, and I’ve become more productive because of it. 

Buy a laptop riser, and a wireless keyboard and mouse.

I put off buying a laptop riser and wireless keyboard and mouse because I thought I didn’t need them. I didn’t want to spend the money when my laptop worked just fine. But trust me. Buy the riser if nothing else. Your neck will thank you later. 

Get a separate monitor—even if it’s your TV.

Much like the laptop riser, I resisted the idea of needing an extra monitor for my desk. But once I started using an old, small TV we had as an extra screen for my laptop, I realized what I had been missing. A separate monitor is the one big thing that made me feel less like I was just at home on my laptop, messing around and more like I was actually working from home. For some people, making your TV a computer monitor is as easy as streaming your computer’s screen to an Apple TV with AirPlay.

Find a hidden place for your printer (oh, and get a printer).

If you’re like me, then you probably used your office job as an auxiliary print shop. But you’ll need your own printing setup when you’re working from home. Once I finally bought one for my home office, though, I found that having a printer sitting on the floor or on a random table is well… not the most aesthetically pleasing thing. If you can, figure out a clever way to hide it. It will make the space feel much more streamlined. I put ours in a hutch and drilled a hole into the back to feed the power cord out the back. It was simple, and made a huge difference in the space feeling less cluttered. 

I have a much, much smaller desk now than I did when I was in an office. Eventually, I’d love to upgrade it to something bigger, but for now, it works just fine. What doesn’t work, though, is cluttering it with a bunch of office supplies, candles, and hand lotions. As much as I love to have all of those things within reach, having them on the desk just made me feel overwhelmed and cluttered. But working from home has enough distractions as is. Trust me, you don’t need any extra stuff on your desk adding to it. 

Ultimately, I think that working from home and having a home office is something entirely personal. What works for one person probably won’t work for someone else. But if you’ve just made the transition and are looking for somewhere to start, these tips certainly won’t hurt.

Published at Tue, 17 Mar 2020 12:00:00 +0000

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Apartment Living

4 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Boho Bedroom

4 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Boho Bedroom

When you think about the boho decorating style, you’re most likely to imagine a room full of flowery and colorful patterns with lots of pillows and dozens of blankets – and you wouldn’t be wrong.

Because there are no rules when it comes to bohemian décor, you can get as creative as you want. For instance, you could choose a neutral palette or a mix of all colors possible and it could still be considered boho.

Nonetheless, to help you get started, we put together some tips that might come in handy. All you have to do is get excited and start creating.

1. Explore the flea market

A place of hidden treasures, the flea market should be your first stop. Pack some patience and energy and get ready to hunt down the most original and antique pieces you can find. From wall décor to furniture, there’s something for everyone. And remember, the more colors you incorporate, the better your boho bedroom will look.

Vintage drawings, photos or paintings are also great for decorating and, fortunately, there’s no shortage of these at a flea market, so go ahead and start digging through the piles.

2. Incorporate plants and flower patterns

Luscious and colorful plants have a way of making any room cozier, so fill your bedroom with them Then, once you fill the room with as much green as you can, it’s time to add more color. Throw some flowery rugs on the floor and lovely quilts on the bed – as many as you can. In fact, you can never have too many quilts and cushions in boho design, so select the ones that best brighten up the room.

3. Focus on coziness

Granted, the bed is the central piece of the bedroom and your design should focus on it. But, because it’s boho décor we’re talking about, you don’t need a fancy and overly modern bed. Keep it simple and comfy. All you really need is a bed that’s low to the ground or even just a mattress. Especially if it’s a comfortable one, just place it on the floor and this should do just the trick.

Meanwhile, throw pillows are perfect in any room, so choose colorful ones and add them to the layers of quilts you already have on the bed. As for furniture, add a bench seat or a chair to the room. This will add depth and character, as well as provide more places to relax in.

However, just be careful about clutter. The temptation to fill the room with all kinds of colorful things will be strong, but try to limit yourself only to pieces that add aesthetic value to the room. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have books or candles around – just don’t overdo it.

4. Let some light in

Regardless of whether the space has plenty of natural light, twinkle lights are essential for any boho bedroom. Hang them on a mirror, the walls or the bedframe to nail that bohemian feel.

Similarly, if you plan on using curtains, opt for a single color. Earthy tones are often preferable as the rest of the bedroom will already be abundant in all kinds of patterns and colors.

All that’s left is to relax and enjoy your new boho bedroom. Make some tea, put on some nice music, and submerge yourself in this oasis of peace and comfort.

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Published at Thu, 12 Mar 2020 09:10:00 +0000

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Apartment Living

Coronavirus in Your Apartment Community: How To Stay Safe

Coronavirus in Your Apartment Community: How To Stay Safe

There has been a flood of information online about how to keep yourself safe from being exposed to or contracting novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as it spreads across the world and the nation.

As of March 10, at least 730 people in 36 states have tested positive for the disease, but that number is growing every day.

Preventing coronavirus in your apartment

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered a number of reference articles and official statements on how to best protect yourself and your family.

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But for apartment dwellers, those with common spaces, mailbox clusters, lobbies, trash chutes and a plethora of door handles, keeping safe and practicing prevention habits is a bit more difficult. From your own personal hygiene to how to manage your apartment to what to expect from your landlord, here are all the tips, suggestions and instructions straight from the CDC just for renters and apartment tenants.

1. Wash your hands often

Wash your hands after you touch another person or a common surface. Wash your hands before and after you touch or prepare food. Wash your hands after using the restroom. Wash your hands after you cough, sneeze or blow your nose. Wash your hands when you get home from being out.

Wash by covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. When you wash, rub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Experts have recommended singing “Happy Birthday” twice. If you’re tired of that, try other songs with 20-second choruses like:

  • “Take on Me” by A-ha
  • “Jolene” by Dolly Parton
  • “Raspberry Beret” by Prince
  • “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo
  • “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees (like that CPR scene from “The Office”)

If soap and water are not available, disinfect your hands by utilizing a 60 to 95 percent alcohol hand sanitizer and following the listed instructions.

washing hands

2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick

This seems obvious. But since you never know who is sick, minimize contact in general, as well. Spread out on the bus or subway or in line. Touch elbows instead of shaking hands or fist-bumping, or politely decline to touch at all. Try to avoid touching common surfaces others touch in public places and in your apartment building or common areas as best you can. Don’t share food or drinks.

3. Avoid touching your face

No matter how hard you try, you’re going to touch unsanitary surfaces or people. To prevent infecting yourself, do your best to refrain from touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as these are the main entry points for disease.

4. Cover your mouth

If you must cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue, then throw the tissue into a trash can that has a closed cover. The same goes for blowing your nose. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve like you’re doing “The Dab,” not into your hands.

5. Maybe forgo that face mask

According to the CDC, people who are not sick (or don’t feel sick) should not wear protective face masks, because they’re not effective in keeping out the very small virus. Face masks are only for people who are already symptomatic to prevent them from spreading the disease to others. The only exception is for healthcare workers or other close-contact care providers.

6. Clean and disinfect

Keep your apartment neat, clean and organized to maintain a healthy environment. Clean regularly and sanitize often using items like Lysol spray and Clorox wipes on “high touch” surfaces including countertops, tabletops, doorknobs, nightstands, bathroom fixtures, toilets, refrigerator handles, kitchen faucets, light switches, TV remotes, cell phones, computer keyboards and tablets.

7. Stock up but don’t hoard

While unlikely, it’s possible you may wind up quarantined in your apartment, or even just sick and self-quarantining. For that scenario, which shouldn’t last longer than two weeks, you should stock up (but not hoard) a few basic items:

  • Non-perishable items like canned meat, fish, beans, soups, broths and stews, fruits and vegetables, and canned or powdered milk
  • Ready to serve items like peanut butter, jelly, crackers, nuts, trail mix, dried fruits and granola bars
  • Baby food and pet food
  • Bottled water, fruit juices and fluids like Pedialyte or Gatorade
  • Toothpaste, toilet paper, tissues, feminine supplies, diapers, laundry detergent and disinfectant
  • Hand sanitizer that’s minimum 60 percent alcohol, over-the-counter cold and flu medicines and any refills of prescriptions

flu mask

Coronavirus protection in your apartment building or community

When you live in a public space like an apartment building or complex, protections from coronavirus become more communal. Precautions are no different than the CDC encourages you to take in your own home, but the difference is you don’t have control of everything that happens.

If you’re concerned about your management’s preparation for coronavirus prevention, sit down with your landlord or property manager and find out if they’re following CDC guidelines. Here are some suggestions for protections they can take based on CDC recommendations.

1. Make hand sanitizer available everywhere

You don’t have sinks to wash in all over your lobby or common areas, so your building should provide hand sanitizer everywhere — at the front desk, at the gym, by the mailboxes — and encourage residents, staff and visitors to use it often.

2. Clean a lot

Just like in your apartment, high-traffic surfaces in common areas should be cleaned and sanitized, and it should be repeated multiple times a day. The staff should be instructed to disinfect commonly-touched surfaces in places like the front desk, lobby restroom, mailroom, game rooms, elevators, door handles and delivery areas. All deliveries should be left in the lobby for pickup and not taken to apartments.

3. Close the garbage

All trash cans, both outdoor plastic garbage cans and lobby wastebaskets, ought to have working lids which should be kept closed. No one wants to, or should be forced to, pick up used tissues that have fallen on the ground.

4. Don’t come in if you’re sick

Apartment management should implement flexible sick leave policies and make sure all workers and staff know that their jobs are safe and they won’t be docked pay for staying home if they’re sick. Sick employees will only spread infections to residents. Ask management to ensure all contractors are following the same policies.

5. Be transparent and communicative

All employees, residents and visitors should be encouraged to alert property management if they believe they might have contracted coronavirus, especially if they have used common areas. That way, other residents and staff can be notified and take appropriate precautions.

sick person

If you’re sick or feel like you’re getting sick

Even with all of the precautions, there is still a chance you’ll contract the disease. Follow these steps the moment you begin to feel sick, even if it just feels like a cold.

1. Stay home

Unless it’s to see your doctor or go to the hospital, stay in your apartment and don’t go out. Don’t go to work, school or to public areas. Try to avoid public transportation, taxicabs or rideshares. Not only will you not infect others, the more you stay at home and rest, the faster you’ll recover. Utilize food and personal item delivery if necessary.

2. Separate yourself from others at home

As best you can, stay in a designated sick room and keep away from other people. Eat separately from others. If your apartment has more than one, designate a bathroom just for you. Avoid touching pets, as well. If you must feed or clean up after a pet, wash your hands before and after as detailed above.

3. Don’t share household or personal items

Set aside drinking glasses, plates, silverware, sheets and blankets, towels and toiletries for your use and your use only. Clean them thoroughly with soap and water after every single use.

4. Wear a face mask

As mentioned above, only people who are already sick (or people caring for those that are) need to wear a face mask. If you’re sick, wear one around other people (or pets) or if you go see your doctor.

5. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands

See above for details.

6. Clean and disinfect even more

Sanitize your apartment as explained above, but do it every day.

7. Call before going to the doctor

Keep an eye on your symptoms and seek medical attention if needed. Give them a heads up before you go to allow them to take precautions to keep others visiting their office from being infected or exposed. If you suspect you only have a cold or flu, consider a virtual doctor’s visit. If you must call 9-1-1, inform them of your symptoms before they arrive, as well.

Additional sources:

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Published at Tue, 10 Mar 2020 13:59:59 +0000

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Apartment Living

7 Storage Coffee Tables That Are as Pretty as They Are Functional

7 Storage Coffee Tables That Are as Pretty as They Are Functional

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

It happens to all of us—busy days and lazy nights lead to an overcrowded coffee table full of remotes, books, chargers, and more. An easy way to keep the clutter from taking over? Storage coffee tables. With built-in drawers and compartments, these tables ensure your stuff’s always got a place to live, and you don’t even have to walk to put it away! It’s a win-win. We found the prettiest and most functional coffee tables to help you get your space clean and clutter-free. 

Justina Blakeney Bora Coffee Table

This bohemian coffee table is stunning enough to earn a place in your living room on its own (I mean, just look at that rattan base and the delicate brass accents). Add in the two open compartments and you have a pretty much perfect coffee table. The open shelves are an ideal place to stack up your prettiest book spines and store your remote so the gorgeous rattan surface stays nice and clear. 

Buy: Justina Blakeney Bora Coffee Table, $598 from Anthropologie

Mid-Century Pop-Up Storage Coffee Table

Get all the storage and style with this mid-century wood and marble coffee table. A pop-top on the wooden half lifts up to reveal a spacious interior compartment that’s over 2 feet wide and almost 6 inches high, and the lifted part can be used as a small desk area. The marble half is hollow to make even more room for books, magazines, and remotes. Say goodbye to clutter and hello to fashionable, functional design!

Buy: Mid-Century Pop-Up Storage Coffee Table, $699 $559.20 from West Elm

Jamila Storage Coffee Table

Bring a simple, organic look and a touch of flair to your living room with this mango wood coffee table. The clean, natural exterior fits any space or style while the wavy shaped legs add some unique personality. The fact that the top lifts up for easy access to built-in storage only makes the table more attractive. 

Buy: Jamila Storage Coffee Table, $449 $349 from Urban Outfitters

Costway Lift Top Coffee Table

Storage on storage on storage—that’s what you get with this super-affordable find from Walmart. The base has three large square compartments perfect for stacking up books, blankets, decor, or even baskets. And if that’s not enough, the entire top of the table lifts up to reveal even more space perfect for keeping chargers, remotes, and notebooks handy. It’s a chunkier table, but you get plenty of function out of it. 

Buy: Costway Lift Top Coffee Table, $299.99 $144.99 from Walmart

IWELL Mid-Century Coffee Table

Get the best of both storage worlds with this modern wood table that mixes open and closed storage. A small drawer lets you tuck away things you don’t want to display while a large interior compartment keeps things airy. Both are wrapped in a simple, rustic frame that easily meshes with any space. 

Buy: IWELL Mid-Century Coffee Table, $139.99 $109.99 from Amazon

Published at Fri, 06 Mar 2020 18:00:00 +0000

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Apartment Living

50 Fun Facts About Dallas

50 Fun Facts About Dallas

The toughest part about living in Dallas is choosing a neighborhood in which to live. Each one brings major perks to the table in the form of food, fun and proximity to one of the country’s best big cities. Although the traffic in and around Dallas can be dense and frustrating, most ‘hoods enjoy easy access to rapid transit, making typical highway commutes totally optional.

Although it was tough to cull the large and impressive list of Dallas neighborhoods down to 10, we took on the challenge with relish. Check out some Dallas fun facts that are sure to impress and surprise.

1. Bishop Arts District

bishop arts district dallas

Photo courtesy of Urban House Apartments

The Bishop Arts District is a prime illustration of how big things come in small packages.

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Indeed, the neighborhood packs a lot of punch into a small area, with just a handful of blocks home to copious dining, entertainment and shopping options. A subset of the Oak Cliff neighborhood (more on that sweet spot in a minute), the Bishop Arts District offers everything that popular neighborhood has to offer, as well as super close proximity to Downtown Dallas, only a 10-minute drive away.

Five fun facts about Bishop Arts District

  • The Texas Theatre, where patrons enjoy films ranging from indies to classics and in-between, features a bar reminiscent of the Prohibition era
  • Way back in the 1930s, the neighborhood was Dallas’s busiest trolley stop
  • The Bishop Arts Theatre Centre is a major gem, programming performances, lectures and art classes. The non-profit also runs an annual New Play Competition, which awards prizes to local playwrights.
  • There are more than five dozen restaurants, bars, coffee shops, theaters, art galleries and boutiques in the neighborhood, many of which are independently owned
  • The neighborhood holds uber-popular Wine Walks, typically on the first Thursday of the month

2. Deep Ellum

deep ellum dallas

Only blocks east of Downtown Dallas, Deep Ellum is a historic area with enough personality to fill a neighborhood twice its size. Largely known as an entertainment district, Deep Ellum can get noisy and crowded, especially on weekends.

Five fun facts about Deep Ellum

  • Deep Ellum was pretty much the blues and jazz capital of Dallas in the 1920s. Today, the music scene is more rock-focused, but everyone still knows that its roots lie in hosting greats like Bessie Smith and Blind Lemon Jefferson.
  • Street murals are all the rage right now, but nowhere more so than in Deep Ellum, where the 42 Murals project encourages the art form. Concepts range from murals depicting the area’s historical significance to buildings made to look like robots.
  • The only problem performing arts enthusiasts face in Deep Ellum is choosing what to see. The Undermain Theatre is a popular warehouse basement spot for plays of a dark and unusual nature, while the Dallas Comedy House always delivers a ton of laughs. Or, stop by the Quixotic World Theatre House & Magikal Event Space for a taste of burlesque and other offbeat entertainment.
  • If you prefer to make musical magic yourself, hit the trailer-park themed bar Double Wide, which features both karaoke and ambiance for days
  • Deep Ellum is so named because it was originally called Deep Elm, but the Texas twang inspired a formal change. It was also once called Central Track because it’s near the Houston and Texas Central railroad.

3. Design District

design district dallas

Editorial credit: Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com

With a population of around 2,000, Design District is a quaint neighborhood with a small-town feel, but big-city ambition. Located ever so slightly northwest of Dallas, the neighborhood is the result of organic revitalization, rather than massive planning efforts. If cookie-cutter is what you’re after, keep on moving!

Five fun facts about Design District

  • The neighborhood gets its name from the area’s onetime status as a leading garment manufacturing center
  • Big fans of national chains should look elsewhere, as Design District is largely made up of independent stores, restaurants and entertainment venues
  • Many shops and restaurants are located in repurposed buildings, which once functioned as wholesale interior design showrooms
  • Design District is home to the most significant concentration of art galleries in Dallas, including contemporary art museum the Goss-Michael Foundation
  • Continental Avenue Bridge is a must-visit for kids, as it’s a picturesque urban playground that actually runs across the Trinity River

4. Downtown

downtown dallas

Downtown Dallas was a place where people simply stamped the old-time card, but recent years have seen it morph dramatically into an ultra-desirable live/work-play area all its own.

Five fun facts about Downtown

  • Despite growing numbers of residents, the area doesn’t yet have its own standard grocery store. The city has tried (and failed) to subsidize them. Fortunately, the nearby Farmer’s Market helps bridge the gap.
  • The Pegasus is the symbol of Downtown because it was originally depicted on a Magnolia Oil Company sign in the 1930s
  • Klyde Warren Park is available for those days when living in a concrete jungle just won’t cut it. The green space is a popular haunt for people on the prowl for nature, food trucks and outdoor playtime.
  • Downtown is something of a cultural mecca, boasting the Dallas Museum of Art, Meyerson Symphony Center and the AT&T Performing Arts Center
  • The population of Downtown grew 38.4 percent from 2011 to 2016, and additional growth of 13.1 percent is expected by 2021

5. Medical District

medical district dallas

Editorial credit: Dorti / Shutterstock.com

Much like Design District, Medical District comes by its name honestly. Situated in an ultra-desirable location between Downtown and Dallas Love Field Airport, the neighborhood is a hub of all things healthcare-related. Some of the prestigious institutions that call Medical District home include Parkland Memorial Hospital, Children’s Medical Center Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Not surprisingly, many of the locals are also employees of such facilities.

Five fun facts about Medical District

  • Parkland Hospital gained dubious international fame when it treated President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in November 1963. It has since been completely revamped via a new build in 2011.
  • Lovers of wholesale shopping outlets appreciate the convenience of the World Trade Center, Dallas Market Center and the Apparel Mart
  • The average rent price for a place in Medical District is about $1 per square foot
  • As it’s so dominated by medical industry employers, Medical District doesn’t offer much in the way of nightlife. Fortunately, it’s a stone’s throw from other hopping neighborhoods, like Downtown, Oak Lawn and Uptown.
  • Around 3 million people visit the emergency rooms and clinics in the Medical District every year

6. Oak Cliff

oak cliff dallas

Photo courtesy of Grand Estates @ Kessler Park

Oak Cliff (southwest of Downtown, across the Trinity River) is on the radar of up-and-coming neighborhoods and projected to continue along that path for the foreseeable future.

Five fun facts about Oak Cliff

  • Oak Cliff’s renaissance is extremely recent, with major development beginning in 2009
  • The restoration of the Belmont Hotel, now a top wedding site, helped spur Oak Cliff’s resurgence. Prior to the 2000s, it was shabby and practically falling down around itself.
  • A developer named Monte Anderson is credited with kicking off the process. His vision for Oak Cliff involved returning historic properties to their former glory as community gathering sites.
  • The recently closed farm-to-table restaurant Bolsa helped usher in a new era of fine dining in Oak Cliff
  • The historic Kessler Theater, built in 1941, was shuttered following a fire in the 1960s. It was restored and reopened in 2009, much to the delight of music-lovers in the area.

7. Oak Lawn

dallas oak lawn

Any member of the LGBTQ community should feel right at home in Oak Lawn, known as the epicenter of the Dallas gay community. Of course, straight counterparts are just as welcome to enjoy this popular area’s many amenities, including restaurants and clubs to suit all tastes.

Five fun facts about Oak Lawn

  • Cedar Springs Road in Oak Lawn is the site of the annual Dallas Pride Parade
  • Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek is a beautifully restored historic home, turned five-star luxury resort
  • Rosewood is also credited with helping develop modern Southwestern cuisine. Yum.
  • Oak Lawn plays host every Halloween to Dallas’s most over-the-top costume party
  • Arlington Hall at Turtle Creek Park is a picturesque throwback mansion on a 20-acre site that’s one of the city’s most popular spaces for events

8. Pleasant Grove

pleasant grove dallas

Photo courtesy of The Falls

Pleasant Grove offers a range of housing options for renters of almost any budget. Located in Southeast Dallas, the neighborhood is also lauded for its diverse, multicultural feel, while also being full of enthusiastic Texans (whether native or transplant).

Five fun facts about Pleasant Grove

  • Local kids of the 1930s dubbed themselves the “Grove Rats,” and the moniker is still in use today
  • Crawford Memorial Park is a gem of local green space, with more than 266 acres of fields, facilities, picnic space, playgrounds and gardens. Not surprisingly, it’s a hotspot for local joggers, walkers and cyclists, as well.
  • The neighborhood takes its name from the many beautiful trees native to the area
  • Pleasant Grove is known as a mecca for volunteerism and good old-fashioned neighborliness
  • The convenience factor in Pleasant Grove is high. It’s extremely close to multiple highways, not far from Downtown and with easy access to the DART bus and light rail system.

9. Uptown

dallas uptown

Are you a young professional? If so, it’s likely that you’d feel right at home in the Uptown neighborhood of Dallas, located just north of Downtown. The upscale area tends to cater to singles and couples, given that most of its housing consists of apartments and condominiums.

Five fun facts about Uptown

  • It has a booming LGBTQ community, with one of the city’s best nightlife scenes. Don’t miss the drag show at Station 4!
  • The name “Uptown” dates to the area’s revitalization in the early 2000s. Before that, it was pretty much an extension of nearby Oak Lawn.
  • Uptown is a shopping draw, thanks to the boutiques that line McKinney Avenue, as well as the West Village, which is also known as “Uptown’s Downtown.” Knox/Henderson shopping is also a highlight.
  • Uptown is home to Victory Park, where the Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks may or may not actually achieve victory
  • Cars are totally optional in this most walkable of Dallas communities. In addition to the DART system, the area boasts the whimsical M-Line trolley, as well as the efrogs shuttle service, an environmentally-friendly option that uses emissions-free, electric vehicles.

10. Victory Park

dallas victory park

Photo courtesy of The Christopher

The Victory Park neighborhood of Dallas is a planned live/work/play community with tons of housing, entertainment and dining options, particularly suited to young professionals. A son of former presidential candidate and Texas tycoon Ross Perot came up with the concept, envisioning it as a mecca for urban living.

Five fun facts about Victory Park

  • Still very much under construction, the area eventually will boast some 4 million square feet of retail space, as well as more than 4,000 residences
  • The focus of Victory Park is the American Airlines Center, which plays host to major sporting and entertainment events year-round
  • There’s a one-acre park on-site, but the popular 3.5-mile Katy Trail is also nearby
  • The Sweet Tooth Hotel is billed as an “immersive art experience,” featuring many DFW-area artists. Clear out phone space for a whole lot of selfies if you hit this spot.
  • Residents appreciate the daily view of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, a landmark that spans the Trinity River

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Published at Mon, 02 Mar 2020 16:15:38 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

7 Easier Under-the-Radar Alternatives to the Most Popular Yet Finicky Houseplants

7 Easier Under-the-Radar Alternatives to the Most Popular Yet Finicky Houseplants

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If you’re having trouble keeping your houseplants happy, it might not totally be your fault! Some trendy houseplants are notoriously finicky. There’s nothing you can do to make a fiddle leaf fig easier to care for, or to keep alocasia leaves from crisping on you. Instead of putting yourself through the wringer, make life easier with an equally beautiful, yet less challenging alternative to the most popular and demanding plants. Don’t give up! There’s a plant out there for everyone. Here, seven of our favorite trendy plants and their much easier going—but equally beautiful—substitutes.

If you like fiddle leaf fig

… try the easier Ficus Audrey (Ficus benghalensis)

It’s easy to recommend a parlor palm or a dracaena in place of a fiddle leaf fig, since both are tall with showy leaves. But those options are too tropical to be a true replacement for the fiddle leaf fig. Instead, try a Ficus benghalensis, also called Ficus “Audrey.” The plant is a close cousin of the Ficus lyrata. It’s also a real stunner with soft, velvety and elegant leaves that are a bit rounder and smaller than the fiddle leaf fig’s. But the real reason we’re recommended it: The Ficus Audrey bounces back from looking crummy faster than the fiddle leaf fig, making it a much more forgiving plant companion.

If you like maidenhair fern

… try the easier Lemon Button Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia)

Lemon button ferns look delicate, but are much more hardy than the maidenhair fern—a plant we’ve called a “finicky plant diva.” Lemon button ferns can tolerate a less stable environment and watering schedule than maidenhair ferns. Like maidenhair ferns, however, they also look stellar on a fireplace mantle, or tucked onto a bookcase. Lemon button ferns also have the benefit of being safe for cats.

If you like green velvet alocasia

… try the easier Swiss Cheese Vine (Monstera adansonii)

A cousin of Monstera Deliciosa, the swiss cheese vine looks both structural and dramatic, with lacy perforated leaves that make a large statement. It’s just as gorgeous as an alocasia plant, but much easier to manage. Swiss cheese vines look best in a hanging basket or in a pot on a high shelf near bright, indirect light—it’s the best way to show off their trailing vines.

If you like string of pearls

… try the easier donkey or burrow’s tail (Sedum morganianum)

Burrow’s tail is a very hardy type of sedum that has a similar drape as the string of pearls. Give it bright light and water every seven days or so and you’ll have a happy plant. It’s okay if you knock a few of the little leaves off—they’ll grow back! Since this is a heavier plant, make sure you plant it in a sturdy pot.

… try the easier Meyer Lemon

A lot of nurseries and plant shops sell a gardenia cultivar bred for being a houseplant—but that doesn’t mean that it’s user friendly. In fact, these plants are notoriously finicky. If you want a houseplant that produces an amazing smell without the fuss, get a Meyer Lemon instead. Stick it in a spot with bright light, water it when the soil gets dry, and let it do its thing. The blooms smell delicious and you’ll have lemons before you know it.

… try the easier Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

A lot of people find English ivy to be easy to grow, but if you don’t have bright light then it’s a very difficult plant to have indoors. If you’ve had problems with these cascading plants, try a hardy pothos instead. They come in many different varieties, colors, and textures and are also very forgiving of low-light conditions as well as infrequent watering. If you neglect it for awhile, just give it a solid dose of water and it will perk right back up.

It’s always wonderful to cook with herbs that you’ve grown in your own house. While basil is difficult to keep alive indoors, thanks to its need for full sun, you’ll find that mint is much easier to please and keep alive. Give it some bright light and water it every once in a while and watch it thrive.

9 Stylish House Plants (And How To Not Immediately Kill Them)

Published at Thu, 27 Feb 2020 22:00:00 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

The Best Museums in Washington D.C.

The Best Museums in Washington D.C.

Ready to get your learn on?

Washington, D.C., is home to dozens of world-class museums featuring interactive exhibits ranging from an authentic Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to a historic slave cabin to a complete collection of presidential portraits.

Here’s a guide to the best museums in Washington, D.C. Note that while admission is free to the Smithsonian and other publicly funded institutions, a few of the top attractions are privately owned and charge admission fees.

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

Editorial credit: Erik Cox Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Address: 700 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C. 20024
  • Admission: $22.95 for adults, $14.95 for kids (Children under 6 are free)

The privately-funded, nonprofit museum opened its new location in Southwest Washington, D.C., in May, 2019 and features interactive exhibits and the world’s largest public display of authentic spy tools and gadgets.

Exhibits highlight both U.S. intelligence work, as well as the operations and history of espionage agencies around the world, including those in the Middle East, China and Russia. The rooftop provides some of the best panoramic views of Washington, D.C.

Museum of the Bible

Museum of the Bible

Photo courtesy of Museum of the Bible
  • Address: 300 D St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20024
  • Admission: $19.99 for adults, $9.99 for kids (Children under 6 are free)

This gorgeous contemporary 430,000-square-foot, eight-story museum invites people of all faiths to engage with the Bible through high-tech exhibits and interactive experiences.

The museum was privately financed by Steve and Jackie Green, owners of the arts and crafts store chain Hobby Lobby to house their personal collection of more than 40,000 rare biblical texts and artifacts.

There’s also a state-of-the-art lecture hall, a performing arts theater, a children’s area, restaurants and a rooftop garden with panoramic views of Washington, D.C.

National Air and Space Museum

National Air and Space Museum

  • Address: 600 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20560
  • Admission: Free

The Smithsonian’s most popular museum maintains the world’s largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft at two facilities. The flagship building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., houses many of the icons of flight, including the original 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, John Glenn’s Friendship 7 spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope.

The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, in Chantilly, VA, houses many more artifacts in an open, hangar-like setting, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde and the sole-surviving Boeing 307 Stratoliner. Both museums feature IMAX films and special programs for all ages.

National Gallery of Art

National Gallery of Art

  • Address: Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20565
  • Admission: Free

The world-class art museum displays one of the largest collections of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture and decorative arts from the 13th century to the present. Its exhibits span two buildings and include an extensive survey of works of American, British, Italian, Flemish, Spanish, Dutch, French and German art.

The museum’s six-acre sculpture garden is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the ambiance of the National Mall. During the summer on Friday evenings, jazz musicians entertain a crowd by the reflecting pool. In winter, the fountain is converted to an ice rink for outdoor skating.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Editorial credit: Lewis Tse Pui Lung / Shutterstock.com
  • Address: 1400 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20560
  • Admission: Free (Advance tickets may be required)

The newest of the Smithsonian museums, this popular attraction features a variety of exhibits and educational programs on topics such as slavery, post-Civil War reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights movement.

Favorite artifacts include the Harriet Tubman hymn book, a Jim Crow railroad car, Rosa Park’s dress, a slave cabin from the early 1800s, Muhammad Ali’s headgear and more.

National Museum of American History

National Museum of American History

Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American History
  • Address: 1300 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20560
  • Admission: Free

With more than 3 million artifacts of American history and culture, the museum covers the nation’s history from the War of Independence to the present day. Favorite exhibits include the Star-Spangled Banner, America on the Move, the First Ladies and Many Voices, One Nation.

Object Project, Wegmans Wonderplace and the Sparks Lab provide hands-on activities that inspire kids.

National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian

  • Address: Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20560
  • Admission: Free

The Smithsonian museum showcases Native American objects from ancient pre-Columbian civilizations through the 21st century. Multimedia presentations, live performances and hands-on demonstrations bring Native American culture and history to life.

Dining at the Mitsitam Native Foods Café is highly recommended. The cafe offers indigenous cuisines that change quarterly representing each of the five geographic regions covering the entire Western Hemisphere.

National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History

  • Address: 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20560
  • Admission: Free

This family favorite Smithsonian museum maintains of some 145 million natural history specimens and human artifacts. Visitors can get a closeup glimpse of a life-size model of a blue whale, the 45-carat Hope Diamond, live insects and butterflies and more than 274 specimens of mammals. The new dinosaur hall features a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton alongside more than 700 specimens.

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Editorial credit: Matt Smith Photographer / Shutterstock.com
  • Address: 8th St NW & F St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
  • Admission: Free

The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum are housed together in a historic landmark building in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. The exhibits tell the story of America through the visual arts and represent one of the most inclusive collections of American art of any museum today. America’s Presidents is the nation’s only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House.

The Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection

Editorial credit: Orhan Cam / Shutterstock.com

  • Address: 1600 21st St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
  • Admission: Free for permanent collection, $12 for adults for ticketed exhibitions

The Phillips Collection presents one of the world’s most distinguished Impressionist and American Modern art collections in an intimate setting in D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood.

Art lovers enjoy paintings by renowned international artists, including Renoir and Rothko, Bonnard and O’Keeffe, van Gogh, Diebenkorn, Daumier and Lawrence, as well as contemporary artists such as Wolfgang Laib, Whitfield Lovell, Zilia Sánchez and Leo Villareal. The Phillips’s is a private museum, supported primarily by donations.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

  • Address: 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl. SW, Washington, D.C. 20024
  • Admission: Free (Timed tickets required between March and August)

This museum tells the story of the Holocaust and is a memorial to the millions who died during the Nazi regime in Germany during World War II. The permanent exhibition presents a narrative history of the murder of 6 million European Jews By Nazi Germany from 1933 through 1945.

The exhibit uses graphic images showing film footage and eyewitness testimonies of Nazi concentration camp survivors. The museum is recommended for visitors 11 years and older.

Published at Mon, 24 Feb 2020 13:02:37 +0000