What San Francisco Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

What San Francisco Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

The City by the Bay is mostly known for its hilly streets, trolleys and Victorian-style homes.

Year-round perfect weather, a scenic coastline, nearby mountains for skiing and hiking, and tech — these are all reasons to live and enjoy the neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Tourists visit the usual hot spots — a stroll down Lombard Street, takeout in Chinatown and a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. But if you’re looking to make a San Francisco neighborhood your new home, there are specific areas with unique characters, flavors and a sense of community.

The most popular San Francisco neighborhoods … and Oakland

You may have already done your research and narrowed down your choices to specific neighborhoods based on family- or pet-friendliness, proximity to parks or greenery, or public transportation. Either way, take our San Francisco neighborhood quiz to find out which suits you best.

Mission Bay

mission bay

Despite the fact that in the 1890s Mission Bay was once called Dumpville due to the garbage that flowed downhill, it has evolved to be one of San Francisco’s most beautiful neighborhoods.

Located adjacent to the downtown SOMA (South of Market) area, it sits right on the water and is bordered by China Basin on the north. It’s close to the action but offers outdoor recreational activities, such as walking along the water and green parks.

Mission Bay, which is home to newer high rises and developments, are great for young families and professionals who may not want to be so centrally located in SF and away from the hustle and bustle.

Expect to spend about $3,900 for an average one-bedroom apartment here.

North Beach

north beach san francisco neighborhoods

North Beach is known as “Little Italy” and is perfect if you enjoy old school, traditional Italian food and cafes. Despite its name, it’s not close to an actual beach. However, it’s a prime location if you want to be close to the pier and near the Embarcadero, which is just a ferry ride away from the East Bay or Sausalito.

North Beach is a walk-friendly neighborhood, close to restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s conveniently located near Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown where you can get your pizza, gelato and egg noodle soup!

Nob Hill

nob hill san francisco neighborhoods

Who doesn’t want to live in Nob Hill? It’s one of S.F.’s signature neighborhoods, centrally located in the heart of the city and close to shopping at Union Square, a Trader Joe’s and Grace’s Cathedral. Nob Hill is known for its historic mansions, city landmarks and luxury hotels that border Huntington Park. However, the neighborhood isn’t pretentious and is influenced by the diverse residents and close proximity to the downtown surrounding areas.

Although it’s close to Lombard Street and can get quite hilly, you can always hop on the cable car to get up the hill.

Dogpatch

dogpatch san francisco neighborhoods

Source: Avalon Dogpatch

This oddly-named neighborhood in S.F. consists of mostly single-family homes and duplexes. It’s an area full of designers, artists, creative entrepreneurs and musicians. Dogpatch has evolved over the years with newer developments, art galleries and a mix of trendy restaurants and has a hip, industrial vibe to it.

The main drag, on Third Street, is full of indy boutiques, local artisans, bakeries and cafes. The area, which is located right next to Potrero Hill, is also relatively flat, so it’s great for riding your bike around town. It has a laid back vibe and feels like a small community tucked away in a big city.

A one-bedroom apartment in Dogpatch will cost an average of $3,670 each month.

Rincon Hill

rincon hill san francisco neighborhoods

Rincon Hill is a part of SOMA and is bordered by Folsom Street, the Embarcadero, Bryant Street and Essex Street. If you look up, you’ll see the Bay Bridge, which connects the city to Oakland.

It’s considered one of S.F.’s best places to live, since it’s a part of the downtown area and easily accessible by public transportation. It’s also home to the infamous Salesforce Tower and at one point, had one of the priciest penthouses in the city, at $42 million.

It’s also one of the most expensive neighborhoods for renters. Your average one-bedroom apartment here only costs $5,700 a month.

Parkmerced

parkmerced

If you’re new to S.F., you’ve probably never heard of Parkmerced. It’s the opposite of what the rest of S.F. looks like, with cookie-cutter high-rises and townhomes. The area is also difficult to get around if you don’t have a car.

Tucked away near San Francisco State University, it’s further out and feels more like a real suburb. Parkmerced is centered around Lake Merced, a freshwater lake located in a 614-acre park that’s adjacent to Daly City, close to the ocean and centered around Lake Merced.

The area was originally conceived by MetLife Insurance Company, which purchased a large plot of land to build a “small city” for middle-income families. While you’ll be outside of the hustle and bustle of the city center, Parkmerced is a fine choice if you want to be around peaceful surroundings but still close to the heart of S.F.

A one-bedroom apartment in Parkmerced will cost a little under $3,000 a month on average.

Tenderloin

tenderloin san francisco neighborhoods

Situated between S.F.’s famous Union Square shopping area and Civic Center, the Tenderloin can be viewed as a controversial neighborhood. Some might call it dangerous or problematic because of the homelessness, others say it’s full of character and remains one of the most unchanged parts of S.F., and rich with character.

The neighborhood is thriving and full of artists and activists, as well as immigrants. The rental market in this up-and-coming area may still be affordable, which makes it a viable choice for young professionals who are just starting off in their careers.

Living in Tenderloin will set you about $3,800 a month for an average one-bedroom apartment.

Oakland

oakland

Yes, we know, Oakland isn’t part of San Francisco. But it’s just a few miles away across the Bay Bridge. It’s also the third-largest city in the area and has its own Chinatown, man-made lake (Lake Merritt) and an up-and-coming downtown area.

It’s convenient for folks who want to be close to the city, but also live in a house and have a car. Oakland offers a trendy mix of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and even has its conveniently located Redwood Regional Park for a day hike. Some of the trendier areas in Oakland include Temescal, Rockridge, Piedmont, Grand Lake and Uptown.

Certain neighborhoods in Oakland are more expensive than others, but as a whole, you can expect to pay an average of $3,380 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city.

Find the best San Francisco neighborhood for you

Still undecided about your San Francisco neighborhood? Just answer a few questions and we’ll tell you!

Who’s coming with you?

What do you love most about a big city?

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday?

What’s on your wish list for your next place to live?

How would your friends describe you?

How clean are you?

What are your top priorities right now?

What do you want to see when you first wake up in the morning?

What kind of weather best suits you?

Which San Francisco Neighborhood Should You Call Home?

Mission Bay

Mission Bay

Despite the fact that in the 1890s Mission Bay was once called Dumpville due to the garbage that flowed downhill, it has evolved to be one of San Francisco’s most beautiful neighborhoods.
Located adjacent to the downtown SOMA (South of Market) area, it sits right on the water and is bordered by China Basin on the north. It’s close to the action but offers outdoor recreational activities, such as walking along the water and green parks.
The neighborhood is home to newer high rises and developments and is great for young families and professionals who may want to be away from the hustle and bustle.

Find Apartments in Mission Bay

North Beach

North Beach is known as “Little Italy” and is perfect if you enjoy old school, traditional Italian food and cafes. Despite its name, it’s not close to an actual beach. However, it’s a prime location if you want to be close to the pier and near the Embarcadero, which is just a ferry ride away from the East Bay or Sausalito.
North Beach is a walk-friendly neighborhood, close to restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s conveniently located near Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown where you can get your pizza, gelato and egg noodle soup!

Find Apartments in North Beach

Nob Hill

Nob Hill

Who doesn’t want to live in Nob Hill? It’s one of S.F.’s signature neighborhoods, centrally located in the heart of the city and close to shopping at Union Square. Nob Hill is known for its historic mansions, city landmarks and luxury hotels that border Huntington Park. However, the neighborhood isn’t pretentious and is influenced by the diverse residents and close proximity to the downtown surrounding areas.
Although it’s close to Lombard Street and can get quite hilly, you can always hop on the cable car to get up the hill.

Find Apartments in Nob Hill

Dogpatch

Dogpatch

This oddly-named neighborhood in S.F. consists of mostly single-family homes and duplexes. It’s an area full of designers, artists, creative entrepreneurs and musicians. Dogpatch has evolved over the years with newer developments, art galleries and a mix of trendy restaurants and has a hip, industrial vibe to it.
The main drag, on Third Street, is full of indie boutiques and local artisan and bakeries and cafes. The area is also relatively flat, so it’s great for riding your bike around town. It has a laid back vibe and feels like a small community tucked away in a big city.

Find Apartments in Dogpatch

Rincon Hill

Rincon HIll

Rincon Hill, which is now called the East Cut, is a part of SOMA and is bordered by Folsom Street, the Embarcadero, Bryant Street and Essex Street. If you look up, you’ll see the Bay Bridge, which connects the city to Oakland.
It’s considered one of S.F.’s best places to live, since it’s a part of the downtown area and easily accessible by public transportation. It’s also home to the infamous Salesforce Tower and at one point, had one of the priciest penthouses in the city, at $42 million.

Find Apartments in Rincon Hill

Parkmerced

Park Merced

Tucked away near San Francisco State University, this neighborhood is further out and feels more like a real suburb. Parkmerced is centered around Lake Merced, a freshwater lake located in a 614-acre park that’s adjacent to Daly City, close to the ocean and centered around Lake Merced.
The area was originally conceived by MetLife Insurance Company, which purchased a large plot of land to build a “small city” for middle income families. While you’ll be outside of the hustle and bustle of the city center, Parkmerced is a fine choice if you want to be around peaceful surroundings but still close to the heart of S.F.

Find Apartments in Parkmerced

Tenderloin

Situated between S.F.’s famous Union Square shopping area and Civic Center, the Tenderloin can be viewed as a controversial neighborhood. Some might call it dangerous or problematic because of the homelessness, others say it’s full of character and remains one of the most unchanged parts of S.F., and rich with character.
The neighborhood is thriving and full of artists and activists, as well as immigrants. The rental market in this up-and-coming area may still be affordable, which makes it a viable choice for young professionals who are just starting off in their careers.

Find Apartments in the Tenderloin

Oakland

Oakland, a large port city in the East Bay, is just a few miles away from S.F., just across the Bay Bridge. It’s the third largest city and has its own Chinatown, man-made lake (Lake Merritt) and an up-and-coming downtown area.
It’s convenient for folks who want to be close to the city, but also live in a house and have a car. Oakland offers a trendy mix of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and even has its conveniently located Redwood Regional Park for a day hike. Some of the trendier areas in Oakland include Temescal, Rockridge, Piedmont, Grand Lake and Uptown.

Find Apartments in Oakland

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in September 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Tue, 22 Sep 2020 13:00:20 +0000

The Best Music for Working from Home

The Best Music for Working from Home

Among the many side effects of physical offices closing during the coronavirus crisis is the massive increase in people working from home.

As of this summer, a whopping 42 percent of everyone in the workforce is telecommuting full time. And both for those who have been working in a home office for a long time and those for whom this is a brand new experience, making your home office a place for productivity is a challenge.

With all the distractions — both physical and emotional — of working from your living room or home office, what better way to make your space your own than creating your own soundtrack to work to. But what’s the best music for working from home? Why is listening to music beneficial to your WFH life, and what genres best promote continued quality work?

person listening to music

The benefits of music while working

Why should you listen to music while working from home? Because music can help you be more productive, more creative or just happier. A silent room can be just as distracting as an over-stimulated environment. It can also drown out the sounds of your partner working in the other room, a cranky baby, a needy puppy, noisy neighbors or the sounds of the city.

Creates positive emotions

A happy worker is a productive worker. For many people, working from home is a new phenomenon and can cause worry about being distanced from co-workers and friends and falling into a poor mood which will affect the work.

It should be no surprise that the right music can make you happy. We all have that one song or one band that puts us in a good mood. And studies predictably confirm that happy employees are more productive and more efficient. In fact, more research shows that people who listen to music are happier than those who don’t. And who doesn’t want to be happy at work, even at home?

Brings the upbeat vibes

Music can also bounce out that 2:30 feeling, those times during the workday where you need a pick me up. In a normal world, that may have been a trip over to the office kitchen for a snack and/or gossip and a few moments away from your desk.

But when working from home, that midday lull can be alleviated with some upbeat tunes to kickstart yourself. Happy, uplifting music can also assuage the boredom of a particularly mundane or repetitive task and turn that project you were dreading into something much more appealing.

Drowns out distracting noises

The most practical use of music for working from home is lessening distractions. Back in the office, you were surrounded by people holding too-loud conversations, clacking away on keyboards or drowning you in the sounds of cold and flu season. Tossing on the earbuds took you away to a different place to concentrate on your tasks at hand.

At home, it’s the same thing, just different distractions. From barking dogs to kids in Zoom school to your neighbors running the vacuum way too often, a solid work-from-home playlist will keep you focused and on task.

Improves memory and cognition

It’s not just productivity that music heightens, but your memory and actual work performance. Sure, a great work-from-home playlist will get you excited and moving on that new project, but music can actually make your work better.

Recent studies have shown that listening to background music enhances episodic memory and improves your cognitive performance. Just imagine what the right background music can do to the quality of your work with better memory and optimizing your executive functions.

classical music

The best music for working from home

There are a lot of choices of music to listen to. Spotify alone defines nearly 2,500 different genres. But not every one of them is the perfect music for working from home for every person. You may be into melodic metalcore or Canadian indie or LGBT hip hop, but some genres promote productivity, creativity and concentration more than others.

Here are some of the best musical genres for working from home and keeping your day up and running between your morning coffee and your end of the day wrap up. And for each, we’ve provided some great work from home playlists to get you started.

1. Classical

Talk about staying power. Classical music dates back 500 years but remains popular today. Upwards of 35 percent of adults listen to classical, making it the fourth-most-popular genre — and the perfect background noise for your work from home. Classical music is many things at once: uplifting, moody, aural, familiar, mellow, inspiring — sometimes all within the confines of one piece or movement. And it’s a great WFH soundtrack.

The “Mozart Effect” theory says classical music makes you smarter, that it’s good for test-taking, studying and working, particularly creative work. Other studies have shown that classical music can boost your mood, increase productivity and even improve the quality of your work.

But classical music is a very broad genre spanning some 50 decades, so where to begin? One survey found that the Baroque period — think Bach, Vivaldi and Handel — fostered an increase in positive disposition and concentration.

Classical work-from-home playlists

rock concert

2. Epic and anthemic music

Soaring. Moving. Epic. Anthemic music is a style that crosses genres from the biggest arena rock bands and ’90s modern rockers to country storytellers and jock jams. It’s music that gets you on your feet, powerful celebratory songs with memorable choruses that project triumph.

It’s music that makes you feel like you can take on the world and accomplish anything. Even finishing that spreadsheet or submitting that HR project right on time.

Anthemic or epic music can inspire grandiosity and motivate you to get through that tough assignment or meet that goal. It’s sports anthems like “We Will Rock You” or “Takin’ Care of Business.” Soaring contemporary classical pieces like “Fanfare For The Common Man.” Inspiring heart-pumpers like “The Rising” or “Born This Way.” Or genre-defining hip-hop like “Fight The Power” and “It Was a Good Day.”

Like athletes getting off the bus, focused and Beats headphones on, anthemic music makes you feel uplifted, empowered and ready for game time. Is it music you should spend all day listening to while you work? Probably not. But if you’re feeling tired, beaten or simply unmotivated, high-powered anthems might just be the answer to sitting up straight and showing your boss who is boss.

Epic and anthemic work-from-home playlists

3. Ambient music

Ambient music may have a reputation as just elevator music or random soundscapes, but it’s so much more. It could be a colorful house or techno playlist. World music or indie shoegaze. Synths or space rock. But no matter what the subgenre, ambient music makes for a distraction-free backdrop to your workday.

The pioneer of ambient music and the iconic artist-producer Brian Eno, who created the ambient music masterwork “Music for Airports,” described the genre as, “able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular, as ignorable as it is interesting.” Music that won’t steal your attention yet fills the silence while you’re working may be the genre for you.

There are as many exciting artists as there are classifications of ambient music. Sample the spacey sounds of Enya and Enigma, electronica of Aphex Twin, old school prog Pink Floyd and Moody Blues, ambient pop of Talk Talk or Nick Cave, downtempo chillwave of Kygo or Toro y Moi or atmospheric dream pop of Dizzy and The XX.

Ambient work-from-home playlists

4. Feel-good music

Ever walked into a dentist’s office and the local hot adult contemporary station is playing over the intercom? Of course. Because feel-good music makes you… feel good. No one loves the dentist’s office, but maybe you’ll feel a little better if Hall & Oates or Britney Spears is playing. Songs that bring a smile to your face and make you move your feet a little (but not too much).

Pop music designed to make you feel happy even while you’re toiling away at work is perfect for working from home. It’s possible your old office even had this pumping through the hallways or in the kitchen. Because feel-good pop can make the day go by a little faster.

As you’re rushing towards deadlines or unburying yourself from an email avalanche – or even if the boss has just been on your tail all day — sometimes you need to do a little walking on sunshine to bring your motivation back. None of this is meant to be deep and thought-provoking. Feel good music is supposed to be like a snack break or a candy bar, to stimulate the happiness centers of your brain and release that hit of dopamine to get you onto the next task.

But take care to avoid songs with narrative lyrics or story songs, as music that tells a linear story has been shown to be distracting to cognitive work. So, blast the Pharrell or Barenaked Ladies, but stay away from the Don McLean, Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Chapin.

Feel-good work-from-home playlists

chill vibe music

5. Chill vibes music

Not every work situation calls for music that makes you move. Reading heavy text or concentrating on a difficult task might take something to ease the nerves and keep you relaxed. Some chill music — folk rock, smooth country or just good old classic acoustic rock — might be just what you need certain times during the day.

Acoustic or muted guitar, smooth vocals, light instrumentation and an uncomplicated beat is just the soundtrack for a stressful job or project. Cue up indie-folk jammers like Hozier, Dan Mangan, Phoebe Bridgers or Vance Joy, chill crooners including Ed Sheeran, Ingrid Michaelson or John Mayer, acoustic old-schoolers such as James Taylor, Cat Stevens or Rickie Lee Jones or just a great album of acoustic hits like Arkells’ “Campfire Chords” or something moody like “Folklore” from Taylor Swift.

But be wary of playlists heavy with your favorite songs. A study has shown listening to tracks with lyrics you know by heart, or “familiar vocal music,” can decrease your performance through distraction while you fight the urge to sing along, even in your head. Sounds like the perfect time to catch up on some new music you aren’t familiar with.

Chill vibes work-from-home playlists

6. Video game soundtracks

If you’re over a certain age, this category is going to make very little sense. But one of the best choices for music for working at home are video game songs. We’re not talking about 8-bit Atari beebop or Nintendo chiptunes. This is thematic, pointed and often soaring music specifically designed to enhance the video game experience.

Video game music is a marketing tool, designed to enhance your gaming experience. If you’re winding your way through a fantasy landscape or dodging enemy fire as you infiltrate enemy hordes, video game music can help you focus, keep your energy levels up or even just keep you playing. The same can be done with those soundtracks while you work alone in the living room.

These are compositions to encourage you to reach for that next level, whether it be in your first-person shooter, your epic fantasy adventure or your latest work project. It can help you avoid obstacles and collaborate with your friends, in the game or in the work huddle. This is the strategic music you’ll find in games like Bastion, SimCity, Thumper, Doom, Final Fantasy, Journey and Legend of Zelda.

Video game work-from-home playlists

7. Instrumental music

A study by two researchers at Middle Tennessee State University found students who listened to instrumental music scored higher on tests than those that listened to lyrical music. Logically, it makes sense. For some, a song with lyrics is akin to someone standing behind you talking while you’re working. In fact, an NIH paper showed that music needs to be lyric-free for it to promote productivity.

The great thing about instrumental music is it can literally be any music devoid of lyrics or words. Instrumentals exist in every single genre (well, maybe not a cappella or barbershop). No matter what music you enjoy, you can type away and crunch those numbers with soothing or inspiring music-only tracks bereft of those pesky words. Country, indie, classical, power ballads, skiffle, trip-hop — every genre has perfect instrumental music to fit your needs.

Instrumental work-from-home playlists

nature sounds

8. Nature and real-world sounds

Sometimes the soundtrack to your day doesn’t even have to be music. Filling your living room or home office with the sounds of nature can put you in a variety of moods, from motivated and amped to relaxed and attentive. The choices are endless and only limited by your tastes. Choose from classics like waterfalls, an afternoon thunderstorm, rustling leaves, a crashing surf, morning birds chirping or a crackling campfire.

The most useful noises don’t even have to be of the natural variety. Try something out of the box like rain hitting the roof of a car, an oscillating fan, a clacking train or a running washing machine. Are you really missing the office? Why not fill the silence with the actual background sounds of an office.

Is this still too disruptive? Help block out distractions with the neutral sounds of white noise. Just ask your smart speaker to play some.

Nature work-from-home playlists

Picking the right music for you

No one genre or music type is going to be exactly what you need every minute of the day. Take a cue from a music therapy concept called the Iso Principle. This technique calls for starting with music that mirrors your current mood and gradually ramping up to songs that match the mood you want to be in.

Start the morning with something slow that can ease you into your day without forcing you to be productive. Then, transition into some power jams that will increase your performance and get you pumped for finishing that big project or the day’s task.

Looking for a sweet spot to feed your day? One research report concluded that music clocking in at about 121 beats per minute was optimal for productivity. Think songs like “December” by Collective Soul, The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” or “My People” from Missy Elliott.

But no matter what genre you decide on, the only goal is to find what’s best for you. Studies show that while listening to music does aid in completing tasks quicker and improving cognitive thinking, how much it actually helps you concentrate depends on how much you actually like the music being played. So, find your jam, and get it done.

Published at Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:00:05 +0000

What to Plant in September, the Start of Fall Gardening Season

What to Plant in September, the Start of Fall Gardening Season

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In most parts of the U.S., folks have been staggering through the heat of the summer, desperate for a reprieve from the high temperatures. Good news: September is here! And although it may still technically be summer, the weather is starting to lean a little more autumnal—for many flora, it’s the perfect time to plant.

While the cooler months might feel like the end of the growing season, gardeners know that their work is far from over. There is always something to be done in a garden plot, no matter how large or small.

As you enter the cooler month of September, try to anticipate your next steps in the garden. Now’s the time to get in the last batches of edible greens for the year, and to plant ahead for next year. Read on to learn more about what to plant in September.

If you follow your favorite peony farm on social media, you’ve probably noticed that they’re gearing up for a fall root-division sale. In the late spring these farms are slinging beautiful cut blooms, but by fall they’ve turned the trade into a game of longevity. 

Plant peony roots in the fall for spring growth. Don’t plan on them producing blooms for a few years—they need time to establish—but after they’ve put their roots deep, you’ll have gorgeous blooms for decades to come.  

Yes, you can find peony roots at nurseries and greenhouses, but I would suggest buying root divisions directly from a farm. This will ensure that the divisions are fresh, free of disease and properly cared for.

Right-from-the-farm also means you’ll be able to get your hands on the most unique, heirloom varieties of peonies for a very good price.

Don’t live near a farm? A little internet search will provide you with many farms that will ship the root divisions right to your door. You can support a small business without even leaving the house.

Cool-weather greens and lettuces

There are plenty of cool-weather greens that will be ready to harvest in less than 30 days, including:

Clear some space in your garden or grab your favorite container and seed some of these delicious veggies. Direct sow—or plant seeds directly in the ground—and you can expect to see sprouts within a week or two. 

As the season continues to cool, you’ll notice that veggies in your gardens will last longer in the ground before harvest. If you feel like taking an extra step and you’re in a moderate agricultural zone, try using a cold frame to push your season even further. (It acts like insulation for your veggies, keeping heat inside the bed and cold out.)

If you’re looking for a vegetable that will go from seed to maturity in under four weeks, try planting radishes. The roots are great in salads, and are also delicious baked, grilled or sauteed. You can also use the young greens to toss in with your usual salad—or you can use them to make pesto!

It’s rotation season at all of the nurseries and greenhouses. Scraggly summer annuals and perennials go on sale while cool-weather plants take their place. These include:

These cool-season annuals are great options if you want to bring more color to your fall garden—whether you’re planning on filling a container or popping them into the ground.

Without the excessive heat of summer bearing down, these annuals can last quite a while, depending on your agricultural zone.

Try planting these ornamental plants in groups of three or five for a larger impact. Yes, there is power in numbers, even when it comes to plants!

Published at Tue, 01 Sep 2020 11:00:07 +0000

The Best Places for Camping Near Portland

The Best Places for Camping Near Portland

In a summer (or year) turned upside down by a novel bug for which there’s currently no reprieve, the notion of traveling to some faraway paradise is more akin to a pipe dream than a plan of action. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for camping near Portland that provide you an opportunity to get away from it all without leaving the Pacific Northwest.

Where to camp near Portland

From state parks near the ocean to campsites nestled in the mountains, these are five of the best places near Portland to go camping — and social distance like a boss.

Silver Falls State Park — Sublimity, OR

Silver Falls State Park

Sitting atop more than 9,000 square miles of pristine, water-splashed greenery, Silver Falls State Park has long been one of Portlanders’ ideal weekend destinations. Complete with 25 miles of hiking trails and 10 waterfalls — nearly half of which allow you to walk behind the spray and catch a dose of cool, refreshing mist — this park is a personal favorite of yours truly. Family-friendly and just 53 miles south of Portland, this is one of Oregon’s most unforgettable state parks.

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L.L. Stub Stewart State Park — Buxton, OR

Whether you’re looking for a simple day-long excursion or a weekend getaway, L.L. Stub Stewart State Park has plenty of escapism on tap for you and yours. Boasting nearly 2,000 square miles of billowing hills, bike trails and rippling streams, L.L. Stub is one of our favorite spots to pitch a tent. The best part: It’s a mere 34 miles west of downtown Portland.

Beacon Rock State Park — Skamania, WA

Beacon Rock State Park

Though the popular trail of the same name is currently closed as a result of the pandemic, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend a night or two in Beacon Rock State Park, a sterling, year-round campsite on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.

A favorite among hikers, mountain bikers and intrepid families of all stripes, Beacon Rock is unique in that it offers campers more than 9,000 feet of freshwater shoreline. Need one more reason to visit? Less than an hour from downtown Portland, this veritable utopia is one of the most accessible parks in the region.

Beaver Campground — Carson, WA

Perhaps the most intimate option on this list, Beaver Campground offers an undeniably peaceful experience for those looking to escape the bustle of the Portland Metro Area. Just 63 miles northeast of the Rose City, and offering two dozen campsites, toilets, picnic tables and RV hookups, Beaver Campground is an ideal spot to visit this summer, particularly if you’re interested in exploring additional areas within Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Trillium Lake Campground — Government Camp, OR

Trillium Lake Campground

Just a quick jaunt from Mt. Hood, perhaps the most iconic geographical landmark in all of Oregon, Trillium Lake Campground is an extremely popular destination for folks throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Located 40 miles southeast of downtown Portland, Trillium Lake Campground offers boating, swimming and fishing options for those looking to cool off during the (increasingly) warm summer months. It’s also situated within Mt. Hood National Forest, which spans more than a million miles (!) of green-dappled mountains, streams and hiking trails.

Camping near Portland is everything

In the midst of so much uncertainty, it’s essential to remember that the Pacific Northwest remains one of the most beautiful places on the planet, rich with exotic wildlife, natural resources and campgrounds galore. We’re truly fortunate to live among such a plentiful bounty, and since none of us will be fleeing to Hawaii anytime soon, we may as well grab our tents and make plans for camping near Portland.

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Published at Tue, 25 Aug 2020 05:11:55 +0000

Biden Doubled Unique Donor Count in NYC, Trump Took Over Zip Codes in Outer Boroughs

Biden Doubled Unique Donor Count in NYC, Trump Took Over Zip Codes in Outer Boroughs

With less than 100 days until Election Day, former Vice President Joe Biden and his campaign actively look for ways to mobilize voters and garner support across the nation. Meanwhile, President Trump, while grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the BLM movement, and the disappointing economic indicators, has been able to continue to receive campaign donations from individuals in different cities.

Each quarter we at RentHop review the fundraising data released by the FEC with the hope of providing insights to voters. Our study for Q4 2019 for key cities such as Des Moines and Las Vegas shows that a city’s contributions might align with the outcome of the caucuses and primaries, and we believe that it would also shed light on the general election.

Our key findings in NYC this quarter include:
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden leads New York City with a total of 12,945 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, more than doubled from Q1 2020.
  • Meanwhile, President Trump has amassed 5,788 unique donors at the end of Q2 2020, 55% fewer than Biden.
  • Trump, however, did manage to take over a few zip codes in outer boroughs, including 10309 and 10310 in Staten Island, 11001 and 11428 in Queens, as well as 11214 and 11235 in Brooklyn.
  • Of the 217 zip codes included in this study, 83.9%, or 182, are blue zip codes. 14 of them, or 6.5% are red, and 21, or 9.7%, are purple, which means neither parties have more than 55% of the donors.
  • 6 zip codes became “bluer”, including 10473 (Bronx), 10170 (Manhattan), and 11436 (Queens). This means that the Democratic support is growing in these zip codes.
  • Meanwhile, several zip codes are “redder”, including 11419 (Queens), 11214 (Brooklyn), and 10309 (Staten Island).
  • The flat trend in Brooklyn indicates that it might be challenging for Biden to attract voters in Brooklyn, who historically had responded well to Senator Bernie Sanders’ grassroots campaign.

Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?

The interactive map below highlights New York City and its zip codes. More detailed, the map shows where each zip code stands, politically, and which presidential candidate is leading in each zip code. You can click on the zip code polygons or select from the drop-down menu to learn more. For a more detailed analysis of how candidates are doing in the same zip code, view the corresponding interactive line graph above the map.

 

Blue zip codes are zip codes where the aggregated number of unique donors of all Democratic candidates (including past candidates) is higher than the number of unique donors received by Republican candidates (including Trump, Sanford, Walsh, and Weld), and red zip codes are areas where the Republican candidates attracted more unique donors than all Democratic candidates combined.

Looking at the map and the chart above, we can tell that the majority of NYC zip codes have contributed to Democratic candidates. Vice President Joe Biden started seeing a surge in the number of unique donors by the end of February, thanks to his Super Tuesday Success. As he became the presumptive Democratic candidate, the amount of support he received from New Yorkers continued to grow exponentially. As of June 30, 2020, Trump has accumulated 12,945 unique donors.

Meanwhile, while the growth has been relatively flat for President Trump, he did manage to take over a few zip codes, mostly in outer boroughs. Staten Island continued to be Trump’s strong base, and zip codes 11214 and 11229 in Brooklyn went from light blue to purple. This, along with the aggregated totals in Brooklyn, indicate that Biden might have trouble attracting voters in Brooklyn, especially those who have responded well to Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

While most of Manhattan is dominated by Democratic donors, Trump did manage to raise more than Biden in certain zip codes such as zip codes 10019, 10022, and 10065. For instance, President Trump received in total five contributions with receipt amount equal or over $100,000 in zip code 10019 through the Trump Victory committee, with the largest one being $360,600 from the CEO of a private commercial real estate finance and investment company. Note that, however, in our unique donor analysis, multiple contributions from the same donor to the same candidate (even though different committees) are counted as one.

Top 5 Zip Codes in Manhattan by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 10024: Biden’s 830 unique donors vs. Trump’s 71 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10025: Biden’s 678 unique donors vs. Trump’s 54 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10023: Biden’s 819 unique donors vs. Trump’s 93 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10011: Biden’s 512 unique donors vs. Trump’s 41 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10003: Biden’s 440 unique donors vs. Trump’s 38 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Brooklyn by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 11201: Biden’s 470 unique donors vs. Trump’s 40 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11215: Biden’s 396 unique donors vs. Trump’s 30 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11238: Biden’s 161 unique donors vs. Trump’s 8 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11217: Biden’s 214 unique donors vs. Trump’s 13 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11231: Biden’s 145 unique donors vs. Trump’s 12 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Queens by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 11375: Biden’s 99 unique donors vs. Trump’s 105 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11385: Biden’s 10 unique donors vs. Trump’s 68 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11101: Biden’s 55 unique donors vs. Trump’s 24 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11372: Biden’s 39 unique donors vs. Trump’s 39 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11106: Biden’s 23 unique donors vs. Trump’s 33 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in the Bronx by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 10471: Biden’s 73 unique donors vs. Trump’s 34 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10462: Biden’s 19 unique donors vs. Trump’s 25 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10465: Biden’s 9 unique donors vs. Trump’s 61 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10461: Biden’s 11 unique donors vs. Trump’s 34 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10467: Biden’s 13 unique donors vs. Trump’s 18 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Staten Island by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 10314: Biden’s 26 unique donors vs. Trump’s 145 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10312: Biden’s 25 unique donors vs. Trump’s 126 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10301: Biden’s 34 unique donors vs. Trump’s 48 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10306: Biden’s 15 unique donors vs. unique donors
  • Zip Code 10304: Biden’s 21 unique donors vs. Trump’s 65 unique donors
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Biden

Below are the top 10 zip codes where Biden received the most support.

  • Zip Code 10024 (Manhattan): 830 unique donors, 92.1% donor share
  • Zip Code 10023 (Manhattan): 819 unique donors, 89.8% donor share
  • Zip Code 10025 (Manhattan): 678 unique donors, 92.6% donor share
  • Zip Code 10128 (Manhattan): 596 unique donors, 84.9% donor share
  • Zip Code 10021 (Manhattan): 569 unique donors, 84.9% donor share
  • Zip Code 10028 (Manhattan): 527 unique donors, 82.7% donor share
  • Zip Code 10011 (Manhattan): 512 unique donors, 92.6% donor share
  • Zip Code 11201 (Brooklyn): 470 unique donors, 92.2% donor share
  • Zip Code 10003 (Manhattan): 440 unique donors, 92.1% donor share
  • Zip Code 10022 (Manhattan): 419 unique donors, 74.4% donor share
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Trump

Below are the top 10 zip codes where Trump received the most support.

  • Zip Code 10314 (Staten Island): 145 unique donors, 84.8% donor share
  • Zip Code 10022 (Manhattan): 144 unique donors, 25.6% donor share
  • Zip Code 11209 (Brooklyn): 140 unique donors, 71.1% donor share
  • Zip Code 11235 (Brooklyn): 132 unique donors, 86.3% donor share
  • Zip Code 10312 (Staten Island): 126 unique donors, 83.4% donor share
  • Zip Code 10028 (Manhattan): 110 unique donors, 17.3% donor share
  • Zip Code 10128 (Manhattan): 106 unique donors, 15.1% donor share
  • Zip Code 11375 (Queens): 105 unique donors, 51.5% donor share
  • Zip Code 10019 (Manhattan): 102 unique donors, 25.4% donor share
  • Zip Code 10021 (Manhattan): 101 unique donors, 15.1% donor share

Methodology

The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC covering all individual contributions dated between Jan 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. For President Donald Trump, the following committees are included: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (C00580100), Trump Make America Great Again Committee (C00618371), and Trump Victory (C00618389). For former Vice President Joe Biden, the following committees are included: Biden for President (C00703975), Biden Victory Fund (C00744946), and Biden Action Fund (C00746651). The state, county, and zip code shapefiles were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau. In terms of unique donors, we deduped by names, zip codes, and candidates. We adopted 5-digit zip codes for this report as not all candidates collect 9-digit zip codes. People who have changed their names or moved in between donations could artificially inflate these numbers. Unique donor shares are calculated using the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Trump’s campaign and the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Biden’s campaign. Past Democratic/Republican candidates are excluded from the calculation.


Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies

 
1. Why would Trump be leading in a Blue Zip Code?

This is related to the primaries. As we all know, there were as many as 31 Democratic candidates competing for the nomination, and so the support was divided among them. Meanwhile, while the Republican Party had 3 candidates running, all the support gravitated towards Trump, and therefore he alone could receive support from more unique donors than any single Democratic candidate. Now that Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee, we should start seeing some changes.

2. Why should we care about unique donors?

While the dollar amount raised is important for candidates, we believe that it is more crucial to understand how many unique donors each candidate has attracted, as each unique donor potentially means one vote, and by measuring donor counts, it gives us a better idea of how many people support each candidate.

3. How is the party majority calculated?

The party majority is calculated using the aggregated unique donor count of a party and the aggregated unique donor count from Jan 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. For instance, if Democratic candidates attracted a total of 200 unique donors, and the total number of unique donors within a city is 500, the Democratic share would be 40%. In terms of the color shades, purple areas are whether neither the Democratic candidates combined nor Trump has more than 55% of the donors. Light blue and light red represent zip codes where the party has 55% to 70% of the donors, and blue or red represents a majority of 70% and more.

Published at Wed, 05 Aug 2020 13:45:02 +0000

Daydream Destination: Mallorca

Daydream Destination: Mallorca

As I stare down the barrel of facilitating online kindergarten (lawd help me), my mind is wandering to any and all escapes. While I sadly cannot exit our current reality, I can dream about a far-flung destination. At some point during a mindless scrolling session, idyllic images of a beautiful sun-soaked location kept cropping up in my feed and I had to know more.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

These incredible pictures are of a townhouse nestled in the village of Sóller on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Designed by Berrow Projects, the Canoneta Townhouse was built in 1910 by Parisian architects and Berrow has painstakingly updated the property to meld beautiful old-world bones with contemporary details and finishes that make this home feel both timeless and contemporary. All I know is that I’m totally smitten.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

Every detail of this island home is picture perfect. This custom kitchen features cement floors with radiant heating and a beautiful mix of custom oak cabinetry and honed stone countertops. The views out of those french doors have me swooning. I can see myself enjoying a morning matcha at that island right now.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

The house’s dining room offers a perfect indoor/outdoor feel with those large picture window french doors and oodles of natural light. I spy built-in bench seating at the end of the space. And I’m always a sucker for built-in shelving too.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

This townhouse has six bedrooms and six bathrooms! A main bedroom features a cast concrete soaking tub and a beautiful mix of concrete and geometric tiles to mimic carpeting. The continued use of warm oak softens the space. And again the views! What a dream.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

I love the cross hatch caning on the custom wardrobe cabinets.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

The bathroom is a beautiful, smooth homage to minimalism. I love the single basin for the double sink.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34 Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

But let’s talk about this home’s incredibly garden. It features a lap pool and spa, sunken seating area and covered outdoor dining table along with an expanse of yard and established orchards of orange, lemon and other fruit trees. The townhouse gets its name, Canoneta, from the native orange variety that grows here and brought prosperity to the region in the late 19th century.

I think I could stomach homeschooling and a really uncertain future if I was sitting next to that pool, a Spritz in hand.

How about you?? Did I mention this house is for sale?!!! I have officially found my exit strategy.

For more Daydream Destination inspiration, CLICK HERE.

images courtesy of berrow project

Published at Fri, 14 Aug 2020 18:28:40 +0000

Biden Support Surged in Milwaukee County, Trump Continued to Dominate Rural Wisconsin

Biden Support Surged in Milwaukee County, Trump Continued to Dominate Rural Wisconsin

With less than 100 days until Election Day, multiple polls show that President Donald Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in key swing states, including Wisconsin. Another way to figure out if a candidate is performing, in addition to polling data, is by looking at his/her fundraising effort.

Each quarter we at RentHop review the fundraising data released by the FEC with the hope of providing insights to voters. Our study for Q4 2019 for key cities such as Des Moines and Las Vegas shows that a city’s contributions might align with the outcome of the caucuses and primaries, and we believe that it would also shed light on the general election.

Our key findings this quarter in Wisconsin include:
  • Trump leads in Wisconsin by unique donor count – the President has garnered support from 5,947 unique donors, whereas former Vice President Joe Biden has received donations from 2,393 unique donors as of June 30, 2020.
  • Of all 680 zip codes included in this study, 36.0% of them, or 245, are blue zip codes, including 53711 (Dane County), 53211 (Milwaukee County), 54601 (La Crosse County). [Unique Donor Map]
  • Meanwhile, 45.1%, or 307, are red zip codes, which consist of 54066 (Washington County), 53217 (Milwaukee County), and 53072 (Waukesha County). 18.8% of the zip codes, or 128, are purple, which means that neither parties have more than 55% of unique donors.
  • In Milwaukee County, Biden saw a big surge in the number of unique donors since February 2020. The number went from 99 to 473 by the end of June.
  • In Dane County, Biden surpassed Trump by end of March 2020, and has attracted 448 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, 106% more than what Trump has.

Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?

The interactive map below highlights Wisconsin and its zip codes. More detailed, the map shows where each zip code stands, politically, and which presidential candidate is leading in each zip code. You can click on the zip code polygons or select from the drop-down menu to learn more. For a more detailed analysis of how candidates are doing in the same zip code, view the corresponding interactive line graph above the map.

 

Blue zip codes are zip codes where the aggregated number of unique donors of all Democratic candidates (including past candidates) is higher than the number of unique donors received by Republican candidates (including Trump, Sanford, Walsh, and Weld), and red zip codes are areas where the Republican candidates attracted more unique donors than all Democratic candidates combined.

Looking at the map and the chart above, we can tell that President Donald Trump has been the fundraising front runner in Wisconsin. As of June 30, 2020, Trump has accumulated 5,947 unique donors. On the Democratic side, while support was split among candidates, more donors have turned to Mr. Biden’s campaign as he seized primary victories in other states and positioned himself as the presumptive party nominee. As of Q2, 2020, the Biden campaign amassed 2,393 unique donors in Wisconsin.

In Milwaukee, the largest county in the state by population, Vice President Joe Biden saw a big surge in the number of unique donors since February 2020. The number went from 99 to 473 by the end of June. In Dane County, Biden surpassed Trump by end of March 2020, and has attracted 448 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, 106% more than what Trump has. Meanwhile, Trump comfortably leads the fundraising game in counties such as Waukesha, Brown, and Racine.

Top 5 Zip Codes in Milwaukee County by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 53211: Biden’s 81 unique donors vs. Trump’s 25 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53217: Biden’s 89 unique donors vs. Trump’s 72 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53202: Biden’s 58 unique donors vs. Trump’s 27 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53207: Biden’s 12 unique donors vs. Trump’s 22 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53092: Biden’s 31 unique donors vs. Trump’s 69 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Dane County by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 53711: Biden’s 117 unique donors vs. Trump’s 37 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53705: Biden’s 136 unique donors vs. Trump’s 14 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53703: Biden’s 55 unique donors vs. Trump’s 8 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53704: Biden’s 54 unique donors vs. Trump’s 29 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53562: Biden’s 61 unique donors vs. Trump’s 46 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Waukesha County by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 53045: Biden’s 14 unique donors vs. Trump’s 68 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53072: Biden’s 15 unique donors vs. Trump’s 70 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53188: Biden’s 17 unique donors vs. Trump’s 49 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53186: Biden’s 16 unique donors vs. Trump’s 41 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53189: Biden’s 8 unique donors vs. Trump’s 40 unique donors
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Biden

Below are the top 10 zip codes where Biden received the most support.

  • Zip Code 53705 (Dane County): 136 unique donors, 90.7 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53711 (Dane County): 117 unique donors, 76 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53217 (Milwaukee County): 89 unique donors, 55.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53211 (Milwaukee County): 81 unique donors, 76.4 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53562 (Dane County): 61 unique donors, 57 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53202 (Milwaukee County): 58 unique donors, 68.2 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53703 (Dane County): 55 unique donors, 87.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53704 (Dane County): 54 unique donors, 65.1 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53717 (Dane County): 45 unique donors, 73.8 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53726 (Dane County): 35 unique donors, 100 % donor share
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Trump

Below are the top 10 zip codes where Trump received the most support.

  • Zip Code 53066 (Washington County): 79 unique donors, 80.6 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53217 (Milwaukee County): 89 unique donors, 55.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54016 (St. Croix County): 70 unique donors, 75.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53072 (Waukesha County): 70 unique donors, 82.4 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53092 (Milwaukee County): 69 unique donors, 69 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54313 (Oconto County): 68 unique donors, 80 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53045 (Waukesha County): 68 unique donors, 82.9 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53029 (Washington County): 63 unique donors, 80.8 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54115 (Outagamie County): 62 unique donors, 81.6 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54956 (Outagamie County): 60 unique donors, 76.9 % donor share

Methodology

The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC covering all individual contributions dated between Jan 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. For President Donald Trump, the following committees are included: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (C00580100), Trump Make America Great Again Committee (C00618371), and Trump Victory (C00618389). For former Vice President Joe Biden, the following committees are included: Biden for President (C00703975), Biden Victory Fund (C00744946), and Biden Action Fund (C00746651). The state, county, and zip code shapefiles were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau. In terms of unique donors, we deduped by names, zip codes, and candidates. We adopted 5-digit zip codes for this report as not all candidates collect 9-digit zip codes. People who have changed their names or moved in between donations could artificially inflate these numbers. Unique donor shares are calculated using the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Trump’s campaign and the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Biden’s campaign. Past Democratic/Republican candidates are excluded from the calculation.


Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies

 
1. Why would Trump be leading in a Blue Zip Code?

This is related to the primaries. As we all know, there were as many as 31 Democratic candidates competing for the nomination, and so the support was divided among them. Meanwhile, while the Republican Party had 3 candidates running, all the support gravitated towards Trump, and therefore he alone could receive support from more unique donors than any single Democratic candidate. Now that Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee, we should start seeing some changes.

2. Why should we care about unique donors?

While the dollar amount raised is important for candidates, we believe that it is more crucial to understand how many unique donors each candidate has attracted, as each unique donor potentially means one vote, and by measuring donor counts, it gives us a better idea of how many people support each candidate.

3. How is the party majority calculated?

The party majority is calculated using the aggregated unique donor count of a party and the aggregated unique donor count from Jan 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. For instance, if Democratic candidates attracted a total of 200 unique donors, and the total number of unique donors within a city is 500, the Democratic share would be 40%. In terms of the color shades, purple areas are whether neither the Democratic candidates combined nor Trump has more than 55% of the donors. Light blue and light red represent zip codes where the party has 55% to 70% of the donors, and blue or red represents a majority of 70% and more.

Published at Wed, 05 Aug 2020 13:45:23 +0000

Before and After: A Dingy Bathroom Gets a Redo Worthy of Its 1800s London Home

Before and After: A Dingy Bathroom Gets a Redo Worthy of Its 1800s London Home

When it comes to a home reno, you’ve got options: You can make minor tweaks, you can remodel one or two rooms, or you can redo the whole freakin’ thing.

Sophie Kreyer-Peake (@london.reno.life) and her fiancé, Joe, went for that last option, deciding to go all in on a 19th-century Victorian house in London last year. “There was no hot water, and the house had not been touched in almost 50 years,” says Sophie. In fact, the upstairs bathroom with the “avocado-colored” tub had no running water at all.

The couple decided to tackle that bathroom first because they planned to live in the house throughout the entire reno and therefore needed a functioning bathroom. For the project, they worked with a builder (actually, two—Sophie says the first one plumbed the toilet incorrectly and then walked out on the project, and they had to quickly find a replacement. Yikes!). It took about six weeks and £7,000 to turn the bathroom from unusable to an “OMG, when can we come over?” oasis.

The work involved some major restructuring. The couple decided to knock through a wall to combine a small bathroom with this one and make one big bathroom. They also removed a second staircase that they discovered had been boxed up under the floorboards in this bathroom from years ago. (Sophie guesses the house must have been divided into two flats.)

They also replaced that avocado-colored bathtub with a bronze-fauceted, standalone tub that gives off major spa vibes. And thanks to the added space, they were able to swap the dorm-style shower for one with floor-to-ceiling, forest green subway tiles and a Crittall-style shower screen.

The whole room now feels rich and luxurious, but the couple made some smart choices to save along the way. Because they wanted a lot of toiletry storage but couldn’t find a big enough vanity unit in their budget, “we resorted to restoring an old pine chest of drawers and sitting the sinks on top,” Sophie explains. The dark unit with the bronze detailing feels chic and totally bespoke. Sophie also wanted a black metal window, but that didn’t fit into her price point either, “so we bought a plastic white window and spray-painted it matte black, which has worked really well!” she says.

Sophie and Joe handled the painting themselves, choosing limewash paint for a plastered look and earthy, calming effect. That was the goal with lighting and accessories, too: “All of our lights are on dimmer, which I think is really important for a bathroom—sometimes you need it bright for applying makeup, etc., and if you’re having a bath, you may want it more moody,” Sophie says. She also opted for full-length linen curtains “to really ground the room and create a bit of luxe.”

Sophie has two big pieces of advice for anyone else doing a major reno: “Plan everything meticulously, especially if you are not using an architect,” she says. “Also, living through a renovation might be horribly stressful, but it means you can keep a close eye on progress!”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.

Published at Mon, 10 Aug 2020 22:00:07 +0000

These Cities Have the Best Skylines in the U.S.

These Cities Have the Best Skylines in the U.S.

What’s your favorite?

Since the world’s first skyscraper went up in Chicago in 1885, architects have continued to race each other to touch the sky. And arguments about the best skylines in the U.S. have been ongoing since that moment in time.

Cities across the U.S. have quickly-changing skylines, some with recognizable landmarks — see Empire State Building in New York City or Mount Rainier in Seattle — and others with beautiful coastal lines. Skylines make a city instantly recognizable.

Let’s go through 15 of the best skylines in the U.S. below and pick your favorite.

Which city has the best skyline in the U.S.?

Below you’ll see a good mix of urban landscapes and natural landmarks that make each skyline unique and one of the best in the country.

15. Denver, CO

denver colorado

Denver‘s skyline can be enjoyed from several spots around the city, including Washington Park. Denver is exactly one mile high, with more than 200 visible peaks sneaking around the skyline for their moment in the limelight. The tallest building in this skyline is the 56-story Republic Plaza.

14. St. Louis, MO

st louis

You can’t think about the St. Louis skyline without the Gateway Arch, the tallest manmade monument in the country. The 630-feet-tall stainless steel monument is genuinely iconic and marks the moment the Louisiana Purchase was signed. Next to it, the Mississippi River flows by and joins the Missouri River north of the city.

13. Atlanta, GA

atlanta ga

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Atlanta is the view of the skyline at the Jackson Street Bridge. It’s both used in “The Walking Dead,” and it’s a prime spot to capture a beautiful Instagram shot for your feed. While the skyscrapers themselves aren’t quite famous, the view is still worth the snapshot.

12. San Francisco, CA

san francisco ca

As the fog rolls in, past the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco‘s skyline looks ethereal. The Bay Area skyline is a good mix of skyscrapers like the Salesforce Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid and smaller buildings, due to the earthquake risk in California.

11. Nashville, TN

nashville tn

Well, Bob Dylan in 1969 named a whole album after the stunning Nashville skyline, and we can’t disagree. The southern city’s first skyscraper was only 12 stories tall back in 1905 — that number has now grown to 144 high-rises. The most identifiable of them all? The AT&T Building, nicknamed the Batman building, for its resemblance to the superhero’s mask.

10. Minneapolis, MN

minneapolis

Minnesota winters are infamous for being brutal, but Minneapolis has it figured it out. They stay mega cozy without going outdoors, thanks to the skyway system’s enclosed bridges that connect buildings throughout the city. It’s the most extensive pedestrian skywalk system in the world, connecting 17 of the tallest buildings in Minneapolis.

9. San Antonio, TX

san antonio tx

The star of the San Antonio skyline is the Tower of the Americas, the 10th tallest skyscraper in the entire state. Right in downtown San Antonio, the 750-foot-tall observation tower offers some of the city’s best views. Initially built for the 1968 World’s Fair, the tower has a spot to grab a bite to eat at the top.

8. Charlotte, NC

charlotte nc

Here’s a fun fact: The majority of Charlotte‘s current skyline was built in the 21st century starting in 2002 with the Hearst Tower. The city is a financial center in the Southeast with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other institutions having a presence at each of the skyline’s buildings.

7. Portland, OR

portland oregon

Downtown Portland‘s skyline is composed of 30 high-rises, with the Wells Fargo Center taking the top spot for tallest building. Most of the city center is nestled in between the Columbia and Willamette rivers. Nearby, the historic Pittock Mansion offers incredible panoramic views of Portland and Mount Hood in the background.

6. Chicago, IL

chicago

Right by Lake Michigan, Chicago has built one of the most classic skylines, with height variation, no crowding or funky-looking buildings. It makes sense since the first skyscraper in the world was built in the Windy City. Get to know it during one of the city’s popular architecture-themed boat tours. But you’ll get the best full view of the skyline at the Adler Planetarium.

5. Miami, FL

miami

Welcome to Miami! The Florida city has the country’s third tallest skyline with more than 300 skyscrapers. The Panorama Tower, located in downtown Miami, stands tall at 85 stories, making it the tallest in the state. Nine out of the top 10 of the tallest buildings in Florida can be found in Miami.

4. Los Angeles, CA

los angeles

Did you know that until 2014 Los Angeles buildings were required to have a flat top to allow for a helicopter landing? That’s why the skyline looks almost homogenous aside from a few new additions. On a clear day without smog, the Los Angeles skyline can be seen from several vantage points, but Griffith Observatory and Echo Park Lake are the best ones.

3. Honolulu, HI

honolulu

Honolulu‘s small, packed skyline isn’t just about buildings. A skyline shot from above shows the vibrant blue Pacific Ocean paired with lush Diamond Head. It just exudes paradise from every perspective. The First Hawaiian Center has remained the tallest building on the island since the mid-90s at 429 feet.

2. Seattle, WA

seattle

The Space Needle and Mount Rainier, part of Seattle‘s iconic skyline, take our No. 2 spot for best skyline in the U.S. The best place to see it all from above? Sunset Hill Park provides the best view of the skyline during a sunny day. The Columbia Center takes the prize for the tallest building in the city at 76 stories.

1. New York, NY

new york

The New York City skyline takes the prize as the best skyline in the country. From above, the Big Apple shines with its landmark buildings like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Tower and the One World Trade Center. It has inspired architectural dreams, and it has become the background for many stories and movies.

And while it had a tragic change at the beginning of the century, it remains one of the best city skylines in the United States.

The best city skylines around the country

City skylines are constantly changing with construction cranes slowly transitioning to newly-built skyscrapers. It keeps the city exciting. These are just a small slice of the most beautiful city skylines around the U.S.

Whether buildings have a mountain as their background or they’re by the water, there are so many good ones to choose from across all 50 states. Rent.com can help you find a home there.

Published at Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:00:53 +0000

Pros‌ ‌and‌ ‌Cons:‌ ‌Renting‌ ‌a‌ ‌Storage‌ ‌Unit‌ ‌

Pros‌ ‌and‌ ‌Cons:‌ ‌Renting‌ ‌a‌ ‌Storage‌ ‌Unit‌ ‌

In our Pros and Cons series, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of important decisions that apartment dwellers are making every day. 

If you move from a spacious apartment into a smaller one, you might have trouble fitting all your belongings. If you run out of space in your apartment, renting a storage unit can solve your problem. A storage unit provides extra space for your belongings, away from your apartment, that only you can access. Renting a storage unit might not be right for everyone, though – find the pros and cons below.

renting storage unit

Pros of renting a storage unit

Safe storage

For some apartment dwellers lacking ample in-unit space, landlords might offer extra storage in the basement, garage, or attic. Many items should never be stored in these spaces, and renting a storage unit provides a much safer alternative. Additionally, storage units tend to be far less prone to flooding and roof leakage than are, respectively, basements and attics.

Great for short-term storage

If you’re going away for a few months and need a place to keep your belongings between apartment leases, a storage unit can be the perfect solution. Storage units cost far less money to rent than do full-on apartments, so during transition times in your life or other extended periods away, they can save you tons of money on keeping your belongings safe and secure. Plus, if you have a space to stash your belongings while you’re gone, you won’t have to spend much money (and put in much labor) to get new furniture when you return.

Prioritize what you need

Even if you do have enough space in your apartment for all your belongings, who says you need all of your items right there, readily available to you all the time? Stash non-essentials in a storage unit so that, as you rack up more belongings, you can easily fit them in your apartment without having to play a giant game of Jenga with everything you currently own. Plus, being more organized is never a bad thing.

Cons of renting a storage unit

Price 

Though cheaper than apartments, storage units aren’t necessarily inexpensive. Smaller rentals may run just double digits, but larger units can cost hundreds of dollars per month. And that’s before you factor in the cost of moving your large furniture pieces into your storage unit – you may need to rent a moving truck – and any insurance you purchase for your storage unit. Some experts recommend always buying insurance for storage units despite their safety.

Irregular access

If you need something from your storage unit in a pinch, retrieving it won’t be as simple as walking a few steps to your closet and pulling it out. Instead, you’ll have to travel to your storage unit and, if you’re getting a large piece of furniture, arrange for transportation. Additionally, not all storage units give tenants 24/7 access, meaning that at certain times of day, you won’t even be able to get what you need.

Riskier storage

Any storage that isn’t directly inside your apartment can be riskier in terms of security. In addition to the remote location of your storage, you also have far less control over what goes on inside your storage unit. Namely, most storage units lack temperature control (though it can be included with higher-end, much more expensive units), and pests can sometimes proliferate in storage units. Extreme temperatures can be unsuitable for storing electronics, wooden items, and instruments, just as pest infestations can destroy couches, clothes, and more.

If you rent a storage unit, how do you make it work for you? If you’ve had a bad storage unit experience, why? Tell us everything in the comments!

Published at Thu, 30 Jul 2020 13:30:36 +0000