IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, BUT IDYLLIC ITALIAN VILLAGES WILL PAY YOU TO MOVE THERE

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Outside the Raven in Mount Pleasant last week, I had a sudden urge to smoke a cigarette and I offered a smoker on the sidewalk a dollar for a smoke. He looked into his pack, counted his remaining cigarettes, and said no. Consider that for that same dollar, which apparently can’t even buy a single cigarette here in America, I could buy an entire authentic Italian house in the picturesque town of Ollolai, on the island of Sardinia. I blame the Federal Reserve. (I have no idea what the Federal Reserve is or does.) IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, BUT IDYLLIC ITALIAN VILLAGES WILL PAY YOU TO MOVE THERE

THE MARK ZUCKERBERG OF THE 90s IS SELLING HIS RIDICULOUSLY PALATIAL FLORIDA ESTATE

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James Clark is a former high school dropout from Texas who became a billionaire after he founded the companies behind Netscape, the first mainstream internet browser, and WebMD, the first mainstream website to make you break out in a cold sweat at 3AM by convincing you that your headache is caused by a brain tumor.  Although Netscape failed and WebMD is pretty much garbage, Clark is still a billionaire because, well, that’s how Silicon Valley works.  Clark races yachts (of course he does), married a Victoria’s Secret model (of course he did!), and owns some of the finest properties in the world, from Bunny Mellon’s New York City townhouse, to this historic Palm Beach oceanfront property, which is now for sale.  Interested?  It’s listed at $95,000,000.  You couldn’t even afford the pool cleaning fees.  Looking at photos is still free though (pending the repeal of net neutrality). THE MARK ZUCKERBERG OF THE 90s IS SELLING HIS RIDICULOUSLY PALATIAL FLORIDA ESTATE

5 BARS WHERE IT ALWAYS FEELS LIKE SUMMER

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Let’s all take a minute to appreciate that we just survived one of the roughest stretches of arctic weather in D.C. in recent memory. Whether you spent the past days huddled at home or in one of the city’s cozy restaurants, I think everyone is glad it’s over! (I certainly didn’t decide to live in this place because of the cold.)

So now that it’s finally warmer-ish outside, consider hanging out somewhere that brings vibes of sun and warmth. Being cozy is great, but so is escaping winter altogether, however briefly. Here are some picks for bars and restaurants where it always feels a little more like summer. 5 BARS WHERE IT ALWAYS FEELS LIKE SUMMER

STUDIES CONFIRM THAT EVERYONE SHOULD LIVE ALONE, EVEN (ESPECIALLY) IF YOU’RE MARRIED

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I always say that the fastest way to ruin a relationship is to move in together.  Nothing kills the spark of romance like discovering that your significant other is a secret hoarder who takes 45 minute showers and puts their clipped toenails in the potted plants.  And yet cohabitation is widely accepted as a necessary step in “real” coupledom.  Imagine my surprise when it turned out that science supported my side. STUDIES CONFIRM THAT EVERYONE SHOULD LIVE ALONE, EVEN (ESPECIALLY) IF YOU’RE MARRIED

WAYS TO LOSE THE WEIGHT YOU GAINED OVER THE HOLIDAYS AND IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

This is the time of year many people have joined a gym, vowing to regain the shape of their youth even if they have to stop eating Pringles and Mountain Dew for a while. But a gym membership isn’t for everyone. It costs money, it takes time, it hurts, and for many people, it isn’t fun.

If losing weight and getting in better shape is your goal — versus becoming competitive on the body-building circuit — all you have to do is move more and eat less. We know — that’s easier said than done. But living in the DMV can make it the process less painful, because we have so many great spots to walk. WAYS TO LOSE THE WEIGHT YOU GAINED OVER THE HOLIDAYS AND IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

DC’S WEIRDEST LAW MANDATES THAT ALL GAS STATIONS HAVE TO STAY OPEN FOREVER

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There were a number of jaw-droppers in the recent articles about DC’s law prohibiting full-service gas stations from being turned into anything else.  First – the man who owns around half of all District-area stations nets – nets! – almost $800 million annually.  That’s borderline Bezos money.  Second – apparently a significant number of District residents drive to Maryland or Virginia to get marginally cheaper gas.  You people do know that you’re using gas to drive to and from Maryland and Virginia, don’t you?!  Even if you value your time at literally zero, you’re still probably only saving a few cents. DC’S WEIRDEST LAW MANDATES THAT ALL GAS STATIONS HAVE TO STAY OPEN FOREVER

URBAN SCRAWL’S TOP STORIES OF 2017

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Before we rush headlong into 2018, let’s take just a moment to pause and reflect on the things we did well in 2017.  And when I say “pause and reflect,” what I mean is, “slather ourselves in glory like a gravy-basted Christmas turkey.”

Without further ado, here are the top stories from 2017, minus a few evergreen posts that seem to get thousands of views every year no matter what.  (I’m not surprised that so many people are googling “buy legal weed in DC,” but I am a little surprised – not to mention concerned – that so many people are looking for abandoned buildings in DC.  I don’t understand it, so I’m just going to blame millennials.) URBAN SCRAWL’S TOP STORIES OF 2017