THE BIGGEST HOUSE IN DC IS SMALLER THAN THE GARAGE OF THE BIGGEST HOUSE IN THE WORLD

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I was at an open house recently for some sprawling Palisades mansion with six or seven or eight bedrooms, and a family room, a living room, a sitting room, and a great room, and as I walked down yet another endless hallway, I thought, “this must be the biggest house in DC.  Also, they should give us Segways for these house tours.”  Turns out, it wasn’t even close to being the biggest house in DC. THE BIGGEST HOUSE IN DC IS SMALLER THAN THE GARAGE OF THE BIGGEST HOUSE IN THE WORLD

HIGH PRICES GOT YOU DOWN? FREE HOUSES ARE EVERYWHERE-BUT THERE’S A CATCH

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We’ve all heard about free, or almost free, houses in Europe – the castles given away for nothing, the Italian villas for one Euro, etc – and somehow they don’t strike us as that unusual. Unlike the roaring US, we think of Europe as a mess of millenia-old cultures that’s constantly on the brink of utter exhaustion. In this metaphor, Europe is your elderly aunt who has to pay attendants to go on cruises with her, while America is her young vibrant niece who’s choosing between suitors. Right? Well, not so much … HIGH PRICES GOT YOU DOWN? FREE HOUSES ARE EVERYWHERE-BUT THERE’S A CATCH

LOOKING BACK AT DC’S MOST GENTRIFIED ZIP CODE

When a recent study found that 20001, right here in DC, was the second-most gentrified zip code in the entire nation, my first thought was, “they must have miscalculated, because no other zip code could be more gentrified.”  I should know – I was there for more or less the entire process.

I moved into 20001 in 2003. My girlfriend and I rented a bedroom in a two bedroom apartment on 6th Street from a recently divorced 29-year-old New England society type who’d spent the previous decade living on a school bus with her ex-husband. (The owner of the house, a retired World Bank employee, lived in Ethiopia.) After work – she was an office temp – she’d come home and write poetry at her desk, eating antidepressants out of assorted sample packs she got from her doctor. She told us the neighborhood was bad – she had two large dogs “for protection” – but really it just seemed deserted. There were nice cars parked on the street, Jettas and Volvos, but I never saw the owners. They stayed barricaded in their houses, day and night, waiting for their property values to increase. LOOKING BACK AT DC’S MOST GENTRIFIED ZIP CODE

THIS MARYLAND GHOST TOWN WAS DESTROYED BY A HURRICANE (AND “WELFARE CAPITALISM”)

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Over the course of a little more than a decade, Daniels, Maryland, a picturesque former mill town less than an hour from DC, was utterly destroyed – first by an economic paradigm shift, and then by a freak weather event. Today, the ghost town is a mildly popular destination for eccentric explorers, ruin porn aficionados, and people who want to see what the rest of America will look like fifty years from now. Oops, did I say that out loud? THIS MARYLAND GHOST TOWN WAS DESTROYED BY A HURRICANE (AND “WELFARE CAPITALISM”)

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

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