Ten Facts About the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is a true staple in American culture. It’s one of the top five largest skyscrapers in the United States, and only grows in popularity as a worldwide landmark. It represents NYC culture to the fullest as many people travel miles to see this 102-story skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. With a rich pop culture and historical presence, it continues to gain a massive reputation through the years. Here are some interesting facts to boot.

1. ESRT (Empire State Building) has been featured in a number of movies like King Kong, Step Up 3D, Men in Black III, etc. It continues to be a great symbol of NYC in films shot in Manhattan.

2. The building only took 20 months to finish. It was during a time where there was a race to build the tallest structure. As much as over 3,000 men worked on it per day, which explains how fast it was able to get constructed.

3. In 2003, Australian cyclist, Paul Crake, rode to the observation deck in a record time of 9 minutes and 33 seconds.

4. On the 24th floor, there were actually nap pods available for visitors to get a 20 minute nap in during a busy day up until 2008.

5. It was the first building to shine light on FDR’s impending election in 1932.

6. Each year there’s a Valentine’s Day contest that allows for 14 couples to get hitched on the Observation Deck.

7. Due to the sheer size of the building, the Empire State Building (along with other huge structures in NYC), has its own unique zip code.

8. The Empire State Building allows you to see 80 miles past the building on a clear day. You’ll be able to see New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

9. The building lights are turned off on foggy nights during spring and fall migration months. This is to ensure that birds don’t get distracted by the lights and they continue on their migration course during these pivotal months.

10. The main observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors attract more than 4 million people a year, so it’s one of the top tourist’s spots in NYC.

Karolina Kurkova’s Birthday Party in South Beach

Miami is the Magic City and that magic was definitely on display at supermodel Karolina Kurkova’s birthday party. It took place at the new South Beach restaurant called “Prey,” which is located on the rooftop at 1 Hotel South Beach. Prey is a very eco-conscious, pop-up sushi restaurant. Prey occupies a rooftop space in South Beach until April 30.

Prey Restaurant’s innovative Chef Bun Lai uses the environmentally- aware concept of serving on the menu mostly plants and animal species that have become invasive. This means that particular animals and plants are overgrown or simply do not belong in certain regions in such high numbers. They are harming the ecosystem, thus removing them helps the environment. Examples of fish that have become invasive in the South Florida region include Lionfish. Other menu items include Roast Feral Pig and
Tempura Weed Che.

Karolina Kurkova attended the party with her husband, Archie Drury. Her parents Josef Kurka and Eva Kurkova. Those in attendance were able to enjoy I Hotel South Beach’s presentation of a lovely view of the Miami skyline and the gorgeous, world-famous Miami Beach ocean view. The birthday party was also attended by Jackie Soffer http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/design-district-mastermind-marries-aventura-mall-chief-7874029 and her husband, Craig Robins. Also in attendance was Kinga Lampert.

Chef Bun Lai has a theory that people can restore harmony to ecology by deciding to consume invasive plants and animals that are ruining the ecology. To this end, he presents a very unique menu that in many cases he personally hunts, forages and dives in the Florida Everglades region to find the required and perfect ingredients. The restaurant is closed for dinner Monday and Tuesday nights. Chef Bun Lai comes from a strong culinary background, as his parents have owned and operated acclaimed sushi restaurant Miya’s in New Haven, Connecticut for thirty-five years.

Supermodel Karolina Kurkova certainly knows how to celebrate her birthday in eco-friendly style. Her 32nd birthday was certainly totally unique as she dined on invasive plants and animal species. Highly acclaimed Chef Bun Lai worked his culinary magic for her birthday in high style, all the while helping the ecosystem in South Florida.

San Diego California Real Estate Gurus worth researching

San Diego has some of the best real estate gurus in the country, who have made a great deal of money selling homes that they have bought in the area with the sole intention of fixing up and selling for a profit. If you are in the San Diego, California area and are looking at getting into the real estate market, there is no question that the best route for you to take is to head to the meetings where these people speak, read up on their blogs, and read the books that they have put out. Their teachings will show you how to look at a home and determine whether there is value or not.

A lot of homes may not appear like they are worth buying, but in reality, it is those homes that may look run down and be on the cheaper side of the market where the gold lies in a lot of cases. This is due to the fact that a lot of dilapidated and run down properties are way below their actual value, meaning they have the potential to make a big score to the buyer. This would come through fixing up the home, which most buyers do through contracting outside sources to do the work for them. This way, they can take a property that most people would not want to work with and they can literally fix up the home for resale without getting their hands dirty.

There is a lot of skill that needs to be had in order to see these types of things, so it is a great idea to learn from the best gurus in town. One of the best real estate gurus in San Diego is Seth O’Byrne. He probably has the biggest following and has been one of the most successful gurus in the country when it comes to flipping real estate and he absolutely has a plethora of great information. John Goodelll is another person that has a wealth of information about the real estate market, which may end up helping you to select the perfect property to purchase. Alan Hamrick is another notable person, but it is important to really digest what the gurus in the general area are saying. The reason that keeping it local is beneficial is the fact that they buy and sell homes in the same area and have a deep grasp on the local market.

Celebrities that have been seen in Miami


There have been many things said about living down here in the Buena Vista-Miami Beach area. To put all the rumors to rest, yes it is worth it to come down here. Speaking as someone who lives about 3 hours away, there is no better place to live than down here.

There might be some out there who are still on the fence about taking the time to come down here. To help make the decision easier for those still on the fence, here is a small list of benefits.

– The weather is beautiful all year round, even when it’s winter time. The sun is shining 90% of the time. The air is always warm. This is the perfect place to be for those who do not like the cold.

– Compared to other big cities, the price point is not that high. Is it going be more expensive than living in a small town? Yes, it will be. However, a person has access to things in Miami that can’t be found anywhere else.

– Compared to states like New Jersey and New York, the income tax protection can’t be beat. Those who come down here will not have to worry about a state tax. This is going to put more money back into the bank account. Think about it.


There are the beaches to consider. Miami and Buena Vista are lined with beaches galore. A person can not go two blocks without finding a beach or shopping centers. There is fine dining. It’s definitely a tourist trap. Over 50% of the tourists that come down here decide to make it their permanent place of living.

Miami Beach is also full of celebrities. This is a prime location for people like Britney Spears, Craig Robins, and Madonna. Madonna used to live here. She used to make her home right here in Dade County, better known as South Beach. She has since sold it back in 2000. She does come back and visit from time to time, especially when she is on tour. In fact, Madonna will be here this month for her Rebel Heart Tour.

Britney Spears has also come to call Miami a cool place to come and visit. Britney has been seen staying at the Setai Miami Beach Hotel in South Beach. Britney has also stayed at the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons when she is in town.

Those who like coming here just to see people like Britney and Madonna, these areas are a gold mine. People like Queen Latifah and Kid Rock have also frequented these places too.

To find out more about the Buena Vista and Miami Beach area have to offer, visit the official pages right here.

What Do Energy Efficient Buildings In New York City Do?

New York City is the real estate capitol of the world, and there are many buildings in the city that are being improved every day with new technology. You need to know what the people in New York are doing so that you can make additions to your own building. Keep reading to find out what is working in the New York market so that you can do itself yourself.

They Want To Be Off the Grid

Every efficient buildings in New York City including Anthony Malkin’s Empire State Building wants to be off the grid. The idea is to be completely independent of any kind of utility. The city pretty much owns utilities and services, so the people who are creating energy efficient building plans are looking for ways to avoid using utilities. This is a plan that helps people save money, and it is a plan that is going to make it much easier for you to make sure that you are going to have the services you need.

They Are Using Solar Power

Solar power is a much better way to make sure that the building is powered, and there is always solar energy coming in every day. The people who are committed to being independent in New York City are willing to place solar panels on their walls and roof to collect as much energy as possible. The most efficient building is going to make its own electricity, and the building manager will never pay for an electrical bill again.

They Have a Water Tank

The water tank that is made just for a building is going to hold all the rain that has fallen. The tank will filter all the water, and there will be enough water for the building without using the regular water supplier. A building that makes its own water can stay off the grid completely without any trouble.

There are many ways for people to be off the grid when they manage their own buildings, and this is the kind of thing anyone can do in their own home or building. Following the lead of a company that is implementing new measures their own buildings is going to give you much better results, and you will notice that you can save money every month. You are getting the results you need when you make your building efficient, and you are benefiting everyone who comes in the building every day.

Jeffrey Soffer Hosts the United Way Tocqueville Grand Reception

Chairman and CEO of Turnberry Associates, Jeffrey Soffer and his wife, Elle Macpherson, recently hosted the prestigious United Way Tocqueville Grand Reception at their home. Honored that evening were siblings Jeffrey Miller, Leslie Miller Saiontz and Stuart Miller, who received the United Way of Miami-Dade’s prestigious Tocqueville Award for Outstanding Philanthropy.

Underwritten by Van Cleef & Arprels and Ed Ansin, the reception brought together Miami’s most generous givers who contribute $10,000 or more annually to better the community through the United Way.

The 766-member United Way Tocqueville Society contributed more than $20 million during the last campaign, representing 40 percent of the overall annual campaign. The society was named after a French historian who recognized, celebrated and immortalized the voluntary spirit he witnessed in America during the 1800s.

Also in attendance were Laurie Jennings, Leonard and Jayne Abess, Toni Shrager, Miguel and Nelly Farra, Stephen Bittel, and Herve Mogul, president and CEO of United Way of MiamiDade.

Fontainebleau Celebrates 100 Years of Miami Beach

This past March, Miami Beach celebrated its centennial anniversary. Fontainebleau, a quintessential staple of Miami Beach, took part in the landmark birthday with special offerings throughout the month.

Owned and operated by Jeffrey Soffer (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/biz-monday/article1962757.html) of Turnberry Associates, Fontainebleau is effervescent with the spirit of Miami Beach. A symbol of style and sophistication, the hotel opened its doors in 1954 and has become a revered landmark ever since.

Guests were invited to celebrate Miami Beach’s birthday in style with a prix-fixe dinner for two at the hotel’s critically acclaimed restaurant, Michael Mina 74 and sip a lavishly curated cocktail at the iconic Bleau Bar — aptly priced at $100.

Michael Mina 74’s delectable menu featured Ahi & Hamachi Poppers, Florida Snapper, Lobster Cavatelli and MM74 Beignets. The restaurant is led by Chef de Cuisine Thomas Griese, recently named one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30.”

Celebrities that have visited the Miami Design District

When it comes to high fashion and design, it is not necessary to travel across the ocean to Paris or London. There are plenty of opportunities to find quality one-of-a-kind creations right here in the United States. There is a magical fashion world located in Miami called the Design District. This noted fashion location is high class and regularly visited by a number of celebrities, which include Craig Robins.

Television personality and star of the HGTV show Color Splash, David Bromstad will be visiting the area to take in the surroundings and fulfill his position as Grand Marshal for the 27th Annual AIDS Walk in April. He has contributed further to the Miami area by completing over 150 home makeovers in the area.

Kate Hudson visited the Design District in a stylish pale pink noodle strapped pant suit. She was there to celebrate at a party being held at Chrome Hearts. Her low riding open shoulder ensemble was the perfect outfit for a hot Miami Design District addition.

Zoe Kravitz has been sighted in the Miami Design District many times. She is the daughter of Lisa Bonet and the famous musician Lenny Kravitz. She currently works as an actress, model, and singer. She visits the Design District regularly as both a model and a designer.

A well recognized name in Hollywood like Elle Macpherson will turn heads when seen at such places as the Miami Design District. She was attending a celebration for the Miami Project during Art Basel. Being one of the most recognizable Hollywood superstar models, she is right at home in the bikini state of Florida.

One of the big names that has been spotted in this fashion forward area is Miranda Kerr. Attending a private party thrown by Louis Vuitton, Miranda was rubbing her Vuitton ensemble with the likes of Kate Hudson at this prestigious performance.

Another member of the Hollywood celebrity community that can be seen in the Miami Design District is Leonardo DiCaprio. Seated at a private table with the likes of other superstar names like Lukas Hass and Tobey Maguireoffered star struck visitors a triple treat at the WALL Lounge for Mr. Brainwash’s party. If the three of these hot stars were not enough, Joe Jonas, A-Rod, and Rick Ross were also spotted at this venue.

When it comes to spotting high profile fashion conscious celebrities, the Miami Design District is a great place to start the hunt.

Men Who Have Sat on the Board of Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures, according to NNDB, was founded in 1920 as the CBS Sales Film Corporation. This giant in the media industry did not get the name, Columbia Pictures, until 1924. From 1982-1989 it was owned by Coca Cola. Since 1989, it has been owned by Sony. The following are biographical sketches for several of the men who have sat on their board. Biographical information comes from the NNDB website.

Fay Thomas Vincent Jr.
Fay Vincent, born in Waterbury, Connecticut, graduated from Hotchkiss High School and Williams College. He went on to Yale Law School and was an entertainment lawyer and sports executive, serving as Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1989 until he resigned in 1992.He has been a trustee for Williams College, Fairfield University, and Carleton College. In addition to being on the board for Columbia Pictures, he has served on boards for Time Warner, 2004 Bush/Cheney, Connecticut and New York State Bar Associations, and Straight Talk America.

Herbert Anthony Allen Jr.
Born about 1940, Herbert Allen, an executive with Allen & Company, Inc, purchased Columbia pictures for $1 million out of his personal money and $500K out of his company’s money. Once he became chairman, he made a stock swap at an 1800% profit with Coco Cola which later sold to Sony at a $3B dollar profit.

President and CEO of Allen & Company, he has served on boards for Columbia Coca Cola, Convera, New Leadership for America PAC, Straight Talk America, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, as well as political boards for Bill Bradley, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman, George W. Bush, Dick Gephardt, John McCain, and Barrack Obama.

Donald Raymond Keough
Donald Keough is an American businessman from Maurice, Iowa who serves as chairman of Allen & Company, a NY banking investment company. Keough graduated from Creighton University and served as trustee chairman for the University of Notre Dame. Some other boards he has served on include: Coca Cola, Duncan Foods, Butter-Nut Foods, Berkshire Hathaway, Convera, Heinz, Home Depot, and McDonalds. He also has served on campaign committees for Bush, Cheney, Dole, Giuliani, Gingrich, George W. Bush, John McCain, and Romney.

John Pagano Peters
Jon Peters was born in 1945 in Burbank, California. He is an American movie producer served as co-chairman on board of Columbia picture from 1989-1991. Other activities he has been involved with include George W Bush for President, Cherokee Ancestry, and Italian Ancestry.

Homegrown Miami Powerhouses

The Sunshine State’s bustling metropolis has plenty of famous people from it, or who have adopted Miami as their new home.  Here’s a list of some amazing and successful women who have made the Magic City their home.

Gloria Estefan

This Grammy Award winner is known for the hit song, Conga (played often in movies when Florida is first shown on screen).  Born Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo Garcia in Havana, Cuba right before Castro’s takeover, the family fled to Miami, where Gloria grew up.  She graduated from the University of Miami in 1979, and then went on to become one of the most successful singers of all time.  She still lives in Miami with her husband Emilio Estefan.

Anna Kournikova

Anna Kournikova is another who has adopted Miami.   This tennis star was born in Moscow, Russia before the fall of the Soviet Union, and now resides in Miami.  Kournikova is known for her skill as well as her personal life, supposedly dating celebs like Enrique Iglesias.  Kournikova retired in the early 2000s from tennis.

Eva Mendes

This versatile actress was born in Miami, and has revisited the city for film shoots, such as 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003.  Mendes has appeared in lots of films, across different genres and will next be seen in the fantasy film Lost River, directed by Ryan Gosling.

Janet Reno

This former Attorney General of the United States, was born in Miami and was involved in Miami politics before being nominated as the 78th Attorney General by President Bill Clinton, and was in office from 1993-2001.  She was in office to help guide the US through difficult issues like the Unabomber, and the Waco Siege.  Reno is known for her politics, and sense of humor, participating in the frequent SNL sketch about herself, Janet Reno’s Dance Part, where she was impersonated by Will Ferrell.

Karen Russell

This young, Miami born author is a Pulitzer Prize nominee at only 32!  Her first novel Swamplandia! was met with acclaim and the aforementioned Pulitzer nomination.  Her last published work was the short story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

Jackie Soffer

One of Miami’s most successful real estate developers is still improving the Miami real estate scene.  Jackie Soffer’s family-owned company Turnberry Associates owns the Florida landmarks Aventura Mall and The Fontainebleau Hotel.  Soffer grew up in Miami, and is still developing it today.