“Where Beverly Hills meets Haiti”

I found a rather interesting and discouraging series of images courtesy of Google Earth on the Skyscraper City forum that show and depict a rather unexpected aerial view of the class separation in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The Morumbi neighbourhood, with it’s giant mansions, green yards and swimming pools literally sits next to the dense slums of Paraisopolis (meaning “Paradise Town”).  It is an amazing contrast in a country that currently has one of the largest class divides in the world.  Check out the Skyscraper City thread below:

“Where Beverly Hills meets Haiti”

The Fall of Niagara Falls, New York


Niagra Falls New York

Niagra Falls Ontario


Business Week recently posted an excellent and extensive article on the fall of Niagara Falls, New York.   For the past four decades, Niagara Falls has continued to plummet into ever increasing decline.  The city today has both a high level of crime and a high level of unemployment.   While similar decline has taken place in a large number of rust belt cities throughout the United States, what is most remarkable about Niagara Falls, New York is that it sits beside of the world’s greatest natural wonders (Niagara Falls).  The city is visited by more than 8 million people per year, a number that would generally keep the city’s economy fairly strong, yet the city continues to plummet despite all of these tourists.

What is also remarkable is the success of Niagara Falls, Ontario on the other side of the border.  While Niagara Falls, Ontario still has it’s share of problems, the city’s tourism industry is booming with dozens of hotels and attractions.  Having visited Niagara Falls, Ontario several times, I can tell you that many parts of the city are buzzing throughout the year.  The article provides some excellent insight into how such an odd situation has occurred with regards to the two Niagara Falls cities and why Niagara Falls, New York has consistently struggled throughout the decades.

What can $300 000 get you in real estate?

With housing prices still deeply depressed throughout the world, I thought i’d take a look and see what $300 000 could afford someone in several of the major cities around the United States (give or take a thousand dollars or so).  Home prices have dropped considerably in some areas (such as Miami) while staying relatively stable (such as Boston).   The difference in quality might just amaze you!  Note that all these listings are in the city proper.  As well, also note that the listings will likely only be up for a few days or weeks.  Therefore, I created a small description of the property along with the link.

Miami: 3 bedroom, 1 bath single level  detached home. with large front yard  1216 square feet – http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/4465-Southwest-13-Terrace_Miami_FL_33134_M51691-35445

Cleveland: 3 bedroom, 3 bath luxury townhome close to the shore of Lake Erie.  2205 square feet – http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/7420-Goodwalt-Ave_Cleveland_OH_44102_M36987-55595

Boston: 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment in a late 1800′s condo complex.  380 square feet – http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/60-Myrtle-St-Unit-5_Boston_MA_02114_M43540-59341

San Francisco: Studio apartment with large windows  access to a deck.  531 square feet – http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/83-85-Brady-St-Unit-2_San-Francisco_CA_94103_M29615-58768

Chicago: Two bedroom, 2 bath condo in a highrise complex built in the 70′s and including a communal pool. 1300 square feet –http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1415-North-Dearborn-Street-Unit-11b_Chicago_IL_60610_M87440-01602

Honolulu: 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo in a highrise complex with a view of downtown Honolulu and the ocean.  1000 square feet –http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1221-Victoria-St-Unit-1803_Honolulu_HI_96822_M70822-90298