Extraordinary Landscapes

In the summer of 2007, a curatorial team from George Eastman House invited twelve photographers to photograph the sites designated by The Cultural Landscape Foundation as their 2007 Landslide landscapes. The photographs focus on culturally significant landscapes at risk of alteration or destruction, and include trees and other plantings that have witnessed or withstood major cultural or natural events.

In this exhibition of work the focus is on celebrated botanical heroes that have withstood the test of time Ranging from Charleston’s angel southern live oak, a majestic living legacy from the antebellum South to the dew-drenched petals of a rare tree peony from Pavilion, New York, these photographs lovingly document heritage landscapes that are threatened by development, disease and the ravages of time.

Additionally the exhibit, “Heroes of Horticulture” documents the sole surviving witnesses to some of the nation’s greatest people and most significant moments. Some are hundreds of years old: the horse chestnut tree that shaded suffragist Susan B. Anthony in the late 19th century to the live oak tree allĂ©e in Houston.
These photographic collaborations with artists, now a traveling exhibit, have yielded compelling interpretations of extraordinary places. And, for most of us, this is the only way we may ever experience the subjects and places depicted.

The exhibition includes twenty-four images by photographers Mark Klett, John Pfahl, Eli Reed, Louviere+Vanessa, John Divola, Eric Baden, Jodean Bifoss, George Blakely, Roger Bruce, Matthew Keefe, Fredrik Marsh, and James Via. The twelve sites, located across the nation, are currently featured on TCLF’s website (www.tclf.org) and appears in the January 2008 edition of Garden Design magazine. For a schedule of this amazing traveling exhibit visit http://www.eastmanhouse.org/Main/exhibitions/on_the_road.php.

Fresh Look at New Home Design Ideas

Home is where the heart is. The home means the place where we can unwind and be ourselves. So if one wants to redo their home, it needs taking a fresh look at the various home design ideas.

A house is made of many rooms. Each of these rooms has a role to play to make it a part of the home. While deciding on the home design ideas it is important to remember that individual tastes of the people living in the house have to be taken into consideration.

The house can be given a completely new look by just changing the color of the paint on the walls. You can decide to go in for more modern use of different colors for different rooms or walls. Or maybe even use wall paper or tiles to add more variety.

In case constructing a new house, you can decide on the theme – like a modern house with neat lines or a farm house or just a simple country house. The theme can help decide how to do up the rest of the house.

Home design ideas can help plan for the most important room in the house, the kitchen. The size and shape of the kitchen need to be given adequate thought. The counter-top, the pantry, the types of electrical appliances that would be used all need to be accommodated and planned for. Also the type of kitchen sinks that have to be fitted.

The bedrooms should be well planned well. The rooms should get proper ventilation. There must be ample cupboard space and storage areas. The lights should be well placed.

The plumbing in the bathrooms has to be well thought of. The number of sinks, the type of tap fittings, whether to fit a tub or a shower closet. All the plans have to be made keeping in mind the number of people using it and their specific requirements.

Would you prefer a well laid out lawn or a backyard where the children can play? Using the new home design ideas, plan well to use the open spaces to avoid hassles in future.

Leaving A Legacy With Commercial Real Estate

Watching my two children open the many gifts they were blessed with from friends, family and their parents, over the holidays raised a question for me. What can I give my children that they can enjoy when I’m no longer around? What can I give them that they can share with their Children’s, Children’s Children? The answer for me is Commercial or Income Producing Property. Namely small to mid-sized Commercial Real Estate. By small to mid-sized I mean assets whose value is in excess of $1 Million. I understand that Commercial assets is not as exciting to my children as the new leap pad games they received for Christmas but it’s certainly the gift that will keep giving. In this article to we will explore three advantages to building a legacy with Commercial Property.

Income producing Real Estate in general is a great long term investment because of the high demand. As an investor in Apartment Buildings, I need only point to the basic needs of life, food, shelter and clothing, to justify that there will always be a need for shelter. Of those three needs, the need for shelter is, in my opinion, most important to the average individual. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011 Consumer Expenditures News Release reports that the average American spends 26% of their income, before taxes, on housing. As we examine our own economic spend plan housing is undoubtedly the largest bill for most of us. This further supports the claim that real estate is in large demand.

Next, Income producing assets are great long term investment because of the principal of leverage. One of my mentors used to say “You make money in real estate when you buy not when you sell… you must Buy Right!” Quoting him here is not as impressive without the Southern accent over the word ‘Right.’ What he meant is that buying a property must be done strategically with the goal of making money in the forefront. You must be able to leverage the money you use in a deal. Leverage occurs when money is borrowed at a certain interest rate that is less than the rate of return of the property. Leverage enables a commercial asset to pay for itself. What better asset to have than an asset that not only produces income but produces income in excess of its expense. Leaving such an asset for the generations that follow you is powerful.

Lastly, Commercial Property, namely property whose value is in excess of $1 Million, can more often than not support itself. The income produced from the monthly rents can be used to pay the mortgage and hire a staff of professionals to maintain the asset. Of course you can do everything yourself (Not Recommended) but if the property makes enough income to hire a professional lawyer, accountant, landscaper, property manager etc. why wouldn’t you? More importantly, if your Children or your Children’s Children are passionate about something else and don’t want to be full time real estate investors they can hire professionals to manage the asset that funds your legacy.