Pop Culture Battle: Boomers vs. Millennials

Don’t worry, this won’t be a blog about which generation is better, or any of that other nonsense you probably see online way too often. Instead, this is a fun one! As a Boomer myself (anyone born 1946-1964), I thought this was an interesting list of the Top 10 Pop Culture Moments of the 1980s, when my generation was in high school, college, and post-graduate life! As Boomers, most of us have millennial children, so this blog should ignite some memories – it did for me.

10. The Reagan Revolution: Ronald Reagan was elected for the first of two terms in 1980, shaping the decade with his Reaganomics policies. I remember him coming to the University of Nevada Reno’s (UNR) campus for a speech. Everyone was excited to see the President speak. I still remember how Jelly Belly’s were his favorite candy because they were mine too!

9. The World Mourns John Lennon: A deranged fan shot the former Beatle outside his New York City home in 1980. As an 18-year-old at the time, I remember clearly how tragic and unnecessary that moment was.

John Lennon (USA Today)

8. Royal Wedding Extravaganza: Lady Di and Prince Charles were wed in 1981 in London. An estimated 750 million (!!!) viewers tuned in to watch.

7. Tech Takes Off: Microsoft released Microsoft Word in 1983 and IBM debuted the PC XT. The first mobile phone was also created that year, by Motorola.

6. CNN Makes Waves: Ted Turner launched the first 24-hour cable news network, CNN, in 1980.

5. The Simpsons Take Over: The Simpsons debuted on the Tracey Ullman Show in 1987 as shorts, before becoming a half-hour primetime show on Fox in 1990. It has been renewed through 2025, and will run for at least 36 years by that point!

4. Game Boy Mania: Nintendo released the Game Boy, a portable video game system, which paved the way for handheld gaming as we know it today.

Original Gameboy (Wikipedia)

3. Basketball’s New Stars: Basketball’s popularity soared with the emergence of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and, of course, Michael Jordan.

2. Historical Happenings: The decade ended with the destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989, leading to the eventual end of the Cold War. I had studied abroad in Austria during college; I had one year left and wrote about the Berlin Wall falling in 1985 for a class. I got a B, but felt vindicated four years later when my prediction came true. After graduation, I lived for a year in Germany and drove through East Germany, arriving at Check Point Charlie to get into Berlin. It was a unique and interesting experience.

1. MTV Rocks the Airwaves: MTV launched with the words, “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” playing over footage of the first space shuttle launch and Apollo 11 – the rest was history.

As a bonus, my writer is a millennial (1981-1996 timeline), and he put down his five most memorable pop culture moments of the 2000s, when he was in middle school, high school, and college:

5. Myspace/AIM: If you weren’t on Myspace and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) in the mid-2000’s, were you even alive? The precursor to Facebook and other larger social networks completely dominated digital lives.

4. American Idol: I know I’m not the only one who still remembers calling the Idol phone lines to vote for my favorite contestants. Ironically, Kelly Clarkson in Season 1 might still be the most famous of them all!

Kelly Clarkson wins American Idol Season 1 (yes, that’s Ryan Seacrest on the left) (PopSugar)

3. The iPod: We have come so, so far in the last quarter-century. But back in the day, the iPod was the ultimate status symbol and the coolest way to play music (even if you still had to download scratchy tracks from illegal websites…).

2. Harry Potter: Everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – I knew was reading Harry Potter. I thought it was a joke until I turned that first page. Harry Potter hysteria was very, very real in the late 90s and early 00s (and still is today?).

1. Razor Scooters: Look, I could have chosen several things to be on this list – Livestrong bracelets, Uggs, emo music, Jersey Shore – but on a personal level, nothing screams 2000s like the Razor scooter. And they still exist today!

Hopefully, this blog was a bit of fun and provided a wave of nostalgia for all our Boomers, Millennials, and other generations who experienced these pop culture phenomena!

Local Music Festivals

One thing I really missed during the strictest COVID lockdowns was getting to see live music with big crowds. I love going to local music festivals around here – obviously for the music itself, but also for the art, food, drink, and friendship that comes with it!

I’ve included a few photos from my past trips to BottleRock Music Festival in Napa below, but wanted to also share 7×7‘s Best Music Festivals list from a recent story they wrote. Here’s what they have:

Mill Valley Music Festival (Headliners: Fleet Foxes, Greensky Bluegrass) – May 11-12 in Mill Valley

Cosmico (Susto, Sam Grisman, Nicki Bluhm) – May 17-19 in Guerneville

BottleRock Napa Valley (Stevie Nicks, Megan Thee Stallion, Peral Jam, Ed Sheeran) – May 24-26 in Napa Valley

Festival La Onda (Maná, Fuerza Regida, Alejandro Fernandez, Junior H.) – June 1-2 in Napa Valley

California Roots (Ziggy Marley, Damian Marley, Stephen Marley, E-40, Too Short, Ice Cube, Rebelution, Lupe Fiasco) – May 24-26 in Monterey

Stern Grove Music Festival (lineup coming late April – FREE!) – mid-June to August in San Francisco

Mosswood Meltdown (B-52’s, Pure Hell, Big Freedia, Redd Kross, Hunx and his Punx) – July 6-7 in Oakland

Fillmore Jazz Festival (headliners not available yet) – July 6-7 in San Francisco

Festival Napa Valley (Lionel Richie, Pretty Yende, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Ray Chen) – July 6-21 in Napa Valley

Outside Lands (lineup coming soon) – Aug. 9-11 in San Francisco

Unfortunately, I will not be at BottleRock this year as my son is graduating from Kellogg/Northwestern from his MBA program, and I am heading to Chicago for his graduation. I did hear there is another festival coming from the organizers of BottleRock a week after Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park – excited to see the lineup. Are you going to any? Let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll see you there!

Upcoming Events In Walnut Creek

If you don’t get the “This Week in the Creek” newsletter, make sure you sign up. It is a great resource for those of us living in or around Walnut Creek who like to go out and do things. Just visit www.walnutcreekdowntown.com and scroll to the bottom to find the “stay in touch with eNews” button.

Anyway, one of the most valuable aspects of the newsletter for me is the events calendar. I love to know what’s going on in my backyard, both for my own personal benefit and so I can help clients get acclimated to the town. So, as you can see on the graphic from the newsletter below, here are some upcoming events!

Next month, you can join the Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association, the City of Walnut Creek, and Steinway Piano Gallery for an Earth Day “beautification project” called Painted Pianos. This is a really unique event designed to bring the community together through music and art. To learn more, visit this website.

That cool event will be going on for about six months! And you can never go wrong with live music, First Wednesdays, or the fan-favorite Uncorked in June. They even have the local skating rink opening and Oktoberfest mapped out so we can plan way ahead. There is never a shortage of fun things to do where we live!

Are you going to any of these? Maybe I’ll see you there!

Montesacro: The New Go-To Spot

Montesacro is an Italian restaurant in downtown Walnut Creek that also has two locations in San Francisco and one in Brooklyn. I remember when this was Mint 54 and have wanted to try it since it became a full on restaurant, thus I invited some clients who just closed and my neighbors who referred me, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner.

“Montesacro” is the name of a neighborhood in Rome and the restaurant pays homage to this “hardscrabble, working-class quarter…affected by the aftermath of World War II.” They are inspired by old taverns in Rome where they only served wine straight from the barrel and patrons sat on benches along long, wooden tables.

The history is fascinating, but the food is what will keep me coming back. Montesacro sources local and sustainable food from farms and small Italian producers. Right now, they are advertising the “pinsa,” which is a cloud-like pizza – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Need I say more?

This is a fairly small restaurant, but it was packed at the bar and all the tables. I ordered the carbanarra, one couple split the veal shank. As you can see by the size of the bone, my dog Poppy enjoyed Montescaro too. You can enjoy all your favorite Italian dishes at Montesacro, plus the lively bar scene. P.S. I highly recommend the Pinsa Al p=Pistacchi – shown in the picture above a small size pizza stuffed with pistachio cream. I would highly recommend Montesacro for your next night out or Italian fix!

Love You A Latte 2024

Most every year, I host my Love You A Latte event at a local coffee shop. I held the 2024 event at Tellus Coffee in downtown Walnut Creek. It’s always nice to get some friends and clients together for a coffee and some chatting about life, real estate, and other topics.

This year, I had about 20 people show up to take part. Thank you to everyone who came to Love You A Latte! I hope you had a good time and look forward to seeing you again next year. In the meantime, I look forward to staying connected whether we’re friends, family, or just business associates.

One attendee mentioned how much he loved that I created community with events like this. That is a major goal of mine as a realtor. We live in a wonderful community and I want to be a trusted source for real estate and various service providers and just a great friend to the people who have been here for me most of my adult life. I think we can all stand to interact in-person a little more these days, too!

Love You A Latte was a really great, intimate event and there were some memorable conversations. Tellus coffee (click to see past blog) was also a great place to host this event, just look at all the greenery and brick. The staff was nice and helpful, I highly recommend stopping by for some coffee and great ambiance. I really appreciate the all those who came and look forward to another great event in 2025! Will you be there?

SFMOMA & Yayoi Kusama

I rarely go to museums. When I finally do, I wonder why I don’t go more often! Especially living in the Bay Area, there are countless museums that have really unique and interesting information, art, and more for visitors to see. For example, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)!

I visited recently and to see Kusama’s Infinite Love Exhibit which encompasses two Infinity Mirror Rooms, including her newest room, Dreaming of Earth’s Sphericity, I Would Offer My Love (2023), a cosmos of dancing color and light.

LOVE IS CALLING (2013), the second room in the presentation — and one of Kusama’s largest and most immersive works — features a darkened environment illuminated by vividly colored inflatable forms that extend from the floor and ceiling accompanied by the sound of the artist reciting a poem about love. She believed, that dots are symbols of the world, the cosmos. The Earth is a dot, the moon, sun, the stars are all made up of dots. You and me, we are dots.

Kusama’s pumpkins were also there, which is a standing exhibit at the SFMOMA. The descriptions of Kusama’s works were almost as lovely as the art itself, describing in detail what the pieces meant in poetry form, as mentioned above.

After checking out the show, we explored a few other floors and then went to the first-floor restaurant called Grace, which had a happy hour! It is very artsy with some fun cocktails. I would highly recommend visiting your local museums next time you get the chance and I always love eating on site. It was a great outing. Kusama’s exhibit is on through September 7th and on Thursdays the museum is open until 8 pm. Grab a friend, go to celebrate a birthday (as I did), or keep it on your list as something to do on a rainy day! Enjoy!

JVM’s Bridge Loans – Buy Before You Sell; You Tell Me If It Is A Good Idea!

I came across another interesting JVM Lending blog recently, and I want to dive into it here. Jay Vorhees, owner/lender at JVM, wrote about the Best Bridge Loans in 2024 and how there is a shocking amount of demand for them. But first, some context:

Bridge loans are short-term loans that typically tap into the equity of a borrower’s departing residence to allow that borrower to buy a new home before they sell their departing residence (basically the solution to how one can buy before selling).

Here’s how they traditionally work: JVM has an investor who will lend up to 75% of the value of the departing residence, but without paying off the first mortgage. So, if their borrower has a $1 million home with a $500,000 mortgage, the JVM bridge investor will loan $250,000 of cash to the borrower (to get 75% combined loan-to-value ratio) – with no fees or payments due. But the investor will require the borrower to pay 2.4% of the sales price of the borrower’s departing residence when it sells (which still often works out to be much less than the fees associated with non-JVM bridge loans).

Coupling that with no payments makes bridge loans incredibly popular. Do note, though, that the investor will not pay off an existing first mortgage, meaning borrowers remain responsible for the payments associated with that first mortgage. And if the borrowers have tight debt ratios, this often prevents them from qualifying for a new mortgage to purchase another home before they sell the current home.

So, JVM now also offers an EasyPath Mortgage Program, meaning the investor charges borrowers $2,500 for a guarantee that they will buy the borrower’s departing residence. They don’t lend money at all. But their guarantee to buy the departing residence no matter what allows lenders to ignore ALL of the payments associated with that residence which, of course, makes it much easier for the borrower to qualify for a new home before selling the old home.

If borrowers then need cash to buy a new home, they can max out equity lines before they enter into an agreement to sell their home to JVM’s investor. The investor gives borrowers 120 days to sell their homes for top dollar themselves, and only steps in if the home does not sell. This option makes a lot of sense for sellers looking to buy up or buy in areas where there is limited inventory.

It gives sellers peace of mind that they can find a house, move into it, and then sell their home. There is a lot to consider, but it might be worth it for those who really need to move but don’t want to put their home on the market until they see something they want to buy. With such low inventory, your offer might not be the one that is accepted.

Just Sold: 1148 Fairlawn (Rossmoor)

Recently, I shared a listing for an exquisite unit in Rossmoor. Good news! That unit was recently sold and I have all the details here: after two competitive offers, 1148 Fairlawn #1 in Rossmoor was sold for $735,000. The new owners are getting a wonderful new home.

The unit is a San Franciscan model with a spacious floor plan. On top of that, the home has been updated, upgraded, and tastefully remodeled. A new kitchen, new carpet, and laminate flooring make for a visually stunning place to live. And that’s just the inside.

Outside, a small front patio with a gated garden offers a private place to relax and enjoy the nice California weather. Your designated carport is just steps away, and you can wander anywhere in the Rossmoor community and find something fun and exciting to do.

I am so happy to help another out of area trustee sell there parents home. Being out of the area can be stressful, my job is to make effortless and to consistently communicate as I am the ears and eyes for my clients. If you have any real estate needs in the East Bay or know someone that lives out of the area and needs to sell a family home, please reach out!

Comparing The Super Bowl Cities

San Francisco. Our backyard. Kansas City. A Midwest metropolis that many of us likely don’t know much about. The hometown 49ers face off against the defending champion Chiefs in this weekend’s Super Bowl. And Zillow broke it down in my kind of terms: comparing real estate in the two cities!

I was surprised to see that Kansas City actually has more EV charging stations than San Francisco, and almost the same amount of parks! And even though there is a massive difference in typical home value, Zillow actually ranks Kansas City as a much hotter housing market than San Francisco (18th, versus 30th for SF).

The article also delves into the runner-up cities (Baltimore, who lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game; and Detroit, who the Niners beat in the NFC Championship Game). It’s always amazing to see what $1 million can buy you in other major cities, versus our major city, but it’s well worth a read!

Now, do I think this matters for the Super Bowl itself? Of course not! The Chiefs are defending champions for a reason, but our Niners are stronger than ever. I’ll tell you what – regardless of the outcome, I’m pretty sure stars on both teams can afford to purchase a home in San Francisco, Kansas City, Baltimore, Detroit, or pretty much anywhere in the United States!

I hope you all enjoy the game this weekend and Go Niners!

A Delicious Detour: Eataly

I recently visited the San Jose location of Eataly, which has nine stores nationwide (this is the only Northern California location). Eatlay, as a concept, was only developed in 2002 and was designed to gather high-quality food at sustainable and reasonable prices under one roof.

Of course, the inspiration was Italian food! Oscar Farinetti wanted to celebrate Italian biodiversity and create an informal, natural, and simple place to eat, shop, and learn. The first location opened its doors in Torino, Italy in 2007 and has since expanded to more than 40 locations around the globe!

On the Eataly website, you can make direct orders on products, food, and more and even sign up for classes, events, and local deliveries!

We were in Santa Clara for a Tom Ferry event staying overnight, my hair dresser has raved about this place and I thought it would be a great opportunity to check it out and have dinner. I went with a couple of colleagues who were also going to the event, we were all impressed. This store is 3 levels with the top level encompassing 3 restaurants, and most of the grocery items. The second floor was dedicated to wine and the first floor entrance into the mall had gelato, coffee and pasteries to go or eat there. In September I was in Vegas and saw Eataly, but did not go in. If you ever want to get an Italian fix, this is the place to go. It is located in the Westfield Valley Fair Mall. A very high end mall part of Santana Row. I did think it was a bit pricey, but you have to consider everything is imported. Thus you get a taste of Italy without have to travel across the world.