Jack Dorsey has entered the epic rap beef between Kendrick Lamar and Drake

Business Insider 

Jack Dorsey is showing support for Kendrick Lamar as he faces off with Drake.

Jack Dorsey seems to support Kendrick Lamar’s latest disses on Canadian rapper Drake.The former Twitter CEO liked a post on X calling “Euphoria” a “top-10 diss track.”Dorsey’s support for Lamar goes back years — he even appeared in one of Lamar’s music videos.

The beef between Kendrick Lamar and Drake has been filled with unexpected characters, including pop sensation Taylor Swift and long-dead legend Tupac Shakur.

Now, Twitter and Block cofounder Jack Dorsey is weighing in — and it appears that he’s got “PRIDE” for Kung Fu Kenny.

After a back-and-forth of three diss tracks between Lamar and Drake, Lamar released two songs this week. “Euphoria” dropped on Tuesday, and “6:16 in LA” dropped on Friday.

Both of Lamar’s tracks received approval from super-fan Dorsey, who has recently liked both new and old posts on X and praised the Compton rapper.

“I will give people a couple weeks to realize Kendrick dropped a top-10 diss track of all time,” one post Dorsey liked from Wednesday said.

The former CEO also replied Friday with a heart emoji to an old 2011 Lamar post advertising a Toronto concert on June 16. Toronto is Drake’s home city, and some fans have speculated that the “6:16” in Lamar’s latest diss references this post.

❤️ https://t.co/RWyvYWJ58u

— jack (@jack) May 3, 2024

On Friday night, Drake released his latest response to Lamar: “Family Matters.” In the 7-minute track, Drake mentions Lamar’s longtime fiancée, Whitney Alford, and goes after Rick Ross, J. Cole, and The Weeknd.

Not to be outdone, about 30 minutes later, Lamar surprised fans by releasing a third diss track called “Meet the Grahams,” where the rapper pretends to speak to the family of Drake — whose real name is Aubrey Graham.

To that scathing diss, Dorsey replied, “truth vs lies.”

truth vs lies https://t.co/V1sIOTOeno

— jack (@jack) May 4, 2024

In “Euphoria,” Lamar asserts that Drake lied about him in his previous disses: “Know you a master manipulator and habitual liar too/But don’t tell no lie about me, and I won’t tell truths about you,” Lamar raps over a sample of the Teddy Pendergrass slow jam “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration.”

Dorsey has never counted Kendrick out

Dorsey didn’t become a fan overnight. The former Twitter CEO has been a consistent supporter of Lamar’s art. In 2015, Dorsey posted a video at a Lamar concert calling the rapper “the greatest.”

He’s also praised many of Lamar’s records, including the Pulitzer-prize-winning “Damn” and his pandemic record “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.”

“this is an opera. @kendricklamar is a poet and a teacher. I learn something new each listen…and I can’t listen to anything else. constant spin,” Dorsey said of the 2022 album.

At one point, Dorsey even toyed with the idea of Lamar becoming a potential Twitter board member in 2016, Vox reported.

Lamar reciprocated the love by bringing Dorsey on for 2022 music video for the song “Count Me Out.” Dorsey makes a quick cameo by sharing a toast with Lamar and venture capitalist Aviv Nevo.

Lamar also worked with Dorsey’s fintech company Block and Ticketmaster to offer fans early access tickets for his 2022 Big Steppers tour, Quartz reported.

‘Tell me who you’re loyal to’

Dorsey isn’t the only unlikely character outside the music world to chime in on Drake and Lamar’s ongoing saga. In fact, both rappers have been flexing who pledged their “LOYALTY” to them.

On Lamar’s side, iconic soul singer Al Green approved of his latest track, which uses a sample of Green’s “What A Wonderful Thing Love Is.”

It was another embarrassing development for Drake, who was roasted and promptly asked to remove one of his diss tracks against Lamar last week after Shakur’s estate took issue with Drake’s use of AI to recreate Pac’s voice.

Drake is also facing off against rappers like Future, Rick Ross, A$AP Rocky, J. Cole, and producer Metro Boomin’, who have all released their own verses and songs aimed at the Toronto rapper.

But he’s also letting it be known that he has some friends on his side, too. In “Family Matters,” Drake shouts out fellow industry members Chris Brown, YG, and The Game.

Actor Uma Thurman also nodded to Drake in April through an Instagram post featuring an image of her costume in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Volume 1.” In the film, Thurman played the katana-wielding, revenge-seeking “Bride.”

“Need this? @champagnepapi,” Thurman wrote as a caption in her story.

Dorsey and spokespeople for Drake and Lamar did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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How to watch the Kentucky Derby live stream for free from anywhere

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Horses race in the mud in an undercard race before the 139th Kentucky Derby.

Don your best hats, because the Kentucky Derby is back for its landmark 150th year. If you can’t make it to Churchill Downs yourself, don’t fret. We’ll show you all of your best options when it comes to how to watch the Kentucky Derby, including live streams.

Often called the greatest two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby has been an American tradition since 1875. Based at Churchill Down in Louisville, Kentucky, the day features several races, including the main event race, which takes place over 1.25 miles of racetrack. Mage won the race in 2023, but the record remains with Secretariat, who completed the race in just under 2 minutes in 1973.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about tuning in for the Kentucky Derby, including when you can expect to see the main event.

See also: Where to watch the Madrid Open | How to watch NBA Playoffs | Where to watch Formula 1

Kentucky Derby quick links

US: Peacock ($5.99)UK: Now Sports (various)Ireland: Virgin Media 2 (FREE)Access streams from anywhere via ExpressVPN (30-day money-back guarantee)When: Saturday, May 4 at 6:57 p.m. ET / 11:57 p.m. BST / 6:57 a.m. AWST (Sunday)

How to watch the Kentucky Derby in the US

Kentucky Derby coverage falls under the NBCUniversal umbrella in the US. From 12 p.m. ET to 2:30 p.m. ET, coverage aired on USA Network and Peacock. From 2:30 p.m. ET to 7:30 p.m. ET, coverage airs on NBC and Peacock.

There are several races at Churchill Downs throughout the day, but the main Kentucky Derby event is scheduled for 6:57 p.m. ET and lasts about two minutes. For cord-cutters, you can live stream all of the action through Peacock. Subscriptions start at $5.99 a month. 

How to watch the Kentucky Derby in the UK

The Kentucky Derby will air on Sky Sports in the UK. For British cord-cutters, you can stream this action through a Now TV account. Now Sports’ one-off day memberships start at £14.99. 

How to watch the Kentucky Derby in Ireland

In Ireland, the Kentucky Derby will stream through Virgin Media 2. This is a free streaming option that requires no account creation, so viewers just need to navigate to the live TV portion of the website at race time.

How to watch the Kentucky Derby from anywhere

If you’re outside of Ireland at race time but are still hoping to access the free Kentucky Derby live stream, you can use a VPN (virtual private network). VPNs are easy ways to temporarily alter your device’s virtual location to access websites and apps that vary in availability from region to region. They’re popular among those seeking increased internet privacy and access to their websites while traveling away from home.

If you’re interested in trying out a VPN, our go-to is ExpressVPN, a beginner-friendly option with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Check out our ExpressVPN review for more information, and keep reading to learn how to use it. 

How to watch the Kentucky Derby with a VPN

Sign up for a VPN if you don’t have one.Install it on the device you’re using to watch the race.Set the location to Ireland.Go to Virgin Media 2.Enjoy the Kentucky Derby.

Note: The use of VPNs is illegal in certain countries, and using VPNs to access region-locked streaming content might constitute a breach of the terms of use for certain services. Insider does not endorse or condone the illegal use of VPNs.

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Sam Altman wants to make AI like a ‘super-competent colleague that knows absolutely everything’ about your life

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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman wants AI to serve as a “super-competent colleague” for everyone.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman described the ultimate AI app to the MIT Technology Review.He envisions a ‘super-competent colleague,’ a major upgrade from ChatGPT, which he called “dumb.”Altman’s vision is that AI will take on real-world tasks — not just function as a chatbot.

In Sam Altman’s vision of the future, AI is a little intimidating.

“What you really want,” the OpenAI CEO told the MIT Technology Review, is a “super-competent colleague that knows absolutely everything about my whole life, every email, every conversation I’ve ever had, but doesn’t feel like an extension.”

And they’re self-starters that don’t need constant direction. They’ll tackle some tasks, presumably simpler ones, instantly, Altman said. They’ll make a first pass at more complex tasks, and come back to the user if they have questions.

The bottom line is that Altman wants AI to function as more than just a chatbot. It should help people accomplish things in the real world, he said.

That would be a massive step up from what OpenAI offers right now.

Altman reportedly referred to ChatGPT as “incredibly dumb” even though workers are already using it to accelerate their workflows, develop code, write emails, and more. So, there’s no telling how much more productive we’ll get once Altman’s magical model colleague hits the market.

Altman didn’t specify when this tool will be available and how advanced AI must be to support it. The company’s other offerings, like the video generator, Sora, and image generator, DALL-E, still require considerable guidance to complete tasks. They also aren’t designed to perceive information from the environment and use it to achieve specific goals.

But OpenAI’s forthcoming language model, GPT-5, might be a step in that direction.

A source who’s seen it previously told BI it was “materially better” than existing models. The source also said that OpenAI is developing a service where users could call an AI agent to perform tasks autonomously.

Sources have said GPT-5 might be out mid-year. Altman, however, isn’t saying much.

“Yes,” he simply told reporters this week at an event in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was asked when OpenAI would release GPT-5.

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Borneo over Bali? Here are 5 ‘destination dupes’ for travelers who want unique getaways without the crowds

Business Insider 

Young travelers want unique vacation experiences.

Matt Berna of Intrepid Travel said young travelers seek immersive, unique experiences.Some are skipping popular tourist spots in favor of so-called “destination dupes.”Book a vacation in Seoul instead of Tokyo, for example. 

Millennial and Gen Z travelers are over tourist traps.

Matt Berna, the president of Intrepid Travel, a small group travel company, told Business Insider that his company has seen a shift away from popular destinations among tourists between 18- and 35- years old.

According to Berna, young travelers aren’t bogged down by FOMO — or the “fear of missing out” — that influenced older generations. Instead, they want to set the tone.

“They want to be a trendsetter, going to the next cool place,” he said.

That’s why more young folks are booking so-called “destination dupes,” alternative vacation spots that are more affordable and less crowded than the well-known locations.

Intrepid Travel compiled a list of destination dupes travelers should consider this year.

Visit Corsica instead of Positano.Corsica.

According to Intrepid Travel, the Mediterranean island of Corsica is a good alternative to Positano, a cliffside village on the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

“Unlike the bustling and tourist-heavy atmosphere of Positano, Corsica offers a more tranquil and peaceful environment, allowing travelers to unwind and immerse themselves in the island’s serene and calming ambiance,” the company said.

In Corsica, “travelers can enjoy a more authentic, tranquil, and immersive experience, exploring the island’s natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse activities without the overwhelming crowds typically found in more popular tourist destinations,” the company added.

Visit Seoul instead of Tokyo.Seoul.

Japan’s tourism industry is booming, with a record-breaking 3.1 million visitors this March.

Seoul is a great destination for travelers who want to avoid overcrowded attractions but still explore an Asian megacity like Tokyo.

“Seoul provides an authentic and immersive cultural experience, allowing travelers to explore traditional Korean customs, arts, and lifestyles in a dynamic and modern urban setting,” Intrepid Travel said. “This experience provides a deeper understanding of South Korea’s rich cultural heritage, which may be less accessible in the more globally popular tourist spots.”

Visit Panama instead of Barcelona.Panama.

Intrepid Travel told BI that travelers should consider adding Panama to their bucket list instead of Barcelona.

“Panama’s diverse natural landscapes, including lush rainforests, exotic wildlife, and pristine beaches, provide a captivating backdrop for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers,” the company says.

The adventure travel company added that Panama has a “vibrant cultural scene, influenced by its indigenous heritage, Afro-Caribbean roots, and Spanish culture.” It offers a “dynamic and diverse experience for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in local traditions, folklore, and contemporary arts, providing an authentic and enriching journey that differs from the more European-centric cultural landscape of Barcelona.”

Travel from Kefalonia to Corfu rather than Split to Dubrovnik. Corfu.

People with their hearts set on traversing Croatia’s coastline might also like island-hopping across the Ionian Sea near Greece.

“Sail through some of the most beautiful Greek islands in the Ionian Sea,” Intrepid Travel said. “Travelers can journey to secluded coastlines, private islands, verdant rolling hills and orchards, historic Venetian architecture, warm and inviting tavernas and some of the world’s most transparent azure waters.”

The company added: “With its unspoiled landscapes and pristine beaches, Kefalonia to Corfu offers a serene haven for travelers seeking a tranquil escape, unlike the more crowded destinations.”

Tour Borneo over Bali. Borneo.

Bali is a popular tourist destination in Indonesia, but Intrepid Travel said travelers can find similar vibes on the island of Borneo.

“While Bali is undoubtedly a stunning destination with its beautiful beaches and rich cultural heritage, Borneo offers an entirely different experience that is unmatched in its own right,” Intrepid Travel said.

The company said that Borneo has a “rich cultural tapestry” with influences from indigenous communities that have preserved their culture “for generations.”

“Travelers can immerse themselves in the authentic lifestyles of the local communities, partake in traditional ceremonies, and gain valuable insights into the unique customs and beliefs that define Borneo’s cultural heritage,” Intrepid Travel said. “By choosing Borneo over Bali, travelers can embark on a journey that transcends mere sightseeing and offers a profound appreciation of the natural wonders and cultural richness that define this remarkable destination.”

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I’m using AI to ‘read’ my paintings and help me compose music. Here’s how I do it.

Business Insider 

Shane Guffogg said AI helped him “unlock the musicality” in his paintings.

Shane Guffogg is a multi-media abstract artist with synesthesia, meaning he “hears color.” Guffogg worked with AI experts and musicians to compose music that corresponds to his paintings. He believes AI is still a tool that “needs oversight” but it’s enhanced his creative process. 

This is an as-told-to conversation with Shane Guffogg, an American artist who launched “At the Still Point of the Turning World – Strangers of Time,” an exhibition of 21 paintings at the Venice Biennale earlier this month. This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

I have synesthesia, which means I hear color.

So, what I’m listening to when I paint is important. I listen to Indian classical music, Gregorian chants, and some obscure composers such as György Ligeti, Leo Ornstein, and Terry Riley. The music sparks my creativity and allows me to be completely present and in that moment.

For years, I’ve been preoccupied with what my paintings might sound like. The AI revolution pushed me to search for experts who could help me. My first point of contact was Radhika Dirks, an AI and quantum computing expert. We had a couple of Zoom sessions, and she told me — to the best of her knowledge — that no AI program could help me. Instead, she suggested I create a visual alphabet that matched the musical chords I heard in my mind to colors.

I thought it could be a way to propel my creativity. It also built upon the idea of an unconscious alphabet that has informed my art throughout my career.

I met with musicians and AI experts to create a visual alphabet

I started by looking for musicians to collaborate with and met Anthony Cardella, a young, incredibly gifted pianist in Los Angeles. He’s a Ph.D. student at USC and happened to know — and even play — many obscure composers I listen to when I paint.

We started collaborating. We would sit down and examine my paintings together. I would zoom in on a color in Photoshop, look at it, and sensorially feel the musical note. Then I would tell Anthony. I’d say, for example, I think that’s the color of the note B. He’d hit the B, and I’d say, “No, that’s not it; try a B sharp?” After a few trials, he’d suddenly hit the right notes. I would know because the colors would begin to vibrate for me. Together, we’ve charted chords that correspond to 40 colors.

Soon after, I met an AI researcher named Jonah Lynch through mutual contacts. He works at the intersection of the digital humanities and machine learning. I invited him over to my ranch in central California and explained the work I had been doing and how I created my paintings. We had long discussions about art, poetry, and creating an AI algorithm that could be fed the chords.

He developed a program to “read” my paintings and convert them into music. I gave him the main colors I used in each painting and the chords I hear when I see those colors. Jonah watched videos of me painting, studied the movement of my hands, and wrote software that sampled images of the paintings, following my hand movements, and assigned each color sampled from the paintings to its corresponding chord. Then, he fed this sequence of chords into a neural network that has memorized most of the last 500 years of keyboard music. He prompted the network to “dream” of new sequences based on the color-chord sequences and the history of Western music to create pages of sheet music.

When I heard that music played back to me, it brought tears to my eyes. It was just a rough version of what I heard while painting, but I thought, “There it is.”

I took the music back to Anthony, the pianist. Amazingly, I could point to the sheet music and tell him what compositions I was listening to while painting, and he’d say, “Yes, I can see it in the chords.” The Indian ragas, the Gregorian chants, the Ligeti, and Ornstein — they were all there.

Still, the music was largely a series of chords at that stage. Anthony said we could have melodies if we rearranged it a bit.

AI is still a tool that needs human oversight.

Guffogg’s piece, Only Through Time Time is Conquered, was the basis for the sonata Cardella played for guests at the Venice Biennale.

We composed music for several paintings and have played it for audiences worldwide. We held a concert last month at the Forest Lawn Museum in Los Angeles, where I also had a few paintings in a show. The audience could look at the paintings while Anthony played, which was a profound experience. A couple of people cried.

At the launch of my latest exhibition during the opening week of the Venice Biennale, Anthony played the world premiere of a sonata he composed inspired by my painting, Only Through Time Time is Conquered, to a live audience. After the performance, I talked to several people, and they said they could see where the colors and the notes met on the painting. It was something they had never experienced.

I know many people are very afraid of AI, and I, too, see it as a tool that needs human oversight. It’s not a means to an end. Still, it opened up many possibilities and enhanced my creative process. I don’t know if I could have unlocked the musicality in my paintings in a real way without it.

Hear the sonata below:

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Biden isn’t embracing campus protests. It’s not just because he’s staunchly pro-Israel.

Business Insider 

Biden addressing campus protests over Israel at the White House on Thursday.

Joe Biden has tried to stake out a middle ground as protests spread across college campuses.Polling shows that the protests are unpopular.At the same time, Biden needs to keep his coalition of voters intact to win reelection.

As protests against Israel’s war in Gaza have popped up on college campuses nationwide — at times devolving into chaos and violence — it’s not surprising that President Joe Biden hasn’t publicly embraced them.

After denouncing some of the protests as being out-of-bounds on Thursday, Biden told reporters that the demonstrations haven’t led him to reconsider his stance on the war. That’s not just because of his long-standing support for Israel, but because he has historically been skeptical of protest movements in general.

Polling has shown that pro-Palestinian protests are unpopular in general, despite widespread concerns about Israel’s conduct in the war. A recent Morning Consult poll found that 47% of voters supported banning “pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campuses,” versus 30% who were opposed and 23% who were unsure.

Americans’ views on the ongoing campus protests and how universities should respond to them, broken out by age group:

See splits by party ID and educational attainment here, by my colleague @eyokley: https://t.co/Cf5Ot4q2t4 pic.twitter.com/CSeqbdsWtK

— Jason I. McMann, PhD (@jimcmann) May 2, 2024

Polling continues to show Biden running neck-and-neck with former President Donald Trump ahead of their November rematch, and the president and his campaign are likely trying to mitigate as much possible electoral damage as they can. It’s also worth noting that the college-aged students taking part in these protests are part of a demographic that usually struggles to turn out on Election Day.

Biden’s weariness of the protests also fit within his larger political identity.

The president is part of a generation of Democrats that viewed close ties to Israel as a bedrock part of American foreign policy. During the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, he also kept his distance from the progressive activists and lawmakers that now undergird much of the party’s criticism of Israel.

Compared to President Barack Obama, Biden was far more circumspect about criticizing Israel during its 2014 war, according to an NBC News report — and that conflict pales in comparison to the current one.

Even Biden’s roots come with a distance toward protest movements. Unlike other lawmakers of his generation, Biden largely stayed away from the Vietnam War protests that sparked upheaval on college campuses nationwide.

“I was in law school,” Biden said of the Vietnam War protests, per The New York Times. “I wore sport coats.”

It remains to be seen whether Biden will pay the price at the ballot box for his positioning. He was already facing a growing electoral challenge from the Uncommitted movement, with progressives, young voters, and Arab and Muslim American voters withholding their support for Biden over his support for Israel.

The race between Biden and Trump is so close that even the vocal minority of young voters staying home could be a big problem for the president.

However, Americans traditionally don’t peg their votes to foreign policy issues. Both historic and current polling shows voters are far more concerned about the economy.

A recent CBS News-YouGov poll of Michigan likely voters found that of 10 potential issues, the war between Israel and Hamas was the least likely to be a major factor in which candidate a voter would support — the most important issues by far were the economy and inflation.

Even among young voters, the trend remains the same. A Harvard Youth Poll of 18-to-29-year-olds nationwide found that the war was far less important to voters than inflation or healthcare.

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Look inside the last lofts of New York City’s artists, shielded 40 years ago from the city’s soaring rents

Business Insider 

Betsy Kaufman.

In a new book, photographer Joshua Charow documents the rich history of New York City’s artist lofts.Protected by the Loft Law, a generation of artists were able to preserve their live-work spaces. Nearly impossible in today’s rental market, these spaces still inspire people around the world. 

When he was a teenager, photographer Joshua Charow would sneak into buildings around New York City in search of the perfect rooftop shot. One factory in Brooklyn’s South Williamsburg held his fascination as he discovered the raw, eclectic live-work spaces of artist’s lofts.

In his early 20s, Charow returned to the building hoping to live there himself. He soon discovered he was “ten years too late” — all the lofts were taken by tenants living under New York City’s historic Loft Law, protections for loft tenants passed in the early 1980s.

In a city where 115-square-feet can now go for $1,200 per month and the average rent continues to soar, the romantic notion of a massive, affordable loft seems nearly impossible to imagine.

Fascinated by the Loft Law’s history and its impact on New York City’s culture and legacy, Charow mapped out every building that fell under this protection and set out to document the residents who are still benefiting from the law.

Over two years, he photographed 75 tenants and collected their stories into “Loft Law, The Last of New York City’s Original Artist Lofts,” now available from Damiani Books.

Here’s more on Charow’s research of the Loft Law and a look at six of the subjects he covers in his book.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, downtown New York City was a hub of manufacturing. Lower Manhattan was once an industrial hub.

Cast-iron buildings with floor-through workrooms and ground-level shops populated the neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan, writes Charow.

When manufacturing moved out of American cities in the 1950’s, many of these buildings were abandoned. Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, where many lofts are located.

Slated only for commercial use that no longer existed, New York City officials largely left these buildings untouched without a plan for their future, according to Charow.

However, many artists struck deals with landlords who looked the other way and allowed them to live there for cheap.The raw interiors of an industrial loft made for a perfect studio space.

Landlords were happy to find any income for the spaces they chalked up to be practically worthless, Charow explains.

Some lofts didn’t have electricity, heat, or a working kitchen, but artists loved the cheap rent and plentiful space to have both a home and studio. A view of neighborhood containing cast-iron structures in New York.

Artists taking over factories, warehouse, and even theaters “transformed formerly derelict neighborhoods into the cultural epicenter of the world,” writes Charow.

As loft living became fashionable, many landlords tried to evict the artists who made the lofts hospitable, Charow explains. Many people wanted to imitate the loft lifestyle, writes Charow.

A group of artists formed the organization Lower Manhattan Loft Tenants in 1979 and lobbied politicians, arguing their essential cultural role in the city. They won.

The Loft Law passed in 1982, creating eviction protections and rent stabilization for those who could prove they lived in a commercial space with the landlord’s consent before 1982, according to Charow. Today, the lofts exist among some of the most expensive real estate in the city.

“If you’re lucky enough to walk into one of their studios, you will be transported back to the year they moved in, to a New York that doesn’t exist anymore,” writes Charow.

Betsy Kaufman, TribecaBetsy Kaufman.

Painter Betsy Kaufman’s original rent in 1979 for a different Tribeca loft was $450. In 1981, she moved into the space she still resides in today. Kaufman keeps her living space in the back of the apartment and uses the space near the soaring windows for her work, according to Charow.

“I think it’s a lot of painters’ dream to live and to have longevity as an artist,” she told Charow about her life in the loft.

Carmen Cicero, The Bowery Carmen Cicero

The Bowery, a downtown neighborhood in Manhattan, has one of the highest concentrations of Loft Law-protected buildings in the city, according to Charow.

The 97-year-old painter Carmen Cicero lives in a fourth-floor walkup in the neighborhood where for the past four decades he’s been able to hone his craft.

His works are now in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Art Institute, and the Museum of Modern Art.

But when he first moved into his loft in 1971, the space, he told Charow, was a “flophouse” with separate rooms divided by chicken wire.

“Oh my God, it was just a horror,” he told Charow. “There were no shades. I said, well, people are looking in, and I hate that. I didn’t want to take my clothes off.”

JG Thirlwell, DumboJG Thirwell

JG Thirlwell is a musician who once performed in the experimental and punk scenes, and now mixes classical music and jazz, as well as scores film and TV. He moved into his Brooklyn loft in 1987 and created a home studio among the arched windows and 14-foot ceilings.

“Loft living is not for everyone.” Thirlwell told Charow. “There’s not adequate heat, and it’s not like you can call up the super because there is no super. You’re responsible for everything in here, and not everyone wants a life like that.”

Kimiko Fujimura, ChinatownKimiko Fujimura

Painter Kimiko Fujimura moved from Tokyo to New York over 50 years ago. In the first SoHo loft she occupied in the city, a fire broke out destroying more than a hundred of her paintings, Charow said.

Now, she lives on the top floor of a former bow and ribbon factory in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood, where she’s been since 1979. She has created murals for the World Trade Center, Roseland Ballroom, and a Louis Vuitton store in Tokyo.

Marsha Pels, GreenpointMarsha Pels

Sculptor Marsha Pels lives in a glass factory built in 1852 that sold items to Mary Todd Lincoln for the White House, according to Charow.

A massive 20-foot door and two hoists let Pels move her giant sculptures in and out of the building and around the studio.

She told Charow she’s lived in lofts throughout the city including the East Village and SoHo neighborhoods of Manhattan, and Red Hook and Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

Steve Silver, WilliamsburgSteve Silver

The Bronx-born painter Steve Silver has lived in a 5,000 square foot Williamsburg loft since 1979, where just one of his paintings that is made up of 112 pieces is mounted on a massive 12×16 foot wall.

His building has begun to attract much wealthier tenants. A loft half the size of his home below him rents for $11,000 per month, writes Charow.

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Where to watch women’s free Madrid Open final: Live stream Swiatek vs. Sabalenka

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Aryna Sabalenka (left) and Iga Swiatek at the 2023 US Open..

The end of the Madrid Open is in sight. Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka will face off in the women’s singles competition today. If you’re hoping to tune in, then you’re in luck. We’ll show you everything you need to know about where to watch the women’s Madrid Open final live stream for free.

This is a familiar scene for Swiatek and Sabalenka. The pair also made it to the finals in 2023 in a tough match-up that saw Sabalenka walk away victorious. Swiatek currently reigns supreme as world no. 1 in the WTA, coming off a WTA Finals win in late 2023 and an Indian Wells Masters win earlier this year. At no. 2, Sabalenka has also been having a good year and won the Australian Open again in January.

Whether you’ve been following along throughout the tournament or you’re just tuning in to see who will be crowned champion, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn about all of your watch options and make sure to bookmark our Madrid Open hub for details on how to catch the men’s finals tomorrow.

See also: How to watch NBA Playoffs | How to watch NHL Playoffs | Where to watch F1 races

Madrid Open women’s final quick links

Access streams from anywhere via ExpressVPN (30-day money-back guarantee)New Zealand: TVNZ (FREE)US: Sling TV ($51), Hulu + Live TV ($86.98)UK: Sky Sports (various)When: Saturday, May 4 at 12:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. BST / 6:30 p.m. CET / 12:30 a.m. (Sun) AWST.

How to watch Madrid Open women’s final in the US

The Madrid Open airs on the Tennis Channel in the US. For those without cable, you can access it by subscribing to a live TV package like Sling TV or Hulu + Live TV.

For Sling TV, you’ll need to get a Sling base plan for $40 a month, before adding on the Sling Sports Extra option for $11 a month to access the Tennis Channel. In total, you’ll be spending $51 a month to watch.

For Hulu + Live TV, you’ll need to get a base plan, which starts at $76.99 a month, as well as the Sports Add-on for an additional $9.99 a month to access the Tennis Channel. In total, you’ll be spending $86.98 a month. The Hulu + Live TV bundle also comes with regular Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+.

How to watch Madrid Open women’s final in New Zealand

Select WTA matches, including the Madrid Open finals, air on TVNZ in New Zealand. This is a free streaming option that just requires account creation to watch.

How to watch Madrid Open women’s final from anywhere

If you’ll be outside of New Zealand during the match, you can still access the stream with a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN allows you to temporarily change your device’s virtual location so that you can access websites that might vary in availability from region to region. This is a popular option for people looking to boost their internet privacy and those looking for ways to keep up with their usual apps while traveling abroad.

Interested in trying out a VPN? We recommend ExpressVPN, an easy-to-use option with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Check out our ExpressVPN review to learn more and keep reading to see how to use it. 

How to watch Swiatek vs. Sabalenka live stream with a VPN

Sign up for a VPN if you don’t already have one.Install it on the device you’re planning to watch on.Turn it on and set it to a New Zealand location.Navigate to TVNZ and enjoy the competition.

Note: The use of VPNs is illegal in certain countries, and using VPNs to access region-locked streaming content might constitute a breach of the terms of use for certain services. Insider does not endorse or condone the illegal use of VPNs.

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High mortgage rates didn’t put a lid on home prices, but soaring insurance costs might, real estate experts say

Business Insider 

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The housing market has been brutal in recent years as prices keep rising. 
While high mortgage rates didn’t bring prices down, steep insurance costs could put a lid on further appreciation. 
“You can see in the course of even a year or two, prices begin to respond because people are very sensitive to this.”

When mortgage rates started to spike in 2022, the thinking was that higher borrowing costs would put a lid on prices, which had spiraled endlessly upward since the pandemic sparked a buying frenzy. 

That didn’t quite happen, and home prices have kept climbing, so much so that a recent report from Zillow said would-be buyers need to earn 80% more than pre-pandemic to afford the median-priced home. 

But there’s an under-the-radar factor that could soon pull down home prices nationally, real estate experts told Business Insider — soaring home insurance costs. 

Home insurance premiums, which surged 4.5% year-over-year in March alone, according to the FRED economic data, could be the last straw for home buyers amid a litany of rising costs. 

Insurance comparison platform Insurify said in a recent report that annual insurance rates skyrocketed 19.8% from 2021 to 2023, and the company forecasts another 6% surge in 2024, which would push the average annual rate to $2,522 by year-end.

Real estate experts said that though they aren’t the top driver of home prices compared to mortgage rates or housing inventory, they still have the power to influence what buyers are willing to pay over the long term.  

A growing national burden for buyers

Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist at Redfin, said in an interview with Business Insider that rising insurance costs are especially severe in states like Florida, where climate disasters factor into the risk forecast, but they’re rising all over the US. 

“There are places all over the country that are gonna have their own climate issues,” she said, while referring to Texas heat waves last summer, which she said are likely to be repeated this year, and the persistent smoke and wild fires plaguing the West Coast.

The insurance costs usually come as a surprise to home buyers in those areas, Fairweather added. 

“The problem is that most people don’t go through the process of finding out how much insurance will cost until they’ve already made an offer on a home and they feel like they have to go through with it or they’ll lose out on their earnest money if they back out,” she said. 

Pressuring home prices

Danielle Hale, the chief economist at Realtor.com, told BI that lenders typically require various forms of insurance from buyers who take on a mortgage, and if the insurance costs are too high, it can disqualify the buyer from getting the loan. 

“As costs rise, the pool of buyers who can qualify for the mortgage is more limited, and the price of the home may need to fall in order for a buyer to be found,” Hale said.

Jesse Keenan, a sustainable real estate and urban planning professor at Tulane University, said that homebuyers are very sensitive to the long-term operational costs of having insurance, and usually, the value of a home will decline if insurance is particularly costly. 

“So at the end of the day, it’s buyers and sellers capitalizing risk,” he said. “And they’re coming to terms with what that risk may be.”

He also noted that insurance markets are getting better at discovering and assessing risk, thanks to things like geospatial technologies and advanced computing. 

“The implications of that are that technology is helping companies price at a much more precise measure of risk, so with all that information, consumers are now saying, ‘you know what, this is worth more, this is worth less.’ And as a consequence, the value of properties that are shaped are shifting, mostly down,” Keenan said. 

In some extreme cases, that sensitivity has already prompted home price repricing in locales with extremely high insurance premiums, such as Louisiana. 

“You can see in the course of even a year or two, prices begin to respond because people are very sensitive to this,” he said. 

To Fairweather, it’s more precise to say the rising insurance will make home values grow more slowly than they would have, as the robust demand still characterizes the current market. 

“In general, demand exceeds supply, even though homeownership has become so unaffordable. We take into account prices and mortgage rates and now rising insurance costs, but there’s still people wanting to buy homes,” she said.

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We left Colorado’s cold weather and high taxes for California sunshine and a surprisingly cheaper cost of living

Business Insider 

Eric and Beth Ann Mott moved from Denver, Colorado, to Thousand Oaks, California, in May 2022.

Realtors Eric and Beth Ann Mott relocated from Denver to Thousand Oaks, California, in May 2022.The Motts attribute their move to a growing preference for California’s weather and lifestyle.Despite common misconceptions, the Motts find California financially comparable to Colorado.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with married realtors Eric Mott, 59, and Beth Ann Mott, 57, about their experience moving from a suburb in Denver, Colorado, to Thousand Oaks, California, in May 2022.

Eric: Denver used to be a really great place to live.

I was born in California. But my folks and I relocated to Denver in 1977 when it was still a cow town.

Beth Ann: I ended up in Colorado because of Eric. We did long-distance dating between Kansas City and Denver. When we got married in 1996, I moved with him to the Denver area.

Eric: We’re both full-time realtors with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. We bought some investment properties in Denver, and in 2009, we 1031-exchanged three of those properties for a place in Thousand Oaks. So, we’ve actually owned our current home here in California since 2009.

Beth Ann: We planned on getting to California at some point. But it took us about 14 years to see that come into being.

Denver used to be a great place to raise a family

Eric: Colorado was one of the first places to legalize recreational marijuana, which we did not vote for. In our opinion, that’s when things started turning in Denver.

The homeless population in Denver is pretty insane, even in the suburbs. It really started to affect our quality of life. We started feeling uncomfortable going downtown.

The traffic got really bad, too. Twenty years ago, it was much easier to go up to the mountains and ski for a day. But now, the traffic is just hideous. If you want to have a ski day, you’d better be willing to get up at 5 a.m. and not get home until 8 p.m.

We liked to take cruise vacations to escape Denver during the winter. Over time, we realized we are more ocean people than mountain people. We just got sick and tired of the snow in Denver.

Eric and Beth Ann said they got tired of dealing with Denver’s constant snow.

It was really a combination of different things that changed the environment. It’s just not what we used to enjoy.

Beth Ann: We first started considering a move to California during COVID when we were sitting at home and couldn’t go anywhere. We had always talked about ending up in California someday, and we thought, “Why can’t someday be now?”

COVID also forced everyone to do things remotely. We started doing a lot of client appointments via Zoom. So, the seed of the idea was born out of the possibilities that COVID created. We said, “Why wait?”

We tested it out in 2021, doing a lot of traveling and working remotely with our real estate team in Denver. It worked. So, that’s when we pulled the trigger for the actual move in May 2022.

We moved into the house we already owned in California

Eric: The moving process wasn’t too bad. We did a bit of downsizing. And we’re renovating now.

Beth Ann: We still have our business in Denver. I commute and manage our team there a couple of times a month. We both got our California real estate licenses, too. Ultimately, the goal is to split our resources about 75% in California and 25% in Colorado.

Eric: For me, moving to California was like coming home.

We can get to the beach in 20 minutes. We can access hikes in the Santa Monica mountains at the end of our street. The Conejo Valley is like a small town. There are orchards and farms. And wherever you drive, there’s green.

Beth Anne: It’s beautiful, plus we have nice weather. I love things that bloom, and it’s blooming here all the time.

The couple lives just 20 minutes from the beach in California.

Eric: We’re also both golfers, so it’s nice being in California where you can golf year-round and don’t have to worry about snow on the course. We joke in December, when it’s a high of 60 degrees, “Oh it’s cold!” But it’s really not.

Beth Ann: The traffic here is tough, though. Anytime you have to go near downtown, it’s definitely not a pleasure. But the traffic in Denver was nearly as bad.

California is financially comparable to Colorado

Eric: Everybody always says the taxes in California are so much more, but they’re really not when you look at them. The sales tax rate in Thousand Oaks is 7.25%, whereas where we lived in Colorado, it was 2% more. That adds up.

Beth Ann: Insurance rates in Colorado are really expensive, too. So, it’s actually not that much different cost-wise living here. In fact, it’s a bit cheaper. For example, we’re paying less for homeowner’s insurance in California than we were in Colorado. Same with property taxes.

Eric: The value of our home here in California was the approximate value of our home in Denver, dollar-wise. Our insurance policy there was around $2,300 a year. Out here, it’s only $1,400. I also added on earthquake insurance, which is another $900. So it’s about the same price even with the earthquake insurance as in Colorado.

The utilities here are a lot cheaper for us as well. We haven’t used our air conditioner since September, and we didn’t have to turn our heater on until January. That’s savings in my mind.

Beth Ann: The prices at grocery stores in California, however, are a little bit higher.

Eric: But in California, there’s no tax on food. That was a pleasant surprise when we first got here.

There’s so much propaganda out there about California.

Eric and Beth Ann Mott said they love the access to nature and hiking in California.

Beth Ann: You can’t paint California with just one brush. I wouldn’t have wanted to move to Los Angeles. But living in a place like Thousand Oaks is a different experience.

I think the only things we miss about Colorado are our family and our clients.

Eric: There are still things we like about Colorado, but we visit. We’re enjoying the lifestyle that we’re living in California.

Beth Ann: I think California will continue to be our long-term play.

Eric: California has exceeded our expectations.

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