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Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-02-2005, 04:21 PM   #1
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Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

a better plan.

I have $400k in cash and am trying to decide whether to buy a $200k studio "home base" condo on the 72nd floor of the John Hancock building in Chicago or purchase $400k in CDs..


$400k in CD's would provide $21k-$25k per year income but if the CD rates are headed down that is only locked-in for 5 years.

Buying outright the condo for $200k and putting the other $200k in CDs would give me a "paid off" home requiring $7k per year fees/tax and a $11k income.

Is this a "no-brainer", if so could you help a "no-brainer" decide?

PS: I'll probably be a nomad for a few years but retire in the US.
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-02-2005, 05:11 PM   #2
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Of the two choices I'd buy the CD's.

I would not assume the condo cannot depreciate.
In the early 90's co-ops and condo's did.

CD rates can go down too but they may go up as interest rates rise.

Why not buy TIP's?
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-02-2005, 05:43 PM   #3
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

GTM,
Thanks,
I love the building and the cheapest condo in the building is $179k. Mine would have a view to die for. The view: http://www.yellow-springs.k12.oh.us/...ck5%208-03.jpg

Part of this decision is that I think the equities market will be sideways or down for the next 4-6 years. So this would be a bit of a hedge move.
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-02-2005, 07:08 PM   #4
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
Buying outright the condo for $200k and putting the other $200k in CDs would give me a "paid off" home requiring $7k per year fees/tax and a $11k income.
We've read your feelings about your portfolio going down $3K in a day. If your condo loses $5K of its appraised value between one sale and the next, how would you feel?

In two posts you've stated (or given the impression) that over the next five years the market will be sideways or down, Chicago real estate will be flat or up, and CDs will be flat or down. What if none of that happens? You'll be on the market's sidelines, you'll be holding an illiquid depreciating asset in a buyer's market, and you'll want to have more liquid assets to put into higher-yielding CDs.

I'm not trying to claim your forecasts are right or wrong. I'm trying to figure out if the worst cases would make you regret the choices that you locked yourself into.

I can understand the $11K CD income. The condo's carrying costs could be a little more complicated than they initially appear. Does the $7K annual costs include monthly association fees, property taxes, & utilities (even when it's vacant)? (For example, utilities charge fees to connect/disconnect.) Can you leave the condo without heat when you're absent, or does the association require a vacant condo to be left in a certain condition? If the water is off for a couple months, there may be some repair/maintenance costs when you return (especially if the heat's left off). When's the last time the association raised the fees, and when will they be likely to raise them again? When's the last time the association levied an assessment, and how are their reserve funds? Can you sell the condo whenever you want at whatever price you want, or does the association have to approve prices & buyers? Are you considering renting it out?

I understand buying for the view, but why are you living in Chicago in the first place if you're spending most of your time elsewhere? I know Chicago's the best of a number of other compromises, but is it possible that you'll find a place you'd rather live at even more than Chicago over the next few years? If so the condo's closing costs (both buying now & sellling later) will put some pressure on any additional appreciation at the top of the real estate market. It'd be too easy to not earn back any of the annual carrying costs and even to lose money on the sale.

OTOH the CDs will be earning a steady $21K-$25K/year for five years. A lot has happened to interest rates in the last five years, and a lot will happen in the next five. If you want to diversify from CDs by using real estate then REITs offer much less volatility than a Chicago condo, and perhaps as much yield as a five-year CD.
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-02-2005, 08:47 PM   #5
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Nords,
As you are an ex-Navy guy, I suspect you've experienced the world and you seem to have repatriated well, but I'm just trying to figure out how to repatriate to the US without the same ER skills you've used. Asking dumb questions!!!! I ADMIT.


I'm not only looking for this post's mortgage vs CD investment returns but any advice is appreciated . If not Chicago, where would you suggest, based on your experience, as a "home base"?
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 02:01 AM   #6
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
Nords,
As you are an ex-Navy guy, I suspect you've experienced the world and you seem to have repatriated well, but I'm just trying to figure out how to repatriate to the US without the same ER skills you've used.* Asking dumb questions!!!!* I ADMIT.

I'm not only looking for this post's mortgage vs CD investment returns but any advice is appreciated .* If not Chicago, where would you suggest, based on your experience, as a "home base"?
I can't tell you the best places to live, but I can take you through our "process" (such as it is).

I grew up in Pittsburgh (and left as soon as I could). Navy training took me up & down the east coast from Ballston Spa NY to Orlando FL with stops along New London CT, Wash DC, Norfolk, Fort Benning GA, & Charleston SC. I've been out to Chicago in summer (and the cold weather then scared me quite a bit). I've been to Bermuda & Andros Island.

Family vacations took us to New England & Canada (Newfoundland & PEI) and through Arizona & Colorado. I've also lived in or visited Holy Loch (Scotland), northern Scotland, London, Edinburgh & Glasgow, France (all over), Luxembourg, Spain (all over), Portugal, the Azores, and the Canary Islands.

We've driven cross-country (I-10 through TX) and lived in Monterey & San Diego. I've made pit stops in Bangor WA, all over Seattle, San Francisco, and even a medevac in Adak AK. We've been in Hawaii for 13 of the last 16 years (and half our Navy careers) with visits to Guam, Subic, Yokosuka, Tokyo, & Chinhae. Spouse & I have seen a lot of Bangkok & Chiang Mai. I've never been to Africa, India, Australia, or on arctic land-- although they could very well be nice places. I've also had a lot of periscope liberty in areas that I don't ever care to visit.

I've learned that I don't like cold weather (even Monterey & San Diego) and I don't want to live anywhere with winter. Family is three or more time zones away, which seems to be about right for us. I can live with hot weather but I don't much care for humidity, heat, or bugs-- which leaves out a heckuva lot of the east coast.

Hawaii's a great weather compromise. (It also influenced me a lot when my submarine jobs were so much easier here because of that weather.) Asian culture interests me much more than western Europe, and we're surrounded by it here. My family's fairly accessible. Spouse's parents moved here (from Wash DC) to enjoy the warmer weather (and to watch their grandkid grow up).

So it's become easiest to finish raising the kid in Hawaii (it avoids an adolescent mutiny too). With spouse's parents aging here it also makes a good home base for the rest of the Pacific. I suppose we could end up moving someday to be near our kid/grandkids but for now we're happier closer to Asia. When we're empty nesters we're interested in spending months in Thailand and perhaps another Asian country or two.

I guess the most important things to us were weather, activities, and culture-- in about that order.

It seems from your posts that you haven't spent a lot of time in Chicago before (although I could be wrong). I can see that there'd be plenty of activities & culture but oh those winters. If you're traveling for work over the next few years it'd seem much easier to stay on in one location after the job (or to move to a new potential work town) than to have to come back to Chicago in Jan/Feb for a condo that you haven't spent much time in.

But then you may tolerate cold weather a heckuva lot better than I do!
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 05:04 AM   #7
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I can't tell you the best places to live, but I can take you through our "process" (such as it is).

I grew up in Pittsburgh (and left as soon as I could).* Navy training took me up & down the east coast from Ballston Spa NY to Orlando FL with stops along New London CT, Wash DC, Norfolk, Fort Benning GA, & Charleston SC.* I've been out to Chicago in summer (and the cold weather then scared me quite a bit).* I've been to Bermuda & Andros Island.*

Family vacations took us to New England & Canada (Newfoundland & PEI) and through Arizona & Colorado.* I've also lived in or visited Holy Loch (Scotland), northern Scotland, London, Edinburgh & Glasgow, France (all over), Luxembourg, Spain (all over), Portugal, the Azores, and the Canary Islands.

We've driven cross-country (I-10 through TX) and lived in Monterey & San Diego.* I've made pit stops in Bangor WA, all over Seattle, San Francisco, and even a medevac in Adak AK.* We've been in Hawaii for 13 of the last 16 years (and half our Navy careers) with visits to Guam, Subic, Yokosuka, Tokyo, & Chinhae.* Spouse & I have seen a lot of Bangkok & Chiang Mai.* I've never been to Africa, India, Australia, or on arctic land-- although they could very well be nice places.* I've also had a lot of periscope liberty in areas that I don't ever care to visit.*

I've learned that I don't like cold weather (even Monterey & San Diego) and I don't want to live anywhere with winter.* Family is three or more time zones away, which seems to be about right for us.* I can live with hot weather but I don't much care for humidity, heat, or bugs-- which leaves out a heckuva lot of the east coast.*

Hawaii's a great weather compromise.* (It also influenced me a lot when my submarine jobs were so much easier here because of that weather.)* Asian culture interests me much more than western Europe, and we're surrounded by it here.* My family's fairly accessible.* Spouse's parents moved here (from Wash DC) to enjoy the warmer weather (and to watch their grandkid grow up).

So it's become easiest to finish raising the kid in Hawaii (it avoids an adolescent mutiny too).* With spouse's parents aging here it also makes a good home base for the rest of the Pacific.* I suppose we could end up moving someday to be near our kid/grandkids but for now we're happier closer to Asia.* When we're empty nesters we're interested in spending months in Thailand and perhaps another Asian country or two.

I guess the most important things to us were weather, activities, and culture-- in about that order.*

It seems from your posts that you haven't spent a lot of time in Chicago before (although I could be wrong).* I can see that there'd be plenty of activities & culture but oh those winters.* If you're traveling for work over the next few years it'd seem much easier to stay on in one location after the job (or to move to a new potential work town) than to have to come back to Chicago in Jan/Feb for a condo that you haven't spent much time in.*

But then you may tolerate cold weather a heckuva lot better than I do!
I am not that well traveled, but know Chicago well. A truly awful place.
Brutal winters, high COL, nasty traffic, corruption and left of center politics.
Have taken an oath never to set foot there again in my lifetime,
speaking of which.............I have no fear of hell. I have seen Chicago.

JG
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 06:21 AM   #8
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..


Nords, thanks for the comments and congrats on a nice life. Looking for my own version.

My thinking was thusly: A $200k condo in the John Hancock cannot go down in price and probably also not appreciate but it would just be a "home base" purchase.

I love Chicago (so far).

JG, I have not spent a winter here yet and it may change my affection.






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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 08:04 AM   #9
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
Nords, thanks for the comments and congrats on a nice life. Looking for my own version.

My thinking was thusly: A $200k condo in the John Hancock cannot go down in price and probably also not appreciate but it would just be a "home base" purchase.

I love Chicago (so far).

JG, I have not spent a winter here yet and it may change my affection.

Even in the winter, Chicago is still a nice place to live. We're used to it here, so the city is well prepared. Will a nice building like the Hancock , and a good veiw you will be all set for the winter. Make sure you take in at least one Bears game.

BTW: The city govt is still corrupt, but if you have not seen Chicago lately,it's a different city.

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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 08:10 AM   #10
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

OAP if you really like the place and have the money you may as well buy it. A home should not be looked at as strictly an investment.

I think condo's will take a hit in value. Most of my experience has been with co-ops which differ in many ways from condo's but both seem to have followed similar patterns in appreciation. I can see an apartment that has tripled in value in the last 10 years loose alot of that appreciation as interest rates rise.
But some places may not and NYC and downtown Chicago may be the exceptions.

Have you considerd whether a studio is going to be big enough for you to live in?
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 09:08 AM   #11
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I can't tell you the best places to live, but I can take you through our "process" (such as it is).

I grew up in Pittsburgh (and left as soon as I could).* Navy training took me up & down the east coast from Ballston Spa NY to Orlando FL with stops along New London CT, Wash DC, Norfolk, Fort Benning GA, & Charleston SC.* I've been out to Chicago in summer (and the cold weather then scared me quite a bit).* I've been to Bermuda & Andros Island.*

Family vacations took us to New England & Canada (Newfoundland & PEI) and through Arizona & Colorado.* I've also lived in or visited Holy Loch (Scotland), northern Scotland, London, Edinburgh & Glasgow, France (all over), Luxembourg, Spain (all over), Portugal, the Azores, and the Canary Islands.

We've driven cross-country (I-10 through TX) and lived in Monterey & San Diego.* I've made pit stops in Bangor WA, all over Seattle, San Francisco, and even a medevac in Adak AK.* We've been in Hawaii for 13 of the last 16 years (and half our Navy careers) with visits to Guam, Subic, Yokosuka, Tokyo, & Chinhae.* Spouse & I have seen a lot of Bangkok & Chiang Mai.* I've never been to Africa, India, Australia, or on arctic land-- although they could very well be nice places.* I've also had a lot of periscope liberty in areas that I don't ever care to visit.*

I've learned that I don't like cold weather (even Monterey & San Diego) and I don't want to live anywhere with winter.* Family is three or more time zones away, which seems to be about right for us.* I can live with hot weather but I don't much care for humidity, heat, or bugs-- which leaves out a heckuva lot of the east coast.*

Hawaii's a great weather compromise.* (It also influenced me a lot when my submarine jobs were so much easier here because of that weather.)* Asian culture interests me much more than western Europe, and we're surrounded by it here.* My family's fairly accessible.* Spouse's parents moved here (from Wash DC) to enjoy the warmer weather (and to watch their grandkid grow up).

So it's become easiest to finish raising the kid in Hawaii (it avoids an adolescent mutiny too).* With spouse's parents aging here it also makes a good home base for the rest of the Pacific.* I suppose we could end up moving someday to be near our kid/grandkids but for now we're happier closer to Asia.* When we're empty nesters we're interested in spending months in Thailand and perhaps another Asian country or two.

I guess the most important things to us were weather, activities, and culture-- in about that order.*

It seems from your posts that you haven't spent a lot of time in Chicago before (although I could be wrong).* I can see that there'd be plenty of activities & culture but oh those winters.* If you're traveling for work over the next few years it'd seem much easier to stay on in one location after the job (or to move to a new potential work town) than to have to come back to Chicago in Jan/Feb for a condo that you haven't spent much time in.*

But then you may tolerate cold weather a heckuva lot better than I do!
Nords: His question was if not Chicago, where would you recommend?
I can imagine (with a fertile imagination), that he may be wondering, "I wonder if it's alright to start my journey in the city I'm in rather than Pittsburgh to duplicate Nords travels to find out the answer to this earth shaking problem"?
Ya gotta love it.
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 09:15 AM   #12
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

OAP - if I may, your mind is already made up, you're just checking to see if there are any obvious and gigantic holes in the decision?

Pretty simple. You buy real estate. Might go up. Might go down. Might stay the same. Still can live in it and enjoy it. Buy a CD, you'll get 5% every year. No ifs ands or buts. If you want the bird in the hand vs anything goes, buy the cd. If you arent impressed with 5% and want to buy the place, you're gonna buy the place. There are no obvious or gigantic points other than what you already know.
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 10:02 AM   #13
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

If I recall right, you decided to go back to work and will again be a world traveler for a couple of years. How often in that time period will you be back to Chicago?

I understand the desire for a home base. Maybe the risk of some depreciation in the real estate is worth it. And after all, you are going to be making the big bucks in the next couple of years.

Given your net worth and given that you are going to be working a couple more years, buying the condo doesn't seem to be that big of a risk to me.

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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 11:11 AM   #14
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Quote:
I'm not only looking for this post's mortgage vs CD investment returns but any advice is appreciated . If not Chicago, where would you suggest, based on your experience, as a "home base"?
Where to live really depends on so many factors:
- the climate
- taxes
- culture and divesity
- sports, arts
- education
- recreation
- transportation
- infrastrcture (air port, free way)

P.S. The view from the condo is spectacular. We lived in the Rain Tree hotel in downtown Chicago for a week. The food was great. The theaters were excellent. There were plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, and museums. We really enjoyed the stay but really missed the quietness of living in a suburban area, such as biking in a park, gardening in your own home, mowing the lawn.
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 11:20 AM   #15
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Nords:* His question was if not Chicago, where would you recommend?
I can imagine (with a fertile imagination), that he may be wondering, "I wonder if it's alright to start my journey in the city I'm in rather than Pittsburgh to duplicate Nords travels to find out the answer to this earth shaking problem"?
Ya gotta love it.
I can't recommend living locations to people (well, other than Hawaii), but if OAP's traveled the world then I'm pretty sure that he can do better than... CHICAGO?!? Who knows, Chicago could even make Pittsburgh look good.

Apologies to the rest of the board if you're a resident of any of the fine cities that I've mentioned. I'm sure they're wonderful places to live, but not for me.

Except for Phenix City, AL. If you're from Phenix then I can't say enough rotten things about the place. Maybe it's improved since 1979 because it would have been hard to get any worse!
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 01:31 PM   #16
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Martha,
Exactly, I'll being working only for a month/6wks at a time, so a home base would be handy. Currently, life has a few drastic changes in work, lady friend is moving back to London next week (packout is Wed), I'll be closing this place down in late July and the cat, Mrs. Z, is headed to Manhattan Beach, CA. Hope Mrs Z makes it, I gave her a good map.


Saluki9, I agree that Chicago must be a different place than some envision. I know lots of people who have lived here and all think it is a great place. I just went down to the "Taste", zigged over to the pier, zagged back thru Streeterville, ate a Polish at Hot Diggity, went over to Ditka's and had a brewski. Yeah, this place is horrible, just horrible.

Spanky,
Did you happen to eat at Portillo's? You describe the place the way I see it. Great food, great theater and lively. Ya just gotta come here to believe it's a nice city.


Nords and ex-Jarhead, I was a military brat at Phenix City, Fayettenam, etc and I'll take Mainz and Bad Aibling any day.

But, the original question (poorly structured, no doubt) was mean't to read:

"From a purely financial view, is $200k in CDs a sounder investment than a $200k condo and if the condo is a better investment, is a mortgaging or paying cash better."

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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 01:43 PM   #17
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Quote:
Spanky,
Did you happen to eat at Portillo's? You describe the place the way I see it. Great food, great theater and lively. Ya just gotta come here to believe it's a nice city.
Yes, they had great Italian food. I also liked the food at Chinatown and Greektown.

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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-03-2005, 01:49 PM   #18
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Spanky,
Last week the Greek Orthodox Church had a fund raiser next to their church on LaSalle St. The lady friend and I walked over and had a great time. Plates breakin, Greek music playin, souvlaki eatin, and beer drinkin.

I'm startin to hate this town.
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-05-2005, 02:01 PM   #19
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

Quote:
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Spanky,
Last week the Greek Orthodox Church had a fund raiser next to their church on LaSalle St. The lady friend and I walked over and had a great time. Plates breakin, Greek music playin, souvlaki eatin, and beer drinkin.

I'm startin to hate this town.

I don't know if this is just a local phenomenon, but for those who have not been a Greek Orthodox fundraiser is one of the best ways to spend a summer afternoon.

I love going to the church on the far north side where Sheridan Rd turns into LSD, great food.

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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..
Old 07-05-2005, 02:11 PM   #20
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Re: Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase..

saluki9,
walking around downtown, I see all kinds of fund raisers, festivals, or promotionals.

The best so far was getting to ride the bus during the filming of upcoming "Stranger than fiction" movie. It was a riot. The LF and I ate their food, sat on the bus and afterwards tried to lure the big St. Bernard back with us. He was willing but he had a leash.

But there's nothing like a Greek, Polish or Russian get together. Food to write about.
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