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The rebirth of Meg Ryan: the actress turned TikTok icon is back with a new romantic comedy | Culture

There’s even a new term for it — “megaissance” — as thousands of tweeters and posters urge each other to recreate the Barbie mania and take up the dress code for opening night at the theaters. But this time, instead of pink clothes, it’s cozy wool sweaters, baggy pants and loafers. Meg Ryan’s comeback deserves no less. After eight years of professional hiatus and up to 14 since her last foray into the genre, the 90′s movie star returns to romantic comedy with What Happens Later. The film is co-written, directed and stars the actress herself, representing her symbolic return to an industry that didn’t hesitate to oust her from her place as Hollywood superstar once she decided to stop being America’s eternal sweetheart and opted for more mature roles. Her return coincides in time, moreover, with the vindication of Ryan as the perfect fall style icon for her new Gen Z fans.

Just days shy of her 62nd birthday, Ryan is clear that her return to the entertainment limelight is just a fleeting circumstance. “I feel like I had the ride, the Hollywood ride,” she told The New York Times. “I kind of went to the moon already. So I don’t have giant ambitions to be back in that.” Far from looking back with the resentment of a forgotten celebrity, the star of classics like When Harry Met Sally says she has never regretted her decision to leave the industry in 2009 to enjoy her personal life. “Film is a job, not a lifestyle,” she once quipped.

Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan, in ‘When Harry Met Sally.’

After the scorn Ryan experienced for starring in the erotic thriller In the Cut (2003), the Connecticut-born actress has preferred to focus on raising her two children. Together with the son she had with her ex, fellow actor Dennis Quaid, and her daughter Daisy, whom she adopted in 2006, Ryan moved to New York, where she lived for a decade. At that time, the tabloids were censuring her for her defense of cosmetic surgery and she joined the long list of stars shunned for “getting some work done,” like fellow celebrities Demi Moore and Renée Zellweger. A few years later, confined by the Covid-19 pandemic and with her children all grown up — Jack is a successful actor, most recently starring in the series The Boys, and Daisy has just started college — Ryan decided to start a new project as a director, after the critical and public failure of Ithaca.

What Happens Later narrates an encounter between two former lovers trapped in a regional airport during a snowstorm, together with their lingering grudges and inexhaustible tensions, after 30 years without seeing each other. “There’s a perspective you have when you’re older, about love. It’s different than puppy love. You slowly learn that love is easy, while relationships are hard,” she told Variety. Her return as an actress is not the result of personal desire, but a forced sacrifice in order to make the film. Despite another nostalgic reference joining the cast — David Duchovny of X-Files — Ryan was forced to take the leading role in order to secure financing to produce the film. With a budget of only three million dollars, they barely had 21 days to shoot, and they couldn’t even afford to screen it in front of an audience before its premiere. Then came the actors’ strike, although because the film was an independent production, they had special permission to promote it. And then there was the final obstacle: competing with Taylor Swift and the premiere of her film for The Eras Tour, which forced them to delay the release in theaters until November 3.

Be that as it may, the truth is that the premiere of What Happens Later could not have come at a more opportune moment for Ryan. Spontaneously, though following an online trend that first appeared in 2011, the social network TikTok has been teaming with thousands of tributes to the style popularized by the actress in classics like You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Dubbed “Meg Ryan Fall,” the trend already has more than 10 million views on TikTok. Namely: cardigans of various beige tones, flared skirts, oversized blazers and bowler hats. Closet basics, with the same color scheme and combined with different textures. “It is the cutest thing ever. I saw pictures of girls trying on hats. I don’t know why it has anything remotely to do with me, but it is so sweet. It kills me,” she told People magazine.

The new film marks the actress’s long-awaited return to the genre that made her the international icon she still is today. “the way i feel about meg ryan returning to romcoms is how i imagine jesus’ disciples felt when he was resurrected,” the writer Zoë Rose Bryant wrote on X (formerly Twitter). What Happens Later is a sort of surrender to expectations, after Ryan spent so long trying to disassociate herself from the kind of films that made her the highest paid woman in Hollywood, pocketing up to $15 million for Kate & Leopold alone. “I’ve done more than 30 movies, and maybe only seven of them are rom-coms. I was trying [to do other genres]. It didn’t really work,” she confessed to Variety.

With a fortune estimated at $85 million, Meg Ryan can afford to steer her fate away from the capricious designs of Hollywood as much as she wants. “I have to say, I don’t think I was a very good famous person,” she told ET. “And I remember cars closing — like, expensive cars — and then you don’t hear the outside anymore. You’re roped off in that part of thing, and I just knew it’s just not good for an artist or a creative person to have limited life, in a way, to draw from.” In her years on hiatus from the limelight, she has spent her days buying and selling assets and designing and renovating luxury properties in New York City, the exclusive LA neighborhood of Bel-Air, and the Californian town of Montecito, another refuge for fellow celebrities like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Ariana Grande and Gwyneth Paltrow. After sharing a decade of her life with the musician John Mellencamp, in 2019 she announced the end of their relationship, and she is currently single. We will soon see if her long-lost and passionate romance with fame will be rekindled in theaters, this fall.

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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— By Darren Wilson, Team VoiceOfEU.com

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