News In Brief

JUST FOOLING When the phone rings at the Cleveland Museum of Art these days, it's likely that the caller wants to discuss plastic geese. No, the things aren't an exhibit, although they are highly realistic. You see, nesting season for Canada geese is approaching, and the museum would rather the messy critters go somewhere else for that. So 14 decoys, designed to look dead, have been placed in the lagoon in front in front of the building to act as a deterrent. The effect isn't exactly artistic; hence the phone calls from concerned observers.

HONEY, SEE WHO'S AT THE DOOR It must have been a tad awkward last weekend in the exclusive Amsterdam suburb of Bloemendaal as an out-of-place-looking group of people was spotted going from mansion to mansion. The visitors turned out to be welfare recipients. But they were armed only with handmade gifts, brought to thank the town's millionaires for paying their taxes. The mission was the idea of a student, who saw it as a way to break down social prejudices.

Rating world's best places to call home - if you're affluent

Communities as different as Aspen, Colo., and Manhattan are among the 10 best for the affluent to call home, according to the monthly Robb Report. The luxury-lifestyle publication produces an annual list of the world's top affluent communities by consulting with elite real estate agencies - including Sotheby's International, Christie's Great Estates, and Knight Frank International. Cities are assessed on the basis of their school systems, crime rates, and amenities, as well as their wealth. This year's top 10, (in alphabetical order):

Aspen, Colo.

Beverly Hills, Calif.

Cuernavaca, Mexico

Florence, Italy

London

Manhattan, N.Y.

Palm Beach, Fla.

Principality of Monaco

Sydney, Australia

Toronto, Canada

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