Archive for June, 2009


Statistics show how NYers cope with the recession

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According to an article in today’s Crains New York:

Crain’s City Facts report finds that Big Apple denizens are highly productive on the job, and prefer cheap thrills.

New Yorkers are neurotic overachievers who care a lot about how they look and have a penchant for inexpensive entertainment.

So say the statistics, anyway. This year’s City Facts, Crain’s New York’s annual look at New York by the numbers, shows a city and its denizens slowly being transformed by the recession – but perhaps not so fast or so dramatically as some had feared.

Among the facts uncovered by the Crain’s research team:

Flickr 20610087_8917470fee•New York workers are the most productive in the nation by a wide margin: 37% more productive than the average American worker, as measured by dollars produced in 2007. The margin may narrow as the recession deepens and Wall Street profits fall, but the state bears out one of the fundamental qualities of New Yorkers: their ambition.

•All that work comes with a price. New Yorkers are judged to be the third most neurotic people in the nation, say professors who theorize that particular geographies have particular personalities. Perhaps adding to New Yorkers’ stress level are the taxes and regulations that caused another set of professors to rank our state dead last when it comes to personal freedom.

•Putting their ambition on display, legions of laid-off New Yorkers have been starting their own businesses, but they shouldn’t expect an easy road. Despite the federal government’s efforts to resuscitate the financial market, small business lending is on track to decline again in 2009.

•New Yorkers helped pay for their hometown team, the Yanks, to build a spanking new stadium and then, thumbing their nose at the higher ticket prices, have been skipping the games. The Yankees are selling a lower percentage of their home game seats in their new, smaller stadium this year.

•New York is known as a city of excess, but New Yorkers actually spend less of their income on entertainment than Americans, perhaps because just living here is entertaining enough.

•The recession is likely heightening New Yorkers’ tendency to seek out low or no-cost entertainment: Circulation at the New York City Public Library is up 12% this year to 22 million.

•While fashion-first New Yorkers don’t necessarily pony up for big nights out, they do spend more on clothes and personal care than their national counterparts.

•Despite the aforementioned taxes and regulations, New York City remains the nation’s biggest corporate headquarters city, beating Texas up-and-comer Houston by a wide margin (43 to 25 headquarters of Fortune 500 companies).

•New York remains the nation’s business capital – but that may not be saying much. After years of slow growth, the government, health care and education sectors make up a full third of all the jobs in New York City

See the full slide show here


NYC Economic Development Corp Releases Economic Snapshot

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FactsFiguresThumb12Below are highlights from the June newsletter published by the NYCEDC.

  • Private Employment fell by 600 in April after a decrease of 13,400 jobs in March.
  • The unemployment rate fell to 8.0% in April from 8.1% in March.
  • The Manhattan hotel occupancy rate in April 2009 as 85.4%, down from 87.2% in April 2008.
  • Passengers in NYC area airports totaled 8.2 million in March 2009, down 12.2 percent from March 2008.

Real Estate and Construction (for the four months ending April 2009)

  • Building projects (including new, additions and alterations) that started construction in NYC declined by 33.3% and infrastructure (non building) project decreased by 38.2% from the four months ending 2008.
  • Planned space for building project starts decreased 84.8% from the same period in 2008.
  • 609 residential buildings with 1940 units of housing started construction, decreases of 43.1 and 77.2 percent respectively from the previous year

Broadway Ticket Sales

  • There were approximately 1.0 million tickets sold during the four months ending May 31, 2009, a 2.2 percent decrease from the same period last year.
  • Broadway revenue during this period was roughly $78.1 million, a 0.8 percent increase from last year.

Categories : Market Reports
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Midtown Manhattan Korean & Mexican Food Mashup

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We didn't have this! Too bad...

We expected a taco, perhaps this short rib taco, but we got a kimchi quesadilla instead

They were serving a Korean/Mexican mashup..kimchi quesadilla out of a  truck… the Dessert Truck on loan to Kogi! And it was on 56th street and Lexington Avenue, only a couple of blocks away from my office.

It seemed like a good idea when I read about it in and even better when I read the buzz on where, after the fact, I got the photo below.  (I was without a camera since I returned my Apple iPhone yesterday. Good thing too with the new models and software update announced today.)

At $4 bucks and going to benifit CityMeals-on-wheels I couldn’t miss it!

...but the chocolate mousse from the Desert Truck was excellent!

...but the chocolate mousse from the Desert Truck was excellent!

The quesadilla was a bit greasy but had a nice spicy/hot after glow. The chocolate mousse with peanut butter filling was surrounded by and nestled in a creme Anglais. It was garnished with a piece of caramel coated popcorn-reminiscent of Cracker Jacks.  Very nice.

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All Real Estate Is Local-Very Very Local

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Rule # 7 of  Really Simple Manhattan Real Estate (RSMRE):  Ignore the Case-Shiller Index if you are thinking about buying a coop or condo in Manhattan.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index methodology states:

The S&P/Case-Shiller indices do not sample sale prices associated with new construction, condominiums, co-ops/apartments, multi-family dwellings, or other properties that cannot be identified as single-family

Since 99% of all home sales in Manhattan are ” new construction, condominums, co-ops/apartments, multi-family dwellings”  the Index has no relevancy here.

Dr. Shiller in his June 6th article published in The New York Times reported:

HOME prices in the United States have been falling for nearly three years, and the decline may well continue for some time.

Nowhere in the article did he discuss or give a footnote on the methodology used or the property types included and,  with regard to Manhattan real estate, property types excluded.

No disclaimers or discussion of properties included or excluded on this  Bloomberg TV’s doom and gloom video report .

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If a Real Estate Blog Falls in An Empty Forest…

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If a tree falls will the mushrooms be edible?

If a tree falls will the mushrooms be edible?

If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is around to hear it fall, does it make a sound?  

So that’s the question asked in the NY Times (Blogs Falling In an Empty Forest).

It seems from this survey that 90.7% of folks who think about these things said yes. So with that inspiration, I felt I could move forward with this blog.

Other deep philosophical questions like the sound of one hand clapping or timing the bottom of the Manhattan real estate market will be answered  in due course.

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