Archive for Fun Stuff

Oct
21

In the News – October 21, 2012

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10/3/12  Power Strips:  What’s your strategy for Power Strips?  Do you hide them?  How about showing them off?  Read about Rich Thrush’s strategy and see some interesting designs in this New York Times article.

10/10/12  Exclusive 3rd Quarter 2012 Elliman Report for Westchester & Putnam Sales Markets:  After one of the busiest spring markets we’ve seen in 5 years, the Westchester housing market remained active through the summer.  In fact, third quarter sales in Westchester were up sharply compared to the same time last year. Record-low mortgage rates, despite unusually tight lending conditions, drove demand and helped bring first time buyers into the market. While housing prices generally remained stable, the amount of inventory available for sale continued to decline. We anticipate the same market conditions through the end of the year.   See the full report at Elliman.com 

10/18/12  Exclusive 3rd Quarter 2012 Elliman Report for the Queens Market:  The third quarter Queens housing market was characterized by stable pricing and falling inventory. Properties sold faster as buyers and sellers moved closer together in determining fair prices. Despite mortgage rates dropping to record lows, the market remained a challenge for buyers, with limited inventory to choose from and tight bank lending conditions. The Queens market has come a long way over the past several years, and we look forward to an active market over the next several quarters.   See the full report at Elliman.com

10/18/12  Exclusive 3rd Quarter 2012 Elliman Report for the Brooklyn sales Market:  The Brooklyn housing market was defined by falling inventory this quarter. Consumers had fewer choices, which continued to hold back the number of sales. Despite mortgage rates falling to record lows, housing prices remained stable, largely due to the tough lending standards still in place by banks.  Despite this challenge, the market stabilized, and we anticipate continued improvement over the upcoming quarters as the economy grows stronger.  See the full report at Elliman.com

Oct
24

Central Park: Seasons On The Terrace

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Central Park is one of the most important works of art in America. And for 30 years, the Central Park Conservancy has worked to maintain this living masterpiece and enhance the public’s enjoyment of its visionary design. What better way to celebrate the Park’s success than with a stunning art installation befitting of New York City’s premier museum without walls?

Narrated by Kevin Bacon this incredible marriage of art and technology takes you through a year in the life of Central Park. With musical selections from Sting’s Symphonicities, this digital artwork lets Central Park admirers from around the globe enjoy its colorful spring blooms, green summer lawns, rust-colored fall foliage and snowy winter landscapes – all without traveling an inch. Originally projected onto Bethesda Terrace during a live event on October 13, Seasons is making its online debut today.

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Rejoice fashionistas, spring is definitely in the air! New stores, new concepts and new celebrations abound. It’s time for spring cleaning; make room for the fabulous new offerings coming soon to an avenue near you.

Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman, Retail Leasing and Sales Division
of Prudential Douglas Elliman recently published the shop ’til you drop Spring 2010 New York Retail Leasing Report

Feb
10

Which Spot In Central Park Was Voted Most Romantic?

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As the snow falls heavily in Manhattan, I received an update from the Central Park Conservancy. Reminding me of Valentines Day (note to self: Send flowers to Les),  I did wonder which was the most romantic spot in Central Park.

The answer? Bow Bridge. Check this and see what so many have said about Bow Bridge. Even in  the snow of winter! Or read about Central Park’s most romantic stories

The story behind Bow Bridge…

  • Named for its resemblance to a violinist’s or archer’s — or Cupid’s — bow, Bow Bridge’s dreamy setting over the sprawling Lake has inspired many a lovers’ stroll.
  • Designed by Central Park co-designer Calvert Vaux and his assistant Jacob Wrey Mould and built in 1862, Bow Bridge is the second-oldest cast-iron bridge in the United States. The Bridge spans 60 feet across the Lake, linking the cultivated and flowering landscape of Cherry Hill with the rustic and sprawling woods of the Ramble.
  • Bow Bridge is one of the most photographed spots in the Park and is provides the romantic backdrop for many wedding proposals and classic film shots.

Don’t worry spring is on the way…

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Jan
20

The Good Old Days

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Someone sent this to us. Can you relate?

1974: KEG
2009: EKG

1974: Acid rock
2009: Acid reflux

1974: Moving to California because it’s cool
2009: Moving to California because it’s warm

1974: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2009: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

1974: Seeds and stems
2009: Roughage

1974: Hoping for a BMW
2009: Hoping for a BM

1974: The Grateful Dead
2009: Dr. Kevorkian

1974: Going to a new, hip joint
2009  Receiving a new hip joint

1974: Rolling Stones
2009: Kidney Stones

1974: Being called into the principal’s office
2009: Calling the principal’s office

1974: Screw the system
2009: Upgrade the system

1974: Disco
2009: Costco

1974: Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2009: Children begging you to get their heads shaved

1974: Passing the drivers’ test
2009: Passing the vision test

1974: Whatever
2009: Depends

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Fed housing credit?

Fed housing credit?

Local media has been commenting since last August that New Yorkers seem to be blasé about the Recovery Package offer of $8,000 toward a new home. However, it was so popular nationally that Congress has extended that, and added a $6,500 offer for current owners who move.

Well, I wouldn’t pass it up if I were in the home market right now, and put my team to work finding out what you might buy with that free cash. Some new furniture and décor are obvious choices, and almost everyone needs something for their new home.

Or you could use it for other kinds of fun. Given my favorite pastimes, I might figure out how many lovely restaurant meals I could savor, including cuisine hot spots my wife and I usually reserve for special occasions.

But you have many other options. For about $600 to $1,600 you could score a pair of trendy Christian Louboutin shoes or boots at Saks, which offers 96 choices at your fingertips. Or there’s the current Prada event with hot items coming up, now available for pre-orders. While at Sak’s you could also pick up a steal on men’s watches, such as Breil Milano’s stainless steel chronograph strap watch at $1,250.

Or how about a Hermes bag? For classic Hermes, you can’t go wrong with the Birkin bag, starting at $6,000. Here’s a entire blog dedicated to the Birkin.

Here’s a tidbit from a local fashion blog: “Katie Holmes & Suri: Spotted on Madison Avenue of New York, little Suri had her own pint-sized version of Mom’s orange Hermes shopping bag. Later on, Katie was seen with a rare burgundy Garden Party Handbag that looked more like a boarding bag. The Hermes handbag offset her black pencil skirt and red heels. With all the goodies that could be stuffed into that spacious bag, Holmes was ready for anything.” The Evelyne, starting a bit under $2,500, is très chic now.

You can toast your new home with a rare champagne.  Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1993 is just $399.00 per 750 ml. bottle, limited to one per customer at Astor Wines.  Salon Blanc de Blanc, Le Mesnil – 1997 is more expensive at $459.99, but in greater supply.  You can buy a case of 6 for $2621.94.

Does your new co-op or condo allow pooches?  How about using your savings for today’s most expensive, pure bred, a Samoyed, starting at $3,000 or an English Bulldog at around $2,500.  On the other hand, if you adopt a nice homeless puppy from a shelter approved by the Humane Society, you’ll have lots of money to buy dog food and a really fancy collar, $18 and up from wwww.muttropolis.com.

And let’s not forget the sports fans.  How about season tickets to the Yankees next year?  Despite the World Series victory, top prices will actually decline, with field level seats at $250 per game for season ticket holders, down from $325 this year.

How much more stimulated could you get?  Check out my November 2 post  for housing stimulus dates and details. Go, Feds!

Oct
27

Harry Potter Buys Townhouse In West Village

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Daniel Radcliffe buys Manhattan townhouse in West Village

Daniel Radcliffe buys Manhattan townhouse in West Village

Daniel Radcliffe, the 20-year-old Wizard in Broadway’s Harry Potter production, has purchased his third New York City property, a five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot West Village townhouse.  The price:  $6.4 million.

Celebrity publications report Radcliffe now owns more than $16 million in Manhattan area condos and apartments, plus a luxury condo in his home United Kingdom neighborhood of Fulham in London.

As reported by Real Estate Channel

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Oct
26

Toast to Ghosts with the Midori Spider’s Kiss

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Midori Spider Kiss Coctail for Halloween

Midori Spider Kiss Coctail for Halloween

Americans spend an estimated $7 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.   And in recent years, more adults have taken to the holiday by dressing up and celebrating at parties.  This year, after all the little superheroes, pirates, witches and bumble bees have tucked into bed, make a grownup toast to ghosts with this new Midori Spider’s Kiss.

Created by award-winning Mixologist Victoria D’Amato-Moran, this festive cocktail not only stands as a refreshment, but decor as well.  “The colors and details of the Spider’s Kiss add a dramatic flair to the occasion,” says D’Amato-Moran who suggests using frosted glasses for an added ghostly feel or grenadine for a bloody spider bite effect.

Midori Spider’s Kiss

1 oz. Midori® Melon Liqueur

1 oz. SKYY® Vodka

Fresh Lemon

Garnish with an orange slice

Draw a chocolate web into a martini glass. Place in freezer and chill for a ghostly effect. Shake all ingredients and strain into glass.  For a blood effect, drizzle grenadine down the side of the glass. Garnish with a chocolate dipped orange slice.

For information on Midori and additional cocktail recipes, please visit their website.

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New York City Trick or Treat HalloweenYes, Halloween is Saturday, so it’s time to finalize your Trick-or-Treat plan if you are old enough to give out candy, under 13 or the parent of same.

Here are some tips for celebrating All Hallows Eve in the city:

  • If you welcome visits from all the little superheroes, pirates, witches and bumble bees in the building, make sure you’re apartment number is included on the list that should be posted in the lobby of your building.
  • If your building doesn’t have such a list, suggest one to the super.  It ensures that those who don’t welcome visitors won’t be disturbed.
  • If you really don’t care how cute little Sara is going to be in her princess outfit, leave a supply of candy with your doorman with “Happy Halloween from 11A” taped to the side of the bowl.  He’ll hand them out – and enjoy a few of the mini Snickers himself.  (Be sure to mention it if you want your bowl back in the morning.)
  • No doorman?  Want to participate but don’t want to spend the evening traipsing back and forth to the front door?  Leave a container of candy outside the door.  Remember to replenish the offering as needed as long as your budget allows.
  • If you live in a walkup, take pity on the frustration this causes for kids and parents – put a sign on your door to announce whether you are a treater.  You might try to post a lobby list and let everyone add themselves at the appropriate spot, but messing with the list may be irresistible for kids between 13 and 30 (possibly 40 in some cases of arrested development – you know who you are).
  • Make sure to give kids only store-bought, individually-wrapped candy, since wary parents will toss anything else.  Trick-or-Treaters’ faves include chocolate bars, Skittles, and Tootsie Roll Pops.  Kids today often are not fond of candy corn – yet another sign that times change.  No one but dentists gives sugarless gum.  It’s only once a year!
  • In the process of shedding pounds or watching your weight?  Buy only treats you dislike enough that you really, really won’t eat them, and be sure all extras get dropped off in a child household or taken to work on Monday.

Parents, here is some more information on how to Trick or Treat in New York City.

Happy Halloween!

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Oct
14

The Most Annoying Words In Real Life & Real Estate

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Wordle 2br equal-greater compressed 1M

A "Wordle" of 2br/2bth co-ops & condos =>$1M in Manhattan

In a recent Marist poll, nearly half of Americans – 47% – said they find “whatever” most annoying.  The other sayings weren’t quite so loathed.  25% say they find “you know” most grating; 11% can’t stand “it is what it is”; 7% would like to ban “anyway” from all verbal exchanges; and 2% reported that they could do without hearing “at the end of the day.”

After reading thousands of Manhattan apartment descriptions, I have come up with my top  list of  real estate words and phrases that I find most annoying:

  1. Boasts
  2. Oversized (also ample or generous)
  3. Sun-drenched
  4. Residence
  5. Triple mint

Here’s a “finger-nails-on -the-black-board” apartment description:

This triple mint, sun drenched apartment boasts oversized windows and generous maintenance.  You must call me for the non-negotiable price, a private showing or whatever. Anyway, if you have to ask the price this residence may not be for you. You know, at the end of the day it is what it is.

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Every quarter I find it fun and interesting to read what the pundits have to say after the Manhattan Real Estate Market Reports are published. As you can see below,  the 3Q  Manhattan Market Overview created quite a lot of buzz. This report was prepared by Miller Samual Inc.  for Prudential Douglas Elliman.

I think the discussion of the 3Q market trends is best summarized in this special report podcast on The Housing Helix by the report’s creator Jonathan Miller .

Date

Publication

Title

Media

10/05/2009 Inman News N.Y. condo sales up sharply Newspaper
10/05/2009 Real Estate Channel Falling Manhattan Apartment and Condo Prices Drive Biggest Sales Gain in 13 Years, Report 7 Monitors Website
10/02/2009 Yahoo Finance 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Website
10/02/2009 WNYC Analyst: Manhattan Real Estate Market to Continue Slide Radio
10/02/2009 Newsday Manhattan apartment sales spike in Q3, prices vary Newspaper
10/02/2009 ForExYard.com Cheaper Manhattan apartments draw buyers-reports Website
10/02/2009 ABCNews.com Manhattan Apartment Sales Spike in 3Q; Prices Vary Website
10/02/2009 Earth Times 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Newspaper (electronic)
10/02/2009 The Business Insider Manhattan Condo Prices Down 10.3% In Q3 Website
10/02/2009 Bloomberg.com Manhattan Apartment Prices Drop for Second Quarter Website
10/02/2009 New York Post Housing rebound could be for real Newspaper
10/02/2009 New York Daily News Corner could be turned: Manhattan real estate sales ’stabilizing’ Newspaper
10/02/2009 CNNMoney Manhattan home prices flattening Website
10/02/2009 StreetInsider.com 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Website
10/02/2009 WebNewsWire.com 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Website
10/02/2009 Reuters 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Newswire
10/02/2009 Reuters Cheaper Manhattan apartments draw buyers Newswire
10/02/2009 Yacht Charters Magazine 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Magazine (electronic)
10/02/2009 The New York Times Manhattan Apartment Sales Bounced Back Over the Summer, but Not All the Way Newspaper
10/02/2009 CNBC.com 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Website
10/02/2009 WSJ.com Falling Apartment Prices Jolt Manhattan Market Website
10/02/2009 Crain’s new York Business Drop in apartment prices slows in 3Q Magazine
10/02/2009 The Real Deal Manhattan residential market reports bring good news, experts cautiously optimistic Magazine
10/02/2009 Curbed.com Market Reports: Manhattan Free Fall May Be Over Website
10/02/2009 Washington Examiner Manhattan apartment market soar in third quarter; still below year-ago levels Newspaper (electronic)
10/02/2009 Atlanta Business Chronicle 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Newspaper (electronic)
10/02/2009 Boston Business Journal 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Magazine
10/02/2009 Los Angeles Business 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Magazine
10/02/2009 Philadelphia Business Journal 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Magazine
10/02/2009 Portland Business Journal 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Magazine
10/02/2009 Sacramento Business Journal 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Magazine
10/02/2009 WAFB.com (Louisiana) 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Website
10/02/2009 KVBC.com (Las Vegas) 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Website
10/02/2009 KTVN.com (Reno, NV) 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Website
10/02/2009 Jacksonville Business Journal 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Magazine
10/02/2009 New York Magazine Third-Quarter Market Reports: Good News, Kind Of, Sort Of Magazine
10/02/2009 PR Newswire 3rd Quarter 2009 Manhattan Residential Market Report Shows Housing Market is Turning Corner Newswire
10/02/2009 CBS Money Watch Justice Sotomayor: “Not Wise To Sell My Home” Website
10/02/2009 New York Daily News Is now the time to buy? Manhattan apartment sales jump 45% over last quarter as prices fall Newspaper
10/02/2009 Gothamist Manhattan Real Estate Might Be Rebounding… Or Not Website
         
10/02/2009 The New York Times Manhattan Apartment Sales Spike in 3Q; Prices Vary Newspaper

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Aug
22

Fantastic Lunch at Per Se Restaurant!

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We celebrated our anniversary at Per Se in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. From the personalized menu wishing us a Happy Anniversary to the tour of the kitchen and wine cellar, it was an amazing day. Their service was stellar and the food was remarkable! We booked a reservation (on the wait list) for next month.

Enjoy the photos and beautiful presentation of our Chef’s Tasting Menu – you can almost taste the food with your eyes!

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