As a shoe designer for Kenneth Cole, Laura Southwick had made the grueling trek to Dongguan, China, dozens of times. And her trip in January 2002 seemed, at first, fairly routine: long hours overseeing production at the factory, the usual gripes about jet lag and missing her boyfriend and family. Then everything changed. The 33-year-old wasn’t feeling wellshe joked with her boyfriend on the phone that she had the Chinese flu. Within two days, she was dead. The autopsy showed viral myocarditisa heart infection tough to diagnose but treatable with decent medical care. A year later, her family still wonders why following her dream had to come at so high a price.
Last year was a nervous ride for the real-estate-obsessed New Yorker. For the first time in a decade, prices stopped their reassuringor relentless, from the vantage point of first-time buyersclimb. This year looks just as scarycheck that, even scarieras we stare down the possibility that war, terrorism, and the sorry state of the city’s economy could finally burst the bubble that’s carried us into the stratosphere. Here’s the evidence as presented by real-estate experts both bearish and bullish, to help you decide whether to buy, sell, or sit tight.
As to where to buy or rent, we offer our definitive guide to prices and new developments in 25 prime neighborhoods. Some showed double-digit declines over the past year; some, still gentrifying, managed to post modest gains. A rundown of the figures as well as forecasts for the immediate future in each.
WITH DEBORAH SCHOENEMAN
Jennifer Esposito, Ja Rule, Drew Barrymore, Eric Altman and much more!
Fabulous floor pillows...
From Moroccan slides to rhinestone skirts
Now that he's got the nod to rebuild ground zero, Daniel Libeskind must fight for his ideas.
Now that Art Cooper's "resigned," how would you make over GQ?
War: What is it good for? My career!
Oriental Rugs, ABC Carpet & Home, 888 Broadway, at 19th Street, March 6-23.
How do you credibly cover a war that’s a rerun (of a psychodrama)?
Credit Suisse First Boston may come out of its scandal unscathed. But star banker Frank Quattrone might not be so lucky.
Why overaggressive law enforcement can make nightlife more
One private investigator tells all
Bringing Down the House doesn’t live up to its potential
Mrs. Kimble tries to breathe new life into a perennial, the serial marrier
Modern visionary Matthew Barney creates new worlds at the Guggenheim
An exhausting Frank McGuinness play eludes interpretation
A mature couple meets youngsters in Private Lives of Dancers 2003
Vladimir Ashkenazy’s ferocious tour of Stalin-era composing
Daniel Ellsberg gets biopic’d apart
Pizza in Bataliland at Otto
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