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  1. real estate porn
    Natasha Lyonne Proves Obnoxious Real-Estate ClichéThat, of course, celebrities are able to find cheap, fantastic real estate when you can’t even find a place where the toilet is in the same room as the shower.
  2. neighborhood watch
    The Golden Rule, Graffiti-StyleEast Harlem’s incoming big-box mall, Rockaway’s unexpected turn, Gramercy’s strange tenements within a condo, and even more, in today’s boroughs report.
  3. neighborhood watch
    Greenpoint Gets a Thematic Swimming PoolA tourist treat in lower Manhattan, a vomit victim in Prospect Heights, and a paucity of pedagogy in Tribeca … all in our daily boroughs report!
  4. company town
    Katie Couric and Sean McManus: Chipper at CBS in Spite of It AllMore troubles for Sam Zell, Heather Mills is coming to town, and half of Bear Stearns employees are facing the ax. Click through to read the rest of our news roundup from the fields of media, law, finance and real estate.
  5. neighborhood watch
    Now Carrie Bradshaw Is Really Going to Need a Cell PhoneBushwick: Teens here are flipping the bird to military recruiters, instead embracing Che Guevara and Cesar Chavez at their own social-justice high school. [Indypendent] East Village: Is the end near for that infamous phone booth on Avenue A where “thousands of heroin orders have been placed”? [Neither More Nor Less] Flatbush: The city wants to refurbish the grand but fading 1929 Loew’s Kings Theater, where Brooklyn beep Marty Markowitz got his first kiss. Sexy imagery like that should help accelerate the project. [Real Deal via Ditmas Park Blog]
  6. intel
    Union Rat Invades Gramercy Park, Emerges VictoriousAfter two weeks of unsightly picketing and the (even more unwelcome) presence of a giant inflatable union rat in genteel Gramercy Park, Local 6 of Unite Here and the Players Club reached an agreement Friday afternoon. It reinstates sixteen union members from the club’s restaurant and bar operations who were fired as a cost-cutting measure. John Turchiano, a union spokesman, said the terminated union members return to work today with back pay. “They got everything they wanted, and now we will sit down with management and try out to work out any financial difficulty now that they’re abiding by an arbiter’s ruling,” he said, referring to an arbiter’s January 15 ruling ordering the Players Club to reinstate the terminated employees with back pay.
  7. neighborhood watch
    The High Line Blogs!Bay Ridge: Hey, who’s dumping the huge piles of plastic spoons in Owl’s Head Park? Will huge piles of Pinkberry follow? [Right in Bay Ridge] Chelsea: The High Line is blogging and social networking! And it already has 47 fans! [Facebook and High Line Blog] Gramercy: That big new condo on 23rd Street and Third Avenue won’t be sold chockablock to rich Irish folks after all … looks like it’s gonna be a big fat NYU dorm! [Villager]
  8. intel
    The Union Rat Descends Upon Gramercy ParkIn 1888, Edwin Booth, the famed Shakespearean actor, along with Mark Twain, General William Tecumseh Sherman, and a slew of other distinguished American notables from the nineteenth century, formed their own club where they could hang out and smoke cigars and sip brandy and yap about the dramatic arts. They also created a fund to help struggling actors. They called themselves “The Players,” and their club was run out Booth’s old townhouse at 16 Gramercy Park, where it is still in operation. In the past few days, the club’s picturesque Stanford White façade, facing the tony private park, has been partially blocked by a sight uncommon in this quiet residential neighborhood: the union rat. It’s a sign of lingering troubles within.
  9. neighborhood watch
    Battle Over Randalls Island Playing Fields Wages OnBedford-Stuyvesant: Here’s an arty do-it-yourself interpretation of the glassy standard bus shelter that’s taking over the city. No surprise this is for the bus that goes to Williamsburg, where all those arty DIY kids live! [Bed-Stuy Banana] East Harlem: Locals are still waging a legal battle against the city’s plan to take $52 million over twenty years from top private schools like Dalton and Spence in exchange for the schools’ use of most of the Randalls Island athletic fields during peak after-school hours. [Newsday] Forest Hills: Sure, that mini-mall on Austin Street is pretty hideous-looking, but it still has a Thai restaurant, a Greek restaurant, a creperie, a skater shop, and a comic-book emporium, so let’s stop complaining about its ugliness and count our blessings! [Queens Central]
  10. neighborhood watch
    Will Trader Joe’s Be Haunted?Cobble Hill: Trader Joe’s is coming to an old bank building that may be haunted. Did those frozen tofu tamales just fly through the air? [McBrooklyn] East Village: An artist makes T-shirts lamenting the hood’s new megadevelopments. [Vanishing New York] Elmhurst: Controversial architect Robert Scarano, detested by many in Brooklyn, now hits Queens. [Queens Crap]
  11. vu.
    Treat Mom to an Apartment Near Stuyvesant SquareSunday is Mother’s Day, which means restaurants teeming with brunching families and, yes, fewer open houses. But if a new home is on your gift list, what better way to spend the day than being on the hunt? (Anyway, who needs another brooch or — shudder — lotion set?) These apartments are all within walking distance of historic Stuyvesant Square Park on 15th Street near Rutherford Place, a patch of green that’s fenced, like Gramercy Park due north, only you don’t need that infernally hard-to-get key to gain entry. The area, named after Peter Stuyvesant, has stellar schools (private and public) and an easygoing flair that recalls the Village pre-fancification. Lately, though, it has seen its profile rise alongside that of nearby Union Square and the East Village. Still, Stuyvesant Square retains a glimmer of its underappreciated and, consequently, still neighborhood-y vibe. Some would say the real estate’s still affordable, too, though it’s far from cheap. But then again, maybe you should decide for yourself. After the jump, a list of open houses scheduled for Sunday, mothers be darned. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
  12. neighborhood watch
    Gramercy Park: Now Elitist Only 364 Days a YearBrooklyn Heights: Does having the same landlord entitle you to “accidentally” park in your neighbor’s driveway? Vote now! [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Carroll Gardens: Starting this Sunday, it’s the attack of the weekend street fair. Beware of tube socks. [Gowanus Lounge] Chelsea: Times Square moves south with the arrival of advertising projected onto a building at 23rd and Eighth. [BlogChelsea] Dumbo: Beacon Tower residents are starting to move in. Lucky for them, they don’t have to endure those high-powered spotlights on the side of the building. [DumboNYC] Gramercy: Gramercy Park Day no longer exists, so the grubby public is shut out save for some Scrooge-like caroling on Christmas Eve. [NewYorkology] Prospect Lefferts Garden: Council Woman Letitia James doesn’t represent the district, but that doesn’t mean you can’t complain to her about supporting the loud circus that angers the neighbors. [Across the Park] West Village: Help wanted in getting rid of loitering teens. [Curbed]
  13. neighborhood watch
    The Coolification of GramercyAstoria: So are these springtime infestations silverfish or house centipedes? [Astorians] Chelsea: A lost-dog notice brings out the area’s tough love. [Blog Chelsea] Gramercy: Perhaps only the launching of a new Philippe Starck condo can bring hipster D.J.’s the Misshapes to a godforsakenly unhip stretch of East 23rd Street. [Curbed] Greenpoint: People waiting for a condo at 110 Green Street are forced to sleep among the pile drivers. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: A new ecofriendly housing development will be not for rich yuppies but for ex-prisoners readjusting to life on the outside. How refreshing, frankly. [Multi-Housing News via Uptown Flavor] Red Hook: That dangerous corner en route to the Fairway has finally got a much-demanded traffic light. [Brooklyn Record]
  14. neighborhood watch
    Good-bye, Irving Plaza. Hello, Fillmore New YorkGowanus: Ecofriendly Whole Foods continues to ignore pleas from area residents that its store coming to Third and 3rd be, uh, ecofriendly. [Gowanus Lounge] Gramercy: The (sadly franchisey-looking) new Fillmore sign has gone up on the marquee of the old Irving Plaza. [Idolator] Greenpoint: Locals party with pot, booze, coke, and Time magazine. Good times. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: A 123rd Street minister has sparked a boycott of new businesses that he says are pushing out the hood’s “indigenous people.” [VV] Kensington: Can’t save enough to make a 20 percent down payment? A sponsor can help. [Kensington (Brooklyn)] Upper East Side: Good fences make good doggies? After lots of nasty barking between the owners of big mutts versus small ones, a new waterfront dog run at East 63rd Street will have a temporary fence to keep the Dobermans from the dachshunds. [NYS] Williamsburg: Look for a new psychedelic mural by Dave “SKWERM” Ellis over at 58 North 6th. [Brooklyn Record]
  15. neighborhood watch
    I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen — to Gramercy!Chelsea: Turns out the broker listing the penthouse in the old McBurney YMCA is former gay-porn star Fredrik Eklund. Oh, and the price keeps dropping. [Blog Chelsea] Gramercy: A massive new condo on 23rd Street is being advertised as a pied-à-terre to Irish jet-setters. Times have changed. [Curbed] Greenpoint: Magic Johnson is sinking $12.4 million into the 110 Greene Street condos, hoping to draw more yuppies to the area. [Crain’s] Harlem: Blogger finds community cleanup of St. Nicholas Park dog run nearly too nice and fun to comment on. [Harlem Fur] Upper West Side: Was the recently renovated Beresford penthouse of Coach CEO Lew Frankfort destroyed by fire? [Curbed] Williamsburg: Zipcar’s bringing a fleet to the ‘burg! Now what about Fort Greene and Clinton Hill? [Gowanus Lounge]
  16. neighborhood watch
    The Splasher Goes Corporate?East Village: The partly opened Bowery Hotel may be inspiring an Old Brooklyn–style black-star design trend in the area. [Curbed] Gramercy: Does replacing fluorescent lighting with track lighting make an otherwise cookie-cutter Dunkin’ Donuts outlet upscale? [The Real Estate/NYO] Greenpoint: Whoever pays $2.5 million for an unlandmarked Victorian gem will likely tear it down to rebuild on its ample land. [Brownstoner] Harlem: Say good-bye to the Sugar Shack, home to great D.J.’s, dancing, poetry readings, and all-around uptown fun. [Uptown Flavor] Red Hook: Looks like Ikea is joining the infamous “Splasher” in the assault on Brooklyn street art. [Gowanus Lounge] Williamsburg: And speaking of the Splasher, does new evidence suggest that the culprit is actually … American Apparel!?!? [i’m not sayin, i’m just sayin]
  17. grub street
    Gramercy Park’s Park Chinois: Imitation Is the Highest Form A room at the Gramercy Park Hotel: $500. The steak-frites at Balthazar: $30. Being able to order the latter while staying in the former, at any hour: Priceless. Grub Street’s Daniel Maurer is reporting that when Park Chinois, the hotel’s restaurant, finally opens in the spring, its 24-hour room-service menu will offer facsimiles of classic dishes from many well-known New York restaurants. The list isn’t close to final, but Grub Street’s got the inside track on some likely contenders. Gramercy Park Room Service: ‘This Next One Is a Nobu Cover’ [Grub Street]
  18. vu.
    Apartment-Hunting in GramEaVillionSquareThe patch of downtown Manhattan from East 14th Street to East 18th Street and between Irving Place and Second Avenue shape-shifts to suit the mood of brokers trying to sell their properties there. If they want to exude refinement, they call it Gramercy; others choose to glom on to the hipster vibe of the East Village or capitalize on the poised-for-luxury rep of Union Square. Whatever its nom de guerre, the nabe’s worth a visit, both for the chance to troupe in and out of all sorts of buildings — the housing stock is diverse, including high-rises, low-slung tenement-style buildings, prewars, and townhouses — and for the hope of finding the perfect apartment. Fuel up at the Greenmarket at Union Square when your energy flags. Here are some spaces to check out.