Beware Midtown Fortune-Tellers! (As If You Weren’t Wary Before)Chelsea: All the fabulous old Chelsea freaks and bohos partied at Cindy Gallop’s wacky loft in the old YMCA building, but this time, sadly, the waiters kept their pants on. [Living with Legends]
Midtown: It’s funny/sad that a fortune-teller here duped an entrepreneur out of nearly half a million by telling him he was cursed, but it’s just plain funny that the Post said the guy was from “tony Wilson, Wyoming.” Bitchy! [NYP]
Red Hook Guess which “degentrifying” hood had the distinct honor of producing confetti for today’s Super Bowl–victory parade? Local hearts were “aflutter” with pride…get it? [The Real Deal]
After Taco Bell, Rodents Take On Cobble HillClinton Hill: What? You say you weren’t at the Pratt annual antique steam-whistle concert on New Year’s Eve at midnight? Like, where else could you have been? At least it was captured on this YouTube video. But, dude, it’s not the same thing as being there. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Cobble Hill: Is that a squirrel or a rat sunning himself in the window of that shamefully derelict Kane Street walk-up? Locals are bitterly divided over the answer. People, can we all agree that it’s a rodent? [Lost New York City]
Dumbo: Will the new owners of an old Water Street warehouse really build a theater and host a Korean film festival in there? We’ll see, kimchee. [Brooklyn Eagle via DumboNYC]
Dumbo Makes Its MarkCarroll Gardens: Some people feel that the paltry number of holiday lights strung up on Court Street is really shameful. And they ain’t too proud to blog about it. [Lost City]
Dumbo: It just became the city’s 90th landmark district! Those hulking industrial piles turned boutique lofts will be preserved into perpetuity! Huzzah! [NYS]
East Harlem: Don Imus is kicking in a quarter-mil for an ecofriendly health center up here, saying it’s shameful that such a small hood has such high asthma rates. [Newsday via Uptown Flavor]
At Least Your Super Didn’t Scald You With AcidEast Village: The rise of the yunnie, or Young Urban Narcissist, wasn’t the launch of Sex and the City. It was the 1994 opening of Bowery Bar. [Vanishing New York]
Greenpoint: The best way to find an apartment in this hot hood? Get off your ass, come out here, walk around, and ask, moron! Oh, and be polite. 
Midtown: Wasn’t it just a matter of time before the public library at Fifth and 53rd was sold to a high-end hotelier? Especially given that midtown is the new red-light district. [Curbed]
Park Slope: Next week, local merchants will start offering free yellow umbrellas customers can borrow when it’s raining, then return on an honor system. Hey, wait … it rains in Park Slope? [Gowanus Lounge]
video look book
Napa Mom Shows New Yorkers How to LiveMaryann Thatcher, a stay-at-home mom and vinter from Napa, visits New York to stock up on hats. She also gets her hair colored the right way, takes long baths, and shops at Bergdorf. This sounds so fun, Thatcher makes us want to take a vacation in New York. To learn more secrets of luxury tourism, watch the video.
Video Look Book: Maryann Thatcher
Target! Must You Brand Everything?Bedford-Stuyvesant: It’s nice that Target funded the beautiful redesign of this community garden … but obnoxious that they put all those big red dots up in there. [Bed-Stuy Blog]
Dumbo: Sorry we didn’t notice this the other day, but are they building a little penthouse atop the iconic clock tower of One Main Street? [Brownstoner]
Forest Hills: Did you guys know that the hood apparently has a really cool, retro Adidas sneaker named after it? These are probably sooo what the homies were wearing in the Summer of Sam. [Overstock via Forest Hills 72]
Cheapest Plaza Room: $775 a NightBedford-Stuyvesant: Please don’t let something tacky occupy this empty storefront and set back this nicely gentrifying block! (cries a blogger). I mean, is that really wood-paneling? [Bed-Stuy Blog]
Glendale: Furious folks in this Queens burg, which provided the exterior of Archie Bunker’s TV house, say that too many buses passing through caused a water main to break, cutting off the agua supply. [NYDN]
Harlem: The W hotel-condo planned for Frederick Douglass Boulevard looks like a Lego’s miscarriage on acid. [Harlem Fur]
Midtown: The soon-to-be-100-years-old Plaza Hotel is booking rezzies after January 1 starting at $775 a night. Maybe if you hawk all your Heloise first-editions on eBay… [Newyorkology]
Park Slope: Who is torching all the cars around here? That’s wicked mean. [Brownstoner]
West Village: This outspoken young Jewish gay is disgusted that Marc Jacobs — another outspoken young Jewish gay — is taking over his hood. [West Village Kid]
iPods at Stoop Sale!Bedford-Stuyvesant: Get your cut-rate iPods at Saturday’s Quincy St. stoop sale! [Bed-Stuy Blog]
Chelsea: What was that suspicious parcel outside the Hotel Chelsea that prompted cops to cordon off the street yesterday? Sid Vicious’s care package from the beyond? [Blog Chelsea]
Little Italy: Judging from the look of this wiseguy as he’s caught cleaning up San Gennaro’s street filth with eco-hostile bleach, the photog may want to contact Witness Protection. [Curbed]
Maspeth: New housing here is taking a curious (and, well, tacky) turn for the maritime. [Queens Crap]
Midtown: In which two ever-metastasizing juggernauts converge: East 42nd St. will soon house the first bank-Starbucks combo. Talk about caffeine withdrawal. [NYP]
West Village: Though a gaggle of protesters are no match for Trump’s ever-rising SoHo spire, they’re pissing all over plans for One Jackson Square at the corner of Eighth and Greenwich. Literally. [Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York]
Williamsburg: Demolition has begun at a former cabbage processing plant on Roebling St. that smells notoriously farty. But with an oil field across the street, will workers strike the oozy stuff when they start to dig? [Gowanus Lounge]
Where the Sidewalk Ended
Aha! We searched all the photo services this morning, but no one — not AP, not Reuters or Getty, not Polaris or Retna — had a shot of midtown’s collapsed sidewalk. Curbed, however, does. Herewith, the south side of West 36th Street yesterday afternoon. Thanks, Curbed kids, and bless you, Internet.
Crumbling of NYC: View to a Sidewalk Collapse [Curbed]
the morning line
Mr. Ethics, Meet the Ethics Board
• The newest chapter in the fast-developing Spitzer scandal: The State Ethics Commission, which definitely has subpoena power, has joined the State Senate in requesting the documents from the Bruno investigation. Not looking good. [amNY]
the morning line
How Now Dow Jones?
• Thirty or so Bancrofts are converging on a Boston Hilton today to discuss whether they’d like some more money. (Actually, spread across the clan, the estimated $500 million in profit a Dow Jones sale would bring doesn’t sound like a staggering amount.) [NYT]
• Councilman and former Black Panther Charles Barron (he of the “Sonny Carson” avenue-renaming idea Bloomberg called “the worst ever”) announced he’s running to replace Marty Markowitz as the Brooklyn beep. Should be a lively campaign, as they say. [NYP]
• In rapper-arrest news, Lil Wayne and Ja Rule have been picked up on separate (!) gun-possession charges in busts an hour apart. [WNBC]
• Midtown businesses that lost money to last week’s steam-pipe blast will not see a red cent from Con Ed — not even restaurants that lost their supplies to spoilage when the power was cut. Some are threatening to sue. [NYDN]
• And the Yankees beat the Devil Rays 21-4 last night, which both tabs agree puts the team in the “21 Club.” Yuk yuk yuk. [NYDN, NYP]
It Came From the Steam Tunnels!
Last night’s explosion was an impressive display in itself. But equally impressive was the way it tied up seemingly the entire East Side, with trains not running and people everywhere gawking. This is our favorite picture of the gawkers — the crowd massed in front of the iconic Public Library building, all stopped and looking in the same direction. If this were a still from some fifties-era cheesy sci-fi film, that’s exactly what everyone would look like as they watched the flying saucers land.
Earlier: Grand Central Explosion Kills One, Wounds 30, Inconveniences Thousands
it just happened
Reuters: Bomb Scare Closes Times SquareOnly because it would be selfish not to share our brief moments of paranoia, we’ll point out that Reuters is reporting there’s currently a bomb scare in Times Square. A “suspicious item” — perhaps a red bag — was found, and the southwest part of the square, in front the Reuters HQ, is apparently closed. Interestingly, no other news org seems to be reporting this, which makes us doubt the significance of this bulletin a bit. But, hey, you know the mantra of post-9/11 news editing: We saw something, so we’re saying something.
Update: Reuters is now reporting that the “suspicious item” was just “forgotten luggage.” So whoever left a red bag full of clothes on Seventh Avenue, please visit the lost and found at the Midtown South Precinct house.
Part of NYC’s Times Square Shut Down in Bomb Scare [Reuters]
NYC’s Times Square Reopens After Security Scare [Reuters]
Seeing the Sights
The Department of Consumer Affairs proposed earlier this week to cap the number of pedicabs in New York to 325. We find that limit way too high, as we object to the damned things on any number of levels, not least the incessant jingle-jingle that seems to follow you through midtown these days. All that said, were we forced to ride in one, like these chicks photographed at Fifth and 57th yesterday afternoon, we’d totally take some pictures of the driver’s ass, too.
Related: Agency Proposes Limit on Number of Pedicabs [amNY]
in other news
Moynihan Station Is Back From the Dead, Probably
It’s tough to keep track of what’s going on with Moynihan Station. Seemingly decades ago, the late Senator Pat Moynihan came out with the idea of relocating Penn Station into the adjacent Farley Post Office, a 1912 building designed by McKim, Mead, and White to complement their old Penn Station across the street, now tragically destroyed. The idea picked up steam and sometime around last year, when it had grown into a major office-and-entertainment complex, anchored by the train station but also including a relocated Madison Square Garden and several new towers, it seemed set to go. Then in October it was delayed, and in December it was killed. According to yesterday’s Times, though, now it’s back again, and it’s even bigger than before:
In the next three weeks, two of the city’s largest developers will unveil new plans for rebuilding the station, moving Madison Square Garden, replacing the Hotel Pennsylvania, and erecting a pair of skyscrapers, one of which would be taller than the Empire State Building, over the site of the existing station.
video look book
Taming the Leopard Print
Ambling through midtown, Amina Akhtar found this week’s Video Look Book subject, Simone Lazer. Her hairstyle is three years old, but the color changes every few weeks. “You color-coordinate it depending on what you’re wearing,” she says. Her animal prints are practical, not wild: “Zebra and leopard pretty much go with everything.”
Simone Lazer [Video Look Book]
New Park Confuses Williamsburg ResidentsChelsea: Cat litter in the toilets at the Chelsea Hotel is a common-enough problem to write a sign about. [Living with Legends]
East Village: Secret plans have surfaced to turn Stuy Town into a super-sleek eco-paradise! [Curbed]
Greenpoint: Around these parts, some prefer vinyl siding for their façades, others prefer … needlepoint? [Newyorkshitty]
Little Neck: Mayor Bloomberg and friends were booed at the Memorial Day parade here. [Queens Crap]
Midtown: Should the congestion-pricing border start at 59th Street? That’s what an uptown pol suggests. [Streetsblog]
Prospect Park: Neighbors want the redesigned Wollman Rink to turn into a pool in the summer. [Across the Park]
Williamsburg: If a park opens and no one is around to use it [Brownstoner]
Too Bad ‘Star Search’ Got Canceled
From the nymag.com video team, a double bill for the ages. Both feature hungry showbiz strivers ready to duke it out for a shot at the big time but in only one are the contenders clutching dressed-up dolls. That’s right: Up at Harlem’s Hip Hop Culture Center, a hundred M.C.’s took turns at the mike for 24 hours straight in the first-ever “rapathon” while a gaggle of mostly blonde preteen divas laid siege to the American Girl Place for a film audition. The former is decidedly PG (“No curses, no n-word, no b-word”); the latter, which features a girl saying “I don’t want to sound conceited, but people tell me I’m talented,” somewhat obscene.
American Girls Audition [NYM]
24-Hour Rapathon [NYM]
A New Kind of American Girl
The pack of young girls and anxious parents lined up outside (and around) the American Girl Place store today is just as terrifying as you think. These lasses are trying out for the latest in the franchise’s film series, this one about Depression-era Kit Kittredge. (Sample line: “Amelia Earhart’s supposed to be there! And we can go on the sky ride and see wonderful things.”) Many of these girls are out for a fun shot at a dream, which makes the whole process sweet and entertaining. But there is the unhealthy share of overachievers with headshots and the usual ration of stage mothers providing supportive dialogue such as “Don’t be a failure and disappoint Mom!” Come back tomorrow for the uncomfortable video.
it just happened
ESB Suicide Discovered When Leg Found on 33rd StreetThis just in from the Associated Press, and more than a bit disconcerting:
NEW YORK (AP) — A man jumped to his death Friday out the window of a 69th-floor law office in the Empire State Building.
Police responded to the New York City landmark shortly before 3 p.m. after a 911 caller reported seeing a severed leg — covered in a gray sock — on the street below. The rest of the body was recovered from a setback on the 30th floor.
Apparently more than 30 people have jumped to their deaths from the 76-year-old tower. The AP does not report how many dismembered themselves in the process.
Man Jumps to Death From Empire State Building [AP via NYT]
Tourists Held Hostage in ChinatownChelsea: Blood flows red in Chelsea. But is it an art project on Seventh Avenue, or a fight to determine which gym is fiercest? [Blog Chelsea]
Chinatown: Knockoff Louis Vuitton shoppers, beware! You, too, may be locked in a basement by vendors attempting to hide you from the cops. [NYP]
Coney Island: Thor Equities may one day close Astroland Park, but the Cyclone is safe and sound on city-owned land. [NYP]
East Harlem: How do you protect a community garden from turning into a condo tower and African art museum? Chain yourself to the fence. [On NY Turf]
East Village: Rififi, that fun dive of burlesque, live comedy, and the notorious dance bash Trash, is on the market, with rent at $15,000 a month. [Brooklyn Vegan]
Midtown: Iconic towers like the Chrysler, Woolworth, and Empire State don’t even make today’s list of the ten most valuable skyscrapers in the city. [NYO]
Yeah, It’s Midtown. But the Apartments Are BeautifulTalk about live-work: Residents of this neighborhood and yes, it is one, despite being so nonspecific, so corporate, so, well, midtown don’t have far to go on their commute if they’re employed by any of the hundreds of firms that call it home base. And that’s precisely the attraction: proximity to the office, shopping, Carnegie Hall, and nearly everything else you need. (Want to shop for groceries? Whole Foods is nearby. See a Broadway show? Have your pick. Unplug? Destination: Central Park.) Still, the din and activity aren’t for everybody, and the tourists are enough to make you pine for Vermont (or, at least, the Upper West Side). Perhaps that’s why apartments here are surprisingly elegant; they serve as sanctuaries from the city’s omnipresence. After the jump, a list of in-town getaways hosting open houses this weekend. S. Jhoanna Robledo
Upper East Side Reinforces Its Own Worst StereotypesCarroll Gardens: There’s a new indie bookstore on Court Street called Pranga. Check the back for used books, CDs, and DVDs. [423Smith]
Midtown: Is the city’s second-tallest building the Chrysler or Renzo Piano’s Times-tower-in-progress at Eighth and 41st? Surprisingly, that’s debatable. [i’m not sayin’, i’m just sayin’]
Tribeca: All that’s left of an 1800s tenement at One York is a façade, to be worked into architect Enrique Norten’s new luxury condo. [Curbed]
Upper East Side: Madame, the climbing hydrangeas are hurt! In these hypercivilized parts, even vandals are reprimanded politely. [flickr/Stu_Jo]
Upper West Side: Philip Milstein, who just bought Leonard Bernstein’s Dakota digs for $25.5 million isn’t famous in a celebrity way, but he sure is rich. [Gawker]
Williamsburg: In the area’s Hasidic south, the Oorah “donate your car” billboard just got weirder, thanks to a sly Purim twist. [Razor Apple]
We stumbled past this shot, slugged “I snapped this photo while coming into LaGuardia this week,” on Flickr this morning. We’re reminded why we always like coming home from vacations — even on cold, gray, still-slushy winter days.
mgw_802’s photostream [Flickr]
In Like a Lion? Check.
For about a half-hour this afternoon, optimistic flakes of snow swirled around Manhattan only to melt as soon as they landed. Look for more half-assed weather patterns for the remainder of the month.
[Snap a Photo Op–worthy shot? Send it to us at email@example.com.]
Community Board Trumps God in ChelseaBrooklyn Heights: Even after the suspect of a bank robbery yesterday was shot by police and hauled into an ambulance, his iPod earbud never fell out of his left ear. We can’t wait for that to show up in an Apple commerical. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Chelsea: Community Board 4 voted down General Theological Seminar’s plans to build a fifteen-story luxury condo building on its pretty Ninth Avenue property. [BlogChelsea]
Fort Greene: Days before Mayor Bloomberg announces tougher construction safety standards, John Martinez, 46, falls to his death working on the rising Forte Condo, reportedly due to a lack of precautions. [Brownstoner]
Fresh Meadows: A mere $1.3 mil will get you this brand-new brick box on 185 Fifth Street. And the ire of neighbors whose driveway is cluttered with your leftover bricks. [Queens Crap]
Midtown: Quick! Before the rates change. Book a room at the brand-new, boutique-y Hotel 373 on Fifth and 35th starting at $134 a night. [Newyorkology]
Red Hook: Archeologists are overseeing Ikea’s construction at Graving Dock No. 2 on Beard Street. They haven’t made it over to Graving Dock No. 1, which Ikea is filling in to use as a parking lot. [Gowanus Lounge]
*Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Bill Moyers had protested luxury condos at General Theological Seminary. He actually spoke out against high-rise construction on the Upper West Side.
Times Square Dirty Like the Old DaysBrooklyn Heights: Local resident and restaurant owner Gianluca Martorelli launches mag and Website compiling area’s eateries. [Ready to Order Guide via Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Chelsea: Della Valle Bernheimer’s futuristically fabulous High Line–snuggling 245 Tenth Avenue development is ready for takers, complete with snazzy Website. [245 Tenth Avenue via Curbed]
Coney Island: New mailers going out to residents talk up the “future of Coney Island” but neglect to mention high rises or Thor Equities. [Gowanus Lounge]
Midtown: Are Mickey and pals staging an offensive old-time minstrel show atop the Disney Store entrance … or do they just need a scrubbing? [Englishman in New York]
Park Slope: Let there be light! Half a mil earmarked so that everything is (better) illuminated at Grand Army Plaza. [Dope on the Slope]
Times Square: Hotel Carter and New York Inn, two of the cheapest stays in the city, also among Top 10 Dirtiest Hotels in the country. Old Times Square lives! [Trip Advisor via NewYorkology]
Tour Kanye West’s New Apartment
Brooklyn Heights: It’s either a yoga center with an aggressive marketing plan or a cult. You decide. [Brooklyn Record]
Gowanus: Demolition starts on land owned by the Toll Brothers. What happened to that mixed-use development? [Food of the Future via Gowanus Lounge]
Greenpoint: Why should bodega phone cards be dull when they could be completely offensive? [Holla Back NYC via Newyorkshitty]
Midtown: Kanye West’s new apartment (above), designed by Claudio Silvestrin, is beautiful. But where’s the master bath? [dezeen via Curbed]
Nolita: Sheetrock shipment arrives at 11 Spring Street. Just in time to cover up all that nasty interior artwork so the place can go condo. [Curbed]
Sunset Park: Expect a major ruckus as this pretty nabe of three-story homes wakes up to a new ten-story, view-wrecking, context-snubbing leviathan. [Brownstoner]
What Lies Beneath: In Gowanus, You Don’t Want to KnowDumbo: Those three empty townhouses on Old Fulton Street between Water and Front Streets are finally on the block — for $7.5 million. [DumboNYC]
Gowanus: Sulfur and cyanide and SVOC s— oh, my! New plan catalogs the nasty goop that lies beneath the nabe. [Gowanus Lounge]
Greenpoint: Borscht meets bling at the Polish hip-hop festival Friday. [Newyorkshitty]
Midtown: The Bryant Park skating rink is closing — and just as it gets cold! — but there are still other places you can take your skates. [NewYorkology]
Park Slope: Writer Adarro Minton hits the identity-politics jackpot with story collection Gay, Black, Crippled, Fat. He reads from it tonight at the Old Stone House. [Brooklyn Record]
West Village: 2086: A Beer Odyssey. The Bedford Street building housing Chumley’s is up for sale, but the venerable pub’s lease lasts nearly another 80 years. [Curbed]
Williamsburg: It’s a shonda: Built-in-a-fortnight shul just stands there buck naked. [Brownstoner]
It’s Official: Broken Angel to Live On as CondosClinton Hill: The son of the owners of the Broken Angel home says new developers will help keep his parents’ vision intact — and add an arts center on the lot next door! [Clinton Hill Blog and Gowanus Lounge]
Fort Greene: Watchdog says documents show that Empire State Development Corporation blew off Atlantic Yards enviro-impact concerns. [Atlantic Yards Report]
Midtown: Catch media artist Doug Aitkens’s film Sleepwalkers (with Donald Sutherland and Tilda Swinton, no less) on MoMA’s walls tonight. [The L Magazine]
Park Slope: High-tech activists in Greenwood have started filming potentially illegal demolitions and posting them on YouTube. [Curbed]
Upper West Side: Amid a Ben Stiller–inspired frenzy, sleepover nights at the Museum of Natural History are sold out through summer — except girls’ night on April 28. Come on, girls, embrace your inner geek! [
Chelsea Hotel Basement Gets SnobbierChelsea: Serena’s out and Star Lounge is in underneath the Chelsea Hotel. Owner Charles Ferri promises a more “elitist crowd.” Sounds fun! [NYP]
Fort Greene: Liquors restaurant isn’t reopening in the spring, or ever. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Midtown East: On a date but haven’t sealed the deal? Wow her with a late-night trip to the Empire State Building. [NewYorkology]
Prospect Heights: Warm weather rouses mosquitoes. Do they spray for West Nile Virus in January? [Brooklynian via DailyHeights]
Soho: Donald Trump will love the new Department of Sanitation garage on Spring Street and West Street. [Curbed]
Williamsburg: The new, unnamed space on North 6th Street and Wythe will have a media lounge in the storefront and a performance space out back. [Brooklyn Record]
January Continues Bustin’ Out All Over
The city’s odd new June-in-January weather system — high of 61 today! high of 67 tomorrow! — isn’t confusing only to Brooklyn’s cherry trees; a walk near the office this morning revealed hard-bitten midtown flora is equally flummoxed. Grass growing in Rockefeller Center tree planters in the dead of winter? Madness!
[Snap a Photo Op–worthy shot? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Earlier: January Is Bustin’ Out All Over
Men Don’t Make Passes?
And yet the guy behind the counter at A.R. Trapp Opticians on Madison Avenue tells us he’s never even seen Ugly Betty.
Ugly Betty [abc.go.com]
There’s Graffiti Life After 11 Spring Street
Brooklyn Heights: We promised an update: Boccelism beat the Old Dirty Barristers to be champeens of the Floyd NY Bocce League fall season. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Clinton Hill: It seems the Pratt Area Community Council believes residents want an Applebee’s on the corner of Clinton and Fulton. Eatin’ bad in the neighborhood! [Brownstoner]
Gowanus: Looking for the World War II rescue boat known as the Empty Vessel Project? Now it’s moored between the Carroll Street and Union Street bridges. [Gowanus Lounge]
Lower East Side: If you missed the show at 11 Spring Street, there’s still a Jace mural (above) at Houston and Bowery. [Razor Apple]
Midtown: It’s Santacon! And if a pack of Santas storming Times Square, Central Park, and the subway don’t put you in a festive mood, nothing will. [NYCStories]
West Village: Shopsin’s shutters, but look for a smaller, less stressful booth in the Essex Street Market in a few months. [Gridskipper]
Williamsburg: Things got a little stabby at Kellogg’s Diner over the weekend. [Gothamist]
It’s a Beautiful Day in Gordon Ramsay’s Neighborhood
So let’s say a superstar British chef comes to New York, and let’s say he opens up a new restaurant right around the corner from your apartment. That’d be a good thing for you, right? Wrong, if you live behind Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant at the London NYC. Residents of the building backing up against the hotel have been complaining about incessant noise and unpleasant odors from the restaurant’s exhaust fans. Today Grub Street investigated, and the results aren’t pretty. Some view, eh?
We Spot-Check Gordon Ramsay’s Stink [Grub Street]
A Rush to Sell in Midtown East
Calling all bargain-hunters: Time’s running out on the owners of this one-bedroom at 324 East 50th Street, who are so anxious to sell they’ve lowered the price to $499,000 what they paid for it a year ago. Almost immediately after they moved in, the wife got pregnant, and now they’re moving back to San Francisco to be close to family, explains listing broker Holly Sose of City Connections Realty. Midtown East isn’t exactly oozing with charm, but this property is, thanks to the exposed-brick walls and ten-foot-high beamed ceilings. Plus, at just under 700 square feet, it’s decently sized, though most of the square footage goes to the enormous living room (the bedroom’s tiny). S. Jhoanna Robledo
Upscale Dry Cleaning Comes to Harlem
Astoria: Shooting on location is On 31st Street, coming soon to Greek TV. [Columbia Journalist via Joey in Astoria]
Brooklyn Heights: Brigate Bocce got the boot in the first round of the New York Fall Bocce Playoffs. We’ll keep you updated. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Chelsea: Burgers & Cupcakes waits till after dark to erect a new awning on its 23rd Street location. [Blog Chelsea]
Fort Greene: Are hedge-fund managers actually invading, or is that a real-estate urban legend? [Set Speed aka One Hanson Place]
Harlem: New condo buildings bring with them new dry cleaners. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown: Inside the closed stacks (right) of the New York Public Library. [NewYorkology]
Red Hook: The Revere Sugar factory is going down, but slowly at first. [Gowanus Lounge]
Elite Enclave in Midtown EastMake no mistake: Beekman Place and its nearby blocks are as rarefied as the moneyed thoroughfares of Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue. No matter that it’s just minutes away from unpretty Second Avenue with its fratty bars and dusty traffic. (Why else would the Rockefellers, the Barrymores, and the Vanderbilts have roosted here?) One Beekman Place is the queen of this tiny kingdom, a highly selective, white-glove building with stunning river views that’s supposedly terribly fussy but, without a doubt, grand. Open houses are unlikely there (it’s that exclusive), but a walk through the enclave and the few buildings hosting showings there this Sunday (listed below) will be enough to give you a hint of the good life. S. Jhoanna Robledo
Let’s Just Call Every Land Deal ‘Atlantic Yards’ From Now OnBoerum Hill: There are twelve units left in the Smith; expect a fancy grocery store in the retail space. Will that make up for jailhouse views? [Brownstoner]
Carroll Gardens: Schnack heard the screams for highly processed flour and answered: White buns are back. [A Brooklyn Life]
Chelsea: A Jaguar ad plastered to the old McBurney Y makes us yearn for the days when the neighborhood’s billboards were all PSAs. [BlogChelsea]
Coney Island: With the sell-off of Astroland, New York’s favorite crappy beach might be the new Atlantic Yards. [Gowanus Lounge]
Midtown: When you see Christopher Meloni at the gym, do you think SVU or Oz? [Tales From the City]
Sunset Park: Neighborhood tree lighting conveniently scheduled for a time when no one can go. [Sunset Parker]
Drive a Car? Get Mad.Bensonhurst: Irate teacher sets an example by punching out bus window. [NYP]
Lower East Side: Clinton and Delancey Streets have new bike-route stencils. Now share space with annoying hipsters and annoying cars. [Streetsblog]
Midtown: While searching frantically for the traffic light, you have the sudden urge to drink Enviga. [Curbed]
Staten Island: Stuck in traffic on your way home tonight? Come up with a three-minute invective to sputter at the City Council’s Committee on Transportation public hearing. [Staten Island Advance]
Upper East Side: Don’t worry, rent-stabilized residents: By the time the Second Avenue subway forces you to relocate, you’ll be dead. [NYP]
in other news
Landlords Gouge Retailers, Too! (And Worse!)While it may be time to start wringing your hands about the housing market — who’d have thought you could actually lose money on a Manhattan apartment? — as far as retail rents are concerned, it’s boomtown, baby. New figures from the Real Estate Board of New York are in, and, as the Observer’s The Real Estate reports, the average asking rent for a space on a major Manhattan retail corridor has jumped 12.5 percent over the last year. Ground floors on Madison Avenue are up 26 percent, to $1,000 per square foot. (Hang in there, beloved In-House Nosh Cafe!) Other insanity?
• Retail rents on Seventh Avenue in midtown are up 42 percent, hitting $479 per square foot.
• West 42nd Street is up a crazy 50 percent from last year, to $300 per square foot.
• Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District jumped 28 percent, to $263 per square foot
• Even 125th Street rents are up 15 percent, to $100 per square foot.
• And Fifth Avenue in midtown, although up a mere 27 percent, takes the cake with the retail rents averaging $1,035 per square foot.
Another Report, Another Rise in Manhattan Retail Rents [The Real Estate/NYO]
This Isn’t Their Moment [NYM]