Can Regina Spektor Make Murray Hill Cool?Regina Spektor moves into Murray Hill, Carroll Gardens’ Ivy League hipster types strike back against last week’s maudlin anti-yuppie video, and a celeb hip-hop stylist’s body turns up in the Bronx. Plus, news from Red Hook, Long Island City, Dumbo, and Coney in today’s boroughs roundup.
Goldman Invading the Heights, Making It Bank-yBrooklyn Heights: With Goldman Sachs unscathed by the subprime mess, its execs are buying property in the pricey hood. Let’s hope Goldman hater Ben Stein isn’t brunching anywhere nearby. [Brownstoner]
Clinton Hill: Wow, Paul Giamatti and “the black model from all the Maybelline commercials” spotted in one day! Clinton Hill is HOT HOT HOT! Or something. [Clinton Hill]
Greenpoint: The lemur in the Franklin Street store window that was mounting E.T. from behind is now in isolation, with E.T. in the custody of Mickey Mouse, Santa, and the Hulk. OMG, did we just write that trippy sentence? [Newyorkshitty]
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]
Domino Sugar Factory: Double Your Hipster, Double Your Fun?Greenpoint: Got a crack problem? Call the Crack Pros! [Newyorkshitty]
Highbridge: After it demolished Macombs Dam Park to make way for the new Yankee Stadium, the city put up a replacement — but it’s not easy to get to and pretty nasty once you get there. [VV via West Bronx Blog]
Murray Hill: Looks like the SUNY-Binghamton biz-major girls with the blowouts finally have their very own East Side bar(f) guide. [East Village Idiot]
South Slope: That Enrique Norten condo slated for Fourth Avenue and 6th Street won’t happen after all … but another Norten proceeds apace nearby on Carroll. [Brownstoner]
Upper East Side: Buttercream or vanilla-bean icing on that wedding cake? Roasted cod at Café D’Alsace? This poor UES gal faces hard choices that make Sophie’s look silly. [Sex and the Upper East Side]
West Village: Thanks to a new street plaza, you can lounge in the meatpacking district without spending $20 on a drink … if you don’t mind mainlining car-exhaust fumes. [Streetsblog]
Williamsburg: Redevelopment of the Domino Sugar plant could double the population within a quarter-mile radius. Twice the pseudo-hipsters, twice the fun! [Gowanus Lounge]
Murray Hill: From Deer to Drunks
To think, 400 years ago, instead of drunken ex–frat boys from Penn puking up Wild Turkey, there were actual wild turkeys roving around Murray Hill. The New Yorker’s Website today has some very cool computer-generated images of Manhattan circa 1609, to go with a long story that you will probably never get around to reading on the Wildlife Conservation Society’s effort to figure out what Manhattan might have looked like in the days before skyscrapers and fake Irish bars. (Or, we should say, “Mannahatta,” as the Lenape called it. It means the “land of many hills.” Oh wise Lenape, early adopters of real-estate broker-speak.)
Mapping Mannahatta [NYer]
the sports section
A Day at the Races, With Drunken I-Banking Ivy Leaguers
We were offered “party-bus” rides to the Belmont. We knew what we were getting into, or thought we did, and we were okay with that. As scheduled, we arrive at 11:30 Saturday morning at a rooftop bar in Murray Hill. There are the requisite young investment bankers, from the requisite smatter of Ivy League schools, dressed in the requisite popped pastel collars. There is talk of bets, of mixed drinks, of the two buses charted by Dartmouth-alum Deutsche Bankers. It is as expected.
Murray Hill Is Tragically MisunderstoodBrooklyn Heights: A couple moved into a new building in 1901 and later passed the apartment on to their son. When he died in March, he was paying $451 a month for a two-bedroom. [Brooklyn Eagle via Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Clinton Hill: Depending on which typo you follow, dumping at this building on Emerson will cost you either $3,000 or $3 million in fines. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Fort Greene: Does a plywood fence at Carlton Mews mean work will finally begin there? [Brownstoner]
Greenpoint: Oversize ads drilled into vinyl siding wouldn’t last a second in Williamsburg or Park Slope. So why here? [newyorkshitty]
Murray Hill: Unless the frat boys have all moved away, this is no “lagoon of calm.” [Curbed]
Prospect Lefferts Gardens: Miss the PLG house tours over the weekend? There’s a slideshow to keep you sated. [Planet PLG]
Upper West Side: Tonight, take a rare chance to complain about how cruddy the subway station is at 96th and Broadway. [Second Avenue Sagas]
A Deluxe Apartment in the Murray Hill Sky This 4,343-square-foot four-bedroom at 45 East 30th Street in Murray Hill is billed as a “townhouse in the sky.” Surprisingly, the phrase isn’t typical broker hyperbole: Comprising four floors (a quadruplex?) stacked atop one another, it’s more like a modern-day brownstone than an apartment, only with views the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, for starters usually only attainable from a penthouse. “If it was on ground [level], you’d be walking into a house,” says listing broker Yury Holohan. Lest millionaire bargain-hunters think it not luxe enough, this trophy property also comes with seven terraces and a pool, just in time for the summer entertaining season. It didn’t sell at the original price of $12 million, so now the asking’s been reduced to $9.99 million after almost two months on the market, according to Streeteasy.com. That’s about $2,300 per square foot, which, for a new construction, is a shade less than what a top-floor aerie in another prewar conversion just ten blocks south is commanding. S. Jhoanna Robledo
Enduring the Assessment in Murray Hill Don’t be afraid of the big, bad assessment: Others may fear paying $182.93 a month on top of the costs for a $390,000 studio at 34 East 38th Street, but the enterprising few could benefit from what may be a bona fide deal. Sometimes, buildings have to raise funds for renovations and upkeep and, rather than increase the maintenance permanently, they divide the cost among residents by issuing an assessment. It’s a drain on the wallet, but only for a specific period. And it’s likely that refurbishments will increase the value of the property in the long run, because the building will be in better shape. (Calls to the listing agent were not returned, but according to the city’s Department of Buildings, a permit has been issued for roof and masonry work.) It’s best to check with your broker and attorney on the specifics of this apartment, but if the assessment’s due to expire in a year or two, it could be worth the investment. S. Jhoanna Robledo
Clarification: According to Lillian Seidman-Davis, board treasurer of 34 E. 38th St., the permits were issued for roof and masonry work in 2003. The work has since been completed. Also, the assessment has since been lowered by 25 percent “due to the self-management policies administered,” Seidman-Davis says.
Murray Hill: Not Just for Recent GradsGood old reliable Murray Hill. If bargain-hunters wanted an apartment in a central Manhattan location that didn’t cost too much, it was the place to be. The trade-off was settling for a neighborhood that was neither prime nor seedy, neither edgy nor staid. It just was there. These days, though, more buyers are rethinking their position on Murray Hill. They’re snapping up brownstones, swarming condo sales offices and bidding against each other for co-ops. They’re actively choosing to be there, and not simply because they lucked out elsewhere. (As a consequence, it’s not that undervalued anymore.) And why not? It’s close to all the hot spots Union Square, anyone? it’s quiet, and it’s got homes of all configurations. Public transportation’s plentiful, and local schools are stellar. Naomi or Gwyneth won’t likely be crowding the sidewalk, but that’s probably a blessing. Perhaps those who’ve underestimated it all this time are simply missing out. After the jump, a list of open houses for buyers who want to give it another chance.
S. Jhoanna Robledo