Daily Archives: October 9, 2009

Cumulative price reductions can add up

12 Wyckham Hill

12 Wyckham Hill

Looking over price cuts reported over the past few days I am not impressed. None are large enough to overcome the original over-pricing. But this one at 12 Wyckham has slowly dropped from $3.4 million in 2005 to $1.995 and might be reaching a good price (assessed value is $2.4).  Wyckham Hill has some Merritt Parkway noise issues, and this one has a few quality problems (depending on how you feel about hollow plastic doors and such), but there’s a lot of house here, and nice land. At under $2, how bad is that? The owner, by the way, is the guy who dashed down to Florida after throwing an old man to the pavement in Stamford and killing him, but he’s back now and no doubt ready to deal.

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He has much to be humble about

Obama “surprised and humbled” by Peace Prize. If the man were capable of introspection, ‘embarrassed’ could fit in that line too.

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Pedestrian plazas

The most inviting spot in Pordenone was the huge square, shown in several photos I’ve already posted. The place is closed to vehicular traffic and offers instead a beautiful shopping area lined with stores offering a mixture of expensive fashions, gellato, household items and, best of all, several outdoor cafe/bars. My brother Gideon and I agreed that this blissful combination could never be achieved in Greenwich, even if we had the 15th century architecture to match Pordenone’s because of our Puritanical attitudes.

No, this isn’t leading up to a defense of Roman Polanski, but the Italians are just so much more relaxed than we are. For instance, the cafes offer both alcohol and coffee, and are all close to one another. In Greenwich, we require a 1,000 foot (?) minimum distance between liquor licenses in case, God forbid, too many people might gather to enjoy themselves. And, while I haven’t checked, I suspect that we have some rule forbidding children to be in such close proximity to booze.

Outside tables? Greenwich seems to do everything it can to ban them. Smoking? I’m a sinner and brother Gideon is known to indulge in the occasional cigar. In Italy, one can light up at a cafe and not worry that some lycra-clad anorexic will start coughing and gasping for air or grab her bambinos and hurry them away. I am no longer a member there, but I understand that the Riverside Yacht Club has banned smoking even outdoors and this rule is enforced by obnoxious little peckerwoods who confront their fellow members and declaim their inalienable right to never ever have to tolerate anything they find offensive or annoying. They’d be laughed at in Italy – they’re admired here in the land of the once-free.

So cars banned from entire blocks, enough bicycles to meet even Franklin Bloomer’s approval, beautiful women, tolerant people and good conversation. As I said, that will never be duplicated here. Too bad.

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When the left sighs with pleasure that Obama has won back the respect of the world, this is who they mean

Bonjour!

Bonjour, mon petite!

French Culture Minister Mitterand defends Polanski, denies that his own autobiography detailing his sexual escapeds with Thai boys is “still operative”. From what I can glean, the majority of the French are as disgusted with Polanski and Mitterand as we low-brows in America, but the effete elite are so much more sophisticated than that. And it is this latter crowd, Hollywood’s and Paris’s, that send chills up newscaster’s thighs and stirs the left into moaning ecstasy and deep despair at their country’s backward attitudes.

Just thought you’d want to know that. Now go back to your comic books, you dullards.

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Indian’s Revenge

Custer's Last Stand

Custer's Last Stand

Two dead, twenty-one hospitalized as paleface idiots try to emulate Indian sweat lodge. There’s a reason our Indians went the way of the passenger pigeon and the buffalo – perhaps Californians will follow.

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Cos Cob bungalow sale

55 Cross LaneCos Cobber seems quite excited about this sale made during my absence of 55 Cross Lane, so here it is. Asked  $995,000, sold for $950,000, assessment $890,000. I don’t think this will prove much encouragement to the $3 million and up set of sellers, but perhaps Cos Cobber knows something they don’t.

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Finally, something we can really blame on Bush

Messiah wins Noble Peace Prize. Since the One has done absolutely nothing to merit any price at all, it’s safe to say that he has joined Teddy Roosevelt in the pantheon of Noble heros for something other than accomplishment. What could that be? He is not Bush, obviously. He will listen to Europeans, he will join the United Nations is affirming the right of Gaddafi to sit on the Human Rights Commission, he will wring his hands in helpless woe while regretting human rights abuses and, in short, he’s everything that the emasculated effete love and admire in a “world leader”. congratulations, fella.

By the way, is there any doubt what Obama will do in Afghanistan? Not in my mind. His generals have said we will lose there if we don’t bring in more troops. But Obama can’t do that without alienating his lefty nutbase, so he won’t. And if he pulls out all our troops, the ensuing collapse and chaos will be blamed on him and kill his chances of reelection. So he will do nothing, ensuring defeat and the needless death of more soldiers, while saying that he inherited the status quo from that evil Bush/Cheney.

Which is good enough for our Nobel Prize winner, if not his country.

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So what happened while I was away?

Not too much, apparently, except that some sellers finally tossed in the towel and sold their houses for far less than they’d originally envisioned. 25 Field Point Road asked $12.5 million in 2007 and sold for $8.550. 23 Palmer Lane, in Riverside, asked $3.795 in 2007 and sold for $2.5.  91 Meadow, also in Riverside, started at $4.2 in ’07 and sold for $2.1, where it should have. 9 Boulder Brook, new construction originally $7.325 sold for $4.4. The noise heard by the builders of the two remaining spec houses on that street was the sound of several million dollars disappearing. Ow. Finally, 26 Glen Avon, bought for $5.495 in 2006, sold for $4.775. Not all that painful, but an unthinkable result just a few years ago. Now it isn’t.

In contracts, more of the same. 112 Field Point Circle, the waterfront bought for $25.750 in ’07, relisted for $35 million before dropping to $21, is in contract. For how much? We’ll see, but certainly not $21 million.

 There were a ton of new listings which I haven’t sorted through but I assume most are just the return of the listings that expired October 1. I’ll be interested to see which houses stayed with their original brokers, which changed, and which actually did something sensible like lower their price. More on that later.

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We’re back, reluctantly

The film festival is continuing without us for a few more days but surely it will survive, albeit in a diminished state. Italy and, in particular, the little town of Pordenone (50 km north of Venice) was fabulous. The effect on my own spirits can be seen below. First picture shows me alone (except for little brother Gideon behind the camera) at the cafe across from our hotel, the second after being joined by the beautiful and talented Maestro Maude Nelissen, composer, conductor and a very funny Dutch cousin (her grandmother is a de la Fontaine). If my next postings are from Holland, you’ll know why. Maud, by the way, revealed a shocking lack of knowledge of her own country’s history. She denies that anyone in Holland has ever heard of the story of the little Dutch Boy with his finger in the dike and says that it is a story invented by foreigners. Of course, she also expresses doubt about George Washington cutting down the cherry tree, so the girl is obviously a professional skeptic. Sad to see that depth of cynicism in such a beautiful woman.

Go away
Go away

MAUDEIN Portgenoone

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