David Van Hosen Realtor/builder
Van Hosen has completed the second of three houses he’s building on Orchard Street and this one is as nice as the first. All three back up to the Pomerance/Pinetum parks so you can be assured that no one will be building in your back yard. I like that a lot, but here’s a caveat: if you’re one of those people who absolutely can’t stand the thought of strangers wandering around within sight of your house; you know, dangerous folks like ice skaters and picnickers, then this site is probably not for you. Try a graveyard, instead.
For the rest of us, this is a terrific house. I understand that Van Hosen purchased the land for $1.4 million and then engineered a third lot out of the deal. My understanding of most things is always a bit vague so don’t hold me to this but it would explain how the builder could put so much expensive quality into this house and ask only $3.8 million for it. Custom moldings, Brazilian cherry wood and all that are expensive, but it’s the high price of land thatis driving things over the top. He avoided that here.
I see very few houses on the weekly circuit that I personally want, mostly because I have no desire to own a 10,000 sq. feet dust collector. But Ira Fenig has just brought on a single family house on Church Street that, had any of my film scripts sold, I’d be in contract on today. Everything used in the construction is first rate, from the beautiful bricks and Federal cornice work outside to exquisite cabinetry and beautiful proportions inside. I don’t get wildly enthusiastic aTV’st plasma tvs because I don’t watch much tv but if you do, it’s all here waiting for you. I liked the elevator, the private rear terrace and even the heated driveway to make sure you can leave your snow shovel behind when you move from the Back Country. This is the perfect house for a down-sizing couple. It has the size and the elegance to continue corporate entertaining, if you must, plenty of room for visiting children and grandchildren but small enough to feel very, very comfortable when it’s just the two of you. $4,995,000 which should make the downtown market sit up and take notice.
Window Smashing Spree
According to Greenwich Time a pack of vandals has been roaming around town smashing car windows. Always infuriating, of course, but what caught my eye was the statement that the level of bad activity was surprising because “school is in session”. Public schools are in session, yes, and presumably those students are too busy writing college applications to devote weekday nights to mayhem but private schools have been closed for two weeks. Assuming that not all of them are sunning on the slopes of Gstaad, isn’t it possible that a few of the little darlings are home, and bored? Bad behavior (and drug use) do not stop at the gates of private schools; just ask a student. And besides, you sent the little troublemaker away to boarding school for a reason, didn’t you? Well he’s back!
But Christ Church recyles. I stopped by the other day to watch a guy operating a portable sawmill to convert storm-felled limbs of that great copper beech on the Annex’s front yard into planks. Turns out, the church will use the lumber to build a chair for visiting dignitaries, which I think is a great idea (using the wood for something other than firewood; I have no opinion on visiting dignitaries). Even though these were just limbs, they were large enough to yield beautiful, wide planks. I hate seeing high-quality wood turned into stove fuel; if you lose a tree, you might want to look into selling its wood for lumber. The price is sky-high these days (even if your tree no longer is) and one good log, peeled for veneer, would probably pay for a very nice replacement.
The Easter Egg Hunt
Easter approaches and with it my family’s traditional viewing of the great Easter Egg Hunt, a family video started twenty-plus years ago and added to each year. My favorite scene: my then three-year-old son John, sitting in a dogwood tree, watching in amazement as an egg drops from a higher branch straight into his basket. He looks up and says in a high, excited voice, “Thank you, God”. If I have only one wish for that boy, now twenty-three, it’s that he never loses the sense of gratitude and wonder when good things fall into his life. Even if that higher power is just gravity.