Daily Archives: June 9, 2006

Memorial Day Parade
I don’t want to sound ungrateful to its organizers, but this year’s Memorial Day parade in Old Greenwich was the most disorganized, skimpiest creation ever. I understand some of the difficulties, including, from what I’ve read, the recent practice of various marching bands to demand an appearance fee which has drastically cut their numbers from our little march. But when I participated in the parade, both as a kid and later as a parent, there was an organizer back at the starting point who ensured that everyone stepped off at the right time. Judging from the half-hour delayed start and the straggly gaps between Little Leaguers and gardeners this year, that person must have retired. I’ve always enjoyed the parade and liked the fact that anyone who wanted to could join in. Nothing against Brownies and kids on bicycles, but I miss the soldiers (we did have one, Christopher MacDonald, back from a year’s duty in Iraq- thank you, Mr. MacDonald) and the marching bands. And send more bagpipes!

Computer Wizaard
I’ve been a Mac guy all of my computer life (that would be since 1988), so I never had to learn anything about the machines – just plug them in and off you go. That innocent life changed recently when I bought a new Mac that also runs Windows so that I can access the MLS from home. It took me twelve hours to get the Microsoft side up and running- sheesh.

So when I wanted to install a wireless network I didn’t try to do it myself but instead Alex Lahuerta here in Greenwich. What a smart move. Alex is a 2001 GHS grad, a former engineering student at UCONN now working as a consultant to earn the rest of his way through college. When he sat down at my computer and started keying in like mad it was obvious that he’s a pro, completely at home with computers and multi-tasking. He simultaneously dealt with getting his dog home to his native Norway via Icelandic Airlines, SBC’s DSL voicemail hell for obtaining system configurations and explaining to me what was going on and what he was doing. Fabulous effort, fabulous results. And he charged all of $45 per hour (he tried to discount his time to an actual elapsed time of 45 minutes, but, having recently paid $120 for an hour of completely ineffective “repair” service, I wouldn’t hear of it). Bottom line is that I’m now cruising the Internet effortlessly and speedily, all thanks to this young man. Alex will tutor, install, repair and consult on all things computer. He’s gracious, polite, smart as a whip and, although he doesn’t realize it, dirt cheap. You can exploit all this (and help him finish school) by calling him at (203) 940-1403 or emailing him at solutions@AlexLahuerta.com. If you run a small business or just want help with a home computer, I can’t recommend him more strongly. Go for it.

Mea Culpa
A few years back I described Cary Road in Riverside as the worst street in town. Not surprisingly, I heard from a number of the street’s residents who disagreed with my opinion. I said somethng snarky about the rusted chain link fences on the road and let it drop. But I recently sold a small house in the area to a young family and, in the course of repeated viewings, inspections etc. had the opportunity to meet some of the neighbors. They’re absolutely great. Friendly, unpretentious, generous and welcoming. And I wasn’t tarred and feathered. So I was completely wrong, and I apologize. If you’d like to join the fun you have an opportunity via Lynne Stewart’s new listing at 10 Cary. Small bungalow right on the Mianus, asking $779,000. I’d suggest that it’s a teardown but then I’ll probably re-offend a new crop of people, so I’ll just say the setting will support a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood.

19 Shannon Lane
At $1,225,000, this house seems to be priced way below market value. Looks rather boring from outside and it’s a split level (horrors!), but absolutely pristine inside, with a very nice layout. With what you’ll save on this house’s price you can afford a decent architect to redesign the exterior and you will have a real bargain. Ellen Mosher’s listing.

Unidentified Location
I just toured a very expensive new house and was disappointed to see that its builder took every opportunity to skimp on finishes. It shows, and shows badly. Unfortunately, most buyers couldn’t care less about how a house is built: sophisticated drainage systems, quality of framing, efficient furnaces, etc. What they notice, and what they will pay for, are finishes. So load up on the marble and expensive trim work if you want to receive top dollar.

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