Daily Archives: May 5, 2007

Tod’s Point wing ding this Sunday
The Greenwich Shellfish Commission (and I hope you knew that we have one) is sponsoring a pretty cool event this Sunday, from 1-4, at the Point. Besides a clam digging class, there will be an additional 25-30 exhibitors demonstrating or passing along information on just about every possible salt water recreation, from reading (Perrot Library), fishing (Sportsmen’s Den), diving (Ski & Scuba), lobstering (Bill Fossum himself!) and on and on. The sloop Soundwaters will be moored off the Old Greenwich Yacht Club and available for inspection, Bruce Museum is doing something else which I can’t recall so you’ll have to go see for yourself, and so on. A map to the whole thing will be available at the gate but basically head down to the Yacht Club work your way past the windsurfing launching area, and you’re there. Questions can be directed to either Roger Bowgen at 243-6364 or Sue Baker 637-4610. No rain date, so keep your Sou’wester handy.

Smart Renovation in Old Greenwich
Ginny Hamilton has just listed 27 Shore Road for $3,350,000. It’s a house I liked a lot, an old (1894) Victorian that was intelligently expanded and renovated in 2004. I used to subscribe to “The Old House Journal” and each issue included a back-cover photograph of the “re-muddling of the month”. Horrifying. The careful work on this house would qualify for a picture on the front cover. Of course, in Greenwich, we have less to fear from bad renovation jobs than from dumpsters swallowing old houses whole. It’s true that some houses are simply obsolete, with low ceilings, failed basements and the like but I wish that people planning a tear-down would visit this house first to see what can be done to bring a great older house into the new century. Ginnie, perhaps you should hold a public open house.

Doing it on the cheap?
An agent who attended the broker open house for a very, very expensive house (if I gave its exact price I’d embarrass the builder, who probably deserves it but …) reports that its master bath was a cheap-looking plastic tub. I understand that weight considerations may dictate an acrylic, rather than cast iron spa but if the resulting product comes out looking cheesy and you’re hoping to set a price record for you house, you might want to try a bit harder.

And speaking of trying harder
I held a broker open house in Riverside the other day for a nice new house priced around $4,000,000 and only 47 agents showed up. The low turnout at open houses puzzles me. There are currently over 1,000 agents in town yet, as I’ve written here before, you see the same 150 faces at open houses – where are the others, doing lunch? Oddly enough, the largest turnouts come at the super mansions, when dozens of agents I’ve never seen before show up to tour. They have as little chance of selling a $15,000,000 mansion as they do of dying from the sudden loss of all the air in their living room but out they come, like groundhogs, before disappearing again. Riverside and Old Greenwich are still experiencing bidding wars over new construction so you’d think more of my competitors would be working the area but I’m grateful they don’t. As it is, my listing is going to contract this week.

I have a great deal of sympathy for my fellow-residents who were flooded recently (by the way, I’ve heard nothing but praise for the firefighters and police officers who responded to calls) but I lump their complaints and demands that the town “do something” in with those of the citizens of New Jersey – don’t build in flood plains if you don’t want your feet wet. This isn’t heartlessness but rather basic geology, taught me many years ago in college: rivers have channels and they have flood plains which, by definition, flood when it rains a lot. It’s stupid for states like New Jersey to keep rebuilding on floodplains, as though re-setting ten pins, and Greenwich might want to reconsider its policies, too. “Flood control” is an oxymoron – just ask Noah.

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