Daily Archives: July 28, 2009

Here’s why every modern person needs a law degree

Landlord sues tenant for twittering nasty things about her apartment.

Sun-Times: Jeffrey Michael, whose family has run Horizon for more than 25 years, said: “The statements are obviously false, and it’s our intention to prove that.” He said that while she moved out recently, the company never had a conversation about the post and never asked her to take it down.

“We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization,” he said.

I don’t know where in Chicago Horizon Group Management LLC operates its slum tenements but I’m sure some enterprising University of Chicago law students can find out. If so, may I suggest they twitter from there about what an ass hat Jeffrey Michael is, what a crummy outfit Horizon is, how bad the mold and  fungus are and maybe threaten a suit for the bites suffered from the vicious rats roaming the hallways? See if Mr. Michale “sues first, asks questions later” then.

UPDATE: Ha! Stephen Braverman, you might want to read this:

Babcock says the only thing that could undercut his argument is the woman’s Twitter account was public. She only had 20 followers, but the suit alleges the tweet was able to be “distributed throughout the world.”

If Jeffrey Michael and Horizon Group Management were concerned about the dissemination of one tinsy criticism twittered to 20 readers, they should see the affect Michael’s asine quote about suing first has had. Google Jeffrey Michael, Horizon Group or both and you’ll see this story has now gone around te world, via the AP, the Wall Street Journal, Overlawyered.com, Business Insider and soon the BBC, Times of India and everywhere else. I have sent a link to this post along to Mr. Michael and begged him to sue me but I suspect he’ll be so swamped in angry emails that he won’t have time to oblige. Did I mention he’s an asshole? Or that the majority of tenants in Chicago who contract life-threatening infestations of bedbugs and crabs do so while sleeping in a Horizon Group Management apartment building? Ugh!

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Why don’t we try this with Congress?

NYC buys homeless one-way tickets out. Write when you find work!

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Obama going to the Vineyard

You know what? Good for him. I’ve already heard grumblings that his choice of the island will set him off from the common man, whoever the heck that is, but I’ve loved the Vineyard since three friends and I rode our bicycles up there in 1969 and camped at Cranberry Acres, a sandy campground no doubt long since converted to summer homes. If we weren’t common men, we certainly at 16 had less money than them and still had a great time. Even now it’s beautiful and if the spot he’s renting has 28 acres or such, so what? The man deserves a break and some privacy. So I’ve finally found something I agree with our president on: an ideal vacation spot. I hope he enjoys it. Of course, I also hope that an angel descends on the fields while he’s there and convinces him of the error of his ways, but ….

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Obama 2004: The Patriot Act was bad because it got rammed through by Bush without time to read and debate it

Transcript and broadcast here. Of course, it was bad when that Debbil’ Bush was running things because he was, you know, really evil. With the Messiah running things it’s all good so we can relax and go along. To disagree is unpatriotic!

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No more guinea pigs on a stick in Cos Cob

It tastes like Chicken Joe's

It tastes like Chicken Joe's

Fondle My Paloma, Cos Cob’s mysteriously popular approximation of a Mexican restaurant, is listed for sale today on the Greenwich MLS (a strange listing forum, but never mind). Asking price is $3.195 to which I say, this is not Belle Haven. But if your Bear Sterns severance pay’s running out and you’re wondering what to do with your time, maybe there’s opportunity here. I had one bad meal at the place in 1971, made worse by bad pseudo-Mexican strolling musicians, and never went back. It’s possible it improved with time, I suppose.

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Belle Haven open house report

So I went off to see 67 Harbor Drive in Belle Haven today and I thought it was terrific. As I mentioned yesterday, this is a 1936 house, last attended to in 1988, on 1.89 acres overlooking the Sound. A very comfortable, livable home, with a 1988 kitchen – works for me. There’s a pool with those same great waterviews and a garden way in the back, with a teak seating area next to it also with water views. Really fantastic. While direct waterfront is always nice, I found that this house, being so high up a hill, more than compensates for that lack. Yesterday I mentioned that I thought the listing agent Janie Galbreath (and Kathy Adams) did a good job pricing it at $11.950. I’m not suggesting that you start your negotiations there, but it is not a ridiculous price, in my opinion.

Before you fire off comments, and I know some of you will, pointing out that this is an old house that should be torn down and replaced etc. etc yadayadayada, let me point out that not every house is for every buyer. If you like older houses, and I’m not the only one who does, and can put up with (gasp) 8′ ceilings, you’ll find this to be a warm, gracious house. If you don’t like that kind of stuff I suggest that you save your breath and instead of complaining about this one, go diagonally across the street to little brother Gideon’s listing at 44 Harbor Drive. There’s a house that I, at least, would feel no sorrow if it were to succumb to a dozer’s blade, but it has 1.29 acres of direct waterfront, nice views and an approved (by Belle Haven) plan for an 11,500 sq.ft. house. It’s got a price tag of $10.5 million which makes me think Janie and Kathy didn’t participate in its pricing (in fairness to Gideon, sometimes, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do).  That said, it’s good land and Belle Haven waterfront is worth more, sadly, than my Pal Nancy’s Ole’s Creek waterfront. I don’t know why; it’s a mystery.

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If you lift your cheeks, I will tax your seat

Congress: impose a 10% tariff on cosmetic surgery to pay for Obama Care. The procedures are already non-deductile so tummy-tuckers are paying with after tax dollars to begin with. Now they’ll be taxed again? Leona must be spinning in her grave.

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Greenwich Democrat candidate problem solved

Can they get this woman out here  from Santa Cruz in time for tonight’s convention? I would think so, man, because, like, there’s this time difference? And like, I was reading this book? And it was all about time travel? And if we got rid of east coast slavery and used union labor, like this girl wants, well that would be really cool, I think?

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Says here that Riverside’s Meadow Road Armstrong makes a lot of money

But can I still swim in Romaine's pool?

But can I still swim in Romaine's pool?

The new guy at AOL, now building a replica Versailles at the end of Meadow, is said to be making lots of cash. That doesn’t surprise me but, without sounding too jaded, it doesn’t look like all that much to me. I mean, a $50,000 life insurance policy? My dog Casey paid off better than that.

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Here’s one that blows the assessed value out of the water

34 Bowman Drive

34 Bowman Drive

Bowman Drive, over in King Merritt Acres, is a perfectly nice street with one acre lots but hasn’t been commanding astonishing prices these days. Yet here’s a house, priced at $2.195 and assessed for just $1,089,000, that sold in a matter of days for $1.980 million. Wow.

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Quail Road sale

38 Quail

38 Quail

Just closed today, 38 Quail Road, (ML # 72741), for $2.560 million. Two acres with a 1969 house so if you’re using this as a comparable, think land value. Origianl asking price was $2.925, but that was really just for discussion purposes. Assessed value, $2.505. Listing agent, Ethel the Pirate McAlister, who is too nice to be a real pirate so we call her Diddle. My former colleague and still very much my friend at Round Hill Partners.

These buyers are typical in this sense only: they would have preferred new construction but found everything out there far too large for their taste. I think builders, to make up for the high price of land, built ever larger houses to cover that cost and ended up with an inventory that seems obsolete right now. So the buyers will build something new here, which is good news for carpenters, painters and masons but maybe bad news for builders sitting on 12,000 sq. ft. houses.

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Tinfoil hat brigade meets at Town Hall tonight

Frankie Fudrucker models Convention gear

Frankie Fudrucker models Convention gear

Yep, it’s time for the town’s Demmerkrat convention

where candidates for everything from BET candidates to sex counselors will be anointed (there are no real races for any of these positions in November, so tonight’s the night). The party has already decided who you will vote for for BET and couldn’t care less whether you do or not; they will be seated regardless.

Third  Selectman is more interesting because of the lack of any qualified candidate. We have some guy, John Conte, who was a Republican until two weeks ago. That act of betrayal wouldn’t seem to recommend him to either party but the Demmerkrat Executive Board was  so eager to avoid having to field  EMT Tech and townie Drew Marzullo as a candidate that they held their noses and voted for Conte. I have no idea what’s behind the antipathy towards Marzullo – seems like decent enough fellow to me, but it must really smart to be dumped in favor of a brand new convert. Maybe Marzullo dropped an important Dem from a stretcher or something.

Board of Ed’s a kat fight, two. (Spelling joke, Hiram). Three candidates vying for two openings, an unprecedented development in the land of steady habits. The Executive Board had their two pigeons selected and ready to go when someone from my old Gilliam Lane neighborhood threw her purse in the ring. She’s got the support of Republicans which, oddly, seems to count, and as a major contributor to Jim Himes has his support, and that definitely does count. Look for showdown tonight between townies who run the party and the only Democrat Congressmen these guys have gotten elected in years. Who wins? Tune in tomorrow. Either way, Himes loses, I think. If he wins and gets his Gilliam Lane candidate into such an inconsequential position, he’ll have pissed off the very people who are supposed to get out the vote for him next year. If he loses, he’ll look like the dolt he is. Ow.

Tax collector? The Republicans have selected a shark, the Democrat seem to be leaning towards a harmless moron. My vote goes to the moron for this position, every time. But the Dems are still looking for someone with an IQ higher than body temperature so don’t be surprised if they show up tonight with a Republican who will promise to switch parties just as soon as the Registrar’s office opens tomorrow. It could happen.

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Wasn’t putting her on leave punishment enough?

Cop accused of punching woman put on leave

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Hold or sell?

Here’s a guy who makes the obvious point that, in the fixed-pie that is a home buyer’s budget, if interest rates go up, the value of houses goes down – a larger portion to the lender means a smaller portion for the seller. The author thinks interests will soon double. If you disagree, hold on to your house and wait for better times. If you think he might be right, you should read the whole article. I think he’s right.

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A bargain in the Back County

951 Lake Avenue (ML# 71579) way up next to Parkway School and Lower Cross Road, is a 1751 former dairy house on 4 acres that was last sold for $1.335 million in 2002. The new owners remodeled it, updated the wiring and such not and, in a misguided bit of optimism, put it back up for sale in 2007 for $2.8 million. The market didn’t agree with that assessment of its value so it hasn’t sold, even as its price has dropped lower and lower. Today it’s at $1.395 with room, I suspect, for further negotiation.

I think it’s a great house and if I had a small family and wanted far more land and a ton more charm than is available in new construction in, say, Havemeyer, I’d be here in a flash. Yes, it sits between Lake and Lower Cross so there’s some traffic but that far north, how much traffic is there? The lawn with it’s pond is beautiful and the house is living history. The Town assesses it at $1.365 – I think you can do even better than that.

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