Monthly Archives: August 2010

Mustique’s Colin Tennant has died at 83

Pulled Up in Old Greenwich sends along this obituary on Walter Noels’s neighbor. They didn’t get along.


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Forecast: wet, but no hurricane

Brendan Loy, young lawyer and father, has started “Sullivan’s Travels” in honor of the late Alan Sullivan. He’s a hurricane follower like me, and now reports that Earl is forecast to make a sharp swing right, out to sea. So maybe you can have that outdoor picnic on Monday after all.


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As the father of two college grads, I find this disturbing

One of four lap dancers has a college degree. Kat and Sarah are currently in northern California, picking fruit, but I’m hopeful that’s temporary.


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Rumson NJ

Peg from Minnesota sent me this link from the NY Post. I built paddle tennis courts in Rumson with Chip Mathewson, many. many years ago, and remember it as a wonderful seaside town. If it’s in trouble now, the real estate market must really suck.

In this economy, it’s not uncommon for whole neighborhoods to be on the market. But Rumson, NJ, a leafy bedroom community of 7,200 residents, nonetheless stands out: It has 100 homes for sale — all for more than $1 million.

“The streets are filled with distracting ‘for sale’ signs,” says one resident. “Lots of husbands are hanging out at the bagel deli. They used to be working and now are picking up bagels. There’s a new class of Americans in Rumson: the formerly rich.”

The glut of luxury homes has lent a surreal quality to the town, and weekends find brokers sitting at open houses waiting for buyers that never come. Many of the properties have been on the market for more than a year


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Fudrucker, Republicans engage with spitballs

The Repubs and Dems have found either free or cheap  election headquarter rents in, where else, Cos Cob, directly across the street from each other. Fudrucker invites the Republicans to visit; the opposition seems disinclined. Hey guys, I share offices with Frankie, and he’s a swell person – politically deluded, but a good man nonetheless. Cross the street, shake his hand and enjoy a cup of coffee – you’ll deplete his budget.


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Riverside sales, contracts

Thanks to brother Gideon, here are some recent Riverside transactions. Knowing the history of these (Fudrucker sold 4 Druid, BTW), they’ve almost all taken a severe hit, but sell they did. The market is alive and, as Gideon points out, the right price will move a house.


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Hey – Teri Buhl’s at Forbes

Good for you girl! One day, we have to meet – maybe with Walt!


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A good time not to be sailing on the Atlantic

Two hurricanes and one (building) tropical storm. How do you sail around all three?

UPDATE: Brendan Loy has a nice discussion of why Earl is unlikely to be a threat here. Cape Cod, maybe.

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Coming our way?

Miami’s bankrupt, and at least one commentator is mad as hell at what his city’s mayor is doing to address the problem. I suspect we’ll be seeing this same story erupt all around the country in the coming year.

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Not much happening in real estate

I’ll report what does get recorded, but I think this week is being spent by sellers and buyers finishing their vacations and getting kids ready to return to school. The few open houses today were just retreads, and I suspect Thursday’s will be just as limited. Stay tuned, but I’d guess we won’t see much activity until after Labor Day.


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Moronic builders from out of town

5 Dialstone Lane, RVSD


On July 16, 2009, I wrote this:  

I’m off at 5:30 to see a new spec house at 5 Dialstone Lane, soon to come on the market. What price? Let’s all guess asking price and ultimate selling price. Mine is $3.4 ask, $2.65 sell (a year from now). Fire away. If I learn the proposed asking price when I visit today I’ll report it – otherwise, we’ll all just have to wait and see.  

UPDATE: Well, I wasn’t able to see the entire house because the builder threw me off the premises. He was upset by my guesstimate of its selling price which, as he pointed out quite forcefully, was made before I’d had a chance to see the project. Of course, now I never will. Oh well, here’s a review of the part I did see: beautiful construction, with tons of custom built ins, expensive trim, coffered ceilings, etc. Very, very nice. The place is super insulated – foam, with a high efficiency boiler and every imaginable electronic control. Radiant heating in all baths, six fireplace with gas, heated two car garage, finished lower level (which I didn’t have an opportunity to see but I assume is of the same high quality as the rooms I did see while running for my life).  

Downsides remain the same as when I first opined on the sale price: it’s on a quarter acre, which means no back yard – a terrace, but no yard. The terrace itself backs up to the swamp that runs from Lockwood to the interstate; good for deer and adventerous boys but bad for buyer appeal. And, while Dialstone may be, as described in the sales material, “a quiet cul de sac”, Lockwood Avenue is not, serving as it does as the cut-through for everyone wishing to avoid Post Road traffic.  

Back inside, the children’s bedrooms are tiny – endemic in new construction as discussed earlier today but these bring the definition of “cozy” to a new level. The next generation of builders may discover that it’s better to have shared bathrooms and larger bedrooms but that’s in the future. For now, these are pretty typical, if a little smaller than normal.  

The builder has priced it at $3.675 million and at the risk of offending him further, I remain skeptical. I have sold a fair number of houses in Riverside and I know what $3.8 new construction looked like and what $3.2 offered, and that was in a robust market. I hope he gets every penny he asks for; he’s obviously lavished a huge amount of care and attention to this house and cut no corners that I could see. But I based my original opinion on market conditions and, nice as this house is, I think Mr. Radman, the builder, may be disappointed. I sincerely hope I’m wrong.  

UPDATE II: Too funny. A reader points out that this house is listed with another firm and another agent for $3.995 million and has been for 66 days, according to Zillow. What’s so funny? Well the Zillow estimate of value is $2.4 million dollars! I wonder if our angry Mr. Radman will be pounding on Zillow’s door, demanding a retraction?  

August 31, 2010: sold yesterday for $2.445.


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Loughlin Avenue

46 Loughlin

Cos Cobber has been asking about this one. Priced at $1.925 in April, 2009, sold for $1.480 a few days ago.


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A sale on Park Avenue

61 Park Ave (Greenwich)

$2.650. July 30 Contract, Aug 30 close.

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Shouldn’t be a problem

Greenwich Time: Will Island Beach be able to accommodate Labor Day crowds?

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Abolish the Department of Education

Head urges all employees to attend Sharpton rally.


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More on Earl

Nantucket may get hit. Damn, I miss Alan Sullivan, or SeaBlogger, who died this summer. The only gay, amature weather forecaster writer I knew, who was always spot on. Last year he predicted, in defiance of all the regular weather news outlets, that a wind shear pattern from the west ould keep every hurricane from landing on our coast. He was right, and he’d have a great insight on this storm. I mourn his death, and miss him: may he rest in peace.


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WordPress, which hosts this site, has an aggressive spam filter that does a great job, but sometimes it’s too aggressive, and dumps legitimate comments (usually with links) into the spam bin. I’ve neglected to check the bin lately and ended up with 180 “spammed” messages. I retrieved a few comments and posted them but ended up dumping the majority and starting again. I’ll get back to checking it daily, so that I don’t lose your comments but forgive me if earlier messages don’t appear. Of course now, if your messages don’t get posted, you’ll know that I’ve deliberately labelled you as spam!

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Ethical fish eating

We’re having a discussion down below (in the first posting on Hurricane Earl, I believe) on the problem of eating endangered fish. Island Surveyor mentioned sardines as an alternative and in fact I do eat the little darlings, but only because my parents did (and my Ma still does) so I acquired a taste for them as a young lad. I suspect Ma and I are a dying breed.

As canned fish go, Ventresca Tuna is the best, and most expensive (canned) tuna you’ll ever eat. Absolutely fabulous, carved from the belly of bonito tuna which, I believe (I’m going to check) and are doing okay  [UPDATE: this site says a bonito is a type of mackerel and are not endangered]. But some brands come from yellowfin, which are threatened. The worst off are bluefin tuna, and I don’t eat those.

It’s all a tough ethical decision for this fish lover. Farmed fish, especially from China, are filled with pesticides, I hear, and fish farms around the world seem to be big, ugly polluters – and farmed fish aren’t all that tasty. While I don’t want to contribute to the demise of wild fish by supporting commercial fishermen, I hate to put those people out of business. So, it’s a puzzle. What’s a carnivore to do?


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This could be a nice year – ender

With higher taxes slated for 2011, Wall Street firms consider paying bonuses early. Go for it fellas – we have houses waiting, and we’ll worry about next year next year.


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NYT: UN review panel recommends replacing all eight of top global warming scientists

A need for more transparency and room for “alternative views”. Al Gore, call your office.

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