Daily Archives: May 20, 2011

Ban the bag

EU moves to ban plastic shopping bags. I took my Ma shopping today and we came back with 19 bags, most of which will be reused to line trash baskets, empty the cats’ pan, etc. But even if they weren’t, how, exactly do the greens suggest we bring our groceries home? It’s a fine thing if you live in Paris or San Francisco or New York, to contemplate doing your grocery shopping – these people rarely cook, so a trip to the rare cheese shop can be accomplished with just one or two hemp shopping bags and oh don’t they look chic! But to ask real people to tote along a wheelbarrow of cloth bags is insane.

The reason libertarians hate and despise liberals is that liberals aren’t content just to modify their own behavior. If they don’t want their children to eat Happy Meals, if they don’t want incandescent bulbs in their home, or plastic bags, or transfat or whatever is the rage of the day (alar apples come to mind, it is not enough to eschew such items personally – everyone must be forbidden to use them because … well because liberals know best, and the rest of us are too stupid to run our own lives.

Back in the 60s, most of us kids simply wanted the government to leave us alone. Now my generation and its own progeny have grown up and are the government, and they’re making the last generation’s establishment look positively laissez faire.

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A Belle Haven sale, a new listing off Zaccheus Mead

60 Otter Rock, listed at $6.250 last July, sold for $5.5 million. Not a bad price, for the seller. Belle Haven’s a funny sort of place: some people refuse to live there, claiming it’s too stuffy, others will live nowhere else. Perhaps because of the type of reader this blog draws, none of my buyers want any part of it.

There’s a new listing on Ashton Drive today, looking for $11.75 million. They might get it – it’s a fabulous place, if you’re into this sort of thing – certainly the French kings were, and DSK might be interested in it as temporary lodging. Highest previous sales on Ashton were $8.5 million in late 2006, and a $6 and a $5. Has the market changed since 2006 for the better? We’ll see.

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Sunshine Avenue

14 Sunshine

This new listing on Sunshine seems sensibly priced at $899,000. Yeah, Sunshine is in NoPo, but I like the street and the house was there, I believe, long before the road was developed or even named. It’s a 1920 home renovated around 2005, when it sold to the current owners, full price, for $975. I’m not guaranteeing that $899 is the price that will move this house but when I see a seller at least acknowledge that bad things happened to our real estate market over the past six years I take heart, and assume that a mutually agreeable deal can be reached between seller and buyer. Only in Greenwich could this be considered a moderately priced listing, but there it is – if you are in this market range, you might want to check it out.

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Ooh la la! DSK moves to better digs

Our French tickler is out of Rikers and headed to the Bristol Plaza on 65th and 3rd where, thank God, they offer French maid service from girls who understand such concepts as le droit de seigneur. This will make things easier for everyone, n’est-ce pa?

UPDATE: c’est dommage! Reader Inagua alerts me to the latest news, which is that the Bristol recisinded its offer of accommodation when they found out who would be moving in. One bright spot: in honor of his extended stay, the Rikers cafeteria will be substituting frogs legs and escargot for the usual Friday night fare of breaded veal cutlet.

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Why price it right when time’s on your side?

37 Maher Ave

This beautiful old (1905) house sold for $2.811 million in 2005 and the owners completely redid it, adding a pool and everything else that’s nice to have. Then they put it back up for sale in 2008 at $6.950, a price far and above anything ever achieved on Maher Avenue before. Three years later, it’s still for sale, marked down to $4.595. When there’s no need to move and no particular desire to get on with one’s life, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pasting any silly price you like on your house and just waiting. I assume that’s the case here.

 
 
Speaking of pricing, there’s another old house up for sale today at 226 Riverside Avenue asking $799,000. That’s not much for Riverside, just as this is not much of a house. It sold in (2000) for $575,000 and apparently hasn’t been touched since 1985. Sounds very much like my own house, in fact.

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New DSK defense: everbody’s doing it!

Seems that the IMF, governed by Europeans and exempt from American law, is a hot bed, literally, of honchos crawling up their lessers’ skirts. You know, I once thought bankers and banking were dull.

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The next Warren Buffet? Pshaw!

That’s how Business Week described Greenwich’s Eddie Lampert some years ago. I didn’t believe it then and he’s certainly failed to do anything that would justify such fawning since. Latest news from his biggest mistake? Sears Holding Corp.’s earnings are, once again, in the trash can. I wonder if Lampert has actually ever shopped at Sears? I haven’t – not in 20 years or so, but I was curious so I logged on this week to see what it offers. Nothing.

A Timex watch I paid $19 for at Amazon is selling (or not selling, more likely) for $28 plus shipping. Sears wants $35 for run of the mill blue jeans when you can find the same item for $19 elsewhere, etc.

I see from Consumer Reports that Sears still sells decent hand tools and appliances, but is that enough to justify its continued existence? I doubt it.

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