Daily Archives: January 19, 2012

Unhinged or just contemptuous?

I'm in my element and creating jobs!

Obumpski claims his energy policy has created 2.7 million jobs. I suppose that a president who thinks drawing  unemployment is the same as actually, you know, working, can just invent a figure like 2.7 million out of thin air and add it to his list of accomplishments. Are Americans stupid enough to believe this? I do worry – we have a lot of college graduates out there.


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Off-putting, sure, but who knew a plumber’s crack was illegal?

Plumber arrested for selling cocaine.

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Well damn

Mets great Gary Carter’s brain cancer is worse and treatment will be discontinued. One of my favorite memories of fatherhood was watching Mets games on Channel 9 with my son John, then 3. We eventually visited his grandparents in western Florida and went down to a winter game (this was before the team moved to the east coast) held in a tiny, kind-of-run-down stadium that allowed spectators to sit almost in the laps of the players.

John knew the name of exactly one Met at that time: Gary Carter, so when Carter exited the stadium after the game and walked past us John went crazy, calling his name. Carter came over and spent – I don’t know, maybe 30 seconds? A minute? with John but he was so nice, so quiet and kind that it impressed me hugely. And made John’s day.

Icing on the cake for John, if not this Red Sox fan, was the Mets going on to win the Series that fall.

So this is very sad news.


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A scientific inquiry into the minds of Democrats


Dollar Bill contemplates the meaning of life

Despite sharing a DNA that’s 99.84% identical to ours, they’re different.

One cognitive ability that evolved in modern humans … was an ability to judge the value of one commodity in terms of another, what anthropologist Alan Page Fiske at the University of California, Los Angeles, calls the “market pricing” ability. Both are key reasoning skills that evolved to allow interaction with acquaintances and strangers, neither of which was a regular feature of [Demmerkrat] home life.


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It’s just this WAR and that lying son of a bitch Johnson!


L'Etat, c'est moi

Obama blames press for his image as aloof and uncaring. The man has become unhinged.


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Nervous? Not me.

The one and only

Would you like to guess how many accepted offers were reported this whole week for single family homes? One (1) – a bungalow at 98 Havemeyer Lane listed for $615,800. It’s been on the market for two years and originally asked $705,000.

There are something like 1,000 dues paying agents registered with the GMLS. That’s a pretty thin chicken to pass around.


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When Ayn Rand wrote about this she meant it as a warning

Tax dollars at work

Reader Xyzzy alerts us to this latest bit of buffoonery: Democrats propose a “Reasonable Profits Board” to regulate oil prices. And where would these taxes go? Mass transit, unions and the Poor Entertainers Real Estate Recoupment program. The scary thing about stories like this is that they reveal what the Democrats have in mind for us.


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You! The guy in the wheelchair! Stand up and be recognized!

Say something about Frisbees, Joe - I think these people like Frisbee

Biden tells San Franciscans that “the Giants are going to the Super Bowl”


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Dead spot?

I don’t know what will happen to the $4,500,000 – $5,000,000 market in Greenwich this spring but I’ve noticed a fair amount of houses coming on the market in that bracket and I got curious, so I checked out what’s out there and what’s happened in this range.

Current inventory: 18

Sold last year: 23 *

Sold in past six months: 6

Sold in past ninety days: 1

So, not an encouraging trend. Will it reverse and come roaring back? Stay tuned.

* All $ are asking, not necessarily selling price


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Hard times, good times

32 Loughlin Avenue, asking $729,000 and burdened with an $850,000 mortgage, has an executed contract.

What do you expect for $14 million?

And so too does 11 Skyridge Road, asking $13.9 million. I mentioned this house awhile back when it had an accepted offer within 42 days of it first being listed. That kind of speed indicates an eventual sale price close to asking, so clearly, someone has some money left (as does whoever is buying Loughlin).

Still and all, there is nothing being reported these days (Skyridge dates to November) in the way of substantial homes moving off the for sale list. Maybe next week? Or maybe not.


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Speaking of bad house photos

Disco Ball?

I think the agent/photographer hung one of those mirrored disco balls for this shot. I hope John Travolta appreciates the effect.


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30 Jeffrey Road

30 Jeffrey Road

I missed this house today but my partner Cathy, Fudrucker’s far better half, saw it and liked it a lot. I skipped it because of logistics but I know Jeffrey Road and know it to be a good street with houses, including this one, backing up to Pinetum. Quiet and beautiful – what’s not to like?

Cathy suggested that a second floor be added to this but I’m not keen on that because by the time you rip off the roof, build up the first floor walls to get a modern height, redo the wiring, add plumbing, and so on, you’re in for at least the cost of a new house. Better, I think, to use this house exactly as is and enjoy it as the house it was designed to be. That’s just my opinion and, as noted, Cathy’s got another, so go and make up your own mind, but talk with a builder before committing to anything drastic.

The seller’s asking $1.595 million which strikes me as a very sensible price. It was last for sale in 2003 when it asked $1.550 and sold to this owner in a bidding war – you remember bidding wars, don’t you? – for $1,592,500. I can’t guarantee that we’re still at 2003 price levels but when a seller starts out there, it sends a strong signal that she’s not off her meds.


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What price Riverside?

I saw 27 Leeward Lane today and wondered a bit at its asking price of $4.875 million. It’s a nice house, beautifully expanded by the architect Phil Bartels and one of Greenwich’s best builders, Doran Sabag and I don’t question that, having bought the original 1947 house for $2.1 million in 2001, the sellers have put a whole lot of money – I mean, a whole lot of money – into the house as it now exists. Neither Bartels nor Sabag come cheap.

But that still leaves you with 1947 ceilings – low – and a relatively small house of under 5,000 square feet. The house that’s gone up between this one and the water does no favors to #27’s view and the yard is – limited. That said, while I don’t think an out-of-towner will ever “get” this house or its price, a Riversider just might. Leeward’s a funny street: cheap, mid-60’s builder crapolas in the beginning and then some very nice, very expensive homes at the end. This one’s in the expensive section. And Riversiders seem quite fond of Leeward and willing to pay a premium to live here. It’s about half-way down Indian Head so it’s pretty convenient and there are those views, partially blocked as they are. So I’m guessing it will sell, but not to someone new to town.


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Open house report

We’re back, and Hugo Chavez and Joe Kennedy are just a little bit richer from my expenditure on gas. There were a couple of houses of interest and even more that I think are going to be sitting around for awhile – not necessarily because they’re over priced but because they’re in the dormant area of very expensive.

But one I liked was 377 Cognewaugh Road. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have occasionally had something a little less than positive to say about Cognewaugh’s winding, narrow curves and its distance from town and, more rarely, I’ve mentioned that Cos Cob is one of our less expensive districts. All that notwithstanding, I have a sneaking affection for Cognewaugh (something Cos Cobber intuited a long time ago, I suspect) because it, and Cat Rock, feel different from almost every other street in town and houses there offer privacy unavailable in Riverside and Old Greenwich.

So back to this house, priced at $3.195 (it was tried at $3.995 back in 2009, without success; they may have it right this time). It seems very well made and laid out. One caveat: there’s a big playroom/living room, with bedroom and bath attached, that has no upstairs communication with the rest of the house. That makes it a perfect guest wing or, if he’s entrepreneurial, a terrific spot for that teenager of yours to run a drug business. Parents with small children may not like this layout but (a) there are plenty of bedrooms in the main wing to accommodate the Gilbreth family and (b) if you have small children, maybe you don’t want to live on Cognewaugh in the first place. Maybe.

The yard’s more hills and rocks than grass but there’s certainly enough play area for any child who is willing to leave his video games and the property backs up to the Mianus River Park, for Crissake, so go there (best park in town for biking, running, walking the dog or fishing). And if you insist on driving to town, it’s a pretty short jog up to Stanwich where you will be returned to civilization and just a few minutes from that Pinkberry shop (pe). Good deal.


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What I’ve been saying for years

But here’s the professor himself:

KEYSTONE CANCELLED, major U.S. refinery closes after EPA imposes $700 million in new costs.  It’s like nobody wants us to have gas.

Hey, but they’re banning new uranium mining, too.

I’m off for the open house tour, using up gasoline while it’s still available. Back around noon, I’d guess.


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Diddling the numbers at the GMLS

As envisioned

A vacant, almost unbuildable lot on Hawthorne Street in Pemberwick has somehow been approved for building by the P&Z (Laura Siefert, presiding?) and is reported as under contract today. That’s fine, and congratulations to the seller, but I don’t like how this transaction is going into our statistical data base. The GMLS shows it as last asking $299,000, its original price also $299,000, and as having been on the market for just 72 days. That’s absolute, utter civet cat excrement.

“In truth and in fact”, as we lawyers like to spout, this scrap of land has been for sale since 2008 and started at $900,000, not $299,000. Even accounting for the time it was “off” the market, it was still exposed for sale for 462 days. So how do we get the skewed numbers of the GMLS, and why would my organization want to doctor numbers to make the average days on market go down and the ask-to-sale ratio go up? Gee, that’s a real poser.


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A conversation with Dollar Bill

Free Willie!

Intrigued by Dollar Bill’s enthusiastic support of Barack Obumpski’s veto of the Keystone Pipeline, FWIW sent our intrepid reporter Scusie to interview him and ask him to expand on his views. Scusie found him at “Life’s a Grind”, the local coffee shop that requires proof of membership in the Democrat Party for admission. Bill was sipping from his bring-from-home cup made from recycled rubber sandals and enjoying a Supremo Foamy Espresso brewed from beans fished out from the excrement of free-range civet cats, $22 a cup.

Scusie: “So Bill, you oppose the taking of private land for public use – when did you discover the sanctity of private property?”

DB: “No blood for oil!”

Scusie: “Does this mean you also support the elimination of the income tax, which, after all, confiscates property earned by someone else?”

DB: “Bush lied, people died!”

Scusie: “Huh?”

DB: “Fifty-four Forty or Fight!”

Scusie: “Well I’m sure President Polk would be glad to learn of your sentiments, Bill, but let’s focus on tar sands oil from Canada. You oppose that source of oil and also drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico by American oil companies, is that right?”

DB: “Every day is Earth Day!”

Scusie: “Yet, if I understand your position, you and your president support Cuba and Venezuela’s drilling for that same oil, 90 miles from the Florida coast. How do you reconcile that seeming contradiction-environmental disaster is okay if it’s caused by a communist dictatorship?”

DB: “Si, se puede!”

Scusie: ” ‘Yes we can’ indeed, but what about oil production in Nigeria – why do you accept the destruction of that country and the bloody war going on there?”

DB: “Visualize world peace!”

Scusie: “We’ll try. How do you feel about the rare-earth mining going on in China to make your Prius’s battery? Another environmental disaster brought about by communists using slave labor. Should you really be driving that car of yours?”

DB: “Don’t spill your TEA on my healthcare! Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NFL is gonna win!”

Scusie: “Don’t you mean the NLF, or are you a football fan as well as a Democrat?”

DB: (Espresso foam? Spittle? on his lips) “BushCheneyHaliburtonClarenceThomasNixon!”

Scusie; “Thank you for your time Bill – enjoy your coffee.”

DB: “Nature belongs to all of us!”


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Hang her high

Just deserts

Former Planning and Zoning Commission member Laura Siefert is leaving Riverside but before she goes she’d like to cash out and cram three houses where two, at best, are allowed. Ordinarily I am at least sympathetic towards property owners trying to maximize the value of their land but as one who suffered for years witnessing  Siefert’s whining, obstreperous behavior on the P&Z, I’m (a little) astonished at the size of the woman’s man-parts.

During her tenure Siefert thwarted so many innocuous projects and delayed even more with endless, petty objections, all the while proclaiming that she was merely trying to protect  neighborhoods that I was convinced she objected to any change at all, period.  Imagine my surprise to learn that, while she is indeed a foe of rapacious homeowners determined to, say, add a sun porch to their home, that opposition does not extend to her own efforts to befoul her own nest.

This application should receive the strictest scrutiny by Siefert’s former colleagues on the Commission (if, indeed, any of those people don’t recuse themselves) before being finally and permanently defeated.


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