Monthly Archives: January 2012

Fly away, little bird!

 

Last one to St. Pete's is a doody head

We’re Number One! Connecticut the worst (most expensive) state to retire in. But we won’t miss those estate taxes, what with all our casino money flooding in.

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From my email archives

Andrew Pighill (NYT, Suzanne DChillo)

Unearthed from July, heretofore unread, a link to this NYT article on Greenwich resident Andrew Pighill (well of course he’s English – what would you think, with a name like that?). He builds dry stone walls, teaches amateurs how to do it and sounds like a fascinating guy. I’ve done some of this myself and while I wouldn’t claim to be a craftsman, my terraced walls built in the mid-90s are still holding up – more than I can say for myself.

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Eric Holder lied to Congress?

I only lie when necessary; Unfortunately, that seems to be all the time, but I'm otherwise honest.

Sure seems like it. It is a crime for anyone to do that – see, eg, Roger “Steroids” Clemens – but the Attorney General is especially not supposed to do that. He’s been lying to everyone since he crawled into office, of course,but this time there are emails that will nail him. He’s due back before Congress this Thursday to try again to explain what he knew and when he knew it – I don’t think even Obumpkin can save him now but then again, never doubt the power of the presidency.

By the way, this gun running operation, “Fast and Furious”, is the scandal that the lunatic Left had so much fun poo poohing last year and denouncing those who said Holder knew all about it long before he swore to Congress he didn’t. Why, people like us were as deluded as those who deny global warming!

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There’s always money for prime waterfront

545 Indian Field Road, right on the water in Mead point, has gone to contract, asking price $12.999 million. One of the finest houses in town, in my opinion. Old, beautiful and just what Greenwich once was. 243 DOM which, given this price, is excellent.

Everything else reported today, and there isn’t much, was priced below a million. Feast or famine.

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Winthrop Drive transformed

I saw a crane towering overhead on Winthrop so I drove in and saw quite a building boom. That modular a reader wonder about last week is being erected here – it’s huge – plus there’s a stick-built home almost framed and what looks to be dumpster fodder up the street at 44, ready to go. Assuming these are going to be mid-to high $3 houses, they, as well as recent sales the past few years on this street, will have changed this from a great neighborhood of modest homes to well, something else. Still going to be a nice street but it won’t be affordable. So it goes.

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Oh, Lordie

British couple arrested, jailed with drug dealers and then deported after TSA discovers a Twitter claiming they’re going to dig up Marilyn Monroe. What’s scarier, that the TSA is monitoring everyone’s Twitters (I don’t use it for just that reason, though obviously they are also monitoring email and blogs) or that the TSA goons are absolutely humorless? They must be liberals.

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Are we there yet?

Columbia University grads accepting their due

Some think so – we’ve become a Nation of Moochers.

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Finally, a price increase that I can understand

3 Dewart Road is a rental that asked $10,000 back at the end of August, dropped eventually as low as $7,500 (not a bad price for today’s rental market) and then increased that today to $8,500. Sounds like the usual crazy owner who tries this but the listing notes that central air conditioning is being installed. So okay, that makes sense – a/c is expensive and I get it. Were I a renter, I’d still offer $7,000, just to see if he bites and also to teach him that, for rental property, don’t gild the lily.

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Isn’t this Greenwich Time publisher supposed to know better?

My seester or my burro - same price!

That Lincoln Log fellow is fulminating in his paper over the town’s “decision” to allow Dunkin Donuts to open in Old Greenwich. I haven’t had a chance to check this with Fudrucker, my source for all matters zoning, but from what I read, P&Z had no control over this store: it’s a permitted use and no special exceptions or variances were required. If the space it fits, you must permit. Or something like that.

I’m not wild about DD coming across the street because the very small parking space behind my office, which I pay rent on, is bound to be clogged with illegal parkers – whom we will tow, but what a pain. That said, that’s not the doughnut shop’s problem. Besides, if old Abe Lincoln there really thinks, as he says he does, that Dunkin Donuts brews the best coffee in the world, he’s obviously unqualified to speak on any matter relating to coffee: beans, traffic or even whether a store is pretty in pink.

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Getting long in the tooth

(Picture circa 2007)

While waiting for something to get reported on the MLS (it’s past 11:00 and still nothing – maybe the office is closed today) I was prowling listings on behalf of a client and came across this old chestnut, 502 Cognewaugh Road; I didn’t realize it was still around. It started, new, back in 2007 asking $6.995 million and now, five years later, it’s $3 million less, $4.195, but still available. I liked this house when I first saw it but now, unfair as that may be, it’s really on a death watch: how long can the owner/builder hold on?

I’m not saying that the would-be seller is in financial trouble – I have no knowledge whatsoever of his finances and for all I know he’s Michelle Obama’s bosom buddy and goes on weekly shopping splurges with her. But a miasma starts accumulating around listings as they age in place and sellers end up getting less than they could have had they priced their house appropriately in the first place. Don’t let that happen to you.

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They must be out buying panties instead of houses

10:40 AM, not a single real estate transaction reported. This time of year was once a busy market.

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If the Buffet rule applied to her, she’d be nakkid

Michelle spends $50,000 on underwear during NYC  shopping spree. While it’s certainly true that the Little People love the idea of their First Lady dressing in finery, I do wonder whether the woman’s husband has paid Peggy Joseph’s mortgage yet.

UPDATE: Tuition at Sidwell Friend’s School is $32,000 per kid. She spent just about that again, in one day, on bras and panties. Not bad on her husband’s salary of $400,000.

UPDATE II: White House denies story. “It wasn’t just lingerie, she also bought makeup, new shoes and a huge bag of Cheetos.”

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Bob Horton: bring algebra to Eight Grade

Bob thinks that one reason for or abysmal (53% or something like that) college graduation rate for GHS students is the lousy math education they receive in our schools - “Everyday Math” being a prime culprit. I should talk, as I barely got through Eight Grade algebra and in fact repeated it in Ninth Grade when a fantastic teacher, Mr. Neenan, helped me understand and even ace it. But then again, that Eight Grade teacher was Stan Snead, certainly the worst teacher in my checkered education in Greenwich.

Still, an interesting article, and an informative look across the border where they’re doing what Horton now advocates (if I remember, Bob did very well in math, so he may see less difficulty in this prescription than this dummy does).

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Wooly bully

Coming soon to a city near you

Scientists: no global warming in past fifteen years, completely opposite of what computer programs predicted. Al Gore could not be located in his 150-room mansion for comment, but was reported to be looking for his ice skates in the attic, to prepare for the coming ice age. Here’s hoping this whole crock melts away faster than the twenty-years it took to build it.

SCIENCE: Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again): Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years. “The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years. The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century. Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.”

Getting more and more like Fallen Angels every day.

UPDATE: Thoughts from Mike Stopa. “Suppose it turns out that CO2 has essentially nothing to do with the earth’s climate. How will the history of this colossal mistake be written?”

MORE: Don Surber comments. “Do not expect the American press to pay any attention to this story. The Associated Press offered no re-write of the London Daily Mail’s blockbuster story.” Doesn’t fit the narrative. But watch the polls, which already show vastly increased skepticism over just a couple of years ago. Nowadays, the truth gets out.

Bad news for bankrupt governments, though, which were hoping that carbon taxes to “save the planet” would save their balance sheets. Now voters and taxpayers will be unlikely to go along.

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The Nanny Index

Off to Wyoming, to find a new home

I was out all day with a client and, while obviously he’s still in the housing market, many of his peers are not, he said, because they are, at least temporarily, sidelined as they watch their cash bonuses converted into paper promises of future payment.

And that conversation, in turn, yielded the information that my fellow agent showing a house mentioned: she’s been receiving emails from mothers she knows at Brunswick, trying to find a place for their children’s beloved nanny – there’s no longer money to pay for that luxury.

That’s a bummer for the poor girls involved, of course, but I wonder if there is enough of that happening to serve as an economic index? If so, add another weight to the down side of the balance.

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377 Cognewaugh redux

Last week I praised this new listing at 377 Cognewaugh but several readers commented that the pictures of the place were simply horrible. I heard from the listing agent, Sandi Klein Friday and she explained that those were temporary pictures, posted while awaiting the professional photographer to complete his or her work. The new, much better pictures are now up and available at the (second) link here.

Sandi is a very experienced. successful agent so it’s no surprise she was doing the right thing all along. And by the way, I still like the house.

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Housing market sucks, then you die

Or that’s what Megan McArdle says, and I think she’s right – certainly on a national basis. Let’s hope Greenwich escapes, as it usually has.

The National Association of Realtors is (quelle surprise!) quite bullish on the future of the housing market.  Not so fast, says Lance Roberts of StreetTalk Advisors:

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You can trust your car to the man who wears a star

(10:20) back from clam warding (clam wardening?) at Tods Point, so you can resume poaching. Only one other clammer out and about and he had a permit, damn it, so my pistol remained holstered, my hope of beating him with my clam rake unfulfilled.

So two other wardens and I (we deter  miscreants with a show of overwhelming force) decided to clam for ourselves, with great success. You can do it too, if you have a mind to, and a $10 permit obtainable at Town Hall or Sportsmen’s Den. You’ll also need a clam rake, which SD will be glad to sell you for maybe twenty-bucks, maybe less. Good way to spend a frosty winter morning or afternoon (depends on tide) and you’ll easily get the fixings for a good chowder or even clams on the half-shell. Best of all, these babies glow in the dark so you won’t lose them in your refrigerator. Free guide service if you want – contact me.

Only slightly radioactive

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Another bump in our budget?

Billions for a bagel

(Okay, the guy who posed for that iconic crying Tonto ad was actually Jewish but what’s wrong with using him to depict one of the lost tribes? Ask Mitt. And at least they didn’t photoshop off one of his legs.)

But here’s the deal: our own phony Indians, those black guys up in Moodus – (?) somewhere in Connecticut’s desolate northeast – have run out of money and are trying to recast their deal with their creditors. Just like Greece, they’ve already been declared a group likely to be “unable to continue as a going concern”, which is pretty much like saying a lung cancer patient is in “stable condition”. The boyz have squandered their billions, owe billions more, had to cease handing out cash to their hanger-on constituents and bankruptcy is next. What happens then to the $100 million or so they’ve been passing along to Connecticut pols? Brace yourself, Bridget. I wonder what an all-feta diet will taste like?

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No one’s getting younger

Obama hosted Bush the First and his son Jeb (and not surprisingly, not Bush II) at the White House yesterday. A nice gesture, but I was saddened to see George B in a wheelchair – wasn’t he just jumping out of an airplane to celebrate his 80th birthday?

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