Daily Archives: February 4, 2013

Liberal think tank’s advice to developing countries: do the European

Harvard students and faculty display their erudition

Harvard students and faculty display their eruditions

Close your factories, take long vacations and work less, if you want to stop global warming. So says The Center for Economic and Policy Research, and aren’t you glad your tax dollars are supporting this sort of thinking? The idea is brilliant, and exactly what you’d expect from Harvard professors, but the Chinese dictatorship, already on shaky ground, may be wary of emulating Spain’s 50% unemployment rate for its youth – kids ‘ll do the meanest things when they’re annoyed.

Do you remember when Harvard was a respected institution and economy was a hard science? Neither do I.


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Sell Greenwich by its proximity to White Plains shopping? Bad idea.

900 Lake Avenue

900 Lake Avenue

900 Lake Avenue is back, asking exactly what it’s been asking for the past year, $3.295 million (it started at $4.125 back in 2010, so there has been some movement during its time on the market). I really like this house – it was an old antique – 1790 or so, gutted, expanded, made new, essentially, in 2005. It’s beautiful and its layout works for me but not, obviously for real buyers, though I don’t know why. It’s biggest hurdle is probably its location a mile above the Merritt – nothing that the right price won’t cure. Good house (a bit of a sketchy yard, but deal with it).

Interesting web site set up by its previous broker. I assume this was part of some idea to sell to NYC weekenders but if so that proved misguided (it didn’t sell: res ipsa loquitor). Regardless of the intended market, the video is odd in that it devotes less than a minute to, you know, the house, then turns its attention to the tennis courts and skating warming hut at Binney Park, the road to (gated, private) Meads Point, Riverside Yacht Club’s (private) beach and the White Plains Bloomingdales. Bloomingdales?

God Made a Farmer it is not.


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This may prove a challenge

14 Sound Beach Avenue

14 Sound Beach Avenue (pre-foreclosure)

14 Sound Beach Avenue, a 1950’s bungalow convenient to transportation and described by its listing as “built to last”, is back on the market at $599,000 after failing to sell last year for $595,000. The previous owner paid $607,000 for it in 2006 then lost it to Deutsche Bank via foreclosure. The bank in turn sold it to this seller for $520,000, and now it’s your turn to don the earmuffs and settle into “all the amenities Old Greenwich has to offer.”

A hitchhiker's dream

A hitchhiker’s dream


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Crime wave strikes Little Switzerland

glendaleThieves install ATM skimmer device at Cos Cob bank’s ATM, make off with the cash. When asked why he focused his attention on Cos Cob and neglected other areas, Willie Sutton is reported (by me) to have said, “because that’s where the banks are”.


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Happy happy joy joy

The Mickster comments below on sales and accepted offers that have been reported just since last Monday and it does indeed show some robust activity. But a look at what’s selling and where they started might be useful:

11 sales

Address                    Orig Price                Selling Price                DOM

35 Andrews            $12,500,000          $6,630,000                1607

23 Chieftans           $4,250,000            $2,400,000               654

349 Riversville      $1,450,000             $    930,000               396

37 Meadow Wd     $6,650,000             $4,800,000               617

120 Milbank            $2,375,000             $2,100,000                204 (2008 purchase price $2.5)

5  Mimosa                 $ 1,095,000            $ 910,000                   225

30 Lismore              $2,695,000             $2,495,000                192

55 Londonderry     $1,795,000              $1,700,000                131

12 Tyler                     $2,895,000              $2,452,000                114

5 Circle Dr. X          $   790,000               $    682,000                750

35 Winding Lane   $3,250,000              $1,800,000               Private sale

None of which is bad news, and there are plenty of buyers out there actively looking. I just think these numbers are interesting.


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Ron Paul reveals his weak side

Which would be thinking. Commenting on the murder of Marine SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, Paul tweets , “those who live by the sword die by the sword”. End of tweet. Paul opposes all US military intervention and so is, at best, blasé over the death of a hero. Westboro Baptist Church congregants believe that God caused the murder of Sandy Hook’s children because America supports abortion. They both remind me of the worst of the Saudi clerics.

UPDATE: Well I hadn’t noticed until just now, but the New York Daily News is on the same page as Ron Paul: “killed by semi-automatic pistol”, “he lived by the sword, he died by the sword” and of course an obligatory cross link to Gabby Gifford’s “drive to end gun violence”. Friggin assholes, pardon my Irish.


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Still at 2003 price levels

50 Londonderry

50 Londonderry

50 Londonderry Road has sold for $1.7 million; it sold for $1.729 million in 2003. I liked this house – good location, no significant Merritt noise, 2.45 acres, pool, and renovated in 1997. It felt like a very pleasant home when I saw it during a broker open house and obviously someone else liked it too. This sale puts the lie to that idiot blogger (ahem) who speaks of all 1967-era houses as being teardowns. There are exceptions, and this is clearly one of them. But my larger point, that you can get this type of home almost for free after paying land costs, still stands.

Which makes this a great deal.


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Don’t help a good muslim go bad department, or, the girl’s got to have it

Why do you silly westerners resist Allah's blessings?

Why do you silly westerners resist Allah’s blessings?

“Celebrity” Saudi imam rapes, burns and breaks the back of his five-year old girl.

A Saudi preacher who tortured his five-year-old daughter to death has been released after agreeing to pay ‘blood money’, activists said.

Lama al-Ghamdi died in October having suffered multiple injuries including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns.

The child had also been repeatedly raped and the burned.

Her father Fayhan al-Ghamdi, a prominent Islamist preacher who regularly appears on television in Saudi Arabia, served only a few months in jail despite admitting having used a cane and cables to inflict the injuries.

Activists from the group Women to Drive said the preacher had doubted Lama’s virginity and had her checked up by a medic.

Perhaps in sympathy for his colleague having to pay such an outlandish fine – almost $50,000! -, another Saudi cleric has issued a fatwa on national TV; dress infant girls in burkas to assist men in resisting the urge to rape them. Out on the desert, when you’ve exhausted your supply of camels and sisters yet are still lonely under that dark sky and the cold stars ….


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A trickle of real estate activity reported

A sale, a “new” listing – new broker new price, actually – and a busted offer, being 23 Chieftans, 337 North Street and 55 Will Merry Lane, respectively.

23 Chieftans

23 Chieftans

23 Chieftans, the King Street development on the old Gimbel estate, sold for $2.4 million. Owner paid $3.050 for it when it was new in 2003 and started her resale journey @ $4.250 in 2005. These are tough sells, in my experience because they’re in a noisy, inconvenient location, and pretty much have an adult retirement community feel. That’s just my opinion, of course, and you may commute out of Westchester Airport, play golf at the Giff and have seven adopted Vietnamese children attending Brunswick-On-King-Street, in which case, this is the place for you. $2.4’s pretty cheap, regardless.

337 North Street was built in 2005, listed at $5.6 and sold in 2006 for $4.880. Listed at $5.2 in June, 2010, it’s now back with a new broker and a new price, $4.450. Without resurrecting last week’s discussion on what’s selling in mid-country these days, I still maintain that it’s the houses in the $3s that are moving.

And rounding up the morning’s activity, 55 Will Merry Lane, asking $2.995 million and reported as havig an accepted offer this past January, is now available once more.


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What’s ObamaKare cost for robots?

Danger Will Robinson!

Danger Will Robinson!

Hamburger- flipper robots do everything a philosophy major can, without health benefits or a “living wage”. Outsourcing to machines is hitting the white collar professions too, like lawyering, but lawyers can look out for themselves: pricing the unskilled and uneducated out of the job market is a sin. But as usual, the regressives won’t look, or care about the results, because “our intentions were good!”

I can’t wait for robots to take over our universities.

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Best Super Bowl ad?

Glenn Reynolds reports that it was well received. I missed it when it aired last night and in case you did too, here it is. The fact that 95% of us live off the farm and wouldn’t know a horse if it bit us doesn’t, for me, take away the appreciation for a well crafted production.


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