Daily Archives: April 1, 2016

Perfect headline (from Instapundit, naturally)

THIS IS JUST PROPAGANDA FOR DEMOCRATS:  Tapeworms and Other Parasites Can Make Good Guests.


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Start the countdown

11 Mayfair

11 Mayfair Lane

11 Mayfair Lane, over by Riversville Road, has hit the market at $22 million, going 14 other homes for sale priced at $17.5 million and above. It’s a gorgeous old (1938) home on 13 acres (in the 2-acre zone), but though its listing boasts “it’s a Twachtman”, that’s not a name that’s excited anyone since the Japanese were partying in Nanking; these days, yawn.

Beautifully finished inside and surprisingly bright, given the style, so that’s all good. In fact, it’s a very cool house that, were I in the market for 19,000 square feet (or so) of stone and timber, I’d fall in love with.

The listing notes that it has a Traulsen commercial refrigerator in the kitchen, which seems like an odd thing to mention in a $22 million house. I mean, someone who can afford this thing isn’t likely to swoon over an old refrigerator that’s noisy, an energy hog, and huge. Especially when the thing cost, at most, $9,000 when new. If I were listing this, I’d find another feature to  emphasize. A Brevell toaster, maybe, or a Honda lawn mower in damn good shape.

As a land deal, this might make sense, but that would probably make the house itself nearly worthless. The land this once sat on has mostly long since been sold off, but if you chop off even more of the remaining acreage, what kind of estate would that be?

Maybe an investment banker will buy it, with an eye toward keeping his grandparents comfortable when they visit.


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And a bit more

2 Farley streetr

2 Farley Streert

2 Farley Street, Greenwich, at the base of Lake Avenue, has a contract: $1.125 million. Farley’ a funky little street, and you’ll be able to impress the hell out of your neighbors should you come home with a car from the dealer that’s less than ten-years-old, but other than that, its charms are somewhat limited.

Close to the Emergency Room,. though.

21 Vista

21 Vista. There used to be a tree here, smack in front of the master bedroom on the second floor to block boaters’ views inside, but it seems to have gone with Ivanka, Who knew she was so modest?

Who knows? Maybe the Trump name is hurting its chances? The Donald’s former house at 21 Vista Drive, having failed to sell for $54 million, has dropped down to $45. It’s probably still got a ways to go, but if he wins,maybe it will regain its cachet.  Or not.


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(Partial) Real estate wrap-up for the week that was

54 Loughlin Avenue

54 Laughlin Avenue

54 Loughlin Avenue, asking $1.250 million, has a contract just 18 days after hitting the market. If you deduct the days between an accepted offer and actually getting to contract, I wouldn’t be surprised if this home found a buyer in about a week. It’s tiny, by Greenwich standards, and the kitchen won’t be featured in an upcoming episode of “Millionire’s Galleys”, but that’s not what this price range is about, in Greenwich. A young couple, maybe with a baby of two, moves out from the city to a very decent house, right in town. Nice deal.

187 Shore road

187 Shore Road

187 Shore Road, Old Greenwich, sold for $3.120 million.  As dictated by Greenwich Association of Realtors’ rules, the photos have been stripped from the internet listings, but if you search Google Images for the address you’ll find them. Forever, in fact, which makes the GAR’s rule so baffling.

The owner paid $2,937,500 for this in 2013, and tried to get $3.995 for it when this was placed back on the market last year. I think she’s lucky to get out with her hide (the buyer here was represented by an out-of-town agent). Nice house, in the VE and AE flood zones. The previous listing claimed that “the first floor is FEMA compliant” which is exactly the same thing as “just a little bit pregnant. This house may sit on a half-acre, but any idea of expanding its 3.276 sq.ft., with a ground floor level subject to regular flooding, should be discarded. There’s no question that a house that’s stood up to hurricanes since 1898 isn’t going to float away now, but the new regulations kill places like this, absent complete rebuilds.

So, $1,000 per square foot? Seems excessive.



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Apparently this is a real story


Alright sir, that’s perfectly understandable. We’ll call back later, see if you’re ready for your urine analysis

New British prison will meet EU “Mandela Rules”, and be nicey-nice to everyone.

But will it have transgender bathrooms?

Prisoners will be held in rooms, not cells, they will be given telephones so they can say goodnight to their children and warders will have to knock before entering.

…[T]he governor at Britain’s newest prison says he wants to run it in a ‘collegiate’ system – similar to universities such as Oxford and Cambridge – so inmates feel more of a sense of belonging. Speaking of inmates, staff have been told not to refer to them as ‘prisoners’ or ‘offenders’.

Governor Russ Trent, an ex-Royal Marine, said the £212 million showpiece super-prison HMP Berwyn on the outskirts of Wrexham would base itself on the so-called ‘Mandela Rules’ – a United Nations standard aimed at making custody as similar as possible to life in the community so that it is more ‘civilised’.

The Category C HMP Berwyn, which will have up to 1,000 staff, will be one of the biggest prisons in Europe when it opens next year. It will hold burglars, armed robbers and more serious offenders approaching the end of their sentences.

In an internal teleconference call to prospective staff, Mr Trent said: ‘We’re looking at how we can make the experience as normal as possible. They’re also going to have a phone in their room so they can ring their children at night and say goodnight. That’s pretty normal.’

He said the aim of the prison was to ‘offer hope’ to inmates and ‘change behaviour through reward, rather than punishment’, adding: ‘I don’t call the men in custody prisoners and I don’t call them offenders.

‘Because it’s a basic principle, isn’t it? If you call somebody something you don’t want them to be, they’re more likely to be it. The rooms in which they live, calling them rooms rather than cells is really important. And if you call it a room, how do you make a cell a room? And that’s giving them ownership of it and how they live in there and how they keep it clean and tidy.

‘In the real world, it’s normal to knock on a door before you walk in. And that’s the first step of turning a cell into a room. And I think those sort of small things cost absolutely nothing. It’s just a different level of decency.’

Mr Trent will divide the prison up into three parts of 700 inmates each, so that they feel a sense of belonging to their particular wing – like at an Oxbridge college.

The wings will be encouraged to introduce their own incentives and privileges schemes to reward good behaviour and penalties for prisoners who fail to comply with the new rules. Comparing recruitment to the UK’s top universities, Mr Trent said some staff would be assigned to individual units.

He said: ‘Where when you’re at Oxford University, people generally will say, “I go to St Johns,” or whichever college they’re part of, and they feel absolutely loyal to the college, but also they feel loyal to the whole university.’


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Change of plans for the Cos Cob synagogue


Proposed sober home facility at 92 Orchard Street, Cos Cob, CT                     Vanderhorn Architects LLC

At a press conference scheduled for 2:00 pm today, Greenwich Reform Synagogue’s business director Itzhak Heifetz will announce that the congregation is no longer interested in building a synagogue at 92 Orchard Street and will instead build a sober recovery home for young addicts.

“Two dormitory buildings are envisioned”, Heifetz says, “each housing no more than twenty-five young men in double-occupancy rooms. We expect each resident to stay for at least six months, but given the unfortunate incidence of relapse and our home’s strict policy of immediate expulsion of anyone detected using drugs, neighbors can expect to see many new faces during the year.

“These young people will be under curfew from midnight until 7:00 am, so no one need be afraid of them breaking into homes or causing other mischief during the night. Besides, we are going to be selecting our residents very, very carefully, accepting only those who have successfully completed at least a three month program at a rigorous rehabilitation program. Our sober recovery program is a supplement, not a substitute for a locked-down rehabilitation unit, so by the time they reach here, our clients will already be on the road to recovery.”

Heifetz denied that there was any sort of bait and switch involved in gaining approval for a synagogue and then inserting a rehabilitation facility on the site. “Both the Americans with Disability Act and federal and state fair housing laws supersede local zoning,” he pointed out, “so we could have done this from the start. We’re doing it now because our needs and circumstances have changed. A very attractive parcel of land, with a residence large enough to serve the entire Reform community of Fairfield and Westchester County, has become available to us through a generous former resident of Conyers Farm, Mr. Thomas Petterffy. That makes  the Orchard Street property superfluous, so we looked for another use for it, and found it in the service of the afflicted. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Barring legal challenge, construction is expected to begin in June.



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