I am in a bit of a transition here. Nothing major. Just some minor personal stuff. thre will be a bit of a mission shift in this blog, because I will focusing further on the suburbs. And if you thought my previous coverage was grim, well, I'll put it this way. Even I am surprised how FUBAR things have gotten in the burbs.
WASHINGTON — Tired of the government bailing out banks? Get ready for this: officials may soon ask banks to bail out the government.
Senior regulators say they are seriously considering a plan to have the nation’s healthy banks lend billions of dollars to rescue the insurance fund that protects bank depositors. That would enable the fund, which is rapidly running out of money because of a wave of bank failures, to continue to rescue the sickest banks.
The plan, strongly supported by bankers and their lobbyists, would be a major reversal of fortune.
A hallmark of the financial crisis has been the decision by successive administrations over the last year to lend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to large and small banks.
“It’s a nice irony,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, a consulting company. “Like so much of this crisis, this is an issue that involves the least worst options.”
Bankers and their lobbyists like the idea because it is more attractive than the alternatives: yet another across-the-board emergency assessment on them, or tapping an existing $100 billion credit line to the Treasury.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which oversees the fund, is said to be reluctant to use its authority to borrow from the Treasury.
Under the law, the F.D.I.C. would not need permission from the Treasury to tap into a credit line of up to $100 billion. But such a step is said to be unpalatable to Sheila C. Bair, the agency chairwoman whose relations with the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, have been strained.
“Sheila Bair would take bamboo shoots under her nails before going to Tim Geithner and the Treasury for help,” said Camden R. Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers. “She’d do just about anything before going there.”
So it has come to this. I am sure they are going to cut the FDIC a great deal after all they are all buddies. NOT!
Just another reason why all this talk about a recovery is bunk.
Growing up I had encountered more than my fair share of bullies and I used to harbor grudges against them. As I have gotten older I realize there is nothing to be gained holding onto hate so I choose to understand them and learn from them. It has proven very useful because I am able easily navigate around people who exhibit these types defects and I will be able to raise my children not only to properly deal with bullies but not to become them.
One particular bully was a boy in high school who was older and a lot bigger than me which isn't a big surprise what also isn't a big surprise is that I never gave a reason for him to exhibit complete malice towards me to the point it got violent.
When that happened, parental intervention ordered administration involvement, which was a mistake since they took his side even though he admitted attacking me. We later found out that his father worked for the county and realized this boy had "carte blanche" because of his father. Regardless, the end result was that he never bothered me again.
I realize now why this bully acted out, first I think he was deep in the closet and but I think what really set him off was his social status. The town I lived in was known for one thing, Money. And obviously this was something he was lacking due to his father's occupation. I am not being snarky here. There is a huge discrepancy in pay between a county employee and someone who works in the private sector in that town.
When you are a have not in a world of the haves, it really messes with your self-esteem and you struggle with this internal friction on a massive scale, which I know from my own experience. Some people use that to succeed like Charles Bronson. Legend says that Charles Bronson’s family was so poor that he had to wear one of his sister’s dresses to school. This type of friction can create a drive within a person or cripple them. It can also institute a siege mentality ready to lash out at anyone.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not justifying what this bully did and I don't absolve him of his actions because others have been dealt with worse and managed to better themselves without needlessly hurting others. He chose to deal with his insecurities by attacking those that he perceived weaker than him.
And like all bullies, he is a coward since he hid behind his daddy's connections instead of manning up and as far as I am concerned he is no different than those rich kids who commit crimes like Alex Kelly and hide behind their parents’ money.
Which brings me to Raymond Clark, the piece of trash and future jailhouse bitch who is now charged with the murder of Annie Le. Reading about him gives me flashbacks of that bully.
Teammates remembered Mr. Clark as a talented, versatile and competitive athlete. “He played sports hard,” said Michael Tamsin, 23, who was on the baseball and football teams at Branford High School. “On the field, he went about his business and he got the job done.”
Raymond Clark was your typical high school jock. Now there is no mention of him being a genius so it is safe to assume he was a cement head. My bully was not a jock however he was real big on after school activities that required physical labor and very little cognitive thinking which was probably the only reason why he showed up for class. I assure you he was not in the running for a merit scholarship.
Although Raymond had no criminal record there was a very disturbing incident that occurred between him and his high school girlfriend.
Back on Sept. 29, 2003 he was a senior at Branford High School when Det. Ronald Washington responded to a report of a dispute. The dispute was between the young Branford woman and the (now) lab tech. A top school official had summoned the police to the high school. “The two are in a relationship which [the girlfriend] wishes to terminate and [the male] does not wish to end it.” Washington wrote in the report. “[The male] did attempt to confront [the student] on this date and also wrote on her locker. The school will handle this incident concerning the locker and at the time of this report, [the lab tech] was advised to have no contact with” the female student.
The detective wrote that subsequently the girlfriend came with her mother to the station to speak to him.
She “wished to tell me of an incident that took place, however, did not want it pursued by this Department,” the detective wrote. “She stated that she had been having a sexual relationship with [the male] and that at one time [the male] did force her to have sex with him. The relationship did continue after that incident, however she is unsure of what he may do as a result of the break up.
“She was advised to contact this Department if he should make any contact with her and we would pursue criminal charges if the investigation warrants it. [The girlfriend] would not give any formal statement regarding the forced sex. It should be noted that [the male’s] parents were also contacted by this Detective and advised of the situation.”
No arrest was made because the young woman decided not to press charges, police wrote.
So Raymond Clark was jock and a date rapist,in other words he was the embodiment of a high school cliché. Let’s be honest, high school is where he peaked. It is where he felt entitled to do as he pleased. And he did it without consequence even if it was wrong.
Which brings us to the present day of Raymond Clark, Lab tech.
Le, a 24-year-old Ph.D. candidate, used the mice in her research. Clark, also 24-years-old, is not a student at the university and had more of a custodial role in the lab.
Before there was blood, the high-tech lab at 10 Amistad Street at Yale University was a model of efficiency. The mice and rats and rabbits stayed locked in cages. The technicians responsible for their well-being circulated like emergency room nurses. Researchers hunched over the cages for hours, intent on claiming a breakthrough.
Animal technicians must also be watchdogs, making sure that in the bureaucratic world of animal research, all documents have been filed and all ethical standards obeyed. They might remind a student to put on a gown before entering a room, or chide a researcher for failing to separate a litter of mice or clipping a mouse tail for a DNA sample, a practice the university forbids.
They live in fear of being held responsible for somebody else’s sloppiness; a single lapse like a dehydrated animal or unsanitary work space could mean weeks of disciplinary hearings.
“A lot of them tend to view us as janitors,” the co-worker said. “But we’re more than that. We are policemen. We are there to make sure everything is done humanely and ethically.”
There is nothing wrong with being a lab tech, in fact support staff plays a key role in the productivity of aany lab. However, Raymond Clark was at the top of the high school food chain and now he was cleaning out cages for a bunch of nerds. I am almost positive that this was not the future he envisioned for himself.
Now Annie Le and Raymond Clark both came from very humble beginnings.
Annie Le was so focused on academics that, even though she was the valedictorian of her high school class and her classmates voted her “most likely to be the next Einstein,” she filled out 102 applications for scholarships.
“My tongue is sore from licking envelopes, my wrist hurts from typing and stapling, and the post office clerk knows me on a first name basis,” she wrote in a one-page primer she left in the files of the school in El Dorado, Calif., “but other than that, there is nothing I can complain about; It was not difficult at all!” Her work paid off, literally: She received $160,000 in scholarship offers, said Tony DeVille, who became principal three years ago, three years after she graduated. The money took her to the University of Rochester as an undergraduate. She went on to Yale, where, as a 24-year-old graduate student, she was studying pharmacology and planning her wedding to another serious-minded student from her days in Rochester. It was to have taken place on Sunday.
Ms. Le’s friends remembered her as someone who could juggle a joke with serious scientific research, someone who loved bargains and thought nothing of hunting down $2 shirts at Old Navy stores because the $5 ones were too expensive.
A person does not apply for 102 scholarships and hunt for shirts that are cheaper than $5 unless they are hard up for cash. In other words Annie was no trust fund princess and had to work get what she wanted. There is no doubt that she earned every inch of success by crawling her way to the top.
Mr. Clark grew up in a rented gray house in a working-class neighborhood of aspirations when a nearby factory was humming. Jim Garrett, 65, who lives two doors down, said the house the Clarks lived in deteriorated as the years went by and the factory closed, and eventually Mr. Clark’s parents moved out. They went to a condominium in Cromwell, Conn., north of Middletown, where Mr. Clark’s mother works in the Wal-Mart across the street
There has been talk that this has been called a “workplace crime” which I think is oversimplifying it. This was a crime involving class, race and gender.
In the Yale social order, Annie and Raymond were not equals, although he had some authority, in the big picture he was nowhere near her level. He was reminded every day at work that he was no longer on top.
There will be claims that race had nothing to do with this murder. Race had a lot to do with it. My take is that Raymond Clark was very sensitive about the fact that he was a white male having to clean up behind a petite Asian woman. An Asian woman who had prospects for a better future than him.
There has also been discussion that Raymond Clark may have had some type of Asian fetish because he was involved in an Asian student group in high school.
I am not sure if a white guy joining an Asian student group has an Asian fetish. I think the major part of the criteria for a man infected with yellow fever is that if he only dates Asian woman and has a stereotypical view of how they should be. But one thing is for sure, he definitely had a misogynistic streak within him that he demonstrated in high school and even with his current girlfriend.
That is why this is far more complicated than a workplace murder where Raymond Clark simply snapped.
When people like this are faced with certain situations, they respond in a negative and troubling fashion. And unless they get help or realize what they are doing, each incident builds on top of the other until it reaches a breaking point which leads to horrific consequences for innocent people.
So where is my former antagonist now? I recently found out that he works in the financial advisement field, albeit in a lower tier position. He also lives in an area of the country where the median income is 70% lower than where he was raised in. He is also still very in the closet.
It is not by accident that this is the current state of his life. He deals with money because he had so little of it growing up and lives in a town with a lower cost of living because he is more comfortable in that particular surrounding since it is not rubbed in his face that he has so little. Unlike successful people who started with less then him, he did not attempt overcome his shortcomings. It is not his fault, I do not think he had the cognitive ability to even try. His way of dealing with the friction of his life is simply getting as far away from it as possible. Which is fine, as long as he stays away from me and mine. Who knows what a disaster it would have been for himself and other innocent people if he had stayed in New York.
Perhaps if Raymond Clark had been like my bully and made an effort to walk away from the friction and go somewhere else where he could be comfortable and not be a danger to anybody, Annie Le would still be alive.
In this week’s New York magazine, real estate editor Jhoanna Robledo explains why those neighborhoods that never see a downtown are seeing a downturn:
To the numbers, then. One excellent indicator of a neighborhood’s situation in the near future is how many closings are taking place there, because it measures both activity and ease of sale. And according to data compiled by the team at StreetEasy.com, between April and June the number of closings dipped 77.9 percent in Tribeca, compared with the same period last year. Three other well-established neighborhoods were also high up in the pack: 52.7 percent in the West Village , 44 percent in Carnegie Hill, and 50.8 percent on the Upper West Side .
And what of the supposedly riskier areas? They’re not doing great, but they’re not showing anything like those Tribeca numbers. Williamsburg is down 49.2 percent; Long Island City is at 24.8 percent. Newer StreetEasy data, from July and August, show the same trend. (By another, slightly less authoritative measure—the number of self-reported deals going into contract— Clinton , East Harlem, and Williamsburg actually saw their activity rise in the second quarter.) The takeaway: “On a macro level, you hear that prime locations are always a safety play,” says Miller. “But that only means they’re less volatile. It doesn’t mean they’re protected.”
One of the first principles I learned in real estate is that everything rises in a high tide. An example of an application of this applies to residential home buying is buying the worst property in the best area. For instance in a place like Scarsdale, instead buying in the rich areas, you buy a house in Edgewood by the border of Eastchester. Basically you are hedging your bets by buying a smaller house in that area because even though it is a cheaper and you might be required to put in more money in renovations, but your equity will definitely go up during a bubble and you won't get hurt as bad when the market drops which is happening now. As Jonathan Miller has stated, living in a pricey area does not protect you but gives you less volatility.
You could probably buy a bigger house in a less pricey area of Westchester, but I can guarantee that your equity is going to get destroyed during a downturn, which is one of the reasons why we are getting carpet bombed with foreclosures because people bought homes they could not really afford and that those homes were over priced in the first place.
This is just another indication that we still have to ride this out.
Both bank credit and the M3 money supply in the United States have been contracting at rates comparable to the onset of the Great Depression since early summer, raising fears of a double-dip recession in 2010 and a slide into debt-deflation.
Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research said US bank loans have fallen at an annual pace of almost 14pc in the three months to August (from $7,147bn to $6,886bn).
"There has been nothing like this in the USA since the 1930s," he said. "The rapid destruction of money balances is madness."
This news correlates to a recent interview that Jonathan Miller conducted.
Q. Do you think we have hit bottom yet?
A. No. We have a lot of unwinding to go. We will continue to slide but the rate of the slide will continue to slow.
Technically, we might be coming out of the recession. But unemployment may continue to rise through 2010. Housing comes after employment.
We have some things that need to be fixed. Unemployment has to decline. We have to see a noticeable improvement in liquidity for jumbo financing [mortgages for pricey homes].
I see this as a gradual process. After we hit bottom, we will move sideways for a number of years.
But I am less bearish. A lot of real estate brokers saw the same or more contracts get signed in June or July than the year before. There was a release of pent-up demand. It wasn't a sign we hit the bottom, but it's positive.
BID ON THE CITY ANNOUNCES WEEKLY AUCTIONS BEGINNING SEPT. 29TH DUE TO DEMAND
New York September 14, 2009 – Bidonthecity.com, the first and only online real estate trading platform for Manhattan residential and commercial real estate properties, announces today that starting September 29, 2009 they will begin holding weekly auctions because of high demand. Each auction day will have no less than five properties up for bid.
Potential bidders can view more listings than ever before on www.bidonthecity.com. All apartments are occupied and in luxury buildings; there aren’t any distressed or foreclosed units.
“Since our monthly auctions began in May we have been seeing an increasing number of properties submitted for sale, and more are coming in every day. We have just concluded the beta testing of our site and are now faced with huge backlog of both residential and commercial properties. People around the world will want to take advantage of live online bidding to compete for these properties. With over $21 million in real estate sold worldwide since our launch, we see live bidding events for Manhattan property every week for the foreseeable future,” explains Vlad Sapozhnikov, co-founder and managing partner, Bid on the City.
Properties up for bid on September 29th, October 6th and October 13th may be viewed here:
I am telling you right now two things are going to happen.
1. Corcoran, Elliman and Brown Harris Stevens are going to be examining this model very carefully. If they have not done it yet, they will examine creating their own version of Bid on the City.
The six-day search for a missing Yale graduate student ended on Sunday with the discovery of a body in a basement wall of a university laboratory building where she had last been seen, authorities in New Haven said.
While the remains have not been officially identified, Peter Reichard, New Haven assistant police chief, said at a 9 p.m. press briefing that the authorities presume they have found Annie Le, 24, a graduate student who was last seen on Tuesday, five days before her wedding.
Although surveillance cameras captured her entering the building at 10 a.m. that day, there were no images of her ever leaving the building.
Ms. Le’s disappearance led to a frantic search that gripped much of the country, as early speculation of a runaway bride quickly gave way to near certainty that foul play was involved.
In an e-mail message sent to students Sunday night, the president of Yale announced that a body had been found in the basement of the university laboratory.
“Our hearts go out to Annie Le’s family, fiancé and friends, who must suffer the additional ordeal of waiting for the body to be identified,” wrote Richard C. Levin, the Yale president. He added, “Law enforcement officials remain on the scene; this is an active investigation, and we hope it is resolved quickly.”
No suspect has been identified.
Much of the attention Sunday had been focused on a hulking gray building on the industrial fringe of Hartford: a Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority waste processing facility and incinerator near the bank of the Connecticut River.
There, investigators from a half-dozen law enforcement agencies, wearing hazardous-materials suits and carrying shovels at the end of long poles, sorted through thousands of tons of trash looking for traces of Ms. Le. Officials did not say if they had found anything there.
A few hours before the body was found, Bill Reiner, an F.B.I. spokesman, said, “The reason why we’re up there is that we’re following trash from 10 Amistad,” the Yale medical lab building. “That’s all I can tell you.”
During the afternoon, men and women came and went through a door next to a rubber-curtained entrance bay at the waste processing plant. A State Police van drove through the gate; barking issued from within. The press corps cordoned behind a barbed-wire-topped fence traded sightings: a police dog being exercised, an investigator carrying what looked like a squeegee mop.
In a thousand places, people’s thoughts turned to what should have been on Sunday, when Ms. Le, a third-year student in pharmacology from Placerville, Calif., was scheduled to be married. The ceremony would have taken place on what turned out to be a brilliant late-summer morning. Ms. Le was to have married Jonathan Widawsky, a graduate student at Columbia, at the North Ritz Club in Syosset on Long Island, near the groom’s family’s home.
“This is Annie’s bouquet,” a woman said to a television reporter earlier, proffering a sad-looking array of roses. “It’s wilting.”
Deborah Kiley of Deborah’s Hair Loft in Huntington, N.Y., who was to have styled the hair of Ms. Le, her mother, Mr. Widawsky’s mother and five attendants on Sunday morning, said she was praying for Ms. Le and her family.
“I can’t even accept it right now,” Ms. Kiley said. “I never forget a soul I meet. I was going to be part of a beautiful day, which is the most important day of a girl’s life other than the day she gives birth.”
On Bittersweet Place in Huntington, the Widawsky family remained in seclusion. The Le family, which had traveled to New Haven, was not heard from either.
At the North Ritz Club, a woman on the phone who gave her name only as Mary Ellen parried a call. “We’re not giving any comment,” she said. “What comment is there to say?”
Robert Davey and Angela Macropoulos contributed reporting.
To the piece of human garbage that did this, pray to God that you are in custody. This was an innocent girl who was out make the world a better place and was about to embark on a beautiful journey with her husband to be.
There is a special place in hell for you. So if you want take the coward's way out, go right ahead. You won't get very far.
My heartfelt condolences to Annie's family and loved ones.
Home businesses are nothing new in New York City. For any start up, it is just a lot easier and more cost efficient to do it at home. An amigo of mine works for a very well known hedge fund that started out of an apartment. Awhile back I was watching a Food Network program on Soul Fixins. One of the owners stated that the restaurant first started in their apartment specializing in take out. And with the restaurant and financial industry getting pummeled, I do see more growth in home business associated with these two industries.
Because the commercial real estate market is cratering, commercial landlords will have to take a long hard look at their rents. I think they are also going to be more selective of their tenant pool.
They are going to be more aggressive in finding commercial tenants that require either a storefront or an official commercial location. For example, supermarkets will probably be more attractive to a commercial landlord than a yoga studio. The smart business person will pick those particular businesses where concessions on rent are given because it will lower their operating costs.
In the next ten years, the small business that survive and continue to grow will eventually have to look to commercial space to house their needs. That is when the next boom will arrive.
That is why I can't agree with this statement.
“It is a serious drain on the business community,” said Joseph Strafaci, the owner of Joseph Martin Salon on East 57th Street in Manhattan. “Every downturn, every retraction, those individuals who do freelance work swoop in. Businesses can’t compete with individuals who have no operating expenses.”
This is the beginning of a new era for these small businesses and eventually they will take the place of other established business that have moved on.
People are also exercising lateral thinking in trying to merge their talents with money.
A year and a half ago, Seth Adler, 33, an event producer, realized his dream of becoming a voice-over actor by creating an in-house sound studio in the closet of his one-bedroom apartment in the East Village.
Because the business is self-contained and clients do not come to visit, Mr. Adler believes he is operating within the scope of his lease. And though his business required some home modification, he said he doesn’t think he violated any city codes. He simply stapled panels of sound-blocking egg-crate foam from floor to ceiling in the small closet.
In this homemade studio, Mr. Adler uses his honeyed voice to create 30-second advertising spots. Each earns a couple of hundred dollars, he says.
Were he to use a professional recording studio space, which can cost around $500 per session, he says, “there’s a good shot that I would make no money.”
Though Mr. Adler’s voice-over work is a side pursuit in addition to his full-time job, having a home business has helped ease financial worries.
A 28-year-old renter in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, says his landlord has no idea that he sometimes records and mixes aspiring hip-hop artists and rappers in the living room of the apartment that he shares with his mother and two siblings.
Though he used to have periodic work helping with crowd control at events like the Barneys warehouse sale, he said the jobs stopped coming last February. For the last six months, recording and producing would-be singers and rap stars at the rate of $20 an hour — Mr. Adler says a professional recording studio can cost more than 10 times as much — has been his sole source of income, roughly $10,000 a year.
He said customers accept the unusual setting because of the rock-bottom price and his product. “They are usually cool with it after they hear the sound quality,” he said. “They are like, ‘I did not expect that from the setup.’ ”
With the digital and internet revolution, I am surprised that recording studios are still around. All one needs are some good microphones, a good computer and egg crates and you can create a sound studio anywhere.
Keeping looking around you. More change is on the way.
New York, September 8, 2009—Kreth Communications, an Upper East Side public relations and marketing communications firm specializing in service to the real estate industry, founded by Kelly Kreth, a business professional with over 16 years of marketing communications and public relations experience, announces that it is celebrating its fourth anniversary.
Kreth’s past and present high-profile client list includes: PropertyShark.com, Bid on the City, Adina Equities, City Connections Realty, Manhattan Association of REALTORS & Oro Condominiums, as well as many others.
“I am very proud to be able to have my firm continue to flourish, even in this turbulent economy. I am glad that so many real estate-related firms recognize that now, more than ever, the need for public relations to get their company’s name out to the public. It is essential to compete in this changing marketplace,” explains Kreth.
Says happy client Albert Feinstein, co-founder and managing director, Bid on the City, “Having recently launched Bid on the City, Kreth Communications was crucial in getting our brand out there. Ms. Kreth has worked tirelessly to get us exposure in many top-tier publications and on various news stations, including the New York Times, CNBC and FOX News. Kelly Kreth has been our guiding star and great advisor in the very complicated world of public relations.”
Kreth is known for her innovative use of video and social media to promote properties and her creative story pitches. Kreth is formerly the director of marketing and public relations for The Quest Group, a real estate services firm located in Manhattan, the U.S. senior marketing specialist for Syntegra, a division of British Telecommunications. She previously wrote a column in the New York Press and was a New York City trends TV reporter on the UK ’s biggest morning show on GMTV.
It has been 4 years since Kelly Kreth began her start in setting up real estate focused PR firm. And despite an imploding real estate market, she is still going on strong.
The following press release is regarding one of her clients Bid on the City's bus tour.
BID ON THE CITY TO HOLD UNIQUE OPEN HOUSE BUS TOUR PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 15, 2009 BIDDING EVENTS
--Interested Bidders Will Board Double Decker Tour Bus to Visit Five Properties to Be Auctioned Later in the Day---
New York, USA September 8, 2009 – Bidonthecity.com, the first and only online real estate trading platform for Manhattan residential and commercial real estate properties, will be holding a unique open house bus tour on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 9am for interested potential bidders.
Bid on the City has six properties up for sale to be auctioned off starting 11:45am on September 15th. Just prior to the bidding event, they will provide a double decker tour bus located outside the Bid on the City Bidding Center at 226 Fifth Avenue at 27th St. to take a tour of the properties, so they may inspect them and see them firsthand.
The vehicle is a standard New York City tour bus fitted with custom Bid on the City branding and can seat 89 passengers. It will include a professional tour guide who will give a description of the neighborhoods during the tours and a Bid on the City representative to give the highlights of each property that is up for sale.
The properties up for bid include: an 800 sq. ft. one bedroom on 142nd St. with a starting bid at $299k, a commercial space located on East 53rd St. with a starting bid of $2.75m, and their first-ever co-ops, one located on East 48th St. with a starting bid of $399k and the other, a 550 sq. ft. studio unit located on West 56th St. All properties are high-end units located in luxury buildings and are occupied. While there is a potential for saving up to 45% off of the list price, it should be noted that these not distressed or foreclosed properties.
In addition to the bus tour, every property has at least two additional open houses well before the start of bidding, so potential buyers have plenty of opportunity to compare properties and make informed decisions before they bid.
All properties that are up for bid on September 15th may be viewed here:
“Bid on the City combines the best of traditional real estate brokerages and the best of auction business,” notes Vlad Sapozhnikov, co-founder and managing partner, Bid on the City. “The response to live online bidding has been very positive. As more people are learning about it and using it, we are getting calls from other parts of the country and the world from people wanting to know when it will be available in their area. Here in Manhattan we are getting so many people requesting to list their properties with us that we are trying to decide how to accommodate them all.”
Bidonthecity.com is the first online real estate trading platform created to sell and buy Manhattan residential and commercial real estate properties. Bidonthecity.com offers the best prices and contract terms and affords sellers a short listing agreement, lower commissions, an exceptional marketing campaign, and access to qualified buyers from around the world. The 30-day process culminates in a live bidding event where Bidonthecity.com’s state-of-the-art platform allows buyers to bid in person or online while viewing real time audio and video. Bidonthecity’s bidding engine has been designed and engineered by PropertyShark.com, the leading real estate online datacenter.
This is a very smart move on Bid on the City's part because this allows prospective buyers to get a more hands on feel of the properties that are up for sale and real estate tours are now more common than ever.
The future is now. Get on the ride or be left behind.
I celebrated labor day early on Sunday with good company, food and drink. So on Labor Day I chose to head over to the Target in Queens.
I haven't been to that Target in almost two years and I decided to get some essentials. However, the essentials that I needed were not in stock at the time. I was a little bummed out and was on my way out when I noticed some interesting things about the complex.
The Target store in Queens is more of a complex which shares space with several other stores. The Target has two floors on the top level. Below it there is a Best Buy, an Outback Steakhouse and a furniture. On the ground floor is a Red Lobster, Nextel store, a Macy's furniture store and some other stores. In the basement floor is a massive shoe store that was having a clearance.
What I enjoy about walking into these types of complexes, particularly in this economy, is that it gives you an idea of who is surviving and who is on their last legs.
This is the Target outside. Now as you can see it is very busy, which isn't surprising since it is labor day. There was a lot of traffic outside the Target which did not go unnoticed because there were about 6 halal food trucks and one Mr. Softee. There were also a bunch of vendors hawking jewlery and sunglasses. Except for maybe two food trucks, the others were never there the last time I shopped at the Target.
It doesn't look too busy, however what the pictures do not show are that the crowds come in waves. There was definitely a lot of customer traffic that rolled and there were lulls of very little activity. What makes Target so popular in this economy is that they sell certain essentials like, food, toiletries, household goods and other sundries at bargain basement prices. What also makes this Target quite profitable is the fact that it is in Queens which has a massive population that have high consumption needs and is able to afford the goods that Target sells.
This Best Buy is located on the second floor. When you go up the escalator, it will be on your right. This Best Buy was doing brisk business which is probably due to the Labor day Sale I always thought that the markup for certain products would be higher in Manhattan then in Queens, however, I learned that a tripod that I recently bought at a Best Buy in Manhattan was being sold for the same price in the one in Queens.
Now this is where it gets interesting. This is an Outback steakhouse on the same floor on the Best Buy. You would think that with all that traffic that this place would be packed.
Nope. When I looked inside, the tables were bare. Does that mean everyone in Queens became a vegan? Actually I have another reason why this Outback is out of customers which I will cover later. Ohhh. I made a funny.
Next to the Outback is a furniture store and as you can see it is as dead as Lindsay Lohan's film career. Are we surprised? No. With an imploding real estate market, no one has any desire to buy new furniture because they have no place to move into, they are moving out or they have no money.
This is the Macy's Furniture store located on the ground floor and it is also experiencing the same level of business.
I have no idea why this picture looks so smoky but I can tell you that this Red Lobster was hopping to the point that it had a wait list. So why was this place hopping while the Outback was heading to the slaughterhouse? We could argue all day about deals, marketing or people's preference for seafood, but I think the answer comes down to three words. Location, location, location.
This Red Lobster is located on the ground floor of the Target Complex. It is only several feet away from the main entrance. I believe it is the reason why it is more profitable than the Outback it is smack dab in front of the highest level of traffic. Being on the ground floor is a huge advantage since no needs to go up two flights to eat. You would think that escalators would even the odds for the Outback since it is right next to the escalator but it doesn't. When it comes to the success of restaurants, the direct route plays a key factor.
So here is my analysis.
The business that provide consumer essentials like food, bathroom supplies and toilet paper at rock bottom prices have a higher chance of riding out a recession.
Big Box stores like Best Buy also have a higher chance of holding their own as long as they offer good prices but be aware that despite differences in location they will sell the same items for the same price.
Furniture stores are a horrible business to be in during a recession.
If you own a restaurant, make sure you are on the ground floor and near the main entrance. That could mean the difference between surviving and going out of business. Remember, people do not like to wait if they are hungry.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the steel, will invite police and fire departments and mayors and other leaders of cities and towns throughout the country to ask for pieces for memorials. The Port Authority has filled about 25 requests in the last year, and has about a dozen more pending. In recent weeks, trucks have hauled twisted steel columns that weigh hundreds of pounds to York, Pa., and Westerville, Ohio. A smaller piece was shipped to the Air Defense offices of the United States Air Force in Rome, N.Y.
“The best way we can honor the memory of those we lost on 9/11 is to find homes in the W.T.C. Memorial and in cities and towns around the nation for the hundreds of artifacts we’ve carefully preserved over the years,” said the Port Authority’s executive director, Christopher O. Ward.
The Port Authority hopes to generate more interest in the steel with new advertisements in police, fire and municipal trade magazines. There are 1,800 to 2,000 pieces, half of them very large, which are available for carting away, at the recipient’s expense. This does not include some 200 pieces, among them the most familiar and iconic, that have been claimed by the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum.
I have to be honest with you folks. I do not like this at all. I think whatever remains of this tragedy should stay in New York. In fact they should have created a burial site akin to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 31 where they the Challenger's remains are now resting.
Honestly, I know these people mean well but this is ghoulish to me. All that metal is imbued with the people who died on 9/11. Instead of parading it around in a memorial sites all over the country, all of that steel should be given a proper burial and treated as the remains of those who passed on that day. If anyone wants to create a memorial site for 9/11, they are more than welcome to, but to need to have actually remains from the site is unnecessary.
I am not saying we should bury history. We have more than enough media to ensure that future generations never forget what happened. But I do not think this is needed.
I know this is redundant to say but if the FDIC shuts down, well, there won't be bank runs, there will be bank stampedes. And the number of banks being shut down gets higher and higher. And of course it does not help that everyone is strapped for cash, unemployment is at an all time high and back to school sales were abysmal which indicates how bad Christmas is going to be.
As far as I am concerned it is more of the same. A lot of brokers, hell a lot of people in general are taking any flicker of light as evidence that we are back on track but they seem to be able to acknowledge the fact that darkness still surrounds us.
In a previous interview with Curbed, the Great Jonathan Miller stated any significant recovery is unlikely until the credit markets recover. And as the evidence shows, banks are being taken over by the FDIC at a rapid clip. And if there is no credit available to these banks to stay a float, well there is not a lot of OPM for sellers out there.
I don't know what to call this but it is not a recovery. Yes. Deals are closing but our backs are still against the wall.
This was the first thing I saw during my learner's permit class.
When I turned 16 and embarked on the journey to get a driver's license I crossed paths with a driver's ed teacher who would be my driving mentor. This man was a Vietnam vet who's tour of duty consisting of missions that he was sworn to secrecy and he was also a hardcore biker. The man was filled with insane but true anecdotes about how driving and poor judgment resulted in death and ruined lives. He imparted upon me the proper foundation for safe driving amd is one of the reasons why I do not have any problems getting driver's insurance.
Motor Mania was the first thing he showed to my class. He claimed that it was part of the driver's ed curriculum and was required by New York State. It is a hilarious cartoon but rings very true. Once people get behind the wheel, the adrenaline kicks in and they become a completely different person.
Because of that “transformation” he made it clear that although a car was a form of transportation, that within a heartbeat it could turn into a weapon. Which brings me to this recent blog entry picked up by the Gothamist.
I had just crossed the Manhattan Bridge and was biking south on the bike path on Jay Street. The traffic was backed up, but the bike lane was open. Right in front of me, a car peeled out of the traffic and began to cruise up the bike lane. At Willoughby, the light was red so the car stopped. I tapped on the trunk to let the driver know that I was trying to pass.
As I squeezed past her driver’s side door, I told her she shouldn’t be trying to bypass traffic by driving in the bike lane. On hearing this, she got out of her car, screaming at me for trying to tell her where she could drive and for touching her car. She started to come towards me and I got off my bike. Before I knew what was going on, she swung at me, punching me in the side of my face.
I lifted up my bike to protect myself as she continued to scream at me. At this point, pedestrians pulled her away and a building security guard called the NYPD. I was a little woozy from the punch but I told her she couldn’t leave the scene because I wanted to press charges.
What really bothers me about Ms. Mumford's story is that it smacks of hurt pride and entitlement. This all started because a driver wronged her by being in the wrong lane. But her pride as a bicyclist and not getting what she was entitled to propelled her into a course of action that left her injured.
The optimal strategy would have been just to wait till the light turn green and let the driver have their way.
Ms. Mumford did not have to tap the driver’s car and she did not have to educate the driver about the proper use of the bike lane. It is not her job to educate the douchebags of the world. People who act like douchebags and do what they want only learn that it is a bad thing to do after they truly f**k up. They have to experience the horrific consequences of their actions and often at that point it is too late for them to change. Which is all the more reason to keep as far away from them as possible.
Now there are a lot of harsh words in the comments against the police for how they treated the incident but looking at the policeman's perspective this whole thing is a wash. Yes, there were some injuries but nothing life threatening and no one died. This is also a Rashamon situation since there is no video or anything that can document what truly happened. This leads to a nightmare of paperwork for the police officer and legal problems for all parties involved. And the police officer would like to do more than be stuck in a courthouse. The officer also knows that this whole thing could have been avoided if the driver had their way.
Ms. Mumford should really count her blessings that all she got was a punch in the face. It is simple math. Bicycle vs. Car = Bicycle funeral.
Of course I do not think this will be the end of these types of incidents and it could get a lot worse.
As I stated before, douchebags do not just drive cars they are also on bicycles.
In that entry I posted my experiences regarding some aggressive and reckless behavior exhibited by bicyclists. And I think you are going to see more of this type of behavior from cyclists. Despite the changes to make NYC more bike friendly, and Ms. Mumford’s experience is one of many examples of the massive resistance from motorists, regarding the new bike laws and has demonstrated, law enforcement has better things to do. And when all those elements collide, well, let me present another lesson from driver's ed instructor.
As I stated before this man was a hard core biker. If Harley Davidson was a church, he would be their priest. Another bit of knowledge he dropped upon me was assume that all motorcyclists are armed. On the road, especially on the highway, a biker faces danger from all sides. So if they see a car coming with the intention of turning them into an organ donor and they have no way to maneuver out of the way, they are going pull out something that is definitely not a monkey wrench to at least deter the driver from killing them or to take that driver with them. So it is always best to keep your distance from any biker.
If these types of incidents continue, it would not surprise me that some bicyclists decide to take a page out of their more motorized colleagues and acquire small arms in order to get their point across.
Let’s be careful other and remember that discretion is the better part of valor.
“I think it’s kind of an exciting time,” says actress Natalie Portman of the recession. “All of a sudden, people are doing jobs that they hate and they’re not making as much money as they thought they would or they’ve lost their jobs entirely. I’ve started to see people looking more toward their own passions and what really excites them.”
Me: natalie portman should really shut the f**k up Family Member: yeah it's an exciting time if you're not starving Family Member: thanks natalie
Evelyn Roth says the only personal item she still has in her possession is the 25th anniversary diamond ring her late husband gave her. She says her relatives couldn't get the ring off her finger when she went into the care center. "I could sit around and sulk and feel bad, but what good would it do?" she says.
Shortly after two women gained power of attorney from a dying 83-year-old relative, they took all of her possessions and sold her house of 56 years, police said.
The pair pocketed the $235,000 from the house sale and cleaned out the elderly woman's bank accounts and savings, sharing the money among themselves and family members, police and prosecutors say. They also arranged and pre-paid for her funeral.
However, Evelyn Roth made an amazing recovery and had no idea what her relatives were up to.
Now the two suspects, Roth's cousin Virginia Ann Kuehn, 66, and her niece Kathleen Sue Jingling, 53, face a 35-count felony indictment charging them with first-degree criminal mistreatment, aggravated theft and first-degree theft. They've pleaded not guilty.
These f**king ghouls did not even wait till her body was cold and stiff. As soon as the opportunity rose, they plundered Evelyn Roth for everything she owned.
Roth, a sprightly white-haired woman with a ready laugh and remarkable memory, showed up at Multnomah County Circuit Court for her relatives' arraignment this week. Portland Officer Deanna Wesson, who investigates elder abuse, wheeled Roth up to the judge so she could explain what happened.
"They robbed me blind," Roth said. "Everything was for money, just to get money, money, money. That's not the way it should be."
Roth said she pursued criminal charges because she's lost her savings and all her possessions to relatives who betrayed her trust. "I think they need to be taught a lesson. ... I feel like I helped raise Virginia. That's why it hurts so bad."
No. It should not be this way and I pray to God never experience what she is feeling from this betrayal.
Jingling's lawyer, Daniel Lorenz, said his client may have received poor advice from another attorney and is working "to put matters in as good a situation as possible." Kuehn's lawyer, Pat Birmingham, declined to comment.
Roth, a Portland native, had lived on her own in her Southeast Kelly Street house since her husband, Bob, died 26 years ago.
She had worked for 35 years as the U.S. Bank branch near Southeast Milwaukie and Powell Boulevard. She loved the job and got to know her customers well. She also taught Sunday School at the Trinity Baptist Church.
In February 2008, she fell ill. A doctor removed a cancerous growth from her esophagus. Kuehn took her to the hospital for the outpatient surgery and drove her back home. But no one ever checked on Roth after that.
The day after the surgery, Roth fell and wasn't discovered until four days later. Phillip Klein visited the house, concerned because his friend hadn't shown up for their weekly dinner date.
Police found Roth on the floor, severely dehydrated, confused and suffering from delusions. She was hospitalized for two weeks and then placed in a nursing home. Through the spring of 2008, she continued to receive radiation treatments for cancer.
On April 24, she signed over the power of attorney to Kuehn and Jingling. She remembers them wheeling her to a nearby bank to get it notarized.
"I kept insisting, 'I want to take care of my bills. I can take care of myself,'" Roth recalled. "They said, 'We have to be able to take care of you if you get sick.'"
Four days later, Kuehn and Jingling each wrote $12,000 checks to themselves out of Roth's account, Wesson said.
About the same time, Jeanine Boldt-Ginn, the daughter of one of Roth's close friends, helped her mother track Roth down. They found Roth at Care Center East and became reacquainted.
Roth's health steadily improved, surprising her doctors. By the fall 2008, Roth began hearing from her neighbors that a "For Sale" sign was up outside her home, and her relatives seemed to be cleaning it out.
Roth didn't believe it. "I said, 'Well, they can't sell it because I haven't signed anything.' I had no idea what was all going on, just what the neighbors saw."
Police said Kuehn and Jingling sold the house for $235,000 in October 2008, deposited the money into Roth's bank account and then promptly spent all of it, writing checks to themselves and other family members. They cleaned out $35,000 in her checking account and cashed her two annuities totaling $88,000.
They also cleaned out all of Roth's belongings -- her antique china and glassware collection, her silverware, the mahogany furniture her husband made, their wedding pictures, a 7-foot-tall grandfather clock.
They sold her Buick Park Avenue.
Boldt-Ginn, who remembers having Roth as her Sunday School teacher when she was 5, and her husband, Jim Ginn, worked tirelessly to help Roth unravel what had happened to her belongings. They got county adult protective services investigator Irma Mitchell-Phillips and police to investigate.
"My mom said, 'I know the Lord brought us back here so we can help you,'" Boldt-Ginn recalled.
When Wesson interviewed the accused, they said they had sold Roth's house and belongings to avoid probate. Jingling kept saying that Roth's doctors had "guaranteed us" that Roth would die, Wesson recalled.
Wesson described the suspects as cold and callous, who never showed concern for Roth's well-being.
Police, prosecutors, county investigators and others who've met Roth said they're amazed at how she kept her spirits up, despite her losses.
She said she wants to see her relatives go to jail.
"I guess I'm just a stubborn old lady."
God bless her soul.
As for those two pieces of trash. This isn't over. People who take advantage of the elderly and weak, especially family are pure f**king evil and whether it is on this plane of existence or another, they always get theirs.
In a previous entry that family and money are two very complicated subjects and when you combine the two you get something very explosive. So these best thing to do is not rely on it and follow the wishes of the departed. And they have not passed away, then you do your damnedest that to maintain their dignity and their current state of affairs if they are unable to take care of themselves. Family should only intervene to make drastic changes if what their elderly members are making decisions that prove to be detrimental to themselves.
Why? Because this is what family does. You do not abandon your own. Which unfortunately happens more often than not.
FREMONT, Calif. — They gather five days a week at a mall called the Hub, sitting on concrete planters and sipping thermoses of chai. These elderly immigrants from India are members of an all-male group called The 100 Years Living Club. They talk about crime in nearby Oakland, the cheapest flights to Delhi and how to deal with recalcitrant daughters-in-law.
Together, they fend off the well of loneliness and isolation that so often accompany the move to this country late in life from distant places, some culturally light years away.
“If I don’t come here, I have sealed lips, nobody to talk to,” said Devendra Singh, a 79-year-old widower. Meeting beside the parking lot, the men were oblivious to their fellow mall rats, backpack-carrying teenagers swigging energy drinks.
In this country of twittering youth, Mr. Singh and his friends form a gathering force: the elderly, who now make up America’s fastest-growing immigrant group. Since 1990, the number of foreign-born people over 65 has grown from 2.7 million to 4.3 million — or about 11 percent of the country’s recently arrived immigrants. Their ranks are expected to swell to 16 million by 2050. In California, one in nearly three seniors is now foreign born, according to a 2007 census survey.
Many are aging parents of naturalized American citizens, reuniting with their families. Yet experts say that America’s ethnic elderly are among the most isolated people in America. Seventy percent of recent older immigrants speak little or no English. Most do not drive. Some studies suggest depression and psychological problems are widespread, the result of language barriers, a lack of social connections and values that sometimes conflict with the dominant American culture, including those of their assimilated children.
The lives of transplanted elders are largely untracked, unknown outside their ethnic or religious communities. “They never win spelling bees,” said Judith Treas, a sociology professor and demographer at the University of California, Irvine. “They do not join criminal gangs. And nobody worries about Americans losing jobs to Korean grandmothers.”
The speed of the demographic transformation is leading many cities to reach out to the growing numbers of elderly parents in their midst. Fremont began a mobile mental health unit for homebound seniors and recruited volunteer “ambassadors” to help older immigrants navigate social service bureaucracies. In Chicago, a network of nonprofit groups has started The Depression Project, a network of community groups helping aging immigrants and others cope.
But their problems can go unnoticed because they often do not seek help. “There is a feeling that problems are very personal, and within the family,” said Gwen Yeo, the co-director of the Geriatric Education Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
When I was growing up, these issues that these elderly immigrants are facing were nonexistent. That is because there was a strong family structure to rely upon, there were also churches, temples and other civic organizations that catered to their needs.
Many who have followed their grown children here have fulfilling lives, but life in this country does not always go according to plan for seniors navigating the new, at times jagged, emotional terrain, which often means living under a child’s roof.
Mr. Singh, the widower, grew up in a boisterous Indian household with 14 family members. In Fremont, he moved in with his son’s family and devoted himself to his grandchildren, picking them up from school and ferrying them to soccer practice. Then his son and daughter-in-law decided “they wanted their privacy,” said Mr. Singh, an undertone of sadness in his voice. He reluctantly concluded he should move out.
So when he leaves the Hub, dead leaves swirling around its fake cobblestones, Mr. Singh drives to the rented room in a house he found on Craigslist. His could be a dorm room, except for the arthritis heat wraps packed neatly in plastic bins.
“In India there is a favorable bias toward the elders,” Mr. Singh said, sitting amid Hindu religious posters and a photograph of his late wife. “Here people think about what is convenient and inconvenient for them.”
Privacy? Convenient? You ungrateful piece of s**t. Do you think your parents had any privacy when you were born? Do you think it was convenient for them to have a child? Dp you think it was easy for them raising you. You ever think about that?
Reliant on their children, late-life immigrants are a vulnerable population. “They come anticipating a great deal of family togetherness,” Professor Treas said. “But American society isn’t organized in a way that responds to their cultural expectations.”
Hardev Singh, 76, and his wife, Pal Keur, 67, part of Fremont’s large Sikh community, live above the office of the Fremont Frontier Motel, its lone nod to a Western motif a dilapidated wagon wheel sign.
They rented the fluorescent-lighted apartment after living for three years with their daughter, Kamaljit Purewal, her husband, his mother and two grandchildren. As the children grew, Mr. Singh and Mrs. Keur were relegated to the garage, transformed into a room. As Mr. Singh said, “in winter it was too much cold.”(Ms. Purewal said that she “tried to give them a better life,” but felt unappreciated because her parents favored her older brother in India. “If you’re a happy family, a small house is a big house,” she said. )
I have heard of dogs getting better accommodations. You do not put your parents in the garage. You sleep in the garage and your parents live in your bedroom. You feel unappreciated? You think having a family is pleasant? It isn't. Part of being a family is taking care of each other even when we dislike each other.
Fraught family dynamics when elderly parents move in with children often leave older members without a voice in decision-making, whether about buying a house or using the shower.
Pravinchandra Patel, the 84-year-old founder of the 100 Years Living Club, intervened when he heard that the son in one family was taking his parents’ monthly Supplemental Security Income check, for $658, then doling out $20 for spending money.
“I ask the son, ‘How much money do you figure you owe your parents for your education?’ ” he said.
A son or daughter who treats their elderly parents like an annuity is a piece of s**t. You don't give your parents their social security or medicare. You give them everything you have. Everything that is yours is theirs. Why? It is was theirs in the first place. If you weren't born and raised by them you would have nothing. You would be nothing.
“The small things matter,” he said of his mother and other elders longing for home. “The feeling that they are welcomed.”
This is all what any parent asks for.
For those of you who think I am overreacting and that I am too sentimental. I leave you with two stories.
There was a woman who lived with her daughter, son in law and grandson. Her daughter was a holy terror and berated her every chance she had. One of the indignities that the daughter i would do to her mother was give her the ugliest and dirtiest bowl for her meals. One day the grandson told his grandmother. "At dinner, drop your bowl on the floor. And everything will be alright."
The grandmother had no idea how this was going to help but decided she had nothing to lose. She dropped the bowl and right no cue, her daughter started ripping into her. Her grandson interrupted her.
"Grandma, I wish you hadn't broken that bowl. I was saving it for Mom."
The daughter was in shock and realized that her son was would treat her the same way when she was treating her grandmother. After that incident, the daughter treated her mother with the greatest respect and love.
Here is a second story on the same theme.
A man was preparing for a trip his mother to the mountain. You see his mother was very old and he did not want her around anymore. Besides it was tradition in that land to leave the old to die on the mountain.
As he was gathering his things and preparing for his trip, his son walked in.
The son asked
"What are you doing Dad?"
The father replied.
"I am going to the mountain with your grandmother and I am going to build her a shack leaving her there to die."
The son responded
"A don't tear it down. We'll use it for you when you get as old as grandmother."
After that conversation, the grandmother stayed and no one ever abandoned the elderly on the mountain again.
The way we treat our parents is how we will be treated in the future. For it is the next generation that who will be using us as an example. Ignore this at your peril.