Monday, October 08, 2007

Glenwood Motel

Truly amazing experience. We went to investigate what seemed like an interesting sales opportunity. Incredible as it sounds there was a 126 ROOM hostel for sale in the hipper quarters of South Williamsburg for what seemed to be a bargain price of 2.9 million (hard to imagine anything being a bargain at that price but trust us given the market conditions, what a quot unquot room should command around there, it was a bargain and then some). So we quickly roused up one of our regular developers clients who we knew would be intrigued. He was. The other broker listing the deal, told us we could simply go inside and ask the woman on the second floor for a tour...

Mama. Upon entering the scene it seemed by all accounts to be a normal funky youth hostel, cheeky memorobilia ont he walls, bright yellow and pink splotches of paint, old tennis raquets, posters, requisite big dorm style couch and table. A quaint if unremarkable tableaux.

That is of course until we headed back to where the "rooms" were located. Somehow, the owners of this bizarro funhouse had literally built out close to 150 human-sized cubby holes, little cheap plywood sukkah boxes, probbaly about 6.5 feet high 4 feet wide and maybe 6 feet deep (please keep in mind your avergae prison cell is roughly 7 x 10 or larger) packed into large open loft floors with requisite circulation around the perimiter and one lane down the center. I can't recall ever having seen living quarters arrayed quite like this (except for maybe in India where I got a glimpse of construction site work camps and got to explore, briefly, several of the raging slums in Mumbai but thats another story for another day). Of course our host, the lovely woman who worked there and acted as a desk manager/counseler/"mother hen" to the assorted multitudes, made the most poigniant comment of the trip when she noted with considerable enthusiasm that this was so much nicer than the "nasty chicken wire roofs you see in so many of those 'other places.' this is just much more generally nicer, I think"

It would be one thing if this quirky little bed farm were simply filled with the cute backpackers, travellers and lets go tourists seeking the gritty, authentic Williamsburg experience. It turned out, however to be an altogether different thing. Filling these tiny quarters (and they were filled almost to a cube) were every manner of hard luck traveller, recovering addict, teen runaway, vietnam vet, grizzled old trucker, welfare mother, migrant worker and perhaps a european tourist or two thrown in for character.

Each box contained roughly the contents of a quarter life on the go, small packages, bundles, cigarattes, scads of old clothes, the occasional guitar, towels, figurines, tarps and small cigar boxes filled with trinkets.

Many of the doors were open and walking past these cubes, one after the next was like watching a film reel of tiny disjointed lives, one spliced after the other, each face haggard, slightly surly, tired yet unphased at the parade of three gentlemen in suit coats walking past with curiosity and astonishment. The rooms each crammed so full of detritus it looked like the whole affair was about to swallow the occupants whole, as though they had each rented a tiny windowless storage locker packed it to the gills with all they could carry and packed themselves in like one more fixture in the sardinelike mis-en-scene.

After walking past 30 or so cubes a haggard although not unattractive young woman nevrously approached us asked if we were planning on moving in? We told her no and asked her a few simple questions, how long she'd been there, how she liked living there, what her plans were, was it noisy, dangerous etc? She cagily responded "bedbugs" which seemed both to her and to us about as detailed a commentary on the experience as one could hope for.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Interesting article in the Times this morning about Piranesi, I'd never heard of him although I have certainly seen his fantastical etchings in passing. He drew from classical motifs and added a layer of fantasy and grand scale all his own.

Piranesi as designer

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Glorious Ruin

So there's been a bit of excitment with NY Magazine recenty. It seems them have decided to publish a story called "Glorious Ruins" or "Glamorous Ruins" or something to thatLink effect guessed it, Glorious Ruins. So by some stroke of luck we managed to get a property included in their little piece a pretty stunning derelict olf sewing factory (they all area around here) out in Ridgewood, Queens. I have no idea as to the nature of the content other than a forum for people to coo and ogle unusual pieces of NYC's industrial heritage AND actually have a shot at buying it.

We're pretty excited. The property is located at 1563 Decatur Street and is now featured on our website. Newly launched and always improving.

Check it out why doncha. And keep your eyes peeled for the article, it comes out this monday in NY Mag.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

why stress? its distressed!

hola lovers distressed property coming back atcha with some real estate magic. It is in the heart of this bleak winter that we revive our real estate ramblings and drag you allo along for the ride.

Keep posted. Distressed is back in action.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

insane property

Some serious distress here.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

delicasies of horse flesh

this website is really really amazing - you have to check out the recipie section - distressed digital property -

From the carcass of the slaughtered horse the ribs with flesh are cut off and the blood is let trickle down for 5-7 hours. The guts are washed well and kept in salt water for 1-2 hours. The slightly dried up kazy are cut in strips along the ribs: the brand kazy are cut in narrow strips and the narrow ones - in broad strips. The interrib tissue should be cut with a shapp knife removing cartilages and without crumbling the fat. Then the meat is salted and peppered, finely cut garlic is added and the meat is wrapped up in a napkin for 2-3 hours.

Thursday, August 31, 2006