Saturday, February 28, 2009
It's been a good week for unique apartments. This is a two bedroom loft in Chelsea with huge windows, catherdral ceilings, and an amazing, airy feel to it. Private elevator and washer/dryer as well. Specs here.
Large living area leads to an open, chef's kitchen with granite counters, new appliances and tons of cabinets.
Bedrooms are extra large with lots of closets.
New marble bath
Feb 28th: 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 517 E. 83rd Street
Upper East Side, large, one bedroom $1800, no fee.
March 1: 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 300 E. 85th Street
Enormous, sunny, corner apartment in the sky. Wall of windows. Pool, gym, sauna, laundry on the the floor. $2950. No fee.
Friday, February 27, 2009
About once a month I find an apartment that really impresses me. This week I stumbled upon this extra large, very sunny, one bedroom on 68th Street and Third Avenue. It's in a full service, luxury, doorman building, and the unit is up on the 15th floor. It's about 1100 square feet with a terrace and a wood burning fireplace. TONS of closets. Windowed kitchen is new and it even has a dining room. $5500 a month. No fee.
Yes, those are original hardwood floors.
No shortage of windows
New, windowed kitchen off of dining area.
If You Think You Might Want to Move But Aren't Sure, Go To Open Houses And See What's On The Market. Brokers hold open houses every day for rental properties, and anyone is free to check them out. This is a good way to gage the market without wasting someone's time. Brokers are very busy people and taking up their time because you want to look at pretty apartments is in poor taste.
Start Looking Three Weeks to a Month Before You Have To Move. Manhattan's rental market moves fast and landlords will only entertain applications for people who are looking to move sooner, rather than later. No one is going to hold an empty apartment for you for a month or two. With a good broker you can easily find the right place in an afternoon, and usually after seeing only a handful of places, assuming they fit your specs for size, price and location.
The Listed Price Has Already Been Adjusted For The Market. I've seen strange amount of people come to my open house for a $2950 one bedroom and ask if they could have it for $2500. Um, no. Renting an apartment is not like buying a car -- there's no shame in paying the sticker price. The listed price reflects current market conditions. True, you can always apply and ask for $100 less, and you might get it. But a $3000 apartment is priced that way for a reason.
Different Neighborhoods Get You More or Less For Your Money. This seems really obvious, but in Manhattan if you want a killer place for little money, go to the Upper East Side. Chelsea, The Village, SoHo/Tribeca and parts of Gramercy are going to be more. See chart below for January 2009 average rents.
Be Logical About What's a Dealbreaker And What's Not. If you're a young professional who works and plays hard, goes away most weekends to ski, etc., do you really need a dishwasher? Also, wouldn't a live-in super play the same role as a doorman, in most cases. Flexibility is key in this market.
Walking into a search with a sense of entitlement because you keep reading that it's a "renter's market" is a quick way to get frustrated. Brokers will do their best to show you exactly what you want, but listen when they offer advice. If they know of a perfect loft that's $200 more than your stated budget, and you can afford it, check it out. A perfect place in Midtown East as opposed to Murray Hill? They might be on to something. Entertain the idea of paying a fee, even a discounted one, even if you started looking at no fee units. You may find exactly what you're looking for.
If You're Seriously Thinking of Buying: Talk to a mortgage broker before you start looking at places. You have to know how much you pre-qualify for before you even go to one open house. You may think you can afford an $800,000 apartment, but lending is tighter than you may realize so know before you go. Brokers will ask you anyway, and it shows that you're serious if you know where you stand.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I'm going to hit the six-month mark in a few days, so I figured those following along with Fetus Watch: 2009 at home would like an updated shot of The Bump.
I have to admit that I think belly photos are cliche and corny, (Don't even get me started about "pregnancy portraits," especially when they involve nudity. Seriously, who wants to see that?) but some of you wanted to see one, so...TA DA! Is it just me or does it look like I swallowed a basketball?
Those black stretchy leggings are the last pair of pants that I own that still fit me. (Thanks, Jayne!) I'm fighting the urge to buy some maternity clothes, or at least pants.
Over the past week or so I've started waking up at 5:30 a.m., raring and ready to go. I've never been a super early riser -- and certainly not voluntarily -- but as I get deeper into my second trimester I'm up with the sun. I'm so alert that if I were asked to do Calculus equations, I probably could.
This morning I decided not to fight it, and methinks I'll keep this attitude for the next few weeks. It's 7:45 a.m. now, and in the past two hours I've answered e-mails, sent out assignments for the writing class that I teach, showered, dried my hair, flipped through the Financial Times (which has suddenly started showing up at my front door as opposed to in the lobby) and made a point to take my prenatal vitamin, so that I don't forget later on.
People say that the crack of dawn is good for writing, so I'll see how that goes tomorrow. I haven't watched the sun rise since my days working overnights at the AP, and when you're not forced to watch them they're actually quite nice.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I'm all about taking photos, and I found a few on my iPhone this morning that are worth posting.
The shot above was taken in the Union Square Green Market. There is a booth from upstate New York that sells amazing bacon with all sorts of spices in it. I'm not really a bacon/sausage/nitrate kind of gal, but it is pretty good.
A few weeks ago TR's phone died and he had to call me when he was out and about. A day or so later I found this Post-It note with my number on it. I'm not sure which is stranger: the fact that it's on Billboard.com paper (he doesn't even work there) or that I'm simply referred to as "wife."
This was taken a few weeks ago when I was waiting to have drinks at The Carlyle Hotel with some friends. After 10 years in New York City I'm surprised it took me so long to get there. Awesome place, all around.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
The elevator doors opened onto the 10th floor, where I live, and 10 very small children, all under the age of 5 and many in footsie pajames, were running around and playing in the halls. One kid was on a small scooter. The parents were milling around, having a coffee klatch. "Welcome to chaos!" one mother said to me as I sauntered by. This is not the first time I have been greeted by this scene.
I understand that living on the Upper East Side comes with this sort hazard. My building is in the P.S. 6 school district, so it's crawling with kids, as well as some very exotic dogs. I also know that my building is very clean, and has wide, well-lit, carpeted hallways that are perfect for afternoon games of dodgeball.
I also know that a basic tenet of renting in New York City is that one is entitled to what is called "quiet enjoyment." This is Leasing 101, and I deal with it all the time. It's a big reason why some luxury buildings don't allow pianos.
How does one handle a gaggle of screaming children, and their parents, who have mistaken the common areas as a playground? I understand small children need to let off steam, but in less than four months I'm going to have a newborn, and loud kids and my sleeping bean are not going to mix. Anyone who's been on the receiving end of one of my tongue lashings have retreated with slightly less self esteem, but I hate to go negative.
I was raised by a Russian mother who didn't allow us to run around screaming like banshees, and this was in a house in the suburbs, where the neighbors probably couldn't hear us anyway. Is it wrong to tell parents these days to muzzle their kids, or at least take them to a park? What's the protocol in this age of Time Outs and I'm OK You're OK?
Epilogue: I sorted through the mail, put my coat back on and headed down to Murray Hill for my movie. In the elevator back to the lobby, the door opened on the 7th floor. There, a school-aged girl was riding her bike in the hall (with a helmet!) while her toddler sister and a free-roaming Akita dog chased after her. The mother leaned against a wall, flipping through a magazine.
Friday, February 20, 2009
The folks in my office just found the above video of me on You Tube, and everyone's having a good laugh about it.
The backstory: Back in September 2006 I went to a journalism job fair, but when I got there it was mostly for broadcast. I was a print person at the time and no one seemed interested in talking to me. I did, however, get lots of free pens and sticky notes.
Unsure of what to do with myself when I was all dressed up with good hair, I noticed that The Weather Channel was setting up their green screen and letting people try their hand at weather reporting. Apparently you can also rent their gear out for parties, etc.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
What do you think about my little new baby Cletus?
MakeMeBabies.com - What will your baby look like?
According to MakeMeBabies.com. this is what Cletus The Fetus will look like. He kinda looks like Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
This little video has been all around the Internets, but I love it. I'm a huge coffee addict (Yes, even when pregnant! Egads!) and I love that this is in French avec subtitles.
There are other little cartoons as well. Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Last year TR accidentally/on purpose invited me to a gallery opening in Midtown on Valentine's Day. We got mixed up with the address and instead of seeing art, we ended up at Pop Burger on 58th and Fifth. And I don't mean the fancy lounge in the basement, I mean the take out joint at street level. We ended up having a lot of fun so this year for Valentine's we decided to go there again, only this time we brought a fetus!
Afterward we went over to the Ziegfeld theater and watched Coraline in 3D. It's the creepiest children's movie ever but it's awesome. Don't miss it on the big screen, since the 3D totally makes the film.
This meal screams romance! I should note that Pop Burger's shakes are made with real strawberries.
TR even wore a tie! To Pop Burger!
Who's this pale, Baccarat-clad gal?
Saturday, February 14, 2009
One thing that the media overlooks a lot is that not all real estate transactions are sales. The bulk of my income comes from rentals, and in New York City there is a huge and lucrative rental market. Commissions are not as small as people think. A typical rental commission, after the split with your company, is about $1500. I've has them as high as $3000. And you do several deals a month, both large and small.
Real estate takes a very thick skin and a tremendous work ethic. It's not the easy pot of gold that a lot of people seem to think it is. In the suburbs it may be a lazy housewife's hobby, but in New York City it's a full throttle job. Personally, I love the biz, but I'm scrappy, as it is.
The Optimist's Club
Friday, February 13, 2009
I have three vices in this life: 1) Orange Persian cats 2) Louis Vuitton bags and 3) Baccarat. I love how it's not as popular in the U.S. as other jewelry makers and how unique, yet simple, each piece is. Whenever I wear one, I get tons of compliments and everyone asks where they're from.
TR, always the mind reader, got me this purple heart for Valentine's Day. And I haven't even been through battle! It's the perfect addition to my growing collection.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Mom #1: I'm hoping I can catch the bus this morning to David's school. I save so much money taking the bus instead of cabs.
Mom #2: If you can actually get a cab. Whenever I need to get down to 55th and Lex for Josh's school none of these cabs want to take me. They all want to go down to Wall Street. (This is actually untrue, as there are plenty of cabs on 79th and York, and they will take you where ever you would like to go.)
Mom #1: Sometimes I get so frustrated with the cabs that I just call a car service. It's expensive, but at least it's easy.
Mom #2: I hear ya. How on earth am I supposed to get on a bus with a kid and a stroller?
It's a tough question to answer, but she might be able to lighten her load a little if she took off the three-carat rock on her hand. But that's just me.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I'm doing an open house for this place on 85th and Second Avenue this weekend, but if anyone would like to see it before that should let me know.
24th floor, large one bedroom
King sized bedroom
Walls of windows
Tons of light
South and eastern city views
Tons of closets
Gym, pool, sauna
Pets are OK
Monday, February 09, 2009
Today I had the last of the full body sonograms. It was pleasant and right now the little bean is about 13 ounces and 10 inches long. It's still moving around and it's brain is quite large.
This 3D one was my favorite. Look at that jawline! You better work.
This one shows that the fingers are all there, and they can wave hello!
So what about names? We still don't know if it's a boy or a girl, (and it's going to stay that way until I pop it out) and we need something that goes well with "Rosinski." I'm leaning towards Eastern bloc names, something that sounds like an early Bond villain. Ivan? Boris? Andrei? (never to be truncated to Andy, though!)
Oksana for a little girl would be lovely, n'est-ce pas?
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Look who decided to get out of the house! Since it was actually warm out, and since I didn't have to take any clients out, TR and I hit Central Park. (Full set here.) Right after I did an open house for this apartment. Could someone please just buy it? It's a very good deal. I would like to get my Sunday afternoons back...
Heading into the park. I loved how these pigeons were hanging out in front of The Plaza.
It's the duck pond! Filled with mallard ducks! I love ducks. I took a lot of photos of them.
These are mostly male mallards
Here are Mr. and Mrs. Mallard. Did you know that mallards mate for life? It's true.
A good-looking duck
A saxophonist in Central Park is 100% appropriate. He reminded me of Bleeding Gums Murphy.
Here is TR, in shorts (...le sigh...), wondering why his memory card had so little room on it. Perhaps it was all the still lifes he took of those avocados.
A romantical shot of the Mall by the Clamshell
We stumbled across the Central Park Zoo, and, always the animal lover, I wanted to go in. Apparently the zoo only takes cash for admission, and this annoyed me. I never trust an all-cash business!
Me and a sun-bathing sea lion.
It's not easy being a sea lion.
Our first stop was the penguin house. It was much cooler than I expected. They have a lot of penguins! And, those buggers are fast swimmers! I am starting to understand why people are obsessed with penguins. They're all kinds of awesome.
Penguin underwater. TR took this very lucky shot. The lighting sucks in the penguin house.
Penguins hanging out
The snow monkeys are another fun attraction. There are also a bunch of them, even a little baby, and they aren't afraid of humans.
The polar bears were outside but asleep, and the red panda was curled up in an evergreen tree, also napping. In the rain forest exhibit the two-toed sloth was hiding, but the lemurs were in all their screaming glory. (There's a reason they're behind glass, I'm sure.) There is no shortage of pretty birds in the rain forest exhibit, and I'm kind of surprised no one got beaned in the head with one.
These gorgeous guys were everywhere
End of the afternoon. Whenever I see pics like this I am convinced our kid is going to have a very large head. All the more room for his big, genius brain! (Which comes from my side, of course.)
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Perfume commercials are, by nature, dopey, but one of the more brilliant ones came out back in 1990. Chanel introduced a men's fragrance called Egoiste, featuring a bevy of beautiful, angry women shouting "egoiste" at some anonymous guy.
I think we should start using the word "egoiste" more often, perhaps as a substitute for "douchebag." Same connotations, but it sounds so much better, and less Bridge and Tunnel.
In 1994, Chanel came out with Egoisite Platinum. The ad is strange, in a Disney's Fantasia kind of way, but not as genius as the first.
Friday, February 06, 2009
It's time get back to basics on this blog -- party photos! Tonight Erin feted her 28th year of birth, and even me, the pregnant lady, felt compelled to go down to The Dove on Thompson Street and hand over a birthday offering: A Dunkin Donuts gift card! Little known fact: Erin is one of only a handful of my friends who openly appreciates a good bout of junk food. It's perfectly acceptable to suggest a snack at McDonald's with her. She also hearts Dunkin Donuts as much as I do. Lately I've been on a hot chocolate kick. What's your D&D poison?
Super cute Ilana and Erin
While uploading these shots I realized I had a whole set from Erin's birthday two years ago at Happy Ending. You'll notice three things in these shots: 1) I'm pale. February is not my favorite month for birthdays or for being photographed. 2) I'm wearing the same Baccarat necklace at both gatherings. I need more Baccarat in my life. Can a gal ever have too much? 3) We don't age. We moisturize!
Erin liked the card I got her.
See? Pale! February, I shake my fist at you!
Oh yes. Someone gave Erin Jenga for her birthday.
...and we proceeded to pose oddly with it.
Life is full of tough decisions
Sometimes I worry about the photos my kid will one day find of me.