Well, that's a nice change

Happy ramadan!

Happy ramadan!

Rex Tillerson refuses to host an Islamic celebratory dinner, and the Left's nipples are all atwist.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declined a request to host an event to mark Islam's holy month of Ramadan, two US officials said, apparently breaking with a bipartisan tradition in place with few exceptions for nearly 20 years.
Since 1999, Republican and Democratic secretaries of state have nearly always hosted either an iftar dinner to break the day's fast during Ramadan or a reception marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the month, at the State Department.
Tillerson turned down a request from the State Department's Office of Religion and Global Affairs to host an Eid al-Fitr reception as part of Ramadan celebrations, said two US officials who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
According to an April 6 memo seen by Reuters, the office - which typically initiates such events - recommended that Tillerson hold an Eid al-Fitr reception.
His rejection of the request suggests there are no plans this year for any high-profile Ramadan function at the State Department. The month of fasting and prayer for Muslims gets under way in many countries on Saturday.

Just yesterday, Homeland Security Chief John Kelly said that if we knew what he did about current terrorist threats we wouldn't leave our house (unarmed, anyway). Point is, these people are at war with us, and to pretend otherwise is delusional - Our Secretary of State surely reads the same security briefings as our Homeland Security Chief does, so for him to hold hands with our enemies and play kissey kissey is exactly the wrong message we want to send: apparently we've been doing the wrong thing for 18 years, so I'm glad we've now cleared that up.

(By the way, find and identify the two State Department "officials" who complained to Reuters, then fire them).

The end of the zebra? Not hardly, but it's a start

One block over and you're history, honey – SORRY

One block over and you're history, honey – SORRY

A friend alerts me that Cindy Sikorsky Rinfret is moving off Greenwich Avenue to cheaper digs on Lewis Street vacated, tellingly, by a hedge fund headed south.

It would be grossly unfair to blame this Russian helicopter-heiress for everything that's gone wrong in Greenwich over the past decades: Lily Pulitzer pioneered the path to destruction long before Sikorsky first alight here, but she did play her part, and her fellow Greenwich wannabes have combined to effectively ruin half of what we realtors are tying to sell.

So thanks a lot.

I've never been quite comfortable with the ethics of this

The owner of 106 Lockwood Road in Riverside is offering agents a 4%, rather than 2.5% commission if we'll sell his spec project for him. That's generous of him, and I suppose that, so long as an agent discloses the premium to his client, it's okay, but still .... buyers agents owe a fiduciary duty to their clients to serve them with absolute, undivided loyalty, so how do we reconcile that duty with an opportunity to push a house that puts almost twice the normal take into our pocket? Shouldn't we insist that the seller reduce his price so that our client, not us, benefits?

Fortunately I don't have a client right now who's interested in this price range in this part of town, so I can keep my musings confined to a quiet holiday- Friday afternoon, and not worry about it too much, but it does make me wonder.

The Owner has decided to give all the Buyer's agents an amazing incentive to sell their property now.  They are offering the selling agent a 4.0% commission of the sales price of this new construction home until July 15, 2017.  Yes, 4.0%!  That is like selling a property worth almost $6,000,000 with a 2.5% commission rate.  
So, don't wait.  Bring your buyers and show them this new construction home today.  Easy to show - call the listing broker for an appointment & then use the key box on the front door. 
You don't see this opportunity very often in today's market, so take advantage of it now.  I know you and your client will appreciate all this home has to offer.



Nice house — wise buy?

6 Plow Lane (off Church) has closed at $5.155 million. That's a substantial discount from the spec builder's original ask of $6.250, but sometimes discounts from illusory prices are deceiving. This price is a new high for the street, and there remain three spec, or nearly-new houses within a few hundred yards from here still going begging. When their prices eventually drop, and they're already below this one's, it will hurt.

It's a very nice house: inside, at least, but my advice is to buy location, not necessarily the house — only one of them holds value.

Of course, given time, even baby BRUSsels sprouts will grow

Of course, given time, even baby BRUSsels sprouts will grow

Another Fountain folly

Oh hell

Oh hell

Plaza Hotel may be on the verge of rescue.

Tied up for years because of its current owner's legal troubles, a Saudi and, implausibly enough, an Israeli company, seem poised to take it over.

As I admit to my own clients, my family has been blowing real estate deals since the early 1600s when, landing with the Dutch at the foot of Manhattan, we decided to settle on Staten Island instead of exploring the possibilities of the land at their feet (in fairness, there were Indian troubles at the time, and Staten Island offered more safety, but still ...). Most egregious, though, was my builder - great-grandfather's decision in the latter-half of the 1800s to turn down an offer of a plot of land in central Manhattan because of the swamp across the street: "anything you build here will have a wet basement", he is supposed to have said.

The swamp is now Central Park's pond, and the Plaza has pumps operating in its basement 24-hours a day. You weren't gonna pull a fast one on ol' Great-Gran-Pa!