Wow - you don't (often) find deer this size in Maine

A reader sent in this picture of a buck killed in Greenwich. I've cropped the hunter's face from the picture for fear that he'd be assaulted by the PETA folks, but it's obvious that deer here are thriving on a diet of thousand-dollar ornamental shrubbery.

Forget my previous suggestion of converting back country white elephants into executive sober houses: think hunting lodges instead.

Yummy

Yummy

Price it, sell it. Or don't — what do I care?

37 Calhoun Drive

37 Calhoun Drive

37 Calhoun Drive has finally sold, for $5.925 million. Its owners tried selling it for $10.950 back in 2010 and, when that failed, took it off the market until 2013, when they returned at $11.950, with the result seen today.

There is of course nothing shabby about a nearly-six-million sale, but but why wait eight years if you've decided to move?

I declined to attend last evening's GAR Christmas Party at the Riverside Yacht Club due to a reluctance to be pelted with canapes by my colleagues (and I was warned that I would be), but I'll point out that, while  I've discussed this property several times over the years, and poked fun at its inflated pricing aspirations, this past June I noted its last price reduction and suggested that it was approaching bargain status. Maybe that bit of publicity helped? Maybe the same is true of some other properties languishing on the market?

I'm told that at least one local branch manager has defended me to his troops when my name occasionally comes up during company sales meetings, saying, "Chris is telling our customers what we don't dare to — he's taking the bullet for us". That doesn't translate into coin in my pocket, mind you, but I'm glad that someone's noticed.

 

At some price, almost anything will sell in Greenwich

6 anjdrews farm.jpg

30 Andrews Farm Road, last asking $4.675 million, reports a pending sale. To my eye, it's a hideous assault on the senses, but someone obviously disagrees, and good for them. The place was originally priced at $6.475 way back in 2014, and I suppose this last price must have seemed like a bargain, and perhaps it is. 

I'd have thought that maybe $3.750 might have been a reasonable price, but I'm sure it's going for far more than that. Hey, it's their money.

Maybe his and her blindfolds were included in the price?

Maybe his and her blindfolds were included in the price?

Hop scotch to the pool

Hop scotch to the pool

FAR commizars kill grocery store for north Greenwich residents, but preserve the neighborhood

But so charming!

But so charming!

Our Greenwich P&Z rulers rejected an attempt to allow an exception to the 6,500 sq. ft.limit on store space up at the Banksville shopping center, despite testimony that potential grocer tenants won't move into such an unprofitable size.

I was out showing houses yesterday (there are some good deals out there, once their owners accept reality), so no blogging. But there was certainly news: 

At Tuesday’s P&Z meeting, North Greenwich Associates, LLC, represented by Tom Heagney, proposed a change in zoning for the shopping center and three other properties from the LBR-1 zone to the LB zone.  The LLC is registered to Stanford Guy Sutton whose family has owned the property for 30 years.
The change would make additional permitted uses available, and allow greater FAR.
“Over the last four years, the shopping center has been completely redone,” Heagney said, adding that the property owners also replaced the septic system, which is in the front parking lot.
Mr. Heagney met with resistance on his request for the zoning change from LBR1 to LB.
The P&Z chair Richard Maitland said the current POCD encourages re-evaluating existing LBR zoning regulations, which would make the commission less inclined to change zoning.
The proposed zoning change would result in increased FAR, and the commission was reluctant to let that happen, saying they did not want to the see the buildings altered or added on to.
“It has to be within the existing building,” Maitland said.
“Banksville gets a portion of its character from those small buildings. That’s what makes it a village,”  [Margarita Alban P&Z member from Cos Cob] said. “The shopping center being fixed up makes it look like a village center and I don’t want to risk losing those small buildings on the other side of North Street. It gives us that New England village feel.”
Heagney said his client had tried unsuccessfully, under existing zoning, to entice a supermarket to fill in the former IGA space, but with the current FAR the space was not attractive.
“They listed with three separate commercial brokerage firms,” Heagney said of his client. “They reached out to various regional and national smaller scale markets and found that even that 6,500 sq ft was too small for their use.”
The commissioners suggested that rather than rezone to LB, Heagney propose some different uses from Use Group 4, which includes funeral parlors, health centers, hospitals, walk-in medical clinics, homes for the aged, sanitariums or convalescent homes, indoor places of assembly, places of worship, print shops, newspaper establishments, radio and TV stations and schools.

Funeral homes and homes for the aged would both be excellent uses up there, because the lack of a place to buy groceries has killed the market for houses up at the end of North Street, and the current owners will surely die in place.

No one was proposing a 100,000 sq.ft. food bazaar, but a 6.500 sq.ft. food store is too small to be profitable, which is why the original IGA shut down. It's all very well that Ms. Alban enjoys her view of this "quaint village" when she makes an occasional drive-by, but she doesn't live there. Those who do probably don't appreciate her efforts to protect them from themselves. 

Toxic masculinity: 2-year-old tackles his sister's wrestling opponent

Pretty funny. 

Don't mess with this 2-year-old's sister.
While his sister participated in a wrestling match, a 2-year-old Indiana boy sprinted onto the mat to help her out.
The young Ryan Prendergast thought his 5-year-old sister Ruby was in danger, which caused him to run over and tackle his sister's opponent, according to HuffPost.

This keeps up, I'm going to start losing respect for our back country betters

Car owner's darwin award 

Car owner's darwin award 

Two more luxury cars stolen from their clueless owners.

A 2016 Range-Rover was stolen from a driveway on the 500 block of Round Hill Road.
A 2016 Mercedes-Benz was stolen from a driveway on the 30 block of Cliffdale Road in the northwest corner of town. Both cars had keys inside them when they were stolen.

Buy now, sell (much) later

36 Brookridge Drive

36 Brookridge Drive

Notwithstanding a reader's positive experience flipping a condo at 73 Pheasant Run (Weaver Street - I'll write about it soon), the general experience of Greenwich buyers who purchase a home, fix it up, and then try to sell it shortly thereafter has been negative. Case in point is 36 Brookride Drive, purchased in 2011 for $2.770, and reported as under contract today — current asking price, $2.495 million. 

The purchasers, according to the listing, redid the kitchen and baths and added a new roof and a generator, then put it back in the market in 2013 at $3.475 million. I haven't seen the place since brother Gideon had the listing, and sold it, back in 2011, so I can't vouch for the improvements, but they obviously weren't sufficient to convince buyers to pay for them until now, a million dollars (less) later. 

Nothing wrong with buying a house you like and fixing it up — in fact, as a buyer's representative I heartily encourage it, but my advice is to make those improvements as an "investment" in your own enjoyment of the property and not as a means to make a profit. The value of the land the house sits on may increase, but the house itself, including that new kitchen and master bath, will almost certainly depreciate.

A reworked kitchen (with countertop microwave) did nothing, even with the addition of an expired cow

A reworked kitchen (with countertop microwave) did nothing, even with the addition of an expired cow

Update: back in February, I wrote about this property after it raised its price from $3.150 to $3.250. I suggested at that time that increasing the asking price of a house that had failed to sell at a lower price was a dubious technique, and, at least for this home, that proved right.

12 iPhones stolen from Greenwich Avenue store? How?

Scoundrel Time

Scoundrel Time

I retired from lawyering long ago and, despite my career shift to real estate, I'm no longer current with (brazen) thievery techniques, so I'm mystified how a trio of shoplifters could steal a dozen phones from the Apple store. When I've visited there, there's always been at least one "greeter" at the entrance, usually more, and the items on display have been cabled to the tables. Are there are phones, unchained, in the shelving to the left? Even if that's the case, where were those door-folks?

Bizarre.

 

As though we needed another reason to abandon the Paris Accord

And then there's the methane recapture proposal in California (no shit — actual photo)

And then there's the methane recapture proposal in California (no shit — actual photo)

We already knew that the Accord's call for a 2-degree (celsius) reduction in global temperature is insufficient-by-half to meet the demands of "experts" – it was the result of fierce negotiations between rich and poor nations, and one that will not stop the earth from reaching the "irreversible tipping-point" set by settled science, and thus a meaningless (and unachievable) compromise. But here's the next step: a 40% tax on meat, and a 20% tax on milk.

[For countries] looking to meet demands set forth by the Paris Agreement, a meat tax could be invevitable.
"As implementation of the Paris climate agreement progresses we're highly likely to see government action to reduce the environmental impact of the global livestock sector," Maria Lettini, director of FAIRR, told the Guardian. "On the current pathway we may well see some form of meat tax emerge within five to 10 years."
In November, an Oxford University team conducted a study and concluded that adding a 40 percent tax on meat and a 20 percent tax on milk would pay for the environmental and health damage believed to be caused by the meat and dairy industries.

"World to end: women, minorities [and the poor] hardest hit"."

New rule: safety signs, "Warning, this bridge designed by Purdue Engineering graduate"

It might not have met standard engineering standards, but it did self-identify as a bridge, and thus encompassed an inclusive standard that welcomed diversity and "holistic, intuitive knowledge"

It might not have met standard engineering standards, but it did self-identify as a bridge, and thus encompassed an inclusive standard that welcomed diversity and "holistic, intuitive knowledge"

(Feminist, duh) head of Purdue's Engineering education department claims that rigorous academic standards demean gays and persons of color.

Donna Riley, who previously taught engineering at Smith College for 13 years, published an article in the most recent issue of the journal Engineering Education, arguing that academic rigor is a “dirty deed” that upholds “white male heterosexual privilege.”
"Scientific knowledge itself is gendered, raced, and colonizing."  
Defining rigor as “the aspirational quality academics apply to disciplinary standards of quality,” Riley asserts that “rigor is used to maintain disciplinary boundaries, with exclusionary implications for marginalized groups and marginalized ways of knowing.”
“One of rigor’s purposes is, to put it bluntly, a thinly veiled assertion of white male (hetero)sexuality,” she writes, explaining that rigor “has a historical lineage of being about hardness, stiffness, and erectness; its sexual connotations—and links to masculinity in particular—are undeniable.”
Riley also argues that academic rigor can be used to exclude women and minorities, saying, “Rigor may be a defining tool, revealing how structural forces of power and privilege operate to exclude men of color and women, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, first-generation and low-income students, and non-traditionally aged students.”
"[S]cientific knowledge itself is gendered, raced, and colonizing,” asserting that in the field of engineering, there is an “inherent masculinist, white, and global North bias...all under a guise of neutrality.”
To fight this, Riley calls for engineering programs to “do away with” the notion of academic rigor completely, saying, “This is not about reinventing rigor for everyone, it is about doing away with the concept altogether so we can welcome other ways of knowing. Other ways of being. It is about criticality and reflexivity.”
“We need these other ways of knowing to critique rigor, and to find a place to start to build a community for inclusive and holistic engineering education,” she concludes.

The country has gone insane.

UPDATE: I thought I remembered this lady. I wrote about her new approach to learning back in April, when she was first appointed to her position. Sheesh.