Two contracts reported

260 Stanwich Rd

260 Stanwich Rd

260 Stanwich Road, 2 acres in a 1-acre zone (I'm guessing it isn't sub dividable) asking price of $1.8 million. It was market as both a resident and land, and it's the land listing that's being reported as under contract. Not that the choice of which listing to report is controlling, but it's interesting to note that the house was built in 1980 and is already considered obsolete.

11 Crescent

11 Crescent

And over in Riverside, 11 Crescent Road, $2.295 million, has also found a buyer. It sits on a 1/2 acre which, for Riverside, is considered a large lot. Given current prices in this section of town, the price seems about right.

Nude? Not for prudes.

Germans aren't Canadians — or Americans

Germans aren't Canadians — or Americans

Intolerance of nude bodies in gym changing rooms swells among millennials, as this Canadian swimmer has learned.

It never occurred to the 67-year-old healing facilitator and former engineer that it was inappropriate to take all his clothes off in the locker room to shower and change.
But the South Shore municipality informed swimmers in its November newsletter that nudity is forbidden in changing rooms.
“The city would like to remind users of the public pools that in the changing rooms, they must be clothed, covered up or use the cubicles or toilets,” aquatic supervisor Dominique Lavigne wrote in an email to Bérard after he sent a query about the new rules.
Locker-room etiquette will get even more complicated two years from now, when Brossard opens a new aquatic centre with a universal changing room, rather than separate ones for men and women.
Lavigne noted that part of the reason the city has banned nudity is to get pool users accustomed to the idea that they have to cover up in the locker room.
Universal changing rooms are a growing trend as communities seek to make recreational facilities more gender-inclusive and responsive to the needs of people with disabilities, who might need to be accompanied by a member of the opposite sex.
From the YMCA in Calgary’s Quarry Park neighbourhood to the University of Guelph, universal, gender-neutral changing rooms, with cubicles where users can change in privacy, are becoming increasingly common.
The trend follows bitter legal battles in the United States over access to locker rooms for transgender students.
But users in the habit of peeling off their clothes without a second thought complain the increase in inclusivity is coming at the cost of less individual freedom.
Bérard, who swims laps at the Antoine-Brossard pool two mornings a week, says there’s nothing shameful about the human body, and that you can’t take a proper shower unless you’re naked.
“I’m all for respect, but when I’m taking my shower, I don’t want to wear my bathing suit,” he added.
[snip]
“It seems to be fear-based,” he said of the new rules.
But signs popping up at Montreal-area pools warning users to cover up suggest there’s a generational shift in what’s considered acceptable.
CBC’s Baroness von Sketch Show skewered that difference in its sketch Locker Room, portraying women over 40 as totally comfortable with their nudity while under-40s were horrified by seeing older women parade their less-than-perfect bodies.
While tolerance for nudity seems to be decreasing in North America — in changing rooms, anyway — that’s not the case in northern Europe, where naked swimmers rinse off in coed showers before entering the pool and nude family saunas are a perfectly acceptable activity.
Danes, who have family nudist nights and many beaches where clothing is optional, are “the most shameless people in the world,” writes British journalist Helen Russell, author of The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country.
“The result of all this embarrassment-free living? Danes have the highest level of contentment on the planet (so says the UN World Happiness Report) and don’t worry too much about what they look like,” she claimed in Britain’s Telegraph.

In Germany, nude sunbathing was considered a way to protest the authoritarian governments of, first, the Nazis (who condemned it as a Jewish plot to destroy the morals of pure Aryans) and later, the communist dictators. Today, as in Denmark, it's just a normal way to enjoy life. Not so in our country.

Americans have always had a weird attitude towards nudity, loving it in films and publications while shrinking from the real thing. Now that absurd reaction seems to have spread to Canada's young adults. I blame global warming.

If it weren't for the snow, I'd suspect this was Florida Family gone wild

Oh, Canada!

Oh, Canada!

Five people who were wearing only their birthday suits in Alberta in sub-zero temperatures abducted a couple and their six-week old infant.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Laurel Scott said the mother, their baby and the woman's father had been abducted from a home in Nisku, Laduc County, at around 9.30am and forced into a BMW against their will last Monday. 
It's believed the suspects who were all naked despite the extreme wintry conditions had been having breakfast and drinking trippy tea one of them had brought back from India which kicked off the 'whole crazy spell,' a relative told The National Post.

So while I'm spending my day showing houses, the folks up north are having all the fun. Hardly seems fair.

A new listing in Old Greenwich, and a sale

7 Binney Lane

7 Binney Lane

The new listing is 7 Binney Lane, at $4.250 million. This was a Mark Obrien project back in the day, and sold for $4.950 in 2007 after just 14 days on the market. 2007, it turned out, was not the time to buy property in Greenwich, as the new owners discovered when they put it back on the market in 2009 at $5.195, and sold it for $3.925 in 2014. Will those buyers; these sellers, fare better? I'm guessing they will, because the market hit was taken several years ago and, while the lot this sits on is not ideal, the house itself works nicely, and Ledge is a great neighborhood.

11 Lighthouse Lane

11 Lighthouse Lane

Around the corner from Ledge, 11 Lighthouse Lane has sold for $3.885 million, on an asking price of $3.995. Pretty good.The sellers won the land they built on back in 2005, when it was listed for $1.749, and they bid $2.135. Bidding war winners rarely make out, in my experience, but a good site in an excellent Old Greenwich neighborhood apparently proved the exception.

One maybe, one definitely not

14 Chateau Ridge.jpg

14 Chateau Ridge Lane, which unsuccessfully sought $4.2 million in 2011, is "new" to the market today at $2.425. The listing notes that, despite title being held by a bank, this is not a distress sale, but rather a property once owned by an executive at that bank. Not a terrible house at the price range, if you can tolerate its distant location. Maybe $2.1?

of course, it does have the zebra, with barbells, so maybe that asking price is right

of course, it does have the zebra, with barbells, so maybe that asking price is right

18 Dwight lane: luxury are us

18 Dwight lane: luxury are us

18 Dwight Lane, on the other hand, is a laugher at $2.1 million. A foreclosure reclaimed by the lender in March, 2017 for its debt of $1,359,070, the listing describes it as "completely renovated". Uh huh. There's another, larger house included in this disaster, but you'll want to subtract the cost of razing it, rather than including it in the "value".

little dump on the prairie

little dump on the prairie

good luck getting a c/o for this deck

good luck getting a c/o for this deck

This from the woman who swore that "Indivisible Greenwich" was a non-partisan organization

madame defarge-Swomley knits a pussy hat

madame defarge-Swomley knits a pussy hat

All the hate mail sent my way should be returned to sender.

Indivisible held its third all member meeting on Sunday night at Eastern Middle School Joanna Swomley welcomed a crowd of several hundred, and told them that as a group they are “quite a force” for change.
“We have a president who asserts that the press is the enemy of the people, promotes violence against CNN and journalists, does not condemn attacks on peaceful protesters or minority groups. We have a president who flouts the rule of law, most recently with the outrageous pardon of Joe Arpaio. His administration is dismantling the EPA, civil rights, and voting protections,  consumer protections. The list continues,” she said. “And he emboldens white supremacists, giving way to the significant rise in hate groups and to the bullying that is going on in our schools.”
Swomley said Indivisible, with 6,000 local chapters across the US, is the most viable means to stop Donald Trump’s extreme agenda.
“We Indivisible groups across the country have played a role in this remarkable accomplishment. Eight months in, despite control in both houses of Congress the president’s legislative agenda has been thwarted,” she added.
Swomley said upcoming  priorities will be defending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), fighting a tax cut bill, possibly healthcare again, and standing against hate.
Joanna Swomley welcomed several hundred people to the third all-member meeting of Indivisible Greenwich. Sept 10, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager
Indivisible Greenwich’s Nerlyn Pierson said that in Greenwich, “A group of hard right Republicans are trying to take over our school board. The report that they put together in support of charter change specifically states that this, a take over of the Board of Education, would drive an examination of the platform of each party,  perhaps even encourage each party to develop a version of their party’s national education platform – something that neither has been able to do to date. That is going on in our town.”
Swomley said 43 members of Indivisible and MarchOn are running for RTM.
Also, she said, Indivisible supports candidates Drew Marzullo and Howard Richman, as well as Republican Peter Bernstein, who, she said, “Stood against the attempted takeover of the Board of Education and paid a price.
US Senator Murphy introduced Sandy Litvack, who is married to Indivisible’s Joanna Swomley.
“Talking about Disney, I have to tell you two things. One is when people talk about difficulties – about dealing with Hartford. I dealt with the French on the restructuring of Euro Disney! That’s tough,” Litvack said to a chorus of laughter.
“Donald Trump is not on the ballot, but who he is, and how you feel about him is on the ballot, and where candidates stand on that issue is important,” Litvack said. “I stand very clearly. Donald Trump has denigrated the office of the  White House. He is a disgrace and he is unfit to hold the office,” he continued.  “Where my opponent stands, we’ll have to find out.”
“The focus on the mill rate – that’s a myopia. We all love Greenwich and the way to do this is through the efficient management of the town. We have candidates running for the RTM and BET. And if we can turn this town blue, we can deal with the entire quality of life.”

Just in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

First Congregational Church, "the oldest church in Greenwich", to host drag queen performance.

That’s right: Greenwich’s oldest church is hosting a drag show.
Framed as a cabaret, drag queens Tobehere and Vod KaStinger will belt out standards and Broadway show tunes for an evening of music and fun.
“I do enjoy a good bit of Sinatra,” Tobehere said.
Life is a Cabaret!” is the brainchild of Craig Scott Symons, the church’s director of music. His idea has proven popular: An earlier show at 7:30 p.m. sold out weeks ago, and now the second appearance at 10 p.m. is nearly at capacity.
“What’s better than one drag queen? Two,” Symons said. “People are just excited to have something outside the box here.”
Last Sunday, Rev. Richard S. DenUyl, Jr., the church’s senior pastor, gave a sermon entitled “Rainbow God” in preparation for the event. In light of all the sexual assault accusations that have dominated the national news cycle lately, part of the speech slanted toward solemnity, emphasizing the issue of gender inequality and its troubling ramifications.
But it also had a hopeful tone. Through a close reading of “Genesis 1: 26, 27,” as well as other Bible passages, DenUyl made the case that despite how the patriarchy presents the Christian God, he is not singularly male in form. And because the Old Testament claims that God made humanity in his image, he said, we also have elements of both genders inside of us.
He positioned drag queens as a force that puts pressure on the gendered norms we have internalized, and went so far as to say that “what they do is nothing short of ministry.”
“I think it’s funny and it’s playful, but it’s also doing something powerful,” DenUyl told Greenwich Time. “It’s reminding people that we’re more connected than we think.”
Over the phone, DenUyl said that gender stereotypes have an impact on our outlook, especially for men, because they feel the need to perform their gender more than women. In the past, when the Reverend invited Tobehere to sing at staff parties, he watched as a few fathers seemed uncomfortable at first, shocked by an act that some might call provocative or gender-bending. But soon, they eased into the evening.
“They were just, they were freer,” he remembered. “They walked out of there, their step was different.”
[This used to be described as "light in the loafers", but these are different times. Ed]
In “Rainbow God” — which DenUyl said even the older congregants loved, and which inspired several retired men at brunch to openly talk about their “feminine side” — the Reverend emphasized the importance of constant reformation, so that the church’s values continue to evolve with the times. He cited a famous quote by theologian Karl Barth that recommends a Christian have a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other.

I left the First Congo many years ago when they bowdlerized their hymn book by removing all "militant" hims like "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and substituted what were claimed to be Native American ditties. The Indians were animists, and if a Christian church thinks that a paen to rocks and weasels is the moral equivalent of a song of praise to the eternal truth of Christ the savior, then that church has lost its purpose.

Newspapers nothwithstanding,

But I do hope the remaining congregation enjoys getting in touch with its feminine side.

UPDATE: Just to be clear here, it's the trendiness of all this I object to, not the idea that we're all God's children. There's room for (almost) all of us in those many rooms, and there may even be same-sex toilets, but observing the mainstream Christian church decline into a morass of cultural relativism and murky new-speak is ... discouraging.

Geeze, I leave you guys on your own for a couple of days and you blow it!

Congratulations, Honey, you're Third Selectman!

Congratulations, Honey, you're Third Selectman!

Seems as though the Move On crowd emerged from their tunnels and took over the town. Too bad, but at least you can document this election as the final turning point of Greenwich's decline. The state rounded that corner in 1990, when it imposed an income tax on residents and began eliminating any advantage we had over New York and New Jersey. That new money freed the legislators to double the state payroll and spending, while setting up a multi-billion-dollar pension fund deficit, and the rest will be history.

Greenwich will now almost certainly adopt the huge long-term borrowing local Democrats have advocated so that we can have the things we want now, and pay for them later. Once we break up the local schools, we'll be Stamford, without the charm.

One final thought on the successful efforts of Indivisible Greenwich to take over the government: the group was formed by the wife of our Democrat candidate for First Selectman, after she'd joined the Pussy Hat brigade down at Washington's "Move On" parade. If Mayor DeBlasio's wife had announced the formation of a Soros-backed group, Indivisible New York, would you believe her if she said the group would be non-partisan, and without a political agenda? 

It will take a while for that new agenda to take its toll, but Greenwich as a long term proposition looks dubious from here. 

Unfortunate timing: I'll out of circulation for a week

Gone fishing, and such, with Hugh Glass

Gone fishing, and such, with Hugh Glass

I'm off today to a Maine hunting camp which, my Riverside friend, a Maine native, promised me, has neither cellphone nor Internet service. When I accepted his invitation a month ago I had no idea that I was going to spark a flurry of national media attention the week of departure (from Vogue, which is irrelevant, but also the NYT, which, amazingly, still is, over a few posts about deranged Pussy Hats invading our RTM. I committed to the excursion, and I'm delighted to be going, but now I'm sorry I'll be missing the excitement, and also concerned that my newfound enemies will think I've gone into hiding. Not so: I'll be back, and in fact, if I can find an Internet hotspot — surely there's a McDonald's within 20 miles of anywhere in America, even rural, northern Maine — I'll check in on Sunday, when this backward state forbids hunting. 

I'm worried about renegade comments which are bound to come in after the Times' article is published (this weekend?). I assume Vogue's 30 readers have already weighed in, so no problem there, but who knows with the Times? I've seen other sites' comment sections degrease into a hateful stew of vitriol, and I'd prefer than not happen. For now, I'll leave registered users' comments unmoderated, but I'll try to check back in a few days and see how it's going.

If I do have to shut things down, hold those comments, and we'll resume the debate a week from today.

Enjoy the election.