NYC's Most Expensive House

Posted by Steve on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 1:44am


I don't know which is more remarkable: the price tag or the appreciation.

The 18,500-square-foot, 103-year-old Henry T. Sloane Mansion at 18 East 68th Street just went on sale for $64 million, the most expensive officially listed house ever in New York. I thought that rocker, Lenny Kravitz, had set the unbeatable bar a couple of years ago when he paid a reported $40 million for the Duke-Semans mansion on Fifth Avenue. But since then there have been several townhouse sales in the $50 mil range. Not surprisingly, many of them are owned by weasels financiers, probably paid for by fat Christmas bonuses.

Since none of us will probably ever set foot in a house this expensive, let's take a virtual tour of this joint.

The outside is nice. Okay, it's a mansion. Maybe it's not the largest or most impressive crib in the neighborhood but, hey? No garage? Where do you store the garbage cans? And for $64 mil I want a second floor deck overlooking the peasants so I can pose like Mussolini. Something maintenance-free, maybe Trex. A few potted plants. Some string lights. Yeah.

The limestone could use a good cleaning. For this scratch, don't you think the sellers could invest in a little curb appeal?

Synchronicity, flashbacks and old photos

Posted by Steve on Sun, 09/21/2008 - 5:37pm


Yesterday was one of those strange "theme" days we all experience from time to time. It began with my neighbor, Betsy, and me taking a trip to an art store on 3rd Ave to get some old Brooklyn photos framed that I'd collected over the past year.

The centerpiece was something I'd bought from shorpy.com, which I'd discovered on the recommendation of a forum regular on Old House Web. It's a shot of a freezing cold, February day in Brooklyn Heights circa 1908 with the Manhattan Bridge under construction in the distance. The detail on the photo was mesmerizing (click here to see what I mean).

I bought a large copy of it. My intent was to frame it myself. After all, if I can construct cabinets and stained glass, how difficult could it be? However, as I started researching the techniques online I kept seeing comments recommending a web site, http://www.customframesolutions.com/, which would build the frames for you for about the same price as stick building them. You provide the dimensions and they ship it to you in two to four business days. I priced out a nice frame, matte and foam board for around a hundred bucks. Pretty good deal.

In 5 years I'll make another plan

Posted by Steve on Tue, 09/16/2008 - 11:08pm
House: 


Want to know how out of shape you are? Paint your house. Between squatting down to cut in baseboards and torquing your body into dramatic poses while standing at the top of a ladder with a roller, you'll find out. Do it for several days and you'll have lactic acid boiling in muscles you didn't even know you had.



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