BrooklynRowHouse updated

Posted by Steve on Tue, 12/25/2012 - 12:07pm
House: 


While there have been no home improvements to talk about lately at BrooklynRowHouse, mostly due to a terrific trip to Europe this summer followed by a broken ankle I suffered in a motorcycle accident in early fall, the site has undergone a major upgrade to Drupal 7.  While the site looks substantially the same as the old one, it's an entirely new theme/templating system (Omega) which it is claimed degrades better on pads and smartphones.


Extreme Renovations

Posted by Steve on Sat, 12/15/2012 - 12:43pm


If you're one of those homeowners who looks disapprovingly at renovations which destroy the period character of the building, you're gonna need a defebrilator after reading this story.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/18th-century-french-chateau-razed-by-mistake/2012/12/05/7765e3de-3ed9-11e2-8a5c-473797be602c_story.html

18th-century French chateau razed ‘by mistake’ by builders while owner was away

PARIS — Residents of a sleepy French village in Bordeaux have been left dumbfounded after discovering their local 18th-century chateau was completely bulldozed “by mistake.”

The mayor’s office in Yvrac said Wednesday that workers who were hired to renovate the grand 13,000-square-meter (140,000-square-foot) manor and raze a small building on the same estate in southwest France mixed them up.

“The Chateau de Bellevue was Yvrac’s pride and joy,” said former owner Juliette Marmie. “The whole village is in shock. How can this construction firm make such a mistake?”

Local media reported that the construction company misunderstood the renovation plans of the current owner, Russian businessman Dmitry Stroskin, to clean up the manor and restore it to its former baroque glory.

Stroskin was away when the calamity occurred and returned home to discover his chateau, a local treasure boasting a grand hall that could host some 200 people, as well as a sweeping stone staircase — was nothing but rubble.

“I’m in shock ...I understand the turmoil of the community,” local media quoted Stroskin as saying. He told them he plans to build an exact replica of lost manor on the site.


Another story here: http://rt.com/art-and-culture/news/chateau-bellevue-accidentally-destroyed-076/


Hacker's Guide to Wireless Audio

Posted by Steve on Thu, 04/12/2012 - 4:58pm


Okay, it's not really a guide because it's peculiar to my hardware and I don't completely comprehend why it's working and I took a lot of wrong turns to get here.  But it works!

Here's some background: I work from home and I like to have music playing in the background downstairs, not in my office.  For some reason, it takes the edge off the cabin fever having music playing in another room rather than blasting in my face.  At first I did this by tuning in an FM radio station on my receiver in the living room.  Later, I switched to using one of DirecTV's music channels because they're commercial-free and genre-focused so I don't have to listen to a crappy Josh Groban song to hear a nice Derek Trucks Band track.

Last year, I discovered Spotify's streaming music service and became a huge fan -- so much so that when I was asked to install a music system in a friend's wine bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn I went with Spotify and a wireless-enabled laptop, which also let me program his music playlists remotely.

What I really wanted however was a way to play Spotify on my great-sounding living room home entertainment center and to be able to control it remotely from my office upstairs.  If I could do this then not only could I indulge my fickle musical tastes by choosing what's being played but I could also mute the background music during business calls (yes, I play it loud).  My HE center also plays music in the back yard, so bonus.Unknown Object


From the Brooklyn Row House mail sack...

Posted by Steve on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:01pm


I received an email today from a producer of a new home show looking for volunteers with a troublesome room in their house that they want renovated... for free!   A prerequisite is that you must own your place and be within 35 miles of NYC.  You can read the rest in the boilerplate below:


Bay Ridge to get our own Jersey Shore reality show. Lucky us.

Posted by Steve on Sun, 03/04/2012 - 5:41pm


If you ask anyone on the streets of Bay Ridge about Oxygen Network's upcoming Brooklyn 11223 reality show you'll get a blank stare.  Nobody's heard of it.  While it's been filming around Bay Ridge since last September, there have been a lot of Hollywood crews around here lately, from the TV shows Pan Am, Blue Bloods and Law & Order SVU to feature films like White Irish Drinkers and Cop Out.  It was easy for it to get lost in the crowd of bigger budget productions.

But when you tell those folks what the show is about, guess what?  Same blank stare.  Nobody really cares, except for the politicians and community leaders that is.  For them, this show is an affront to Bay Ridge and what The Sopranos was to Italian-Americans.  I can't believe the backlash against it, which has even reached the pages of Huffington Post.  I haven't seen outrage like this since William Friedkin's gay serial killer movie, Cruising, back in the 1980s.  Local bloggers are swinging at shadows, protests have been organized by community groups, advertiser boycotts have been threatened... all of which, of course, serve only to increase the buzz for a low-budget show on a lightly-watched network.  To my knowledge, nobody has actually seen the show.

Premiering on Oxygen on Monday, March 26 at 11PM ET/PT, Brooklyn 11223 is supposed be a "voyeuristic look" into the lives of a group of vapid twentysomething girls whose once rock-solid friendships have been torn apart by betrayal. From the early PR sheet, it "follows the story of two groups of girls fighting a turf war to rule Bay Ridge. Who will win is uncertain, but the stakes have never been higher."  Priceless.


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