March 24th, 2008
New York City real estate isn’t so rockin’ these days… well, it is depending on your income bracket.
I thought yesterday’s story in the New York Times titled “You Say Recession, I say Reservations!” was an interesting story you should check out. It basically details how the city’s middle class (there’s a middle class here?) is taking back their right to live in this city due to the recent Bear Stearns implosion and all the layoffs happening on Wall Street. Essentially, the nouveau rich are getting screwed and this elusive middle class The Times speaks of is getting an opportunity to buy into the market.
But then there was that story, also in the Styles section, on the ugly doll and I threw the paper out. Hello? I bought an ugly doll for my godson a bajillion years ago?!? Why is this news now?
Anyway, back to the videocast: I spent days researching the Upper West Side and become obsessed with the history of both The Dakota and The Ansonia. On the day we filmed, we tried to get inside of the basement of the Ansonia—where the parties happened—but the current managers of the building weren’t having any of that business. They offered to let us film the lobby, but I wasn’t so interested in that. My head was in that basement. It still is.
March 21st, 2008
I’ve noticed Ebdel Hebti—the pushcart vendor on 23rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues—on a handful of occasions. He’s always yapping with his patrons and tends to light up when he’s got someone around who’s just taken a bite of his eats.
Before the interview, I had no idea he was involved in real estate. I just knew that I wanted to interview a shiskabob guy. When I approached Hebti with my cameraman, he never asked me who I was or where this video would be airing. So he had no information on the fact that I report on real estate — making his connection to the industry particulary random, but a story I figured was meant to be.
Hebti told me that his father is a big developer in Morocco and that he got into building construction because of his family ties. But for personal reasons, he needed to “spread his wings” and come to New York. He’s definitely spreading some good shawarma.
March 20th, 2008
My favorite part of this story was sitting down with writer Patrice Evans. He’s a born and raised New Yorker, and I think that his outlook on segregation is a fascinating one. I’ve always had such a knee-jerk liberal reaction when it comes to the notion (and/or reality of) segregation, and I think his thoughts on the matter shed a fascinating perspective on what’s happening in the city.
Evans and I are now looking at doing a second part to this videocast, one that encompasses dating and segregation and how it pertains to New York City real estate.