NYC’s Top 10 Diners

New York City is proud to be home to some of the world’s best chefs and hard-to-get-into restaurants that require reservations weeks in advance. Yet sometimes we just want to kick it at a good ole American diner, with its 28-page menu, all-night breakfasts, pleather booths and single $ price point. Hey, it’s New York. We’ve got those too. Take a diner tour this winter and fill up with some comfort food.

  1. Park Plaza Diner in Brooklyn Heights offers just about everything you can imagine in their extensive menu, plus there’s an attached sports bar if you’re looking for something a little darker and edgier.
  2. Dizzy’s in Park Slope offers enormous portions of staples like buttermilk biscuits and gravy.
  3. Kelloggs Diner in Williamsburg is open 24 hours and is apparently a sight to see on Halloween night at 4am!

4. Mike’s Coffee Shop in Clinton Hill serves up chicken and waffles, fluffy pancakes, and, yes, coffee, with a mom-and-pop feel.

5. Veselka, Ukrainian for “rainbow,” sees your American diner fare and raises you with pierogi, blintzes and borscht, tipping its hat to the East Village’s Ukranian history.

6. Lexington Candy Shop, despite its Upper East Side location, has absorbed none of the surrounding snobbery, selling lottery tickets at the cash register and liverwurst sandwiches at the table.

7. Waverly Restaurant in the West Village is a traditional greasy spoon, offering triple-decker sandwiches and omelets still in their frying pan 24 hours a day.

8. Utopia Diner on the Upper West Side has a more upper-scale facade, and menu, but it is a neighborhood staple offering a cheeseburger deluxe at just a slightly higher price point.

9. Anopoli in Bay Ridge serves 50’s style sundaes with homemade ice cream–and you can be sure they know what they’re doing, because they’ve been there for 117 years.

10. Tom’s Restaurant There’s really no way to write an article on NYC diners without mentioning the one made into a tourist hotspot by its appearance in nearly every Seinfeld episode.

Source: TimeOut

 

J.Lo Lists 6,500 SF Whitman Duplex Penthouse for $26.95 Million

The most coveted unit at 21 East 26th Street, better known as the Whitman, has been put on the market by Jennifer Lopez, better known as J.Lo, for $26.95 million. The multi-talented singer, actress, fashion designer, dancer, and girlfriend to former Bronx Bomber A-Rod bought the 6,540 square foot, four bedroom, SIX bath (plus two more half baths) penthouse about 3 years ago for $20.16 million. Now, rumor has it that she and the former 3rd baseman are house hunting, causing her to part with this Nomad gem with–check it out–a wine fridge that spans the entire kitchen wall.

Why they wouldn’t want to move into this place, considering the duplex has his and her master baths, tons of terrace space, an amazing open floorplan and a rooftop putting green, we have no idea, but to each hyphenate, his-her own!

Source: Curbed

Photos compliments of the Modlin Group

 

Brooklyn’s Best Brunch Spots

New York is known for many things, not the least of which is the beloved (boozy) brunch. Brooklyn has come into its own with an impressive gastro scene, and you can get your post-party needs met across the borough.

1. Tom’s on Washington Avenue at the Prospect Heights/Crown Heights border may have  a line that extends around the corner, but when the cheerful staff comes around with complimentary coffee, cookies and orange slices, waiting does seem so bad.

2. Grand Army tavern in Boerum Hill offers a bloody mary platter, with two bloodies, two pilsners, and two tiers of seafood, deviled eggs and veggies.

3. Court Street Grocers has perfected the breakfast sammie, then upped the ante to include cabot cheddar, arugula, and Taylor pork roll.

4. Colonie in Brooklyn Heights uses locally sourced ingredients and produce for its grains, grits, omelettes, veggies, and more.

5. Pies ‘n’ Thighs. With a name like that, this Williamsburg restaurant needs no further description.

6. Reynard, also in Williamsburg, is downstairs from Ides, both concepts by Andrew Tarlow.

7. Egg in Williamsburg (are you noticing a trend here?) offers a solid Southern breakfast at a reasonable price, but you can expect a wait.

8. Allswell (again, in Williamsburg) changes its menu daily and posts it to Tumblr. It also offers Cowboy Coffee, a blend of Bourbon, iced coffee, Borghetti and cream.

9. Roberta’s Michelin-starred restaurant in Bushwick offers pizza for brunch–why not?–and seasonal greens grown on their rooftop garden.

10. Sweet Chick, yes, in Williamsburg, will have you battling Bedford Avenue tourists, but its chicken and waffles, steak and eggs, and even vegetarian chicken and waffles make up for it.

Source: TimeOut

 

Should You Renovate Before You Sell?

Many of our clients face the dilemma of whether to make renovations or updates before they sell. Although there are no certainties, in general a renovation will justify a premium while a property in clear need of remodel will sell at a discount. But before you open your wallet, there are some things you should consider first.

  1. Weigh the emotional drain against the financial drain. Renovations are not easy–especially if you’re living in the space in question. If you have a lot of other things on your mind and demanding your time, the stress of renovating may not be worth the extra dollars it can put it your pocket.
  2. Tastes differ. For this reason, many real estate brokers suggest you go generic–grays, whites, nothing flashy–to appeal to as large a segment of the market as possible. Others say that you should add at least some touches to set your property apart. Spending a lot on renovations that are to your specific taste, though, will limit your audience.
  3. Needs differ. If you’re looking at a gut renovation, you need to consider your target market when deciding on a floorplan. Tribeca buyers, for example, will likely prefer an open floorplan, while the UES market may not. Factors like children and lifestyle make different floorplans preferable to different demographics.
  4. Approval can be a nightmare. If you have a particularly strict board, chances are you, as a long-time owner, may have better success in getting renovations approved than whoever buys your property.

Basically, your decisions should depend on your property and your target market. The Stanton Hoch Group knows both of these factors intimately, and would be happy to meet with you for a complimentary advisement session on how to get the most out of your investment. Call us today at 212-769-9857.

 

No U.S. Cities Appear on UBS’s Bubble Risk Index; NYC Declared “Fairly Valued”

With prices continuing to climb in major U.S. cities, it is inevitable to wonder if we’re at risk of another bubble burst. Swiss bank UBS says no, and although there is no such thing as certainly when it comes to financial markets, the Swiss have a reputation of knowing what they’re talking about on the subject. In its annual “bubble list” index released this week, UBS declared that, even though New York is “one of the most expensive markets in the world” it is still “fairly valued.” Prices have climbed 10% since 2013, a healthy increase for investors while still not prohibitive for buyers.

Prices in LA, on the other hand, have climbed 45% since 2012, and San Francisco real estate prices have increased 65% since 2011–which is 15% more than the average city on UBS’s bubble list, but the bank proclaims these markets to be stable notwithstanding due to their strong local economies.

Source: The Real Deal

 

Jon Bon Jovi Picks Up Greenwich Lane Apartment for $19M

Jon Bon Jovi’s real estate dealings have made frequent cameos in the Stanton Hoch Blog, from his 2011 listing of his 6 bedroom, 6 1/2 bath SoHo apartment for $45 million–double what he paid for it–to its price cut to $42 million, then to $37 million. Fast forward a couple of years, and his West Village apartment at 150 Charles Street (same circular couch, mind you) hit the market this past spring for $17.25 million–$4.5 million more than he paid for it a year and a half prior. The price has been cut to $15.95 million, and although he has still to find a buyer, he has reportedly snapped up an apartment in Greenwich Village.

According to the Wall Street Journal, our favorite Jersey boy turned rock star turned real estate mogul has now picked up a 3,951 square foot corner unit at Greenwich Lane, the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital, for $18.94 million. The four bedroom, four bath unit has terrace space and vyoooos–as have all of Bon Jovi’s abodes.

 

Get in On the NYC Oktoberfest Celebrations–Time is Running Out!

It’s the riddle of the Sphinx why the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is actually in September, but we’re happy to say that here in New York, many of the festivities actually extend into the month that the name suggests. Still, you’ll want to button up your lederhosen or lace up your dirndl because this magical season of beer drinking and song singing won’t last all month. Here are some fests to enjoy, starting this weekend.

Munich on the East River, presented by LES favorite Zum Schneider, runs from September 29–October 8. Saturday, September 30th is already sold out, so get your tickets now!

Watermark Oktoberfest bills itself as a “Supercraft Beer Festival” that spans 3 weeks, from September 15th to October 2nd at South Street Seaport. Tickets are free.

Manhattan Bridge Oktoberfest celebrates with beer, pretzels, and polka under the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO on Friday, October 6 from 5-10pm and Saturday, October 7 from 1-10pm.

Loreley, the LES’s outdoor heated beer garden, celebrates Oktoberfest for a full month and a half, through October.

Circle Line Oktoberfest Cruise offers an onboard Oktoberfest on its Bear Mountain Cruise line into the second weekend of November. While you can enjoy beer, brats, and oom-pah music on the boat, note that this cruise no longer drops you off at the Bear Mountain Oktoberfest, which was moved to Anthony Wayne Park.

Bear Mountain Oktoberfest, for those who are game for taking a trip into nature, runs Fridays through Sundays from September 23-October 29 at Anthony Wayne Recreation Area.

 

Do You Wish You Had a Garden? Build a Living Wall.

One thing we New Yorkers often crave is a little bit of green space, and although NYC has amazing parks, they don’t quite offer the peace and relaxation of a home garden. If you don’t have a garden apartment, there’s another way: build a living wall. Also known as green walls or vertical gardens, these foliage art pieces also improve indoor air quality, act as a natural cooling/air conditioning system, reduce noise levels, and just look cool.

If you’re handy you may be able to build your own living wall, but what with the need for irrigation, potential for leaks, etc., it might be better to get a starter kit. ELT offers modular panels that you can then build out to any size you would like. The Wally gardening system by Woolly Pocket are containers made from recycled plastic bottles that you can use indoors or out. Florafelt by Plants on Walls offers multi-pocket systems with 4 pockets up to 24 in both horizontal and vertical layouts. Self-watering systems can be purchased as well. And Grovert sells rustic wall kits in a variety of wood frames–a fun and living piece of art!

 

The Woolworth Building’s $110M Penthouse Offers a Private Open-Air Observatory

The top 30 floors of the Woolworth Building have been under construction since 2012, and now the 9,710 square foot “Pinnacle” is on the market for $110 million. The penthouse starts 700 feet up in the air and spans the top 7 floors of the 58-story building, with a 400 square foot open air observatory as the proverbial icing on the cake. Considerable work went into the penthouse conversion, as the space previously housed the Woolworth Building’s mechanical equipment. Landmarks Preservation allowed for additional windows, and Alchemy Properties, which purchased the top 30 floors of the building for residential conversion, had to replace 3,500 pieces of terra cotta on that tip-top facade. Should the Pinnacle sell for asking price, it will set a downtown Manhattan record. Check out the floorplans:

Source: Curbed

 

The Evolution of NYC Subway Cars

In case you have been lamenting the state of the subway cars on your current commute, take a look at subways past and realize how great you have it–and learn how much better we’ll have it in the future. If you think your daily commute brings on a headache, consider the very earliest subway cars. These open-air cars pretty much resembled cattle cars, as pictured above, chugging through the City Hall station in 1904–imagine the fumes. The wooden crates were abandoned in 1918 after one crashed, killing 93 passengers. (Sidenote: to see the now-abandoned City Hall station, you can take the 6 and stay on after Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall and look out the window as the train makes a U-turn.)

This “standard” subway car with a steel body was rolled out in 1915.

Back in the day, there were 3 competing lines running the subways: the IND, BMT, and IRT–which explains why the lettered cars and tunnels are wider than the numbered cars and tunnels. They were built by different companies, for different trains. In 1932, when the IND was formed by the City to compete with the two private subway carriers, they introduced this R-1 car. Painted a dull-green, these “nostalgia” trains still make a comeback during the holiday season, and are well worth tracking down!

In the 1950s, comfort kicked in (think Mad Men) with the introduction of air-conditioned cars.

But in the 70s and 80s, the subway system went downhill, fraught with graffiti and crime.

Today, you can get wifi and cell service on the trains–and in the future, you’ll be looking at USB ports, digital route displays, and wider doors.

Source: Curbed

 
NYC’s Top 10 Diners

October 10, 2017
by: Jordan • Blog

J.Lo Lists 6,500 SF Whitman Duplex Penthouse for $26.95 Million

October 9, 2017
by: Jordan • Blog

Brooklyn’s Best Brunch Spots

October 7, 2017
by: Jordan • Blog

Should You Renovate Before You Sell?

October 4, 2017
by: Jordan • Blog

See all articles.
NYC’s Top 10 Diners

October 10, 2017
by: Jordan • Blog

J.Lo Lists 6,500 SF Whitman Duplex Penthouse for $26.95 Million

October 9, 2017
by: Jordan • Blog

Brooklyn’s Best Brunch Spots

October 7, 2017
by: Jordan • Blog

Should You Renovate Before You Sell?

October 4, 2017
by: Jordan • Blog