Case-Shiller sees improvement, expresses concern

Data through January in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show that the annual rates of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved in comparison with December.

The gauges, which omit apartment sales and include whole metropolitan regions, actually had the 10-City Composite unchanged from a year ago and the 20-City Composite down only 0.7 percent versus January 2009.

Annual rates for the two Composites have not been so close to a positive print for three years.  Commented Standard & Poor’s David M. Blitzer: Continue reading

Frustrated artists can dress up their naked walls

Hanging sculptures designed with or without your input represent one of three options that A.R.T. offers at unusually reasonable prices.

Donald Rattner, a friend who is a successful architect, is branching out – almost literally.  He has started a business called A.R.T., which Don characterizes as “a new way to create, collect and think about contemporary art” by making high quality, original art more accessible to more people.

He and his wife Gaby opened a pop-up store in Brooklyn’s pulsating DUMBO (near Grimaldi’s impossibly popular restaurant) that I visited a few days ago, and I was blown away by the quality of the design and the level of creativity.  Best of all, the prices are within reach of many consumers.

The average price of one module ranges from $38/unit to $55/unit for the shelf art and $45 to $60 for the wall art per module, with a minimum order of two or three units, depending on the line. Mural art runs $8-10 a square foot. Continue reading