Outstanding book chronicles the fight against HIV/AIDS

France bookA critically acclaimed 640-page book by David France belongs at the top of your reading list.

An acquaintance of mine years ago, France has created in How to Survive a Plague a vivid review of the battle to understand the pandemic, fight U.S. government indifference, create a unified activist front, overcome bureaucratic chaos and ultimately learn how to treat AIDS.

The author’s exhaustive review seems to have him everywhere all the time from the first diagnosis to essentially the latest pharmaceutical successes.  In doing so, he spares nothing about his personal life, confessing how deeply he felt about the witness he bore and the relationships he treasured.

His Amazon bio outlines a distinguished career prior to having written this tour de force, noting Continue reading

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Women sold into sex work condemned to no future

Still from The Virginity Trade

Still from “The Virginity Trade”

Variations of one Khmer proverb go something like this:

Men are gold, women are cloth. . .

The implied meaning is that men who do something unacceptable are like gold; they will be as clean as the metal after it is washed.  The converse is suggested for women; when sullied, even washing won’t rinse off all the dirt.  They will be perpetually dirty objects of scorn.

Two one-hour documentaries Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: NYC condos, U.S. inventory, all-time low rates, Airbnb, pet furniture, most diverse metros, housing forecasts and much more

Brownstones increasingly go mod

Number of new listings of new condos turns up in Manhattan along with prices there and in Brooklyn, Queens

Causing 15 percent increase in materials and monopolizing workers, Sandy raises construction costs

Buyers of lower Manhattan apartments so far unmoved by storm

Rents continue to climb as vacancies reach 32-month high, and biggest October increases hit smaller units

Report suggests that multiple bids for renovations may encourage homeowners to overpay

And don’t expect financing for renovations to be a breeze

Five brokers investigated on complaints that they demanded extra fees from HIV renters

Region remains least-affordable major housing market in nation

Foreclosure filings surge in metro area, more than anywhere else

With her Georgia home foreclosed, she has reason to sing the blues

Media mogul pays record $54 million Continue reading

Who died and left you. . . the buyer?

Flickr photo by Shaheer Shahid

When it comes to purchasing a property in which someone died, good luck easily finding out that was the case. One reason for secrecy: Such a property generally takes longer to sell.

It doesn’t matter whether there even is a suspicion that someone perished from natural causes, accidental ones, murder or suicide, but state law protects brokers, owners and mere occupants from having to disclose that information.

Nor must they disclose Continue reading