Out and About: What a difference a wall makes

Opening up this kitchen turned a liability into an asset.

Even those of us who are not vision challenged may not be able to appreciate fully how a modest renovation can result in a great improvement, but the outsize impact of the removal of a small wall in one of two identical apartments drove home to me the extent of that limitation.

On a visit to two co-ops a few floors apart in the same line of apartments in a 1931 landmarked building off Columbus Avenue in the mid 80s, the evidence was stark.

You can see above my photo of the kitchen in the renovated unit, which is the lower of the two co-ops.  Below is the other kitchen, with its older everything. Continue reading

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When seeking a doorman building, look for a condo

He may be a budding doorman, but he's out of uniform. (Flickr photo by Photo-Fenix)

It’s just about the next best thing in Manhattan to having a chauffeured limousine always at your disposal.  That would be living in a doorman building.

Door personnel and concierges obviously do like to get paid for their work, and that means you’ll fork over plenty in common charges or maintenance fees to live in a doorman building.  In fact, the cost of all labor normally is the biggest budgetary item in such a building.

But the conveniences are manifold; I’m sure that I don’t have to enumerate them for you.

I got to wondering what percentage of buildings Continue reading