Out and About: You gotta love the neighborhood

In early May, Riverside Park is this side of paradise.

A while back, I quoted Paul Purcell, who is a founder of Charles Rutenberg Realty, as mentioning what he termed an old saw:

You’ve got to like your home, but you’ve got to love your neighborhood.

Smart and obvious, though not to me until then.

The concept came back to me last month when watching a friend of mine, Teri Karush Rogers of BrickUnderground.com, on WNBC-TV, where she was talking about mistakes that buyers make.  She confessed that she twice had made one such mistake, and you’ve guessed what it is: She loved two places to which she moved but hated the neighborhoods.

As for me, I’ve lived in seven different Manhattan neighborhoods.  In order, they have been Morningside Heights, Washington Heights (in a section that has taken on airs as “Hudson Heights”), close to the East Village (18th and First Avenue), central West Village, Gramercy/Flatiron and now the Upper West Side near the 96th Street express stop on Broadway.

I can’t say Continue reading

Out and About: Combo apartments will speak to you

View from the best of three combined apartments.

Nine times out of 10 when I walk into an apartment that used to be smaller, the unit shouts “combo.”

There are almost always too much hallway, much of it wide and wasted, wood floors that change in height, finish or both, and awkward flow.  Often, you’ll find windowless “rooms” dubbed “media,” “office,” “bonus,”  “den” or “sleeping area.”

Three of the apartments that I recently visited on the Upper West Side were a cliché in contrasts. Continue reading