11/24/15 2:36pm

Ah Black Friday, the one day per year (other than if your favorite sports team wins a championship) that rioting is not just accepted but is defended as being baked into the American tradition like so many caramelized apples in that pie you’re while eating on line for a cheap flat screen TV. Sure you could not participate in this, but missing the deals means no TV for you, so retailers kind of have you by the short and curlies. On the other hand, like this video purporting to show a kindly old man retailer being honest about the whole thing points out, you could just get cheaper stuff a few days later of by ordering online.

We’re going to refrain from going with the usual internet hyperbole about how this video “lays waste” or “destroys” Black Friday or whatever, because what’s the point? Sure well know the truth about it, and we’re told it time and time again. But no matter how many times it’s said, no matter how many goofy Tim and Eric-style product rebrandings a video will have, once the deals come, you’ll buy it. You’ll buy anything. (more…)

02/05/15 2:07pm
Get ready for more of this, and more rent increases.

Get ready for more of this, and more rent increases.

Sick of all the good news in your life? Well great, you’ve found the right story to bring you down. After a year of fretting about rent increases from Bed-Stuy to Bay Ridge, you might be wondering if the insane real estate fever gripping Brooklyn might break and go down soon. NOPE! A report from MNS Realty looking at the year in Brooklyn real estate in 2014 not only went over how much rent up around the borough, but predicted rents are only going to go up more in 2015. Well, there’s always 2016 (haha, no there isn’t). (more…)

01/20/15 10:14am

You might first look at this video of rats fighting in the subway tracks in Chinatown and think “Ew, rats, I can’t watch this.” Please do watch it though, because it’s the perfect allegory for the human condition, especially here in New York. One rat is a longtime native of his patch of subway track, defending it from the encroaching other who he thinks will bring weird changes and force him out of his sweet garbage pile. The other rat is young and just trying to make it in this crazy urban jungle and thought he found a pretty good deal. He isn’t gonna just walk away because he’s catching some shit from an older rat.

And as they fight and argue on the tracks of the subway to the strains of ethnic music, both rats are so enthralled with their fight that they can’t even think to look around them, at the dangerous ground they tussle over. They fight and fight, only to be minutes away from being ground up by a hyper-efficient capitalist machine rumbling over and crushing them, ferrying a species with no interest in a sticking around and putting down roots in garbage pile, just moving on to the next place the machine will take them. Both rats, vanished in an instant, with no record of their existence except this one grainy YouTube video.

[h/t Daily Intelligencer] (more…)

01/13/15 10:35am

SUBMIT. via Facebook

Uber, the cab company that wants you to think it’s a lifestyle, an app, a brandstyle, a lifebrand, Christ anything but a company responsible for drivers really, has been taking some knocks lately. Rather than run them all down right now, we’ll just fast-forward to the latest battle Uber is fighting, since it’s right in our backyard. The City Council held hearings yesterday on a bill to cap Uber’s surge pricing, according to Capital, although it’s not as if they were looking to kill it off entirely. (more…)

146 Fenimore Street

Do you live here? Sorry. via Google Street View

Real estate speculation! Sometimes it takes the form of horrible arson. Oftentimes, it takes much more banal, but somehow more unappealing-sounding forms, like this article in Real Estate Weekly about Pittsburgh-based HLC Equity buying a building in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Why are they doing it, and what’s their plan? Funny you should ask!

Farber said he saw 146 Fenimore Street as the ideal first investment in Brooklyn because of its proximity to several subway lines and the neighborhood’s untapped, fast-growing potential…convincing Farber that Prospect Lefferts Gardens is on the cusp of a major influx of white-collar residents.

Most of the building’s units are rent-stabilized, and HLC plans to slowly renovate the entire building.
“We could probably sell it at a profit right now,” Farber said. “But we want to hold on to it.”

Well, sucks to be you, rent-stabilized resident’s who we’re sure won’t be harassed in any way by your out-of-town landlords betting on “more white-collar residents.” Just to be sure though, don’t forget that you’ve got rights when it comes to improvements, and your rent in general.