120 St. Marks Update

October 12, 2006


An afternoon stroll on this beautiful day took me past 120 St. Marks Place, the last known squat on this storied street. The building, known as The Cave, is where the well known Mosaic Man, aka Jim Power, lived for years before being evicted (a situation I wrote about extensively on my previous Polis site over at Blogger, click here for the original post). In fact, Mosaic Man continued to live in a make-shift shack out front of 120 St. Marks for months while demolition of the building was underway. Now it seems to be only a matter of weeks before the building will be all but ready for occupation. No word yet on the management’s website of whether it will be apartments or condos, but either way, there’s no doubt it will be expensive. I haven’t seen Mosaic Man lately, but I know he’s still around the nabe from seeing sidewalk chalk promos for his website, EastVillage.com.

Housing Crash

October 12, 2006


Regular readers of Polis know that I report about real estate for The New York Times, which I often do outside of the city and therefore don’t say much about it here. But in reading an article about a rather dire housing market forecast from Moody’s Economy.com, I was struck by this graph:

The second biggest decline is projected to occur in the Fort Myers, Fla., area, a fall of 18.6 percent from the peak in the final three months of last year to a low-point for prices that is projected to occur in the second quarter of 2007.

I just so happens that one of the pieces I wrote for the Times earlier this year reported on the insane condo building boom going on in Ft. Myers, and cast a skeptical eye on whether or not this was going to be a successful strategy for turning the downtown around, which is very pretty but virtually empty (I took the above pic in February, the height of tourist season). Apparently, skepticism was in short supply when all these condos were approved by the city — something like thirteen high-rise towers in a year and a half, if memory serves. Click here for a PDF of the Times article.

Plane Crash

October 12, 2006


As everyone surely knows by now, a small plane crashed into a luxury high-rise on the Upper East Side (I could make a karma joke here, but that might be in poor taste). It’s tragic and horrible, yada yada. So here’s the fun part. The Times flexes its multi-media muscle with this groovy interactive graphic. Check it out.