Time Out New York - Best things to do in the Hamptons



Summer is here! Time to get out of the city for some R&R! TimeOut New York featured some of the best things to do in the Hamptons this summer, from the free concert series at The Surf Lodge in Montauk to visiting the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio in East Hampton. "We love having so many New York beaches, but sometimes a quick jaunt to Coney Island isn’t going to fulfill our need for Vitamin D. That’s why we’re willing to travel the distance on the LIRR for one of the best spots on our weekend getaways list. Take a break from Gotham’s rooftop bars for these awesome things to do in the Hamptons that make your vacation all the better"
- By Christina Izzo, Jennifer Picht, Tolly Wright and Stephen Milioti
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Listing Feature | 1160 Park Avenue | THE OBSERVER

Estate Side: This Park Avenue Home Exudes Classic Elegance

The $6.25 million co-op boasts views all the way across Central Park

By Morgan Halberg • 10/20/16 9:45am

A classic elegance floods the atmosphere from the moment one steps into the lobby of 1160 Park Avenue. A cheerful, uniformed doorman escorted the Observer up to the 15th floor, where we stepped off the semiprivate elevator landing and into the spacious foyer of the 11-room co-op.

“It’s a very special apartment with lots of prewar details,” Sotheby’s International Realty broker Kristi Ambrosetti said of her $6.25 million listing, pointing out the marble mantle on the wood-burning fireplace in the living room, the crown moldings and 9.5-foot ceilings throughout the 3,500-square-foot space.

“It’s all about the views and the light,” Ambrosetti continued, walking into the dining room and standing in front of the west-facing window. “This is really the ‘wow,’ ” she declared, watching the sun’s reflection glimmer off the reservoir. “It’s very rare to have views of Central Park from Park Avenue,” she added, heading into the adjacent, equally sun-filled breakfast room. “I would spend all my time in here,” she sighed. 

It’s part of an estate sale, though “there have been some upgrades in recent years,” Ambrosetti assured us of the fresh paint and newly screened hardwood floors, noting a buyer will likely update the eat-in kitchen, which is currently bedecked in somewhat dated white cabinetry and red-accented floors.

“The bones are so magnificent,” Ambrosetti declared, opening the original brass doorknob to enter the master suite, where even the green-tiled bathroom boasts a west-facing view.

A guest suite is equipped with a cedar closet and en-suite bath, while two additional bedrooms share a full bathroom that the buyer “will renovate,” Ambrosetti said. “The tile is original to the building.” 

Despite the need for a few upgrades, “it’s the kind of apartment where brokers who have long-term relationships with buyers call them and say, ‘You’ve been waiting years for this!’ ” Ambrosetti told us, adding that even though it was a gloriously sunny day outside, the real marvel of the view takes place later.

“You get magnificent sunsets,” Ambrosetti cooed. “It’s this purple and pink sky, and it’s just magical.”


New York's Times Feature

Preparing Your Home for Sale

When you’ve decided to sell your home, the last thing you want to do is spend money to spruce the place up. After all, whoever buys it is going to replace those outdated kitchen cabinets and grungy bathroom tiles anyway, right?

“We’re often asked why any money should be spent freshening,” said Mickey Conlon, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “The answer has to do with the psychological effect of assessing a renovation on a prospective purchase. Buyers assign dollar values to repairs that typically exceed the actual cost of remediation.”

To get the best return on your investment — and avoid turning off potential buyers — you need to ensure your home looks its best when it hits the market. At the same time, you don’t want to waste effort or money on improvements that won’t pay off.

To find out what you absolutely must do before putting your home on the market, I reached out to several real estate professionals for their essential presale fix-ups. Here are their top suggestions for making sure your house or apartment is market-ready.

1. PAINT THE WALLS A fresh coat of paint is a cost-effective way to make a place feel new again. But stick with neutral tones like grays and whites, which let the best features of your home stand out, rather than going with bold colors that might not suit everyone’s taste. You can find painters starting at $60 an hour on a site like Handy, which offers on-demand handyman and cleaning services in New York and other major cities. “As an added bonus,” said Mr. Conlon of Douglas Elliman, “the faint whiff of paint can be as alluring to home buyers as new-car smell is to auto shoppers.”

2. SHINE THE FLOORS “Unless your floors are severely damaged, it doesn’t make sense to have them refinished,” said Pat Christodoulou, who stages homes for sale in Connecticut and New York. Instead, she hires a handyman with a floor buffer, paying anywhere from $300 to wax and polish the floor of a small living room to $1,500 for a Classic Six. “Many good buildings have a buffing machine,” she said, adding that if yours doesn’t, you could try asking for a handyman at another building down the block.

3. CLEAN UP THE BATHROOM Replacing missing tiles and re-caulking moldy areas are must-dos. Small upgrades, like swapping out an old faucet, can brighten up the space. If your tub is looking dingy, a professional refinisher can repair dents, rub out rust spots and recoat it with a new finish in a day or so, for about $500 for a standard-size bathtub, according to Homeadvisor.com, a home-improvement website. This technique, called reglazing, can be applied to those dated pink wall tiles as well, so long as they are in good shape. And if your bathroom is already in decent condition, a new bath mat, shower curtain and fresh towels may be all the sprucing up you need.

4. UPGRADE THE KITCHEN While remodeling an old kitchen is a sure way to help your home sell faster and at a higher price, it is possible to transform a dated space without a complete overhaul. A fresh coat of paint and new hardware will help refresh old cabinets. Peel-and-stick wall tiles, which can be found at home improvement stores for as little as $8 a square foot, make adding a backsplash easy on the budget.

And if you’re feeling a little more ambitious, an epoxy coating, sold at most home improvement stores for about $20, can give laminate countertops a new look and feel. Louise M. Devlin, an agent with Brown Harris Stevens who does a fair amount of business in 1960s co-ops, swears by this trick. “It’s a fantastic affordable option,” said Ms. Devlin, who hires a handyman to do the work, which involves sanding the countertop and mixing and applying several coatings of epoxy. The end result, which can be finished in a weekend, she said, “looks like a granite industrial finish.”

But what about those old appliances? While real estate professionals agree that replacing them can add value, it may not be worth the time involved or the cost of new high-end appliances. If your budget allows, consider buying steeply discounted appliances at stores that sell used kitchens, like BIG Reuse in Gowanus, Brooklyn, and Astoria, Queens, orGreen Demolitions in Fairfield, N.J.

5. CLEAR THE CLUTTER “Sellers don’t realize how much stuff they have and how it deters most buyers,” said Kathleen Perkins, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman. “A good rule of thumb is to get rid of 50 percent of your stuff.” This includes books, furniture and the clothes hanging in your closets, and it has the added effect of making small spaces seem bigger. Coffee tables, kitchen counters, windowsills and other surfaces should be cleared of family photos, plants and tchotchkes. Also, be sure to put away any personal effects — razors, hair dryers, shampoo bottles, toothbrushes — before showings.

6. DO A DEEP CLEANING Wash the windows inside and out and vacuum all the dust that’s accumulated in those exhaust fans, said Heather McMaster, an associate broker at the Corcoran Group: “Deep cleaning is so important, because while an apartment can show very neatly, it’s the details that people pick up on.” According to Handy, the handyman and cleaning service, it usually takes about four or five hours to thoroughly scrub down a two-bedroom two-bath apartment — including inside the cabinets, oven and refrigerator — and costs $100 to $135.

7. LIGHT IT UP “Every room should have at least three points of light,” said Alison Draper, an agent with Halstead Property who writes for a company blog about design and staging. That means a table lamp, a floor lamp and a task light, for example, or an overhead fixture and a couple of table lamps. Her go-to resource for inexpensive lighting is Ikea.

Just Listed! 106 Central Park South, Penthouse

New Video Just Released! 

A bird’s eye view of Central Park and beyond atop the 38th floor of this spectacular full-floor trophy penthouse. This top floor towers over the center of Manhattan within the golden crown of 106 Central Park South and boasts approximately 2,250 square feet of pure luxury. 

A private elevator landing opens into an open plan living and dining room featuring 40 feet of Central Park frontage. Fifteen oversized tilt n’ turn picture windows with panoramic views from all four exposures create a truly light-filled space. Fifteen individual planting terraces wrap the length of the apartment totaling approximately 300 square feet. Magnificent views from every direction! 

A large master suite offers corner south, east and west exposures, ample storage and a windowed spa-like master bath with deep soaking tub, double vanity and a walk-in shower. All three bedrooms have en-suite baths with Italian white marble throughout. A windowed eat-in kitchen, washer/dryer and powder room complete this well-considered floorplan. 

Formerly the iconic Barbizon Hotel circa 1930, Trump Parc is a white-glove condominium featuring a full-time doorman, concierge, on-site managing agent, security and storage. Garage with valet parking and housekeeping are optional services. Located on Central Park close to fine dining on Fifth and Park Avenue, Columbus Circle and several cultural venues. Dogs under 75 pounds are permitted.


Spectacular 1 Bed Penthouse with wrap terraces at 336 Central Park West


This magnificent home epitomizes Art Deco at its finest; an oasis in the sky surrounded by lush landscaping and Manhattan views with the artistic flair of old New York. Perched high atop the 17th floor, Penthouse 17D boasts approx. 1,100 interior sq. ft. of pre-war splendor and approx. 1,720 sq. ft. of two stunning wrap terraces with Central Park and open city views. This one-of-a-kind offering rarely comes to market. 

Twelve large windows with original steel cased frames boast sun-drenched exposures to the north, west, and east allowing for maximum light to spill into every room. With only two apartments on the floor, this one bedroom penthouse offers a level of privacy and space that is truly unique. 

The expansive living room features a wood burning fireplace flanked by two sets of French doors leading to the first of two exceptional landscaped terraces. A windowed eat-in chef’s kitchen enjoys top-of-the-line appliances, a large pantry and abundant storage throughout. French doors graciously open to the second western terrace off of the light-filled dining room; ideally suited as the perfect entertaining space to enjoy the outdoors year-round. 

A grand master bedroom enjoys sunlit eastern views overlooking the wrap terrace, two large closets and a beautiful windowed bath with original fittings. Original herringbone floors, 10’6” beamed ceilings and six large closets complete this special floorplan. 

Built in 1929 by renowned architects Schwartz and Gross, 336 Central Park West is a full-service white glove cooperative; amenities include full-time doorman, elevator attendant, live-in superintendent, central laundry and bicycle storage. This prestigious Art Deco cooperative is centrally located in Manhattan’s vibrant Upper West Side close to shops, entertainment and express transportation. Private storage conveys with this purchase.

Video Just Released!

Museum Tower | The Perfect Combination of Views and Glamour

Perched high atop the forty-second floor of the world-renowned Museum Tower, this exquisite 3 bedroom and 3.5 bath home exudes pure Manhattan glamour. Elegantly finished by a celebrated interior designer, this approx. 3,452 sq. ft. apartment boasts magnificent Central Park and panoramic city skyline views from fifteen floor-to-ceiling windows.

Enjoy glorious sunlight throughout the day and picturesque cityscape views at night from two corner exposures in the most desirable line of this iconic condominium. Rich with contemporary luxury, design highlights include elegant mirrored vanities, a concealed jewel box wet bar, and marble flooring throughout.

The expansive corner living room (23 ft. x 36 ft.) features stunning north and east light with two formal seating areas, ideally suited for entertaining. A windowed galley kitchen with custom cabinetry opens into a formal dining room, easily used as a fourth bedroom with walk in closet and en-suite bath.

Every bedroom boasts sun-filled Central Park views and abundant storage throughout. A corner Master Bedroom suite and large secondary bedroom each feature an en-suite bath and generous walk-in closets. A third bedroom/library and a powder room complete this well-considered floor plan.

Located close to Fifth Avenue and distinguished by its fine architecture and superb amenities, the prestigious Cesar Pelli designed Museum Tower is a modern classic. Amenities include full-time doorman and concierge service, elevator attendants, fitness center, conference room and planted roof terrace overlooking the MoMA gardens. Housekeeping, laundry and valet are optional services. Pets are permitted.

Next Generation of Leaders Networking Event

Inspired by the “40 Under 40”  panel at this year’s GNE  in Las Vegas, SIR hosted its very own Next Generation of Leaders Networking Event. The  New York office gathered up its best and brightest up and coming agents from Downtown, Uptown and the Hamptons. Rubbing elbows atop the prestigious Gansevoort Hotel these savvy Real Estate moguls are determined to make their mark on the real estate world. Networking, is the most powerful tools in Real Estate, so connects were made, photo were taken and relationships fostered proving that the Next Generation of Sotheby’s still a major player in the cut-throat game of Real Estate.


410 East 57th Street 11A

Welcome to 410 East 57th Street, a pet friendly Sutton Place area co-op. This East 57th Street co-op is a full-service white glove building with an elevator operator, garden and gym. It is coveted for its quiet location, welcoming of pets, and Pre War Grandeur. Light filled Residence 11A is truly a home beyond compare. Enjoy entertaining guests in your spacious, bright living room complete with wood burning fireplace, eating in your airy dining room or eat in kitchen while enjoying the feeling of a house in an apartment. The Master Bedroom is sprawling with an en suite bath including a Jacuzzi tub. The Piece de resistance - a rare view of the East River and beyond. The original three bedrooms have been reconfigured into four, while keeping the integrity of the apartment. Other accoutrements include a laundry room with full size Washer/Dryer, all stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, Herringbone hardwood flooring and California closets.

Isn't Sotheby's an Auction House?

Founded in 1976 as a real estate service for clients of Sotheby's auction house, Sotheby's International Realty has sold some of the world's most extraordinary properties. The tools and techniques we have developed to successfully sell grand estates are equally effective for selling fine properties in all price ranges. We post many top sales records around the world each year, yet over half of the listings we sell are priced under $1 million.

Russ & Daughters Cafe - A Hamish Gem

Run, do not walk....but get in line, because there are no reservations.

The famous Russ & Daughters has finally expanded so you can sit and enjoy a meal in this hamish setting.  It's all in the details... We were greeted by a cool and friendly hostess, who went out of her way to clear off a table for us herself.   

The glassware was perfect, place mats for menus, jars and baskets full of Jewish epicurean delights above our booth, groovy and chill ambiance the moment you walk in the door. 

Must-have menu items:

  • Potato Latkes
  • Pastrami Russ
  • Sours (Pickles and Vegetables)
  • Borscht Soup
  • Chocolate Egg-Cream

4 enthusiastic stars for this Lower East Side cafe.  Delicious, low-key and the perfect night out.  I can't wait to go back.  

127 Orchard Street

West Chelsea Neighborhood Guide

Julien Hautcoeur

With the development of Hudson Yards underway, West Chelsea has become a hot spot for savvy investors. We have seen prices steadily rise over the past few years as residential developments have broken ground and closed sales.  Per market trends, first offering purchases have proven to be a wise investment as their values significantly increased by the time the project was delivered.  In 2014 the penthouse at the esteemed Chelsea conversion, Walker Tower, set the record for the highest downtown sale ever at $50.9 million.  Another unit in the building recently achieved nearly $3 million in profit in that flip.  West of 9th Avenue to the Hudson River, West Chelsea is beginning to see that appreciation, as well. For those looking to invest wisely, the time is now to purchase as new development offerings come to market. 

What you'll see:

  • The High Line Park (pictured above) is elevated above Manhattan, spans the length of 1.45 miles from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street.  
  • Yoga & Health Food Stores
  • Contemporary Art Galleries
  • Chelsea Market
  • Yummy restaurants
  • People walking dogs & dog boutiques

New Developments to watch:

  • 520 West 28th Street - Zaha Hadid's highly anticipated condo project slated to begin sales in the spring of 2015.
  • 508 West 24th Street - Cary Tamarkin's new development atop the High Line.  Only two penthouse units left!
  • 500 West 21st Street - Kohn Pederson Fox building is sold out and slated to close the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • 522 West 29th Street - Soori High Line, private pools in 16 of the 31 units.  
  • 261 West 25th Street - located in Chelsea, this new development has only three units left.  High end finishes and nice floor plates.

*For more information, Curbed.com features an article mapping out new developments along the High Line.  


Location Parameters:

  • West to East - 9th Avenue to 12th Avenue
  • South to North - 14th Street to 34th Street

Closest Subways:

  • A/C/E line along Eighth Avenue at 14th Street, 23rd Street (local) and 34th Street.
  • 1/2/3 line along Seventh Avenue at 14th Street, 23rd & 28th Street (local) & 34th Street.
  • Times Square Shuttle and express hub is only ten blocks north of Chelsea


Featured Restaurants:

  1. The Red Cat Cutting edge American cuisine with a relaxed atmosphere.  Favorite dish is the local skate with white polenta.
  2. Cookshop Savory and innovative dishes with a cozy and elegant ambiance.  This Tenth Avenue gem is a go-to favorite for impressing guests.
  3. Pastai Intimate spot with small dishes that will delight the taste buds.  This is a fantastic choice for date night.
  4. Tipsy Parson Fun spot serving "belly-filling goodness" with their American cuisine.  Be sure to try one of their signature cocktails.
  5. Co.  Italian/ Neapolitan Pizzeria with a relaxed vibe and cavernous space.  Patio open in the warmer months.  Try the sangria and Pizza Bianca with ricotta!  


Welcome to my Blog!

I am very excited to introduce my blog to you!

I hope you'll stay tuned as I share the latest New York real estate tidbits…noteworthy press, market trends, restaurant reviews, neighborhood guides and insider tips!  

Whether you are considering selling your home and looking for current market info, or you want to be the envy of your friends at cocktail parties with the latest real estate gossip…my blog can be your go to place to be in the know.

I look forward to keeping you in the loop!

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