Monday, October 5, 2009

Five Stories that Impressed Me

It has been a little while since I've thrown down a highlights post, and there have been a lot of good features in the past fortnight or two, so let's take a look at some can't miss important links that you should check out as you start your week.

*Remember how I trumped a New York Magazine article about failed condos and the real estate market in Williamsburg? This piece is better. Sarah Ryley is one of the sharpest development-beat writers in the city. Read more and you'll agree. An excerpt:

No area in the city epitomizes the boom and bust more than the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and, to a lesser extent, Bushwick, former immigrant and industry havens that became the national epicenter of hipster culture. Thanks to a rezoning in 2005, scores of developers sought to capitalize on the area's newfound cache, only for the music to stop mid-construction.
With 85 stalled construction sites and 16 residential projects officially classified as "distressed," industry experts agree that this area is the one most vulnerable to steep price declines in the future.
Of all the districts The Real Deal researched, listing rents here have already fallen the furthest, 21.5 percent over the past year. More than 2,800 apartments are scheduled to come to market over the next year, according to

*On the development theme, The New York Observer's Eliot Brown continues his string of excellent Atlantic Yards coverage with an insightful interview with Bruce Ratner just after the sale of the Nets.

*You are going to be hearing a lot more about Newtown Creek in the coming weeks, but let's take you back a little bit for a different angle. Courtney Gross has been doing some lively writing over at the Gotham Gazette, and reports a summary of where the EPA designation is right now, but check out her on-the-ground story (a partnership with Huffington Post) about kayaking Newtown Creek six weeks ago. Should we call this "on-the-river" reporting?

(Also, check out Gross' brand spank new series on Mayor Bloomberg's record, starting off with a look at inclusionary zoning in Williamsburg)

*This is from a couple of weeks ago, but Zev Chafets' visit to The Brooklyn Tabernacle, which I walk by nearly every day, changed my impression of Fulton Street and made it fuller.

*Finally, a fun story about fishing in Brooklyn. I've stopped by Dream Fishing Tackle and I can't resist reading about these guys. That reminds me, I gotta buy a fishing pole before the season is over.

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