John Fund Speaks In Greenwich

The local chapter of the League of Women Voters lured us in with a promise of a panel discussion of “Voter Fraud In America, featuring voting-fraud expert, John Fund“, so the audience was at least 50% conservatives here at Greenwich Library’s Cole Auditorium tonight.

What we got was a 38 minute, 10 second video called “Electoral Dysfunction”, a condescending propaganda film narrated by a human named “Mo Rocca”. According to this (Amercican Bar Association-endorsed) film, voter fraud is a non-existent fantasy of racist Republicans. Furthermore, it is an almost impossible burden for minorities, young people, and the elderly to obtain a photo ID. 

Do you believe that? If you do, then you would have been entirely satisfied with tonight’s entertainment. For the rest of us, well, we had to sit and wait over an hour to finally hear the exceedingly scholarly John Fund patiently explain how and why the requirement to provide a photo ID in order to vote, a concept endorsed by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Andrew Young, Jr., and Martin Luther King III, is a reasonable and low-cost way to secure the integrity of the voting process.

Surely we can all agree, in order to vote, you should have to prove you are who you say you are, and that you’re a US citizen, right? 

No! And if you say such a thing, you are a xenophobic racist. One of the panelists, cazy activist Michael Waldman (ironically seated to the far right), assured all of us that there is no such thing as voter-fraud and two of the other panelists, CT’s Secretary of State Denise Merrill and Michael Brandi, CT’s head of Election Enforcement Commission, agreed!

We also learned that Connecticut makes absolutely NO attempt to determine whether or not you are a citizen, did you know that? Our Department of Motor Vehicles, under the direction of Governor Dannel Malloy, happily issues driver’s licenses to all comers. Once you have that, you’re free to vote. That is called “voter fraud”.

Despite appearances, this was a fairly well-atrended event.

More Bombings, Religious Right Suspected!

In a hastily arranged press conference, New York City’s Mayor De Blasio this morning called for more monitoring of the city’s dwindling number of Episcopal churches.

Saying he would not “fall into the trap” of accusing radicalized muslims every time a bomb went off, the Mayor called on all New Yorkers to “remain vigilant”. 

He also promised a stepped-up police presence that will remain in place for the next few days and will then be relaxed until the next bombing, which will then be followed by a brief “stepped-up police presence”.

“I am satisfied with this model and I see no reason to change,” said the Mayor. “I disavow those who call for attacking the root causes of terror attacks. We’ll continue our policy of treating each incident separately and some day, maybe in a few hundred years, they will stop”.

Afghanistan-born Amad Khan Rahami, possible member of Christian Right Extremist group!

Town Wasting Water?

My appreciation of the Town’s parks is second to none, particularly our beautiful golf course BUT…it’s just a teensy-bit galling, if that’s the word I want, when I see Binney Park sprinklers running full-blast immediately following a TORRENTIAL 1-inch rainfall, with more expected within the hour. 
Particularly when we all got phone messages last week admonishing us to “shut off your irrigation system”.

The Pines Of Rome

 It’s Saturday night and instead of, say, sitting at the blackjack table, I’m instead listening to the Greenwich Symphony at Greenwich High School’s new Performing Arts Center.
I know it cost us taxpayers millions and millions but, judging by the sights and sounds this evening, I’m afraid I must conclude we might actually have gotten our money’s worth for once.
First up this evening was some highly regarded piano player with the unlikely-to-be-pronounced-properly name of Juho Pohjonen. He was simply amazing. Next up, the whole orchestra took on some chap named Respighi’s composition called Pines of Rome. This was spectacular, brilliant, energizing. What a piece of music. And the hall made it absolute perfection. 
Here’s some other bunch of musicians playing the piece, but really, the Greenwich Symphony does it better.

Respighi’s Pines Of Rome

Saltaire in Port Chester


Bartender Adam, hard at work on a Saturday night.

Bartender Adam, hard at work on a Saturday night.

Trying this place on a Saturday night, which, according to experts, is not the way to see a restaurant at its best, NEVERTHELESS…it’s amazing, I’m completely impressed, you should try.

It’s in the same building where “Willet House” used to be ( kinda/sorta across from restaurants Tarry Lodge and Bartacco, ok?)

Builder Homeruns

I suppose as risks go, building a luxury spec home in Greenwich isn’t that scary, right? Yes, the land will cost you, and the building will be more expensive (even if you import out-of-town subcontractors) but in the end, at least you know there’s a genuine living/breathing market here, with a good supply of rich people who will step up and buy your product.

Even so, some builders will make money in this environment, some won’t. Here are three examples of what I call “homeruns”, because the land was cheap, and the final selling price was high.

Example One


20 Carriglea Drive, off Riverside’s Indian Head Road. Sold in November for$6.4M.

20 Carriglea, the before picture. Wetlands, "3-bedrm septic", plenty of builders turned it down, too bad for them!

20 Carriglea, the before picture. Plenty not to like here: wetlands, limited building area, “3-bedrm septic”. Lots of builders turned it down, big mistake! Sold for $1.8M, July 2013.

Example Two

105 Shore Road, Old Greenwich. Asked $4.950M, went to contract mere days after first broker open house (closes soon, I will update)

105 Shore Road, Old Greenwich. Asked $4.950M, went to contract mere days after first broker open house (closes soon, I will update)

105 Shore Road before. Cute, yes, but ready for replacement, take my word.

105 Shore Road before. Cute, yes, but ready for replacement, take my word. Sold for $1.7M, May 2014.

25 Lockwood Avenue, Old Greenwich. Asked $4.195M, attracted multiple bids and closed December 30th for $4,150,000.

25 Lockwood Avenue, Old Greenwich. Asked $4.195M, attracted multiple bids and closed December 30th for $4,150,000. Land was bought direct, I’ll look up price at Town Hall and update this post.

Note: If the above links get disabled by MLS, I will replace them with links for the Houlihan Lawrence website, which remain active indefinitely.

Riverside Rental Record?


Pictured:  68 Winthrop Drive, off Riverside’s Lockwood Road, asked $20K, got $20K (not one of my listings!)

TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS PER MONTH, surely a record for Greenwich’s Riverside section? No, in fact, this is merely 3rd place. Click the link below to see Riverside’s four highest renting properties.

Listing broker: Patte Nusbaum

Renting broker: Roberta Juric

Riverside’s four highest renting properties.

Those are the four highest yearly, unfurnished rental prices paid to date in Riverside, CT.

Builders Like To Pay One Third For The Land

Builders around here like the “one third rule”: one third for the land, one third for construction costs, one third for their profit. So you pay a million for the land, you’d better get at least $3,000,000 for the finished product, that’s the thinking.


Sounds easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, trouble is, here in Greenwich, particularly the Riverside section, building lots (which typically come with a house that needs to be removed) run you $2,000,000+. Can you then expect to get $6,000,000+ for the new house? For many streets, that’s a stretch, which is why right now many builders are finding it hard to justify buying a tear-down.

Here’s a couple of recent (apparent) success stories…

67 Sound Beach Ave BEFORE (selling price $1,115,000)

67 Sound Beach Ave BEFORE (selling price $1,115,000)

67 Sound Beach Ave AFTER (asking price $3,795,000, now under contract)

67 Sound Beach Ave AFTER (asking price $3,795,000, now under contract)

37 Londonderry Drive BEFORE (selling price $1,150,000)

37 Londonderry Drive BEFORE (selling price $1,150,000)

37 Londonderry Drive AFTER (asking price $4,999,995)

37 Londonderry Drive AFTER (asking price $4,999,995)

ISIS Files Complaint With UN

After U.S. commandos launched a devastating raid on an ISIS base in Syria, ISIS  immediately filed a formal complaint against the United States military at United Nations headquarters in New York City. Charging the U.S. with using “unfair tactics” and fighting techniques that “violate Genoeva Convention standards for interacting with Islamic terrorists”, spokesman Muhamad Ali Ali Oxenfree called for severe sanctions against the U.S. and its allies.

“These [U.S. commandos] did not have their hands tied, nor were they defenseless children”, Oxenfree wrote in the formal complaint. “We are in no way prepared to fight such savages!”

“Raping children, cutting off heads of civilians whose hands are tightly tied behind their backs, this sort of thing, the brave warriors of ISIS can handle. But these cowardly Americans sent grown men, with guns and fighting skills, so of course our fighters could do nothing but immediately die for Allah”.

“We call on the United Nations to send us protection from further attacks. We also demand that any future U.S. attack forces be made up of soldiers no older than six years of age,  just to make it fair for us!”

Do We Worry Too Much About Germs?

<> on November 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

The germs, imagine the germs! Better hold it till you’ve landed and can use the nice, clean airport bathroom.

Here’s a typical (disgusting) scare story, in this case from the British news site, Daily Mail, that attempts to scare crap out of you about  “fecal matter on airplane tray tables”, supposedly left there by all the thousands of parents using the tray tables to change baby’s nappie.

Really? Have you ever in your life seen this happening? Unlike my clients, I regularly fly coach, jammed in back there with the mob you first-class types are barely aware of. I have never, ever seen anyone changing a damned diaper on a tray table.

Perhaps fearing likely reader skepticism about this bull-%#@% claim, the article then goes on to suggest that if you really want to be disgusted (and sickened!), you should take a look at the millions and millions of germs in the airplane bathroom, oh the horrors!

Again, I have only experience to guide me, but I consistently find airplane bathrooms to be reasonably clean looking. And if all these germs are so dangerous, how come we aren’t all constantly getting sick? Oh sure, you might trace your catching of the occasional cold to a particular flight, but are cold-virus germs the ones hiding in the bathroom?

And also keep in mind the very annoying fact that we humans keep living longer and longer and longer! Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes spent the last 30 years of his life desperately avoiding germs and what did it get him? He died at age 70! Phooey.