Daily Archives: July 20, 2010

I hate to see this buried in the comments

Old Coot mentioned her father dismissing peckerheads and, as there is no one I admired more than my own, I answered her.

Old Coot, my dad, also long passed, made me most proud when he showed up, sometime in the mid-sixties, with my mother at a neighbor’s house for some party when, not long into it, the host made some unforgivably stupid remark. My father grabbed my mother by the arm and said, within earshot of the host, “I spend my workweek with idiots – I don’t have to waste my weekends with them – get your coat: we’re leaving,” And they walked home. I believe my mother was mortified at the time, but over the decades, we all decided it was the Commander’s finest moment as a civilian.


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41 years to this day, the moon landing fraud was perpetrated

Forty-one years ago, Cheney and Bush prepared for the 9/11 hoax by selling America on a fake landing on the moon. Oh, the perfidy!


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Raises for everyone!

Greenwich Time Editor Gerardo Lombardi

Greenwich has passed out bon bons to everyone on the payroll because, after all, they went a whole year without getting a raise. Firemen, meter maids and cafeteria workers – everyone’s snout in the food trough!  Greenwich Time reporter Neil Kneads Viagra admitted to FWIW’s Scusie that he never considered asking taxpayer representatives for their side of this story. “Hey, that Fountain character does nothing but lob softball questions and have you seen his readership? It’s twice mine, so why should I stick my neck out?”


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Yeah, but if we can do it, so can the bad guys

Navy brings down predator drones with lasers. Doesn’t sound like good news to me.


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Message to anonymous

Look  – I can’t, or won’t post your comment without evidence. But if you have evidence of this official’s corruption, bring it on, and I’ll post it and hit the topic every day until we bring the man down. But without the evidence your refer to, it’s just unfair, and I won’t do that.


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Readers’ comments

My angry Lake Avenue reader is not the only homeowner to get ticked off by readers’ comments and blame me for them. Fair enough – I do post them, after all. But as a home seller, you might want to read them and learn, rather than fume.

When we realtors show a house, it’s pretty rare for us to give an unvarnished report to the listing agent. I did just that today, but only because the listing agent is a good friend of mine and had perviously told me of an offer her clients had rejected. As a favor, I called her and told her that her clients should crawl on their bellies to the bidders and see if they couldn’t revive the offer because, based on my clients’ reaction, that offer was a gift from God.

But mostly, we agents don’t do that. We offer bland platitudes, say we’re still looking and go on, with no intention of ever coming back. Why? It’s a mixture of factors: if we don’t know the other agent well, we don’t want to insult them, but also, I, at least, see no need to educate them. If they’ve screwed up the pricing, why is that my business, and why do I want to learn ’em? It’s a competitive world out here.

But readers’ comments, unvarnished and offensive as they may seem, are the raw truth. Most of them (not all) are posted by actual buyers, looking at houses in your price range. They’re posted anonymously, so they don’t have to worry about hurt feelings and ruined business relationships, and they feel free to say what they think. As a seller, you may hate what they have to say, but you’re getting actual market-feedback, rather than polite crap from us realtors. Read them.


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Perry Ridge – what gives?

I just received a call from someone I know quite well but who wishes to remain anonymous, complaining about some new construction on Perry Ridge Road, near the hospital. I didn’t see the place – family matters seem to be taking up a bunch of time these days, but my caller couldn’t believe it was ever approved and points out that, of the 168 communities in Connecticut, only in Greenwich does the planning and zoning enforcement officer not report to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Is this true? I shall ask Fucdrucker tomorrow. If it is, maybe we should fix that. Casting no aspersions on the Perry Ridge project – as noted, I didn’t see it – I have wondered at a number of homes put up recently and wondered who was paying off whom.


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You’ve got to love small town politics, even if you despise the local paper for not covering it

I called First Selectman Tesei’s office today at noon and at 2;15 received a conference call from him and our tax collector, Tod Laudonia. It may be easy for mean people to do the nasty on someone who returns your call but I was embarrassed, a little, and felt compelled to explain that all my previous posts were merely attempts to flush them out from the shadows.

Anyway, here are, finally, some answers: tax bills were filed electronically  July 1st with all banks holding tax escrow accounts for their clients, so those bills should be paid, on time, without penalty.

Paper bills sent to the rest of us should have arrived yesterday, today or, latest, tomorrow – no mention of a penalty amnesty, but there you have it.

Should the Tax Collector position be a staff job or elected position? Peter points out, accurately, that as an elected position, the TC is far more accountable to voters than if he were a union-protected staffer. Because I was being nice, I did not point out that I have two computer-literate college grad daughters who could do this job for $25,000 and bennies and that Katie, having spent the past year dealing with monkeys in Peru  would fit right into Town Hall, but I do see Peter’s point.

As for Island Beach, Peter says he went out there and noticed that we have almost no signage informing new visitors of our traditional rules. He’s got a problem here, and one that I appreciate it, which is that legally, we can’t really ban non-residents. He’s hiring some retired cops to enforce the rules, and looking for volunteers. He did laugh when I suggested he recruit my old GHS classmate Tommy Keagan who retired at full pension from the force and now heads the union. I used to think Tommy was one of the dumber kids in my class back then, but when I saw him retire, collect his pension and move onto another paying job, I realized who was the dummy and who was the smart one.

But I don’t think Tommy will be volunteering to patrol Island Beach –  as I said, he’s the smart one.

So did I get all my questions answered? The ones I asked, yes. The ones I pulled my punches on, no, but that’s my failing, not Peter Tesei’s. I’m very impressed that he called me back so quickly. I’m far less impressed that Greenwich Time didn’t do this weeks ago – they, after all, are supposed to have the reporters around here.


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Oooh, the anger of an unrequited seller!

Furious email from some homowner. Here’s what she says:

Dear Christopher,

I was recently forwarded a copy of your description of my house at 69 Lake Avenue in Greenwich, CT.

You are factually incorrect on many points and I demand that you remove all reference of my property on your website. You are falsely communicating information to the public and misleading them. Additionally, you have personally hurt me with your false information and total misrepresentation.

Please let me know when you have removed the item. Also, you falsely posted a comment from my husband. [what the fuck does this mean? Ed] This action is considered unlawful in the State of Connecticut.

I look forward to hearing from you today.

Thank you

Here’s what I said, way back in January. Is there any connection at all between what I wrote and what this woman read?

69 Lake Avenue

This 1795 house, just to the east of the Lake Avenue rotary, was originally listed at $2.650 million back in 2007. It’s now been rented, at $7,000 a month, through January, 2012, and you can buy it for $1.925. Your call.

That’s all I wrote – I’ll take down the offending post – I’d have thought a little free advertising might have helped this lady but obviously, 37 months on, she’s over-priced her house – not my problem, but I don’t want to add to her woes. But I’m leaving the post up for a couple of days so that readers can see the disconnect between delusional sellers and reality. Come Friday, down it goes. And then, no doubt, she’ll finally sell her house at $5  million. Nut job.


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Here’s the trouble with unregulated retail: riff raff comes to Old Greenwich!

Garment store draws priests from all over.

Store for clergy thrives in Old Greenwich.

“This is like a candy store for the clergy. They will come in, and they will be so thrilled to be in here, look at the products in person, to try them on. This is a big deal for them,” she said.

Sniffen agreed.

“This is the place I like to go. They have what I need and also it’s great service,” he said. “It’s a bit exciting to come here.”

Sniffen is part of the largest group of customers at the store, Blute said.

“Our largest customer would be the Episcopals and then the Catholics,” she said. Some Christian denominations aren’t as well represented, like Eastern Orthodox clergy, she said.

“We have some but usually they just purchase our shirts; their items are a little more ornate,” Blute said about the richly ornamental Orthodox vestments.

Pentecostalists have become major customers.

“They really have added to our business. They come from all over the tri-state area,” she said.

Blute said they also see visitors from around the country and around the world.

The business was founded in 1892 in New York City by English master tailor Clarence Mortimer Almy and his son James. It continues to be a family-owned business, Blute said. She has been with the business for about 16 years. It has been in Old Greenwich for 12 years and was in Glenville for about 10 years prior to that, Blute said.

Before moving over the state line to Glenville, the store had been in Rye, N.Y., for decades she said.

The store also sells other items for the public like Christian-themed books, crosses, candles and first communion gifts, she said. Many of those items are placed in the front of the store, to help attract the lay customer who may be window shopping, Blute said.

“We have a lot of repeat customers who come here for Bibles and other religious gifts, but we also have customers who come in after walking by and hadn’t known we were here,” Blute said.

My favorite store of all time was Charlie Grannick’s gun store, one flight up from his parent’s drug store on Greenwich Avenue, but he’s closed it, alas.


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