The Afternoon Wrap: Wednesday

  • New York City happens to be one of America’s most sustainable towns — because somehow most of us use public transportation. But do fancy green towers like The Solaire or Conde Nast’s 4 Times Square help out too? The founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council admits: “We know squat about how any building works.” [Architect’s Newspaper, via ArchNewsNow]
  • Hateful trend of the day: “The communal outdoor living room.” If you’re lucky enough to have a Manhattan patio, and tasteful enough to decorate it with “cushiony furniture” and “built-in plasma screen televisions and hi-fi systems,” then you’ve got yourself the hottest new room since the upscale outhouse. [CNN]
  • Rich New Yorkers like living in department stores, banks, old hotels and newspaper offices — as long as the spaces have been morphed into “high-priced residential units.” It’s all about ceiling height, obviously. (And tax breaks too.) [Forbes]
  • – Max Abelson